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Multicom vs area frequency

Old 6th Feb 2014, 03:29
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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I was asking exactly the same question when CTAFs were first invented in 1989 or so!
Who else remembers 119.9 from the sixties / seventies? Its an old concept, just a new acronym to give the appearance of action by CASA
Actually I recall it being 119.1 and it was used at many rural airfields, mainly by aero clubs and flying schools etc.

I'm struggling with the use of the work "discrete" in this context as I would consider 126.7 to not be discrete....
My understanding of "discrete" is not published (anywhere)...

Last edited by triadic; 6th Feb 2014 at 13:35. Reason: Typo
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Old 6th Feb 2014, 07:59
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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I’m wondering whether I’ll ever get to read a CAAP for purposes other than amusement. (Perhaps that’s what the second “A” really stands for… )

Confusion caused by a confused regulator’s attempt to clear up confusion. It’s so … hmmm … Australian.

Maybe they should be renamed “CRAPs”.
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Old 6th Feb 2014, 08:13
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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I think the 166s are generally good value, current discussion point excepted.
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Old 6th Feb 2014, 09:00
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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Intentional or not, maybe Triadic is on to something. Perhaps the regulator joins the long list of individuals and entities who don't know the difference between 'discrete' and 'discreet'. Maybe they really mean 'discreet' in the sense that it's a close-kept secret.

Bur seriously...how dumb is this? Such a fundamental bit of bread and butter ops obscured by poorly coordinated and worded documentation.
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Old 6th Feb 2014, 11:01
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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"Contact Kalgoorlie (Flight Service Unit) on 122.1....G'Day....."

How it 'USED' to be.... S I M P L E ......

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Old 7th Feb 2014, 00:44
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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To add to the confusion…

I think what the quoted bits of the CAAP are trying to ‘clarify’ is the frequency that should be used if you are operating at a ‘place’ – to use a neutral term - that is not in ERSA and not marked on charts.

If you are operating in or out of Ma and Pa Kettle’s strip that isn’t in ERSA and not marked on any charts, it seems you should be using the area frequency to make your circuit broadcasts.

If you are operating in or out of a strip that is in ERSA or is marked on charts, you should be using the CTAF specified in ERSA or on the chart or, if no CTAF is specified, 126.7.

This seems to be consistent with AIP ENR 1.1 44.

Dare I say it seems to make sense? If you are operating in and out of a place that isn’t in ERSA and isn’t marked on any chart, aircraft in the vicinity are not going to be listening out for you on 126.7.

If you broadcast “Joining downwind Ma and Pa Kettle’s sheep paddock” on the area frequency, I’m not sure Centre should be complaining.
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Old 7th Feb 2014, 07:34
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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One of CASA's problems is that they don't seem to have people who really understand what it is they are writing about. Sometimes it appears stuff is just written by someone straight off the street (low experience pilots included).

In their online "Out-n-Back" series, the section about checking NOTAMs has this gem:

Don't get bogged down in reading NOTAMs starting with or including 'DAH' ... it refers to the Designated Airspace Handbook that applies only to military personnel.
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Old 7th Feb 2014, 11:26
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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"DAH" and "FLIP": Nearly the same sound and number of letters!
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 06:02
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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"To add to the confusion…

I think what the quoted bits of the CAAP are trying to ‘clarify’ is the frequency that should be used if you are operating at a ‘place’ – to use a neutral term - that is not in ERSA and not marked on charts.

If you are operating in or out of Ma and Pa Kettle’s strip that isn’t in ERSA and not marked on any charts, it seems you should be using the area frequency to make your circuit broadcasts.

If you are operating in or out of a strip that is in ERSA or is marked on charts, you should be using the CTAF specified in ERSA or on the chart or, if no CTAF is specified, 126.7.

This seems to be consistent with AIP ENR 1.1 44.

Dare I say it seems to make sense? If you are operating in and out of a place that isn’t in ERSA and isn’t marked on any chart, aircraft in the vicinity are not going to be listening out for you on 126.7.

If you broadcast “Joining downwind Ma and Pa Kettle’s sheep paddock” on the area frequency, I’m not sure Centre should be complaining."


I think Creamy has it tidily put in a nutshell, so to speak....kaz
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 06:31
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think that makes sense at all. Busy CTAFs will have their own CTAF (comprehendi?! ). All the others seem to have 126.7.

The idea of the Multicom was to have a low-altitude freq for use at light traffic airports (or Ma and Pa Kettle's) so that the Area freq wasn't congested.

IFR would have Area/Discrete CTAF and VFR would have Multicom (if not a discrete CTAF).

I think the CAAP has got it wrong.

Cruising around monitoring the (combined) Area freq(s) getting ready for descent we hear Joe Bloggs at Ma Kettle's place; not the way it should be. He should be on the Multicom. Good on him for talking, but he should be on the "in the vicinity" freq, logically, IMO, the Multicom.
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 07:11
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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We should start with the question: What do the rules require?

That would lead to an automatic answer to the question: What should the CAAP say?

It is a sad indictment on the state of Australian aviation that the answer to the first question is not instantly and universally known and agreed.

Bloggsie: If a VFR bugsmasha is taxiing for take off out of ‘Sandlewood Park’, about 15 nms to the West of Mildura – not in ERSA and not marked as an airstrip on any chart – for a climb to say 9,500 on a track slightly East of North, who’d be assisted by the taxi call being made on 126.7?
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 07:44
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Puff
It is a sad indictment on the state of Australian aviation that the answer to the first question is not instantly and universally known and agreed.
The answer's pretty obvious, as the OP points out: AIP GEN Def of Multicom and ENR 1.4, 3.2.1.

I'll say it again. The CAAP's got it wrong, IMO. Back to the books for you puff!

If a VFR bugsmasha is taxiing for take off out of ‘Sandlewood Park’, about 15 nms to the West of Mildura – not in ERSA and not marked as an airstrip on any chart – for a climb to say 9,500 on a track slightly East of North, who’d be assisted by the taxi call being made on 126.7?
The same people who'd be assisted by departures from any one of the myriad tin-pot airfields listed in ERSA as having a CTAF of 126.7. At least we biggies (and the controllers) don't hear their taxiing and entering calls.

I don't necessarily think it's a bad thing farmer Kettle yabbering on the Area when taxiing at his property (I can see both positions); the whole thread, which we seem have come back to, is what the pubs say.
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 09:00
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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I know what all the various bits of the books say, Bloggsie. The problem is that the sum of all the bits is, demonstrably, confusion (at least for the regulator).

I’ll never be a ‘biggie’, but if I were and I was organising myself for a straight in approach to Mildura from the West, I know on which frequency I’d prefer an aircraft operating from a strip to West of Mildura that isn’t in ERSA or marked on any chart to be broadcasting its taxi call …
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 11:04
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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If a VFR bugsmasha is taxiing for take off out of ‘Sandlewood Park’, about 15 nms to the West of Mildura – not in ERSA and not marked as an airstrip on any chart – for a climb to say 9,500 on a track slightly East of North, who’d be assisted by the taxi call being made on 126.7?
Any pilot worth his salt, would make the taxi call on the Multicom (and maybe even on the MIA CTAF due its proximity)for the benefit of other traffic that might be at "Sandlewoood Park" and then once airborne and setting course to climb to A095, would make an appropriate b'cast on the area frequency and the MIA CTAF. Thats how it should work, and dare I say until the CASA comment there was no confusion and it worked fine...!

The 'Biggie' doing the SIA from the West would be at around 3000ft at that distance... If conducting an IFR approach maybe a bit lower, but then our mate would not be climbing to A095...
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 19:50
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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A broadcast on Multicom then a broadcast on Area then a broadcast on Mildura CTAF? Another variation!

If the second broadcast is desirable, what's the safety issue with making it the first? I am the only person operating in and out of Sandlewood Park: I own it (hypothetically).

I don't understand this statement, triadic:
... but then our mate would not be climbing to A095...
She is climbing to 9,500. That's my point.

If the biggie's SIA call was made before the bugsmasha switches to Area, and the bugsmasha made her taxi call (to herself) on Multicom, they are each blissfully ignorant of the other (unless she makes another broadcast on Area ...).
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 20:28
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Thank God we've harmonised with the USA
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 21:35
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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I’ll never be a ‘biggie’, but if I were and I was organising myself for a straight in approach to Mildura from the West, I know on which frequency I’d prefer an aircraft operating from a strip to West of Mildura that isn’t in ERSA or marked on any chart to be broadcasting its taxi call …
Mildura CTAF? IIRC you are supposed to broadcast on the CTAF frequency when in the vicinity of an airfield and your operations may conflict with operations at the airfield.

As I see it, radio broadcasts at this type of strip are primarily about coordinating operations in the circuit i.e. at or below 1000 AGL. Outside the circuit there's not much practical difference between someone planning to land at an unmarked strip, or just flying around.

For your own private strip that isn't marked on charts there is not much value in broadcasting intentions, unless there may be more than one aircraft operating. If you have a BBQ and a dozen of your mates are flying in, and they will be doing a few sightseeing flights as well, there is value in broadcasting taxying/inbound/circuit calls etc. I wouldn't think it would be welcome on area though.
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Old 8th Feb 2014, 22:26
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Ahhh, yet another approach: Broadcast on the Mildura CTAF!
As I see it, radio broadcasts at this type of strip are primarily about coordinating operations in the circuit i.e. at or below 1000 AGL.
Really?

So why then would I be broadcasting on the Mildura CTAF when I’m operating out of my unmarked strip 17 nautical miles away? If it’s because my departure might conflict with traffic tracking into or out of Mildura, why wouldn’t I broadcast on the Area frequency that should be monitored by the traffic tracking into or out of Mildura and near my actual location?

And if CTAF’s just about coordinating circuit traffic, why do I have to broadcast on the CTAF if I’m overflying at 3,500’?
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Old 9th Feb 2014, 02:05
  #39 (permalink)  
 
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And if CTAF’s just about coordinating circuit traffic, why do I have to broadcast on the CTAF if I’m overflying at 3,500’?
I said "at this type of strip" i.e. in this example, your own private strip. You broadcast overflying a regular CTAF because you might conflict with other aircraft at the airport, e.g. an instrument approach that might begin a few thousand feet above. That's different from a private strip somewhere.

If the broadcast at a private strip is not primarily about conflict during takeoff and landing, why would you broadcast when you are landing at your private strip, but not if you e.g. orbit a neighbors house without a strip?

Ultimately you need to figure out whether you are likely to conflict with other traffic, and if so, what frequency that traffic is most likely to be on. If you expect to conflict with Mildura traffic, Mildura CTAF would seem to be the most likely frequency. If you are too far away from Mildura for the frequency to be applicable, how likely are you to conflict with the traffic, really?

For better or worse, it was decided a long time ago that details of VFR movements should not, in general, be broadcast on the area frequency.
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Old 9th Feb 2014, 04:07
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with creampuff.

it is not only about transmitting your intentions, it is also about listening to and developing a situational awareness of conflicting traffic.

what use is transmitting on multicom, then switching to area frequency and transmitting then switching to the nearby ctaf and transmitting if you don't hear the call " XYZ you are turning directly into my path..."

this is all regulatory incompetence in an area of aviation that was once so simple.
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