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-   -   ctaf procedures (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/332842-ctaf-procedures.html)

Cap'n Arrr 29th Jun 2008 22:56

I generally make the following calls:

- 10 nm inbound "XXX TFC, ABC is one zero miles NW, 4500, inbound, XXX"
- Overhead the runway (I know you don't have to, and if it's busy I don't always throw it in, but it lets the guys in the circuit know where you are, and if noones in the circuit it lets people know which runway is in use. My current companies rule is to make an overfly call when overflying a CTAF.
- Joining X-Wind. (You DO NOT have to make a turning downwind call when joining crosswind)
- Turning Base with intentions
- I also do make departure calls, mainly along the lines of "XXX departed from downwind <Aerodrome> at time __, tracking 220 to <Next point>, on climb to 5500 passing 2500." Generally don't use the ETA for next reporting point. Making this call has given a heads up to potentially conflicting traffic more than once, and it also means that the guy behind you in the circuit isn't left wondering what you're doing.

flyinggit 29th Jun 2008 23:13

CTAF or CTAF/R means = Common Traffic Advisory Frequency. My instructor told me that it's all 'advisory' (apart from what mandatory as per regs) & extra calls ought to be made when applicable.


VH-XXX 30th Jun 2008 03:35

You guys have gotta stop using my rego for your written examples (VH-XXX), it's costing me a fortune in Avdata and Airservices fees!

antzx6r 30th Jun 2008 05:08

This is a mixed bag at the moment. There are the manditory calls (I think inbound, joining and base calls) and apart from that its common sense. ie if some one is holding ready to line up, make a finals call just as an extra heads up(so to speak). But remember there is no requirement for a radio at all for CTAF aerodromes (unlike CTAF(r)), so really your eyes should be out of the cockpit at all times and broadcasts to a minimum req, with safety in mind for any 'extra' calls. That's what ive been taught anyway.
On the issue of climb out to 300' of cct height, I too was told that this is to ensure all aircraft are at cct height for the turn downwind without making the cct too 'wide'. Not really an issue for us 'lighter' aircraft as we are usually at cct height before you can blink. No problem turning xwind at 500 agl and still keeping a tight cct. Although as an xtra point we are required to follow those 152's forever till they can turn xwind. (such an annoyance... na just ribbin' ya ;) )

VH-XXX 30th Jun 2008 10:45

For those that missed it over 2 years ago, the regs now clearly state to turn crosswind at 300ft below circuit height, so 700 or 1200...

Ando1Bar 30th Jun 2008 12:01

For those that missed it over 2 years ago, the regs now clearly state to turn crosswind at 300ft below circuit height, so 700 or 1200...
This is only applicable when remaining in the circuit.

VH-XXX 30th Jun 2008 23:00

ANY CTAF..... don't always believe what your instructor has been telling you, he might have not realised like half of the others on here.

Jabawocky 30th Jun 2008 23:09

This is not rocket science. This thread should have stopped after about 3-4 posts.:ugh:

Now I know why FTDK and a few other old timers on here complain about the degrading of training standards:sad:


Swanie 1st Jul 2008 00:43

Who to believe?...
Car 166 (operating in vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome)
paragraph 2(h);
"After take-off, maintain the same track from the take-off untill the aircraft is 500' above the terrain unless a change to the track is necessary for terrain avoidance"

"Pilots remaining in the circuit SHOULD climb to within 300' of circuit height before turning crosswind"


antzx6r 1st Jul 2008 01:09

Trust CASA to make something so simple, vague enough to cause this much confusion.:hmm:
We really need reform. Or at least some clarification. How hard is it to get some simple rules. Maybe its just to keep us on our toes or maybe to thin us down to make way for RPT. Now theres a grizzly thought.:suspect:

Cap'n Arrr 1st Jul 2008 09:03

Don't see any confliction between the regs there Swanie. Pilots must climb to at least 500' before turning. In addition, remaining in the circuit should climb to within 300' of circuit height.

So just climb to 700', (or 1200 if you have a d/wind speed >120kts) and turn crosswind. No rules broken, standard procedures complied with, and all is well in the world.

In my experience much of the confusion about this comes from people who have learnt to fly at a Controlled Aerodrome, where the crosswind turn IS made at 500' AGL, and then don't know the regs for Class G, and just assume it's the same.

Ando1Bar 1st Jul 2008 10:47

As far as i've been tought, 500ft agl turn x-wind or risk sensible ppl turning inside you anyway (request) because you'll end up further from the runway than necessary and safe, and also use excess fuel...

for calls we are tought when busy, an 10mile inbound call (obvious reasons - nothing worse than some bafoon arriving, piping up saying hes suddenly joinging midfield crosswind when your on downwind)
2. overhead the field,
3. joining downwind,
4. base with intensions
5. final also with traffic (ie, turns final, runway ..., number 2). insures the guy infront of you or behind can vacate the runway hastely or take his time etc.
6. departure call. (so the person coming inbound knows your not climbing into his path)

some may think excessive but helps with the whole situationl awareness
You've been taught the wrong thing. Call overhead the field? Base with intentions? Read your AIPs or the information pack put out by DOTARs. Then show your instructor:


nothing worse than some bafoon arriving,piping up saying hes suddenly joinging midfield crosswind when your on downwind
Nothing wrong with this, a crosswind join is perfectly legit, read the reform.

By the way, you are not 'joining downwind' if coming from overhead the airfield. You have joined crosswind (make the call!) then turned downwind. Joining downwind is from the 45 deg. angle.

As far as i've been tought, 500ft agl turn x-wind or risk sensible ppl turning inside you anyway (request)
It's folk like you that are turning inside of me because YOU are not following the recommendations.

Sorry for the rant, targetting you in particular QCPog, but I've just spent another day guiding my aircraft around others who are not following the recommendations.

I don't always get it 100% right, but I try my hardest to follow the regs and AIP/Jep procedures while trying to pass on airmanship to my students.

Jabawocky 1st Jul 2008 10:51

Departure call????? FFS if you made you correct broadcast on the ground anyone close enough to conflict with you would have heard that.:ugh:

Ando1Bar 1st Jul 2008 11:15

Jaba, no doubt this departure call was given following the standard IFR departure report format. This seems to be a favourite amongst some pilots.

Mark1234 1st Jul 2008 11:56

Ok, slight thread drift; still on the subject of CTAF, I've read what I can find, but I'm confused.. paraphrasing:

CTAFs no longer have defined airspace limits
Aircraft should broadcast by (min) 10nm inbound or overflying and listen out on the ctaf frequency.

So, how high do they go? 3000? 50000? To the base of class E? Higher?
How do you handle en-route - and what constitutes overflying?

For instance if I head southeast from YMMB I head towards/ past Tyabb and Tooradin, both on different CTAF frequencies about 10nm apart. Apart from the practicalities of not overflying Tooradin due parachuting, what *should* I be doing?

Ando1Bar 1st Jul 2008 21:13

Unfortunately only common sense is the answer. For example, overflying a non-towered aerodrome at 1500ft en-route I will definately give a broadcast and listen to the CTAF. If I'm at 5500ft AGL I'm unlikely to give a broadcast, but will listen to the CTAF for situational awareness about inbound/outbound traffic.

Your example is a little different. If I had only one comm I'd listen to the CTAF I was closest to, or had traffic I was more likely to come into conflict with. If you have two comms, why not one CTAF on both? The only problem then is whether you'd want to be listening to Centre at the same time.

I haven't been past Tyabb or Tooradin for a while so I can't give specific advice.

james michael 1st Jul 2008 22:03

Mark 1234

As Ando says, common sense IS the answer. That's why the original CTAF showing dimensions was not common sense.

The original TDN CTAF was 3 miles 3000' from memory. If they are dropping tandem paras from 4500' (thus not in CTA) then the old dimensions were unsafe as you would fly straight through them. If you are coming from MB (have a look at the chart) you go from ML Radar to a 3 Nm CTAF just in time to punch thru the paras again.

So, in your flight planning, you are wise to look for symbols like parachuting and also listen on the area and CTAF well back, setting a minimum dimension of 10Nm for a busy CTAF.

The airfields in proximity issue continues to be debated. The best advice on this is Annex E to NFRM 0401AS which states:

Overlap situations.
In some circumstances, an aircraft may be in the vicinity of more than one non-controlled aerodrome having different frequencies at any time.
Where this overlap situation occurs, pilots of aircraft that have only one radio should select the CTAF of the aerodrome to which the aircraft is inbound, or if the aircraft is overflying, then the CTAF of the aerodrome to which the aircraft is nearer at any time should be selected.

Even then, commonsense is still needed - technically if you fly past Avalon you should leave the AV CTAF R frequency and transfer to Werribbee 126.7 when closer to Werribee. I don't recommend it!

Mark1234 1st Jul 2008 23:50

I wasn't looking for advice on those specific airfields per se, just general principles. Common sense is what I am applying at the moment; it just makes me nervous that I'm breaking some rule that I can't find :)

Coming from the uk, the standard ctaf (atz) there is 3/3000, (I believe they can be bigger), and parachute drop zones are protected (P/R/D I don't remember) airspace - you flat don't go there.. def inclined to agree that parachutists and aeroplanes don't mix..


Capn Bloggs 2nd Jul 2008 00:51


Coming from the uk, the standard ctaf (atz) there is 3/3000,
Our system was basically the same until Dick Smith got really involved and imposed on us, via "Australian Government policy", the NAS. Now, as you can see from the above posts, the rules/guidelines/commonsense/good airmanship have been muddied to the point of being confusing.

james michael 2nd Jul 2008 01:33


Not going near the DS matter but aircraft travel at very different speeds and CTAF very different traffic volumes and types.

The 'one size fits all' CTAF hardly fits the variation.

Not going into a NAS debate either but if the unique Australian CTAF R and Transponders in E were world's best practice - the world would be following us. They are not.

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