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"Contact one", any one else say that?

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"Contact one", any one else say that?

Old 13th Apr 2011, 08:53
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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I occasionally get 'Ready for departure' calls. My reply is usually 'Roger'.
And that's exactly what I don't like about A/G or AFIS setups.

As a pilot, I want to use the radio to convey safety information to other pilots. Where I am in the circuit for instance, or what my intentions are.

I know the A/G or AFIS operator couldn't care less, but because he/she is the "owner" of the frequency, it seems as if all my calls have to be directed at him and he's got to respond somehow. And indeed, to 9 out of 10 calls, the proper response from this operator is "roger".

I have flown in the US where fields have a CTAF frequency. There is nobody on the ground monitoring this, so it's clear that any transmission on this frequency is directed at other traffic near the field. In fact, you address the recipients as "XXX traffic" and if necessary you engage in air-to-air communications with another aircraft directly. It's much clearer that way.

As said earlier, my "ready for departure" call at an A/G or AFIS field is not intended for the operator. It's a chance for an aircraft on final to call "final" once again, just in case I haven't seen him. And if I have seen him, I'll add a "traffic on final in sight" or "behind the traffic short final".

I wish at an A/G or AFIS field we could make two different types of calls. The first type would be "XXX radio, bla bla bla" or "XXX information, bla bla bla" which makes clear that I need information from the operator. Runway in use, QNH, QFE, circuit direction, wind, taxi instructions, whatever. And the second type would be "XXX traffic, bla bla bla" which makes clear that I want to convey information to others near the field. My position in the circuit and my intentions for instance. That last type of call would be a "blind" call, with no response expected from anyone, unless my intentions interfere with the intentions of another aircraft. In which case I expect him to tell me his position and intentions, so that we can work out a plan.

I'll often see them sit for several minutes waiting for an instruction that they're never going to get.
That's just stupidity on their part. Not your fault. And something that's not going to change even if I got my wish. You'll never going to get a take-off clearance at an uncontrolled field no matter how the radio procedures are changed.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 09:30
  #62 (permalink)  
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Backpacker

As an A/G licence holder, it is not so much that I do not care, as I am not allowed to do anything other than pass on certain information. As Flyingmac says 'ready for departure' has no meaning, as I cannot clear them to enter the runway or to take off - I guess I could respond 'I have a spaniel dog', but the authorities would not like that

IIRC an AFISO may give limited clearances, e.g. taxiing and depart at own discretion, so they need to know intentions.
 
Old 13th Apr 2011, 09:48
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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I'm 100% with Backpacker on the reason for calls at an A/G field.

If I call Downwind, I'm not expecting the A/G operator to pass the information to others as known traffic - 'traffic is a PA-28 Downwind' I'm telling other pilots in the circuit that I'm Downwind.

I don't expect a reply from the A/G operator if calling 'ready for departure' - I'm telling those on base, final, behind me doing power checks, that I'm about to line up and take-off. It's well understood that is what it means at our field. One is ready for departure and intends after checking the approach path to do so.

If one hears 'G-YY' Ready for Departure' and is well down the final approach, a repeat call of 'G-XX Final' has on several occasions been met by 'G-YY Holding' which saves me a go around.


The problems come from visiting aircraft who are not use to operating in the A/G environment, if they are waiting for instructions from an A/G operator they really need to go back to the basics for a bit of revision.

A/G fields are about pilots communicating with each other, that is my experience, our operators can't even see the circuit or most of the runway, so I'm not expecting them to inform me of traffic or much else other than the runway in use, circuit direction, QFE/QNH and perhaps the surface wind if required.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 10:34
  #64 (permalink)  
 
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Surely the point of the "Roger" from the A/G operator is to confirm that everyone on the frequency did actually here your "blind" transmission of ready for departure/downwind/finals - ie that you did press PTT, that the mic, radio, aerial did work?

Is it really a big deal if the A/G operator replies "Roger"? - it takes less than a half second and can be ignored if it bothers you, but why should it?
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 10:42
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Roger from A/G doesn't bother me, sometimes they reply with two 'clicks' the issue is that 'ready for departure' might not mean anything to the A/G operators contributing to this thread, it sure means something to me as a pilot on final.

The point being other than an initial call to A/G for radio check and airfield information all subsequent calls of, taxi, ready for departure, downwind, final are for the benefit of other pilots at an A/G field, not the A/G operator.

If A/G say 'roger' yes it is reassuring that one is actually transmitting. If they reply 'I have a spaniel dog' though it might be somewhat amusing it really misses the point that the objective of the calls is to other pilots. At an A/G field we as pilots have the responsibility of not bumping into each other and the radio calls are generally for that purpose not the benefit of the A/G operator. (Who may well be in the loo, on the phone, dealing with a customer etc etc)
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 10:43
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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At a place I visit, the reply from A/G to "Ready for departure" is usually "At your discretion".
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 10:54
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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At a place I visit, the reply from A/G to "Ready for departure" is usually "At your discretion".
tut tut, that should be reserved for AFIS and a FISO not an A/G operator.

Refer CAP 413 5.4.2

NOTE: Air ground operators must not use the expression ‘at your discretion’ as this is associated with the service provided by FISOs and is likely to cause
confusion to pilots.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 11:13
  #68 (permalink)  
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Conventional Gear

I think you might have slightly missed my point.

The word 'roger' only means I heard something on the r/t, not that I understood it.

One should not rely on it as confirming that your transmission was understood.

e.g. if you transmit 'G-ABCD radio check' and I reply 'roger', what does that mean?

If I reply 'G-ABCD, receiving you five', then it is rather more meaningful.

Saying I have a spaniel means as little as saying 'roger.' In the case of ready for departure, I cannot do any more than use words that acknowledge your transmission, I'm not allowed to.

I do understand your point about using the A/G service to alert other aircraft to your intentions and it is well made.
 
Old 13th Apr 2011, 11:33
  #69 (permalink)  
 
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I don't think I'm missing the point. I just take 'roger' from A/G as reassurance that my call was transmitted on frequency. It is a reply I might expect (if any) to 'ready for departure'

For Example:

Example Radio, 123.450, G-XXXX, radio check and airfield information for departure

G-XX reading you five, runway in use 07, right hand circuit, QNH 1001

reading you five also, 07 right hand circuit, QNH 1001

The above is a direct communication to the A/G operator, I expect certain information as the reply.

Next call:

G-XX taxi to hold 07

Here I might expect no reply from A/G, it's information to other pilots that I'm going to taxi to hold for runway 07. The A/G may reply 'Roger' I simply take that as meaning 'we heard and understood your last transmission'. Hopefully then so did everyone else on frequency.

I arrive at the holding area, carry out my power checks and pre-take off checks. At this time pilots on final can see me, they might be wondering is that aircraft about to line up?

At the end of the checks I scan the approach path and call:

G-XX Ready for Departure

The pilot on final who I didn't see now knows I'm ready to depart and is warned.

A/G may or may not respond 'roger' which means nothing more to me than the A/G Operator heard and understood my transmission. It was not actually for their benefit in any case, but hey I like our A/G operators so they can say 'roger' if they like. If they don't it doesn't matter much.

If they reply 'I have a spaniel dog' it conveys exactly the same information, but 'roger' is shorter and better R/T
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 11:36
  #70 (permalink)  
 
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I have known airfields use "Roger, take-off at your discretion" - making it clear that it's okay with the A/G operator, but ultimately entirely up to the pilot.

I've also known airfields where seeing what's on final approach from any sensible position to line up from, is very hard.

So, for example:

"Popham radio, G-ABCD, ready for departure on 26"
"G-ABCD, take off at your discretion, but recommend you wait for the Cessna on finals"

Is pro-safety, surely?

G
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 11:47
  #71 (permalink)  
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A/G may or may not respond 'roger' which means nothing more to me than the A/G Operator heard and understood my transmission
I'm not being pedantic (well I guess I am, but only because it is important information) but 'roger' does not mean understood, only heard.

Anyway, not trying to start an argument

Ghengis

I've heard A/G operators use the 'D' word, too, but they shouldn't, as it is a type of clearance to be given by AFISO's.
 
Old 13th Apr 2011, 12:01
  #72 (permalink)  
 
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You win, you are correct in being pedantic, I should not have said 'understood'

ROGER I have received all your last transmission.
Note: Under no circumstances to be used in reply to a question
requiring a direct answer in the affirmative (AFFIRM) or
negative (NEGATIVE).


But it doesn't change the general drift of the topic in terms of the role of an A/G operator and the purpose of calls such as 'ready for departure' at an A/G field, which are certainly not meaningless to pilots.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 12:03
  #73 (permalink)  
 
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And while being pedantic

I've heard A/G operators use the 'D' word, too, but they shouldn't, as it is a type of clearance to be given by AFISO's.

Are you really sure the 'D' word is a 'clearance'

Or for that matter that a AFIS can issue a clearance other than one passed to them by an ATU which must be clearly stated as such.

Last edited by Conventional Gear; 13th Apr 2011 at 12:15.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 12:44
  #74 (permalink)  
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Or for that matter that a AFIS can issue a clearance other than one passed to them by an ATU which much be clearly stated as such.
As I understand it (and I am a layman) an AFISO shall not inform an aircraft that the runway is clear, until after ATC has cleared it for take off, assuming a clearance is required.

If a clearance is not required, then the AFISO may inform the aircraft that the runway is clear, by issuing the 'take off at your discretion' phrase.

I also believe that AFISOs control aircraft on the ground, so as I understand it, 'take off at your discretion' is a clearance to enter the runway, but I am happy to be corrected, as I am not an AFISO, only licensed to do A/G.
 
Old 13th Apr 2011, 13:15
  #75 (permalink)  
 
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It's in the definition of 'clearance' a clearance must always be read back btw.

Take off at your discretion

Is not a 'clearance'


It is distinct from an ATCO saying 'Cleared to take-off 07' which is a 'clearance'


CLEARED ‡ Authorised to proceed under the conditions specified



A FISO cannot do that, they can only say 'Take off at your discretion'

Take off at your discretion certainly doesn't say you are 'cleared to take off', it says take off WHEN YOU have confirmed it is clear and safe to do so. Remember a FISO cannot issue instructions only information most of the time:

CAP 413 2.2.2

Whilst the RTF procedures used by air traffic controllers form the main content of this
publication it should be noted that the phraseology used by FISOs at aerodromes is
different from that used by controllers. A FISO at an aerodrome provides a service to
give information useful for the safe and efficient conduct of flights in the Aerodrome
Traffic Zone. From the information received pilots will be able to decide the
appropriate course of action to be taken to ensure the safety of flight. Generally, the
FISO is not permitted to issue instructions or advice to pilots of his own volition.
However, in granting or refusing permission under Rule 40 and 41 of the Rules of the
Air, FISOs at aerodromes are permitted to pass instructions to vehicles and personnel
operating on the manoeuvring area and information and instructions to aircraft moving
on the apron and specific parts of the manoeuvring area. Elsewhere on the
manoeuvring area and at all times in the air, information only shall be passed to pilots.
Further details on the passing of instructions by FISOs at aerodromes are contained
in CAP 410 Manual of Flight Information Services - Part B Aerodrome.


I cannot find any reference to a FISO being able to use the term 'cleared' i.e. to issue a 'clearance' in CAP 413 - but I'm more than happy to be corrected too, the point of the exercise is to learn after all, not prove one is always right.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 19:17
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Conventional Gear.

When you've worn out your copy of CAP 413, (shouldn't be long now), I've got an unopened one you can have. Unless we run out of loo roll.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 19:20
  #77 (permalink)  
 
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No need, I have the PDF and can print off lots of copies for myself
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 22:09
  #78 (permalink)  
 
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"Visual one ahead/on." Is, IMHO, unambiguos. It means "I can see the guy ahead". "Contact" means two things, "Call xxx they have your details" or "I am about to make physical contact with the propellor with the intention of hand starting the engine, I understand the magnetos are live".
I am & always will be under the impression that "Roger" means "Your message received & understood". If it wern't understood it should be "station calling xxx say again" or perhaps "G-XX say again, over". At least it was in the Mil 40 yrs ago!
And "Secure" in the Navy meant, End of working time (1600 I seem to remember).
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 22:49
  #79 (permalink)  
 
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I agree that it would be completely perverse to say "Roger" in response to a message which one had not understood.
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Old 13th Apr 2011, 23:58
  #80 (permalink)  
 
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Well I must admit I did think 'roger' meant received and understood too.

I thought the distinction was that it doesn't imply the pilot will actually conform with an instruction, hence why a simple 'roger' isn't always an appropriate response.
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