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"Contact one", any one else say that?

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"Contact one", any one else say that?

Old 11th Apr 2011, 16:46
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"Contact one", any one else say that?

I was turning base and an inbound aircraft was descending on the dead side and then joined for the downwind. He said "G-XXXX downwind 29, contact one". i.e. he was visual with me. Im assuming its the equivalent to traffic in sight or visual with traffic. Normal to use that phrase?
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 16:56
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Never heard it. Neither do I remember it from any training or syllabus. One more UK particularity, at best.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:02
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Not entirely sure how 'standard' it is, however I've heard it used many times when flying into rural (especially) strips, and use it myself on occasion.

I've usually heard it as 'contact one, ahead'.

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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:13
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Never used it myself but have heard it frequently at an airfield with A/G. I normally say "visual one ahead". I must admit I've never heard it at an airfield with full ATC, just smaller airfields.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:17
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He was just abbreviating "visual contact with one aircraft ahead".
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:20
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I think it would be usual to say 'contact NUMBER one' etc. However, not all RT is that precise and a lot of us learnt their RT many years ago. It's a bit like the Highway Code; does everbody keep up to date with that? As long as you get the message across clearly then it doesn't always have to be by the book, although desirable. JMO
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:33
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Presumably he is trying to pre-empt ATC warning him of traffic in the circuit, but the phrase 'Visual one ahead' would probably be more correct.

The word 'contact' has caused some problems in the past due to ambiguous meaning. For example, does 'contact ground' mean communicate with the ground frequency, that you are in visual contact, ie you can SEE the ground, or are in physical contact, ie are ON the ground. Of course there is also a further aviation meaning relating to magnetos. This ambiguity has been implicated in accidents in the past. In particular, I can think of a Bulldog crash involving a foreign exchange pilot, for whom English was not his first language. He was already in some difficulty, and was asked something like ' Do you have contact with ground?' It didn't end well.

As a result, in UK civil R/T contact is only used in the communicate sense. To say it in the sense above may be understood but is technically incorrect. CAP413 refers:


In the UK
CONTACT shall have the

meaning


Establish communications

with...(your details have been

passed).

Furthermore, 'contact' is never used by military pilots on R/T except under a very specific circumstance that does not relate to any of the examples above. Its incorrect use, particularly by light a/c pilots who are trying to sound punchy, grates badly!
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:33
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Perfectly normal at our A/G field to call G-XX, Downwind, Contact 1 Ahead, contact 2 ahead etc. Just lets the other pilots know you have seen them.

You can go even further, G-XX, Downwind for runway 07, Contact 1 ahead.

It's just common sense really if it helps other people, if I'm turning base and someone calls just 'Downwind' it's OK, if they call Downwind Contact 1 ahead and I can't see anyone else I can be reassured they have probably seen me.

PS I don't see this has any bearing on an ATC unit which would be number 1 to land number 2 land, and ATC would be informing the pilot of that situation not the other way around, at an A/G field a lot of the time your information is direct to other pilots in the circuit, not a 'controller'.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:41
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I thought you were supposed to say "Tally Ho". In deep Kent, anyway
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:48
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I was taught to use "Looking" when warned of the presence of another aircraft which I could not yet see, and "Visual" if I could. For me, using "Contact" smacks of boys' comics and Gold-bar-wearing PPl holders - all for show.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:52
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DX. Correct. And in military parlance, 'visual' or 'blind' for friendlies, 'tally' or 'no joy' for enemies.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 17:56
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I use 'looking' when looking for traffic passed to me by ATC, but also saw one shouldn't really say that according to the GA Supplement CAP413, one should just say 'Roger G-XX' or just 'G-XX' to acknowledge a traffic call. It's a habit though.

Though this isn't where I would use contact 1 ahead, it's just in the circuit at an A/G field where the operator may well be in an office with no traffic information or situational awareness - here pilots are simply helping each other out by letting each other know they have seen each other in the circuit. Seems like a habit at our field, some use it some don't, probably depends which instructor they had or if people just pick it up by hearing it. I certainly like the benefit of it myself.

It's also better to hear than 'Rolling' which really does annoy me
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 18:43
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I use it all the time, but reading about it here I admit it could be slightly ambiguous and confusing. I'll try to use the full Visual Contact in the future. Even Visual would be better since it can't be confused with much anything else.

Looking is much better than Roger, IMHO. Don't care what the rules say - clarity is paramount. Looking is a direct acknowledgement of traffic, whereas Roger could be agreeing to anything said up that point.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 18:48
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Round here, the usual phrase is "have the number one in sight" which is also a nice way to acknowledge one is not number one. It is longer to pronounce, though.

And yes indeed, this kind of information is mostly meant for fellow pilots, rather than for any radio operator on the ground. If any is available, at all.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 18:51
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Furthermore, 'contact' is never used by military pilots on R/T except under a very specific circumstance that does not relate to any of the examples above. Its incorrect use, particularly by light a/c pilots who are trying to sound punchy, grates badly!
As military traffic is on 243, why should they give a f**K?

Also, they are probably more concerned with trying to see through their dirty windscreen, than playing the radio police.

Round here, the usual phrase is "have the number one in sight"
But how do you know you have the #1 in sight? A dangerous assumption to make.
 
Old 11th Apr 2011, 18:54
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Contact one ahead
is perfectly acceptable R/T and means what it says.

I thought you were supposed to say "Tally Ho". In deep Kent, anyway
Is complete and utter bollocks, if you must use military R/T the correct phrase is
Tally that
, but it means absolutely nothing in the civilian world.

Any airfield, instructor that teaches or encourages non standard R/T or any pilot who uses non standard R/T (i.e anything which doesn't conform to CAP 413) is demonstrating their complete lack of professional standards.

As a very experienced ATCO, Examiner and pilot, the moment I hear that sort of crap it makes me question everything else the pilot does and I treat them with extra care, strictly by the book and often resulting in their embarresment.

Have no doubt about it chaps and chappesses, if you sound as though you know what you are doing, people the other side of the headset will generally believe you.
Don't and you'll generally get treated as the situation warrants.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 18:59
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Round here, the usual phrase is "have the number one in sight"
How do you know it's "number one"? You will only know how many you have in sight.

Last edited by patowalker; 11th Apr 2011 at 19:32.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 19:12
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While we're on the subject of RT I have to say I like the American way of communicating in the circuit by prefacing their calls with the aircraft type and then call-sign e.g. 'Cessna 172 G-ABCD (N123) left base 21'. This gives you a clue as to what to look for and some idea of the likely speed. I know this probably takes a millisecond more of air time and also requires some knowledge of aircraft types; but I like it!
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 19:14
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As military traffic is on 243, why should they give a f**K?
Err, no. Military aircraft will use whatever frequency is appropriate, VHF or UHF. But as 'contact' in this sense is incorrect for both civvies or mil, that's irrelevant.

Also, they are probably more concerned with trying to see through their dirty windscreen, than playing the radio police.
Very witty.
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Old 11th Apr 2011, 19:28
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Very witty
Really?

Tornado pilot blames dirty windscreen for near-miss - The Scotsman
 

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