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Asking for Basic Service vs Listening Squawk?

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Asking for Basic Service vs Listening Squawk?

Old 4th Apr 2017, 13:16
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Asking for Basic Service vs Listening Squawk?

As I now have the luxury of a transponder, I can use the LARs Listening Squark option. But what do I gain from doing that instead of asking for Basic Service and using the given squark code?
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 13:24
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You gain time, and effort, and everyone else gains time on frequency when they require it.

Just tune in the radio, listen out, and squawk what you need, then if they need to get hold of you, they know which frequency you're on, and can talk to you if they need to.

Simple!
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 14:45
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You gain virtually nothing. No situational awareness of other traffic 'cos everyone is on a listening squawk and no chance of being told of any other traffic.(Under a Basic Service they don't have to tell you of seriously conflicting traffic but mostly they do).
The only people who gain from Listening squawks are ATC.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 15:45
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Originally Posted by Shoestring Flyer View Post
You gain virtually nothing. No situational awareness of other traffic 'cos everyone is on a listening squawk and no chance of being told of any other traffic.(Under a Basic Service they don't have to tell you of seriously conflicting traffic but mostly they do).
The only people who gain from Listening squawks are ATC.
Does that represent a problem for you?
The main reason behind this is that ATC might be able to prevent an airspace bust and you subsequently having to explain yourself to the CAA and/or the courts, or worse.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 16:13
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Originally Posted by ShyTorque View Post
Does that represent a problem for you?
The main reason behind this is that ATC might be able to prevent an airspace bust and you subsequently having to explain yourself to the CAA and/or the courts, or worse.
Sorry your line of thinking is beyond me...
I am advocating talking not listening and then ATC will tell you via the Basic Service you are receiving if you are going to bust airspace won't they!
Talk every time for me. Listening squawks give you nothing that a Basic Service won't give you better.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 16:19
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Good pilots are looking for ways of reducing the workload - this is one reason why I prefer listening squawk to asking for Basic and teach students accordingly.

The main reason behind this is that ATC might be able to prevent an airspace bust and you subsequently having to explain yourself to the CAA and/or the courts, or worse.
Shytorque, me too!
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 16:29
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Talk every time for me. Listening squawks give you nothing that a Basic Service won't give you better.
Can I respectfully suggest that you try flying from the Lambourne VOR to the Bovingdon VOR, then route up to Milton Keynes via Cheddington, trying to get a Basic service from Luton on 129.550? You might get lucky, but if all aircraft routing similar tried to, no-one would get a word in. Just select the frequency, dial in 0013 ALT and keep your eyes on stalks looking out! You could try Farnborough, of course, but similar chances of getting a word in.

TOO
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 16:30
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You have got no situational awareness at all if everyone is using a listening sqawk. As I said previously all they do is help controller workload but for me as a pilot they do very little.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 16:36
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Originally Posted by TheOddOne View Post
Can I respectfully suggest that you try flying from the Lambourne VOR to the Bovingdon VOR, then route up to Milton Keynes via Cheddington, trying to get a Basic service from Luton on 129.550? You might get lucky, but if all aircraft routing similar tried to, no-one would get a word in. Just select the frequency, dial in 0013 ALT and keep your eyes on stalks looking out! You could try Farnborough, of course, but similar chances of getting a word in.

TOO
For occasions when you can't get a word in I would agree they are better than nothing. But if you get the opportunity to talk, then talking is better!
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 16:36
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You have got no situational awareness at all if everyone is using a listening sqawk.
None at all?
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 17:05
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Originally Posted by TheOddOne View Post
Can I respectfully suggest that you try flying from the Lambourne VOR to the Bovingdon VOR, then route up to Milton Keynes via Cheddington, trying to get a Basic service from Luton on 129.550? You might get lucky, but if all aircraft routing similar tried to, no-one would get a word in. Just select the frequency, dial in 0013 ALT and keep your eyes on stalks looking out! You could try Farnborough, of course, but similar chances of getting a word in.

TOO
Acksherley that would be Farnborough North which is much less congested than West.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 17:32
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All listening squawks have done is help promote the sales of the dangly wire lashup brigade like Pilotaware to help with collision avoidance.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 17:36
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Originally Posted by Shoestring Flyer View Post
You have got no situational awareness at all if everyone is using a listening sqawk. As I said previously all they do is help controller workload but for me as a pilot they do very little.
Yes and No. Why?

Firstly, in reality a Basic Service is no better than a listening squawk because, at least under the old rules, controllers were under no obligation to provide traffic information to aircraft on a Basic Service even if a collision between 2 VFR aircraft appeared imminent. I believe that last point has changed (or at least I recall reading something about it) but maybe not.

Having said that, yes, aircraft contacting the controller gives you an instantaneous reference as to where they are - or at least, where they claim they are. However are they where they say they are? Could they claim to be 2 miles north of VRP X when in fact they are 3 miles north? Could they be 3 miles North North West, not 3 miles North West? The situational awareness you are alluding to is like an MOT on a motor bought from Boycie....
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 17:59
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And even if they very accurately and correctly report their whereabouts, that says little about where they'll be 5 minutes later. So the worth of the information is very much limited in time.

Most pilots round here add value by telling FIS not only where they are but also what they intend to do next - I'll then know if their intended path might cross mine.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 18:27
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There seem to be some pilots who think that just because they are talking to somebody on the radio whilst in Class G airspace they have the same level of protection as traffic flying under IFR within controlled airspace.

This is emphatically not the case. When teaching early students I joke that the "G" stands for "Jungle" Airspace. Any airspace users can be there and if even if they have a radio and/or transponder they are not legally obliged to use it. (Of course it certainly makes sense to have the transponder switched on with mode C but from time to time pilots omit to do so).

In Class G airspace the pilot decides who he wants to "work" on the radio, if anyone.

If it's a gin clear day, assuming I'm remaining clear of controlled airspace, MATZ, ATZ, RMZ etc., I'm happy to fly with a listening squawk if available or even (shock, horror!) operate non radio. Irrespective I will be maintaining a lookout and making my aircraft as conspicuous as possible and even plan the flight to avoid choke points when possible.

In conditions of reduced visibility or indeed flying in cloud then I will seek out a traffic service if available but I'm aware that even radar has limitations.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 18:48
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Thanks for the comments all, I'll ask for basic service, squark as requested and keep my eyes on stalks as always.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 19:17
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Good conclusion. To top it all you might consider squawking rather than squarking
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 19:34
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A basic service isn't worth much at all, especially at busy periods for ATC. The listening squawk is designed to make ATC aware that you are on frequency without increasing their workload even further but give them a "window" to call you if they see a problem.

The claim that no situational awareness can be gained without obtaining a basic service is incorrect. I always listen out on a new frequency for a couple of minutes before transmitting for a service. Doing so allows the start of the "big picture" to be built. It's very apparent that many pilots don't; it's by no means uncommon to hear a stressed sounding ATCO tell a pilot to "Standby, you're third in the queue!" or similar. At such times there is little point in asking for a service so you might as well be on a listening squawk in any case.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 19:35
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FFBob has it nailed. If you are operating under VFR then you have to ensure you are actually VISUAL. You can not expect a traffic service miles away dealing with multiple calls to 'see' better than you. If you choose to share the airspace with other users then you have to accept the responsibility that goes with it. It never ceases to amaze me when a pilot 'some distance' from a traffic unit calls up and wants to know what other traffic is in the area. He is not talking to a modern version of 11 Group ops room with plotters and controllers, but frequently a single person getting calls from as far as 40-50 miles away (IN ALL DIRECTIONS) many not with mode c and unable to accept a climb that puts them under IFR. The sheer 'radio time' this takes put an added strain on the 'service' and is UNREASONABLE.
Pilots have to realise THEY are in control of THEIR flight and have to share airspace will ALL USERS; frequently a better choice of route will put them in less congested area's and of course a clean screen works wonders.
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Old 4th Apr 2017, 19:45
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< Irrespective I will be maintaining a lookout and making my aircraft as conspicuous as possible and even plan the flight to avoid choke points when possible.>

FFB - how do you make your 'aircraft as conspicuous as possible'? When flying a slow Jodel D9 I was always aware that a faster aircraft (esp. low wing) coming up behind me might not see me. Those were times that a rear view mirror could have been useful. Or big banner towed behind me!
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