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Listening Squawk protocol!?

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Listening Squawk protocol!?

Old 4th Apr 2018, 15:54
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Join Date: Apr 2018
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Listening Squawk protocol!?

Hi All,
Recently flying to the south of East Midlands control zone, on the listening squawk as i didn't think getting a basic service was needed (initially at least).
I heard ATC talking to another aircraft travelling in opposite direction to me in the area, warning them of my presence. The other aircraft acknowledged and responded that they understood and would look out.

Should I have then made contact, acknowledged the potential conflict and requested a basic service to best ensure separation? Visibility wasn't great, but in the end I opted to maintain a good lookout, trust that the other traffic was doing the same and that ATC were aware of my position and altitude, so carried on with the listening squawk.

All was fine and the traffic passed well clear, but can't help thinking that maybe responding would have made life easier? What do others do in this situation?

Thanks!
ENDRES is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2018, 16:05
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Join Date: Nov 2001
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Why not ask for a traffic service as the other aircraft apparently had...
Johnm is offline  
Old 4th Apr 2018, 16:08
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I'd say it's up to the individual. You could have acknowledged if you thought it might have helped but it's not mandatory to call - after all it is designed to be a "listening" service.

I do sometimes fly using a listening squawk only, if ATC are obviously very busy (as those large airports tend to be). The QNH and other relevant airfield details that would be given by ATC if you had called can be gleaned by listening to other transmissions, or via the ATIS broadcast. ATC can always call you if they thought it necessary.
ShyTorque is online now  
Old 4th Apr 2018, 16:39
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Little point IMHO "upgrading" from a listening squawk to a Basic Service given that ATC wouldn't necessarily warn you of other aircraft. If you want traffic information from ATC, ask for it (IE request a Traffic Service).
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Old 4th Apr 2018, 20:54
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If you have good visibility and are happy with your capacity for lookout, I'd stay as you were.

If visibility degrades, then yes, I'd seriously consider asking for a traffic service.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 7th Apr 2018, 03:32
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Originally Posted by ENDRES View Post
Hi All,
Recently flying to the south of East Midlands control zone, on the listening squawk as i didn't think getting a basic service was needed (initially at least).
I heard ATC talking to another aircraft travelling in opposite direction to me in the area, warning them of my presence. The other aircraft acknowledged and responded that they understood and would look out.

Should I have then made contact, acknowledged the potential conflict and requested a basic service to best ensure separation? Visibility wasn't great, but in the end I opted to maintain a good lookout, trust that the other traffic was doing the same and that ATC were aware of my position and altitude, so carried on with the listening squawk.

All was fine and the traffic passed well clear, but can't help thinking that maybe responding would have made life easier? What do others do in this situation?

Thanks!
You were playing by the rules so you did 'nothing wrong' (as MPs always say when accused of something) however I would have been inclined to call up and confirm altitude and intended route thus adding to the 'situational awareness' of both ATC and the other aircraft.
You have no way of knowing how many other aircraft were on the listening squawk in addition to you so it may not even have been you the controller was talking about.
chevvron is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 09:30
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Join Date: Nov 2017
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The trouble is places such as East Midlands and Birmingham do not always have the capacity to provide a service for many light aircraft. It is made worse by fewer radar services these days what with Cottesmore and Coventry RADAr that have now gone.

My advice is in the instance you mentioned and if EMA was not too busy, it is probably wise to get a service. The lookout is all very well, but it is all too easy to miss another aircraft. If they cannot offer you a service, they will tell you.

One final point is, keep the R/T Short, so make the intial call Brief as follows:

'East Midlands, G-ABCD' then wait, then when they contact you, do not give your life story. Again keep it brief and say what you want. You can cut out terms such as 'at this time' because if you say for example you are over Ruland Water, you do not need ' at time' that will be obvious.

ENDRES, you did not say how experienced you are, but the more you get up to speed and confident with your R/T, the more likely you are to get the service you wan't such as radar, zone penetration or zone ransit.

One final thing, is London Information can be useful, but perhaps under used, but is useful in remote areas, for a basic service and it is usually not busy, it also has the benefit, that in the event of deteriating weather and an unplanned diversion, you can request TAFs, Actuals, check when the airport closes, even request for it to stay open, even file flight plans. You probably need to look this all up.

Below is a link:

https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33...ServicesIF.pdf
anchorhold is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 10:57
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It seems to me that it's unreasonable to expect private airfields or the government to provide free radar services to random aircraft outside controlled airspace. People are very expensive.

If you are worried about bumping into other aircraft get a TCAS/FLARM thingy.
Romeo Tango is offline  
Old 9th Apr 2018, 18:35
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Join Date: Feb 2016
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Listening Squawks are a good idea however you are really best speaking to the unit and receiving a service. ATCOs really aren't that scary
TelsBoy is offline  

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