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Who should I talk to?

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Who should I talk to?

Old 6th Oct 2019, 13:50
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Who should I talk to?

I'm 100 hours post-PPL. Generally flying around the South East of the UK, outside of my departure and arrival aerodromes, I tend to use Farnborough Radar for my Basic Service. But often I'm on the outskirts of their coverage. Trouble is, I look at the LARS coverage map and there are large areas that are covered by more than one service provider, and others that are covered by none. Who should I talk to in these situations.

Do we all guess?

Forgive me if this question has been posted elsewhere.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 16:14
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London Information can be the best answer, providing a basic service.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 16:23
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If you are starting from your home airfield it's easy. Note down the likely frequencies on your plog, in the order you expect to use them. Talk to the people you normally talk to on departure. At some point they will suggest you change to "X" and usually give you the frequency while they are at it. Read it back and do so. The only reasons you have written them down are A: saves you doing it in the air and B: in case you lose radio coverage with your first service provider. It gives you a good guess at the next person to call. Alternatively, go NORDO. Though probably not where you fly :-)

Returning home, after clearing from the airfield, reverse the procedure by trying the last frequency used. There, how easy is that? BTW, instructors don't usually mind you asking this sort of question, even if you aren't a student any more. Buy them a cup of tea to drink while you chat.
Enjoy spreading your wings!

Piper.Classique is offline  
Old 6th Oct 2019, 17:56
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Also consider asking yourself why you want or need to talk to somebody, whether you feel you should talk to any agency in particular, and what type of service you require, if any.
Talkdownman is offline  
Old 6th Oct 2019, 18:03
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When entering controlled airspace, it is a legal obligation to talk to the controlling service; I think that applies even in that queer UK FIS. Outside controlled airspace, I was taught to talk to FIS, and I usually do whenever leaving the aerodrome vicinity.

For me, the main reason to talk to FIS has always been to let others know that I am around, and what I intend to do.
IMHO that can only contribute to safety, even in two ways: FIS operators can tell me of anything "interesting" near me, AND they can tell others if I might become "interesting" to them. Especially relevant if flying with no (active) transponder.

My local FIS (Brussels Information) has always acted upon that, and I am glad they are there and offer their quality service. Why should I shun them?
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 18:39
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Oh, even in the UK, there is SOME uncontrolled airspace. There's no obligation to talk to a FIS, which is just that, an Information Service, but in a small busy country it might well be a good idea to have communication established. You don't need to keep bothering them, and it makes the service provider's life easier not to have too many unidentified aircraft on the screen. Just keep it to what's necessary.
Yes, I like NORDO but it isn't always entirely wise. Got to admit to leaving the radio off as much as possible when ballooning, though.
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 19:33
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Agreed, it is important not to let the radio run the flight. Remember, aviate, navigate, communicate in that order

You might look at the listening squarks which save you having to communicate as opposed to just listen in https://airspacesafety.com/wp-conten...ugust_2019.pdf

London Information cant be over recommended - they are always happy to talk to low hours pilots and are a wealth of knowledge and support

Finally, if you dont have it already, consider apps such as Sky Demon. Not only will they prevent you busting airspace, but they give you all possible frequencies on the planning page plus the ability to find a frequency in the air by simply touching and holding the area of airspace

Safe flying
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 20:29
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Outside of controlled airspace itís entirely your choice who - if anyone - you talk to. Often if the station you call thinks there is someone more appropriate they will suggest that, on occasion in any event they will suggest who the next station to call should be. But itís always your choice.

With your lowish hours have you thought about trying to visit Your local ATC (Farnborough ?) and seeing how they actually go about controlling ? I found a visit like this fascinating and illuminating
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Old 6th Oct 2019, 21:39
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Get the free moving map app on your mobile, updated free every 4 weeks, and sponsored by the CAA.
UKAA, Airspace Avoid, also known as EasyVFR Light. It also gives frequencies, and Notams.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 20:08
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Talk to anyone who can offer you a service, or anyone who might need to know where you are, because it might be useful to other traffic. If you cant think of anyone, then London Information or just listen out on the nearest frequency to where you are.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 20:47
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Why didn't your instructor teach you this stuff when you did your cross-country training? I don't understand why questions of this nature arise.
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Old 13th Oct 2019, 23:19
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Simple answer - whoever is most likely to provide you with any kind of useful service.

If nobody is likely to provide you with a useful service, don't talk to them. Or set and use the nearest listening squawk/frequency pairing, and still don't speak to them.

G
Genghis the Engineer is offline  
Old 14th Oct 2019, 11:36
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Originally Posted by On Track View Post
Why didn't your instructor teach you this stuff when you did your cross-country training? I don't understand why questions of this nature arise.
Teaching you
  • which local services you should talk to when doing the club's standard XC training routes
and teaching you
  • how to decide for yourself whom, if anyone, you want to talk to just from looking at the map
may be two different things.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 14:43
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When the noise stops probably isn't the time to be thinking about who to tell - much easier to call MAYDAY to someone that already know who you are, what you are, where you've been and where you were going. Better still if they have a radar to record roughly where you disappeared (so London FIR only as a last resort).
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 15:40
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Originally Posted by Dan Dare View Post
When the noise stops probably isn't the time to be thinking about who to tell - much easier to call MAYDAY to someone that already know who you are, what you are, where you've been and where you were going. Better still if they have a radar to record roughly where you disappeared (so London FIR only as a last resort).
For that very reason, when operating Farnborough East I would suggest to pilots crossing the Channel that they stay on frequency at least until the FIR boundary (by which time they probably had Le Touquet in sight) even though officially it was outside my area of operation.
All radar positions at Farnborough have button on their VCCS which connects to D & D and is answered instantly when pressed so they could initiate SAROPS within seconds if we alerted them.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 18:05
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Originally Posted by chevvron View Post
All radar positions at Farnborough have button on their VCCS which connects to D & D and is answered instantly when pressed so they could initiate SAROPS within seconds if we alerted them.
Almost as good as having 121.5 on standby...
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 22:30
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Originally Posted by Talkdownman View Post
Almost as good as having 121.5 on standby...
Better, surely. A cold call to 121.5, they don't know where you are[#], whereas a Farnborough radar controller does.

[#] At least, not if my most recent practice pan is anything to go by. I called from overhead Grafham Water. as a nice easy landmark. They told me I was overhead some village I've never heard of, which when I found out where it was later turned out to be miles away.
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Old 14th Oct 2019, 22:35
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Gertrude, I don't see any difference at all. The instructor should be teaching the student how to fly cross-country, i.e. how to fly anywhere, not just in the local region. I have flown right through the Australian outback from one end of the country to the other, simply using the knowledge I gained in my PPL training.
I don't understand why it should be any different in Britain.
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Old 15th Oct 2019, 09:12
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Originally Posted by On Track View Post
Gertrude, I don't see any difference at all. The instructor should be teaching the student how to fly cross-country, i.e. how to fly anywhere, not just in the local region. I have flown right through the Australian outback from one end of the country to the other, simply using the knowledge I gained in my PPL training.
I don't understand why it should be any different in Britain.
I read that post more as a critique of box ticking exercises than a justification of the outcome.
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