Go Back  PPRuNe Forums > Flight Deck Forums > Rumours & News
Reload this Page >

The morons on 121.5. Authorities please act!

Rumours & News Reporting Points that may affect our jobs or lives as professional pilots. Also, items that may be of interest to professional pilots.

The morons on 121.5. Authorities please act!

Old 6th May 2016, 11:54
  #41 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
in Ireland we do practice pans without pushing the ptt button, you just have to demonstrate that you're doing it as part of your PFL, but you don't transmit. I'm surprised that this isn't a practice across the EU

I thought the practice PAN was a method to discover your position when unsure. You then had to triangulate and find out where you are. Or this is a mistake? If true, then surely you have to transmit? However, it is Ireland: and a real personal story comes to mind. I was out in the sticks, in my car, following a map, but roads & forest tracks & farm roads were difficult to differentiate. It seemed obvious to me I'd missed a turning onto a correct road. I turned around and drove back to a small cottage where the elderly gentleman was working in the garden. With map in hand I approached and said "I was lost." "oh no you're not", he said with a smile, "I know her you are, you're here." No doubting that.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 12:41
  #42 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Dec 2006
Location: Florida and wherever my laptop is
Posts: 1,350
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
In the UK there are Distress and Diversion cells in the London and Scottish centres that have autotriangulation capability and access to all the radars covering the FIR/UIR. Any aircraft transmitting on guard can be located rapidly using this system. It works well as all that is needed is a radio no other 'radiating aids' such as ADS or SSR. In FIRs without an autotriangulation system there is very little support to the aircraft on guard frequencies they are just there as a (supposedly) quiet frequency on which someone in distress can call for assistance. It follows that doing practice emergencies outside the cover of autotriangulation systems is of little value.

Surprisingly, despite the funny noises and back chat, pilots can be wary of transmitting on the emergency frequency and actually using internationally recognized emergency states and passing the correct information. This is especially the case with low experience GA pilots, who are also the most likely to have problems such as being lost. In consequence it makes sense for them to have a practice pan and learn that the D&D cells will rapidly assist them. The D&D controllers can rapidly shut down practice calls if there is a real emergency and pilots doing practice calls are expected to listen out and not call for a practice if an emergency is in progress.

The purpose of the D&D cells is to take executive control of any aircraft emergency in their FIR/UIR that means that usually control is left with the current controller but the D&D cell ensures that the correct agencies are alerted, that emergency responses are all coordinated and acts as one point of contact for the emergency.
Ian W is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 13:04
  #43 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 6,494
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
..Well as a former user of their services on several occasions I don't wish to "diss" the UK D&D cell but 9/11 changed things for Airlines and Military. The amount of R/T traffic on 121.5 that is audible within and beyond the UK FIR does cause distractions, most especially on a summer's weekend afternoon and the consequences of losing comm these days are potentially far more serious than they were prior to 9/11. I honestly do think there does need to be a re-think of the use of 121.5 for practice calls in UK airspace.

OTOH as for the deliberate abuse of 121.5 you get elsewhere in the world..hanging's too good for them, etc....

Last edited by wiggy; 6th May 2016 at 14:47.
wiggy is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 13:06
  #44 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2008
Location: Been around the block
Posts: 630
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Originally Posted by RightHandMan
I'm sure they up their game when more serious events come along. I would argue that it's the strung out, by the book types, that are more likely to struggle with the serious events. If you can't keep your emotions under check at some morons acting up on the radio, I suspect there's a good chance you struggle to keep calm during a serious event as well.
Yup. A caution light and they freeze up.
4runner is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 13:20
  #45 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
Location: Greater London Area
Posts: 165
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Isn't this over reacting? There was somebody joking on 121.5, ok, so what?
Fly4Business is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 14:18
  #46 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Oct 2001
Location: A25R
Posts: 170
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
There was somebody joking on 121.5, ok, so what?
Ill disciplined, childish, rude, uneducated, unprofessional, dangerous, and illegal to mention a few "so what's". If you are unable to understand it's appropriate and intended use, you are part of the problem.

As mentioned previously I assumed that the culprits where on the ground with hand held transceivers. If anyone transmitted inappropriate rubbish whilst flying with me, they would be off the plane at the next landing.
autobrake3 is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 14:19
  #47 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Isn't this over reacting? There was somebody joking on 121.5, ok, so what?
Sure! Just like what is wrong with the odd prank 999 (911) call for a bit of light relief. The aviation world lost its "innocence" on the 11th September 2001 (if indeed it hadn't done so long before then.)

Monitoring 121.5 which used to be "good practice" has now evolved into something "mandatory." It really is a monumental pain in the ass to have to monitor "kiddies" who think they are something special by transmitting the musical content of their iPhone or making silly (but no doubt in their own mind) "amusing" noises over that frequency.

It is little wonder that pilots turn down this puerile distraction and the consequence is an increase of PLOC events. It is a serious erosion of safety and it is beyond the point in time when perpetrators weren't held to account.

As an ex-instructor it was a basic and important part of a students training that they were familiar and comfortable with using 121.5 when "lost" or unsure of their position, or requiring urgent assistance. However, the reality these days is that 121.5 simply isn't the best resource for this, and another universal frequency needs to be prioritised for this purpose.

The regulators need to "get their finger out" on this issue. I would imagine "Generation Facebook" will possibly think twice if there is realistic likelihood of losing their Hundred & Fifty Thousand Dollar Pilots licence on the back of comedy auditions on 121.5. By the same token, a significant number of those "practice Pan" calls, probably aren't as "practice" as they would want you to believe. There must be a proper and easily usable response network established (such as another frequency,) but 121.5 simply isn't appropriate at this point in time.
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 14:26
  #48 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2013
Location: Woodbridge, Suffolk
Age: 71
Posts: 91
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I am sorry to say that in merchant shipping Ch 16 VHF is very widely abused particularly when out of range of shore stations. 2182 very much less so.
Methersgate is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 14:56
  #49 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2009
Location: UK
Posts: 348
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's a question for those who think this is an over reaction and it's not a big deal.
Would you, as a pilot, make the same "joke" transmission and stupid noises over the cabin PA? Or if an official from the CAA was sat in the jump seat?

Unless your answer is 100% honestly "yes" then you should be able to realise what the problem is. And if it is yes, the there's a different problem to address.
jackieofalltrades is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 15:07
  #50 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2005
Location: U K
Posts: 89
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I agree with Ian W.
In FIRs without an autotriangulation system there is very little support to the aircraft on guard frequencies they are just there as a (supposedly) quiet frequency on which someone in distress can call for assistance.
As far as I can see over most of the Western World emergencies involving IFR traffic will be handled by the main ATC frequencies. 121.5 tends therefore to be used as a standby universal frequency for loss of contact with ATC. Either by air traffic trying to contact someone or an aircraft asking for a relay. hardly an 'emergency 'I am not sure that over the Pacific or over most of Asia to SE Asia calling on 121.5 and expecting instant salvation will yield much in the way of tangible assistance. It might be useful in remote areas in terms of transmitting your last known position, to narrow down a search area. So outside of an area where it can be used to instantly fix your position and hand you over to an appropriate ATC unit, I cannot see that it is anything but a universal 'standby' frequency. I am not sure why the 'Guard Police' police it so vigorously. Nobody seems to object to an ELT in a hangar transmitting on 121.5 (very intrusive), why would they object to a practice PAN? 121.5 seems to have acquired a mythical status way beyond its possible usefulness. I cannot think of any real emergency situation where my first and most immediate action would be a broadcast on 121.5?

"YOUR ON PPRUNE!!""
Major Cleve Saville is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 15:08
  #51 (permalink)  
short flights long nights
 
Join Date: Aug 1999
Posts: 3,820
Received 90 Likes on 33 Posts
I was asked by ATC to call XYZ 123 on 121.5. I called them saying XYZ 123 this is ABC 123 on 121.5 , are you there. The first response, within seconds, was a very Nigel accent, saying ' your are on guard '

Yes ..I get that,,you..idiots..

Keep your white gloves on.
SOPS is online now  
Old 6th May 2016, 15:08
  #52 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Posts: 2,312
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Here's a question for those who think this is an over reaction and it's not a big deal.
Would you, as a pilot, make the same "joke" transmission and stupid noises over the cabin PA? Or if an official from the CAA was sat in the jump seat?

Unless your answer is 100% honestly "yes" then you should be able to realise what the problem is. And if it is yes, the there's a different problem to address.
..or do it on your next line check. That should lighten the mood at the subsequent debrief!
Bealzebub is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 15:31
  #53 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 6,494
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Nobody seems to object to an ELT in a hangar transmitting on 121.5
Oh I wouldn't bet on it.....

why would they object to a practice PAN?
My personal objection is that it increases the risk of a PLOC, and nowadays that can be a non-trivial event. Certainly if you're heading towards the UK on a sunny Saturday/Sunday afternoon all is normally quiet on 121.5 until the practice pans start becoming audible well before the London FIR...Give in to the temptation to lower the volume on box 3/R just a bit to hear what Rhine or Maastrict are saying, and bingo, in the event of a blown handover you're quickly looking at a PLOC.

I think perhaps a more appropriate question in this day and age is how the rest of the world's GA traffic manages to cope without having the practice pan facility...?
wiggy is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 15:43
  #54 (permalink)  
Sir George Cayley
Guest
 
Posts: n/a
Wiggy,

Are you suggesting that you are an integral part of the emergency situations response?

Over remote areas I can understand but over Europe?

Having intervened as a relay for a downed a/c shows the benefit of being on guard, except it was a sighting and change to 121.5.
 
Old 6th May 2016, 15:49
  #55 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2001
Location: The Winchester
Posts: 6,494
Received 5 Likes on 5 Posts
Are you suggesting that you are an integral part of the emergency situations response?
Errr no

Sorry but I'm missing the point you're no doubt trying to make (unless you are asking why am I and my colleagues are pretty much required these days to monitor 121.5, yes, even over Europe).
wiggy is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 16:01
  #56 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2005
Location: Planet earth
Posts: 406
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
It is because of all that rubbish chit-chat talk on 121,5 i am simply not listening out the frequency anymore. It is very irritating.
Plz stay professional.

Last edited by dboy; 6th May 2016 at 16:17.
dboy is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 16:10
  #57 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2004
Location: Sandpit
Posts: 361
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I flew over the North Atlantic. During hours some stupid imbecile made stupid animal and fart noises. Even after several inputs from pilots to grow up and stop it he did not quit. Next day the same, maybe the same idiot. Just unprofessional.
FlyingCroc is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 16:50
  #58 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Sep 2001
Location: Third planet from the sun
Posts: 383
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Why isnít SELCAL used to contact us on 121,5?

I started a topic on this issue just a few weeks ago in the ATC-forum.

Why isn’t SELCAL used to contact us on 121,5?

A lot of pilots and ATCO's don't know that SELCAL works perfectly on VHF and thus also on 121,5! (read about it in the ATC-topic!)

A selcal signal is just an (audible) audio tone of a certain frequency! To send one you need a) an encoder and b) a transmitter. There is an app for android and iOs that works as a selcal encoder!
Play store selcal encoder
Selcal encoder for iOS
You simply tap the selcal code in the app, hold the mike very close to the loudspeaker, push the transmit button and tap execute in the app and there you have your selcal signal.

It really works!! (I tested it a few times )

Listening to 121.5 over Europe is distracting to the primary job because of all the rubbish that people say on it.
With modern ATC suites, surely it wouldn't be that technologically difficult to add an option to the ATCO's screen to bring up a SELCAL option to call an aircraft. After all, if a geek can program a smartphone app in a few hours, surely a function could be dropped on to ATC center systems?

And heck, I would even hope that the ATCO tries the app on a smartphone before scrambling a fighter in a lost comm situation!!

It would be so useful!
sabenaboy is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 19:07
  #59 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jun 2000
Location: last time I looked I was still here.
Posts: 4,507
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
Lots of airlines, especially the various 'favourites' don't have SECAL installed. LoCo is LoCo.
RAT 5 is offline  
Old 6th May 2016, 20:13
  #60 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2008
Location: Paris
Age: 73
Posts: 275
Likes: 0
Received 0 Likes on 0 Posts
I'm a SLF. If some poor bastard in a single-engine prop with 100 hours and a Mark I eyeball gets lost in the UK and calls a practice pan, and recovers without anyone the wiser, you think he's polluting the frequency? Maybe YOU guys in heavies with a ton of nav equipment need a new frequency together with an OBLIGATION to answer within 10 seconds or lose your commercial license.
edmundronald is offline  

Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell or Share My Personal Information

Copyright © 2023 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.