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The morons on 121.5. Authorities please act!

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The morons on 121.5. Authorities please act!

Old 13th May 2016, 14:03
  #121 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SilsoeSid
I think an unknown radio failure is slightly different than knowingly running out of radio range and taking no action yourself

As you are so situationally aware, wouldn't it be better when you are at the 'expected point' to give a call to say you are changing frequency? Surely you don't leave everything for ATC to do for you

Better to have dialled up an ATCU you are flying towards, than one you are out of range of and flying away from
This may not be a good idea and could even make matters worse. It may be that you have just been transferred to a control sector on a different frequency to the one you have just disappeared to. So the handing over controller you were with calls you and you do not respond. The frequency you have popped up on unannounced will try to work out what you are and who you are and why you are calling them and may have no idea where you should really go. Sectors are often 'bandboxed' together when traffic permits and may use different frequencies to those published. It's a lot simpler to just give a 'check call' to your current controller.
When/if CPDLC comes into full usage a lot of these problems will disappear as your CPDLC connection can be automatically transferred to the next 'data authority' - your next controller, without you needing to touch anything.
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Old 13th May 2016, 14:22
  #122 (permalink)  

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Fly4, please tell what that particular "joke" is? I've never heard it.

Are some captains deliberately instructing inexperienced co-pilots to call "Ground Ops" on 121.5? I find that very hard to believe, surely no professional pilot would be so stupid to incite someone else to do it, or get caught out by it - everyone does the air law exam before first solo!

I would also hope that by the time any properly trained pilot gets to CPL level they would have been taught to check their radio switches before transmitting. Maybe this isn't being emphasised enough, hence my question.
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:13
  #123 (permalink)  

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IanW;
As you are so situationally aware, wouldn't it be better when you are at the 'expected point' to give a call to say you are changing frequency?
This may not be a good idea and could even make matters worse. It may be that you have just been transferred to a control sector on a different frequency to the one you have just disappeared to. So the handing over controller you were with calls you and you do not respond. The frequency you have popped up on unannounced will try to work out what you are and who you are and why you are calling them and may have no idea where you should really go. Sectors are often 'bandboxed' together when traffic permits and may use different frequencies to those published. It's a lot simpler to just give a 'check call' to your current controller.
It's a lot simpler to just give a 'check call' to your current controller.
Isn't that just what I have said?

The frequency you have popped up on unannounced will try to work out what you are and who you are and why you are calling them and may have no idea where you should really go.
When you free call an ATCU, I would love you to tell us what your call consists of. For most of us it would be an initial call to establish comms e.g.
*
G-XXXX, "Nice control good afternoon this is G-XXXX"
Then you could expect;
Nice Control, "Good afternoon G-XXXX pass your details"
To which you would reply;
G-XXXX, (What you are, who you are, flight details, requests etc)
At which point ATC will take care of you, happy days.


Please tell us your version of how you see the conversation


So you've reached the point where you think you are just about out of range from your initial controller. You call to say that you're going to change en route. There are two possible results;

1. You get a reply
2. you get no reply

In the case of 1, possible outcomes are;

a. ATC hand you over
b. ATC inform you they are about to hand you over
c. ATC tell you to free call on xxx.yy

In the case of a or b, all well unless b in the next few minutes turns into 2
In the case of c, see z

In the case of 2, possible actions are;

w. Try in vain to establish comms with the initial controller
x. Do nothing and await a call on 121.5
y. Do nothing and expect an interception
z. Free call your next planned frequency

In the case of w, at what point do you move to z?

In the case of z, possible outcomes are;

m. No reply
n. Reply and they are expecting you
o. Reply and they aren't expecting you

In the case of m, wait until you are 'in range'
In the case of m (in range), try an alternative freq or adopt lost comms drill
In the case of n, all well
In the case of o, why aren't they expecting you? (flight plan)
Regardless if the controller is expecting you or not, they will handle you and therefore please refer to *


Simples
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Old 13th May 2016, 17:19
  #124 (permalink)  
 
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I agree with Penko - just ignore these morons. The silence after they make a stupid noise will fill them with much more embarrassment than anyone could with words.
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Old 13th May 2016, 19:01
  #125 (permalink)  
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Silsoesid,

By situationally aware, I mean I have a general idea that I am within French Airspace, somewhere near Paris so I'm probably talking to Paris, and then when I climb out of London toward France, through 280 I have that moronic 30 second exchange before I go in to Brest airspace for higher.

However, you still haven't answered how monitoring VHF2 is not a line of defence against a VHF1 failure? Just saying "that's a different case" doesn't cover it.
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Old 14th May 2016, 08:00
  #126 (permalink)  

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I haven't said don't monitor 121.5 if that's what you do.

What I have said is that having a box failure and not knowing about until you are called on 121.5 or intercepted; is a different case to allowing yourself to (regularly) run out of radio range of your current ATCU while on a regular route.

The first is out of your control, the second, is simply poor airmanship.
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Old 14th May 2016, 10:23
  #127 (permalink)  
 
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Sorry, I'm going to call BS on this. You aren't always on a "regular route", depending on your type of operation it's entirely possible that you're on a route that neither you nor your fellow pilot have flown before. For me, it happens more often than not, but that's the nature of operations at my particular employer. I am very pro-active about having enroute charts out, reading the frequency information and generally trying to stay ahead of the game. But the reality is that the Jeppesen high altitude charts do a relatively poor job of depicting what frequencies cover what areas and when you might expect a frequency change, at least within a single FIR. There's usually enough information to determine what frequency to expect crossing a FIR boundary. I fly plenty of places where if you aren't familiar with the route, there is simply no way to predict when you'll be out of range of your current frequency, or what the next one might be.
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Old 14th May 2016, 13:00
  #128 (permalink)  
 
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SiloeSid

It appears that you are confusing free calling flying low level where free calling a general frequency is not uncommon with flying high level in IFR where you are under mandatory control. Just dropping off a controller's frequency and onto another is not an IFR procedure. If a pilot is concerned that it is time for handoff then by all means call the current controller and just ask when can we expect handoff to [name of next agency] it might annoy the controller but should get a response. If the pilot feels that radio contact has been lost as it has all gone quiet and nobody replies then that is what 121.5 is actually for. As you are in mandatory IFR airspace and you may be in conflict with other aircraft it would also be an idea to squawk 7600. To get out-of-range of a control frequency is quite difficult at high level unless you have flown a considerable distance and not bothered to maintain situational awareness, which appears to be the case with the BA aircraft in this post. All frequencies have multiple transmitter stations and can be expected to provide cover tens of miles beyond the sector boundaries.

You should also remember that there is a standard handover/assume procedure between all sectors. The receiving sector can see an aircraft coming toward the sector airspace with a datablock that tells the controller all the pertinent details about the flight. A sector controller will not sit there quiet while a flight under the control of the 'upstream' sector bores into the sector airspace. The controllers will be talking between each other about the flight trying to work out why it is not responding and being handed over. Do not assume that just because nothing is transmitted on radio there are no discussions taking place. The normal handoffs are silent using the computer systems to transfer 'control authority' over the aircraft. If in the middle of this process you waltz off to a different frequency the controllers will not be best pleased especially if there is some deconfliction to do immediately you are assumed by the next controller. Delay could easily be due to a lot of coordination of other traffic not on your frequency.

See https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=dYYHR_G7Res

Do not confuse low level VFR procedures with high level procedures in mandatory IFR airspace.
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Old 14th May 2016, 15:24
  #129 (permalink)  

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Isn't that what I was saying?

Just dropping off a controller's frequency and onto another is not an IFR procedure. If a pilot is concerned that it is time for handoff then by all means call the current controller and just ask when can we expect handoff to [name of next agency] it might annoy the controller but should get a response.
"So you've reached the point where you think you are just about out of range from your initial controller. You call to say that you're going to change en route."

If the pilot feels that radio contact has been lost as it has all gone quiet and nobody replies then that is what 121.5 is actually for. As you are in mandatory IFR airspace and you may be in conflict with other aircraft it would also be an idea to squawk 7600.
"In the case of 2, possible actions are;

w. Try in vain to establish comms with the initial controller
x. Do nothing and await a call on 121.5
y. Do nothing and expect an interception
z. Free call your next planned frequency"

To get out-of-range of a control frequency is quite difficult at high level unless you have flown a considerable distance and not bothered to maintain situational awareness, which appears to be the case with the BA aircraft in this post. All frequencies have multiple transmitter stations and can be expected to provide cover tens of miles beyond the sector boundaries.
"What I have said is that having a box failure and not knowing about until you are called on 121.5 or intercepted; is a different case to allowing yourself to run out of radio range of your current ATCU

The first is out of your control, the second, is simply poor airmanship."





I especially like IanW's latest;

Earlier he said;
"The frequency you have popped up on unannounced will try to work out what you are and who you are and why you are calling them and may have no idea where you should really go."

However in his latest post he tells us;
"You should also remember that there is a standard handover/assume procedure between all sectors. The receiving sector can see an aircraft coming toward the sector airspace with a datablock that tells the controller all the pertinent details about the flight. A sector controller will not sit there quiet while a flight under the control of the 'upstream' sector bores into the sector airspace. The controllers will be talking between each other about the flight trying to work out why it is not responding and being handed over."

So which is it? :roll eyes:



Don't forget, it is others that have said such classics as;

"There is simply no way to predict when you'll be out of range of your current frequency, or what the next one might be."
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Old 14th May 2016, 15:40
  #130 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by SilsoeSid



Don't forget, it is others that have said such classics as;

"There is simply no way to predict when you'll be out of range of your current frequency, or what the next one might be."
Wouldn’t it be a little more honest of you to quote the entirety of my remark, instead of only selecting one part in order to mirepresent it?

Trick question, of course that would have been be more honest.

What I actually said was:
I fly plenty of places where if you aren't familiar with the route, there is simply no way to predict when you'll be out of range of your current frequency, or what the next one might be.
And this is true, If you haven't flown in a place like this, I can assure you that they do exist.
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Old 14th May 2016, 16:00
  #131 (permalink)  
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We all know how to calculate max theoretical range of VHF radios. What we don't know is where the bloody transmitter is.

Frequency changes aren't always at the end of that range. Are they? (rhetorical)
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Old 14th May 2016, 18:18
  #132 (permalink)  
 
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You should also remember that there is a standard handover/assume procedure between all sectors.
Not all sectors, even if you are high level in IFR. In many parts of the world, you are expected to free call. I remember once hearing ATC getting hot tempered with a speedbird because they hadn't free called in advance, had no clearance to enter the FIR, and were very close to being intercepted.

Even if it's the next controller in the same FIR, you can sometimes expect to have to pass your full flight details.

In one region there is airspace covering about 60nm where you aren't within VHF range of any controller at all, with an FIR boundary in the middle of it. I once asked if my details can be passed on. The chap said that his phone hasn't worked for years. He didn't have a correct onward frequency, and the charted frequencies were useless. Guard was often used as the first contact with the next controller.

Then there's Northern Cyprus. There's no chance of an appropriate hand over. Guard is often used by "both sides" to get in touch with flights who aren't juggling the frequencies correctly / didn't do their homework.
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Old 14th May 2016, 19:42
  #133 (permalink)  

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What I actually said was:
Quote:
I fly plenty of places where if you aren't familiar with the route, there is simply no way to predict when you'll be out of range of your current frequency, or what the next one might be.
In that case only one phrase springs to mind;

'Prior planning prevents.......' you know the rest.

Best keep monitoring 121.5
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Old 15th May 2016, 15:51
  #134 (permalink)  
 
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I especially like IanW's latest;

Earlier he said;
"The frequency you have popped up on unannounced will try to work out what you are and who you are and why you are calling them and may have no idea where you should really go."

However in his latest post he tells us;
"You should also remember that there is a standard handover/assume procedure between all sectors. The receiving sector can see an aircraft coming toward the sector airspace with a datablock that tells the controller all the pertinent details about the flight. A sector controller will not sit there quiet while a flight under the control of the 'upstream' sector bores into the sector airspace. The controllers will be talking between each other about the flight trying to work out why it is not responding and being handed over."

So which is it? :roll eyes:
You are not paying attention.

You are just at the boundary of the active sector - Sector 14
Sector 14 is in the process of trying to hand you to Sector 20

You get clever and call sector 9's frequency as that is what you think may be next.

So you manage to give problems to 3 ATC sectors. Not so clever.
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Old 15th May 2016, 18:12
  #135 (permalink)  

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They may well be in the process of handing you over, but what do you do if you don't hear Sector 14 telling you to change onto Sector 20's freq?

Without doing a thing, you'll be giving problems to those 2 ATC Sectors, who may be contacting many other Sector controllers to find out if you are in contact with them, a few military ATCU's and at least 2 Air Force fighter crews.

Now that is even not so cleverer


I say again, best keep monitoring 121.5
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Old 15th May 2016, 21:15
  #136 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SilsoeSid
I haven't said don't monitor 121.5 if that's what you do.

What I have said is that having a box failure and not knowing about until you are called on 121.5 or intercepted; is a different case to allowing yourself to (regularly) run out of radio range of your current ATCU while on a regular route.

The first is out of your control, the second, is simply poor airmanship.
Without meaning to be disrespectful in any way, judging by your bio, you have absolutely minimal knowledge of airline operations, and much of what you suggest is ridiculous to anyone with knowledge of such operations.

What I quite rightly said, is monitoring VHF 2 is a line of defence against a VHF1 failure. That is good airmanship.

If my box 1 fails, instead of every 3 minutes when I haven't heard a call (common over for instance the North Sea) asking for a radio check, if ATC can't make contact with me, for instance for a heading change, they will call a few times and then make a call on guard, something I will immediately hear, and very shortly after diagnose a VHF 1 failure.

Of course, operating on a London Freuency I wouldn't expect a 3/4 minute lull, and would be checking the box is working.
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Old 15th May 2016, 23:23
  #137 (permalink)  

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What I quite rightly said, is monitoring VHF 2 is a line of defence against a VHF1 failure. That is good airmanship.

If my box 1 fails, instead of every 3 minutes when I haven't heard a call (common over for instance the North Sea) asking for a radio check, if ATC can't make contact with me, for instance for a heading change, they will call a few times and then make a call on guard, something I will immediately hear, and very shortly after diagnose a VHF 1 failure.
All well and good, but what if it's your VHF 2 that has failed?

When would you instigate the call that you've said that you wouldn't make?
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Old 15th May 2016, 23:51
  #138 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by SilsoeSid
All well and good, but what if it's your VHF 2 that has failed?

When would you instigate the call that you've said that you wouldn't make?
Well because I'm a professional pilot, if there were absolutely 0 calls for an extended period, and box two was completely free of animal calls and pilots telling ops their landing times, I would get a radio check. If that didn't come back, I'd 7600, order a tea, and continue enroute.

No doubt you'll now tell me that I should always carry 2 sat phones and 2 copies of every ATC unit in the worlds number. Proper planning and all that lark.
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Old 16th May 2016, 07:44
  #139 (permalink)  

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Well because I'm a professional pilot, if there were absolutely 0 calls for an extended period, and box two was completely free of animal calls and pilots telling ops their landing times, I would get a radio check. If that didn't come back, I'd 7600, order a tea, and continue enroute.
So you'd sit here with a perfectly serviceable radio, keep it on a redundant frequency, squawk 7600 and continue with your flight plan with no idea of any frequency to change onto that would help everyone in any airspace you will be passing through!

In all this discussion so far you have told us that you are situationally aware and a professional pilot ..... !


No doubt you'll now tell me that I should always carry 2 sat phones and 2 copies of every ATC unit in the worlds number. Proper planning and all that lark.
You now sound just like one of those morons on 121.5
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Old 16th May 2016, 09:22
  #140 (permalink)  
 
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You could pick a fight with your own shadow. Boring shift?
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