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121.5 Emergency Frequency Misuse

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121.5 Emergency Frequency Misuse

Old 20th Jul 2003, 19:18
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Quite simply we need to keep 121.50 for pure "mayday" use - PERIOD. A second frequency for "pan calls" and slightlty less urgent assistance is therfore required!

I reckon that a great deal of "practice pan" calls are made from lost or dissorientated GA pilots on 121.50. These calls still require assistance (before they turn into a full emergency) but could be made on a sister frequency, thus leaving 121.50 open.

Of course this won't stop those who abuse the frequency untill they themselves have a mayday situation. Im sure the last thing you want to hear when you are on fire at 30w is some guy playing the harmonica or telling jokes about his mother in law!! How about a completely different frequency say 199.99 for chat over the pond? just a thought!

Retreats and waits for the slander!!!!
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 20:31
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199.99 isn't really in the band we use is it?
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 21:44
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Fair point, but what I was getting at was to have an assigned a frequency that would be easily distinguishable as a general chat frequency, ie same or repetative numbers not currently in any use? 155.55, 123.21 etc then perhaps? although I have no way of knowing if they are in current use?
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 22:25
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Having done a Practice Pan on 121.5 during my QXC leading up to PPL, I didn't realise I was drawing the wrath of those posting above. You see, it tells you to do exactly what I was doing in the standard text book. It also tells you, as "RTFM" confirms above, that D&D like to encourage students to give it a trial to experience it. Come on, guys, you must have been through this on your own PPLs once upon a time.

What the PPL books don't tell you is that every commercial aircraft is maintaining a watch on the frequency. You are given the impression it is only you and the D&D controller.

I think this reason for Practice Pan calls is much more likely than the type "BOEINGBOY1" suggests, of a GA pilot lost but not wanting to admit it!
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Old 20th Jul 2003, 23:30
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WHBM. I know what the text books all say and Im in no way suggesting that practice pans should not be made, far from it.
In fact I would encourage PPL students to make a "practice pan" call early in their training. I just wish there was a seperate distresss frequency that dictates a slightly less priority than a mayday call, thus leaving 121.50 open and for use in a real emergency.
As for practice Pan calls by lost/dissorientated GA pilots - I think you will find that it is more common than you think! There are very few pilots who have never been lost/dissorientated during PPL days - Its just that bravado would prevent many from ever admitting it. Its the same sort of bravado and the "im allright jack" approach to flying that prevents many pilots from requesting assitance "pan call" early, before the situation deteriates and turns into a mayday sistuation.

Im not having a go at PPL's/GA pilots at all, the vast majority of miss-use of 121.50 occurs from vastly experienced commercial pilots who should know better!!!
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Old 21st Jul 2003, 00:14
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Sure Boeingboy it would be nice. But almost all freq are in use in some way. 123.45 has for a long time been the freq for small airfields and Air-Air (perhaps not officially but never the less common prectise).

The freqs used for Civila Aviation goes from 118.000 to 136.975. Below are VOR and ILS. Above is MIL.
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Old 22nd Jul 2003, 08:53
  #27 (permalink)  
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________________________________________________
Often hear pilots flying formation "X flight, go 123.45," even though that frequency is not approved domestically for that use. I hardly ever hear chatter on the approved air-to-air frequency.
________________________________________________


what are you smoking!?!?!?!? how do you not hear chatter on the air-to-air freq, especially 122.75!?!? that freq, at least in and around Ohio is one of the busiest with air-to-air chat, none of it very important sometimes downright funny, but there's always someone on it!

and I'm pretty sure 123.45 is approved, I'd have to double check but at least at the two flight schools I've worked with they list that along with 122.75 as air-to-air

as for 121.5 I know it triggers alarms in some towers when it's used in any way shape or form.
 
Old 22nd Jul 2003, 20:41
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spudskier, 123.45 is not approved within the UK.

The misuse of it, however, has got to such a state that, IMHO, ICAO might put a little pressure on the UK Radio & Telecommunications Agency to approve it and move other stations off it.
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Old 23rd Jul 2003, 05:16
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When working in the Danish sector of the N.Sea a few years back the deck clearance frequency was 123.45, you can imagine the total frustration at times! I hope they have finally sorted that little gem out.
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Old 23rd Jul 2003, 13:21
  #30 (permalink)  
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Captain Stable---

I'm not versed on code in the U.K.

however after doing some research for the US guidelines, 123.45 is not approved here either, only 122.75 and 122.85, however I know a lot of times if those other two frequencies are congested like they usually are, two pilots will go over to 123.45 for an easier conversation
 
Old 24th Jul 2003, 19:05
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Yep, the Mil have a separate frequency for P Pans/Training Fixes, or did when I was a Mil ATCO. And, yes, a separate freq in the VHF band COULD be made available I am sure. Now the cruncher!

WHO's GONNA PAY FOR IT!

Have you any idea how much it would cost to have all the separate 121.5 relay stations equipped with an addition Tx'er Rx'er, forward relays, landlines etc not to mention the integration of this kit into the D & D cell?

As it was, the civilian community would only go for autotriangulation on 121.5 in the SE of the UK because the last update was "too expensive" to encompass the whole of the UK! Hard luck if you MAYDAY on VHF below 8,500' in Scotland as the relays are few and far between and rely on manual plotting of bearings - yes scrabbling about on the floor with maps, rulers and pencils IS the order of the day.
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Old 26th Jul 2003, 21:02
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As a confirmed shorthauler, I've only had one stint at the long range stuff and I was amazed at the apparent need of so many pilots to rabbit on to each other on 123.45, usually on totally non-essential trivia. I forbade its use on my flight deck and was thus less than popular with a lot of first officers.

My point is that if the spectrum authorities see fit to allocate natter frequencies, then fair enough, but it is quite irresponsible to use a frequency because "everyone else does" and 12345 is easy numbers.

Confundemus
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Old 27th Jul 2003, 00:19
  #33 (permalink)  
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Pete Zahut/Wiley

The use of 121.5 in the UK for practice pans and training fixes is officially approved (and encouraged) by ATC for practice and other operational reasons.

Training fixes are also a very good way of VFR flights sense checking that they are avoiding controlled airspace on murky days and there is an awful lot of controlled airspace and murky wx in the UK.

Suggest that if you wish to fly in our airspace you get used to it and stop whingeing, otherwise please exericse your license privileges elsewhere.
 
Old 27th Jul 2003, 03:11
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You truly are a sad, sad individual, FTG.
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Old 28th Jul 2003, 06:21
  #35 (permalink)  
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Croozin

Maybe so, but I am happy to comply with the rules and regs in other states when I fly there, without criticism.

Whether you and some of the other posters like it, using 121.5 for practice pans and training fixes is OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED in the UK and GA pilots are encouraged to co-operate by engaging in this practice.

I say again OFFICIALLY SANCTIONED.

It may make perfect sense to have a different frequency dedicated to this practice, BUT WE DO NOT HAVE ONE and airmanship must be adjusted accordingly.
 
Old 28th Jul 2003, 19:25
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Devil

Agree witrh F3G

See CAP 413 The CAA RT Manual Chap 9 Sect 5
its official and whats more they want us to teach it.

I teach all my students to use Training fix and Practice PAN
if lost and not using a Radar or Control service.

3 mins on 121.5 stops controlled airspace violations, talk to Stansted ATC for many examples.
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Old 28th Jul 2003, 20:00
  #37 (permalink)  
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Yup...

Have to agree with F3G also.

Made many Practice calls on both 121.5 & 243 when flying with the UAS.

There always seems to be alot of nonsense offered regarding RT and the use/mis use of such. Especially the use of incorrect procedure. Everyone has to learn sometime, I do recall when I started flying I would press the PTT and my mind would go blank. The solution I found was to practice calls & procedures with a willing victim (who would do likewise), which was a useful way I found to ingrain the structure of a broadcast so that it became second nature.

Making a practice pan call is merely a further extension of this....the distress/urgency call is structured so that the emergency services (or the station relaying) has the minimum amount of information in order to respond (i.e. who, where & what).

So to reiterate F3G and others - Practice pan calls are not a misuse of the frequency.

Incidentally, Boeingboy I assume you have the realvox plugin for your FS 2000 - the lifelike voice quality is atonishing.
 
Old 29th Jul 2003, 09:10
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There seems to be a simply staggering lack of understanding here about the reason and legality of training fixes and practice pans.

A training fix or a practice pan on 121.5 is surely nothing more than a means of an instructor demonstrating to a stude how the D & D cell can locate you and direct you if unsure of position. Surely use of this facility is restricted to training flights and genuine emergencies only? There can be no way a pilot, qualified or not, can transmit one of these outside the basic PPL training syllabus.

To suggest that a Practice Pan might be used to ensure you are clear of controlled airspace (unless I have totally misunderstood the above post) is so stupendously unprofessional and such a virtually Criminal abuse of the system that I am astonished anyone has the gall to suggest it here.

If you're terminally lost and out of all other ideas then by all means use 121.5 to restore your plot, but have the guts, honesty and professionalism to admit to this (Pan Pan Pan G-ABCD unsure of position request fix...) and not hide cravenly behind a spurious "training fix" or "practice pan". How sick!

Bear in mind that Professional aviators are sometimes required to monitor 121.5 and spurious use of this lifesaving frequency is not only very public, but also potentially very distracting to those who use it for the correct purposes.
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Old 29th Jul 2003, 16:16
  #39 (permalink)  
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yes skeptic....you did misunderstand the 'above post'

I was not advocating the use of a practice pan to simply fix one's position. The practice pan has a specific use (as orionsbelt posted...see the following reference CAP 413 The CAA RT Manual Chap 9 Sect 5).

Incidentally, does anyone know the number of genuine distress/urgency broadcast that have been missed as a result of practce pans etc?
 
Old 29th Jul 2003, 17:11
  #40 (permalink)  
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Skeptic

There seems to be a simply staggering lack of understanding here about the reason and legality of training fixes and practice pans.
Yes, much of it from you unfortunately.
A training fix or a practice pan on 121.5 is surely nothing more than a means of an instructor demonstrating to a stude how the D & D cell can locate you and direct you if unsure of position
Training fixes and practice pans are quite different.

Practice pans are practice emergencies, as a practice mayday does not exist.

Training fixes are the use by the D&D cell of VDF triangulation to locate the position of an aircraft.

Surely use of this facility is restricted to training flights and genuine emergencies only?
No, practice pans are either used to train pilots or controllers. So a normal GA flight can be used to give the ground people practice in running their procedures and this is one of the reasons that the CAA encourage PPLs to ask ATC units if they would like to run a practice pan exercise.

Training fixes can be used for training purposes, but are also available to all aircraft on all flights.
If you're terminally lost and out of all other ideas then by all means use 121.5 to restore your plot
You have missed the point of training fixes. In the UK being terminally lost is simply not acceptable, as there is a lot of controlled airspace; Training fixes are intended to prevent people being terminally lost and encroaching. Prevention is better than the cure.
Bear in mind that Professional aviators are sometimes required to monitor 121.5 and spurious use of this lifesaving frequency is not only very public, but also potentially very distracting to those who use it for the correct purposes
Please read and understand UK air law and ATC procedures before making statements like this - you are incorrect in implying that this is an incorrect use of the frequency in the UK.
 

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