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121.5 Emergency Frequency Misuse

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121.5 Emergency Frequency Misuse

Old 29th Jul 2003, 18:41
  #41 (permalink)  
ft
 
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Every now and then, I get to fly from a field where the official frequency is 123.45.

The constant chatting on the frequency at times becomes intense enough to pose a safety hazard. You have the big iron cruising overhead talking about this and that, swarms of German ultralights and assorted spam cans coming through discussing what they’ll eat that evening, the weather and what not, formation practise flights... imagine being stepped on by all that while trying to stop an aircraft from landing on a blocked runway. I’ve seen it happen.

So please, do stay off 123.45 unless you have it in print that it is the local dating hotline! Especially those of you in the big iron, as your radios will step all over smaller radios in a large area when you’re up at FL330.

If there is no approved chat frequency, tough luck. I know that at least here, you can (theoretically) have your radio license pulled if your message is not related to flying. But the radio is not intended for chatting anyway. A good book could be a solution? Or another job with more coworkers present, if you cannot work without talking?

Cheers,
Fred
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Old 30th Jul 2003, 01:28
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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Feet dry, sorry, I did not mean your post! Perhaps I should have said "one of the above posts". Apologies for the confusion.

F3G. More confusion. You got out of bed on the wrong side today?
Thanks for your homily, I found it rather amusing. You've got the wrong end of the stick all the way through. Perhaps if you read my post more carefully?

OK, you can be asked to do a training fix or pp, but you can't initiate one outside the training environment. Thats what I call really splitting hairs, but if it amuses you...
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Old 30th Jul 2003, 02:12
  #43 (permalink)  
Final 3 Greens
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Skeptic

You said

"
There can be no way a pilot, qualified or not, can transmit one of these outside the basic PPL training syllabus.
Please see below:

CAP 413 (2002) 7.1

Pilots may simulate emergency incidents (BUT NOT THE STATE OF DISTRESS)on 121.50 MHz to enable them to gain experience of the ATC service provided.Before calling,pilots should listen out on the emergency frequency to ensure that no actual or practice incident is already in progress.Practice calls need not disrupt a planned flight or involve additional expense in fuel or time since the pilot can request ‘diversion ’ to his intended destination or cancel the exercise when necessary.

CAP413 8.1

"Pilots who do not wish to carry out a practice emergency but only wish to confirm their position may request a ‘Training Fix ’on 121.5 MHz.This ‘Training Fix ’is secondary in importance to actual emergency calls but takes precedence over practice emergency calls in the event of simultaneous incidents.

Please show me where your assertion is verified. No mention of PPL syllabus etc, nor of instructors.

Perhaps you should re-read your posting.
 
Old 30th Jul 2003, 08:42
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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What is common practice in my company, if aircraft A needs to talk to aircraft B, it is done on one of the the company frequencies.

Obviously, it is not used for chatting about what happened on Eastenders, but you might want to know whether your sunglasses are on board another aircraft or something!
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Old 30th Jul 2003, 09:52
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ft

123.45 is an official frequency for over the Atlantic
(see Jeppesen 1/2 AT(H/L),Aerad etc) It used to be
131.80 but was changed about a year or so ago. This is
an official Air to Air freq. for North Atlantic use just like 126.9
over Africa etc. Very strange but true.

I agree that the intention of this freq. is not for exchange
of the latest NFL scores as tends to happen very often
by the American carriers (and also European ones) but many
pilots use it for turbulence reports to other airplanes and
relays if the HF doesn't work (again).

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Old 30th Jul 2003, 16:48
  #46 (permalink)  
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A/P,
note the word "local". The field using 123.45 is not located in the N. Atlantic... I would have noticed that on landing!

(Although it does get rather sploshy when there's rain)

Cheers,
Fred
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Old 30th Jul 2003, 18:21
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ft

point taken. I'm just trying to explain that sometimes
123.45 is a valid freq. which flying at 370000' might interfere with local aerodromes which also use it. I recently saw a Notam
in Canada urging local airplaines not to use 123.45 because
it can be received at the west coast of England/Ireland!
They then must be flying at FL800 but there you go.

Rgds
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Old 30th Jul 2003, 23:43
  #48 (permalink)  
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Final 3 Greens, I can't see anything in what Wiley and the others said that disputes the legality or usefulness of the current procedures using 121.5 for practice pans.

I'm assuming that Croozin wasn't commenting on that either, but more likely on your extraordinarily offensive tone in telling those 'unlucky' enough not to born with a British passport to take their bats and balls and go play elsewhere if they don’t like things exactly as they are. (I’ve just watched ‘Piece of Cake’ and your attitude reminds me of the way the RAF pilots and hierarchy refused to listen to the American who had flown against the Germans in Spain ‘because that was Spain, and things are different here’.) Take a look at what you said and how you said it and ask yourself whether or not he might have had a point. I certainly thought your comments were offensive.

I know that British pilots find fault and suggest improvements in ATC procedures elsewhere in the world – and rather pointedly at times. (The frequently deplorable standard of HF comms in India immediately comes to mind.) That's their right as users, and sometimes these criticisms get things changed for the better. If you accept that, what in world is wrong with a non-British pilot suggesting that in his or her opinion, improvements could be made to the excellent Brit system?

As useful as the service might be to light aircraft pilots in the UK, like the others before me on this thread, I too find it distracting when I'm in the very busy Heathrow terminal area and someone starts 'practice pan-ing'. Like them, I switch 121.5 off or turn it down when this happens - which I accept is not desirable, as I’m depriving myself and ATC of an excellent, quickly resolved fixup should one of us big fellers screw up a frequency change, as can and does happen.

I accept that a discrete frequency for practice calls would not be easily (or cheaply) accommodated, but that doesn't make the calls for one any less sensible. It's surely indisputable that it would be better for everyone concerned if there was a discrete frequency for practice pan calls – unless someone out there gets a vicarious thrill from making these practice calls on the ‘real’ emergency frequency.
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Old 31st Jul 2003, 01:30
  #49 (permalink)  
Final 3 Greens
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410

I agree that there are improvements that could be made to the UK system and can fully understand why airline pilots get irritated by practiced pans and training fixes, but the comments quite clearly opined that this was a misuse of the frequency.

The use of 121.5 in the UK is regulated by the CAA and there is a great difference between it’s unsanctioned use and sanctioned use, the latter which is obviously not a misuse, but more realistically an uncomfortable sharing (from an airline pilot point of view.) I have no problems with anyone suggesting improvements to our system, but please don't say that that we are misusing it, because that's the CAA's decision.

The comments made were:

Pete Zahut

“OK, but what about ''practice pan-practice pan etc....'”?

My opinion is, that´s also a kind of misuse of 121.5”

Wiley

“I know it's been discussed on Pprune before, but I have to agree with pete zahut regarding "Practice Pan".”

Wiley

“And 'A and C', with the greatest respect, I think the current usage of 121.5 for practice pans, legal or not, is a misuse of the frequency.”

Pretty clear methinks. Now I find some of the airport security measures in the US pretty irritating, but when the TSA person asks me to comply, I respect the laws of the land and do so with good grace.

So you are quite entitled to find my tone offensive, but my message to people complaining about the system here is that’s the way it is and if you don’t like it, you can fly elsewhere. Blunt yes, but nothing to do with the passport you hold, since the system works the same way for everyone here.

Now if you do a quick search on the ATC forum, you will find that I defended the US ATC system robustly against some derogatory comments recently, so I can assure you that I am not being jingoistic here – if you wish to fly in someone else’s airspace, you have to accept that there rules apply and adjust your airmanship to the environment. I cannot control the expressed views of other British pilots as you will appreciate.

As to you comments about ‘Piece of Cake’, I live too near to the graves of thousands of brave men from the British and Commonwealth air forces and the USAAF who gave their lives so that I can live mine in the way I do to even express an opinion on that piece of inspired thinking.
 

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