On a VFR flight, what frequency should be used to talk to somebody on the ground in USA?

In another word, if I am overflying my house and I would like to talk to the people on the ground, what frequency should I be using? Is it even legal to do something like this?

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    $\begingroup$ 850/900/1,800/1,900 MHz? :) $\endgroup$ Aug 29, 2015 at 6:32

2 Answers 2


Radio frequencies in the USA are assigned by the FCC, not the FAA. There's no 'private' air-to-ground frequency mentioned in the AIM but section 4-1-11 does say that the FCC has assigned 122.900 as a MULTICOM frequency for:

Activities of a temporary, seasonal, emergency nature or search and rescue, as well as, airports with no tower, FSS, or UNICOM

Arguably your fly-by is "temporary activity", however the definition of MULTICOM is:

A mobile service not open to public correspondence used to provide communications essential to conduct the activities being performed by or directed from private aircraft

So if your fly-by is "essential" (and safe!) then I guess you could use 122.9. There are procedures for requesting temporary air-to-ground frequencies for air shows, but that's obviously a special case.

As for legality, it seems that you need an FCC license to use an aviation handheld radio on the ground:

You may only use your hand-held aircraft VHF radio in your aircraft under the terms of your aircraft license. You are required to have a separate Ground Station license to operate your radio on the ground.

But because this is more about FCC regulations than FAA ones, I suggest that you ask on ham.SE; they'll probably know a lot more about how it all works.


Some people use "fingers" 123.45 for non-standard radio communications. I don't think it conflicts with any existing radio stations and its legality is in in doubt. Sometimes you will hear on a busy frequency "BOB! FINGERS" which is never acknowledge either by the intended recipient or by ATC, but it means t come up on 123.45

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    $\begingroup$ FYI the FCC has designated 123.450 MHz for flight test stations: The use of flight test stations is restricted to the transmission of necessary information or instructions relating directly to tests of aircraft or components thereof. $\endgroup$
    – fooot
    Aug 29, 2015 at 17:21
  • $\begingroup$ Probably why people use it! $\endgroup$
    – rbp
    Aug 29, 2015 at 17:35

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