Questions tagged [radio]

Radio equipment, including antennas, receivers, two-way radio systems, and more.

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29
votes
5answers
17k views

Why is the quality of radio communication bad?

Why don't modern planes and ATC centers have good-quality audio for communication? For example in this video: Or basically any other example of pilot communication(...
16
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1answer
10k views

What is the night effect?

I read the night effect takes place in radio navigation, especially VOR and NDB. My questions are: What is its nature? Why does it occur? What are the consequences of it?
15
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2answers
3k views

Do transoceanic airliners monitor marine VHF emergency frequencies?

I know that modern jetliners often have a multitude of radio equipment on board, including VHF, HF, satellite, etc. From what I've read (such as here), it's customary for jetliners to monitor 121.5 ...
15
votes
5answers
9k views

Can I fly with an airband receiver in the United States?

I'm flying with American Airlines on a cross-country flight soon and was thinking about bringing along my airband receiver/scanner since it'd be fun to listen to ATC. It looks like I'd be unable to ...
15
votes
3answers
4k views

Why shouldn't you use HF radio while refueling?

FCOM limitations for many aircraft state: DO NOT USE HF RADIO WHILE REFUELING Why is this? I have heard from people that it's because most of the big airliners have a 'notch' antenna for HF; it's ...
13
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2answers
4k views

What radio frequency bands are associated with the long wire antennas, why do some aircraft have them and others don't?

On many older aircraft, and in vintage aircraft photos, you can often see long wire antennas strung from some point on the top of the fuselage to the top front of the vertical fin. On newer aircraft, ...
12
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2answers
10k views

OBI, RMI, HSI… What combination do GA aircraft w/o glass typically have?

I'm learning about radionavigation, and all the various analog displays that can be used: Automatic Direction Finder (ADF) - Provides basic bearing information to practically any radio source the ...
10
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4answers
7k views

Can normal PC headsets replace 'aviation' headsets?

Aviation headsets have noise reduction and a larger jack (1/4") than most PC headset counterparts (1/8"). But there are many excellent quality PC headsets with sound-proofing materials which ...
10
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3answers
1k views

Why don't transponders have active and stand-by value like radios?

This answer explains how pilots when switching code on transponder should either carefully avoid temporarily squawking one of the emergency codes, or should temporarily put the transponder in stand-by....
10
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3answers
7k views

How to record Intercom / ATC in a small aircraft like a Piper Archer?

For making videos it would be nice to have some more sound than the engine sound recorded by my GoPro. What ideas do you have to record the aircraft intercom? It won't be a problem for me to have two ...
10
votes
1answer
772 views

Why do some airport towers avoid monitoring 121.5?

In the USA airport facilities directory (AFD), some towers (eg KSJC) are listed with the note: Emerg frequency 121.5 not avbl at tower. Why do these facilities not monitor guard? Does the note ...
9
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3answers
1k views

How would ATC try to establish contact with a VFR craft?

Example: I'm in a 172 tailed N1234A, on a pleasure hop between Hicks Field and Addison, circling around DFW International to the north, flying at 1500ft within DFW's Mode C veil under VFR (so I'm ...
9
votes
5answers
3k views

Can VOR indication be reliable if one of its antennas breaks?

What will be the reliability of the VOR indication inside the cockpit if one of the two outside antenna is broken ? Can we trust it to make a VOR approach? What will be the consequences assuming ...
9
votes
2answers
1k views

How can I find the location and coverage of aviation VHF transmitters?

In the USA, is there a way to find locations of VHF transmitters that are used for air traffic communication, and the frequencies they transmit/receive on? There are some places (Northern Bay Area, CA)...
8
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3answers
3k views

What radios are airliners / large aircraft equipped with?

I know that pilots have to talk to the tower over the radio, and apparently you have to tune the radio to the right tower frequency. I've also heard that in an emergency, you're supposed to "squawk ...
8
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2answers
2k views

Is it legal to use a home-made Airband radio receiver in the United States?

I work at a local small airport (very small, if we get more than about 10 or 15 airplanes taking off/landing it's a "busy day") and I mow the runways (we have multiple grass ones). Because of the ...
8
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2answers
1k views

What is transmitting this radio signal @~110.515MHz and for what purpose?

I was scanning the local aviation radio frequencies, and came across an odd signal (listen to a recording here). It's at around 110.515MHz, and it seems strong within a 30 mile radius of Shropshire, ...
7
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5answers
2k views

Is there a solution to radio interference?

I was reading about the Tenerife Disaster and came across what seemed to be the probable cause behind the accident. A simultaneous radio call from the Pan Am crew caused mutual interference on the ...
7
votes
2answers
1k views

How unusual were MH370's final ATC exchanges?

There are 2 noteworthy occurrences in the ATC radio transcript within just minutes of a 3rd noteworthy, quite unprecedented occurrence in aviation history: At 01:07:55 MH370 unnecessarily reported ...
7
votes
1answer
7k views

What's the meaning of underlined frequency in sectional chart nav aid box?

There is a statement to describe the underlined frequency in legend, it says: Underline indicates no voice on this frequency. What does this mean? We still need to ident the Morse code, doesn't it?...
6
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3answers
1k views

Why is radio communication still used?

Why is radio still the method of communication from the ground to air? If i'm not mistaken, cellular services should be much better in quality and reliability
6
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3answers
9k views

How many antennae are there on a typical small aircraft, and how are they connected to the avionics?

As far as i know there are a bunch of antennas on board of a small (EASA CS-23) plane: GPS is for GPS navigation in MHz VHFVOR is for NAV and Glideslope/Localizer ADF is for ADF DME is for DME ...
6
votes
2answers
525 views

Do left and right mic buttons control both headset microphones?

The aircraft I was flying today has a push to talk integrated button on each control yoke. I was sitting in the right seat, but my headset was plugged into the jacks on the left side of the cockpit. ...
6
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2answers
5k views

What requirements are there for radio systems in aircraft?

What are the requirements for radio systems in aircraft? For example, are there requirements about: Reception ability Transmit ability Transmit power This is primarily about voice communication ...
6
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2answers
1k views

What was the range of a low-frequency radio range station?

The low-frequency radio range is a historic navigation aid that was in use from the 20's to the 70's. I find it quite interesting. Using AM frequencies, what was the range of a high power LFR station?...
6
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4answers
2k views

How do pilot and copilot operate and coordinate the radio?

How do the pilot and copilot of a large commercial jet operate the radio when talking to ATC? Is there a push-to-talk button, or some voice-triggered mechanism? Also, how do they coordinate it? How ...
6
votes
1answer
895 views

What do the radiation patterns of ADS-B transmissions on large airliners tend to look like?

In the recent article Flightradar24 gears up for a new wave of flight tracking I've read about FR24's experimental Wave Glider ADS-B receiver - essentially a self-propelled, solar power buoy as a ...
6
votes
2answers
655 views

What will be in 'radiotelephony privileges' part of EASA PPL without practical RT examination?

My question is addressed to pilots who recently obtained PPL in Europe (preferably in Czech Republic, but not so important). As I understand, EASA itself does not require separate radiotelephony ...
5
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3answers
1k views

Exactly what kind of radios are prohibited for passengers inside an aircraft?

I know that passengers are asked to put their cell phones on flight mode. But some carriers allow use of WLAN on-board. So, what radios should passengers refrain from using? Also, if a person uses a ...
5
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2answers
6k views

How to check if (small) aircraft's radio is working properly?

Is there a standard way to test/check aircraft's radio without calling anybody (Ground/Tower) to see if it is receiving and transmitting? Is there a way to check aircraft radio with your own ...
5
votes
1answer
2k views

Does radar altimeter work over the ocean?

I'm wondering if radio waves are reflected by the sea. If so then the usual radar altimeter would work. If not, then is there any other fallback besides barometric altimeter? According to the wiki ...
5
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2answers
8k views

How does the PTT button on the radio work?

I've always seen a button either built into the yoke or attached to the yoke with velcro on older aircraft. However, the other day my instructor used an older-looking headset that had a push to talk ...
5
votes
1answer
586 views

What are the ways to perform air traffic control on long distance flights? [closed]

I have a few questions on air traffic control. From my understanding, there are three major ways of sending control messages to an aircraft: 1) Direct radio link from control as long as the aircraft ...
5
votes
2answers
1k views

As a passenger, can I use my handheld radio in commercial flights?

During flight from one country to another, can I use my hand held radio during flight to listen to ATC?
5
votes
2answers
348 views

How to avoid talking over others when using different send/receive frequencies?

Related to this question about flight services: when I talk to FSS over the generic or the local receive-only frequency while listening to the VOR voice channel, how do I avoid talking over others on ...
5
votes
1answer
330 views

Did the Westland Lysander have a helmet/face mask for radio communication during WW2?

I have a character in some war-time fiction I'm writing 'acquiring' an aircraft (a Westland Lysander). Just need to know: was there a helmet/face mask for radio communication for these aircraft? And,...
5
votes
1answer
1k views

Is there anything better than LiveATC to get accustomed with RT phraseology?

I would like to "train my ear" for RT communications and I tried to listen to approach of Dublin's Airport. I simply can't understand more than 50% words because of loud background whistle and poor (...
4
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2answers
2k views

Is there an ATC radio backup?

I was thinking, what would happen if the radio systems for an ATC tower fail due to power loss or faulty systems? Is there any kind of backup radio that would be used to contact the planes and/or ...
4
votes
2answers
2k views

How strong would a servo motor need to be to power the control surfaces of a fixed wing ultralight aircraft?

I'm looking to build an ultralight aircraft. The video above shows a good example of how one is controlled with wires or with metal fulcrums/levers, but I am ...
4
votes
1answer
166 views

Just how inaccurate are (Las Vegas) VOR radials?

I was discussing VOR-based navigation with a pilot, and he mentioned that VOR doesn't provide a very high level of integrity and safety (at least, compared to GPS or DME). He explained that the FAA ...
4
votes
1answer
398 views

Can aviation HF radios receive while transmitting?

I was listening to Gander Radio on HF at 5616 kHz today and I've noticed that operator at Gander would often start transmitting reply before the airplane finished transmission, as if trying to ...
4
votes
1answer
472 views

Instructor can't talk when H10-13.4 is plugged in

I'm a student pilot and I just bought my first own headset because the standard one in the plane does not really fit me. I got a david clark h10-13.4. My instructor uses either his private Bose A20 ...
4
votes
0answers
92 views

Which FCC license do I need to operate an aviation radio on the ground?

I'm in the process of buying a handheld radio as a backup for when I go flying. According to the owner's manual, I'd need a ground station license to operate it when I'm not actually in an airplane, ...
4
votes
0answers
167 views

Is it normal for airport to transmit unmodulated carrier on its ATIS frequency for extended periods of time?

So I'm around 4 km away from the City-Airport Mannheim (EDFM/MHG). Various websites tell me that its ATIS frequency is 136.550 MHz. When I tune to 136.550 with my VHF AM receiver, I can see a strong ...
3
votes
2answers
2k views

Is it legal to use handheld radios to listen to airport frequencies in Australia?

I am a student pilot at ABX (YMAY) in Australia. It is a single engine aerodrome with three frequencies: 123.25; 125.80; and the ATIS frequency I live very close to the airport, directly under the ...
3
votes
1answer
837 views

What is the expected range of handheld radio?

For a handheld VHF radio carried as an emergency backup, how should I expect the effective radius of a handheld radio to compare with on-board radios in two-way communications? I figure reception ...
2
votes
2answers
165 views

Do aircraft carry commercial VHF radios?

Years ago, I was working in the bush and we used portable radios on something like 154MHz. When it came time for pickup, we were able to talk to the helicopter pilot on that frequency. Since it's ...
2
votes
1answer
776 views

Can I use my aviation handheld transceiver on MURS?

Is there a regulation or rule about using handheld aviation transceivers e.g. Icom A-24 for ground to ground communication on MURS frequencies? Can I just use Icom A-24 for ground to ground? or do I ...
2
votes
1answer
1k views

Should I monitor the emergency frequency (121.5 Mhz) at all times?

When flying on a plane with two or more radios, should I set the second radio to 121.5 at all times? (Assume I'm not using it to listen on other frequencies) I've heard that sometimes when an ...
2
votes
2answers
5k views

What is the range of an air traffic control tower's radio transmission? [duplicate]

What is the maximum distance the voice messages sent by the tower on a radio channel can be received by an aircraft?