47

Every US controller I've ever heard from says they'd prefer to be talking to every aircraft in their airspace, period. This lets them know your intentions and allows them to move you around if needed, which saves them far more time than it costs giving you traffic advisories. If you don't have a transponder, they can still tag your primary target with your ...


47

This is speculative and I haven't looked at the links you gave, but I can think of a few things: Having another aircraft there gives ATC a way to gather information that they otherwise couldn't. For example, if the second pilot had observed that the 'incapacitated' pilot was actually awake and alert and there was a second person in the cockpit brandishing a ...


46

Admin stuff, emails, chat with a colleague if you are not alone on shift, read up on (ever changing) procedures, eat, read a book, make sure the coffee machine works, meditate, watch TV. Anything goes, really, as long as you keep an eye on the radar and stay close enough to hear the radio and answer the phone. Of course, this is all assuming that there are ...


34

Delta Air Lines uses the ICAO three-letter designator DAL and the ICAO telephony designator (also known as callsign) DELTA. In general, callsigns should be similar or equal to the name of the airline according to the following ICAO rules: 3.2 In the registration of telephony designators the following rules will apply: a) the chosen telephony ...


29

No, ATC would not file a complaint for a single missed read back. In order to file a complaint they'd need to have very good reason to believe that the pilots were willingly breaking communication regulations, and there are so many other valid reasons for why this scenario could happen: The pilots may have responded but it may not have been received. If two ...


28

There isn't really an official protocol, beyond the conventions everybody uses out of habit. Just pick the most prominent landmark, building or chart-labeled zone you can find or think of. The controller knows all of them so as long as it's not something like "next to a light pole", he/she will figure it out, and if not, they'll ask for clarification. If ...


24

They'd rather talk to you, even if they can't do much for you. If you report over XYZ at 4500 heading east, they can correlate that to a primary target & note that it's N1234S "over there". They may have to call you again if traffic is heading your way at 7,500' to confirm your altitude, but unless they're busy, that's no big deal. And if the targets are ...


23

Traffic is fairly predictable. They operate with more personell during rush hour and with much less at night, so it rarely happens that a controller is idling. During peak times there are separate controllers for apron operations, clearance delivery, taxiing, takeoffs and landings, arrivals, departures and for each en-route sector. During slow times, a ...


18

In the particular incident you are referencing, the incapacitated pilot was delirious with hypoxia. After the spotter confirmed that the pilot was conscious and non-evasive, ATC asked the spotter to remain nearby and try to get the pilot's attention visually while chanting "oxygen oxygen oxygen" over the radio. They understood that in his ...


17

Delta DOES have its own callsign. It's "DELTA". There are literally thousands of airlines in the world, many of which have designated radio telephony callsigns. Some of them are very close or even identical to the airline name, others are more diverse. Bianfable gives a good explanation regarding the origin of the Speedbird callsign. While not the case ...


13

If a pilot forgets to release his mic button, you can't talk to him. VHF radio is simplex, so only one station can transmit at the time. If more than one station transmits at the same time, the signal will sound garbled. As a result, there is no standard phraseology to use in such a situation. All you can do is wait for the pilot to discover the issue. See ...


12

The entire sky and all airports are divided into ATC areas of responsibility. Whenever a flight moves from one area of responsibility to another, the pilot needs to change frequency to talk to the next controller. A flight can only be under the control of one single ATC unit at any one time, which usually equates to being on one single radio frequency. When ...


10

Yes, it's the same. An airport consists of one or several runways, one or several parking areas (aprons) and a number of taxiways connecting them. All runways and taxiways are uniquely named. When taxiing around the airport - be it from runway to parking, or vice versa, or between parking areas, hangars etc. - ATC instructs the pilot of the exact route to ...


9

If you are referring to 25 kHz spacing versus 8.33 kHz spacing, it gives more channel options in radio transceivers. Ex1. There are 41 channels in the frequency space of 118.0 and 119.0 MHz, inclusively, with 25 kHz spacing. Ex2. There are 121 channels in the frequency space of 118.0 and 119.0 MHz, inclusively, with 8.33 kHz spacing. Since current airband ...


9

The purpose is to accomondate more dedicated frequencies within the airband VHF range (117.975 to 137 MHz). Increasing number of stations made this necessary, if the smaller division was not implemented, it was estimated that only 70% of future requirements for frequencies in Europe can be met. 833radio.com has further information and an nice table ...


9

ATC may have wanted the other plane to keep an eye on them in case they crashed, which could save hours or days of someone else trying to find it again. Such a delay could make a life-or-death difference to someone who survived the initial crash but with serious injuries.


7

As a matter of course, I make it a habit to wait to call for taxi clearance until I am in view of the tower, facing the movement area, with my beacon and taxi lights on, and my engine running. If I can see the tower, more than likely they can see me. Being in a position and condition to taxi will make it easier for ATC to distinguish my plane from the others....


7

There's no specific reason why the lower frequencies are used for towers, but it's not a coincidence that they are grouped together (mostly, there are tower frequencies that are not at the lower end.) Spectrum management is a complex effort to make maximum use of the fixed amount of frequencies available for use. In the US this falls under the FAA Spectrum ...


6

@J.Hougaard's answer is excellent (as usual), but it doesn't address the last part of your question: How does initial communication with SOCAL differ from when you've been assigned squawk on ground before take off from when you want to request one? If you have a discrete code, then you are "handed off" from one facility or sector to another. This ...


5

Do what works for you, and omit what you can. For example, "N123 is cleared to KABC" can be condensed to "ABC"... assuming the clearance is for you, why copy your own tail #? You're copying a clearance, so "is cleared to" is, to me, entirely implied by the fact that there is something written. "Climb & maintain 7,000" is for me an "M" with a horizontal ...


5

The most obvious reason is that the ITU allocated the VHF and UHF bands for aviation purposes generally, and then aviation authorities had to split those limited bands into adjacent comm and nav sub-bands. If aviation had gotten separate ranges for nav and comm, then that would double the risk of interference from adjacent non-aviation users, plus it would ...


5

From a technical standpoint, it's extremely difficult to tell two different signals on the same frequency apart. So, if someone steps on you while you're trying to turn the lights on, then the ground equipment can't tell the difference between their radio and yours. So, unless the other radio is far enough away that it doesn't register on the PCL receiver at ...


5

J. Hougaard is correct. With Tower, Approach and Center, yes you can use waypoints in communications. Be prepared for them not to know immediately where a lesser used waypoint is. I have had Center not know where particular Class G airports in their jurisdiction were. Some know the names by heart, but not the airport codes. When it comes to communicating ...


5

A deconfliction service is a specific type of air traffic service. Normally, outside of controlled airspace, air traffic controllers do not alert pilots of potential encounters with other aircraft (conflicts). However, there my be other services offered outside of controlled airspace, typically these are Flight Information Services (FIS). In the UK, four ...


5

What happens in the flight deck at an airport with a complex taxiway system (like NY JFK, which has many multiple parallel taxiways and numerous wrong-turn traps) is the pilot taking the clearance will (should) write it down like a flight plan clearance before reading it back (it's a good idea to write down any clearance with more than 3 elements in it). ...


5

There was an interesting example of this in the UK perhaps ten years ago. The solo pilot of a small plane lost his sight while in the air, an RAF instructor went up in a Tucano from Linton-on-Ouse and (eventually) guided him to a safe landing. I'm afraid I have no information on whether the pilot flew again. This is obviously very similar to the example ...


4

As already stated in other answers, the narrower the spacing, the more channels which can be fit within a given spectrum. Channels have to have some amount of spacing because signal modulated onto a carrier will create sideband; the exact nature of the sideband depends on the signal to be modulated and the type of modulation. In general, some sideband is ...


4

From Wikipedia: Channel spacing for voice communication on the airband was originally 200 kHz until 1947, providing 70 channels from 118 to 132 MHz. Some radios of that time provided receive-only coverage below 118 MHz for a total of 90 channels. From 1947–1958 the spacing became 100 kHz; from 1954 split once again to 50 kHz and the upper limit extended ...


4

Interesting question - although not FAA, I hoped the UK's CAP 413 would hold some insight as it tends to follow ICAO rules: https://publicapps.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP413%20MAY16.2.pdf Page 25 is the relevant chapter, and while it doesn't outright say the clearance is not valid it is very strong in its readback requirements. The following language applies to ...


4

If we look away from airlines for a minute, almost all callsigns are simply letters (and numbers) from the phonetic alphabet. Because Radio Telephony uses fairly specific formats, the likelihood of confusion is pretty low. " Delta 1234, after the landing traffic, line up and wait" simply can't mean anything other than what it's supposed to. It's got no ...


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