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CASA have announced today that they are going to issue a discussion paper about radio frequencies to use in uncontrolled airspace. At present we are supposed to use area frequency at airstrips which are not on the charts, but a lot of people refuse to comply and use 126.7.

 

This leaves us either legally compliant and not getting radio advice, or getting the advice and being illegal.

 

Have a think about what would be the safest way to go and when the discussion paper comes out, have your say.

 

 

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I think the matter is more "what is the appropriate freq for an area"

 

Remember OCTA there is no requirement to even have a radio so legalities as to what freq you monitor doesen't come into it (obviously unless you are full SAR and that is only available now when you are operating IFR)

 

CAAP 166 has been a hotly debated topic for some time - maybe some sence may come out of it, but I must admit I am pessimistic.

 

 

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In some locations, 126.7 seems to be heavily utilised as the CTAF frequency already. If 126.7 becomes the default frequency for Class G, it may well end up causing the same sorts of problems now being claimed re use of Area.

 

But I wonder at the sense of listening to 126.7 when, for example, flying the remote area between William Creek and Alice Springs. I have heard regular traffic from Centre while doing just that and felt comforted knowing there was someone out there who would hear my call if things went bad. In fact I had occasion to call Centre half-way between Tennant Creek and The Alice and very much appreciated the prompt response.

 

Some people suggest we should only be listening to 121.5 in those circumstances in the belief that an emergency call will be responded to by RPT aircraft crew.

 

I gain comfort from listening to RPT and Centre in remote areas so the silence on 121.5 or 126.7 wouldn't do much for me. I have appreciated calls from Melbourne Radar on 135.7 on a few occasions belying some claims that they don't talk to VFR or provide separation information and I'm happy to continue to listen on Area for anything that might be happening around me.

 

Kaz

 

 

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Also remember if you have a radio OCTA you are expected to use it at aerodromes. It is also a requirement to have a radio and monitor the area frequency when flying above 5000 ft.

And monitor and use CTAF or Area Freq as appropriate if you are operating at or below 3000' and less than 1000' vertically from cloud (etc).

 

 

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This will be an interesting discussion. Sure there is many views. Near adelaide, there is many private strips and strips not on the map, in amongst strips on the map using 126.7. So for them to be talking on different frequencies will make it interesting. Let alone more congestion on Adelaide Centre for the incoming flights.

 

 

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From an ATC perspective: Too many times a VFR paint appears, we pass traffic to an IFR aircraft, say inbound to an airfield, and too many times the IFR can't get the VFR on CTAF and we have no luck getting them on area.

 

Personally when I fly I will be on area unless I am in the vicinity of an AD, then on the CTAF (as published in ERSA or if not on any charts then on area). At least then if ATC is telling me there is a A320 about to collect me I will be able to hear it.

 

 

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From an ATC perspective: Too many times a VFR paint appears, we pass traffic to an IFR aircraft, say inbound to an airfield, and too many times the IFR can't get the VFR on CTAF and we have no luck getting them on area.Personally when I fly I will be on area unless I am in the vicinity of an AD, then on the CTAF (as published in ERSA or if not on any charts then on area). At least then if ATC is telling me there is a A320 about to collect me I will be able to hear it.

I agree. That is what makes most sense to me. Monitor area, transmit on local. I hear area freq getting cluttered up with calls that are not only not required, but make no sense.. For example ABC is 1000ft at (position) tracking to (somewhere 50 miles away)

 

Blind transmitting on area would seem to be clutter unless you think there may be high traffic density in your vicinity.

 

I can't tell you how annoying it can be to be sitting at 40000ft in a jet hearing someone cluttering up the freq making an ambiguous position report. I imagine it can be the same for ATC.

 

 

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What are we worrying about? It's not a question of whether we call Center,multicom or local ctaf - the underlying problem that we have in Oz is that the radio is being overused. Too many calls are just rubbish. Calling at 15,10,5,joining circuit,downwind,base,final,backtracking and.......at last, 'clear of runway! These are just overkill - yet my fellow instructors in both GA and RAAus are teaching it. We're getting to the stage where, if I'm checking a 'city' pilot on a BFR or other competency flight - many press the mic button and blurt out a mayday as soon as the throttle is pulled. Others spend so much effort on 'obeying' the radio - that it takes forever to get out onto the runway and fly. They hear 'traffic' but can't sensibly react to it in terms of time and distance - better to sit tight and block the entire flow!

 

Talk about a Pavlovian society! It's a wonder pilots are not taking selfies every leg of the circuit! Probably no time because they are reading off a checklist which would challenge War & Peace.

 

Some 20 years ago, CASA used the phrase Simple systems for simple aircraft. Whatever happened to that sensible intent? As with most other industries, it has been subverted by the management geeks.

 

As you may have guessed, I've had a gutful of radio frequency discussion! Have a nice day obeying your radio master!

 

Our aviation industry has become too procedural - to the detriment of actual skills. No wonder people are killing themselves. It can only go further downhill from here.

 

 

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There aren't many calls you are required to make and radio should be more about listening than broadcasting. But we do have to dance between frequencies at times, especially when only one radio is fitted.

 

A flight from Moorabbin north along the coastal VFR Route involves:

 

MBN Twr. 123.0

 

Melb Rad. 135.7

 

(MEN and Yarra CTAF..possibly)

 

Bacchus Marsh CTAF 118.8

 

Melton, Penfield, Riddell, Romsey CTAF's 126.1

 

And all this in just 53 NM

 

I have busted CTA once and that was enough. It was a long while ago and before GPS was ocommon. I was doing a Navex MBN-MEN-HSM and I cut the corner at the former TARGET reporting point. I then mis-identified Melton as Bacchus Marsh and climber to 2500' too quickly busting the Melbourne Control zone. I was on the CTAF not Radar and didn't hear him abusing me!

 

He caught up with me a bit further on and what he said to me did nothing for my confidence to complete the rest of the flight!!!

 

Kaz

 

 

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CASA have announced today that they are going to issue a discussion paper about radio frequencies to use in uncontrolled airspace.

As I remember it, in the early '90s we had a specific 'Area VFR' frequency, for use below 5000ft between airfields. Then it was discontinued..... It was very useful, and I sure wish CASA would reinstate such.

 

I've monitered the Area IFR frequency for years and never once heard a broadcast that applied to me below 5000ft, and never ever felt the need to broadcast anything relevant on that frequency. 126.7 has been far more useful to stay in touch with other traffic in airspace below 5000, but sometimes gets congested by distant CTAFs when flying at 4500. A discrete Area VFR frequency would be very useful, and would settle all the confusion and arguments.....

 

 

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I am now confused with all the answers above. remember low time guys as well are reading this and their heads must be spinning, beside the ATC guys answering.

 

So with all above and many people reading these "GEMS" of wisdom, They who provide must be all Gods of the Air or CFI's so what is the process,

 

3000 FT

 

5000 FT

 

above 5,000 FT

 

So when CASA asks me for a coffee and a chat before the incident report , When, or What height and What distance for CTAF into local strip etc etc. Or do I say I read the procedure on a forum from a guy named xxxx, That will go down well. I think we need ATC guys to answer these specific questions and say this is the ATC answer.

 

Ready for bullet holes now!

 

 

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Most references to AGL or not helpful for users as except for areas you are very familiar with you won't be able to tell what they are. Blw or abv 050 or such is clear and you go on your altimeter hoping it is referenced properly. (area QNH or standard above 10,000 (1013.2) Nev

 

 

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CASA have announced today that they are going to issue a discussion paper about radio frequencies to use in uncontrolled airspace. At present we are supposed to use area frequency at airstrips which are not on the charts, but a lot of people refuse to comply and use 126.7.This leaves us either legally compliant and not getting radio advice, or getting the advice and being illegal.

Have a think about what would be the safest way to go and when the discussion paper comes out, have your say.

This is a helpful and positive step by CASA in response to concerns by the RAPACs that an AIP amendment (#75 in May, 2013) changed the required frequency for broadcasts at aerodromes not on charts, to be made on the area frequency. Previously, and for over 10 years, the required frequency had been the MULTICOM (the default frequency 126.7).

The change was made without consulting anybody and was an unfortunate stuff-up.

 

As well as the potential to overload and jam broadcasts on the area frequency, some aerodromes have 2 or 3 applicable area frequencies depending on the direction. Fortunately for ATC and those in C airspace, most people ignore the requirement.

 

The discussion paper is a necessary first step in restoring sanity.

 

 

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Recently at 1000' coastal, 2nm from St Leonards (charted, 126.7 with a Danger area) I visualled a helicopter coming across from Melbourne area also at 1000'. As he crossed the coast, 13nm from Barwon Heads he called inbound on 119.0. Not to worry that he was about to fly directly over St Leonards.

 

AIP #75 notwithstanding, he knew where he was headed and that was the only frequency he considered.

 

The Bellarine has heaps of scenic and through traffic. If you are not monitoring both frequencies you had best have very sharp eyes.

 

 

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A discrete Area VFR frequency would be very useful, and would settle all the confusion and arguments.....

 

Wouldn't need to be an ATC monitered frequency, just an assigned frequency common to all.

 

 

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I am now confused with all the answers above. remember low time guys as well are reading this and their heads must be spinning, beside the ATC guys answering. So with all above and many people reading these "GEMS" of wisdom, They who provide must be all Gods of the Air or CFI's so what is the process,

3000 FT

 

5000 FT

 

above 5,000 FT

 

So when CASA asks me for a coffee and a chat before the incident report , When, or What height and What distance for CTAF into local strip etc etc. Or do I say I read the procedure on a forum from a guy named xxxx, That will go down well. I think we need ATC guys to answer these specific questions and say this is the ATC answer.

 

Ready for bullet holes now!

Remember this thread was started based on CASA inviting discussions changing the rules so most of what is listed in this thread is peoples opinions on what the rules should be, not what they are currently.

 

You shouldn't use the forum as the defence of not following the correct rule or procedure, these are found in AIP or directly from CASA (Regulations etc). ATC just like Pilots are told the rules by CASA, they don't get to make them.

 

 

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My intent with starting this post was to get people to thik about the subject, discuss it here maybe and respond to CASA when the time comes.

 

 

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This is a helpful and positive step by CASA in response to concerns by the RAPACs that an AIP amendment (#75 in May, 2013) changed the required frequency for broadcasts at aerodromes not on charts, to be made on the area frequency. Previously, and for over 10 years, the required frequency had been the MULTICOM (the default frequency 126.7). The change was made without consulting anybody and was an unfortunate stuff-up.

As well as the potential to overload and jam broadcasts on the area frequency, some aerodromes have 2 or 3 applicable area frequencies depending on the direction. Fortunately for ATC and those in C airspace, most people ignore the requirement.

 

The discussion paper is a necessary first step in restoring sanity.

We have a similar problem in and around port Lincoln 128.0 with coffin bay now not on map requiring all aircraft in and out of Coffin bay on area freq combined with many local strips in between. This is now causing radio silence whereas 126.7 we all communicated without fear of near miss incidents. We don't want to be transmitting on area as the jet jocks above are busy enough with pos reporting for entry to Adelaide . So fix the stuff-up!

 

 

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I like the idea of low level VFR freq (aka 126.7) for circuit, low level over flying etc and save Area Freq for Nav type flights at higher level.

 

 

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This is a helpful and positiveFortunately for ATC and those in C airspace, most people ignore the requirement.

Spot on.

 

I think as Rhysmcc has said, a low level frequency seperate to area makes a lot of sense and imo certainly makes more sense than the current "oft ignored" requirements.

 

 

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So as predicted NO change to the CTAF/Area freq. situation.

 

I sometimes wonder why anybody bothers responding to "discussion papers" - it is only a pretence - I was told a couple of years ago by a CASA employee that it would not be changed whilst a certain employee was still there!

 

 

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