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CASA discussion paper for low level frequency use in class G airspace


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CASA have just produced a discussion paper about radio frequency to use in class G airspace at airstrips not on the charts.

 

This has been a long time coming and there needs to be some certainty about the problem of incorrect frequency use.

 

My original thoughts when CASA made area the frequency to use were that it was a stupid decision and that multicom would be better and we had been using that. I now believe that area is a better frequency, except fot two points.

 

1 There are a lot of pilots who refuse to use other than multicom.

 

2 Low level traffic could clog up the airways for ATC.

 

Using area at my home field, I could not advise that I was on downwind, because of heavy usage by the airlines. A light plane entered the runway, without seeing me and I had to go around. That was not a problem for me, unless I had an emergency, but using multicom could have been better in that situation. Especially as the pilot entering the runway was using multicom, but not his eyes.

 

 

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DP 1610AS - Frequency use at low level in Class G airspace | Civil Aviation Safety Authority

 

Can't accuse CASA of acting hastily but at least you can have your say. So if you have a view about which frequency we should all be using in lower level class G airspace in general and around private strips and CTAF's here is your chance for some input. Personally I am for 126.7 everywhere except when within 10 nm of an airfield with a specific allocated CTAF frequency.

 

 

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So what will you do above 5000'?

 

If this happens, I suggest that you won't get a word in edge ways at all the airfields that use 126.7 as their CTAF frequency.

 

Kaz

 

 

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CASA have just produced a discussion paper about radio frequency to use in class G airspace at airstrips not on the charts.This has been a long time coming and there needs to be some certainty about the problem of incorrect frequency use.

My original thoughts when CASA made area the frequency to use were that it was a stupid decision and that multicom would be better and we had been using that. I now believe that area is a better frequency, except fot two points.

 

1 There are a lot of pilots who refuse to use other than multicom.

 

2 Low level traffic could clog up the airways for ATC.

 

Using area at my home field, I could not advise that I was on downwind, because of heavy usage by the airlines. A light plane entered the runway, without seeing me and I had to go around. That was not a problem for me, unless I had an emergency, but using multicom could have been better in that situation. Especially as the pilot entering the runway was using multicom, but not his eyes.

According to the discussion paper the owner of the field can apply to put it on the map in which case CTAF or 126.7 would apply.

 

 

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If this happens, I suggest that you won't get a word in edge ways at all the airfields that use 126.7 as their CTAF frequency.

The change already happened, however CASA received a lot of criticism from RAPAC and elsewhere about the change so they are starting a "discussion".

 

The change was simply that aircraft operating at unmarked strips should make their circuit broadcasts on area instead of 126.7 - because apparently people listening on area need to know.

 

 

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So what will you do above 5000'?If this happens, I suggest that you won't get a word in edge ways at all the airfields that use 126.7 as their CTAF frequency.

 

Kaz

I don't think there will be much change as basically not many people are making calls on area anyway when using unmarked strips, they are still using 126.7. The mooted change is going back to pre 2013. Read the discussion paper. There are quite a few options under consideration. The RAPAC committees around Australia have recommended the change but CASA is resisting and therefore this paper and a chance to have some input.

DP 1610AS - Frequency use at low level in Class G airspace | Civil Aviation Safety Authority

 

 

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I have skimmed it, based on the amount of space they used getting stuck into RAPAC I think the result is a foregone conclusion i.e. keep the current changes.

 

 

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At a CASA safety seminar last year the CASA rep was emphatic that all calls be made on "area" if the strip was 10 miles outside any strip marked on a WAC chart.

 

It caused a bit of consternation among the assembled pilots who were generally using 126.7 (below 5000) and couldn't see the reasoning of "area".

 

Personally, I'm with the 126.7 crew too.....

 

 

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multicom is a nightmare as is. It needs to be used less not more. Why don't we just use more discreet ctaf frequencies.

The problem with over use is created by pilots using 126.7 as a chatter channel AND giving

 

1. Initial Inbound call

 

2. What they had for breakfast

 

3. General obversations

 

4. 3nm inbound

 

5. Joining circuit area

 

6. Joining downwind

 

7. Joining base

 

8. Joining final

 

9. Reporting clear of runway

 

Etc. when there is no other aircraft "near" their area of operation at the time causing traffic at near airports with circuit traffic communication difficulties.

 

Remember "potential for traffic conflict" when deciding on what calls are relevant.

 

Also over use of the radio does nothing for separation with potential "non radio" aircraft.

 

Short, precise, and relevant is what is best.

 

More is better, as promoted by some, is not the answer.

 

 

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The problem with over use is created by pilots using 126.7 as a chatter channel AND giving1. Initial Inbound call

2. What they had for breakfast

 

3. General obversations

 

4. 3nm inbound

 

5. Joining circuit area

 

6. Joining downwind

 

7. Joining base

 

8. Joining final

 

9. Reporting clear of runway

 

Etc. when there is no other aircraft "near" their area of operation at the time causing traffic at near airports with circuit traffic communication difficulties.

 

Remember "potential for traffic conflict" when deciding on what calls are relevant.

 

Also over use of the radio does nothing for separation with potential "non radio" aircraft.

 

Short, precise, and relevant is what is best.

 

More is better, as promoted by some, is not the answer.

Agree completely. But training schools are the worst offenders and I'm guessing they are getting taught to make all those calls to get them ready for their airline lives of doing everything by the book. Same reason they fly 737 circuits in their diamonds. East of Adelaide is an absolute disaster with all the airports on multicom and the dozens of foreign students setting out on navs every week. Just give those airports their own frequency so we don't have to listen to it. How many people just turn multicom off because it's so annoying? That's not a good solution surely

 

 

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Correct Col.. we've already done that at our local as we were being forced to use the busy Adelaide area frequency, instead of the CTAF we are situated under. Problem solvered.

 

 

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multicom is a nightmare as is. It needs to be used less not more. Why don't we just use more discreet ctaf frequencies.

Fields that don't appear on charts are the least likely to get (or require) a discrete CTAF frequency.

 

The issue is e.g. if you have a private strip and invite a few friends over for a BBQ, what frequency do you use when everyone is arriving?

 

CASA say Area. The rule used to be 126.7.

 

 

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Think about the response you want when you make THAT call. Do you want a professional at the other end giving you the attention required. Listening to your condition and location OR being over transmitted by someone doing circuits. Multi com within 10nm same as CTAF otherwise area FULL STOP. All unmarked strips Multicom.

 

 

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Fields that don't appear on charts are the least likely to get (or require) a discrete CTAF frequency.The issue is e.g. if you have a private strip and invite a few friends over for a BBQ, what frequency do you use when everyone is arriving?

 

CASA say Area. The rule used to be 126.7.

Never said unmarked aerodromes. They aren't the issue. There are way too many marked aerodromes on multi com. Loxton, Renmark, waikerie, Strathalbyn all near Adelaide and all a decent amount of activity. The issue of people having a BBQ at their unmarked strip surely isn't the real issue. Most people that use private strips would just monitor area and not make any radio calls. If it's just you at your own property then what's the point. And if you're having a BBQ then why can't you just inform the attendees of what frequency to use so that you can not run into each other.

 

 

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Never said unmarked aerodromes. They aren't the issue.

They are the subject of the discussion paper.

 

if you're having a BBQ then why can't you just inform the attendees of what frequency to use so that you can not run into each other.

Because CASA has made a rule that the transmissions must be on Area, due to some ridiculous perception that there is a danger of collision between someone using their unmarked strip and aircraft in cruise.

 

 

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They are the subject of the discussion paper.

 

Because CASA has made a rule that the transmissions must be on Area, due to some ridiculous perception that there is a danger of collision between someone using their unmarked strip and aircraft in cruise.

Fair point! Maybe they should change the discussion paper to discuss the real issue then.

My strip is under the 2500 step at Adelaide at an elevation of 1500. It actually does get fairly busy in that 1000 ft gap as people transit outside cta. But still, I don't transmit on Adelaide centre. I know it's the rule but it doesn't make sense to me to interrupt atc. Multicom wouldn't make much sense either though as everyone would be on Adelaide centre. Strobe and transponder on and keep eyes and ears open. A few time I've heard Adelaide centre point me out to traffic octa as I depart or arrive.

 

 

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Not much room over your way Nick between the terrain and that 2500' step!

 

I flew around the Mt Barker summit the other day and thought about a flyover (flypast) your hill..

 

bugged out in the end as theres not really any place for a nonSTOL aircraft to put down if needed!

 

 

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Some of you guys must have a lot more chatter on 126.7 than there is around SE south australia and western vic where I have been lately. 126.7 is mainly quiet, with Naracoorte being the busiest ( non CTAF) airfield using it .

 

If another frequency is chosen, we will still need good radio discipline so that the important messages get through. Too many frequencies could kill off communication just when it is needed, on account of the aircraft being on different frequencies.

 

 

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I hope the adjudicators do combine this with my original post. Hint Hint.

 

As I stated in my post I am now in favour of using area. Reason being that Multicoms apply to several strips within reception of my home base, plus there is YGLA with a discreet frequency.

 

If I am using and listening to area I will not hear all those other irrelevant strip broadcasts, but I will hear anyone who broadcasts at my home strip, plus they will hear me. The only inconvenience of using area is that sometimes the frequency is too busy for me to broadcast, but then I just use see and avoid.

 

What really pisses me of is that there are a lot of pilots who will not use area and insist on using 126.7. That in my opinion is sheer stupidity and will land them in trouble if there is an incident and CASA investigate. It is also bad airmanship to completely disregard the requirements of CASA and consider they are above needing to comply.

 

If the discussion results in CASA saying we should use multicom or any other frequency I will happily comply, but I have only contempt for those who think they can make it up as they go along.

 

 

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Not much room over your way Nick between the terrain and that 2500' step!I flew around the Mt Barker summit the other day and thought about a flyover (flypast) your hill..

 

bugged out in the end as theres not really any place for a nonSTOL aircraft to put down if needed!

Maybe not a lot of good landing spots but not many trees either! Might bend something but could be worse! If you fly over Hahndorf, fly east from there over beerenberg strawberry farm and you'll see my hangar on the top of the hill about a mile from there!

 

 

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Was chatting to a friend involved in RAPAC today - at the free Vic Govt party at the Avalon Airshow just nearby the CASA stand when a senior CASA guy joined us and we both gave him a burst - not that it will have any effect - all should respond to the discussion paper.

 

... So if you have a view about which frequency we should all be using in lower level class G airspace in general and around private strips and CTAF's here is your chance for some input. Personally I am for 126.7 everywhere except when within 10 nm of an airfield with a specific allocated CTAF frequency.

Some background here RAPACs project - MULTICOM vs Area VHF

 

 

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I put in a proper RAPAC submission asking for the outer half of the 4,500 step to be raised to 6,500 on safety grounds.

 

After more than a year, no reply.

 

It has been suggested to me that crashes of planes like my Jabiru are to the benefit of CASA in that they get more power and money if there are more crashes.

 

What cynical nonsense say I. We all know they have a wonderful organization dedicated to our safety as their only priority.

 

 

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