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Radio calls, describe yourself?


philipnz
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I have a little issue that bugs me. I fly out of NZ's busiest airport, Ardmore in a Remos G-3. Now there's only 2 of them in NZ so describing myself as a Remos is going to mean tiddley squat for anyone looking out for me. I usually describe myself as a microlight but that could really be anything from a sportcruiser to a bantam and i'm quite capable of being in the circuit with anything local, performance wise, I don't need babysitting

 

Jabiru's and Tecnams probably have the numbers to identify themselves but what do some of you other guys that fly lesser known aircraft call?

 

 

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i have been told on a few occasions when flying my Vampire at Hoxton and Cessnock, that when people have heard my radio calls, they have been on the lookout for something turbine powered, and flying at 200kts!

006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif - Ultralights, perhaps you need a loudspeaker and a cd playing for the right sound effects - that will confuse them even more as you cut crosswind over the club house

 

 

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I fly a CT2K which has an ICAO code FDCT (Flight Design CT). Most of the time, esp in controlled airspace I use the call sign "Charlie Tango xxxx" which is usually readily accepted and responded to. When flying in more familiar territory, that is the locals are more familiar with the CT, I'll use "CT xxxx".

 

However, it's not at all uncommon for the ATC folk to come back and ask "What is your aircraft type?". After chatting back and forth a few times they finally manage to find FDCT on their systems ... or just give up looking. I don't mind though as it gives me an opportunity to banter with them sometimes and hear them loosen up and respond with good humour. On a couple of occasions I've had to rouse on them when they identify me as a Jabiru. That's just being rude 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif.

 

Of late we have been flying regular trips Cooma/Port Mac/Cooma and it's been good to note that the people at Canberra, Nowra and Willy are becoming familiar with our little CT. I sometimes note a welcoming tone in their voices ... then again, maybe it's just me feeling more at home there each trip.

 

Cheers,

 

Paul

 

 

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Phillipnz,

 

You want to try flying an aircraft that is the only one of it's type flying in the southern hemisphere!!! 006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif006_laugh.gif.d4257c62d3c07cda468378b239946970.gif006_laugh.gif.0f7b82c13a0ec29502c5fb56c616f069.gif

 

I do use the call sign " Skylark fifty-one twenty-three " and no-one ever questions that, however I do wonder if many actually know what they are looking for? :confused:

 

Cheers

 

 

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We had an aircraft crash down our way , which was a Cessna Skylark, and a single piston slylark at that. Just aks the newspaper who reported it.

 

 

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Guest pelorus32

Just call yourself what you are: Remos xxxx.

 

They'll eventually either ask you or work it out. See it as your role to educate them!

 

 

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Some understanding.

 

Our planes must be confusing to ATC. Everyone else uses 3 letters (excluding airlines) and we introduce these esoteric names and a pile of numbers, which in the case of my fisher, would be Fisher forty-one, twenty-one. OR four one two one. Everyone talks too fast (generalising). I'm thinking of adopting the title "unknown aircraft" because I'm often referred to in that way. Nev..

 

 

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I think the question is around what is it that ATC need to know about your aircraft type i.e. what is relevant to them and their operations / requirements. They're not going to know or care the difference between a Jabiru/Sportstar/Skylark etc. what they're interested in is performance for the purpose of sequencing and directing traffic.

 

 

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Guest Michael Coates

Hello Nev, I have had this exact argument with the RAA management a few times with regards to callsign is in the amount of digits that we should use.

 

The way the air-traffic control system works when entering information on aircraft identification is exactly as you describe, three letters or numbers let's call them digits .

 

 

 

About two years ago I had the opportunity to visit an international control tower and the guys were familiar with my aircraft flying past getting airways clearance on a regular basis. They were the ones that showed me that their system could only take three digits so from that day onwards and against the advice of the RAA based on the information that air-traffic control gave me i now, for example, use the callsign Sting 555 and they know who I am or what I am and simply enter 555 into their system for tracking on radar.

 

 

 

If I go somewhere else and they are not familiar with the aircraft I will identify myself as Sportplane, Sting 555 and let them take it from there.

 

 

 

Disclaimer

 

 

 

Please note: the RAA official position on call signs is to use the full four digits, I have adopted using three digits based on the information I was given from air-traffic control and their preferences for my callsign in the local area. Before doing this yourself please seek independent advice.

 

 

 

 

 

On a general note I prefer referring to modern ultralight aircraft as Sportplane XXX when making radio calls because it gives air-traffic control the immediate idea that we are a jabiru, Tecnam or other similar light aircraft used for sport and recreation and they have a reasonable idea of our performance being between the say 70 kn and 120 kn. Most of these guys do not keep up with the latest magazines and are not familiar with all of the aircraft names. When I use the callsign Sting 555 they quite often believe it is a military sortie because they use callsign is like Sting, Sabre, Thunder, Reaper etc that is why I always prefix the callsign with "Sportplane" Sting 555 when I am flying outside of my normal area

 

 

 

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Progress..

 

Agreed again. The system must be made to function and little glitches as you highlight michael, should be capable of being ironed out easily enough. The speed differences are the problem. Who cares what make of plane it is and as time goes on , there will be many more types to contend with. IF the system accepts your 3 numbers , then that should mean something, though if someone wanted to be pedantic and make a point of it in relation to some Reg. or other, I wouldn't want to be putting my money on a successfull court outcome. Especially as the CASA have the opportunity to spend vast sums of money in legal contests..Nev.

 

 

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I think the question is around what is it that ATC need to know about your aircraft type i.e. what is relevant to them and their operations / requirements. They're not going to know or care the difference between a Jabiru/Sportstar/Skylark etc. what they're interested in is performance for the purpose of sequencing and directing traffic.

I was thinking about this when I was on my first lesson. Instructor was saying, 'Caboolture, Tecnam 3797 turning left base Runway 06, Caboolture'.... We were in a Tecnam Echo. They also have a Tecnam Sierra, which has different performance. So - why don't they rather use 'Technam Echo 3797', which would give a more accurate view of the A/C performance?

 

My guess is some aircraft might have longer 'sub names' and you want to keep calls as short as possible?

 

But if it was a Cessena, then just calling the manufacturer name out, with the vast differences in performance between models, doesn't really express the performance of the plane.

 

 

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Using only 3 digits may cause a problem. I have been in the area with another plane with the same last 3 digits. That would mean 2 planes calling in as 644 rather than one as 3644 and whatever the other was.

 

As far as type goes I use Corby starlet. The code is CJ1, but I don't want to be taken for a CJ2 and I doubt that many other than controllers would know the difference.

 

 

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Under the US system, the callsigns are by manufacturers model name. eg, a Cessna 210 registered N4639Z would call 'Centurion three niner zulu', or a Piper PA-28-161 regd N3736E would call 'Warrior three six echo'. I believe they use much the same approach with LSA because they are all 'N' registered.

 

Here, different ATC seem to abbreviate the RAA registration according to their workload. I recently had a busy Jandakot Tower abbreviate our callsign back to 'Jabiru eighty nine' ....dropping off the first two numerals, and slipping into 'OZ' to call the final two. That also seems the case with radar, where it gives them a three word coding to work with.

 

Getting around in a VANS also creates some extra listening out - there are 'Caravan' 'Airvan' and 'Skyvan' all out there as well as the ever increasing flock of RV's.

 

happy days,

 

 

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Found this discussion very interisting as I've used both Lightwing and Speed individually and combined with various degrees of (non)understanding.

 

With the soon (please!) controlled airspace entry I am thinking of using "LSA" plus rego number as at least LSA's have more equal performance for traffic control to understand instead of the large range of sub 650kg (760?) makes and models they might only come across every leap year.

 

Comments?/Legal?

 

 

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