Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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By TexasUK
#1663317
You should hear it when the Junior nationals are on, it's like CB radio's early days in the 80's. I'm surprised I don't hear anyone say '10-4 for a copy'.

I think glider pilots are a bit 'special' when it comes to following guidance on this sort of thing.
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By kanga
#1663322
ls8pilot wrote:..
If you listen to the gliding frequencies on a summers day you will know why! They are very busy with all sorts of messages - only a small proportion of which would be useful to build situational awareness.

... The issue is the average radio from 4000ft has a range which covers about half the country, so even if every pilot makes 1 transmission / hour you get swamped.


Once when I staffed an Air Cadet Camp at Wittering and got permission from the then very (then untypically) GA-friendly Stn Cdr to fly in for the week ( :) ), I was briefed by SATCO that there would be a RAFGSA Gliding operation using aerotow from a grass strip to the S of the West end of the (very long) Wittering runway. I was to to make blind calls to 'Wittering Base' when I got close to the airfield, and land at the extreme East end, vacating as soon as possible and proceeding to the Cadet dispersal (near the West end) along the parallel taxiway (past the glider launch point). I tuned in at ~5 miles and made my (proper FRTOL!) calls. I got no reply, nor heard any Wittering glider traffic, although there were clearly launches and landings going on. However, I could hear very undisciplined chat from gliders calling each other and their bases over the Cotswolds, up to 100 miles away, from which I had come .. :roll:
By Crash one
#1663398
So all these glider frequencies are just glider/glider chit chat. Do they ever use the thing to talk to ATC units/flight information, frequencies the rest of us use, or just bang on with each other?
Effectively large numbers of non radio stealth/difficult to see aircraft spread over a large area. Very helpful!
If this is considered acceptable I must be missing something.
By chevvron
#1663405
Crash one wrote:So all these glider frequencies are just glider/glider chit chat. Do they ever use the thing to talk to ATC units/flight information, frequencies the rest of us use, or just bang on with each other?
Effectively large numbers of non radio stealth/difficult to see aircraft spread over a large area. Very helpful!
If this is considered acceptable I must be missing something.

Not absolutely sure but I believe the use of a BGA frequency from a glider does not require the user to hold an FRTOL but if they wish to call a non gliding frequency, they must have one.
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By TexasUK
#1663425
That's correct, see below:
The ANO notes how a person may act as a flight radio telephony operator within the United Kingdom, the Channel Islands and the Isle of Man without being the holder of an appropriate licence granted or rendered valid under this Order, if the following conditions apply;
(a) the pilot of a glider on a private flight and does not communicate by radio telephony with any air traffic control unit, flight information unit or air/ground communications service unit;
or
(b) being trained in an aircraft registered in the United Kingdom to perform duties as a member of the flight crew of an aircraft and is authorised to operate the radio telephony station by the holder of the licence granted for that station.

Although there are a lot of commercial and GA pilots who also fly gliders who will have one of course. And the number of purely glider pilots with an FRTOL is increasing all the time, due to club and BGA courses, and the ever increasing potential need for one due to airspace grabs.
By PaulisHome
#1663447
chevvron wrote:
Crash one wrote:So all these glider frequencies are just glider/glider chit chat. Do they ever use the thing to talk to ATC units/flight information, frequencies the rest of us use, or just bang on with each other?
Effectively large numbers of non radio stealth/difficult to see aircraft spread over a large area. Very helpful!
If this is considered acceptable I must be missing something.

Not absolutely sure but I believe the use of a BGA frequency from a glider does not require the user to hold an FRTOL but if they wish to call a non gliding frequency, they must have one.


It's almost correct. It's talking to a ATSU which needs a license. So it's more frequencies than the specific common gliding ones. (eg some gliding airfields have their own).

But the idea that talking to an ATSU on a Basic Service other than for very specific purposes (crossing an approach lane, entering an ATZ etc) makes much difference to other people's situational awareness is pretty flawed - all it tells you is that there's a glider somewhere. Not where. On a good day, that's a pretty good bet anyway.

My experience is as follows. I pass an ATSU and ask for a basic service. I tell them where I am. Twenty minutes later, someone else calls for a basic service and is told where I was twenty minutes ago. All this despite them having radar. and me a transponder (but no one qualified to interpret it (!)). Also, if they'd bothered to look at their iPads they could have seen where I was from OGN.

Now, I understand the lack of data integrity in OGN (in detail), but it's unclear to me how a twenty minute old position is of any use. (or indeed how my verbal position report is of higher integrity than an automatic readout of what my GPS says, approved or not).


Paul
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By Crash one
#1663485
I thought there was a “rule” that pilots were not to use it for air to air chit chat? (The air band frequencies).
Or is this anothe case of half baked rule making depending on where you were taught?
“Steam gives way to sail” etc.
Also probably the reason Portmoak base don’t reply when I asked for airfield information?
Why is everything in aviation such a shambolic mess?
No wonder we need EC if everyone is talking on their own freq. And we can’t even get that right with all the various different protocols. :evil:
Are mass migrations of gliders notamed, or does the FIS broadcast a message every ten minutes?
Probably not.
By riverrock
#1663486
Because it gives you then the opportunity to provide another position report.

I know that Scottish Info is a special case but if they know that multiple aircraft are in a similar area, they will ask each to provide current position reports which helps with situational awareness. Also if I hear (on any basic service) someone else reporting near by me I'll add an update. Helps everyone. Similar when using the Low Level Common VHF channel up north viewtopic.php?t=93656
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By Dave W
#1663490
Crash one wrote:Are mass migrations of gliders notamed

Frequently. It's a common type of NOTAM - haven't you seen them?
Crash one wrote:, or does the FIS broadcast a message every ten minutes?

Even on a Basic Service it is very common IME to be informed about congregations of gliders on a day when they are about.
By Crash one
#1663491
riverrock wrote:Because it gives you then the opportunity to provide another position report.

I know that Scottish Info is a special case but if they know that multiple aircraft are in a similar area, they will ask each to provide current position reports which helps with situational awareness. Also if I hear (on any basic service) someone else reporting near by me I'll add an update. Helps everyone. Similar when using the Low Level Common VHF channel up north viewtopic.php?t=93656


I do that with Scottish if I hear them giving my last position to someone, but then I’m allowed to talk to an ATSU :D
By Crash one
#1663493
Dave W wrote:
Crash one wrote:Are mass migrations of gliders notamed

Frequently. It's a common type of NOTAM - haven't you seen them?
Crash one wrote:, or does the FIS broadcast a message every ten minutes?

Even on a Basic Service it is very common IME to be informed about congregations of gliders on a day when they are about.


Yes I’ve seen the notams. Pretty much the best thing is to stay away from wave clouds and all points north.
That’s most of Scotland on a good day :D
By PaulisHome
#1663509
riverrock wrote:Because it gives you then the opportunity to provide another position report.

I know that Scottish Info is a special case but if they know that multiple aircraft are in a similar area, they will ask each to provide current position reports which helps with situational awareness. Also if I hear (on any basic service) someone else reporting near by me I'll add an update. Helps everyone. Similar when using the Low Level Common VHF channel up north viewtopic.php?t=93656


I think this works if there aren't many aircraft around (in which case the collision risk is in any case low). On a busy day, it's not very effective. And all you're actually learning is that there are other aircraft around. Which on a busy day you know anyway.

I thought there was a “rule” that pilots were not to use it for air to air chit chat? (The air band frequencies).


Well, the gliding frequencies get used for a range of purposes - eg when cross country it can be quite useful to know what conditions are like ahead, and to keep track of where people you're flying with are, (and, OK, for inane chit chat, of which there is too much!). Also for cloud flying co-ordination.

Also probably the reason Portmoak base don’t reply when I asked for airfield information?


I wouldn't be very surprised by a gliding field not answering - don't forget there is no ATSU there. The frequency is generally used for air to air calls for situational awareness. There might be someone on the ground with a radio, but it's entirely possible it's someone without much experience or an FRTOL. [If someone calls my home field, they might get a reply from someone experienced flying locally, but are much less likely to get a reply from the ground)
By xtophe
#1663516
Crash one wrote:Also probably the reason Portmoak base don’t reply when I asked for airfield information?

129.975 (and the specific channel at some big club) is not permanently manned. There might be nobody in the "bus" or a student with only a few hours experience having no clue about RTF. You need to consider it like SafetyCom rather than A/G.
By chevvron
#1663526
PaulisHome wrote:I wouldn't be very surprised by a gliding field not answering - don't forget there is no ATSU there. The frequency is generally used for air to air calls for situational awareness. There might be someone on the ground with a radio, but it's entirely possible it's someone without much experience or an FRTOL. [If someone calls my home field, they might get a reply from someone experienced flying locally, but are much less likely to get a reply from the ground)

An FRTOL doesn't 'qualify' anybody on the ground to operate AGCS even using 129.975, the radio operator must still hold an ROCC which is signed by the licensee of the radio station.
I know larger gliding airfields like Lasham (131.025) have an A/G frequency allocated but whether the persons answering it from the ground (if any) have an ROCC I don't know; they should do as it is not a BGA frequency.
It's a pity the list of gliding sites notified in ENR 5.5 doesn't include contact frequencies (only phone numbers) for civil glider sites where a frequency other than 129.975 has been allocated but it does contain a frequency where the gliding takes place on an MOD airfield.
In my opinion, all these gliding airfields, along with unlicensed airfields used for training eg micolight sites, should be listed in the AD section of the AIP anyway rather than the ENR section.
By Crash one
#1663530
I would agree with lack of experience etc, I have heard them talk to gliders from the ground, but they seem unwilling to answer a call sign that they don’t recognise.
No big deal but it might be better than making “blind” calls knowing that the “bus” is manned.
I don’t like to think I’m getting in their way, apparently blundering into their circuit unannounced.