Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
By rusty eagle
#1771682
I've joined a syndicate based at a Suffolk farm strip. Should I announce my circuit movements on Safetycom or Wattisham? While on frequency to Wattisham earlier this week I could hear other aircraft announcing their movements at other fields.

I've been using safetycom while in the circuit and then switching to Wattisham when leaving but I have been used to flying from airfields with their own frequency.\

What's the right thing to do?
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By lobstaboy
#1771687
What do the other syndicate members do?
What do pilots of other based aircraft do?
For your calls to have any value at all you need to be following some sort of agreed protocol.
Personally I think one of the joys of operations at a farm strip is not turning the radio on at all.
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By Rob P
#1771699
Just in passing. Unless it's a particularly busy strip why fly circuits at all?

Straight-in approaches are far more neighbour friendly.

Rob P
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By PeteSpencer
#1771700
If your strip is outside the Wattisham MATZ top and tail your calls with ' (-strip name-) traffic' on safetycom.

If you're passing through Wattisham MATZ (best to avoid ATZ always) outside their open hours, then calls to 'Wattisham Traffic' on Wattisham freq 125.800 as there is often gliding in progress and they will be listening out on handheld on Watt frequency.

If you're passing by during their operating hours call them up and get a traffic service: Their bloody Apaches get everywhere....

If this happens just when you're about to depart your strip


Telephone ATCdirect 01449 728234 and ask to speak to whoever is working the Apaches and where they are and if they're coming back.

You don't want to collect an Apache on climb out. :roll:

Edited to add: glad to hear you do use the radio for positional awareness: The Bury Model Flying Club use our strip all the time and actually fly on the strip: They ask us (and we brief visitors) to self announce and to join overhead as they have a 'spotter' who will move models to the south side or (usually) land them.

We have a 10m tall stand of trees alongside south side of the extended centreline and first 150yds runway 26 which otherwise hides landing aircraft till its too late and presents a possible hazard.
Some of them have scanners and listen out on Safetycom.


Peter :wink:
PS: which farmstrip?
Last edited by PeteSpencer on Sat May 23, 2020 3:29 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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By rusty eagle
#1771703
Thanks for the replies all, I'll continue with safetycom in the circuit. That doesn't mean doing circuits by the way (don't want to p off the locals) but when announcing downwind, final etc. Making my presence known.

And, lobstaboy, I flew a few weeks ago, early morning, radio off and just enjoyed the peace of a smooth running engine. A lot to be said for that!
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By skydriller
#1771851
rusty eagle wrote:That doesn't mean doing circuits by the way (don't want to p off the locals) but when announcing downwind, final etc.

I thought the whole point of a "straight in" for minimal noise, is just that...ie, you just fly straight in without being overhead the aerodrome or "downwind" etc... or am I missing something... :?

Regards, SD..
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By TheFarmer
#1771857
I’d just call Wattisham and chat with them, asking them for their preference.

If you strike up a rapport with them, and they can see you respect them, you’ll have an easier time in the long run.

They’re more than likely to say to use Safetycom, but at least you’ve asked their opinion.

As a military airfield, they won’t have the big chip on their shoulders that nearly all civilian ones do.
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By PeteSpencer
#1771867
skydriller wrote:I thought the whole point of a "straight in" for minimal noise, is just that...ie, you just fly straight in without being overhead the aerodrome or "downwind" etc... or am I missing something... :?

Regards, SD..


Yes : as my former ex RAF instructor would say (especially for a deserted farm strip ) you’re missing out on ‘the dead elephant check’

Peter
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By Rob P
#1771871
I wonder what it is you might see from a downwind whilst annoying noise-sensitive neighbours that would cause issues with a straight-in?

Peter is excused as he has to scatter the modellers anyway, though when the Colt resided there our speed on final meant the modellers could nip home for a cup of tea and still get back in time to see the last bounce.

Rob P
Last edited by Rob P on Sun May 24, 2020 10:43 am, edited 1 time in total.
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By PeteSpencer
#1771873
The trees were only about ten feet high Rob when your group buggered off

They’re now ten metres.

And seeing what the lowly muntjac could do to my wife’s Polo at 50 mph raises the spectre of Roe deer vs Arrow at 80 mph .

They get a low flyby at zero feet from me so that they’re in the next county by the time I come around again

Peter :lol:
By rusty eagle
#1771877
My preference is overhead join for a new or unfamiliar strip but my main concern is that other aircraft in the circuit area to be aware of me and v.v. If I'm turning base and someone is joining on a long final in a white aircraft against a cloudy sky then being in radio communication is a good idea.

Pete, what is ‘the dead elephant check’? I'm at Monewden and look forward to visiting your airfield in the next few weeks (as discussed before lockdown).

Rob, there was a Colt based at White Waltham, when I was based there a few years ago and I was thinking of joining that syndicate. But found a cub instead
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By Rob P
#1771882
Much as I love the Colt and enjoyed all my time with him, the Cub does have the wheel at the correct end.

Yes, suitable radio comms are important, but at a strip it just needs the one call "xxxx rejoining from the North" if everyone makes that call there's never an issue. Final call is made from habit anyway.

Oi Spencer! I thought you'd blocked me. Seems like my posts are getting through so you'd better have a word with the admins if the system isn't working :lol:

Rob P
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By PeteSpencer
#1771885
rusty eagle wrote:Pete, what is ‘the dead elephant check’? I'm at Monewden and look forward to visiting your airfield in the next few weeks (as discussed before lockdown).



My ex-RAF instructor (RIP Gerry) flew a lot in hot steamy wet places often into deserted jungle strips, where an overhead join was essential to check for dead elephants on the runway.

In the quarter of a century I've flown from our strip we've had burnt out cars, kite boarders, horse riders, deer, dog walkers , chavs in Astras doing donuts, 38 ton HGVs on the strip,

Even a pop-up illegal shooting party with three Rangies who scattered in response to my 'baulked landing' :wink: :wink: and departed leaving a glistening pile of spent cartridges (though no longer now that all access gates are locked/coded/.
Only last week a forumite with PPR briefing had to do a very short field landing (Jodel fortunately) because the arc of a poorly placed crop irrigator was dumping hundreds of litres of water onto the strip every 20 seconds.

So yes, a dead elephant run is essential at a non attended strip.

Vistors welcome: just PM/text/email me for an up-to-date PPRBriefing/images

Peter :wink:
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By lobstaboy
#1771887
rusty eagle wrote:Pete, what is ‘the dead elephant check’? I'm at Monewden and look forward to visiting your airfield in the next few weeks (as discussed before lockdown).
d


Not many elephants, dead or live, roaming Suffolk, but there are deer, horses and riders, escaped stock, ramblers, naturists, hare coursers, etc etc.
Meeting any of them on your landing run could spoil your day.

Funny how elephants feature in aviation. Must be something to do the Raj. I was taught to start the round out at the height of an elephant.

Oh I see Pete beat me to it. I agree that at an unattended strip a very careful look is essential.