Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
#1850839
Thanks for the explanation, @3EngineFreak

The proof will be in the trial of course, but my initial thoughts suggest that:

  • References to "LFA-n" are of zero value to the GA Community, who for good reason have no previous understanding or knowledge of the LFA system.
  • Simply announcing availability of a frequency without clear, realistic and simple delivery of corresponding training/education for its use is half a job at best.
  • The likely density of GA users on a good VFR flying day would intuitively seem >> than recent historic experience of military LL users in the same area.
  • The poor commonly understood definition of flying areas is likely only to confuse.
  • Given traffic density and alternative comms a single frequency for the whole country is likely too coarse to be useful or efficient.
  • Descending into e.g. a specific strip likely requires informing strip users rather than the World at large, which means SafetyCom likely far more valuable in that scenario than VHF LL Common.
  • GA very often will not have, or be required to have, a "predicted route" at low level.
  • GA will be on VHF; much of the military fleet will be on UHF. They will not communicate with each other.
  • Proposing another frequency with poorly-defined use parameters could quite conceivably reduce traffic situational awardness rather than increase it (as is potentially the intent) since it is one more opportunity to remove comms from a common facility.

On the face of it, I can see why this might supergicially appear to some to be a good idea.

But with my GA Reality Head on, I'm afraid this smacks of "We should do something. This is something; let's do that".

We'll see how this pans out of course, and I hope I am wrong, but I can't see that this is a realistic solution to any real world issue.
#1850849
@Dave W the whole point of this is that the military are now on VHF and not UHF

Even if GA don’t bother transmitting, it now gives everyone the ability to listen and get SA on military movements, no bad thing. Many RT installations have the ability to listen on a second frequency so that could be a good option.

Use of the LFA system by low level military is far more prevalent in certain areas of the U.K. than others, and hence the frequency trial the same, but that is common sense to most pilots.
#1850855
Flyin'Dutch' wrote:
Do you folks think that may be a goer?



Not a chance. We need something more radical, like renaming the Basic Service > Traffic Service > Deconfliction Service thing. That's an easy win, it would only need four or five years and fewer than twenty committees to get this off the ground, so to speak.

Rob P
#1850876
Dave W wrote:
  • References to "LFA-n" are of zero value to the GA Community, who for good reason have no previous understanding or knowledge of the LFA system.
  • The likely density of GA users on a good VFR flying day would intuitively seem >> than recent historic experience of military LL users in the same area.
  • The poor commonly understood definition of flying areas is likely only to confuse.
  • Descending into e.g. a specific strip likely requires informing strip users rather than the World at large, which means SafetyCom likely far more valuable in that scenario than VHF LL Common.
  • GA very often will not have, or be required to have, a "predicted route" at low level.
  • GA will be on VHF; much of the military fleet will be on UHF. They will not communicate with each other.


@Dave W

To answer these points:
1. Military crews will always add geographic points into their transmissions so will be still understood by GA crews.
2. Military aircraft will generally only fly at low level on weekdays, I would expect GA activity would be far less than during a weekend/bank holiday.
3. See point 1.
4. This is probably the most useful point for a transmission on LL CMN. Why not transmit intentions briefly (as per my example) in good time before switching back to SafetyCom?
5. You don’t need a predicted route, “G-BC operating 10miles West of Honnington for the next 30mins 1000-2000ft” would suffice, with a brief update every 10mins or so.
6. This is why the LL CMN freq has moved from UHF to VHF to increase accessibility to civ aircraft so negates this point.

As I said previously, this isn’t a case of forcing one procedure, that works for the military, on the GA community. It’s a trial. If it honestly doesn’t work for you then provide feedback through the appropriate channels. But with the right application I think you’d be pleasantly surprised.
Rob P, MattL liked this
#1850890
It's likely that I was being overly negative last night, but I do struggle to see how this will work effectively in practice.

However, I do acknowledge that it is a trial, and I will use it and be objective.
3EngineFreak liked this
#1850895
3EngineFreak wrote:
5. You don’t need a predicted route, “G-BC operating 10miles West of Honnington for the next 30mins 1000-2000ft” would suffice, with a brief update every 10mins or so.

As I said previously, this isn’t a case of forcing one procedure, that works for the military, on the GA community. It’s a trial. If it honestly doesn’t work for you then provide feedback through the appropriate channels. But with the right application I think you’d be pleasantly surprised.


I'd be willing to give it a try - with the luxury of two radios and four instantly flip-floppable frequencies.

BTW Your example (5) above unless there really is a place called Honnington would go down like a lead balloon with the Cousins as it would put you right in the centre of Mildenhall's ATZ. :roll:

Peter :wink:
#1850903
@PeteSpencer Ha well spotted, my misspelling! But you get the gist. With 2 radios you are perfectly placed to leave LL CMN on the ‘back box’ and listen out for SA.

The biggest plea the Mil operators will make is that it does not become a chat freq. It absolutely can be used for deconfliction between aircraft, you’ll regularly hear Mil crews doing this, but should be kept brief.
#1850904
I’m more than happy to give it a try, but can’t help thinking that such systems always fall short because they aren’t “real time”. If you are flying a planned route accurately, and giving appropriate position reports, this may not be a problem, but if you are flying by Brownian Motion the details transmitted are rapidly outdated apart from warning others you are there somewhere. Perhaps this is one drawback with GPS navigation apps; they encourage us to fly all over the place rather than a predictable course, even in areas unfamiliar to the pilot.

Now, how do we get over this problem of real time position reporting........?

Dan
#1850931
Everyone is being polite and pointing out that this is a trial etc. Politeness is a good thing but......

I do not see how it can work. Either lots of people will use it and it will be difficult to get a word in edgeways and difficult/impossible to process the reams of routes/timings/aircraft to see if they are a problem to me (99.9% won't be). Or not many will use it and it's irrelevant.

IMHO a damn silly idea.

If you really want aircraft to not bump into each other encourage EC
Dave W, gaznav liked this
#1850940
EC will never tell you what another aircrafts intentions are, or allow you to deconflict.

I really don’t think the concept of this trial is aimed at the majority of GA. It is more likely aimed at commercial civil activity which takes place between surface and 500ft (air ambulance, pipeline/electricity inspection, coastguard etc) and will allow interaction between users of this height band.

The reason 2000ft is referred to is that this is defined as the upper height limit of the UK Low Flying System. If you’re bimbling round at 1500ft not using a local LARS, then transmitting on LL CMN might not add much value. But if you’re descending/climbing (or operating) through that height band when you’re in an area known for Mil low level activity then why not shout out on the freq. I’m sure most on here have the capacity to do so and at the end of the day it’s ultimately for your benefit just as much as anyone else’s. It’s just another tool in the box (along with EC) to avoid a mid air, I’d personally rather have as many tools in that box as possible!!
#1850967
The trial in the north was very much driven by a certain helicopter pilot who very legitimately got pretty frightened by pointed nose grey things.

It was a near complete waste of time. It is one low flying area. It has lousy VHF coverage at low level. At 360 kts any position report is completely out of date by the time you have worked out where Star Wars glen is (north or south bound).

If the CANP system had worked then it was likely to be more effective - but it did not. If the military has EC it would be unnecessary - but a lot of them don't (and neither do that many of us due to the cost of the certified systems).

It is a gesture.
#1850973
xtophe wrote:
Charles Hunt wrote:Is there a chart giving an overview of the low flying areas?


There is a map at https://www.aidu.mod.uk/aip/pdf/enr/ENR-6-15.pdf
For text description, see https://www.aidu.mod.uk/aip/pdf/enr/ENR-5-2.pdf section 5.2.4 and 5.2.7


For completness, there is also a map in the civil AIP, at ENR6 -20. Presentation is better imho.
https://www.aurora.nats.co.uk/htmlAIP/P ... 146736.pdf (link valid only for the next 15 days)
Charles Hunt liked this
#1850979
PeteSpencer wrote:BTW Your example (5) above unless there really is a place called Honnington would go down like a lead balloon with the Cousins as it would put you right in the centre of Mildenhall's ATZ. :roll:

Peter :wink:


RAF Honington is not in Midenhall ATZ - it is just on the edge of the MATZ IIRC

KE
#1850983
3EngineFreak wrote:
I really don’t think the concept of this trial is aimed at the majority of GA. It is more likely aimed at commercial civil activity which takes place between surface and 500ft (air ambulance, pipeline/electricity inspection, coastguard etc) and will allow interaction between users of this height band.


I think we’re getting bent round the axle on this a bit. See my post above, I think this is the target group for this initiative. It’s just another tool in the box, don’t knock it until you’ve tried it!
Last edited by 3EngineFreak on Thu Jun 03, 2021 6:50 pm, edited 1 time in total.