Words of Advice:

“Stand back and stand by.”— Trump’s orders to American Nazis, 9/29/2020

"I don't take responsibility for anything." --Donald Trump, 3/13/20

"If Something Seems To Be Too Good To Be True, It's Best To Shoot It, Just In Case." -- Fiona Glenanne

"Flying the Airplane is More Important than Radioing Your Plight to a Person on the Ground Who is Incapable of Understanding or Doing Anything About It." -- Unknown

"Everything is easy if somebody else is the one doing it." -- Me

"What the hell is an `Aluminum Falcon'?" -- Emperor Palpatine

"Eck!" -- George the Cat

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Get Real on Unicom

There is probably some stupid shit in the Airman's Information Manual or other aviation books about using call signs on Unicom at uncontrolled airports. Pay no heed to them.

First off, nobody, other than maybe the person at the desk, cares what your call sign is. It's not as though anyone is going to get close enough to read it in the pattern.

What is important is what kind of airplane you are flying and where you are. Hearing "1234 Tango is downwind" tells everyone else on the frequency nothing. If you see another airplane on downwind, you have no idea if it is 34 Tango. But if you hear "Cessna on downwind", at least you'll know if you see a Cherokee that there is another airplane out there. If your airplane is painted a color other than predominantly white, it wouldn't hurt to mention that as well.

Ditch the call signs, though.

And, for the love of God, if you have one of those airplanes with a long-bladed controllable-pitch prop, don't push the blue knob in until you are on final with your power well back. Nobody living around the airport wants to hear that ear-splitting screech and it just shows everyone that you are a brain-dead putz.

It also wouldn't hurt, on departure, to pull the prop back just 100rmp or so after you've raised the gear and you are 1,000' AGL or so.


deadstick said...

"It also wouldn't hurt, on departure, to pull the prop back just 100rmp or so after you've raised the gear and you are 1,000' AGL or so. "

Matter of fact, that gives the airspeed a little goose just at the time when you're grateful for it. The full-increase position is good at runway speed, but by the time you have maybe 1.3Vso, it's throwing away some power.

dbliss said...

The problem isn't people using callsigns, it's people who *aren't* using callsigns.

1234T is half a callsign, at best. If you're a civil GA aircraft, your callsign is (quoth the AIM):

3. Civil aircraft pilots should state the aircraft type, model, or manufacturer's name, followed by the digits/letters of the registration number. When the aircraft manufacturer's name or model is stated, the prefix "N" is dropped; e.g., Aztec Two Four Six Four Alpha.

And 'Skyhawk 738VJ' is a hell of a lot more useful than 'White Skyhawk' to me, since there's likely to be a half dozen of the latter and only one of the former in the pattern at my field...

Comrade Misfit said...

dbliss, are you close enough in the pattern to read the registration numbers off the sides of other airplanes? Do you know every airplane at your field well enough to have the numbers memorized?

At an uncontrolled field, the registration number is useless information to 99% of the other pilots out there.

Sarah said...

Heh. You each have a point in general Misfit, and dbliss. But at our field we do recognize each other's short call signs. "92 Mike November", "cub 83579" - we know exactly who it is.

Most gliders have large 2-letter "contest id" on the rudder &/or wing underside. So I've been using that at the home field. In the extremely unlikely event I end up at a busy CTAF or ( horrors ) towered field I may get formal. But for short, I like the way the two letters tell a little story.

I'm "Yankee Victor". Nostalgic, eh?

Then there's the romantic "Romeo Tango", natural "Fox Hotel", and the unrelated & non-standard "Uncle Fox".

Comrade Misfit said...

Sarah, my home `drome has a restaurant. When it it a nice VFR weekend day, it is plain-ass crazy there from about 0900 to 1400. 90% are transients and most of them give their call signs, which suits no purpose whatsoever.

At a small field, with few transients, then you have a point.

Yogi said...

Well, I'm more on EB's side here, but still, Cherokee 37WhiskeyRomeo, is identifiable among the other indians flying around, esp those of the same breed. But when the frequency is crowded, minimal comm is the rule.