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Does anyone regularly talk with any ATC near them?

Last week 2 Typoon jets flew low over the same area I was in. They were about 1.5 miles away, but very low! I can never get through to our local ATC.

Any ideas? Is there a 'secret' list of phone numbers?

Andy

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Update:

I now have contacts for NATS military control in Swanick and Leeming Bar RAF base. Still can't get through to DTV (MME) though!

The fighter jets don't decide how low/where they go until the day they fly.

So far they have suggested that I submit a NOTAM every time I want to fly.

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I think CANP needs to be for a minimum of five pilots and the notification zone is quite small, probably better suited for a group of Paraglider pilots ridge soaring a hill side but of limited use to a solo Paramotor pilot who wants to go any real distance away from their launching field.

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Hi Andy,

I fly in the Lake District where we have lots of military jets at low level. A couple of years ago when i started flying i went through the CANP procedure and spoke with the military and they weren't interested unless there were 5 or more flying in a group. Just as Paul has said above really.

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Hi Brett, yes, it's all a bit stupid. If there are 5 or more, they are likely to be better seen by a fast jet. On my own, less likely to be seen, and then they are not interested. It's tough. I am going to register a club so that it appears on the airspace maps. Probably a small club, current membership 1. :)

 

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I fly near Yeovilton in Somerset. When ever I fly I call air operation and speak to the tower. They take details of where and when I’m going to be flying and advise any traffic they have operating that I’m around. I fly with a strobe so as to make myself as visible as possible. I got the Yeovilton number from a quick google search. I get mixed responses depending who I get through to. Some are great, giving loads of information about traffic and expected arrivals/ departures, opps in the area etc.. others give you the impression your a pain in the arse and your wasting their time.. My view is it’s worth informing as I don’t really fancy getting blended.. 

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As I take off and land very close to Halfpenny Green airport I use airband to listen to traffic movements and now I have my FRTOL I speak to the tower to tell them what I am doing.

I do feel safer with my presence known by the tower.

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I also call ATC. However, I only ever get an answer machine. However, the military ATC have told me that the Durham ATC will not know what the military jets are doing as they "free fly" within the defined "areas of intense aerial activity".......which are North Yorkshire and then over the North Sea. 

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Hi AndyB, I used to work in EGNV (MME) ATC and as Leeming have said the mil traffic pretty much look after themselves outside controlled airspace in Class G.if you are using an Icom radio the frequency for Durham is 118.850.

I dont know how feasible this is and also it won't be cheap but TRIG do very small transponders that are generally used on Microlights. A Lipo may possibly run one. Squawk 7000 and all radar units and traffic with TCAS (Traffic Collision Avoidance System) will know your there and be able to avoid you and pass traffic information to other aircraft on their frequency..Also your more likely to get a Low Altitude Radar Service (LARS) from whoever you call up.

Vin

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Hi Vin,

Thanks for that. Having had numerous phone conversations last week, I now have a private number for ATC at Durham. Just called them this morning to say we are flying, where etc and they were pleased that I took the time to do so!

Will update after I meet with RAF Leeming next week.........their extended control area is very close to where I fly. 

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My programmer son just said he could write us an app that takes our GPS location and then sends it out, over the internet, to a site that would show in real-time where we are. If our phone has height, this could also be logged and sent. I imagine this could be a rather neat tool for fly-ins with many pilots or XC flying. Has anyone seen anything like this?

 

 

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Yep, I like Livetrack, but the other is for people with those weird phones that use a different language and won't interface well with the rest of the phone world. I have tried one of the apps, but my phone always dies before flight finished. 

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Yep, you deffo need an additional battery pack to boost the `phones battery.

My iPhone can last over 3 hours running the app with the battery pack when in good conditions (warmish) but it has been turning itself off lately on these colder flights - either that or the `phone battery is getting very tired...

 

**edit**. I had a 2.5 hour flight today on a beautifully warm April day and after the flight the battery is still at 100%.

Edited by Hann__
i edited it.
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Had a great visit to RAF Leeming. Sat in their ATC with headset on while they had 8 planes in the air and were doing talk downs, short landing approaches etc. Then into the tower to watch jets doing pow pass and short approach - pulling tight 180 turn in front of tower.

They were equally interested to know all about PPG.

I now know that they fly between 500 and 1500 feet in the same place I do. They can see me on their radar when above about 300 feet. I now have their ATC phone number so can talk to them before I fly. I have also been invited to attend their 6 monthly Airspace User Working Group.

Pretty good result.

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So before flying today I called RAF ATC and told them where I would be and when. They said it was a busy afternoon and many planes would be up, but hey would brief their pilots. After a XC trip of around 40 mins, I was cruising at 1000 to 1100 feet and had been for 20 mins. A military transport plane  then passed 1/2 mile to my right.......at well UNDER half my height.  See if you can spot it......

 

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