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RT Licence - poll to find those interested.


norman
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Would you sit an RT licence exam after training if one were available for Club mambers?  

25 members have voted

  1. 1. Would you sit an RT licence exam after training if one were available for Club mambers?

    • Yes, I am interested in an RT licence and airband comms
      21
    • No, it doesn't interest me.
      4


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Airband comms make some people uneasy, they believe that the facility is expensive, intrusive and unnecessary.

Two of those are true and one partly at the moment. They needn't be that expensive, they can be intrusive but your choice of route and the off switch provide options. Unneceasary is debateable I think.

I believe that with a little training PPG pilots will be able to extract value from the ATC system where they need it and stay silent where they don't. Talking to airfields en-route can enhance everyone safety, gather important information and occasionally summon help and save lives.

I don't want to suggest to those who want to putter around their home field that they need an airband radio, they probably don't (unless they live on the fringe of a MATZ or ATZ). I would offer that if you consider yourself to be a serious cross country pilot it is a facility you could well use to great effect.

We have a bunch of GA qualified people here - what do they think?

sideimage-rt.jpg

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Agree 100%. Flying from within a couple of miles of a CMATZ, it's good to talk.

And ATC aren't a bunch of ogres, they are really MEGA helpful guys and girls.

Twice in the last few weeks, when I've not been radio equipped, I have phoned Waddington and they have given me a pre arranged MATZ transit. So they know who I am, what I am, and even if I don't show up on their radar, they have a pretty good idea of where I am, so can warn other aircraft to which they are providing a service about me/us.

If I could only carry one radio ever, it would be airband, for my own security.

A course to get people FRTL qualified is a good idea. If it does nothing else, it gives you confidence to use the radio well.

Phil

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In some ways I think asking the GA qualified amongst us to comment on this subject is pointless because I challange anyone who has flown GA for any amount of time to say that airband comms is anything but a brilliant, useful tool and possibly a lifesaver. But having said that, the GA pilot basically has no option right from the off. There really isn't a choice. He has to get used to it, unlike the PPG pilot

There lies the problem.

I'm not the most confident person on the radio and I used to make myself talk much more than I needed to just to maintain the little confidence I had. I would transit airspace and request all sorts of clearances just for the hell of it to keep in practice.

People tend to avoid doing what they don't feel confident about, unless they are forced to do it.

One of the scariest parts of airband radio is knowing that everyone else on that frequency (inc all the pros) can hear your transmissions and therefore your possible F**k ups. Also, having to repeat what you have been advised/instructed word for word is extremely nerve racking. I can only imagine how much more difficult that would be with a screeming two stroke just behind you.

I am definitely not creating an argument against the use of Air band comms, I agree 100%. I'm just trying to imagine why your typical PPG pilot might avoid it like the plague, and not being that confident myself, I'm not finding it difficult.

However, if the XC pilot was prepared to give it a go, and sample the delight of an expert on the ground covering his arse and letting him know that he had closing traffic just out of sight, that pilot would not look back.........if you know what I mean :wink:

Very interesting subject Norman

Dan

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Thanks Dan, yes it is and thanks for the input.

Well, I asked the question of GA guys to elicit the kind of response you have produced Dan. Your angle hopefully illuminates the experience from someone who has come through the system comparatively recently. I know from my own experience as a GA instructor what the initial response from trainees to the radio is like - just as you describe.

But more importantly I suppose, what I am looking for is the perspective that our PPG mates bring along. What, given the misgivings that people have when they lift a mic, do they think about the business of tackling an RT licensee or become familiar with the dark art?

Like you so clearly described, the value is definitely there. Do people even want to think about having a go?

I have talked to 'the system' and am considering applying to becoming an RT Examiner (for any candidates but slanted towards PPG), unfortunately the process does involve a little investment as a bunch of kit does need to be bought. If there is no demand and PPG pilots don't give a stuff about chatting to ATC units on their travels, what is the point? You and I can see the value but they need to really. I am hoping to start a conversation going with this thread.

There is only one RT license exam (LASORS 2008 - FRTOL). It qualifies you to operate VHF (HF if you sit the theory paper) right across the spectrum of aircraft operations. There are both theory and practical elements to the study and test. They are not difficult and equips you reasonably well to get out there and use the system. I am still thinking about it.

Just to be clear, I am not suggesting PPG starts to move towards GA with radio usage. I will probably spend most of my airborne time with the thing switched off. However, when I am flying in the vicinity of airfields, controlled airspace or over remote regions, I will definitely use it in the way I have done for many years. I can see the value.

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20090822-8y6qh721xh1safestysjfsph1j.jpg

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In some ways I think asking the GA qualified amongst us to comment on this subject is pointless because I challange anyone who has flown GA for any amount of time to say that airband comms is anything but a brilliant, useful tool and possibly a lifesaver. But having said that, the GA pilot basically has no option right from the off. There really isn't a choice. He has to get used to it, unlike the PPG pilot

Just to clarify, he may gain the qualification while getting his PPL, but there is no obligation to fly a radio equipped aircraft or ever speak to ATC.

Phil

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In some ways I think asking the GA qualified amongst us to comment on this subject is pointless because I challange anyone who has flown GA for any amount of time to say that airband comms is anything but a brilliant, useful tool and possibly a lifesaver. But having said that, the GA pilot basically has no option right from the off. There really isn't a choice. He has to get used to it, unlike the PPG pilot

Just to clarify, he may gain the qualification while getting his PPL, but there is no obligation to fly a radio equipped aircraft or ever speak to ATC.

Phil

That's very true Phil, but a GA pilot would be pretty limited as to where he could fly and where he could land. Things aren't like they used to be when I first started flying 16 years ago. Nowadays, quite rightly so (in my opinion), fewer and fewer airfields are accepting non radio aircraft. We had a couple at my home airfield (Barton) and to be honest, they were a bit of a nightmare, especially on a sunny Sunday with 15 other aircraft in the circuit :shock:

Dan

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Well, he could fly in exactly the same places as a paramotor can, and I think you might be surprised by the number of small private strips you can fly to and from. There are at least five within 30 miles of where I'm sat.

There are still a huge number of GA aircraft on the UK register, that don't even have a generator to run electronics.

I personally feel there should be no more requirement for a GA plane to carry a radio than we as paramotorists are.

Phil

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One of my old RAF instructors told me a great story when he was a SAR mate.

They were transitting back to base when they heard 'heeeeeelp' on 121.5. It carries on something like this.

GA: Heeeeeelp

ATC: Callsign calling on 121.5 state the nature of the assistance required.

GA: I'm stuck.

ATC: unknown callsign how are you stuck?

GA: I can't turn over.

ATC: Are you upside down?

GA: Yes.

Eventually the poor bloke in the light aircraft was righted and soon landed at the nearest airfield.

The prospect of getting help quickly ensure my yes vote!

Tj

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Yes, a good point but this is the 21st century.

Insistence and coercion are difficult things to support and I don't, but I also find it difficult to understand aircraft operators who refuse to install and use a radio whilst at the same time insisting on access to a wide variety of airfields where their non-radio presence would inconvenience others. That is called dogma in my book. Think Redhill Aero Club V's Gatwick some years back.

Stoopid in my view.

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Hi Norman.

I am definately planning to take my licence. Although talking to approach won't provide seperation as such, it will allow me to provide other aircraft in my area information on my location height and heading which can only improve safety.

If you are thinking of setting up as an examiner I am sure other people including me will be happy to cover the cost of the equipment etc for you to test us. What a great idea.

Regards

Whitters.

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Hi Whitters,

Yes, general awareness of what's happening arond your block of airspace and letting others know what you are up to has to be a contribution to safety doesn't it?

Examiner? The CAA allocate 'territories' to examiners and this can sometimes complicate things according to a colleague of mine who examines GA/RT and lord knows what else. I am looking at it and will let you know what comes out of the mixer.

As for 'kit'. They require two laptops and dedicated software. That isn't too bad these days but it is a significant cost. I would need to be prepared to train and examine all comers in my 'box' of territory apparently. We will see.

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  • 1 month later...

Found this on AV8mag's website, Might be usefull to anyone thinking of doing the RT licence.

Link at the bottom.

Tom :acro:

""CAA Launches Online Radio Guide

av8magazine_caaraddoc.jpg

08/10/2009

A new interactive guide to radio phraseology for General Aviation pilots has been launched today and is available on the CAA website (see below).

The guide provides easy to follow examples covering the most common radio calls that a GA pilot makes. In many cases these are also available as an audio clip that will allow pilots to hear the actual phraseology in use.

Areas covered in the guide include:

• Arriving at and departing from aerodromes;

• Cross country flying;

• Operating from unattended airfields;

• Instrument approaches; and

• Emergency messages.

The guide covers a range of phraseology used by Air Traffic Controllers, Flight Information Service Officers and Air/Ground Communication Service Operators. It follows a similar format to previous radio phraseology guides for commercial pilots and airside drivers.

Gill Galway of the CAA’s Safety Regulation Group has been involved in putting the document together. She said: “Many GA pilots, particularly when first learning to fly, find using the radio daunting. The new guide will allow them to study and hear the correct phraseology in their own time and at their own speed.” ""

http://www.caa.co.uk/application.aspx?catid=33&pagetype=65&appid=11&mode=detail&id=3749

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Hi Norman,

I might be barking up the wrong tree here and if so my apologies but my understanding is that to operate an airband radio you not only require the licence but the aircraft has to be regestered and certified which in the case of a ppg makes it a none starter .

May the flaming begin......

cheers col...

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Hi Col,

Not that sort of forum Col, we don't flame each other here do we? :lol:

I believe you are quite correct. RT + Installation licence normally required but there may be a clause that we can investigate or to put it bluntly, exploit.

This has been discussed here a couple of times and the conclusion we came to pointed toward our status as a 'glider' in the eyes of the ANO. It infers that we can operate under exemption without an installation license as a paramotor provided we use only the designated frequencies. If we have a requirement to talk to ATC we can do so but must hold an RT Licence. Please do not take this as an authoritative opinion, it just looks that way to me from the way it is written below (on the CAA website).

Getting to the bottom of this question requires research and phone conversations. if we consider it worth adding the provision of an RT examiner to our team then this will happen in the course of that project. As an examiner working on behalf of the authority it just isn't possible to operate within a grey area knowing that you are passing candidates who are simply going to break the letter of the law. We need a solution that is accepted by the system and that may take a little time to establish if indeed one does not already exist. I have not had the time to chase down the detail recently.

We need a 'Radio Member' really, someone who is prepared to represent the PMC with related issues. Any volunteers? I can think of a couple of great candidates.

CAA page - Airspace Policy - License Categories.

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CAP 413 Radio Telephony Manual & 452 Aeronautical Radio Station Operators Guide + the website are the relevant publications. Google.

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I think everyone will find that whatever clauses and exemptions may or may not exist, you are vanishingly unlikely to get in any trouble for operating an airband radio AS LONG as you use it in the manner in which it is intended. Start abusing the system by chatting to your mate (especially on 123.45) and you are likely to incur a great deal of wrath.

Doing your FRTL is one of the best ways of learning the right and wrong way of doing stuff, so you stay out of the poo in two ways. It will also boost your confidence in talking to those VERY professional people in ATC and LARS units. By doing so, we also present ourselves as good pilots, so giving paramotoring a good reputation.

An installation licence of ANY sort is going to be hard to come by these days, as NONE of the current hand held radios hold the required type approval. The only way you will get this is by using an older ICOM or similar (ICOM A4 or A22 for example). It is my personal opinion that this particular requirement may be waived within the next few years (but don't hold your breath).

Phil

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