How to best convey to ATC what I am flying.

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by smv, Aug 22, 2020.

  1. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Apparently a Beechcraft Sierra is a bit of a rare bird. Unless I have filed, it is not very often when I talk to ATC that they understand what I am flying.

    I have been pointed out to other traffic as anything from a Super Cub to a Dutchess. I guess as long as the other pilots are actually lookig for me that is all that matters, but when ATC is trying to sequence traffic, the Sierra falls squarely between the Super Cub and the Dutchess for approach speeds.

    So in my mind I have three options: Beechraft Sierra, Beechcraft A24R (the model number), or "Type BE24" (my FAA filing type).

    Which one would best help them to understand the performance capabilites? ...or am i missing another option (other than filing every time) that would work better?
     
  2. Boone

    Boone Pre-takeoff checklist

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    “Musketeer 1234 Heavy”
     
  3. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Haha... First I laughed.. Then I really laughed when I realized how approprate that moniker is... :goofy:
     
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  4. weilke

    weilke Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The FAA filing type BE24 because that's what he will punch into the tag. He'll call you whatever he can remember. Every PA32 is a 'Lance' and every pa28 a Cherokee.
     
  5. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    You’re filling BE24, that’s all you can do. The bigger question is why doesn’t ATC know your type. Well there’s no standard across the board for controllers to know X number of aircraft types. It’s all experience and controller initiative to go the extra mile to learn that.

    As far as performance, you’re just another CAT I (tower sep) or Small (Radar sep) aircraft to them. Your approach speed is a SWAG that they get from watching your cruise speed. The difference between you and say a Duchess ain’t enough to matter in the sequence.
     
    Last edited: Aug 22, 2020
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  6. Challenged

    Challenged Pattern Altitude

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    I too routinely had problems with ATC when I owned the Sierra. I ended up just using "Beech" and my N number most of the time, and then would give them BE24 when they asked for type. I wonder if part of the problem stems from "Sierra" being part of the phonetic alphabet.
     
  7. kshaw

    kshaw Pre-Flight

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    I asked the same question at a FAA seminar and one of the ATC presenters preferred the P28A and another preferred Piper Warrior. I now use P28A when requesting flight following and Piper Warrior when talking to the tower.
     
  8. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    For your data tag, (the part of the tag that controllers use to give traffic on you to other pilots) use BE24 as "Beechcraft Sierra" doesn't fit. If the controllers don't know what it is (I certainly wouldn't) they will know everything they need to when they see your speed which is what they use to sequence you anyway. They also have a big old book of aircraft and what they're called that they can use to look it up when they have time.
     
  9. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I've had problems with every aircraft model name. The don't know that a Skylane is a 182 and they keep trying to call me Skyhawk when I'm in a 152.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    This is what you look like in the book that @Timbeck2 is referring to. There’s probably a thousand aircraft in that thing so there’s no way a controller has them all memorized. The performance information is about useless as well. Only things they care about are weight and cat classes for separation.

    3A2A5EF0-D067-483C-A78A-1EFFA8E34B47.png
     
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  11. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I'd like to add that Velocity173 is in my top three people on this forum. Juuuuust sayin'.

    Still have old N95925 as my background on my computer at work.
     
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  12. jimhorner

    jimhorner Line Up and Wait

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    Some controllers are better than others when it comes to knowing multiple types. There’s a really great Norcal controller who, when I check in with Bellanca Eight Niner Echo Lima, always, always, comes back with “ Suuuuuuper Viking eight niner echo lima”. Never met him in person, but he’ll sometimes ask questions about the performance and construction. Seems a lot of the regulars in the Bay area know him by name and vice versa. I’ve heard regional jet pilots call him by name, and he seems to know their routines also. He seems to pretty much know the details of every plane that folks are flying. I’d be willing to bet if you gave him your type, he’d know it. Always fun when he’s working a sector.
     
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  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They mostly care for separation. How fast are you going to close with others. I think that's the main reason they sometimes "insult" us by calling all Cessna singles "Cessna" or "Skyhawk," and all PA28-whatever's "Cherokee." Don't care you are flying an Ovation vs a Ranger. It really doesn't matter.

    So I just tell them what I am in general terms - Mooney, Skyhawk, Archer and let them ask for more if they need it and call me what they want. I might correct them on manufacturer but, so far anyway, they haven't confused me with a FalconJet when I've been in a Cherokee 140.
     
  14. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    If radar services are to be given then the controller wants the precise model to enter into the computer. Also I am not insulted by generic names. The example I provided they are calling me a more specific name that happens to be the wrong one. If they ask me if I'm a 152 or 172, and I tell them 152, and then they still call me Skyhawk the rest of the flight...well, I usually let them, but it still isn't right.
     
    Last edited: Aug 23, 2020
  15. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Perhaps not insulted by it, but you obviously care about it lot more than I do. I didn't mean to offend.

    Not sure what you mean by "precise model." But if the controller wants, say, the ICAO code, or, for that matter, whether my ICAO M20P is a 140 kt M20C or 180 kt M20R, they can (and do) ask.
     
  16. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    I'm not offended nor do I care a lot more than you. I don't think you got the point I was making.

    For example, the controller asks me what type of Cessna, and I say Skylane, they don't know that that's a 182, so I have to say the number. Not a big deal, but it is surprising. You would think they would know such a common type.

    So if they don't know that Skylanes and Skyhawks are 182s and 172s, I wouldn't expect them to know what a Beech Sierra is. That's all.
     
  17. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    My check in would be Sierra 1234. They will ask and you give them B24.


    Now that's funny!
     
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  18. Dana

    Dana Pattern Altitude

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    It's even worse when you're flying an experimental... they seem to assume all experimentals are capable of RV speeds. I was talking to Bradley approach last year going into the Simsbury fly-in at my mighty 70 knot cruise and they asked me to increase my speed... "Unable."

    But their book/database does have type codes for the more common homebuilts, mine is CB1.
     
  19. ETres

    ETres Line Up and Wait

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    I go ahead and give ATC my identifier code because I know they're going to ask: "FDCT."
     
  20. Ken Whitson

    Ken Whitson Pre-Flight

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    My communications with ATC types at first would go something like this:
    Me: "Approach, Tecnam Bravo 1234..."
    ATC: "What's THAT?!"
    or
    Me: "Approach, Light Sport 1234..."
    ATC: What's THAT? Say Type aircraft."

    Now it's:
    Me: "Approach, Sexy Italian Cessna 150 1234..."
    ATC: "Gotcha..."
     
  21. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

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    More than funny it was hilarious..:lol::lol:
     
  22. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I get called a light sport ,even after giving the appropriate identifier.
     
  23. WannFly

    WannFly Final Approach

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    I have been called arrow often, what gets me when they call me skyhawk . One time they thought I was a citation and gave a “climb and maintain flight level 230”. I replied with “may be another day, below 4000 today” , got a chuckle on the radio from them
     
  24. Flocker

    Flocker Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get called a Caravan all the time even after telling them I'm a Light Sport. LOL. (My identifier is a P208)
     
  25. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    I got called a Cherokee yesterday, but since one variant of a PA32 is a Cherokee 6, I have to let it go.
     
  26. clear_prop

    clear_prop Pre-Flight

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    I fly a GLSP and when they're calling me as traffic for someone else, it is always "traffic is a, umm, geeee, a Light Sport", followed by "November 3EJ, say type".

    I preferred the controller that kept calling me a Gulfstream. Their type codes also start with GLxx.
     
  27. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I just want to ask a question here of all you pilots: Can YOU identify every airplane out there by just looking at it?
     
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  28. GaryM

    GaryM Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Channeling your avatar photo:

    "Oh, it's a big pretty white plane with a red stripes, curtains at the windows, wheels, and it just looks like a big Tylenol."
     
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  29. NealRomeoGolf

    NealRomeoGolf Pattern Altitude

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    Low wing approaching Fisk, rock your wings.

    Come on, how hard is it? ;)
     
  30. idahoflier

    idahoflier Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    After hearing that, now I'm ****ed! ;-)
     
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  31. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Not. Even. Close. I am pretty good with those that occupied the hangar bays of US aircraft carriers in the 90s and a few of the more unique ones, but that is about it for me... :oops:
     
  32. MD11Pilot

    MD11Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    1975 BONANZA F33A
    Local controller calls me Debonair and I repeat Bonanza. Beech stopped making Debonairs in 1971 despite both having an official TCDS number of BE33. After 1971 on the TCDS all BE33’s are listed as Bonanza’s. This particular controller asked a Cessna to say type and the pilot replied “172”, but the controller asked again...”what are you? A 172R or S? I spoke to the tower supervisor later about the exchanges and he knew exactly who I was speaking about and he said he would talk to him.