Identifying NAVaids?

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by RyanB, Mar 29, 2022.

  1. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    As we know, identifying a NAVaid, whether it be a VOR, a Localizer, an NDB etc,. is part of proper IFR (and VFR) flying; but have you ever gone to listen to the Morse code and found it to be different than what you expected to be tuned to?
     
  2. flyingpreacher

    flyingpreacher Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not yet. Generally speaking, same frequency signals are spaced far enough apart to not produce an incorrect signal.
     
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  3. sarangan

    sarangan Pattern Altitude

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    Yes, I have had what appeared to be a good signal but no morse code. Later discovered that it was NOTAMed inop. This was a long time ago. I haven't used a VOR for real in the last 10 years.
     
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  4. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    One day my wife and her instructor were flying and I was in the back seat. They were trying to navigate using the EMI VOR. They even had the ID audio turned up. I finally had to point out to them that the reason they were likely having problems was that the ID was saying TEST. What was the point of turning up the ID volume if you're not going to listen to it. No excuse for my wife. She holds an Advanced class amateur license as well.

    I for dinged on a stage check back 40+ years ago for not comparing the ID to the little morse code things on the chart. I pointed out that having had a ham license for over a decade at that point, I didn't need to see the dots and dashes. The instructor tuned a few more stations and I read off the identifiers before he'd believe me that I could do it.
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yep. I was flying the ILS 35 into (what is now) KCFO. It's one of those airports where the same frequency is used for opposing runways. The LOC for both the ILS 35 & ILS 17 is 110.9, but the ID is different. I got the wrong ID. They forgot to flip the switch.
     
  6. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yes, I've gone out to do practice approaces, and the morse code was absent. It turned out that the ILS was OTS that day.

    Always good to ID your nav aid.
     
  7. Country Flier

    Country Flier Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yes...being that I had forgot to "flip/flop" the radio.
    Who knew that being a ham radio operator would be so useful to flying?
     
  8. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not to mention checking NOTAM ;)
     
  9. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Guilty, but was out doing practice approaches. Had this been a real IFR flight, I would have tuned in for news and local information.
     
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  10. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I realized that and I was half-joking. But ever since that time a pilot got investigated for doing touch and goes at his home (nontowered) airport during a presidential TFR, I've become a believer in a quick preflight briefing for all flights, even if its just a local area one. These days it doesn't take long and, despite the negative comments about it, the new Leidos interface makes it fairly easy (the NOTAM system itself is a mess) to check what you want from it on your phone and ignore the rest.
     
  11. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, maybe I need to be more thorough for local fliying, I normally just do a TFR check and then go.
     
  12. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I’m guilty of that as well, just for local putting around. I could do better myself.
     
  13. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Listen to the ID? The radio does it for me.
     
  14. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    _._ _
    .
    ...
     
    Last edited: Mar 30, 2022
  15. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

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    Does it say TEST if it's OTS or what not or is it part of the database?
     
  16. Bill

    Bill Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    While our GNC255 does that automatically as well, call me an old curmudgeon as I like to hear the morse code.
     
  17. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Can't vouch for his radio, but mine listens to the morse. It will display TEST or dashes if the station isn't transmitting.
     
  18. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yes…the DME side tuned, but the VOR didn’t. We had to replace the Nav radio.

    Mine only idents the DME.
     
  19. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    So the GPS NavComs like newer Garmin and Avidyne - when they “ID” a VOR station, they’re not just listening for carrier signal, they actually confirm the Morse code?

    I should know this, or be able to look it up, but I’m at work.
     
  20. bbarrett

    bbarrett Filing Flight Plan

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    Yes, at least the Garmin radios actually decode the Morse code. The SL30 manual is surprisingly detailed, saying that it will decode correctly 99.5% of the time if there is no voice on the station and only 95% of the time if there is voice on the station. I don't think I've ever had the GTN650 or SL30 get the Morse code wrong (or not resolve at all) when I was able to hear the Morse code myself.
     
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  21. Briar Rabbit

    Briar Rabbit Line Up and Wait

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    The Avidyne 540 identifies the navaid and Morse code displaying it below the tuned frequency. I generally preload 5 com frequencies and the VOR & Ils frequency on the Nav side before departure. In a couple of cases where the ILS at the destination was several hundred miles away this display will show another airport's identifier until I get closer to the destination. I have become a bit lax on actually listening to the Morse code and relying on the IFD to display the info.
     
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  22. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    I think I remember reading that the IFD-540 used the GPS location in proximity to the nearest Com freq to “ID” the station, such as “Chicago Appch” or nearest non-towered CTAF airport, but didn’t know if it did that for Nav or if it would actually ID the Morse and/or functionality of the station. Thanks!
     
  23. asicer

    asicer Final Approach

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    Apollo/Garmin decodes the Morse.
     
  24. martym

    martym Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Absolutely. Two runways, one piece of pavement, ILS in each direction, one ILS frequency, two different ID's depending on which one the controlling facility has selected.
    Have also had equipment that displays the ID phonetically show the wrong ID even though the Morse code was identifying the facility correctly. That is attributed to a database error. MDW ILS 31C displayed the phonetic ID for KMDT for nearly 2 months. Oopsie.
     
  25. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    I listen to the Morse, and find it either is what's required or is absent. I understand this is to indicate the station is undergoing maintenance.

    I'm glad to say I'm proficient in Morse, and don't need to look at the dots/dashes.