Is announcing our tail number necessary?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Ryanb, Aug 14, 2018.

  1. Possum

    Possum Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I started flying in the '70's when the CB radio craze was at it's apex. Slowly, the CB lingo such as "good buddy" or "hammer down" started creeping into aircraft radio communications. It was fun while it lasted but I remember one on the flying magazines had a big spread on the proper use of radios and how CB lingo was toxic to aviation communication. We didn't use headsets back then so it was a challenge to hear much of anything from the radios.
     
  2. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Doesn't add anything useful to the communication either. As was said before if you call "Cessna 5742G on downwind" and someone comes on the frequency and responds "Hey Cessna 52G extend your downwind, Bonanza's on 3 mile final" are you just going to think boy that call must be for someone else so I'll just continue as normal ho hum?

    Not for nothing, but its conversations like this that make me appreciate flying NORDO aircraft. Just see and avoid and no squealing radio as every tom dick and harry tries to cram the entire text of war and peace into every position report.
     
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  3. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Fair point. So do we only want to have a conversation about how things would be if it were a perfect world, or are we going to talk about how they actually are?
     
  4. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    So, are you going to start the thread about intentionally spinning 182s?

    ("Perfect world" is an utterly idiotic descriptor for simply using proper radio phraseology.)

    Yeah, about the only time I think a plane description would be helpful info to include in radio communications is if you were flying a Flight Design CT.

    "White Flying Sperm left downwind 36."
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
  5. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    I have a related question. At my airport most of the pilots don’t repeat the airport name after position reports. Its always “Bradford County traffic Cessna 94609 turning base runway 23”. Other airports I’ve flown typically report “twin Cities, Cessna 94609 turning base runway 23 Twin Cities”. Is it required to repeat the airport name? I wasn’t taught to do so. I’m still a student pilot so interested if I’m doing something the DPE will expect to hear.
     
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  6. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

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    Typically airports in the area may share frequencies, trailing id insures you know if transmission applies to you.
    Technically it’s supposed to be “twin cities traffic “, then “twin cities “ at the end.
     
  7. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I always repeat it at the end, the receiving party might have missed it at the beginning. Don't think there's any requirement, just good practice.
     
  8. gdwindowpane

    gdwindowpane Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    My airport does share frequency with other airports in the area so I’m going to start repeating the airport. Traffic omition was my typing error. Thanks for the reply.
     
  9. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    I do tear off the labels on a pillow
     
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  10. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    One would certainly think that. And yet this thread exists. Hmm....
     
  11. bnt83

    bnt83 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Cessna sure has a wide range. That's a 120 and a 750. I know all about the street name Citation X but they all say Cessna 750 on the data plate not Citation X.

    upload_2018-8-15_7-15-1.png

    upload_2018-8-15_7-13-53.png
     
  12. FlyBoyAndy

    FlyBoyAndy Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Because of what Bob said. Interesting that the OP used careless instead of care less though.
     
  13. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Radical.

    Reported.
     
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  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Most do it that way in my neck of the woods. It's used at beginning and end in case someone didn't catch the airport at the beginning. To me it makes sense.
     
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  15. MetalCloud

    MetalCloud Line Up and Wait

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    Well, count me in the camp of:

    A) hoping that other people are using the radio in the first place and
    B) not giving a **** what your tail number is because I can’t parse it with everything else going on anyway. I only care about where you are and what you’re flying.

    If you’re N9274D or whatever, that is of little use to me. And if you do say your type, you probably say it once with your full call sign then abbreviate to 74D right? Useless to those not on frequency at the exact times you are.

    And yes, FFS close the transmission with the name of the airport. A lot of uncontrolled fields have a shared frequency and in some cases even the same runway numbers. People should know what field you’re at if you’re going making radio calls. Or some jackhole will say “N4572B departing the active to the west” dude. Just don’t even make a radio call in that case.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  16. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    I used to fly/train around FDK before the tower went in. I can recall multiple times with six or eight aircraft in the pattern. Tail number helps a lot, because you have no idea if the plane is second, third or fifth on the downwind leg, there are too many planes in the pattern for the guy/gal turning downwind to be able to guess there position. And with that many voices, there is no chance my tone deaf hearing over the wonderful 1970s radios in many planes can unequivocally state that bug smasher 123 who announced himself as blue/white Cessna second on downwind is now the same plane who announced blue/white Cessna turning base.

    Next point, the human mind can only consciously concentrate on a single task at a time. It requires the creation of "muscle memores" to off load task processing to the subconscious. It is the offloading of these tasks, and the ability to switch tasks that give us the perception of multi-tasking. Processing radio calls is the same, you give me more than the standard phrase, and now I need to actively concentrate on what you are stating instead of flying my plane. Non-standard calls take "processing" power, and are unable to use the muscle memories we have created.

    Best example, you can be having a conversation with a passenger, but ATC calls your plane and gives you a new frequency. You are able to hear the call, process the required direction, and often execute it with only an acknowledgement back to ATC as the pause in your conversation. This is the result of ATC hitting that muscle memory "N12345 contract center on 122.2"

    Tim
     
  17. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Cause "Radioville traffic 456 base 27 Radioville" is such a hassle.
     
  18. bflynn

    bflynn En-Route

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    I'm sure it's been said, but a radio isn't even required, why would there be "required" phraseology? Bottom line, do what helps others.

    Raleigh Exec, Warrior 917, downwind 3, Raleigh Exec. Why at the end? Because the radio is 3rd in our list of priorities and we don't perk up until we hear something that sounds interesting. Repeating the airport at the end is because we really didn't start hearing until we hear a report close to us - another airplane turning downwind, but where? Oh, that's 30 miles away, ok.
     
  19. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Common sense and aviation don't always go well together. I don't care what you call, but stick with it. Someone mentioned they use their N-Number when they're 10 miles out, then switch to type/color when closer in. This drives me crazy. Is it the same plane that called 10 miles out?

    Also, if you're an instructor and you help out a student by making one call for them, don't think I remember your N-Number when a different voice makes the call. This is especially bad when it's a male and female in the plane. I heard a plane was on downwind with a male flying it, now I hear a female make a base call... are two planes about to meet?

    And I understand those quoting the rules, but technically we don't have to make calls at all by the rules, so like MetalCloud said, I'm just happy they're making calls at all.

    And if you're near Taylor, TX, and you hear a call of "Red & White Biplane", it's me. I could call "Experimental 61LT" but then you'd be looking for an RV. Maybe I should use "Biplane 61LT", or, I could use "Little Toot N61LT" and confuse most of the flying world.
     
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  20. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    Something I'm hearing more and more is saying the name of the airport twice at the beginning. I was flying the other day and heard a lady on the radio saying, "Terrell Traffic, Terrell Traffic, Cessna XXX is left downwind runway XX, Terrell Traffic." I was flying close enough to the airport I wanted to remain on frequency, but honestly was hating her after listening to her doing TNGs. Apparently it was annoying someone else though because I heard a guy call, "Terrell Traffic, Terrell Traffic, Terrell Traffic, Terrell Traffic, Cessna XXX is 10 miles to the West inbound for runway XX, Terrell Traffic, Terrell Traffic. Made me laugh if nothing else.
     
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  21. GreatLakesFlying

    GreatLakesFlying Pre-takeoff checklist

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    On a few occasions, I've responded to an ATC instruction with "QSL", a ham radio equivalent of "roger". I can see how lingo from one radio subculture can creep into another.

    In general, though, I try to give the full tail number each time I announce something on a CTAF; actually aircraft model and tail number sans-N, e.g., "Skyhawk 5399K". It may be verbose, but my understanding is that I cannot abbreviate my callsign unless the abbreviation is initiated by an ATC facility:

    ATC specialists may initiate abbreviated call signs of other aircraft by using the prefix and the last three digits/letters of the aircraft identification after communications are established. The pilot may use the abbreviated call sign in subsequent contacts with the ATC specialist.
    (AIM 4-2-4 (a)(2)).​

    Is it useful to give the full callsign when reporting positions on a CTAF? So far it works for me. Of course, I only have 30 hours post-PPL, and I've never flown to a nontowered airport with more than 2 other aircraft in the pattern.

    On the other hand, the way Oshkosh handles arrivals during the convention is stunning. No callsigns! Just fuselage color, wing placement, position, and sometime type of aircraft, seem to be enough. "White Cessna over Fisk", ok, well, which one? :)
     
  22. timwinters

    timwinters Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I can't tell you how many times I heard the commercial on the local radio for Stephen Stills coming to town this fall and cussed it. They gave the date at the very beginning and didn't repeat it at the end. I always missed it because I wasn't paying attention yet at the beginning. I finally went online to find the date.

    Rule number one of advertising...repeat the important information at the end of the commercial because you haven't likely caught people's full attention yet at the beginning.

    Same goes for airport identifiers in radio calls.
     
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  23. MooneyDriver78

    MooneyDriver78 Pattern Altitude

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    I also was taught to only make calls on turns, because you are easier to see and more accurate of position:
    entering downwind runway 10 at midfield
    Turning left base runway 10
    Turning final runway 10

    Saying “I’m #2 ...” or “”I’m following the bugmasher..” is not really a position report, except maybe to the plane you are referring to.
     
  24. Ben Diss

    Ben Diss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Required? Nope. No part of self announcing is "required". Here's the latest AC from the FAA with recommendations.

    https://www.faa.gov/documentLibrary/media/Advisory_Circular/AC_90-66B.pdf

    "To help identify one airport from another, the correct airport name should be spoken at the beginning and end of each self-announce transmission."
     
  25. Ben Diss

    Ben Diss Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Bob, Tim- Do you turn off your cell phone before takeoff? Do you ensure your passengers do the same?

    FCC rule 47 CFR 22.925 "Cellular telephones installed in or carried aboard airplanes, balloons or any other type of aircraft must not be operated while such aircraft are airborne (not touching the ground). When any aircraft leaves the ground, all cellular telephones on board that aircraft must be turned off."
     
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  26. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Its not a hassle at all. But it ties up the freq for the time it takes to say 456 and 456 doesn't give anyone listening anything even remotely useful at that point. "Radioville traffic Skyhawk base 27 Radioville" ties up the freq for the same amount of time but gives information that is more useful to those who might want it.

    Consider a pilot on a long final shooting a practice approach to the runway who just flipped over to the freq after getting handed off from ATC. With your version, the safety pilot looks out toward base and sees a Bonanza that just turned from downwind to base, thinks to himself I've got 456 in site and he's far enough out that we can continue the approach and lets the pilot under the foggles continue to fly the approach toward the runway.

    With my version, the safety pilot sees that Bonanza and now the only thing he knows is that he doesn't have the traffic that just called base in sight. Saying your tail number, specified in the AIM though it is, does not convey anything useful to anyone in the pattern IMO.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  27. Juliet Hotel

    Juliet Hotel Cleared for Takeoff PoA Supporter

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    Now I'm going to be thinking of those old drag racing radio ads the rest of the day. SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Jet fueled funny cars. SUNDAY! SUNDAY! SWAPTOWN RACEWAY! SUNDAY! SUNDAY! Midget dirt bikes SUNDAY! Shirley Muldowney SUNDAY! Kids under 2 get in free SUNDAY!!!!!!!
     
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  28. OkieFlyer

    OkieFlyer En-Route

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    I'm way late to the party here but I'll give my two cents. Color is fairly useless to me much of the time. Unless it's solid blue, red, yellow, etc, I'm probably not going to notice, even if you're close enough, because I'm flying a plane, and not staring at your color scheme. The tail number is useful when you need to communicate with each other. There may be 3 Cessnas or 3 Pipers, etc. in the pattern, and if I need to reply to you on the radio, using your tail number is the only thing that is totally unique to each airplane. If everyone is using just aircraft type and/or color, there can be confusion as to who is talking to who. So use your unique identifier so there is no confusion. I do think it's important to say your aircraft model along with your tail number. Not Cessna, not low wing or high wing, not experimental, but your specific model, as in Skylane, Lance, King Air, Cub. Your model gives me an indication of how fast you're travelling, which allows everyone in the vicinity of the airport to sort of plan ahead for the traffic coming in or out, and be able to better accommodate faster or slower traffic. If I'm a Cub 3 miles out, and there is a Champ 5 miles out, I'm going to get there first. If I'm a Cub 3 miles out and there is a Lancair 5 miles out, he's going catch me, and I know he must fly a much faster approach than me and we can coordinate.

    In summary, and in my humble opinion, the best way to identify yourself is by specific model and tail number. I am Skylane 3323Yankee, or Skylane 23Yankee. If you hear me near your airport, you already know a couple things up front. You know I'm not going very fast and have the ability to fly slow approaches. If you need to talk back to me, you can say my number and everybody knows exactly which aircraft you're talking to.

    As a side note, I think Experimental guys really need to quit referring to themselves as just "experimental" on the radio. There is a huge difference in a Velocity and a Zenith, and it's really nice to know which one to expect.


    My $.02. Take it for what it's worth. Not much.
     
    Last edited: Aug 15, 2018
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  29. LoLPilot

    LoLPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get what you're saying. Im along with the guy who said that he forms a mental picture using tail numbers. If I hear different tail numbers making calls I can imagine where they are. If I just hear four different 172's it doesn't help me.
     
  30. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    I’m gonna start calling myself ‘45 year old rattle trap Cessna I had to wait a week for to be available on the schedule.’ Maybe the FBO owner will take the hint and get some more airplanes. Rant over
     
  31. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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  32. slacktide

    slacktide Line Up and Wait

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    [​IMG]
     
  33. SoonerAviator

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    Holy hell, lol. The phrase is "couldn't care less".
     
  34. Ryanb

    Ryanb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I was. Never, good in elighsh, class!
     
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  35. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    Apparently, we are going to ignore that the regulation requires the use of call signs and continue to insist that our way is better.


    As has been demonstrated in this thread, such aviation questions are often answered by a bunch of conflicting personal options. This is true whether the question is asked on an online forum, airport pilot lounge, or even in a group of CFIs in a flight school. These questions usually do have correct answers that can be backed up by the official source documents without the need for personal opinion. As a student pilot, I would encourage you to always look for those sources and not rely on other pilot's opinions; even when the other pilot might be your instructor.

    Your question is answered in AIM 4-1-9.g.6. "Recommended self-announce phraseologies: It should be noted that aircraft operating to or from another nearby airport may be making self-announce broadcasts on the same UNICOM or MULTICOM frequency. To help identify one airport from another, the airport name should be spoken at the beginning and end of each self-announce transmission."

    You might also want to reference FAA AC 90-66B which is an FAA Advisory Circular on non-towered airport flight operations.
     
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  36. tspear

    tspear Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Which Tim? Because I do not recall mentioning the regs.

    Tim
     
  37. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Don't take it for granite!
     
  38. JOhnH

    JOhnH Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Taking a que from this thread, when I go to a social event, I might introduce myself as the fat old white guy, instead of John N%&#*
     
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  39. Lowflynjack

    Lowflynjack Pattern Altitude

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    FOWGFOWC (Fat Old White Guys Flying Old White Cessnas) might be one of the highest membership groups in the world!
     
  40. Hippike

    Hippike Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I never use Cessna, it can mean various things. I always use Skyhawk.
    At non-towered airports I use Skyhawk and the full N-number on the first call then on subsequent calls just Skyhawk4TA (or any other last three digits). I cannot remember full call signs, if I need to talk to someone in the pattern I will probably use their last three digits anyway. Trying to remember full call signs of other planes is too much work. Mixing up their full tail # when calling them and having them correct me just clusters up the freq.
    My CFI taught me to use type and color, but quickly realized that this doesn't work in the world of million 'white Cessnas'.