"November"

Half Fast

Touchdown! Greaser!
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Half Fast
Yes, yes, I know it's still October, but ......

I was taught, and AIM 4-2-3 and 4-2-4 agree, that when talking with ATC I should identify myself in the format "Bugsmasher 1234A," stating my type of aircraft and omitting the "November" at the beginning of the registration number. Once contact is established, that can be shortened to "Bugsmasher 34A." I have become accustomed to ATC addressing me in the same manner, always beginning their call with the type aircraft they're calling.

Has something changed?

Last weekend, SWMBO and I flew up to St Simons Island for a few days. On the way up and the way back, I used flight following and spoke with Orlando Approach, Jax Approach, and Jax Center, with a few extra frequency changes for a total of 5 or 6 different controllers each way.

Never once did any controller call me "Musketeer 1234A." Each and every call from ATC was initiated without my aircraft type and with "November." And it wasn't just me; it was every other aircraft as well. Every call I heard from ATC began, not with "Mooney 5678B" or "Cherokee 7777C," but with "November 5678B" or "November 7777C."

Whazzup with that?

Hearing "Musketeer" at the start of a call alerts me, and since there aren't very many Mice in the air I can be pretty sure what follows is for me. Hearing "November" over and over, starting each call for every plane, is no help at all.

Anybody else notice this?
 
I’ve noticed, but I haven’t used flight following, so just assumed it was because it was in my flight plan.
 
I've had them address me by type after the initial call, but it seems uncommon. As a pilot calling ATC, I suspect "november" is kind of an auditory trigger meaning "listen up, the next thing out of my mouth is going to be a tail number." If you fly some real uncommon type of aircraft and don't lead with "november," they might still be trying to figure out the first thing you said when the numbers start coming.

According to the hosts of the Opposing Bases podcast, the order in which they input a flight following request on their weird ABCDE keyboard is:

- registration number
- present location
- destination airport
- aircraft type
- desired altitude

If you feed them the info in that order, it reduces their workload and decreases the likelihood of a mistake being made. Additionally, I try to make the type as crystal clear as possible - I've identified myself as a Skylane and had a controller say "Uhh... Skylane... is that a 152?" If you fly a Warrior, Archer, Dakota, Arrow, etc. I bet they'd really appreciate "PA-28."
 
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Yes, yes, I know it's still October, but ......

I was taught, and AIM 4-2-3 and 4-2-4 agree, that when talking with ATC I should identify myself in the format "Bugsmasher 1234A," stating my type of aircraft and omitting the "November" at the beginning of the registration number. Once contact is established, that can be shortened to "Bugsmasher 34A." I have become accustomed to ATC addressing me in the same manner, always beginning their call with the type aircraft they're calling.

Has something changed?

Last weekend, SWMBO and I flew up to St Simons Island for a few days. On the way up and the way back, I used flight following and spoke with Orlando Approach, Jax Approach, and Jax Center, with a few extra frequency changes for a total of 5 or 6 different controllers each way.

Never once did any controller call me "Musketeer 1234A." Each and every call from ATC was initiated without my aircraft type and with "November." And it wasn't just me; it was every other aircraft as well. Every call I heard from ATC began, not with "Mooney 5678B" or "Cherokee 7777C," but with "November 5678B" or "November 7777C."

Whazzup with that?

Hearing "Musketeer" at the start of a call alerts me, and since there aren't very many Mice in the air I can be pretty sure what follows is for me. Hearing "November" over and over, starting each call for every plane, is no help at all.

Anybody else notice this?
It is a stylistic choice on the part of the controller as either Type 12345, November 12345, Type 345, and November 345 are equally valid. I've been hearing all variations for 20 years.
 
I don’t mind if they call me that as long as I get to call them “Tower” instead of, say, “Kennedy Tower.”
 
I don’t mind if they call me that as long as I get to call them “Tower” instead of, say, “Kennedy Tower.”

I flew with a guy last year that called the controllers "Tower Dude", "Approach Dude", and "Center Dude".
 
(not really on point but, hey, this is the interweb)

A while back I flew N3RW. I got used to telling the briefer that the full tail number was N3RW and used N3RW on first contact with ATC. After that I used whatever ATC used
 
Yes, yes, I know it's still October, but ......

I was taught, and AIM 4-2-3 and 4-2-4 agree, that when talking with ATC I should identify myself in the format "Bugsmasher 1234A," stating my type of aircraft and omitting the "November" at the beginning of the registration number. Once contact is established, that can be shortened to "Bugsmasher 34A." I have become accustomed to ATC addressing me in the same manner, always beginning their call with the type aircraft they're calling.

Has something changed?

Last weekend, SWMBO and I flew up to St Simons Island for a few days. On the way up and the way back, I used flight following and spoke with Orlando Approach, Jax Approach, and Jax Center, with a few extra frequency changes for a total of 5 or 6 different controllers each way.

Never once did any controller call me "Musketeer 1234A." Each and every call from ATC was initiated without my aircraft type and with "November." And it wasn't just me; it was every other aircraft as well. Every call I heard from ATC began, not with "Mooney 5678B" or "Cherokee 7777C," but with "November 5678B" or "November 7777C."

Whazzup with that?

Hearing "Musketeer" at the start of a call alerts me, and since there aren't very many Mice in the air I can be pretty sure what follows is for me. Hearing "November" over and over, starting each call for every plane, is no help at all.

Anybody else notice this?
Controllers can use either format and so can you. The last example in the AIM 4-2-14 states November. I’d say the verbiage in the AIM encourages make or model, but the controllers manual states either one is fine just don’t abbreviate on initial call up.

I think this is more along the lines of controllers not learning types and it’s just easier to say November. Typing it into the system for FF or IFR isn’t benefited by using November either. The controller still has to enter type into the system to get an inter facility automated handoff.
 
Controllers can use either format and so can you. The last example in the AIM 4-2-14 states November. I’d say the verbiage in the AIM encourages make or model, but the controllers manual states either one is fine just don’t abbreviate on initial call up.

I think this is more along the lines of controllers not learning types and it’s just easier to say November. Typing it into the system for FF or IFR isn’t benefited by using November either. The controller still has to enter type into the system to get an inter facility automated handoff.


Saying “November” just seems useless when it applies to every aircraft they’re talking to. Calling out the type improves the likelihood of the right person hearing the call.
 
Saying “November” just seems useless when it applies to every aircraft they’re talking to. Calling out the type improves the likelihood of the right person hearing the call.
I’ve noticed in my area, they do this ONLY for GA aircraft…which seems to serve the purpose @ColinD mentioned with the addition of, “hey all you non-professional pilots listen up”.
 
Anybody else notice this?
I've noticed that controllers have their own habits and preferences on this. I just go with the flow.

The only weird one I've encountered was one controller at SGJ (St Augustine, FL) in 2004. I was flying N5157Z, a Cessna 172. Instead of "N5157Z" or "Cessna 57Z," the Tower controller called me a completely non-standard "Cessna 515." It took a few calls for me to figure out whom they were talking to.
 
I've told this story before, I know, but it's fun.

As a Canadian instructor I used to fly with students into the US. On one trip to Tucson we went through Salt Lake. We contacted them, using our type and registration. It sounded like this:

"Salt Lake, Canadian Cessna 180 Charlie Foxtrot India Alpha Hotel..." and gave the location and altitude and destination. The controller, a woman, comes back with "Canadian 180 Foxtrot Alphia Indie..." Click.

"Canadian 180 Foxtrot Indie Hotel Alph..." <Loud laughter in background.> Click.

"Canadian 180, proceed at altitude...."
 
I’ve noticed in my area, they do this ONLY for GA aircraft…which seems to serve the purpose @ColinD mentioned with the addition of, “hey all you non-professional pilots listen up”.


But saying “Bonanza 1234A” would tell all the Bonanza pilots to listen up, and “Mooney 4321B” would tell the Mooney folks to listen up, etc., which seems to serve that purpose even better.
 
But saying “Bonanza 1234A” would tell all the Bonanza pilots to listen up, and “Mooney 4321B” would tell the Mooney folks to listen up, etc., which seems to serve that purpose even better.
I agree it would be easier for us, but for ATC "November" I’m sure is easier.
 
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I think it was was velocity said - controllers go by the data that was typed into your initial call up at your point of departure. Personally, I don’t even know the code for muskateer, therefore I’d call you “November”… too. They could have looked it up but they don’t always have the time
 
I think it was was velocity said - controllers go by the data that was typed into your initial call up at your point of departure. Personally, I don’t even know the code for muskateer, therefore I’d call you “November”… too. They could have looked it up but they don’t always have the time


Yeah, but the first controller even asked me to repeat the type, and I gave her “Musketeer, type BE23.” She still managed to transpose two digits of my N# which I corrected with the next controller after asking him to confirm his call was for the Musketeer. So they knew the type.

It wasn’t just my Mouse, though; every plane was getting November instead of type.

It’s not wrong; it’s just different from what I’m used to hearing, and IMHO it’s not as good.
 
I’ve been called Cessna, Piper, Warrior, Archer, Arrow, Cirrus, Skyhawk….I guess they are all the same, small GA?
 
Maybe they were using November intentionally so ALL pilots would listen up and perhaps in hopes of better situational awareness...
 
Once flying into New England the controllers were using the leading November. And when I did not say it, I got told to do so.

I go with what the controller says. If they shorten, I shorten, if they do not, I do not.
 
I go with what the controller says. If they shorten, I shorten, if they do not, I do not.
You are correct.

The book says, "ATC specialists may initiate abbreviated call signs ...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."

In other words, we should not use a shortened call sign unless ATC has done so first.
 
But saying “Bonanza 1234A” would tell all the Bonanza pilots to listen up, and “Mooney 4321B” would tell the Mooney folks to listen up, etc., which seems to serve that purpose even better.

I file and identify as a PA24 "Comanche". In a single XC ATC called me a Seneca, Cherokee, Arrow, and a Mooney. I couldn't help myself with the Mooney one, responded to the controller "what type of aircraft do you think I am?" He responded, "My mistake, Comanche!" I just laughed and responded "Just checking my tail was on right!"
 
I flew a Wheeler Express from Nashville to Waukegan, IL several years back, and after the first two attempts to correct my type failed I gave up and just went with being called a Cessna until I landed a UGN. The tower exclaimed, "You're no Cessna!" I explained the issue, and they just laughed.

I agree type first would work best, but that's assuming they get it right. :D
 
I had a controller call me a Tomahawk once on the way into Oshkosh. I'm not sure what aspect of my Navion looked like a Tomahawk.

I used to get called a Navajo by Dulles Approach periodically. This was lost to me until I talked to a controller one day and found out that rather than typing in the full type on VFR class B popups they just used a letter C for cessna, P for Piper, etc.... N got entered for Navion but the next controller had to guess what N was.

One night I was told to keep my speed up. I can do 160knots in the Navion if I have to. I was landing on 12 (unusual) and the approach end of that runway is about 2.5 miles from the tower. They're watching me on the DBRITE I guess and asked if my landing light was on. It's on my gear, I say. Hold on. So now I have to slow down to 87 knots (throttle idle, pull back on the yoke) and drop the gear. The lights come on and now I'm really high, so I drop in full flaps. A power off, full flap approach on the Navion is pretty steep and I'm now only going 60 knots. I'm sure at the distance it looked like I stopped and flew near vertical. I get a call:

"27K what sort of aircraft is that?"

I don't even think he was going to guess if it was an airplane.
 
(not really on point but, hey, this is the interweb)

A while back I flew N3RW. I got used to telling the briefer that the full tail number was N3RW and used N3RW on first contact with ATC. After that I used whatever ATC used
There's a N11LA that has similar "issues" here sometimes. 'I need the full callsign' so the best is just make the calls as NOVEMBER one one lima alpha
 
There's a N11LA that has similar "issues" here sometimes. 'I need the full callsign' so the best is just make the calls as NOVEMBER one one lima alpha
Using type AND november is a good technique to deal with those types of call signs. Like Centurion November 11LA. Let’s the Controller know you really mean it, this is not a 5 character callsign.
 
I mean it! Centurion, November, One One, Lima Alpha!
 
I flew the whole East Coast from MA (KPVC) to South Florida (KTMB) last weekend and despite my Cessna 1234 initial calls, all i got back was November every time.
 
I flew the whole East Coast from MA (KPVC) to South Florida (KTMB) last weekend and despite my Cessna 1234 initial calls, all i got back was November every time.

That sounds like something has changed recently with ATC, doesn't it?
 
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