Should Radios Be Required At Non-Towered Airports?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by WannFly, May 7, 2020.

?

Should Radio calls be required at uncontrolled airports?

  1. Yes - Via Regulation

  2. Its a great idea, Yes but we do not need more regulations

  3. No Radios for me

Results are only viewable after voting.
  1. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,197
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    Oh sure, next they'll be requiring lights and some kind of license to fly...
     
  2. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,749
    Location:
    Tupelo, MS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ktup-flyer
    Happens all the time if you go fly in the MS delta. Almost none of the cropdusters have radios
     
    Sinistar likes this.
  3. cowman

    cowman En-Route PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Aug 12, 2012
    Messages:
    4,494
    Location:
    Danger Zone
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Cowman
    So I will say that I wish everyone would use a radio. I wish everyone would get ADS-B out too. Based on my own experience of looking for aircraft that I knew were there from radio calls/ATC/ADS-B I do not believe you can spot every plane every time in such a big sky going at the speeds we move at. I simply do not believe everyone’s eyes and observational skills are THAT good.

    Probably in the pattern when you know where to look you’ll see someone before you get close enough for there to be an issue... probably. However it should take little imagination to think up likely scenarios where conscientious pilots looking carefully for traffic might miss each other. To be honest it makes me a little nervous out there.

    With all that said, I’m not in favor of mandating any of this stuff. There are pretty valid reasons why many pilots may be unable or unwilling to use a radio or install ADS-B and I get that. More importantly though is it an issue? Last I looked midair collisions were somewhere near the bottom of the list when it comes to most common causes of accidents. They’re pretty rare and some that I know of even occurred under the direction of a control tower so maybe this is a solution in search of a problem.

    So I ask nicely that other pilots, if they can, use a radio. If you haven’t tried ads-b yet you’d be amazed at how many more aircraft are out there than you thought. These are good safety systems, they do work and I really really don’t want to hit one of you out there.

    But please no more mandates.
     
    Last edited: May 9, 2020
  4. Larry Vrooman

    Larry Vrooman Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jan 30, 2020
    Messages:
    158
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N5168T
    Here's my $0.02 worth.

    1) I fly out of a small grass strip. Everyone on the field has a radio. About half of them listen to the CTAF frequency, but don't actually transmit on it. In essence, then hear the other half that do use the radio and get a general idea which way people are landing on the runway.

    That's a bigger than average deal as its an east/west runway with trees on the west end, so pilots sometimes opt to accept a slight tailwind to avoid landing or taking off over the trees, or to avoid looking into a rising or setting. Worse the runway is narrow and each end is constricted and not conducive to doing a 360 on the ground to check for traffic in the pattern before departure. Since about half those pilots don't announce their intentions, it gets interesting when someone turns final for 07 to avoid landing into the sun, and someone else turns onto 25 for departure since it's into the wind, and neither of them are talking on the radio.

    In short, the problem with the folks who just listen and don't announce is that they think they are only ones who are doing that, and here's hoping they keep their eyes open.

    2) I'm not a huge fan of ADS-B, mostly because it encourages people to keep their head in the cockpit rather than actually looking for traffic. At uncontrolled airports non ADS-B aircraft will be a common occurrence, and even if everyone had ADS-B, it wouldn't always be functioning properly.

    3) I started flying in 1982 in a big flat state out west with 150' wide 6000' WWII era runways and very few aircraft in the sky. Pilots still mostly had radios, and made calls on Unicom if they had one, even if it was just a scratchy old Narco Mk III with a handheld mike. And pilots still did 360s on the ground to check the pattern for traffic. As an aside, there were also very few towers and scud running and special VFR were actual things that could be done prudently.

    But times have changed. There are towers everywhere and scud running is pretty close to a death wish. Similarly, like it or not, progress has arrived and airports tend to be busier now than they were 40 years ago, so we need to suck it up and use the radio, even at uncontrolled airports.

    4) The fact that there is more traffic also underscores the need for better radio discipline. Here on the east coast where it's common to have 3 airfield within 20-25 miles using the same CTAF frequency, long winded reports create a hazard on nice afternoons when those patterns are busy. Keep it short and sweet: "South Oaks traffic, Citabria six eight tango, downind 25, South Oaks".

    But use the friggin radio.
     
    Schokie likes this.
  5. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 29, 2007
    Messages:
    10,541
    Location:
    New England
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    PaulS
    Lol, I did this on one of my last flights. I was flying a typical Cirrus pattern, you know, straight in final. I announced 6 miles out, and a Cessna was holding at the threshold, he asked if he had time to get out. I told him go for it, I'm 3 minutes out. He got out, I didn't have to circle around to a normal pattern entry, every one was happy.
     
    woodchucker and Palmpilot like this.
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    19,656
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    The Navion is REAL slow on approach (the gear speed is 87 knots, the typical pattern speed is 70knots). I usually keep it in tight. On a longer pattern you can probably depart a few planes ahead of me. I had an instructor once who was throwing a fit about someone being on the runway while I was on final. I pointed out he will certainly be gone by the time I get there.
     
  7. UngaWunga

    UngaWunga Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Oct 27, 2014
    Messages:
    1,549
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    UngaWunga
    12 pages easy.
     
    Juliet Hotel and RyanShort1 like this.
  8. jonvcaples

    jonvcaples Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Aug 28, 2019
    Messages:
    395
    Location:
    Colorado, USA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Sasquatch
    No, that is why we have windows! Use all sources of information.
     
  9. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,897
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    Yes. Carry a handheld if you don't have an electrical system. We don't need CPM happening again.
     
  10. Half Fast

    Half Fast Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 7, 2016
    Messages:
    5,918
    Location:
    Central Florida
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Half Fast

    You’re contradicting yourself. “All sources of information” includes the electromagnetic spectrum.
     
    Larry Vrooman likes this.
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 31, 2007
    Messages:
    19,656
    Location:
    Catawba, NC
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    FlyingRon
    Not all planes without electrical systems can use handhelds either. Often the ignition system is so electrically noisy as to make the crapola AM comm radio useless.
     
  12. Todd82

    Todd82 Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Mar 19, 2017
    Messages:
    483
    Location:
    Southwest Ohio
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Todd
    Can we start with a law to make proper position reports first? Closest I ever came to a midair was a Cirrus repeatedly reporting he was "2-3 miles north of the runway" who suddenly filled my entire windscreen while I was making my 45 to enter left downwind to 25, south of the field. I would've rather he had just been NORDO.
     
  13. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,229
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    I've often wondered if not allowing radio reports at airports might not be safer, considering the unintended consequences of relying on them.
     
  14. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 7, 2008
    Messages:
    3,338
    Location:
    Seattle
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ron Wanttaja
    Consider, too, how the ambiguities of English can lead to disaster in these situations. Shouldn't they require that a more precise language be used on CTAF?

    I, for one, can't wait to have my pilot's license endorsement, "Klingon Proficient."

    Ron "Puvhlu’meH QaQ jajvam"* Wanttaja

    *= "Today is a good day to fly"
     
    Palmpilot likes this.
  15. nauga

    nauga Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2013
    Messages:
    2,557
    Location:
    Rockwood Storage Facility
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Mantis Toboggan, MD
    DubelmoHchugh qeS mIchHom traffic vay'

    Nauga,
    who will not buy this tobacconist, it is scratched
     
    wanttaja likes this.
  16. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,171
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tim
    You remind me of someone who has turn signals in his automobile but refuses to signal turns because you already know when and in which direction you will turn. Radios are not the solution to any problem but a single radio transmission may be the only thing that prevents a midair collision. Visual lookout is not the solution, nor is ADSB, transponders, flashing lights, bright colored vinyl wraps, etc. but each one increases the chances that two airplanes don't occupy the same space at the same time. Should radios be mandatory? Any pilot who wants to increase his survival chances should consider a radio a cheap way of increasing situational awareness. Will it work perfectly? No, because there will always be that person who refuses to transmit his position and intentions just like there are drivers who don't bother to signal turns or lane changes, but I'm sure most of us have avoided a collision because someone signalled and you were able to act accordingly and avoid trading paint.
     
    Larry Vrooman, N1120A and Half Fast like this.
  17. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,897
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    Cop out.

    No.

    This.
     
  18. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,733
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Some of you guys imagine we all fly in the same conditions as you. I promise you some of us don’t. Look at my subsequent post after the one you quoted and maybe you’ll understand that. Honestly? Many of the radio calls I hear in uncontrolled airspace are a waste of time.
     
    mondtster likes this.
  19. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AKBill
    The closest I've ever had to a near mid-air was with a hot air balloon. I saw the whites of his eyes...:eek:
     
  20. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,733
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Snuck up on you, did it?
     
    DaleB likes this.
  21. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,733
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Watch out, if they make radios required pretty soon they'll want to track our every move by requiring special transponders!

    I presume every one of you mandatory radio advocates is already geared up with ADS-B out and in?
     
  22. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lindberg
    Can anyone advocating for mandatory radios please identify some accidents caused by an aircraft not having a radio? All the midairs I can think of off the top of my head involved aircraft equipped with radios.
     
  23. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,481
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    Yeah but then self righteous *******s can’t tell you how to fly because they are smarter than you and know what’s best for you and everyone around you.

    oh and no mandate for radios.
     
    timwinters likes this.
  24. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,481
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot

    Liking this is not good enough. Everyone please read this again.
     
    bflynn likes this.
  25. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

    Joined:
    Dec 5, 2010
    Messages:
    4,481
    Location:
    North Carolina once again.
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tarheelpilot
    No. The story is still unfolding. Once the bill comes there will be a lot of debate.
     
  26. bflynn

    bflynn Final Approach

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2012
    Messages:
    6,402
    Location:
    KRDU
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brian Flynn
    The last I know of was Aeromexico 498 in 1986, but that was technically attributed to not having a transponder...radio, but not a voice radio.
     
  27. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 4, 2015
    Messages:
    7,703
    Location:
    Vail, Arizona
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Timbeck2
  28. Stewartb

    Stewartb Final Approach

    Joined:
    Nov 21, 2014
    Messages:
    6,733
    Location:
    Wasilla, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    stewartb
    Yep. "Coming up on" is not information but I hear it ALL the time. Many times I've heard a position report saying they were precisely where I was. I'd notify tower and they'd tell me the other guy was 2-3 miles away. How about the guys that announce a 10 mile final and then go silent? Should I go on? Yesterday I heard a guy's position report on 122.8, which is one of 3 CTAF freqs in my local area. I replied to the guy that he was on 122.8 (I hate guys who play radio police but where he was is my back yard so I took interest.) He responded that he'd switch over after he crossed a specific island. He was only 20 miles inside the 122.9 boundary in a congested spot for a remote area. Yah, that radio is a tool. Sometimes so is the operator.
     
  29. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,197
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    OMG! Can you imagine if Foreflite had an app to make your pattern position reports for you?

    Those Cirrus pilots with their right hand on the handle would love that!

    :p:p:p
     
  30. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    2,197
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    One of my peeves is reporting "approximately ____ " on the radio.

    You are either there, or you ain't!
     
  31. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Apr 1, 2007
    Messages:
    18,101
    Location:
    PUDBY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Richard Palm
    If a pilot is not confident that his/her position report is accurate, I would prefer to know that.
     
  32. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2011
    Messages:
    4,229
    Location:
    Madison, OH
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    dtuuri
    Where do your eyes go on a 45°entry to downwind when somebody calls a two mile final? Should they go there? Do radios just turn you into Pavlov's dog?
     
    Last edited: May 10, 2020
    Juliet Hotel likes this.
  33. AKBill

    AKBill En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 29, 2014
    Messages:
    2,995
    Location:
    Juneau, AK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    AKBill
    Well it was 25 years ago, and I must say it had to be my fault. TO from a non towered field in SD.

    The balloon took off and must have drifted across the runway between the time I did my run up and final checks for TO. To this day I still think I looked both ways for traffic and announce my departure on CTAF. I saw him at about 200 ft, right hand turn to miss him, he was center line with the runway.

    If he had a handheld he did not use it.
     
  34. Witmo

    Witmo Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Feb 19, 2006
    Messages:
    2,171
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Tim
    So at least you knew there was another aircraft nearby. I don't necessarily trust every radio call I hear as many have been inaccurate but at least it warned me that somebody was out there. One poster asked to cite one midair where one of the aircraft was without a radio.I can't but I personally have experienced countless times where a radio call was accurate, timely and enhanced my safety by increasing my situational awareness. I have personally experienced countless times where having AND USING a radio allowed myself and other pilots to coordinate our arrivals/departures to deconflict and enhance the safety of all concerned. But there will always be those who argue that mandating radios encroaches on our freedom to pretend like his aircraft is the only one in the sky and the next mandate will be for all aircraft to be equipped with air to air radar for collision avoidance since GPS/ADSB is not infallible. I defended this country to protect our freedom but sometimes I question my choice when I hear people killing security guards trying to enforce mask-wearing in a dollar store because someone saw it as enfringing on his "freedom" to be an a**hole.
     
  35. Lindberg

    Lindberg En-Route

    Joined:
    Sep 25, 2013
    Messages:
    3,576
    Location:
    North Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Lindberg
    Yes, he has the right of way.
     
  36. ahypnoz

    ahypnoz Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2015
    Messages:
    134
    Location:
    oklahoma city
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ahypnoz
    I have always thought distance reports are good for the tower to help them spot a plane in the air, time reports are much more accurate than distance reports for pilots given the great variation in speed of different aircraft for example Cessna Citation xyz is approximately 10 miles to the north, inbound for a straight in approach (by definition you can not know exactly where you are in a Citation unless you are parked) is not nearly as precise as saying the exact same transmission but saying Cessna Citations is on a 2 minute final (10 miles out) This as compared to a Piper Cub saying that they are Exactly 10 miles out, inbound at 5000 msl, (while they are flying directly into a head 50 knot headwind) they will be 10 miles out for next 10 minutes.

    Anyway, I think that a radio with position reporting should be required at any airport with an instrument approach. No instrument, approach no radio required.
     
  37. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Apr 24, 2018
    Messages:
    1,897
    Location:
    AG5B BE33 MYF
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    N1120A
    You have to use your mental and physical pictures together, even with a tower helping.
     
  38. Daleandee

    Daleandee Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Mar 4, 2020
    Messages:
    710
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Dale Andee
    As I stated earlier I'm not about mandates but I do believe radios can be an extremely important part of safety. The airport I fly from is usually pretty quiet but in the last few months that has changed. The county has two airports and one is much closer to the big city and has more commercial & general aviation traffic ... so they have sent the guys that want to fly paramotors and ultralights over our way for safety reasons. Yesterday I arrived to find a gathering of a dozen cars and probably eight or so paramotor guys flying and preparing to fly. These guys don't go too far and generally like buzzing around the field and doing "foot drags" down the runway.

    I went to talk with them and see what I could learn. I found most don't but some do carry radios. One guy was especially impressive when he pointed to his helmet radio and said, "we are professional aviators" and then confessed his radio wasn't working because the batteries were dead. LOL! I also learned that they generally have communications between themselves and a spotter on the ground with a radio. I make radio calls leaving and returning as well as using my bright LED wig-wags as seen here:



    So I agree that safety is not a single piece of equipment but the combination of all available technology along with a diligent and proper scan.
     
  39. timwinters

    timwinters Ejection Handle Pulled PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2008
    Messages:
    13,737
    Location:
    Conway, MO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    LTD
    Who needs the FAA? We have you!
     
  40. denverpilot

    denverpilot Tied Down PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Nov 8, 2009
    Messages:
    54,380
    Location:
    Denver, CO
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    DenverPilot
    When have they ever had to do that?

    You’re kidding right? ADS-B ... cough...

    Anecdotally the closest I’ve come to a midair wasn’t anywhere near an airport.

    And more times than I can count, the aircraft on the radio wasn’t where they said they were. Not even lined up for the runway end they said they were on. LOL.

    Trusting a radio call from another airplane is like trusting a fart today, after finishing last night’s heavy drinking off with Taco Bell at 3AM. :)

    And the position reports from people doing practice approaches who were already lost five miles prior to the FAF... those are fun... and even more useless... hahaha.