Using descriptors instead of N number

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by Unit74, Sep 10, 2019.

  1. Dav8or

    Dav8or Final Approach

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    Isn't their position reports sufficient and a good enough indicator of multiple aircraft? It's the position report that really matters.
     
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  2. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Cleared for Takeoff

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    47 C.F.R, Part 87
     
  3. tiger

    tiger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As in my example above, if you hear "White Cessna left downwind" followed 40 seconds later by "White Cessna left base", are the position reports a good enough or sufficient indicator of multiple aircraft? "Good enough" is a subjective standard, I suppose, but I'd prefer the "gooder" option of a call sign appended to tell me immediately and unambiguously whether the later call was the earlier airplane or not.

    Using "White Skyhawk 12A" or "Blue Cherokee 89Z" doesn't seem to have a downside beyond perhaps one second of extra airtime. I realize that this may count against it with some, but it also remains in accordance with the AC ("Paint schemes and color or style descriptions may be added to the use of the aircraft call sign and type, but should not replace type or call sign").
     
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  4. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It helps me keep them straight in my mental picture of the situation.
     
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  5. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    My instructor taught me to always act like a professional, even if no one else is listening (that you know of.) Even at my sleepy little grass home field we use tail numbers because calling each other by name is just cheesy. Once in a while we’ll refer to another pilot by name if there is a good reason, such as notifying each other where our good buddy in the old non-electric bipe is, just to keep everyone on the same page when 3 or more airplanes are in the area. Otherwise, tail numbers. It’s cool to say “Niner-six Kilo turning base to land to the north” than it is to say “Green and White 150 blah blah blah” because everyone already knows what color my airplane is and who I am. (Private field.) ;)
     
  6. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    87.107 Station identification.
    (a) Aircraft station. Identify by one of the following means:
    (1) Aircraft radio station call sign.

    (2) The type of aircraft followed by the characters of the registration marking ("N" number) of the aircraft, omitting the prefix letter "N." When communication is initiated by a ground station, an aircraft station may use the type of aircraft followed by the last three characters of the registration marking. Notwithstanding any other provision of this section, an aircraft being moved by maintenance personnel from one location in an airport to another location in that airport may be identified by a station identification consisting of the name of the company owning or operating the aircraft, followed by the word "Maintenance" and additional alphanumeric characters of the licensee's choosing.
    (3) The FAA assigned radiotelephony designator of the aircraft operating organization followed by the flight identification number.
    (4) An aircraft identification approved by the FAA for use by aircraft stations participating in an organized flying activity of short duration.
    (b) Land and fixed stations. Identify by means of radio station call sign, its location, its assigned FAA identifier, the name of the city area or airport which it serves, or any additional identification required. An aeronautical enroute station which is part of a multistation network may also be identified by the location of its control point.
    (c) Survival craft station. Identify by transmitting a reference to its parent aircraft. No identification is required when distress signals are transmitted automatically. Transmissions other than distress or emergency signals, such as equipment testing or adjustment, must be identified by the call sign or by the registration marking of the parent aircraft followed by a single digit other than 0 or 1.
     
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  7. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    I know of one airport where for a while there were two purple RVs based. So it might work at your airport on that day, but what if one of those other purple RVs show up?

    There’s only one N1234 flying in the world. No need to worry about the off-chance another purple RV shows up.
     
  8. bradg33

    bradg33 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Acting like a "professional" doesn't always mean using robotic terms and phrases directly from the AIM or the Pilot/Controller glossary. Acting like a professional means using language on the radio that, in the particular moment or situation, best conveys the necessary information in a concise manner. Clear, concise communication is what is professional, and it doesn't have to come in any particular form.
     
  9. Silvaire

    Silvaire En-Route

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    A descriptor is easier to remember like if you want to ask white Cessna if he’s going to full stop rather than trying to remember 5473 Hotel. Other than that I don’t see it as anything to get wound up about.
     
  10. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    THIS IS THE INTERNET!!! GETTING WOUND UP IS WHAT WE DO!!!

    ;)
     
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  11. alfadog

    alfadog En-Route

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    Frankly, unless your main color is something other than white, just saying "high wing single turning left base" would tell me everything I need to know to try to spot you and maintain separation. No-one does it like that, of course. Point is that the N-number or secondary color is not going to help other than tracking your progress through the pattern over the radio, which can be helpful. Of course, in this little bird, I do say "red Yankee".

    IMG_20190328_113310311 (1).jpg
     
  12. Lachlan

    Lachlan En-Route

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    How unprofessional of you. ;)
     
  13. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    Problem is that the secondary color is painted on the side of the fuselage where I can't see from the pilot seat and I'm only in a white Cessna when I'm renting.

    But yeah, the position and intentions are the most meaningful part of the radio call. Most everything else I can figure out. Eventually.
     
  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Exactly!
     
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  15. Tantalum

    Tantalum En-Route

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    Why not both? "Beige Archer 76 Victor"

    also, keep in mind that there could be airplanes in the pattern not using the radio at all, you have to listen and use your eyes. I don't know why people get all bent out of shape over this stuff
     
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  16. asicer

    asicer En-Route

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    I've done that too. Although "white Cessna 2 Sierra Papa" is still pretty useless.:)
     
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  17. Dana

    Dana Line Up and Wait

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    I guess I have it easy; I just ID as "biplane" unless (extremely rare) there's another biplane in the pattern. You can tell it's a biplane from a lot farther away than you can see color, let alone number. "Yellow Cub" may or may not be a unique aircraft in the pattern at any given time. But Cessnas... maybe not the whole number, but "Cessna 7ST" at least tells the locals that it's the FBO's 152 probably flown by a student and not, say, a transient C-210.
     
  18. Matthew Rogers

    Matthew Rogers Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not when coming into a breakfast fly in where there are no less than 6 people on various pattern entry paths along with those in the pattern. But then there is also no radio silence for anyone to announce enough info anyway. There have been times that I have decided it was best not to make an announcement or two because all it would do was cause everyone the hear the common gsheufsnsndnesndxjd sound of 122.8 as three people try to announce all at once. I use that time to spot others and make mental call outs of all the planes that I have in sight.
     
  19. wanttaja

    wanttaja En-Route

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    Had a guy from the local helicopter flight school wander over a week or so ago, while I was getting gas. "Wanted to see what a 'Fly Baby' *was*!" In this case, "Fly Baby 848" or just "Fly Baby" was about equivalent.....

    Ron Wanttaja
     
  20. schmookeeg

    schmookeeg Cleared for Takeoff

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    That only wastes one syllable. I've heard wayyyyy worse nonsense on-air, so it wouldn't bother me. "Solid B+ Grade" :D

    I'd mentally file it as 76V and my lizard brain would discard what color drapes he chose to adorn his ride with and announce to the world. Save it for the Queer Eye Archer makeover special IMHO.
     
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  21. iflyvfr

    iflyvfr Pattern Altitude

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    You're approaching the field and you hear "Skyhawk 77R, 5 southwest for right downwind 22". Shortly thereafter you hear "Twin Cessna 1BC 7 SE for left downwind 22". Doesn't that tell you about all you need to know re: inbound traffic? To my mind, that paints a pretty good picture. Once you're in the sky, your paint scheme basically turns grey or black, including mine, I could care less what color you are. Tell me your type and I have a pretty good picture of your A/C performance.
     
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  22. skier

    skier Line Up and Wait

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    Maybe that in and of itself is the difference in opinions. I find the alpha-numeric strings easier to remember than descriptors.
     
  23. AGLyme

    AGLyme Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have a Flight Design and I used to announce "Flight Design 521JW" and some know what the plane is, and some do not and ask me what it is (Foxtrot Delta Charlie Tango is the technical code). I started saying "Light Sport" and that became more meaningful to ATC as they immediately know the speed, capability, etc.

    I recently started announcing "Light Sport high wing 521JW" in every situation. Seems to work best. I was in a pattern a month ago with 2 Cessnas, one announced "Cessna", the other "Cessna + N#"... I was confused because both guys sounded alike... For a few minutes I didn't know if I was with 2 Cessnas or 1 Cessna... So, the N# helps.
     
  24. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot En-Route

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    Not including the N number and using a visual description of the airplane does not comply with regs and it reduces SA in busy airspace.

    If you think otherwise go forth and be ignorant. While you are at it stop using TP as well. It’s more efficient and much better for the environment.

    You see. I did answer your question. You just were not paying attention. My intent was to draw a direct correlation between not using your registration number in com and wiping your butt with your hand. It’s about as useful.

    I hope it’s obvious that I am engaging in severe hyperbole if not well ... I’m sorry you didn’t laugh.

    But please regardless of what extra details you choose to transmit do not exclude the N number.
     
  25. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    This is why I avoid POA meetups , I am still trying to figure out how to announce my position when I go to one the meet ups, one of these days may be there will be a solution. for the next one please use a towered field and we can all ask for straight in and avoid confusion. Bonus, no base to final stall spin even better, we don’t have to argue about the best way to enter the pattern...
     
  26. chemgeek

    chemgeek Cleared for Takeoff

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    Wow. POA can overthink ANYTHING. Using your A/C identifier is not only the standard procedure, but it is a unique identification that helps others build a mental picture of the traffic pattern and entries. The purpose of using the A/C identifier is not because you are expected to read it from a mile away. For that matter, "red and white" or "Cessna" may also be useless depending on the distance between you and the target. Give your A/C number and position, and hopefully everyone can keep the picture straight.

    There are a bunch of aircraft at a nearby airport that use this type of reportage, and it's not that helpful unless they are the only planes in the pattern. If there were TWO green and white Cessnas in the pattern, it could get confusing who is where real fast.
     
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  27. Kyrpto

    Kyrpto Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Aren't you suppose to announce your airplane type?
     
  28. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yes, but there’s variation to what you read in the textbook vs what happens in real life.

    The textbook teaches robotic radio verbiage. It works for awhile, but you’ll stick out like a sore thumb on the radio.
     
  29. Kyrpto

    Kyrpto Ejection Handle Pulled

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    But if you just use your tail # how are other pilots going to know what type of plane to look out for?
     
  30. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I agree. Plus it’s super amateurish. Do whatever you want but whenever I hear “red and white” whatever... I’m just embarrassed for them.
     
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  31. Kyrpto

    Kyrpto Ejection Handle Pulled

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    At my uncontrolled field everyone just announces their aircraft type like "Cessna 172" or "Cirrus SR20"
     
  32. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Line Up and Wait

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    The number is used not because other pilots are supposed to actually be able to look out their window and see your number (if you're that close, you'd better be flying in formation on purpose!), but because it's a standard way of UNIQUELY identifying your aircraft. No one else has that number, so each unique number you here unequivocally means another aircraft in the area who has hopefully given a clear position/intention report. Really, there isn't another way to ENSURE that you don't inadvertently ascribe a radio call to the wrong aircraft. As many

    Similarly, I'd rather hear "Skyhawk" or "Citation" than "Cessna"... I always say "Cherokee" rather than "Piper." Only one syllable off either way, and way more information. A "Cessna 172" is a Skyhawk.. use that, and reserve the numbers for your tail number in your call to avoid confusion. Your CFI will go over all of this with you. If you're trying to get a jump on starting training, download this handbook and anything else you find interesting on the FAA site...

    https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/airplane_handbook/
     
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  33. Kyrpto

    Kyrpto Ejection Handle Pulled

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    My CFI just teaches me to use my aircraft type. Should I correct him? And at the uncontrolled airfield I train at everyone just uses their aircraft type.
     
  34. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Line Up and Wait

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    Really? That would be very unusual. I've never heard anyone do that. Does a CFI teach from that field?
     
  35. MuseChaser

    MuseChaser Line Up and Wait

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    I wouldn't approach it as "correcting" him, but rather just make sure you're understanding him by asking clarifying questions. Don't get the wrong idea.. I'm not a CFI, or even a very experienced pilot...just a basic PPSEL, no IR.. so don't take my word for anything without outside confirmation. My CFI taught me to say "Cherokee," and I've flown in a lot of (relatively) busy controlled and uncontrolled airspace. Never heard, at least that I can recall, anyone say "Cessna 172" despite there being a zillion in the area... always "Skyhawk" or "Cessna." The Cirrus guys just say "Cirrus." The goals are information, precision, and conciseness. "Skyhawk xyz" wins that contest. Ask your CFI's opinion. I'd be interested in the response, if it's not too much trouble.
     
  36. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    My tail number is a palindrome, so it always confuses everyone who hears it.

    I think I'll just identify myself as "Itty bitty Cessna."
     
  37. Bill Jennings

    Bill Jennings Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Although not initiated by a ground station, at uncontrolled fields I just use type and last three. "Pea patch traffic Mooney 642 base 15 Pea patch"
     
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  38. Ravioli

    Ravioli Ejection Handle Pulled

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    I think the Cirrus dudes say only Cirrus because the SR20 and SR22 fly basically the same speeds in the terminal area.

    Same for mostly (if not all) RV's.

    The importance of identifying type is a) performance and b) where the wings should be.

    The importance of the tail number (or part thereof) is if you need to say something to them specific it's easier.
    EX: Cherokee123, RVabc, I'm gonna extend my downwind for ya
    vs. Cherokee on downwind, RV entering downwind...

    When you know their number and are speaking directly to them, it's more better.
     
  39. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Another example of an instructor leading students down the garden path. When an instructor tells you to do something, either ask "where does it say that in writing?" or look it up yourself. Instructors are not infallible.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  40. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I use Cherokee six zero uniform unless there are other Cherokee's in the pattern, then I use blue and white Cherokee. If there are other blue and white Cherokees in the pattern, I named her Broom Hilda so maybe I should just use that. If there is another Broom Hilda in the pattern....I'm leaving. ;)
     
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