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Club Radio Frequencies

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Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Thu Mar 22, 2018 11:28 am

One for the committee I guess but has the club adopted any fixed 2m radio frequencies?

Regards

Roy
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Dave Thomas » Thu Mar 22, 2018 12:28 pm

What would this be for - a safety channel or general flying talk. If it's the general flying talk then people tend to set their radios relevant to who they are flying with and their plans for the day, so a specific channel seems irrelevant to me. Also the last thing most people want is to listen to constant disturbing chat from people they don't know which is not applicable to their flying at that moment. It's bad enough being up high and listening to Barney FM from the Peaks when your above the Mynd.
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:19 am

Thanks Dave, the suggestion was both a hillside frequency, which I guess doubles for safety and another for XC. I’m not much of a radio user myself due to the extra faff of batteries, wires etc but can see the value of having a safety or hailing frequency should there be an incident or if a visitor needed a site brief? Maybe something to trial? From a personal point of view I’d be more inclined to carry a radio if nothing else to improve my general situational awareness. As you say too much chatter though is a distraction so maybe a hailing or safety frequency only.

Regards

Roy
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby David Broughton » Fri Mar 23, 2018 8:32 am

We DID have an agreed frequency for Long Mynd ridge soaring use which was also available to the MGC if they had any important messages to transmit. Not sure what it was/is (!) as I don't use radio myself (ask the MGC?). Could be 143.95.
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:43 am

Thanks David, I called MGC and spoke to the duty instructor, they do have a 2m radio given by LMSC it seems but there was no frequency written down anywhere on the wall in the office. He suggested that Nick could throw some light on this one?

I guess that the air horn system and amber lights mentioned on the Long Mynd site guide give fair warning of launches taking place or approaching air ambulance so there is not much else that they would need to communicate.

I suspect that if the site was smaller, as densely flown and as sensitive as the likes of Milk Hill and Devils Dyke then there may have been more of a need for a fixed frequency? The enquiry was from a visiting pilot who I think has not flown here yet?

Regards

Roy
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Geoffm » Fri Mar 23, 2018 10:29 pm

The MGC don't use it. I'd be amazed if it is even charged. Really, if there was an emergency over there, and a heli was coming in, it'd be much easier for them to walk over, and tell people to radio their mates on the varying frequencies we use, and use the ground signal with glider bags or whatever.

We also gave them a klaxon horn thingy a couple of years ago - Roy refers to it above. That would be more effective than a radio, if they remember they have it, and what it is for.
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby marcus tett » Sat Mar 24, 2018 12:18 am

I've flown a handful of clubs that recommend radio frequencies if you wish to use them and generally worked well if the rules are clear. Every club seems to have their own unique requirements, this topic has raised some good discussion about safety systems in place......thanks
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Mon Oct 12, 2020 12:54 pm

Long Mynd 2m VHF Radio Frequency Proposal

Just to give members a heads up on my proposal to the LMSC Committee which takes into account some of the comments here:

"Could the Committee investigate and consider the use of a VHF safety frequency. The LMSC shares the hill with the MGC posing aerial hazards and is frequented by many visiting HG and PG pilots and low airtimers. I have been asked many times by visitors what the frequency is?

A safety frequency would:

• In the air (on recieve) enable better situational awareness of aerial and ground based hazards e.g. increasing surface winds, approaching powered aircraft, winching, motor gliders, autogyros and helicopters including air ambulances.

• On the ground (on transmit) enable reporting of incidents, aerial traffic, increasing wind speeds etc to airborne pilots, enable a call for help from downed and injured pilots, ask for a lift up from the landing field and ask for a site briefings.

A number of other clubs have a 2m VHF frequency including the Cumbria Soaring Club, North Devon and Ochills.
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Nick Le Gras » Mon Oct 19, 2020 9:12 am

Roy
I'm sure in a military environment such proposals may have some merit and even may provide some comfort and I dare say pilots won't have much choice, but to tow the line.

Its interesting to note though that some of the most congested sites in Europe with pilots of multiple nationalities seem to manage without provision for such specific radio channel/s

The chances of significant numbers of pilots using such channels on any given day are highly unlikely
In which case the usefulness of them becomes highly eroded.

Dave has already eluded to the irritation of airborne chatter and drivel, and anyone who has flown in the most basic of competitions in which monitoring a nominated channel is compulsory will have switched it off because someone will have faulty equipment and will be intermitently or continuously transmitting without their knowledge,
and then there will be the guy that presses the transmit button whilst turning right ,and there are loads more

The British Club Challenge comp don't advocate the use of dedicated safety channels, quite the opposite, club teams use a frequency of choice to permit gaggle flying on the day, as will any xc hounds that turn up , and propose to fly in groups

The proposal is at first sight a good idea,and of course it's difficult to suggest that an idea that potentially premotes safety should be ignored .

BUT.... the practicalities haven't been thought through the actual reality is that virtually nobody will use them,their use can't be insisted upon,as off course they could be in the military environment

In fact if the proposal ever reaches reality,
(I sincerely hope it doesn't.)

I will take particular note of the channels

So, I never ever inadvertently tune to them!

There are very well understood procedures and mechanisms for getting pilots to land or clear an area in an emergency which in reality are going to reach more pilots than any dedicated radio channel/s

And nobody should really ignore the current fact ,that our 2m radios and use are actually illegal(not withstanding the use is currently tolerated) but to formalise channel and radio use on our website /literature would not be the smartest thing to do.

Offcom have recently had occasion to interrogate the users of such radios and channels following complaints.

We are free flier's, the clue is in the name
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby David Broughton » Mon Oct 19, 2020 10:57 am

I tend to agree with Nick. It don't much matter to me as , although I have a radio I haven't used it for years and probably won't do in future, unless I ever again take a trip abroad.

PS. The phrase is TOE THE LINE not TOW THE LINE. Yer not in a sailplane now!
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Sat Oct 24, 2020 7:54 pm

Nick, Dave,

Thanks for your input but other clubs use them and I wouldn't in any case advocate their compulsory use as Nick is erroneously suggesting.

I’d agree that experienced pilots who know the site might find it superfluous but I’ve been asked several times by visiting and low airtime pilots if there is a frequency.

My being military has nothing to do with this Nick but one thing we do do in the military is communicate well, we also talk to the troops and listen.

As it is I’ve had some advice from the BHPA which I will bring back to the club. It might be a something the membership should consider and decide?

Regards

Roy
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby David Broughton » Sun Oct 25, 2020 12:12 pm

I'm not very good at multi-tasking. When I fly I concentrate on the flying, just a basic vario & nowt else. No fancy nav equipment, no drinks machines, no catheter (!), no in-flight snacks. Before mobile phones (yes I am that old!) radio was sometimes useful for calling up a retrieve but in the air with wires/speaker/mike/battery it's too much hassle (for me). If others want/need to use them all well and good but it's not a big issue.
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Sun Oct 25, 2020 1:00 pm

Thanks Dave, me neither and less is more as they say. This was more about airborne pilots listening in to warnings ground to air really within a confined area.

I have sent Ofcom who now issue licences an email asking whether it’s ok to use UHF PMR446 frequencies air to air, air to ground and ground to air. A lot of popular modern radios like the Baofengs are dual band and the PMR frequencies don’t require an RT licence. They are also low output at 0.5 to 1W with a range of a few Km line of site.

There are issues as we know with unlicensed use of VHF but PMR frequencies at .5w is apparently ok. It seems they are in use for air to air on paramotors and even GA and microlights flying together for chatter off air band frequencies.

I’ve more research to do as I’m not a geek but PMR would be worth considering as so many carry dual band (Baofeng UV-5, UV-3, T1etc) I’ve just bought a pair of Baofeng T1 to try out, £21 for a pair!

Regards

Roy
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Cristian Pirlea » Mon Oct 26, 2020 11:30 am

I don't think that having a dedicated radio frequency can do any harm, in the end it is an easy solution not to tune in if it is to much trouble for some people.
Me personally I can find it very useful, especially as a beginner. I had a beautiful experience in another club where I am a member and flying a new site in the combination with my 10 hours flight experience would have been a bit tricky... but as soon as I have arrived I've tunned in the frequency, had a chat with the site coach, easily identified him and even in flight kept receiving a few good tips...
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby David Broughton » Mon Oct 26, 2020 3:33 pm

There was a report (apocryphal?) some years ago from Olu Deniz of a pilot under radio instruction being told to continue flying straight - he ended up ditching in the sea quite a way from the beach. Turns out the instructions were meant for someone else!
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Nick Le Gras » Mon Oct 26, 2020 5:34 pm

MGC use pmrs
For all winching and ground ops
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:37 pm

Cristian, Dave, Nick,

Thanks for your comments. No reply yet from Ofcom yet on legality but everything I’ve read points towards potential radio interference being the primary concern of the CAA. Of course licenced hams are not going to be too pleased with parachatter being blasted across the airwaves at 5watts from 5000ft. Seems to make sense then why paramotors got an exemption to use short range low output UHF PMRs as they have not been found to interfere with airband VHF.

Looking forward to trying out the range of the Baofeng T1s across the Wentnor Valley. They weigh 99g and have a claimed 12hr battery life, range 1-5km?
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Re: Club Radio Frequencies

Postby Roy Dade » Mon Oct 26, 2020 9:38 pm

Cristian, Dave, Nick,

Thanks for your comments. No reply yet from Ofcom yet on legality but everything I’ve read points towards potential radio interference being the primary concern of the CAA. Of course licenced hams are not going to be too pleased with parachatter being blasted across the airwaves at 5watts from 5000ft. Seems to make sense then why paramotors got an exemption to use short range low output UHF PMRs as they have not been found to interfere with airband VHF.

Looking forward to trying out the range of the Baofeng T1s across the Wentnor Valley. They weigh 99g and have a claimed 12hr battery life, range 1-5km?
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