Uncontrolled airports

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
596
#21
I am all for not clogging up the frequency, but violently opposed to mindless frequent transmissions at the expense of flight safety. If I ask where you are and you do not answer, you are missing an opportunity to avoid a midair. That is the only reason for Unicom.

I too listen for about five minutes - then I call four miles out. Most of the time, if someone else is there, they will tell me "look for a white cessna downwind 23". Think about why you do stuff in an airplane - leave the mindless procedures for folks not doing stuff that can hurt you.

I think mindlessly asking for an airport advisory is lots worse than asking if anybody is around. When was the last time a Unicom operator answered you?

Opinion. My first seven years flying was exclusively at uncontrolled airports.
 

aftCG

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 3, 2018
Messages
245
Location
Tacoma, WA
#22
I don’t answer the “anybody in the pattern” question but will call my next move soon after. So instead of saying yes I am here and then 20 seconds later call turning crosswind, I’ll just not answer and call crosswind. Kinda proves that if you just listen out, you don’t have to make that call and clog up the frequency.
Agree. It answers their question without talking directly to them.

I'm in the habit of tuning into CTAF of destination airports WAY out so I can visualize the zoo before I can see the animals. I also do this for airports along my route
 

Bob Turner

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 4, 2018
Messages
596
#23
Just finished reviewing my valued copies of the ASF. Safety Advisor #3, "Operations at Nontowered Airports". They are pretty good - changed little between 2005 and 2007. I ought to get a more recent version. These are good handouts.

I obviously disagree with some of the tenets - they recommend that ten mile call, no matter whether you are an Aeronca C3 or a Gulfstream. They recommend multiple calls with multiple repetition of the airport on each one. And they are horrified by anyone asking an obvious question like "anyone home" and yet espouse the query "Wings Unicom, Conquest Three-Nine Alpha, 10 miles south, request airport advisory." Seems to me the two querys are identical - except that you are far more likely to get a response from pattern traffic.

I could go along with starting and ending a call with the airport name, but, and this is just personal preference, I would vastly prefer that you say it once, slowly, at the end of your transmission. Here is what I often hear, like every ten seconds from the same aircraft: "Mphlfgt traffic, this is 123 downwind Mpriiffic". No help at all.

But get this: page 5 "2. Be brief - It is more important for pilots to know what kind of airplane you are flying than to know your complete call sign." On that, I completely agree. Get one of these fine handouts. AOPA gives them away.