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Thread: 121.5 MHz

  1. Default 121.5 MHz

    Simple question: Do all commercial and/or GA aircraft actively monitor 121.5 MHz?

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    Quote Originally Posted by CRJ_simpilot View Post
    Simple question: Do all commercial and/or GA aircraft actively monitor 121.5 MHz?

    Thanks.
    If they have two radios they often will, unless there are more relevant frequencies they need to monitor.

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    That's hard to determine. I've rarely monitored it in over 40 years, though keep in mind that a lot of my flying has been with a student, towing a banner or glider, or even flying aircraft with zero or 1 radios. Still, even on trips that was not a high priority. And I'm not specifically aware of many folks who make this a regular practice, though I'm sure there are some who do.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  4. Default

    Interesting. Reason I ask is that I read it's a good idea to have an aviation two-way handheld if you go out into the back country and if you are lost and see a plane over head you could use that frequency (legally I guess) to signal your distress to the overhead plane so that you can get rescued.

    I read this at the radioreference.com website. I thought of buying a handheld for this specific purpose just in case, but I also thought about just buying a Sat phone and calling card on eBay as well.
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    Depending on where you are, there may not be anyone in range of the radio. For back country travel, one of the emergency satellite beacons that are available might be better.

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    North of the 49th it is generally considered good practice where possible. Something like one radio tuned to the en-route frequency and the second to 121.5, unless checking ATIS, for example. There's lots and lots of land and not a lot of people, so a passing aircraft might be the only one in range. Although these days with personal satellite beacons and 406 MHz ELTs available, 121.5 may not even be used for an emergency.

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    Reason I ask is that I read it's a good idea to have an aviation two-way handheld if you go out into the back country and if you are lost and see a plane over head you could use that frequency (legally I guess) to signal your distress to the overhead plane so that you can get rescued.
    I agree with Loki that the personal beacons are a better choice. You're more likely to get someone's attention that way. Also, some things might be "legal" in a true emergency that otherwise are not, but I'd check more about that than just some website about scanners and such, perhaps the FCC's site would have something about that in the regulations.

    Larry N.

    As Skylab would say:
    Remember: Aviation is NOT an exact Science!

  8. #8

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    Quote Originally Posted by lnuss View Post
    I agree with Loki that the personal beacons are a better choice. You're more likely to get someone's attention that way. Also, some things might be "legal" in a true emergency that otherwise are not, but I'd check more about that than just some website about scanners and such, perhaps the FCC's site would have something about that in the regulations.
    If you are a ham radio operator, even without the license for the aviation radio, you are allowed to use any means at your disposal to attract attention to an emergency. Although, I personally would not call FEMA for help - they tend to throw the book even though the "relevant" (FCC) rules say you are right.

    But there is a hefty FCC fine for someone interfering with emergency communications. Do yourself a favor and buy the Personal Locator Beacon. Except the thing about using 121.5 in Alaska sounds correct. I know that GPS gets blocked by mountains there due to the angle from orbit to the high latitude, so they use the older LORAN system that isn't line-of-sight the way the PLB is.

    Be sure to register that PRB right away after you get it - it's so they know who to call if there is an alarm that happens to be false.

    Sean

    P.S.: A ham radio license is an easy way to get access to use the best communications gear available. Low cost and easy to study for.
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  9. #9

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    Oh, and monitoring the emergency frequency is now "highly recommended". I've seen video of people who flew to close to the President and got an F-15 escort to an airport different than their own where they got to kiss the asphalt with the help of a large group of policemen waiting for them to park.

    that's a big change, to. "Flying" magazine once said all you had to do was tell them who your lawyer was after you were notified, you didn't need to make a statement even.
    'Glichy' controls or switches and don't want to pay for new ones? Read on... You can bring a controller back to life by exercising it through it's full range of motion or from maximum to minimum and back again 50 times. I had a Logitech joystick that gave left rudder without touching it but turning it 50X fixed it.

  10. Default

    Think I'll get a beacon. Thanks.
    My forum project. Click me
    OOM errors? Read this.
    Pick an Amazon wish list, help a child out
    From RLG, Fly heading 053, intercept 315 DVV, look for the orange glow of a SAM.
    !M [email protected] B5A9 =G s5FCB *CFA9GHF5B8 5B8 { <5J9 [email protected] <9F9 HC H<9 @=6F5FM

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