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BobK

What's the Pope's Callsign?

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I was just having a discussion with a friend about this, and I seem to be having a brain-#####.. I know his plane has a special callsign when he's flying, like Air Force Once, but I'll be durned if I can remember it.. :)

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Nevermind - my brain recovered - "Shepherd One". :)

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Thats something I did not know, however, I dont understand why the President or the Pope even have a callsign for their aircraft. In this day and age, anybody on the planet can purchase a cheap scanner and know when they are arriving and from what direction. I just think it would be safer for those kind of flights to take on a name which would be less recognizable for any "wrong-doers". :-lol Craig

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I think for security reason(comms between agents and police)they have to have a recognizable handle so they know exactly who they're talking about....There's a down side to just about everything I guess....PaulG.

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Years ago I was at KLAX watching the planes and listening with my scanner. Presiden Reagan was scheduled to land on his way to the Century City Hotel. The tower announced that the field was closed to all traffic that Air Force 1 was scheduled to land. The plane landed and taxied to the west end of the field where he deplaned and got onto Marine 1 the helo for the trip to the hotel. All of the traffic was in the open on the ground and tower frequencies. At that time the Secret Service channels were not scrambled, like they are now, and there was a lot of chatter on those frequencies. I have no idea what it is like now. I am sure it is very restricted. Do you remember the time our hero, President Clinton, had the airport tied up when he got his haircut at KLAX after arriving?

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It's a lot different now....all aircraft have to be re-routed if they are in a 7 mile radius of the plane when airborn, and when on the ground all traffic is restricted from taking off or landing...the airport basically shuts down! The call sign "Air Force One," really isn't a "special," call sign, like Shepherd-One is, Air Force One is the name of the A/C, just as United's call sign is United because thats the name of the company! But the whole "shepherd-one," deal.....well ya got me!

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The plane is called Air Force 1 only when the President is physically onboard. The Marine helo is called Marine 1 only when he is physically onboard. When Nixon resigned and Ford took over as President, Nixon was onboard Air Force 1. As soon as Ford took over it reverted back to the tail number while airborne(don't remember the tail number). Technically the plane took off as AF1 and never landed as AF1. I believe it's the only plane that has ever done this without crashing or suffered some other problem.

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I remember seeing something on Discovery about that. The pilot changed it to something like Red Dog One or to that effect without going to the tail number. Sorta like in the movie Air Force One when Ford gets aboard the C-130 that rescues some of the guys off the bird, the pilot of that then changes the call sign to Air Force One. http://homepages.paradise.net.nz/edenw/FS_..._banner_je9.jpg

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When Ford took the oath of office, Nixon's flight switched from "Air Force One", to "SAM-28000" (or 27000, can't remember which plane it was) So, technically, "Air Force Once" has one more takeoff, than it does landings. :)

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Hi,The dutch Queen Beatrix always travels with "her" Fokker 70.The callsign of this bird is PH-KBX, it's always Papa Hotel - Kilo Bravo X-ray.Even if the Queen isn't aboard it's still the KBX.Just a little information.Here's a link to a picture of the jet http://www.airliners.net/open.file/245731/L/With kind regards,Evert(from Holland :-hah )

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Yep, and when HM Queen Elizabeth II flies in RAF aircraft, they take a special call-sign - rotary or fixed-wing. Not sure if that's the case when she flies on chartered BA airliners. I can't remember what the callsign(s) is(are).I remember reading about 'purple' airspace, which is cleared around any Royal Flight.Also, no member of the Royal Family in direct line to the throne may fly on the same plane - so Prince Charles and his sons fly separately.Rob

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Hi Rob,That's interesting that the Brittish Royal flight had that "purple" airspace.Our F70 is between al the other traffic........if it departs from Schiphol it will take off from 22/04 (general aviation) but if it's inbound for landing, it will land on the at that time active runway, no exceptions.And the Dutch Queen travels with Prince Willem Alexander (he's in direct line to the throne) and Princess Maxima.It's always nice to see the difference between countries!!! :)Regards,Evert(If I'm right the Brittish Royal Flight uses the callsign "Royal Flight ......)

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"But the whole "shepherd-one," deal.....well ya got me!"Shepherd as in he is the shepherd of his 'flock' aka the Catholic Church. Is that what you meant?Mark Underwood (Adelaide, Australia)

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I think it's 'Kittyhawk' or somesuch. I'm pretty certain it's a bird of prey of some description.Just imagine for our Queen Mother's funeral, and the Golden Jubilee when lots of European Royalty came to London, how that would've caused havoc at Heathrow!Rob

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Craig,>I dont understand why the President or the Pope even have a callsign>for their aircraft. In this day and age, anybody on the planet can>purchase a cheap scanner and know when they are arriving and >from what direction.I can't speak for the Pope, but the Air Force does not use any commercial or other frequencies any scanner can receive, and they are all coded now in any case. If you go to a commercial airport where you know the president is arriving, you'll never hear it on your pocket Radio Shack scanner. Same for the Blue Angels in air shows (although they do occasionally use the 238-280mhz range), or any military aircraft.The aircraft the president is on is identified as that because it has to have a callsign that is obvious and clear. Way back in the 50's, before Air Force 1, or Marine 1, or Navy 1, or Coast Guard 1, were used, too many planes with similar callsigns were, like today, taking the presidential aircraft's instructions. There was a near-miss in one case. They changed the callsign the next week.There is now a 10-mile minimum range for any other aircraft around the pres's plane, and even that's now extended. In most cases over the US, the route now has to be completely cleared, with something like 100+ miles of free space. I know because KDEN annoyingly has to do a ground stop for half an hour to an hour every time the thing flies over Colorado.I would imagine it's more or less the same for any potentate.

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Hello Rob,I've often seen the TV programme "Airport" which is about Heathrow. And I always love the part when there comes a royalty, all the panic and security checks :D .I was wondering......if you watch the program you'll always see one aircraft, but is there parking space for the aircraft on Heathrow? Because as far as I know/heard, Heathrow is always busy with both runways heavily used and filled taxiways. Is there any space left for Royalty planes?In holland there is Valkenburg it's near The Haque, and when a royalty or a VIP comes to Holland they almost always land there. A reason for that is, the airfield can be protected very very well. There is only one access road, so that can be protected very easy. Is there something like Valkenburg in the UK? I was nice when Prince Willem-Alexander and Princess Maxima married, all the friend of the royal family came on Valkenburg NAS, which is only 20min from my home.And I was able to spot lots of new aircraft!!!! such as Swedisch Gulfstream, Danisch CL-106, a Royal Brunei Flight Gulfstream etc... that's what I think is "a once in a life time".Regards,Evert

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Yeah, that's basically what it means...

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Scott, hit it on the nail with Air Force One, in 1952 Columbine II, a C-121A with the tail number 48-610 was President Eisenhower's aircraft. There was some confusion with the Call sign Eastern 8610 and Air Force 8610, so "Air Force One" became the offical callsign for the president, in a fixed-wing aircraft. on a side note Columbine II is now at the USAF Museum at Wright-Patterson AFB in Dayton Ohio. Along with 8 other "Air Force Ones",.:-outtahttp://publish.hometown.aol.com/p3superb/images/675-2fs.jpg

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You're wrong. Airforce one is only called Airforce one when the President is onboard.

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I guess the Queen's Flight (the RAF BAe 146-100s they use) still use RAF Northolt to the North of LHR. That would prevent that kind of disruption (it's where Diana, Princess of Wales' coffin was returned to in 1997). Anything bigger goes to Heathrow.I once saw an RAF VC10 land at LHR, and it appeared to just be slotted into normal traffic, before taxying off 27L onto the royal suite stand - which is pretty small (near Terminal 4 - close to the World Cargo Centre - so visiting royalty always get a nice view!).Rob

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I think it may be Columbine III that's at Wright-Patterson. I know Columbine I is at the Pima Air Museum in Tucson, AZ, and I thought Columbine II was parked at the Municipal Airport in Santa Fe, NM, (I haven't seen that one). But whatever, they're all fine historical aircraft and worthy of a visit.Trip

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Jeff,Maybe you can answer this. I forget what was the airplane that was the original first official dedicated Persidential plane. They eventually wouldn't let Rosevelt(?) fly in it, but the First Lady was allowed to travel the world in it (Peru Or Brazil I think). It was melted down. Too bad since it was a "first".I need to pay closer attention to the Discovery Wings Channel. :-lol Or was it the History channel on "Modern Marvels"?I'm gettig old.As for Columbine, since it the is the state flower of Maime, I can relate to calling the plane that. ;-)

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Scott, Unfortunately you are wrong about not being able to hear AF1 arrive on any frequencies. When I started flying again, I bought a 99.00 Radio Shack scanner to listen to Des Moines Approach, Tower, Ground and other Unicom and Multi-com freqs in the area. The president has been to Des Moines Twice this year and I have heard AF1 talking to approach and tower both times (I cant get ground because of line-of-site rules). However, it is a VERY brief communication between the two, I still can hear it plain as day. I was pretty surprised this last time Pres Bush came that I heard them talking to approach, I looked outside and they were only on a downwind for 13. As anyone knows who watches 747s, it looked like they were barely flying along for the entire downwind and their long final over the city of Des Moines. I dont know, maybe they dont think Des Moines is a threat?Craig

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Scott, I'm gonna have to shoot this down too:but the Air Force does not use any commercial or other frequencies any scanner can receive, and they are all coded now in any case. If you go to a commercial airport where you know the president is arriving, you'll never hear it on your pocket Radio Shack scanner.For the G8 in July here in Calgary, I used my Radio Shack Pro-92 to listen to Air Force One, Sam 29000, and every single dignitary, helicopter, and cargo plane hauling fake dog sh_t from Hong Kong! :-lol That day, a few people thought the freqs would be scrambled, or that a password had to be used to land, but no such things happened.

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>>I can't speak for the Pope, but the Air Force does not use >any commercial or other frequencies any scanner can receive, >and they are all coded now in any case. If you go to a >commercial airport where you know the president is arriving, >you'll never hear it on your pocket Radio Shack scanner. >Same for the Blue Angels in air shows (although they do >occasionally use the 238-280mhz range), or any military >aircraft. >Actually, you can still hear US military traffic on open ATC frequencies. It depends on whether the particular aircraft is VHF equipped. Typically, transports and tankers are what you will hear because of this. However, there are some ANG tactical aircraft units that were tasked with air defense equipped with VHF and you can hear those also. I haven't noticed any changes in the way they conduct business in the open since 9/11, if anything, there was more traffic out there, including even AWACs and NATO over the US.

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