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Guest KD Larsen

Use of UNICOM freq.?

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Hey allI've just completed a rather long flight partly on VATSIM (logged off after 3 hours and reconnected with 2 hours left to go).However, as I arrived into London in the early hours, no ATC was, of course, online. So, I began stating my intentions on UNICOM - mainly because various traffic was around both EGLL and EGKK (my destination), and got a few responses (as in, "I'm over Mayfield, altitude 4000, report distance to Mayfield).And then, as I turn onto finals, I report "LLZ established, speed 160 kts IAS". And then, I get a private message telling me to be quiet, as noone is interested in what I'm doing! Quite odd, as a few others were also stating their intentions.So, should UNICOM be quiet, or are we allowed to state our intentions?

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It looks like the guy behind that private message was a newbie. If it was some sort of new rule that UNICOM should be quiet, I'm sure you would have been told a little more politely. :-)Mostly flying airliners I never feel comfortable with just "speaking out" on UNICOM like that though, even though I know it's good procedure.Martin767 fetishistIt's a lot like life and that's what's appealing

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I believe that like everything, UNICOM broadcasts must be used with moderation. For example, there are some pilots announcing they are starting their descent from FL350. Why do that? Simply check your TCAS screen, and if there is no one around start your descent. No announcements are necessary. If on the other hand there is someone around you, then by all means try and contact him via UNICOM or even a private message to find out his intentions and warn him of your descent.Stamatis

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I agree - I find that many pilots either OVER or UNDER use UNICOM. If you are descending into an area with traffic just let them know what your intentions are and next call on final. I have no idea how they do it in the real world on advisory freq - but that always seems to work for me.Unicom is also a great tool for people who have questions about how to do things - I find that a lot of people communicate on it for technical issues and I personally have no problem with that. The biggest issue I feel is that sometimes when flying on the West Coast of North America I can see guys making calls on Unicom while flying in Europe.Ian.

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For me, I seldom use the unicom to transmit. Maybe because i almost never encounter traffic on my TCAS when i am landing or such, so for me, a short, "Cactus555 On ILS rwy 9L 10mile finally" and if no one replies, then i guess it's safe. But i like to announce on text more than voice because not everyone is on voice, or sometimes i do both.Kenny SlaterBoston ARTCCSenior Controller

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Here in Brazil, when there's no controllers on-line, we transmit in UNICOM freq. (123.45) when passing over an intersection or other "report point", as we call them here.We encouraje pilots to transmit on UNICOM when flying through critical positions. These positions can be: holding short of a runway and preparing to line up; establishing on the localizer course; passing the OM and any other position where a conflict could happen.Best RegardsLuiz Henrique BagatinVATSIM Brazil - Directorhttp://www.vatbrz.org

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