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enchantedloom

Unicom v Tower?

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I'm brand new at this, so it's hard to tell yet which things are bugs and which are just my stupidity confusing the poor controllers. Approach just sent me sailing off past KBFL into the sunset, but probably only to get rid of me!

 

But I did notice at both KBFL and KFAT that Unicom was listed as the same freq as tower (in reality KBFL tower is 118.1, which P2A got right, but Unicom is 122.95). After the first contact, both towers started to refer to themselves as Unicom instead and it may be my imagination but they seemed to refuse to do anything tower-like after that point too. Or indeed Unicom-like. They were happy to say hi, but I never managed to get a landing clearance, even with SayIt.

 

Also, in my Pilatus PC-12, the transponder is only detected as being on when in "on" mode, not in mode C. But that's probably an X-plane / Carenado thing. Easy enough to work round.

 

Fantastic program! "Aviate, navigate, communicate" suddenly starts to have real meaning!

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This is an issue more often than you might think.  P2A tries to determine which controller you are contacting based on several factors, but can miss it, especially between Tower and UNICOM or Ground and Clearance Delivery, for example.

If you are doing a cold call to Tower in a situation like KBFL, first try Freq 118.1 and start your conversation with "Tower, Eclipse One Victor Bravo".  They should come back with, "Eclipse One Victor Bravo, this is Tower, go ahead".  If they come back with '...this is UNICOM', then switch to another frequency with less ambiguity, like Ground (or Approach if in the air) and request the Tower frequency "Approach, Eclipse One Victor Bravo request Frequency change to Tower.".  Once they give you the Tower frequency, switch to that frequency and it should give you the Tower controller.

 

Hope this helps,

Dave

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Ok, I'll try that, thanks. They understood they were Tower when I cold called; it was later that they started to call themselves Unicom. I'll try swapping frequencies like you say.

 

Btw, this will make you laugh: I was shouting and swearing for some time at my local tower (in P2A), trying to get them to understand me (I'll keep training the speech engine and it'll get better - I'm not surprised I was having trouble at first, because I'm a Brit living in the US and Windows doesn't really cater for ex-pats when it comes to speech recognition). Anyway, I was probably quite rude to them, but that was ok because they didn't understand my accent. But this morning I got an email from Keith Smith at PilotEdge, wondering why I'd spent ages trying to contact a controller who is completely outside their coverage area! Turns out I'd forgotten to remove my PE plug-in, had accidentally become connected, and had been swearing my head off on-air! :-)

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