Crazy airband use.

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Crazy airband use.

Postby m0lsx » Sun Dec 10, 2017 11:36 am

This is an older story, dating to last month, but it raises some rather disturbing points..

The US Air Force (USAF) has urged its UK-based pilots to keep cockpit windows clean to avoid mid-air collisions with civilian aircraft.

RAF Lakenheath-based USAF F-15 jets were involved in 19 near-misses with UK aircraft in the past five years.

More than 1,000 near-misses have been reported to the UK Airprox Board in the past five years, of which about 360 have involved UK or US military aircraft.

One of the most serious happened in January when two F-15s from RAF Lakenheath came within 50m (150ft) of an RAF tanker plane.

Now read the following, they know there is an issue of increasing congestion & increasing near misses, but they "CANNOT" hear civilian aircraft!!!!

The USAF said not only was there "increasing general aviation traffic" but smaller civilian aircraft were not equipped with transponders, meaning they may not be picked up on radar.

Nearly all of the US aircraft based at RAF Lakenheath operate on ultra high frequency (UHF) radio and cannot hear civilian aircraft, which use very high frequency (VHF), the USAF says.

The best quote is..
A USAF spokesman said: "Sometimes little things like keeping your screen clean can make the difference.

As presumably would making Civil Airband available.

I know that in congested airspace near misses are not avoidable completely, but should we not be relying on more than a clean windscreen? Especially when a known communication problem exists.

Edited to add. Google suggests the cost of a F-15 is around $30,000,000, so is the added cost of VHF airband that prohibitive or technologically advanced?
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Re: Crazy airband use.

Postby G4RMT » Sun Dec 10, 2017 12:44 pm

I suspect the origin of the story follows the modern theory of journalism, take very basic facts, mangle them, attach doom and gloom and then print it without checking. Considering all military aircraft have as their backup for safety, the ability to land at civilian airfields, and be able to speak on 121.5, the notion of not having VHF radio is wrong, but of course having it and not listening to it is common. Same as the bit about transponders that gives the impression the military have their transponders on at all times and civilians don't which again, is wrong. Mode C is a bit of a givaway if you are sneaking up on people, isn't it? Few facts, big story - like those stupid adverts on Facebook that show a photo of an aircraft and the text says, "Crazy pilot nearly kills entire plane load of passengers" to reveal after a zillion adverts a photo of a perfectly normal approach to one of those caribbean islands.
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