Author Topic: What to do if you loose radio during flight?  (Read 6956 times)

Offline Frank N. O.

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What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« on: February 08, 2008, 10:18:51 PM »
While trying to find something to do inbetween visiting my mom and taking care of the house, which only takes up part of the day, then I thought about flying again and it struck me what would happend if one lost the radio during flight, for instance if there was a birdstrike hitting the antenna (which I think is the line on the opper part of the plane to the tail right?). Would a handheld spare radio be useable (both in relation to noise in the cabin and range)? The transponder uses a bottom mounted antenna doesn't it? Is there a code to send for loss of radio?

Frank
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."
Leonardo da Vinci

airtac

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #1 on: February 08, 2008, 11:21:42 PM »
Frank, the VHF Com radios use a short wire rod or blade antenna  and are usually mounted on top of the fuselage.  The long wire to which you referred is (to my knowledge) not used anymore in the US, it was for LF radios.
The lost com squack is 7600 on the transponder---I carry a hand held com radio in my flight bag and have never had the occasion to use it.  (I subscribe to the theory that if you're prepared for an emergency, it probably won't happen) ;) 

Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #2 on: February 09, 2008, 12:03:30 AM »
In much of the airspace in the U.S., a radio isn't even required for flight.....  so when it quits, the pilot can land at an airport like that, or else receive light-gun signals from the tower to land at a controlled airport.  They're color-coded for different instructions. 

Radios used to quit a lot more than they do now!  It's pretty rare anymore.   :D 

Some days, I wish they would ALL quit....  and I bet G-Man, Mike and Daddy Airtac can agree with that!?!!!?!   ;)    :D    ;D     ::loony::
Don't make me come back there!!!!

Offline Baradium

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #3 on: February 09, 2008, 12:58:46 AM »
I believe there are some VOR/DME receivers that still use a wire antenna to the tail (we had a few 172s at the flight school I went to with them).

The normal long antenna you might see on aircraft these days are not for LF but for HF radios.   HF radios are much longer range than normal VHF radios.   Most of our aircraft used to have them, but they've all been removed.  The most recent addition still had that radio when we recieved the aircraft and I used it a few times.   At one point I talked to a private ground station near Memphis, TN enroute from Anchorage to Fairbanks.   

While HF is not required for domestic operation, it can be useful due to the long range, it is also often used in international and ETOPs operations.  A number of flight service stations up here (possibly nationwide) have HF capability.
"Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I stand my ground, and I won't back down"
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airtac

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #4 on: February 09, 2008, 02:06:49 AM »
In much of the airspace in the U.S., a radio isn't even required for flight.....  so when it quits, the pilot can land at an airport like that, or else receive light-gun signals from the tower to land at a controlled airport.  They're color-coded for different instructions. 

Radios used to quit a lot more than they do now!  It's pretty rare anymore.   :D 

Some days, I wish they would ALL quit....  and I bet G-Man, Mike and Daddy Airtac can agree with that!?!!!?!   ;)    :D    ;D     ::loony::

OH MAN---those are the days when some control freak climbs in next to me and plugs a handheld into the aux plug so we'll be able to listen to EIGHT frequencies ::banghead:: ::complaining:  like we're gonna be able to monitor them all--ya sure ::loony::

Offline TheSoccerMom

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #5 on: February 09, 2008, 02:12:32 AM »
That's when you whip out those size 14 Nomex gloves, slip them on, and slap him SILLY!!!!!!!!!    ::rofl::    ::rambo::

"Not in MY airplane, you little twit!!!!!!!!"    ::loony:: 

 ;D
Don't make me come back there!!!!

airtac

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #6 on: February 09, 2008, 02:36:45 AM »
That's when you whip out those size 14 Nomex gloves, slip them on, and slap him SILLY!!!!!!!!!    ::rofl::    ::rambo::

"Not in MY airplane, you little twit!!!!!!!!"    ::loony:: 

 ;D
Oh, that is SOOOOOOOO TEMPTING! ::banghead::

airtac

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #7 on: February 09, 2008, 03:51:08 AM »
I believe there are some VOR/DME receivers that still use a wire antenna to the tail (we had a few 172s at the flight school I went to with them).

The normal long antenna you might see on aircraft these days are not for LF but for HF radios.   HF radios are much longer range than normal VHF radios.   Most of our aircraft used to have them, but they've all been removed.  The most recent addition still had that radio when we recieved the aircraft and I used it a few times.   At one point I talked to a private ground station near Memphis, TN enroute from Anchorage to Fairbanks.   

While HF is not required for domestic operation, it can be useful due to the long range, it is also often used in international and ETOPs operations.  A number of flight service stations up here (possibly nationwide) have HF capability.

We must be comparing apple and oranges here Ryan, The wire antenna I was referring to were for com only, they were utilized for radios to transmit in the 200-420 KC range or used as an alternate receiver to a loop antenna---this is back when there was one frequency for all towers---278KC--most definitely a Low Frequency.  Of course this was in the 40s and 50s.
As far as VHF nav antenna--well, those little whisker doohickeys or blade antenna on the tail handle that on most light aircraft and the HF wire antenna you're talking about are of a different sort.    :)

Offline Baradium

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #8 on: February 09, 2008, 05:51:45 AM »


We must be comparing apple and oranges here Ryan, The wire antenna I was referring to were for com only, they were utilized for radios to transmit in the 200-420 KC range or used as an alternate receiver to a loop antenna---this is back when there was one frequency for all towers---278KC--most definitely a Low Frequency.  Of course this was in the 40s and 50s.
As far as VHF nav antenna--well, those little whisker doohickeys or blade antenna on the tail handle that on most light aircraft and the HF wire antenna you're talking about are of a different sort.    :)

He didn't say what kind of wire antenna he was talking about.  So if we can think of an antenna that went on an aircraft that used a wire we can assume he's talking about that one.  :)

Only two I've seen are the HF and the NAV that our 172s had.  On the 172 it was a wire from the top of the fuselage above the rear seats to the top of the tail.  Similiar to how an HF antenna is mounted.

The type you're talking about is a bit before my time.  ;)
« Last Edit: February 09, 2008, 06:03:55 AM by Baradium »
"Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I stand my ground, and I won't back down"
  -Johnny Cash "I won't back Down"

Offline Fabo

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #9 on: February 09, 2008, 10:54:56 AM »
So SQK had been told, now some more theory from what I remember from my half-official round school.

1) If VFR or in VMC as IFR, you continue as VFR and land at nearest suitable airport.

2) If IFR you continue via your flightplan up to entry point, there you fly via STAR to suitable IAF and hold there for I think 20 minutes. Then you continue via procedure and land.

Anyway, you must first make sure to determine whether you have a one-way failure or two way failure. I think it is quite possible to make a two-way into a one-way with your handheld scanner. You can then be controlled by ATC and confirm by SQK Ident or changing codes.
"When once you have tasted flight, you will forever walk the earth with your eyes turned skyward, for there you have been, and there you will always long to return."

airtac

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #10 on: February 09, 2008, 01:26:54 PM »


We must be comparing apple and oranges here Ryan, The wire antenna I was referring to were for com only, they were utilized for radios to transmit in the 200-420 KC range or used as an alternate receiver to a loop antenna---this is back when there was one frequency for all towers---278KC--most definitely a Low Frequency.  Of course this was in the 40s and 50s.
As far as VHF nav antenna--well, those little whisker doohickeys or blade antenna on the tail handle that on most light aircraft and the HF wire antenna you're talking about are of a different sort.    :)

He didn't say what kind of wire antenna he was talking about.  So if we can think of an antenna that went on an aircraft that used a wire we can assume he's talking about that one.  :)

Only two I've seen are the HF and the NAV that our 172s had.  On the 172 it was a wire from the top of the fuselage above the rear seats to the top of the tail.  Similiar to how an HF antenna is mounted.

The type you're talking about is a bit before my time.  ;)


ARGH!!!---You are most definetly lawyer material ::complaining:

Offline amcquiddy

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #11 on: February 12, 2008, 03:02:02 PM »
Actually in IFR you continue your flight plan as filed.  Holding until you have clearance times.  Example you are told to expect clearance at 32 after the hour at hold fix beny. then you would hold at beny until 32 after the hour.  When reaching your destination if still in IMC you fly the approach as published.  Remember you are on radar and without communication ground is expecting you to follow your flight plan to the letter so they can keep other planes out of your way and with ground and the pilot following the same procedures a safe and effective transition from air to ground can be made.  That being said much safer to carry a back up radio with VOR capabilities just in case.

Offline G-man

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #12 on: February 12, 2008, 04:27:56 PM »

Some days, I wish they would ALL quit....  and I bet G-Man, Mike and Daddy Airtac can agree with that!?!!!?!   ;)    :D    ;D     ::loony::

I use that volume control and block it all out.. ::whistle:: Failing that, I spend most of my time on 23.02 or "sesame st".

As for the radio failure--I carry a cell phone, call the tower and watch for the party lights.. ::whistle:: ::whistle::
Life may not be the party we hoped for---but while we're here--we might as well dance..........

airtac

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #13 on: February 15, 2008, 10:26:29 PM »


We must be comparing apple and oranges here Ryan, The wire antenna I was referring to were for com only, they were utilized for radios to transmit in the 200-420 KC range or used as an alternate receiver to a loop antenna---this is back when there was one frequency for all towers---278KC--most definitely a Low Frequency.  Of course this was in the 40s and 50s.
As far as VHF nav antenna--well, those little whisker doohickeys or blade antenna on the tail handle that on most light aircraft and the HF wire antenna you're talking about are of a different sort.    :)

He didn't say what kind of wire antenna he was talking about.  So if we can think of an antenna that went on an aircraft that used a wire we can assume he's talking about that one.  :)

Only two I've seen are the HF and the NAV that our 172s had.  On the 172 it was a wire from the top of the fuselage above the rear seats to the top of the tail.  Similiar to how an HF antenna is mounted.

The type you're talking about is a bit before my time.  ;)

"Before your time?"  You better believe it! ;D  And people were flying airplanes a bit before my time too!   ::unbelieveable:: 

Look Ryan, what I have been trying to tell you is that the wire antenna on small aircraft was for the ADF which operates in the LF band (max 1650, top of the broadcast band) it is not and was never intended for use in the VHF band--NEVER, NEVER!---It is impossible to use the before mentioned wire antenna (cabin roof to tail) to receive a signal from a VOR (get the word IMPOSSIBLE?) 
 Yes, there are a few (DAMN FEW) HF installations that use a similar wire antenna instead of the trailing wire but to even consider that there's going to be a 172 running around the hamburger circuit with an HF installation is so absurd as to be a near impossibility. 
The LF wire antenna is still used for ADF radios which most but not all pilots are replacing with GPS units and by the way, I can still shoot an NDB approach, but the last one I can remember in IMC was about 1982--On the rare occasion I get into an airplane with an ADF, I'll demonstrate them but usually only for the fun of showing someone how things used to be.

The aircraft that I fly at work have all had the ADF units and related antenna removed, because we would have to integrate them into our Part 135 operations and demonstrate them during the checkrides if not removed.
Yes, I've been around awhile and have utilized LF Ranges and LF com---but not for 45 plus years.   (An LF range by the way broadcasts in four quadrants, 2 with a dit-da and 2 with a da-dit,  when you were on course the Morse codes would overlap to a solid tone so there would be 4 airways to follow to or from the station)  The last "A-N" range at Oakland was decommissioned about 1961 with the advent of VOR.

The main point I was trying to get you to see was the VHF radios such as a VOR cannot be used with the aforementioned wire antenna, period, might as well hook your VOR nav radio to a piece of tinfoil on the friggin glare shield

Don't feel I'm jumping your ass, I simply want you to understand.  |:)\  ;)
« Last Edit: February 16, 2008, 01:51:54 AM by airtac »

Offline Baradium

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Re: What to do if you loose radio during flight?
« Reply #14 on: February 16, 2008, 03:46:33 AM »
I just remembered that we had some 172s at the flight school with the wire to the tail, and was trying to give a comparison.... I actually did realize they didn't have HF radios.  ;)   I didn't mean they were for VORs.   Sorry, I should have used a better descriptive term... I only remembered they were for a NAVigation purpose and not COMM.


Last time I shot an NDB approach was about 6 months ago I guess.    We have ADFs and have to demonstrate the approaches.  ;)

NDB approaches are getting fewer and further between, but we still go into a place or two where an NDB approach is the only one  (in Norvik it's an NDB-DME actually).

Really though, with an RMI an NDB approach is a lot easier than with a fixed card ADF.

"Well I know what's right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin' me around
But I stand my ground, and I won't back down"
  -Johnny Cash "I won't back Down"