Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

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CharlieTango
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby CharlieTango » Mon Apr 15, 2013 5:03 am

I have been using 'Flight Design 102CharlieTango' since 2006 and never an issue (except for 1 controller in Cambria)

I think calling yourself skyhawk will at least confuse the ground and tower controllers when they see you. Other pilots as well, a CT is configured the same but looks pretty different.

roger lee
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby roger lee » Mon Apr 15, 2013 10:50 am

Hi Cpubiz,

I have an Flight Design CT. Myself and the other 6 CT's at my field use Flight Design and our N number because if we fail to educate who will as many have pointed out. I use it that way when I fly all over the country with towers and flight following and have never had an issue. If a tower calls me an experimental then I correct them. Everyone in AZ no knows what a Flight Design is. Most, but not all the CT's that fly into my field use Flight Design with the tower.

The failure of the FAA to educate doesn't have to be a failure on our part too.
Roger Lee
Tucson, Az.
LSRM-A, Rotax Instructor & Rotax IRC
(520) 574-1080 (Home) Try Home First.
(520) 349-7056 (Cell)

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drseti
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby drseti » Mon Apr 15, 2013 3:27 pm

I agree with Charlie Tango and Roger, that we should do whatever we can to educate ATC personnel. But then, I am a professional educator, so of course I'd say that. :wink:
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cpubiz
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby cpubiz » Mon Apr 15, 2013 8:59 pm

I'm listening to you Charlie, Roger, and drseti. But I still haven't heard a reason that convinces me from the standpoint of immediate safety of flight. My local controllers are working harder than ever to cover more aircraft with less personnel and neighboring tower shutdowns. My tower at WHP is scheduled to close in 60 days. Our 130,000 operations yearly will fall on controllers in already-busy Burbank, Van Nuys, and Los Angeles.

I totally agree with you in the case of uncontrolled airports. Announce as "Light Sport" or "Flight Design Charlie Tango" or whatever you think is best. Educate your friendly local pilots about your new toy, take 'em up for a ride maybe. My airport will be uncontrolled soon, so I might call myself a "Charlie Tango" for the local traffic. But that will be a lie, too. I'll really be riding a "Charlie Tango Lima Sierra India."

Still, I know that the overstressed controllers in major towers, centers, etc. will be having less time than ever to gossip with me about my special airplane. So trying to stand in their shoes, setting my airplane up for an approach, sequencing me with twins and jets, I REALLY want them to know my flight characteristics right now, not after they have time to go look it up and learn about it.

I agree that FAA should give us a proper code type like the ICAO terms "FDCT" and "FDMC" could be. Then I would expect ATC to know what the term means, and I would gladly use it and promulgate it.

You guys make sense in your environments. Maybe metro L.A. needs a different approach. That's why I'm discussing this. I'm not positive that I'm right (nor that I'm wrong) about this. Just seeking other opinions and options.

Anyway, thanks for your input. I'm still listening.

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dstclair
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby dstclair » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:23 pm

Of course some controllers may not want to be educated. I was flying over Fort Smith, AR and contacted razorback approach for flight following and announced myself as "Sting 595L". The controller responded with "Experimental 95L". Didn't seem appropriate to correct him -- twice :D
dave

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CharlieTango
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby CharlieTango » Mon Apr 15, 2013 9:49 pm

Van Nuys is my most frequent destination. The controllers have no problem with 'Flight Design XXXXX' and know a CT when they see one.

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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby roger lee » Tue Apr 16, 2013 12:16 am

It really has nothing to do with safety of flight, just doing things the right way. I have corrected controllers after I say what I am (i.e. Flight Design) then they use experimental. They aren't supposed to pick what ever they want and it was wrong on top of it, but they supposed to use what they are given. Nothing wrong with correction. It may mean the controller may not make that mistake again. Ever had a controller correct you, seems fair it works both ways.
Roger Lee
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Flim63
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby Flim63 » Tue Apr 16, 2013 10:30 am

cpubiz wrote:so I might call myself a "Charlie Tango" for the local traffic. But that will be a lie, too. I'll really be riding a "Charlie Tango Lima Sierra India."

I agree that FAA should give us a proper code type like the ICAO terms "FDCT" and "FDMC" could be. Then I would expect ATC to know what the term means, and I would gladly use it and promulgate it.



The FAA stopped creating the equipment designators several years ago and went ICAO. The manufacturer has to apply to ICAO in Montreal for the official designator. Even the old generic designators HXA, HXB and HXC are no longer valid. Search for ICAO DOC 8643 for those that don't know if an ICAO type exists.

The ICAO phonetic alphabet is applicable to November call signs but not aircraft types. You don't say Delta Charlie 3, just DC3 (per JO 7110.65 2-4-21). Even foreign call signs can be just letters not phonetic, as in X-A-P-O-G for a mexican aircraft, not xray alpha papa oscar golf, but most other controllers don't even know that. So let your freak flag fly and be a CTLSi.

Jason
ex-ZLA

cpubiz
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby cpubiz » Tue Apr 16, 2013 7:37 pm

Yes, J. I can tell you are/were really ATC by the free lecture on ICAO Phonetic correctness. :oops: Too bad we weren't on the frequency.

Seriously, the latest ICAO DOC 8643 shows that Flight Design has registered 2 ICAO designations: "FDCT" for the CT and CTLS, and "FDMC" for the MC trainer. What stumps me is whether the ICAO designation is acceptable in FAA ATC usage such as radio calls and flight plans. If so, then the problem solved and thanks to Jason. On the flight plan I'd list FDCT/G. On callup I'd use "Flight Design xxxxx" Everyone would recognize it (or should).

If, however, ICAO designations are not recognized by FAA, we are still left with the problem of recognition of flight characteristics and capabilities by ATC upon initial call by pilot. In this case, calling myself a C172 seems a lesser evil than going unrecognized or playing 20 questions.

And thank you for your service.

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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby newamiga » Tue Apr 16, 2013 8:30 pm

For what it is worth, I always use Gobosh 721RB and have had great luck with that here in Colorado and in most places across the country. Interestingly when I did a tour of Denver Center I got to sit plugged in with a sector controller. He asked for my identifier (AAT4). He pulled it up in his system and showed me exactly what the controller would see. It was cool to see that display. I too hate the experimental call. Again it gets to the fact that the S-LSA has the same special AW cert as experimentals. At least in Colorado Springs and Denver they know what a Gobosh is and what LSA's are and never give me any trouble using that CS.

Carl
Private Pilot and RV-12 Builder

cpubiz
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby cpubiz » Wed Apr 17, 2013 4:45 am

Colorado is nice.

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dstclair
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby dstclair » Tue Apr 23, 2013 8:10 pm

Time to eat a little crow :D

First, a little background on the plane I fly. I fly a Sting S3 with the 'Sting' being the first generation, 'Sting Sport' being the second (and first certified SLSA from TL-Ultralight) and the 'Sting S4' being the fourth generation. The entire family of Stings are in the TL-2000 series and have the ICOA designation of TL20.

I was approaching the Georgetown, TX airport and contacted the tower and identified myself as 'Sting 595L'. The controller acknowledged my request and called me 'Sting 95L'. There were a couple aircraft in the area and, at one point, a Cub was advised to 'follow the Sting Sport turning final'. At no point did I mention my model/generation so clearly the controller had prior knowledge or actually looked me up.

It is possible this airport might be more LSA savvy than most as I saw two different Skycatchers during my stay.
dave

cpubiz
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby cpubiz » Tue Apr 23, 2013 9:40 pm

Never seen a Sting. So, just a sec.,

... new browser tab,
... google "Sting 3",
... oh, there it is.

Time required to review specs: 1 min.
Time required to watch two videos of Sting 3 flybys: 5 min.

Now I know what a Sting 3 looks like, how it performs, where it could be sequenced naturally. In fact My CTLSi could easily fly formation with the Sting 3.

That was easy and fun.

I'm preaching to the choir.

PS: Nice airplane! I want to fly it. :mrgreen:

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drseti
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby drseti » Tue Apr 23, 2013 10:12 pm

cpubiz wrote: My CTLSi could easily fly formation with the Sting 3.


You've made my point exactly! Most LSAs can easily fly formation with each other, which is why identifying simply as "LSA" provides just about all necessary information. :wink:
The opinions posted are those of one CFI, and do not necessarily represent the FAA or its lawyers.
Prof H Paul Shuch
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cpubiz
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Re: Your Callsign--How do you announce yourself?

Postby cpubiz » Wed Apr 24, 2013 12:32 am

drseti, I completely agree as to performance.

But we still have the question of visual recognition. Which is exactly where my argument breaks down (about calling in as a type "C172"). It could be an issue in some circumstances.

My point above was that anybody (pilot, controller, or interested bystander) can take a few minutes if they want to, look up an unfamiliar airplane, and become rather expert instantly. Even recognizing that most controllers are not pilots, they are still interested professionally in airplanes and they do have web access. It seems natural to me to augment interest with knowledge, especially when a wealth of knowledge is easily available around the clock: images, specifications, and videos.

A busy pilot or controller might not have the time at any given moment to research anything. But a simple scrawl on paper of "Sting 3" or "CTLS" can be pocketed and looked up later. Likewise, as pilots, I think our recognition of each other's airplane type is equally important. I'm a safer pilot to share the sky with you if I know something about your plane.

Anyway, I'm for calling my plane in to tower with something like "Lollipop Tower, Flight-Design-CT, 1234 Whiskey at Palisades with Juliet for landing." That says it all, at least to me, and probably to you. If a controller is not acquainted with my airplane type, let her say something like "34 Whiskey, Lollipop, unfamiliar type CT, clarify." I respond "Looks and flies like a Cessna 172." Everybody's happy. Like in Colorado. And next time, she knows what a CT is.

So what's the fly in my particular ointment? :? I am concerned about a controller not getting the picture right away but also not having time to request clarification on the frequency in highly congested air traffic. Then what? My unknown airplane gets sequenced in between a couple multi-engines or jets, maybe. Nice and sweaty unraveling that, I guess. Just saying.

And, as a bonus bite of crow for me, :oops: I would like to state that controllers are the best people in the world when the spit hits the fan while I'm upstairs. Life-saving men and women of steel they are. And they all make tons of "little saves" daily. My goal is to avoid putting a controller in unnecessary confusion over my brand-name preference. I certainly will call myself "Flight Design CT" when I think it's appropriate. I will educate where I can. I just wont insist on it, any more than I would insist on the right-of-way in a tricky situation.

And I like your idea about all of us LSA's just calling in as "LSA" or "Light Sport" since we all fly about the same numbers. "LSA" does give less information than "Remos G-3," or "Allegro 2007," or "Sting 3" ... if a controller knows that all three are, in fact, LSA. So perhaps at the present time "LSA" would be a good compromise. That gives any controller the basics about the plane's performance, but nothing about appearance.

I'm sure that there is no universal answer for all pilots, all conditions, all localities, or all controllers, unless that answer would be universal education. I'm enjoying exploring the possibilities that arise in this complex discussion. And I find everyone's input meaningful. Thanks.


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