Call Signs

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Call Signs

Postby GAHorn » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:36 am

How do you make your initial calls to ATC?
Do you call up “Someplace Center (tower, etc) this is November 1234 Charlie, blah blah blah...??
...or do you say “Someplace Tower, this is Cessna 1234 Charlie, yadda yadda yadda... ??

Or do you say something other?

How do YOU handle your initial calls?

(Hint: I was this last week corrected by my STUDENT PILOT!). 8O
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Re: Call Signs

Postby lowNslow » Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:15 am

I say yadda, yadda, yadda...
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Re: Call Signs

Postby DaveF » Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:55 am

lowNslow wrote:I say yadda, yadda, yadda...

That's WRONG. You should always say, "blah blah blah ..."
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Re: Call Signs

Postby johneeb » Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:57 am

The below information is from my copy of the Aeronautical Information Manual which, like me, (as that brilliant sports philosopher Bob Uecker says) "just a little out of date".

Contact Procedures - Overview

Initial Contact

The term "initial contact" or "initial callup" means the first radio call you make to a given facility, or the first call to a different controller or FSS specialist within a facility. Use the following format:

Who - Part 1 - State the name of facility you are calling (e.g., "Miami Center").
Who - Part 2 - State your full aircraft identification (as filed in the flight plan) (e.g., "Skylane 54321")
Where - State your position (e.g., "Over XYZ VOR").
What - State your request (e.g., "Request clearance into Class B airspace.")

Putting it all together:

If radio reception is reasonably assured, including your request, your position or altitude, or brief reports such as the phrase "with Information Charlie" (for ATIS) in the initial contact helps decrease radio frequency congestion. Use discretion, though, and do not overload the controller with information he does not need. If you do not get a response from the ground station, recheck your radios or use another transmitter, but keep the next contact short.
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Re: Call Signs

Postby daedaluscan » Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:33 am

Who you are calling followed by who you are, where you are what you want. I say that to myself before every call.
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Re: Call Signs

Postby GAHorn » Sun Nov 29, 2020 6:13 am

You guys that are giving serious answers are describing the information you are providing ATC.

What I am asking (and should have worded better) is : How do you identify yourself in your initial call up?

John, do you always file a flight plan (as assumed in the AIM you quoted) ....and if you DO... HOW do you identify yourself when in your 170 (because you are NOT a “Skylane”).

The point I found interesting and the impetus for this thread is that I just introduced my flight student (my son) last week to a long X-country in which he participated in some of the first ATC communication experiences of his training. I instructed him that on initial call-ups to use his FULL call sign and only resort to abbreviated call sign after recognition by each controller.
He pointed out to me that his training materials indicated that the make/model of aircraft could be used in lieu of “November”. I was caught by surprise by that and confirmed it with the AIM, Section 4-2-4, para 3. (Which uses examples like “SkyLane” or “Bonanza” etc which ARE very descriptive but not applicable to a non-SkyHawk 172 or 170.

But what puzzles me is WHY that change has been instituted, as it does not consider that (1) NO flight plan may have been filed, (2) “Cessna” does not adequately identify the model of aircraft (or it’s flight capabilities.... 120? 170?, 195?, 310? 421? Etc etc) , (3) and the FULL call sign would have to include the nationality of the registration.

I am surprised by this guidance as it seems to me that if ATC is relying upon a flight plan (which may not be filed at all) to provide guidance to aircraft identity... that the imagined flight plan would also give the ATC specialist the make/model of aircraft .... whereas the make/model does not indicate nationality.

Do you suppose that ATC would know what the hell I’m in if I call up and say “Houston Center, this is Business-Liner 146 Yankee-Sierra”...??? Or “Family Car of the Air 146 Yankee Sierra...?
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Re: Call Signs

Postby counsellj » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:05 pm

Wait, you guys talk to ATC? I avoid talking to anyone while flying to the max extent possible. If required, N4497B. If they ask for type, C-170. If they call me a 172, they get a stern and immediate correction. If uncontrolled field, initially "97B" then "Silver/Blue Cessna tailwheel."
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Re: Call Signs

Postby Bruce Fenstermacher » Sun Nov 29, 2020 12:36 pm

Initial contact; Philly tower, Cessna N7A
Tower: Cessna N7A is it?
Me: Tower, Cessna N7A 8 miles north at 1300 would like to transition class B to Millville.
Tower: N7A say full call sign.
Me: Tower, N7A is my full call sign.
Tower: N7A roger. What type of Cessna are you?
Me:Tower, 7A is a Cessna 170.
Tower: Roger 7A, clear through the Philly Class B as requested.

Note I never dropped my full call sign N7A until tower recognized N7A as my full call sign.
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Re: Call Signs

Postby dstates » Sun Nov 29, 2020 2:35 pm

I’m near a class C airspace and my initial contact is almost always

Me: “Quad City Approach, Cessna 1235D with request”
ATC: “Cessna 1235D, Quad Cities, squawk 4321 and say request”
Me: Squawk 4321 for 1235D, I am a Cessna 170, just departed Geneseo, 2200 climbing 3500, request flight following to ???”

Then normally they shorten it to Cessna 35D and will sometimes ask me type again as they put me in the system.

Doug
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Re: Call Signs

Postby cessna170bdriver » Sun Nov 29, 2020 3:12 pm

dstates wrote:I’m near a class C airspace and my initial contact is almost always

Me: “Quad City Approach, Cessna 1235D with request”
ATC: “Cessna 1235D, Quad Cities, squawk 4321 and say request”
Me: Squawk 4321 for 1235D, I am a Cessna 170, just departed Geneseo, 2200 climbing 3500, request flight following to ???”

Then normally they shorten it to Cessna 35D and will sometimes ask me type again as they put me in the system.

Doug


That’s pretty much how I do it. I used to go through the whole spiel on the first press of the mic key, and was proud of myself when I got it all in the right order and was rewarded with a squawk code without further questions. However I was admonished by a retired Chicago center controller friend and fellow 170 pilot to simply address the facility, give full registration, and the word “request”. This allows the controller to complete any off-air tasks he may be involved in before he handles you.

As for the type, the official ICAO designator is C170, which I pronounce Cessna One Seventy most of the time. However, nine time out of ten I get called out to other traffic as a Skyhawk, which I suppose is adequate for the purposes of traffic separation. If a controller specifically asks for type, I pronounce it Cessna One Seven Zero.
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Re: Call Signs

Postby edbooth » Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:02 pm

99 percent of the time my initial call is : Augusta Approach, Cessna 3225A. They ackowledge, and I come back with : 25A just off S17, VFR to GE30, climbing to 3000 ft. They come back with: 25A sqwak xxxx, proceed on course. No Yada Yada or blah blah blah.
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Re: Call Signs

Postby DaveF » Sun Nov 29, 2020 5:56 pm

I say "Cessna 3455C", same as I did when I was learning to fly in a 150 in 1985. When I had a 182 and 210 I was "Skylane" or "Centurion", but with my call and the context (altitude, speed, type of request, etc.) ATC can tell that I'm a slow Cessna. In some cases, like practice approaches in busy airspace or flight following where I'll be passed to another controller, they'll ask my type. If they call me "Skyhawk" I don't correct them. It works for them and my ego can take it. :D
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Re: Call Signs

Postby rnealon1 » Mon Nov 30, 2020 12:48 am

So referring back to the AIM, my registration if I happen to be on a flight plan is N2537C. I have tried checking in with that per the AIM and invariably get the request "say type aircraft". Per the further reference in the AIM I use Cessna 2537C. Occasionally they ask the aircraft type but usually Cessna is enough for ATC.

Also, a few days ago I heard an aircraft calling itself Business Liner 2345A (tail number made up, I don't remember it). It was a 195, and it was awesome.

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Re: Call Signs

Postby Bruce Fenstermacher » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:15 pm

It's good the AIM is only regulatory in nature. But not regulation.

I know if I only checked in with Cessna 7A I would always get a nasty toned reply "what's your full call sign". So I was always careful to use my full call sign N7A. Made the controllers think a second. Yet 75% would ask if that was my full call sign, if not right away, at least some where in our verbal interaction.

If I ever make another radio call to ATC I will miss the anticipation of being chastised by ATC for not following radio protocol when in fact they where wrong. Two digit registration numbers are great. That is unless your my partner Leroy who probably made no more than 10 radio calls to ATC in the 45 years he owned 7A cause ATC made him feel like he'd done something wrong when he checked in
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Re: Call Signs

Postby GAHorn » Mon Nov 30, 2020 1:30 pm

Bruce, did you ever look into WHEN and WHO applied the single digit registration to the airframe?

I wonder how many controllers first thought to give “special consideration” to your aircraft handling...

(For those who may not know, single-digit civil registrations are reserved for FAA aircraft.)
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