Tuesday, July 1, 2014

Monitoring Aircraft frequencies

Monitoring air traffic can be pretty interesting. The Air bands are available on many radios today. You will find its not just scanners but many Amateur radio transceivers have these bands available as well. You can monitor commercial airliners, private aircraft, as well as military aircraft. The closer you are to major commercial airport, the better your chances are. You can also listen to private aircraft around CNY on their UNICOM frequency of 122.800 MHz (AM). You can also see live aircraft tracking info on-line at http://flightaware.com/live/airport/KSYR . It is pretty cool to listen and watch the movements from on-line radar tracking.

Some basic guidance for Aircraft Monitoring

One-Sided Conversations:  Because aircraft fly high above the ground, their transmissions have much more range than the ground stations with whom they're talking. This means that only the airborne side of most conversations will be heard. Is this a problem? You miss very little in these conversations because pilots are required to repeat back to controllers any instructions or frequencies that they are given. In fact, hearing only the aircraft has tremendous advantages. It helps the listener to avoid mix ups among simulcast ground stations, and is a terrific help in isolating military aircraft from other traffic.
Frequency Bands Used:  Although the air band is 108-137 MHz, almost all civilian voice communications are above 118 MHz. In addition, the military has 138-150 MHz and 225-400 MHz. (remember AM)
Sources of Information:  The best place for you to get information is the same place where the pilots go. Web sites like fltpln.com, airnav.com and OurAirports.com give you frequencies and all kinds of other airport information.Other resources that will get you up to speed quickly:

Link to FlightPlan.com - Syracuse Hancock listing:  http://www.fltplan.com/airportinformation/SYR.htm
Link to a great overview of Air Traffic frequencies on Radio Reference.com: http://wiki.radioreference.com/index.php/Finding_Air_Traffic_Frequencies
Link to Military Communications web page: http://www.milaircomms.com/

…and if you don’t have a radio that is capable of receiving these frequencies there is always the Internet! 
….…start here: http://www.liveatc.net/

Syracuse Airport frequencies (from flightPlan.com):
ATIS Frequencies (repeating weather and airport notices):
124.225
Tower Frequencies:  
120.3
239.0
Ground Operations Frequencies:
121.7
348.6
Clearance Delivery Frequencies:
125.05
257.775
Emergency Frequencies:
121.5
SYRACUSE Primary Approach Frequencies:  
126.125


Thanks to the following sources of reference information: N4JRI's Scanner Pages, Radio Reference.com, and the various flight planning web sites.

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