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Ham Radio on your airplane!!

Discussion in 'On the Road' started by KE0BPK, Mar 20, 2015.

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  1. KE0BPK

    KE0BPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Hello, me and my uncle are building a kitfox aircraft. Which is an airplane for short take offs or landings. I hope to when i'm older to get one myself and incorperate ham radio into it. Does anyone know if its allowed to have a ham radio on an airplane? If anyone does it would be most helpful. THANKS!!!!
  2. AA9G

    AA9G Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not an issue at all. The only requirement is having the Captains permission. If you are the Captain/PIC then you're good, obviously. Just make 100% sure your operation does not distract you from safe operation of the plane. To me this mostly means knowing the equipment so well that using it is second nature.
  3. KE0BPK

    KE0BPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok thanks i hope to be the pilot of the plane or otherwise caption. Thanks for your help!!
  4. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have been a pilot, ~1700 hrs, single and multi, instrument rated. I no longer fly due to the ravages of old age and decrepitude. I had airplanes from little 2 seaters to Mooneys to Piper Malibus and a Cessna T310R twin.

    It is certainly legal to operate your amateur radio from an airplane, but might not be the best idea. When you are PIC, you are solely responsible for the safe operation of the flight, every aspect of it. There are a great many things to be cognizant of, and that doesn't leave much time to play around on the radio. There are enough distractions without that. It is certainly true that a some pilots have put radios on their planes and operated while flying, but that doesn't mean that it was a good idea, or safe, just because they had no accidents while doing so.

    Flying is a non-trivial activity. Things can go bad in a variety of ways, at any moment. Sure, there are the fabled long hours of boredom, but those are interspersed with moments of sheer terror, at irregular intervals. Especially as PIC, you have to pay attention to everything affecting the flight, weather, mechanical, navigation, fuel management and more besides.

    In my about 100,000 minutes of flying, there were only 8 or 9 minutes when I thought I was about to die. That I didn't is due to good persistent training, currency and paying attention to detail all the time.

    I'd advise enjoying these two fascinating activities separately.

    I should add that my buddy bought a Kitfox several decades ago. The seller was selling it because his off field landings almost exceeded his flight hours. My buddy figured he could tame it, and for awhile, he did. Then, one day, the engine suit shortly after takeoff. The plane was destroyed but my pal survived, with a variety of annoying but non-life threatening injuries. They may have resolved the engine issues by now, but be careful.
    Last edited: Mar 20, 2015
    WA7PRC and KU4X like this.
  5. KE0BPK

    KE0BPK Ham Member QRZ Page

    Ok I will do both separately. I just heard people do it so that why i was asking this question. I want to thank everyone for the advice.
  6. K8ERV

    K8ERV QRZ Member QRZ Page

    Just be sure the ham gear has it's own parachute.

    Yours is optional.

    TOM K8ERV Montrose Colo
  7. F5VHZ

    F5VHZ Ham Member QRZ Page

    I would not want to throw water on your fire, but I also have spent many happy hours flying with a friend but operating ham radio would certainly be a distraction you do not want when so much can happen very quickly you need to be on the ball all the time...

    However, im sure you will not always be with your uncle, but you might be able to use the plane as a transponder. Silent from the pilots point of vue.. but say a vhf up / down link and transmitting on a fixed hf frequency or even UHF.. We did have a ssb vhf uhf transponder satellite emulator here in France many years ago, and that was great fun.. ok it was only on a small mountain, but it was like working through a amateur satellite on a smaller scale.. ( not even sure there are any still running) so that would be a safer option if you can get the remote station licence sorted..
    Colin vhf plane.png
  8. KA0HCP

    KA0HCP XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    Not fully correct.

    Other requirements by international treaty (ITU) are that the radio and antenna must be separate from the required and permanantly installed acft radios and antennas.
  9. W9CMG

    W9CMG Guest

    I have an APRS station in our MH and have seen aeronautical mobile icons many times. Once, a pilot rang our bell to talk. My son, who is also a licensed ham, talked to him on 2m for about a half hour. No problem with range because of his altitude.
  10. KJ6OJL

    KJ6OJL Ham Member QRZ Page

    Passenger or co pilot would be great, Main pilot if only monitoring wouldn't be bad. I don't think its a worthy risk. Only takes a second and could be to late. There was a fatal crash in the past few months. I think it was here in the us. Guess what took down the plane as reported "The pilot was taking a self photo"..
    They found the phone checked it for records and the time stamp matched when someone saw it crash..
    Speaks for it self.


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