Ham Radio on your airplane!!

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

ad: L-HROutlet
ad: l-rl
ad: Left-3
ad: abrind-2
ad: MessiPaoloni-1
ad: Left-2
ad: L-Geochron
ad: HRDLLC-2
ad: L-MFJ
  1. AA9G

    AA9G Ham Member QRZ Page

    But does that apply to experimental aircraft too? The Kitfox is such and I'm guessing the answer is no. I'm way out of date on FAR/AIM.
  2. WA9WVX

    WA9WVX Ham Member QRZ Page

    A friend of mine is a pilot and a ham, and we use to go up flying every Friday night after work. I carried my Kenwood TS-700A 2 m transceiver, connect it to a NAVCOM antenna on top of the wing of a Cessna 152A and operate USB. A couple of problems I noticed was the signals were stronger off the length of the wing and with the NAVCOM antenna, it favored hams using a vertical rather than the horizontal Yagi arrays. I pleaded with my friend to mount an antenna on the belly of his aircraft ... I would have paid for the installation but he said no.

    Years later he installed a 2 m / 70 cm FM transceiver into his aircraft and must have discover problems that I had early on. The next time talked to him on 70 cm FM, he had both a 2 m and a 70 cm quarterwave mounted on the belly of his aircraft. I could talk to him some where over central Tennessee from my home in Elgin, Illinois, he was using only 5 W Great Line Of Sight distance.

    This Fox Kit sure looks like it would be extremely noisy trying to hear anything without headphones and then if the Pilot is also required to monitor and talk on aircraft frequencies at the same time, I could for see a major conflict of interest with this scenario. You've got to be alert to other aircraft flying near you from takeoff till landing.
  3. KJ6OJL

    KJ6OJL Ham Member QRZ Page

  4. N6RCX

    N6RCX Ham Member QRZ Page

    Not always. If your aircraft has an installed HF radio (big aircraft only, usually) you can use it on amateur bands. Likewise, if you have an STC for an installation of a VHF/FM radio for public service or SAR you can use it on ham bands.
  5. W3ZLU

    W3ZLU Ham Member QRZ Page

    Well...since you brought up the word "parachute" in a thread dealing with flying and ham radio I have few stories.

    Years ago...like 45...I was very involved with skydiving having served in the 82nd Airborne Division. It was natural to take up skydiving. When I got out I combined my radio hobby with skydiing and made a few contacts on 2 meters while under canopy. It's amazing how a signal can propagate when the antenna is 3000 feet up. Although it was kind of "cheating" have a contact in freefall without a CQ. We planned it before hand. I used an old WW II aviator's throat mike.

    Another thing I've done which was quite fun was making contacts on 2 meters from a hot air balloon. The most fun part was trying to convince the few folks that I spoke to that I was actually "mobile hot air balloon".

    I mixed ham radio and skydiving when a friend jumped into the Philadelphia Phillies opener back in the mid 1970s. I talked to ham on the ground while flying my Cessna 182 to drop the friend into the stadium. That jump was quite a challenge because I also had to talk to approach control and to the tower As a matter of fact, now that I write about it, I almost lost my commercial pilot's license over that stadium jump. Turns out there was a high ranking FAA person in the stadium who didn't like the idea. It took me many phone calls and letters from the Philadelphia towern to convince the FAA what I was doing was totally in accordance with regulations. The hassle from the FAA guy was dealing with "...an open air assembly of persons." The jumperd pulled his parachute over the parking lot...not over the filled stadium...so technically, he did not jump in violtion.

    Those were fun times....
  6. WB5WSV

    WB5WSV Ham Member QRZ Page

    Oh, I have owned my own airplane since 1989 and flew for years before that. It's been a while since I went aeronautical mobile on 2M, but I would not hesitate to again. I have always just used a hand held 2M radio but a few times I did hook it to a spare aeronautical radio antenna on the airplane - it worked great, which surprised me, and then I later discovered the aviation tech who had installed the new antenna had got the RG-58 cables mixed up and hooked the old VOR antenna to the aircraft radio, leaving the new aircraft whip for me to use on 2M.

    And there is no hazard involved as long as you do not pay too much attention to the 2M radio. It is true that some hams get so excited about talking to an airplane that they will be yelling for your attention when you should be talking to a control tower or something - but that occurs just ignore them!

    It is actually safer to use a 2M rig in an airplane than it is in a car - there is far less chance of running into anything because everything is so much further away! That is one reason flying is so much fun - far fewer idiots than driving and they are not nearly as close to you in any case.

    Famous quote from aircraft radio comm:

    "Blue lead, this is Blue Two. I have lost sight of you in this cloud so I'm going to try to find you."

    "This is Blue lead. Like hell you will!"

    At least you won't have to worry about that kind of thing with aeronautical ham radio.

    What I DO NOT recommend is flying over your house and trying to open your garage door with the remote control. I circled and circled my house and thought I'd never get that door closed again!

    Happy flying and talking!

  7. W4KJG

    W4KJG Subscriber QRZ Page

    I really applaud you for your interest in flying and amateur radio. That, and a few other crazy hobbies, gave me a great life and career that was also my hobby.

    For heart-related issues, neither my brother nor I, have been able to be "current" for several years. But, for about 40 years, I nearly always had a ham rig with me when I was flying. The planes included everything from an old canvas covered Luscombe tail-dragger to a number of different Cessna models ranging from 150s to 210s. I always took my rigs with me when going on fishing trips with friends in other planes, like various de Havilland Otters.

    I regularly ran an old SBE-33 HF 80-15 meter 100 watt SSB rig and various 2 meter rigs. Unless things have really changed in the last 10-15 years, I don't recall any regulatory issues that would restrict you, except maybe international regulations if you get near the US borders.

    It is so long ago, I don't remember what we had to do if we took a ham rig with us, in a private aircraft, when we went fishing in Canada from the lower 48. Well into the 1980s, it wasn't much. I'm sure those restrictions have probably become a lot more restrictive.

    I've got to believe we have a lot more licensed amateur radio operators who are still "current" private pilots here on the forum. Somebody, should have up-to-date info.

    Stay safe.
  8. WA7DU

    WA7DU Ham Member QRZ Page

    It is absolutely acceptable. While living in North Idaho, we had fairly regular contacts with a well-off neighbor. He would sometimes surprise us deep into a contact by giving us a "weather" report including the outside temperature at -30 degrees F, while we were fighting mid-summer heat on the ground. When he did that, we knew he was above us in his airplane.

    He completed many contacts while mobile airborne. He would verify for us, from personal observation, that the ions were up there ready to bend our HF signals back towards the surface of the planet.
  9. W6ADF

    W6ADF XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    I wanted to chime in just to say W6OGC couldn't have expressed it better. I agree entirely with your comments about flying and agree mixing Ham Radio and Flying an Airplane are not advised. So many pilots get a Private and then that's it, that's their training and off they go. The private should be only a first step, and training needs to be often if not regular. Airline pilots do! I like W6OGC's thinking.

    W6ADF &
    Commercial Pilot
  10. W6OGC

    W6OGC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Thanks. I try not to be as dumb as I look.

    My "good, persistent training" was more or less forced on me, if I wanted to do what I wanted to do. It's a good idea no matter what kind of plane(s) you fly, but as you move into higher performance aircraft, the requirements become more and more inflexible to qualify for insurance. Insurers required approved instructor check out to fly Mooneys, and you got lower rates if you complete the Pilot Proficiency Programs MAPA sponsored. To qualify for a Malibu, you must meet the minimum total times, then complete an approved Malibu initial school and have an approved annual recurrent school within the last 12 months. Part of that was a high altitude endorsement. Insurance for flying a twin is harder to get with more requirements, more experience, more recurrent training, etc.

    I would not put or use amateur radio in the higher performance aircraft, just too much happening too fast, too many inconsistent requirements, too many details to watch, to make it worthwhile. I've heard of pilots tuning in baseball games on the ADF, getting absorbed in the game and missing checkpoints, nav aids, fuel selector switch times, or flying into weather they wouldn't otherwise have, with exciting, if not disastrous, results. Getting away with doing something foolish is not justification for doing it again.

Share This Page