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Transmitted From Commercial Aircraft?

Discussion in 'Ham Radio Discussions' started by WX1FLY, Jun 5, 2018.

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  1. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    No, we all don't agree.
    Quite reasonable question, OM, one that actually no one has thought to ask 'til now: What interest does the FCC have in proscribing Amateur Radio
    operation from an airliner cockpit by the crew? Those who generously read the regulation's allowance of hamming to suit their preferences conveniently
    have blinders to the regulation's captioned title: [Amateur Radio] Stations aboard Ships or Aircraft. Additional strictures are appended for aircraft, but
    the underlying prohibition on operation of the ship's/aircraft's integral communications is made without distinction between ship or aircraft.

    Until late 1999 (effectively no longer, for reasons too lengthy to delve into here), the ship's radio installation for effective HF/MF CW communication was required by the
    International Safety of Life at Sea Convention--All ocean going ships. This radio gear was not for entertainment or to alleviate boredom. When you
    use electronics of any kind, you subject it to wear-and-tear, misuse and abuse. Many modern ships had synthesized transmitter freq. control. Was the Radio Officer
    or Master of the ship legal, under FCC rules to utilize it on Amateur freqs.? No.
    Likewise, HF gear is installed in the cockpit for the sole purpose of conducting the flight safely. Although over continental US it is not utilized for any routine purpose at any
    time, its presence in the cockpit renders it an integral part of the aircraft. If it fails, even though not used or needed, its inoperative status renders the airplane unairworthy.
    This status is then amended by a FAA-approved regulatory document called the Minimum Equipment List (MEL) . Typically, something like a HF radio would be considered a low-priority
    item in the MEL over the USA and could be "deferred" as inoperative for specified number of days depending upon the airline's FAA-approved document. For ______Airlines,
    one or both HF radios may be inoperative over the 48 states for a period of 10 days maximum. Then the airplane becomes NFNF status--No Fix/No Fly written on the flight release. Hams using the radios
    because they're bored, that's not sufficient justification for wear & tear, totally independent of the professional conduct issues I've addressed in earlier message posts.

    So the FCC, being a Federal agency, has presciently and preemptively taken the gut-wrenching emotional pain of decisions about being denied airborne "5-9 QSL?"s off the table so there's not
    anything to debate or lament about. Aircraft communications systems are not installed for entertainment, they are there for safety-of-flight. They're not toys . You want to do hamming at
    Flight Level 350, buy your own Barbie & Ken Dream Jet and play big-shot "Look at Me!"

    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
    K0UO likes this.
  2. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    I have done a lot of 2 meter ops from airplanes and never had an issue.
    If I somehow damaged the 2 meter radio, absolutely no one would care. I would just send it out to be repaired.
    If I somehow damaged the airplane radio, absolutely no one would care. I would just send it out to be repaired. If I complained to the FCC they would probably say "quit using the ham radio then if it causes problems" and if I complained to the FAA they would say "quit using the ham radio then if it causes problems".
    Now if I was stupid enough to play with it flying IFR and I was stupid enough to then do something like admit to the FAA I was on my backup HT because I just blew up the airplane radio playing with ham radios or even worse went 7500, THEN they would be annoyed!
    * note VHF/UHF radios get installed in airplanes all the time, this is not exactly pioneering a new thing never done before. I have never had even the slightest issue with my ham gear doing anything to any of my other radios, but I of course never do any hamming while IFR anyway.
    ** My nice Icom airband HT will do 50 miles to ground QSOs with the window mount antenna, so it actually is a nice backup :D
    N0TZU likes this.
  3. WN1MB

    WN1MB XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    ^ THIS! ^

    How about the bedlamites who play "Look at Me!" by making a few contacts while skydiving? That's lame. I want to see them try that when BASE jumping...before deploying the 'cute.
    Last edited: Oct 18, 2020
    K0UO and WA1GXC like this.
  4. W2AI

    W2AI QRZ Lifetime Member #240 Platinum Subscriber Life Member QRZ Page

    No, Thank you!!!:eek::eek:
  5. KI5AAI

    KI5AAI XML Subscriber QRZ Page

    This is coming from someone with over 1000 jumps: If I had my license back then, I sure the heck would have tried to do a QSO while doing HAHO! It gets very boring up there. I know people who have done it and I think it is pretty darn cool.

    I am going to do paramotoring courses in a couple of months. Once I get comfortable flying the paramotor, I do have making QSO's on my "to do list".
    K0UO likes this.
  6. W7IMM

    W7IMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    I think you made a pretty good point here.

    97.11 refers to "Amateur Radio" equipment installed in a ship or aircraft (to be used on Amateur Radio frequencies), NOT approved HF/VHF equipment already installed for use in an airplane. NONE of the operations manuals I have seen for military or civilian aircraft HF radios EVER excluded certain frequencies or ranges of frequencies

    97.11 doesn't apply here.
    And, by the way, that FCC rule has never been tested or applied (can someone please show the reference to the case law if it has?)

    Pilots have been accused of "Careless and Reckless" operation of an aircraft many times but the standards are a little higher than simply talking to the "wrong" people at the "wrong" time.

    Yeah......I once asked the POI at the company I worked for 30 years about reading a book or newspaper in the cockpit during cruise flight. (because I couldn't find it in the FARs OR the company operations manual....... ) He said, "It's NOT there. But if you do it in front of me, I might have to take some sort of action if you make an error." (SO I never did it in front of an Air Safety Inspector)

    Oh, and speaking of "Dim" flight crew members.......You think "Dim" is limited to only aircrew members? Why do you think many (NOT ALL) FAA "Air Safety Inspectors" are working for the FAA and not an airline?

    Using installed HF/VHF radios in an airplane? Yup. I did it for nearly 38 years in military and commercial airline aircraft working 2-30mhz ( USB) Boeing 737-800/900, C-141A/B, C-17B USB/LSB) , 2m AM (C-141/C-17B) and 6mFM from a C-17B

    And all those 38 years I operated on Amateur frequencies, there was a multitude of Amateur Radio "Karens" telling me that the radios needed to be "separate", I needed approval from the "Captain/Aircraft Commander", I couldn't operate if the flight was IFR, I shouldn't be using USB on 40 or75m etc ad nauseum. I didn't listen to them then, and I wouldn't listen to them now.
  7. WB8VLC

    WB8VLC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Yes brought up the phoenix 146.64 auto patch back in the mid 90's from a commercial flight to LA and called a coworker back home in prescott arizona to get him on the air so we could chat on 52 simplex. I did something similar but on the KC 53.29 repeater calling a friend 5 rows behind me while we were landing, brand new azden 6 meter HT for me to my friends GE PE 6 meter HT, nobody said a thing. Then around 2005 on the way to a vacation in northern michigan I called on one of the Ann Arbor boxes to see if my brothers ham friend was around.
  8. WA1GXC

    WA1GXC Ham Member QRZ Page

    Great job, OM! Perhaps you can exchange technique notes with your pal just above.

    "I think you made a pretty good point here."
  9. W7IMM

    W7IMM Ham Member QRZ Page

    What you did was in fact prohibited and has been for many years (and still is) . If you had asked if it was "ok" to operate a radio transmitter from the cabin, the flight attendants would have told you that you may not.

    If you had asked the Captain, he would tell you the same thing, and in addition, if the flight attendant had asked the Captain, he would have told her (or him) that he cannot authorize anyone to operate a "transmitter" from the cabin because the company flight manual or Operations Manual clearly states that transmitters (etc) are prohibited . (Capt cannot deviate from the company flight manual or Operations manual except in the interest of safety or in an emergency) (don't know what Capt PITNOF did at his company, I can only say what we did at the company I worked for)

    You also "got away with it" during the approach and/or landing because the flight attendants were seated (and didn't see you) . You can be sure that if they did, they would have told you to "turn it off" and if you refused, it would likely escalate into "interfering with a crew member" which could result in a federal violation if it went far enough.

    If it happened on a flight that made an interim stop along the way, they would have had you removed from the flight if you refused to comply.

    This of course is not related to flight crew members operating the HF or VHF radios in the cockpit. No airline allows crew members to operate handheld VHF or UHF transceivers (or cell phones) in the cockpit during flight. Until recently, Even WIFI and bluetooth devices were prohibited.
  10. N3HGB

    N3HGB Ham Member QRZ Page

    You are a bad bad ham and need to punished severely. You operated both SSB and AM? Wash my airplane with a toothbrush immediately!
    W2AI likes this.

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