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Listening In On Pilot-atc Conversations  
User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1428 posts, RR: 1
Posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 19447 times:

Hey i was wondering, is it possible to get any device (radio obviously) which allows you to hear all the communications between air traffic? I remember once to years ago, i was flying South West and on the headsets, on one channel, it was catching the pilot and his conversations with the atc and other aircraft, etc.
Is sucha device available? And if so is it legal? And another question, we see all these pictures taken of planes at their cruising altitute, with the photographer stating the Flight Level. How does he knwo this?

I ask mainly for commercial airliners.

Thanks


I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
12 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBDKLEZ From Ireland, joined Jun 2005, 1735 posts, RR: 10
Reply 1, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 19444 times:

I'm not a spotter so couldn't give you any sort of indication about portable radios, but you could try this when you're at home.

http://www.liveatc.net/

 wave 



Trespassers will be shot; survivors will be shot again!
User currently offlineSmAlbany From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 19438 times:

Scanning radios are widely available at radio shack etc. You can get one that will scan aircraft frequencies quite nicely for around $100. Better ones can cost upwards of $500.

It is quite legal in the US but some localities have laws about using them in cars.

There is an effort under way right now to make all communications digital. When that happens, listening in will become much more difficult.


User currently offlineOPNLguy From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 3, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 19410 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
I remember once to years ago, i was flying South West and on the headsets, on one channel, it was catching the pilot and his conversations with the atc and other aircraft, etc.

It couldn't have been Southwest, since we don't have any kind of electronic IFE on our aircraft. It was most likely United, who does have ATC communications available on channel 9 of their IFE system.


User currently offlineNighthawk From UK - Scotland, joined Sep 2001, 5182 posts, RR: 33
Reply 4, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 19404 times:

Quoting SmAlbany (Reply 2):
It is quite legal in the US but some localities have laws about using them in cars.

There is an effort under way right now to make all communications digital. When that happens, listening in will become much more difficult.

All you would need would be a digital reciever, unless of course the transmissions are encrypted.....

Listening to ATC broadcasts is illegal in the UK, its considered a "closed broadcast", however this is almost never inforced. Spotters regularly sit at airports with "scanners" in full view of police, who dont even bat an eye lid.

You might want to check the laws in your country, its more than likely illegal but not enforced.



That'll teach you
User currently offlineBond007 From United States of America, joined Mar 2005, 5454 posts, RR: 8
Reply 5, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 19359 times:

Digital voice communination is years and years away. Data such as weather, clearances etc. will be digital first (VDL and all that for replacing ACARS).

All you need for ATC is a receiver capable of tuning 108-136 Mhz. Your local Radio Shack equivalent will have some. Uniden also make some good ones, as do many other manufacturers.

Now, of course, they cannot be used at any time on an airliner (well in the US at least).


Jimbo



I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
User currently offlineNimish From India, joined Feb 2005, 3284 posts, RR: 10
Reply 6, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 9 hours ago) and read 19333 times:

Not sure which part of the world you're based in - but assuming you're in Chandigarh.

You need a airband receiver to listen into ATC communications. There's barely available in India - but you can buy them in teh US/UK (search on ebay for airband receiver or similar). I bought one for my use in the UK, and find it invaluable here in BLR. One thing to watch out for is that reception tends to be rather poor unless you're close to the airport (almost need line of sight!). It might be due to the concrete jungle that Bangalore has become, but it's just my experience.

Regarding legality - I would hope that it's legal to use in India (since I think a shop in BLR does sell these receivers - Hawk21M bought one from them). However if you're intent is to use it mainly at home, it should not be a problem (since it does not transmit any signals).

If you're interested - contact me directly via my profile and I can give you more details on prices etc.



Latest Trip Report - GoAir BLR-BOM-BLR
User currently offlineSmAlbany From United States of America, joined Aug 2004, 285 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 8 hours ago) and read 19289 times:

Quoting Nighthawk (Reply 4):
All you would need would be a digital reciever

Since the transmission is data, rather than digital voice, I don't know that there is a commercially available decoder that you can put on a scanner. I think that you would need to hook up your scanner to a computer like some people do with the ACARS data transmissions. This is quite a bit more cumbersome than switching on my handy little Icom R-2  Smile

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 5):
Digital voice communination is years and years away. Data such as weather, clearances etc. will be digital first (VDL and all that for replacing ACARS).

They are already providing this service at my local airport, ALB (at least clearance and ACARS). I know that switching all the current voice tranmissions to data is some time away - but it's coming I fear. I think that the limiting factor will be the cost of outfitting all the aircraft with the system.


User currently offlineFRAspotter From United States of America, joined May 2004, 2361 posts, RR: 9
Reply 8, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 19188 times:

I remember that I was flying UA917 a Boeing 744 from FRA to IAD on 21 June 2005 and I could listen in on our pilot and other pilots talking to ATC people from JFK, BOS, and IAD. Quite cool.
MY favorite would have to have been when I heard a PIA captain talking to ATC going into JFK and he sounded a lot like Apu from "The Simpsons". It was hilarious... Big grin



"Drunk drivers run stop signs. Stoners wait for them to turn green."
User currently offlineBongo From Colombia, joined Oct 2003, 1863 posts, RR: 4
Reply 9, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 7 hours ago) and read 19154 times:

Quoting Deaphen (Thread starter):
And another question, we see all these pictures taken of planes at their cruising altitute, with the photographer stating the Flight Level. How does he knwo this?

GPS. The GPS gives you the altitude, and you can have one even in the airplanes also for under $200.00



MDE: First airport in the Americas visited by the A380!
User currently offlineHAWK21M From India, joined Jan 2001, 31712 posts, RR: 56
Reply 10, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 19086 times:

A Radio Reciever needs no licence,However a Trans reciever does.
The IndUS Aviation storeat Blr stocks the M318A model.
About the Photographers knowing Altitude.If its during cruise,its normally announced or on the Pax Entertainment system or the FA can be asked.

regds
MEL



Think of the brighter side!
User currently offlineDeaphen From India, joined Jul 2005, 1428 posts, RR: 1
Reply 11, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 18997 times:

thanks for your replies.
This though crept into my mind today when i was in school, i was looking up at the clear sky and i saw atleast 3 b747's pass over hear with real cool trails behind. And it just bugged me deep down inside that i didnt have my camera ready. They just look so beautiful against a crystal clear blue sky. For your guys information, i live in chandigarh, just north of new delhi, and i suppose that lots of international flights flying westwards from delhi fly over us. It just so cool cant explain it.
Is there any place online where i can find flight paths? all the trackers i have found work only in the USA, which is not much of a help to me.
Thanks



I want every single airport and airplane in India to be on A.net!
User currently offlineMDL21483 From United States of America, joined Nov 2004, 169 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (8 years 11 months 6 days ago) and read 18924 times:

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 5):
Digital voice communination is years and years away. Data such as weather, clearances etc. will be digital first (VDL and all that for replacing ACARS).

Our Military forces already have that covered- which is way beyond digital cell phone type technology... Transmitter & reciever codes don't match up, you dont hear much more than digital whistles & static. As for commercial aviation, probably won't need to worry about it for a long while due to the whole de-classification and civilianized implementation process involved.



From the shores of the sea we have come afar, we have risen high, among the stars.
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