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Music Interrupting Arrivals At JFK  
User currently offlineCanyonblue17 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 456 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 3 hours ago) and read 7604 times:

Several pilots landing at JFK this evening have complained that from about 10 miles out, all the way in to the threshold, they have been interrupted while trying to call approach and tower by "unauthorized transmissions," of some type of music. Tower said they are trying to track down the source.

Is this a common occurrence? What can be done to stop it?

19 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineBMI727 From United States of America, joined Feb 2009, 15747 posts, RR: 27
Reply 1, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7480 times:



Quoting Canyonblue17 (Thread starter):
Is this a common occurrence?

I don't think so, but I remember a story about a baby monitor interfering with ATC frequencies in London a few years back, so it isn't unheard of.



Why do Aerospace Engineering students have to turn things in on time?
User currently offlineCanyonblue17 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7415 times:

It's been going on for over an hour now. Several pilots said they have heard Mexican-style music.

User currently offlineKleinsim From Qatar, joined Jan 2007, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7402 times:



Quoting BMI727 (Reply 1):
I don't think so, but I remember a story about a baby monitor interfering with ATC frequencies in London a few years back, so it isn't unheard of.

Tower: BA 123, go around.
Reply: [Sound of crying baby.]

lol

I guess all you need is a radio with ATC frequencies on it and a transmission (rather than receiving feature). Then you can disturb air traffic with whatever tones you please.

Kleinsim


User currently offlineLHR380 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 4, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days 1 hour ago) and read 7346 times:



Quoting Kleinsim (Reply 3):
Tower: BA 123, go around.
Reply: [Sound of crying baby.]

Crying cause he should actually be landing in MRU maybe hehe  Wink

Heard this happens every now and then at JFK, remember something happening last year that caused a few problems for aircraft on approach.


User currently offlineKleinsim From Qatar, joined Jan 2007, 154 posts, RR: 0
Reply 5, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 2 days ago) and read 7259 times:



Quoting Canyonblue17 (Reply 2):
Several pilots said they have heard Mexican-style music.

Mexican style music? No wonder pilots complained :P


User currently offline757MDE From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 1753 posts, RR: 6
Reply 6, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 19 hours ago) and read 6977 times:

I had this happen to me while taking flight lessons in a PA-28 at EOH, I could communicate with the tower but some radio station would also be heard while I was at it (and not, I hadn't tuned any station in the NDB). The problem lasted like 5 days.


I gladly accept donations to pay for flight hours! This thing draws man...
User currently offlineWagz From United States of America, joined Mar 2003, 516 posts, RR: 16
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6657 times:
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Quoting Kleinsim (Reply 3):
I guess all you need is a radio with ATC frequencies on it and a transmission (rather than receiving feature). Then you can disturb air traffic with whatever tones you please.

Much easier said than done. You can buy any old radio that receives air band frequencies, but getting one that can transmit on said frequencies is much more difficult. Generally these devices are sold to pilots only as a form of back-up should your aicraft radio fail. You can find them in most catalogs or websites catering to GA pilots. Last time I looked they tended to cost a good chunk of change and required you have a radio operating license to even buy/operate it. I think FAA pilot licences include a license to operate radios in said manner.

Of course thats not to say that like anything else these radios don't find there way out in to the general public, but since they aren't a common item it isn't a much worse problem than it is. They are small hand-held units so I would think that they're transmitting range from the ground couldn't be that great, just like your typical air band scanner/receiver.



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User currently offlineMoose135 From United States of America, joined Oct 2004, 2325 posts, RR: 10
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 14 hours ago) and read 6588 times:

There are a number of "pirate" radio stations that pop up in the boroughs from time to time. They are unlicensed and unregulated, so there is no way to control what they are doing. Usually they are low power broadcasts, often jumping on the same frequency as another radio station in the area, and receivable within a mile or two of the transmitter. What usually happens is the FCC finds out about them and shut them down after a couple of days. It's possible that is the case here, only it is going out on an aviation frequency for some reason.


KC-135 - Passing gas and taking names!
User currently offlineDelta2058 From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 18 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6519 times:

There is no regulation for airband radios (in the US). I have recently purchased two handheld units that can transmit and receive on all airband as well as other civil frequencies. I purchased on the internet and was never asked for any documentation nor was I asked to sign any affadavit for legal usage. Each unit was under $300 and are the max power for a handheld, around 5 watts (but could easily be illegally modifed to higher power).

I do happen to be licensed for appropriate usage, but they never checked. The purchase was actually done under a different family members name (who is unlicensed)!

Someone with nefarious intent could definately interfere with tower communications if they chose, at least until their location was triangulated. But again, these are mobile units.

I suspect the JFK incident is a pirate "entertainment" station that is splattering all over the spectrum and is not intentionally interfering with the tower. But the current system is open to abuse.



Smooth seas do not make skilled sailors.
User currently offlineHarrisonRuess From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 13 hours ago) and read 6489 times:



Quoting Wagz (Reply 7):
I think FAA pilot licences include a license to operate radios in said manner.

In Canada the Radio operators licence is separate from the pilot's licence (can't comment on the US/FAA).

Transport Canada issues the pilot licences, and Industry Canada deals with radio operator licences.

From the end user perspective, it doesn't really make much difference - you have to pay some $ and write the test, but on the government end different people deal with them.

As to the interference, On top of what the others have suggested I've heard stories of some kinds of MP3 players accidentily transmitting if they aren't wired up correctly thru the plane's intercom (quite a few GA do this). Although if the interference went on for a long time this probably wouldn't be the case.


User currently offlineCanyonblue17 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6317 times:

Does anyone know how this situation at JFK was resolved? I stopped listening to ATC at around midnight and it was still going on.

User currently offlineNIKV69 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 6182 times:



Quoting Wagz (Reply 7):
Generally these devices are sold to pilots only as a form of back-up should your aicraft radio fail. You can find them in most catalogs or websites catering to GA pilots. Last time I looked they tended to cost a good chunk of change and required you have a radio operating license to even buy/operate it. I think FAA pilot licences include a license to operate radios in said manner.

I bought a pilot radio (transceiver) and didn't need any operating license but never got mexican music with it?  biggrin 


User currently offlineDoug_or From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 3408 posts, RR: 3
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 12 hours ago) and read 5943 times:



Quoting NIKV69 (Reply 12):
but never got mexican music with it?

Sounds like you got ripper off. Take it back for a refund!



When in doubt, one B pump off
User currently offlineFLY2HMO From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5559 times:



Quoting Wagz (Reply 7):
Last time I looked they tended to cost a good chunk of change and required you have a radio operating license to even buy/operate it.

There are no restrictions for buying them or using them in the US. Of course, if you get caught doing something stupid with them, expect to spend several months in the slammer.


User currently offlineFn1001 From Moldova, joined Sep 2008, 234 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5472 times:

A decade ago I was taxi driver and we had about 140 cars on the same radio dispatcher. One of my colleagues pushed by mistake the talk-button and somehow it remained fixed broadcasting all discussions between that driver and his passengers. We also could hear his music in the background. This lasted for about 15 minutes, time in which the whole channel was blocked. Finally somebody recognized the drivers voice and called him on his cellphone. After this incident there was a rule that if the radio channel is blocked or there are interferences disturbing the business, all drivers and the dispatcher must change to another frequency. On the first frequency there was broadcasted every few seconds a message informing that the channel has changed.


Mai bine să-ţi fie rău decît să-ţi pară rău.
User currently offlineContrails15 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 1181 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4298 times:

i was doing a flt today and we were waiting forever to push out the flt. Captain said they were having problems with inbound aircraft. Maybe that was it. Anyway, not surprising, there are a ton of Spanish stations in NY now. all though I'm sure that has nothing to do with the problem.


Giants football!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
User currently offlineGoldenshield From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 6041 posts, RR: 14
Reply 17, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 9 hours ago) and read 4237 times:



Quoting Wagz (Reply 7):
I think FAA pilot licences include a license to operate radios in said manner.

Only in US registered aircraft, and only in the US and Canada, as the aircraft is registered with the FCC already (The N number.) Everywhere else requires a Airman's Radio license, which is a separate document. Both the N number and the Radio Operator's license can be obtained from the FCC.



Two all beef patties, special sauce, lettuce, cheese, pickles, onions on a sesame seed bun.
User currently offlineCanyonBlue17 From United States of America, joined Oct 2008, 456 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2621 times:

By the way, the most popular music request by pilots calling in the problem to ATC was Steely Dan.

User currently offlineSwa4life From United States of America, joined Jul 2009, 385 posts, RR: 1
Reply 19, posted (5 years 1 month 2 weeks 1 day 3 hours ago) and read 2621 times:

I'm actually surprised things like this don't happen more often. Nothing is really required in order to be able to purchase an airband radio from second hand retailers or even directly from icom. All it would take is for a couple if knuckle heads to jam and key up over transmissions on the east coast ATC freqs to cause MAJOR PROBLEMS..

As far as I'm aware there is no way to encrypt AM Airband.

I hope I'm not giving anyone any ideas..


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