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In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers  
User currently offlinePropilot83 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 604 posts, RR: 0
Posted (5 years 2 months 15 hours ago) and read 5378 times:

I know that airliners are in constant communication with airport control towers, TRACON's and Centers when flying or on the ground. However, my questions is, for example does a flight from LAX to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 still communicates with the ATC Centers in the U.S. while cruising in flight on its destination even though its cruising at high altitude air space and its destination is in Europe? I know that they would communicate with ATC Centers if weather is bad, a change of route, emergency, or something else, but for a normal milk flight do the pilots still communicate with ATC Centers that the plane flies over during cruising altitude or not?

13 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 1, posted (5 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 5347 times:

No... they talk with which ever center controls that segment of airspace...


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently onlineMir From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 21688 posts, RR: 55
Reply 2, posted (5 years 2 months 11 hours ago) and read 5345 times:



Quoting Propilot83 (Thread starter):
for a normal milk flight do the pilots still communicate with ATC Centers that the plane flies over during cruising altitude or not?

You kind of answered your own question:

Quoting Propilot83 (Thread starter):
I know that airliners are in constant communication with airport control towers, TRACON's and Centers when flying or on the ground.

Since the airliner in question is flying, they are in constant communication with the centers. Oceanic procedures vary, but the airplane is still reachable by ATC, and vice versa.

-Mir



7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
User currently offlinePropilot83 From United States of America, joined Jan 2001, 604 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (5 years 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 5253 times:

Yea, but my major question was, do flights flying over the U.S. in cruise altitude still chat with ATC centers even though there final destination is not the U.S., however is Europe, Asia or elsewhere?

User currently offlineEMBQA From United States of America, joined exactly 11 years ago today! , 9364 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (5 years 2 months 5 hours ago) and read 5248 times:

Quoting Propilot83 (Reply 3):
Yea, but my major question was, do flights flying over the U.S. in cruise altitude still chat with ATC centers even though there final destination is not the U.S

...........and again.. Yes, they talk with each center that controls the airspace that they are flying in. But aircraft that are transit through an airspace talk very little as there is no reason to. It also depends on were in the country they are flying. In the northeast, yea... you're talking often... in the midwest and southwest.. it gets a little lonely

[Edited 2009-08-26 11:27:08]


"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, but the size of the fight in the dog"
User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 5, posted (5 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 5246 times:

You seem to think that if you're at cruise alt you don't talk to anyone. Remember EVERYONE is at cruise alt for their trip.

User currently offlineKELPkid From United States of America, joined Nov 2005, 6411 posts, RR: 3
Reply 6, posted (5 years 2 months 4 hours ago) and read 5234 times:



Quoting Propilot83 (Reply 3):



Yea, but my major question was, do flights flying over the U.S. in cruise altitude still chat with ATC centers even though there final destination is not the U.S., however is Europe, Asia or elsewhere?

If everything is going hunky-dory, and there is no conflicting traffic for center to change your altitude or heading for, your communications will probably be limited to checking in the frequency, followed by "Contact XYZ Center on 1xx.xxx" when the flight reaches the boundary of the sector...

More common radio traffic on high altitude ATC center frequencies are flight crews requesting ride reports at certain altitudes, requesting a different altitude, or even something like "Center, Flight 123, if it's possible, can we get direct routing to [put your favorite fix or destination field in here]..."



Celebrating the birth of KELPkidJR on August 5, 2009 :-)
User currently offlinePilotpip From United States of America, joined Sep 2003, 3150 posts, RR: 11
Reply 7, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 22 hours ago) and read 5157 times:

Or this time of year, "We need 10 left/right for a build up"

As winter gets closer it becomes, "we're getting continuous chop, how are the rides lower?"



DMI
User currently offlineJgarrido From Guam, joined Mar 2007, 340 posts, RR: 0
Reply 8, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 1 day 11 hours ago) and read 5056 times:



Quoting Propilot83 (Reply 3):
Yea, but my major question was, do flights flying over the U.S. in cruise altitude still chat with ATC centers even though there final destination is not the U.S., however is Europe, Asia or elsewhere?

Perhaps you don't really understand what centers do. Like any other air traffic facility they are responsible for keeping aircraft separated. So any given airliner will be talking to the air traffic facility that has the responsibility for the section of airspace they are flying though at that time. It doesn't matter if the plane is going to Kenya, if it's over Kansas it's going to be on the same frequency as all the other aircraft over Kansas in the same altitude stratum. So that the air traffic controller who is has the responsibility for that airspace can keep them separated. As they move from one section of airspace to the next they get "handed off" to the controller and facility that has control of that airspace.


User currently offlineRyu2 From Taiwan, joined Aug 2002, 493 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (5 years 1 month 4 weeks 23 hours ago) and read 4949 times:

Also, over the oceans, many planes use data link (text messages) rather than voice communications these days.

User currently offlinePWM2TXLHopper From United States of America, joined Jan 2004, 1341 posts, RR: 1
Reply 10, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4766 times:



Quoting Propilot83 (Thread starter):
However, my questions is, for example does a flight from LAX to Frankfurt on a Lufthansa Boeing 747-400 still communicates with the ATC Centers in the U.S. while cruising in flight on its destination even though its cruising at high altitude air space and its destination is in Europe?

They talk to Centers while over North America, but once you get out over the ocean on the NAT tracks, you're out of center's airspace and even their radar if you're more than several hundred miles from land and out of range. Usually when talking to ATC you're using VHF radio communications. Way out over the open ocean VHF is out of range, so HF radio is used. I think that's UHF? Crews use HF radio away from land, and at different points along the route to send position reports. Although, these days I suppose more of that's done by computers and satellite?


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 11, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 19 hours ago) and read 4761 times:



Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 10):
but once you get out over the ocean on the NAT tracks, you're out of center's airspace and even their radar if you're more than several hundred miles from land and out of range.

But you're still talking to a controlling agency eg. Gander, Shanwick, etc. They are still separating traffic though "blindly".


User currently offlineTdscanuck From Canada, joined Jan 2006, 12709 posts, RR: 80
Reply 12, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 18 hours ago) and read 4731 times:



Quoting PWM2TXLHopper (Reply 10):
Way out over the open ocean VHF is out of range, so HF radio is used. I think that's UHF?

HF is below VHF frequencies...it goes a lot farther because it can bounce off the ionosphere, but the quality is worse and it's flakey. UHF is higher than VHF...just like VHF, it's line-of-sight, but quality is a little better. UHF is primarily military.

Tom.


User currently offlineEcuadorianMD11 From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 13, posted (5 years 1 month 3 weeks 6 days 10 hours ago) and read 4686 times:



Quoting Tdscanuck (Reply 12):
UHF is higher than VHF...just like VHF, it's line-of-sight, but quality is a little better.

Yes, at sea we use UHF for intraship traffic as the quality is good.
The range is a bit dissapointing though.........

VHF is a good intermediate........good quality and a decent range.

HF is amazing, the quality varies by the day but I´ve heard of vessels communicating a few thousand miles apart!!

Ecuadorian MD11


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