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ATC Term "On Guard"  
User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2505 posts, RR: 2
Posted (11 years 1 day 7 hours ago) and read 5428 times:

Listening to air band this a.m. An aircraft apparently had a stuck mike on the freq. The controller used the term that he was broadcasting "on guard," and that he was trying to break through.

What does "on guard" mean?

Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
6 replies: All unread, jump to last
User currently offlineAJ From Australia, joined Nov 1999, 2397 posts, RR: 25
Reply 1, posted (11 years 1 day 6 hours ago) and read 5405 times:

Hi Tjwgrr,

Guard is another term for 121.5 (and other prescibed frequencies), the international distress frequency. As many aircraft monitor this frequeny it is sometimes used as a backup to contact an aircraft that has not responded on the ATC frequency.

It is also the cause of much heartache for those who accidentally transmit on it. It may result in "You're transmitting on guard", but nastier airmen have been known to say "go-ahead" so the unwitting pilot broadcasts his or her entire message before being abused by all and sundry!


User currently offlineSlamclick From United States of America, joined Nov 2003, 10062 posts, RR: 68
Reply 2, posted (11 years 1 day 5 hours ago) and read 5377 times:

Now I assume that you were not necessarily listening on 121.5 and maybe wondering how you heard that transmission. When unable to contact an airplane, controllers can transmit on several frequencies at once.

Happiness is not seeing another trite Ste. Maarten photo all week long.
User currently offlineDC-10Tech From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 298 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (11 years 1 day ago) and read 5304 times:

A lot of scanners and towers (and some aircraft) automatically monitor and broadcast the gaurd freq in conjuction with whatever channel is programmed in. When I was at Travis AFB, the tower transmitted on the current frequency and on gaurd at all times.

User currently offlineJBirdAV8r From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 4491 posts, RR: 21
Reply 4, posted (11 years 22 hours ago) and read 5272 times:

I think every tower, TRACON, and center in the US monitors guard frequency, as well as the military.

In times of orange alerts, I always have my Com 2 tuned to 121.5 and monitoring. I've heard more than a few aircraft being told to evacuate airspace immediately or risk being shot down. I also carry a pamphlet on intercept procedures (good to memorize), just in case.

I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
User currently offlineTjwgrr From United States of America, joined Mar 2000, 2505 posts, RR: 2
Reply 5, posted (11 years 9 hours ago) and read 5184 times:

No, I wasn't monitoring 121.5. Evidently the controllers were broadcasting on multiple frequencies.

Thanks for the quick answer!

Direct KNOBS, maintain 2700' until established on the localizer, cleared ILS runway 26 left approach.
User currently offlineSccutler From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 5615 posts, RR: 28
Reply 6, posted (11 years 6 hours ago) and read 5167 times:

...it is always interesting to monitor 121.5 while flying in the central Texas area (near Pres. Bush's Crawford enclave) when the President is in residence. The USAF broadcasts its warning messages to aircraft entering the expanded P49 TFR. Have heard "intercept in progress" a couple of times, and know that was the sound of a pilot's certificate evaporating for a suspension period.

Amazing how rarely the interlopers (despite FSS admonitions to watch for the area and to monitor 121.5) are listening. More amazing is that anyone would blunder in there - the airspace is extremely well-marked on the sectional.

...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
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