hawaiian717
Posts: 3139
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sat Oct 08, 2005 5:44 pm

Last week, for the first time since becoming aware of Channel 9, I flew United to Hawaii. The crew announced, and it was the case, that Channel 9 would be available for takeoff and landing only. Once we were handed off from Oakland Center to San Francisco ARINC, the alternate music program began, and continued until we made contact with Honolulu Center.

Is it normal for Channel 9 to be unavailable during cruise on flights to Hawaii, or was that just the choice of the captain for the day's flight?
 
Bluewave 707
Posts: 2793
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 8:21 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sat Oct 08, 2005 6:25 pm

During mid-flight, it's the captain's discretion to leave Ch.9 on ATC. The in-flight magazine may have a disclaimer saying so.

In 2002, I was on a UA HNL-LAX flight and the return flight in which the captain left Ch.9 on ATC, and heard chatter among pilots en route. On both flights, I heard pilots from other flights looking for new altitude, because of turbulence.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
CTHEWORLD
Posts: 463
Joined: Fri Dec 10, 2004 5:27 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sat Oct 08, 2005 11:37 pm

There's nothing really to listen to after Oakland hands you off, it is a better passenger experience to add the extra channel of enterntainment back in, rather than just having dead air on 9.

C
 
Capt.Fantastic
Posts: 811
Joined: Thu Aug 12, 1999 4:01 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:07 am

I think they switch to 123.45 ... This is an open frequency that crews use to communicate weather, rides, and of course other conversation while enroute over the Pacific... Pilots may switch it off so passengers don't hear the open chatter, since its not stricly ATC.
 
OE-LDA
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 5:29 pm

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 9:43 am

I find it interesting that chanel 9 has not yet been defined as a security threat. So many other things have been.

By the way, if they switch to 123.45, is there not ATC coverage from the US West Coast to Hawaii?

Regards, OE-LDA
I am totally missing basics and clueless about airline flying!
 
bravo7e7
Posts: 1162
Joined: Sun Jul 18, 2004 1:43 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:35 am

Typically Channel 9 is always on. It may have been because the lack of ATC over the Pacific.
 
skibum9
Posts: 862
Joined: Sun Nov 04, 2001 1:13 pm

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:39 am

Quoting OE-LDA (Reply 4):
By the way, if they switch to 123.45, is there not ATC coverage from the US West Coast to Hawaii?

There is multiple radios on an airplane. Typically COM1 is used for primary communication with ARC, while COM2 is for secondary purposes, such as picking up ATIS, if not available on ACARS, monitoring 121.5 (emergency channel), talking to Flight Watch, etc.
Tailwinds!!!
 
gamps
Posts: 456
Joined: Thu Jul 24, 2003 4:10 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 10:49 am

Same experience on Flt 33 (SF - Lihue) last week. Pilot announced he will leave it on, but even during departure there was music and no ATC chatter. Same story on the way back on Flt 32 - pilot announced we can listen to HNL chatter but only music again.

OTOH Channel 9 on SF to Beijing (Flt 889/888) is a real treat for ATC nuts. So many accents one can listen on this long flight..especially the Russian controller with lot of static noise who sounded as if he is in an underground bunker..
 
mcdu
Posts: 900
Joined: Thu Apr 28, 2005 5:23 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 11:52 am

I am a UAL Capt and as for CH9 over the water here is the reason. As stated previously the #1 com is generally set to 121.5 (it is on the emerg bus in the event of an elect failure) and the #2 com to 123.45 (international air to air frequency) while in oceanic airspace. All ATC communications are made via the HF radios. While we can place the HF radios on the CH9 audio the static associated with the HF would drive anyone listening insane. We do not monitor the HF per say. We get a SELCAL check and if needed the ARINC control can contact us via the tone assigned to the airplane. They play the tone and it rings a "doorbell" tone and lights up a light in the cockpit. For the most part over the oceans we transmit more than we recieve from ARINC. In over 10 years of atlantic and pacific flying I may have been selcalled a handful of times. All this is trivia but hope it explains why we generally select the audio programming when out of normal ATC coverage.

Thanks for flying with us and glad to hear you like CH9. I like to leave it on as much as possible as I think it is something that the folks who like to listen enjoy and it sets us apart from the rest of the industry.

For the poster that thinks this is a security issue, I ask why? What does it have to do with security to know the location? Most of international fleet has a moving map in the back and would that not be a hazard also? Should I never make the "good view of the Grand Canyon" announcement? Just curious as for the reason.
 
Mir
Posts: 19093
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 2:59 pm

Quoting OE-LDA (Reply 4):
By the way, if they switch to 123.45, is there not ATC coverage from the US West Coast to Hawaii?

ATC is only as good as the radar that lets them see the planes. So when the planes disappear over the horizon (not quite sure how far this is from shore, maybe Mcdu knows), ATC has no way of knowing where the planes are - separation is achieved by assigning each plane a route, altitude and speed to fly, and the planes call in with position reports as they cross various waypoints. However, VHF radio (the normal overland kind) is limited by line-of-sight, so it's no good far over the water. HF radio is required, but this is more subject to interference, which means lots of static on the frequency. It would drive pilots nuts to have to listen to that all the time, and so they only listen to it when they're making their position reports. If ATC needs to talk to a plane, they'll use SELCAL to get the plane's attention, as Mcdu described.

With both VHF radios freed from having to communicate with ATC, they can be used for different purposes - monitoring the emergency 121.5 and the common 123.45. There would be very little to listen to on 121.5, and 123.45 might not be "G-rated", so the captain might decide to turn Channel 9 off.

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 8):
Thanks for flying with us and glad to hear you like CH9. I like to leave it on as much as possible as I think it is something that the folks who like to listen enjoy and it sets us apart from the rest of the industry.

I love Ch9, I listen to it whenever it's on, and I fly UA over other airlines whenever practical solely because of it's existence.

-Mir
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
hawaiian717
Posts: 3139
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:24 pm

Thanks for the explanations everyone, and especially Mcdu and Mir. I've been flying UA a lot this year, and enjoy Channel 9. Having it paired with the seatback PTV on the map display on a 777 flight earlier this year was quite a treat.

Now only if United Express would get it.  Wink
 
lorm
Posts: 377
Joined: Sun Jun 06, 2004 4:31 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 7:28 pm

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 8):

Thanks for flying with us and glad to hear you like CH9. I like to leave it on as much as possible as I think it is something that the folks who like to listen enjoy and it sets us apart from the rest of the industry.

Have always enjoyed it, and thank you!

Quoting Mir (Reply 9):

There would be very little to listen to on 121.5, and 123.45 might not be "G-rated", so the captain might decide to turn Channel 9 off.

Exactly the explanation I've always received. When out over the ocean and out of ATC contact, sometimes when left on channel 9 on the air to air can be quite interesting. You'll occasionally hear of candid conversations wouldn't hear on ATC controlled channel over land. If you're lucky it is left on, which happened on my last flight back home to the islands - I made sure I thanked the captain for "forgetting"  Smile.

Whenever it's turned off and the music channel is on to make sure you get it back on, at least 30 minutes to an hour out of the expected arrival time (or when you can feel the descent) just nicely ask a F/A to ask the flight crew to turn it on again, they will usually be glad to call up front if they are not busy.


Slightly O/T: Bluewave, and the rest of the Hawaii locals, scan and monitor 129.0750 when you get a chance. Alpine Aviation (Postal Contract) have been using this frequency for an air to air channel. It seems like they unoffically made this their pilot to pilot chat amongst themselves whenever they fly. I've only heard the Alpine guys on this channel no one else. Some of the conversations they have can be downright hilarious. These guys don't hold anything back when it comes to what they think of their superiors, ATC, or whatever is on their mind. Which is exactly why I do understand pilots turning off UA Ch 9 when the air to air channel is on. Search the liveatc.net audio clips forum for one of the Alpine conversations I overheard one night....

-LorM
Brick Windows
 
svenvdm
Posts: 199
Joined: Fri Dec 29, 2000 1:23 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Sun Oct 09, 2005 8:53 pm

Channel 9 a security threat? Can't imagine how. If UA serves a route I want/need to fly I choose UA just because of Channel 9. I hope they'll keep it for a long time to come.
 
OE-LDA
Posts: 207
Joined: Thu Sep 28, 2000 5:29 pm

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:06 am

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 8):
For the poster that thinks this is a security issue, I ask why? What does it have to do with security to know the location? Most of international fleet has a moving map in the back and would that not be a hazard also? Should I never make the "good view of the Grand Canyon" announcement? Just curious as for the reason.

Just that there is no misunderstanding. I would not qualify channel 9 as a security issue, but you hear of so many thing being an issue today:

- People not allowed to take pictures inside the cabin on AA flights, especially not of FAs

- There was one case in this forum where a FA refused to give the aircraft registration to a passenger, athough it is written outside the plane.

- There are numerous stories that photographers were given a hard time when they tried to take pictures of aircraft.

It seems to me that channel 9 provides a lot more insight on the current situation of a flight than any other of the above mentioned. That was the reason I was asking.

I hope no one got me wrong, and I hope channel 9 will continue.

regards, OE-LDA
I am totally missing basics and clueless about airline flying!
 
Bluewave 707
Posts: 2793
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 8:21 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:04 am

Quoting LorM (Reply 11):
Slightly O/T: Bluewave, and the rest of the Hawaii locals, scan and monitor 129.0750 when you get a chance. Alpine Aviation (Postal Contract) have been using this frequency for an air to air channel. It seems like they unoffically made this their pilot to pilot chat amongst themselves whenever they fly. I've only heard the Alpine guys on this channel no one else. Some of the conversations they have can be downright hilarious. These guys don't hold anything back when it comes to what they think of their superiors, ATC, or whatever is on their mind. Which is exactly why I do understand pilots turning off UA Ch 9 when the air to air channel is on.

Thanks for that heads-up. Will check it out one of these nights.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
omoo
Posts: 650
Joined: Thu Jun 09, 2005 12:35 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:15 am

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 8):
I am a UAL Capt and as for CH9 over the water here is the reason. As stated previously the #1 com is generally set to 121.5 (it is on the emerg bus in the event of an elect failure) and the #2 com to 123.45 (international air to air frequency) while in oceanic airspace. All ATC communications are made via the HF radios. While we can place the HF radios on the CH9 audio the static associated with the HF would drive anyone listening insane. We do not monitor the HF per say. We get a SELCAL check and if needed the ARINC control can contact us via the tone assigned to the airplane. They play the tone and it rings a "doorbell" tone and lights up a light in the cockpit. For the most part over the oceans we transmit more than we recieve from ARINC. In over 10 years of atlantic and pacific flying I may have been selcalled a handful of times. All this is trivia but hope it explains why we generally select the audio programming when out of normal ATC coverage.

Thanks for flying with us and glad to hear you like CH9. I like to leave it on as much as possible as I think it is something that the folks who like to listen enjoy and it sets us apart from the rest of the industry.

For the poster that thinks this is a security issue, I ask why? What does it have to do with security to know the location? Most of international fleet has a moving map in the back and would that not be a hazard also? Should I never make the "good view of the Grand Canyon" announcement? Just curious as for the reason.

I once flew UA LHR-IAD and Ch 9 was switched off once we hit the water. Thanks for the explanation cause now it makes a lot of sense.
Fly Air Popobawa
 
aeroweanie
Posts: 1577
Joined: Fri Dec 03, 2004 9:33 pm

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 10:46 am

Quoting OE-LDA (Reply 13):
- There are numerous stories that photographers were given a hard time when they tried to take pictures of aircraft.

As we're speaking of Hawaii, I should note that two weeks ago I was told by the Wakenhut security officer at the West Maui Airport that I was not allowed to take pictures of the ramp, terminal or any airplanes.
 
3201
Posts: 813
Joined: Sun Oct 10, 2004 4:16 pm

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 12:35 pm

Whenever I've flown between SFO and either LHR or FRA on UA, Ch9 is on continuously the whole time. Outside of radar coverage, you hear position reports and SELCAL tests, etc., for your own aircraft and everyone else up there. Not continuous chatter, and not terribly thrilling, but kinda interesting, and I've always been glad they left it on.

When I flew SFO-LIH, they turned it off pretty early and never turned it back on. KOA-SFO, they never turned it on, not even on arrival in SFO.
7 hours aint long-haul
 
BH346
Posts: 3164
Joined: Mon Jan 31, 2000 5:50 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 1:15 pm

Thanks for the explanations. I've noticed that on my flights between KIX and ORD, Ch9 was off once we were over the ocean and when we followed a route that took us over the northern coast of Alaska and through Siberia, we still had Ch.9 with Markovo and Magadan Control. That route gets interesting on Ch. 9 with the transpac traffic and the controllers.
Northwest Airlines - Some People Just Know How to Fly
 
Bluewave 707
Posts: 2793
Joined: Thu Jun 07, 2001 8:21 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 3:16 pm

Quoting AeroWeanie (Reply 16):
As we're speaking of Hawaii, I should note that two weeks ago I was told by the Wakenhut security officer at the West Maui Airport that I was not allowed to take pictures of the ramp, terminal or any airplanes.

West Maui? JHM? There ain't nothing much to shoot. Only LW and WP. I got a shot once while walking to the Dash8.

Had no problems @ OGG while on a stopover, and I was shooting photos in plain sight.
"The best use of your life will be to so live your life, that the use of your life will outlive your life" -- D Severn
 
hawaiian717
Posts: 3139
Joined: Tue May 18, 1999 2:46 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Mon Oct 10, 2005 5:06 pm

I didn't have any problems the time I shot at OGG either. I was out along the bike path, there was a spot where there was a flood control channel or something, so the ground and fence line dropped, but the bike path was a bridge. I was out there for a couple hours; security folks drove by a few times but never said anything. This was after 9/11.

The only time I can recall being told to leave in Hawaii was at LIH. There was a road that went through a golf course, then became a dirt road around the perimeter fence. I think it went to a beach, I didn't take my rental Neon all the way to the end though. I was there for a while; eventually a private security guy told me I couldn't be there. Also after 9/11.
 
N79969
Posts: 6605
Joined: Tue Jan 29, 2002 1:43 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Tue Oct 11, 2005 12:01 am

I listened to it on a LAX-HNL flight while it was on basically the whole time. The conversations during the middle of the flight mainly consisted of the flight crew verifying their position (using strings of digits that I could not decipher) with San Francisco center. I wish I could follow the conversation.
 
WestWing
Posts: 1133
Joined: Thu Feb 03, 2005 2:01 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Tue Oct 11, 2005 3:47 am

Quoting Mcdu (Reply 8):
...glad to hear you like CH9. I like to leave it on as much as possible...

Thank you. But there are some UAL Capts who elect to not make Ch. 9 available. I'm curious what reasons are most often cited by these Capts for not turning on Ch. 9.
The best time to plant a tree is 40 years ago. The second best time is today.
 
Mir
Posts: 19093
Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Tue Oct 11, 2005 8:52 am

Quoting N79969 (Reply 21):
I wish I could follow the conversation.

Elements of a position report:

1) Who you are
2) Where you are (i.e. what waypoint you just passed)
3) What time you passed that waypoint
4) Your altitude
5) Your speed
6) Your next waypoint
7) Estimated arrival at that waypoint
8) Waypoint after that
9) Any other information

So, for instance:

"United 904, 53 North 40 West at 1952Z, FL350, Mach .84, Estimating 54 North 30 West at 2036Z, 54 North 20 West next, request FL370 and a SELCAL check for JN-RC (this would be the aircraft's SELCAL code)."

LiveATC.net has a North Atlantic HF feed that you can listen to if you want. Listen to the North American one in the evening when all the flights are going to Europe, and you'll hear plenty of them. The paired tones you hear are the SELCAL calls going out to the planes asking them to contact ATC on the HF radio.

-Mir

[Edited 2005-10-11 01:56:35]
7 billion, one nation, imagination...it's a beautiful day
 
je89_w
Crew
Posts: 2070
Joined: Fri Mar 01, 2002 1:29 pm

RE: UA Channel 9 To Hawaii

Wed Oct 12, 2005 4:06 pm

Also noticed that channel 9 was switched off after departure from SIN and NRT back in 2003. Too bad, it would've been interesting to listen to the pilots having rather free conversations in flight.

Quoting LorM (Reply 11):
Slightly O/T: Bluewave, and the rest of the Hawaii locals, scan and monitor 129.0750 when you get a chance. Alpine Aviation (Postal Contract) have been using this frequency for an air to air channel. It seems like they unoffically made this their pilot to pilot chat amongst themselves whenever they fly. I've only heard the Alpine guys on this channel no one else. Some of the conversations they have can be downright hilarious. These guys don't hold anything back when it comes to what they think of their superiors, ATC, or whatever is on their mind. Which is exactly why I do understand pilots turning off UA Ch 9 when the air to air channel is on. Search the liveatc.net audio clips forum for one of the Alpine conversations I overheard one night....

Thanks, will definitely check it out!

Who is online