David T
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Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:20 am

I am listening to YYZ Tower/arrival/departure on Live ATC and once again there is an odd ident. for British Airways talking with Toronto. Any idea what Speedbird 47 Charlie is all about???
 
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chrisnh
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:47 am

Usually they put a suffix at the end of a flight number when there's another similarly-numbered flight near where the plane took off, or where it's landing. At least that's what I **think** is the case.

BA does this with one of their Boston flights, 251G I believe. Anyway, seems to be a pretty awkward way of distinguishing between two Flight 47s, that's for sure. Especially when the whole flight is designated this way & the duration of the ATC overlap between dueling Flight 47s is probably a scant few minutes. Enough to re-number the whole BA flight? Seems hardly reasonable to me.

Chris in NH
 
wedgetail737
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:53 am

Back in the day, PA used to use alpha callouts on their flights. I also used to here People Express do the same thing like "Peoples 4 alpha heavy."
 
star_world
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:14 pm

It's quite common on a lot of European airlines. BA do it on all of their domestic ("Shuttle") routes, also BD, LH, and others. As stated above, it's to stop confusion between similar numeric callsigns.
 
David T
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:21 pm

But why abbreviate over Toronto of all places? There are only so many BA aircraft to worry about let alone all the Air Canada company and whomever else.

I was listening to tower last week and Air Canada 015 departed after Air Canada 105 and too both aircraft, tower warned that both idents are too similar and listen carefully for your ATC.
 
wagz
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:28 pm

BA has been doing this on the second daily flight in to PHL as well. Flight is BA 69, but starting a few months ago the callsign has been "Speedbird 69 Victor". All flight tracking sites also show it as British Airways 69V. Its a daily thing, and the letter on the end is always V. Our afternoon flight remains just plain old "Speedbird 67".
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tribird1011
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 12:31 pm

If I'm not mistaken Speedbird 47Charlie is BA 098 which departs at around 2100 or so (2055??) If you listen earlier in the day (around 1815) you will hear Speedbird 9Mike which is BA 092.

Why do they do this?? who knows. I know there is no conflict in Toronto over which BA is arriving/departing/transiting, However there may be a conflict over similar flight numbers when arriving in LHR, so instead of modifying the call sign upon arrival, they modify it for the whole flight.

On another note, both flights arrive with the "normal" callsign

BA093 arrives as BA093 ==> BA 092 leaves as Speedbird 9M
BA099 arrives as BA099 ==> BA098 leaves as Speedbird 47C
 
txkf2010
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Wed Feb 08, 2006 11:32 pm

Didn't BA have the "Charlie" or whatever on the concorde flights?
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CHRISBA777ER
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Thu Feb 09, 2006 12:26 am

As Andy Gray would say...

This is the view of my mate from seat 47C...
What do you mean you dont have any bourbon? Do you know how far it is to Houston? What kind of airline is this???
 
tribird1011
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Thu Feb 09, 2006 8:55 am

Quoting TXKF2010 (Reply 7):
Didn't BA have the "Charlie" or whatever on the concorde flights?

No, AFAIK all BA Concorde flights were called Speedbird Concorde XXX.

ie. Speedbird Concorde 001 for I guess was LHR-JFK and Speedbird Concorde 002 for the return trip (or vice-versa).
 
wjcandee
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Thu Feb 09, 2006 1:29 pm

Quoting Tribird1011 (Reply 9):
all BA Concorde flights were called Speedbird Concorde XXX

Exactly. "Speedbird Concorde 193" was one of the morning departures from London.

[Edited 2006-02-09 05:43:56]
 
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EGTESkyGod
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Fri Feb 10, 2006 6:25 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 10):
"Speedbird Concorde 193" was one of the morning departures from London

Are you sure? I thought the 10:30 departure every morning was "Speedbird Concorde 1" I don't recall the 93 on the end.

Quoting TXKF2010 (Reply 7):
Didn't BA have the "Charlie" or whatever on the concorde flights?

IIRC, the UK tour in 2003 had the flight numbers BA9010C or something similar, but I never heard Charlie used in the same breath as Concorde in the callsign.
I came, I saw, I Concorde! RIP Michael Jackson
 
star_world
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:10 pm

Quoting Wjcandee (Reply 10):
Exactly. "Speedbird Concorde 193" was one of the morning departures from London.

Not correct - all of the regularl scheduled BA Concorde flights were in in the 1-4 range.

Quoting David T (Reply 4):
But why abbreviate over Toronto of all places? There are only so many BA aircraft to worry about let alone all the Air Canada company and whomever else.

As Tribird1011 mentions above, this may well be due to similar callsigns at the other end of the journey. If there were similar BA flights arriving / departing LHR at the same time as this flight, it could cause some confusion. Rather than be in this situation every day they may rename one of the callsigns slightly to simplify things.
 
swacle
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Fri Feb 10, 2006 11:55 pm

OPNLguy may be able to elaborate on this, but here at WN we will sometimes change the original flight number ("snub" it) to avoid ATC conflict. Ex. flight 417 CLE-LAS may go out as "WN 7417" if, say, CO 417 or 471 is leaving at the same time going CLE-IAH...

Don/WN Cle
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noelg
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Sat Feb 11, 2006 12:45 am

As others have said, try coming to the UK and listening to ATC!

The BA Shuttle/BMI/Lufthansa flights use letters e.g. Speedbird 3LJ, Midland 5TG etc.

Britannia use A for outbound and B for inbound, e.g. Britannia 351A would be ex-UK, Britannia 351B would be into the UK.

I believe Thomas Cook do the same, but can't recall which letters they use.

Cheers,
Noel
 
David_itl
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Sat Feb 11, 2006 3:41 am

Quoting Noelg (Reply 14):
I believe Thomas Cook do the same, but can't recall which letters they use.

K and L for "regular" services, G and H for ad-hoc services. First Choice use C and D for their short-haul services. Titan have been using B and C for thier Berne charters at MAN.

Whole raft of callsign/flight number tie-ups in my website in my profile but not yet updated them to include this winter's allocations.

David
 
wjcandee
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Sat Feb 11, 2006 4:14 am

Quoting Star_world (Reply 12):
Not correct - all of the regularl scheduled BA Concorde flights were in in the 1-4 range.

During the entirety of their service? I have a tape from American television reporting on a regularly scheduled Concorde flight wherein the aircraft crew constantly converses with ATC as "Speedbird Concorde 193". I believe that Brian Calvert also refers to this flight number in his book, although if I didn't have the tape I would have assumed that this was a number made up for the book.
 
standby87
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Sat Feb 11, 2006 7:05 am

Wjcandee's right - the Concorde used BA193 at our point, then was renumbered I think mid-80s to the more impressive BA001->4

"Speedbird Concorde One".

Sadly never to be heard again.

Cheers.
 
wjcandee
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RE: Who Is Speedbird 47 Charlie:

Sat Feb 11, 2006 9:38 am

Thanks, Standby87. Saves me from having to rummage around for that videotape, which I probably would have done tonight just to prove to *myself* that I wasn't losing my mind. One other thing that I recall from that tape was the very reserved yet obviously proud intonation in the voice of the BA crew as they announced themselves, "Schpeed'-buhd Con'-cawd One-Nine-Three" as if everyone were awaiting their next transmission, as they were the most important plane in the sky. Kind of like what people say about Bill Clinton when he shakes your hand, firm grip, looking you right in the eye and giving you a little pat on the elbow: that he conveys that he understands how exciting it is for you to meet him, and simultaneously that he knows that you know how exciting it must be to BE him. I'm sure those pilots felt the same way on every flight. (Meaning that they had to know that as exciting as it was for passengers to be passengers on their aircraft, to talk to their aircraft and to see their aircraft, that was nothing as compared to how exciting it was to be entrusted with the responsibility of driving their aircraft.)

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