Slovacek747
Topic Author
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Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 8:16 am

Since channel 9 on UA seems to be so popular... why don't other airlines incorporate it into their audio services... It seems to me it wouldn't be that hard to add...

Slovacek747
 
smokeyrosco
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 8:26 am

because people (and/or companies don't want people to know they made mistakes)

Thing is it happens all the time, and because i know the dept of it i'd love to know it on my flight..... not cause i care but more because i'm like a cat
John Hancock
 
lincoln
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 8:33 am

Quoting Slovacek747 (Thread starter):
Since channel 9 on UA seems to be so popular... why don't other airlines incorporate it into their audio services... It seems to me it wouldn't be that hard to add...

Amazingly, the only time I've heard something like Channel 9 was on an AS flight... None of my UA mainline flights (not that there have been a huge number - maybe a dozen or so) have had Channel 9 turned on.

Since AS doesn't advertise this...and it was on ONE flight, probably about 7-8 years ago...my assumption is that it was either an aircraft they had gotten from someone else or some enterprising captain had rigged something, but I could be wrong.

For the record, I'm pretty sure it wasn't channel 9; I think it was channel 12.
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dc10rules
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 9:14 am

I am guessing here but I would say I have flown UA mainline and Ted roughly 30 or so times over the last half decade and every time channel 9 has been on. Make sure to ask the capt (if he/she is accessible) or the FA if it will be available. I would be willing to bet the flights you had the captain just forgot to flip the switch rather than not granting the service.

Channel 9 is a major deciding factor for a lot of people (who are into aviation) to choose UA and they know this.

JUST ASK!!! (nicely of course lol)

Cheers!
 
lincoln
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 9:26 am

Quoting DC10rules (Reply 3):
JUST ASK!!! (nicely of course lol)

On my most recent trip where UA was solely on the itenerary due to the aircraft choice (I like widebodies in general, and I was able to get my first 747 and 777 flights by doing LAX-ORD-DTW-PLN-DTW-ORD-LAX), I didn't ask on the first first leg, but on the last leg I asked a FA as she was walking down the asile...

"Excuse me, I was hoping you could tell me if the captain..."

She cut me off "No channel 9 on this flight; we've already asked."

Lincoln
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Ralgha
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 9:35 am

Ah yes, the old "one person told me no, so everyone else will too".
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star_world
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 9:39 am

Quoting Ralgha (Reply 5):
Ah yes, the old "one person told me no, so everyone else will too".

Huh?  confused  That's not what he said at all - assuming you're referring to the previous post?
 
tbnist03
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 9:58 am

It would be nice to have other airliners add an atc channel. I would definitely like to listen to that. It would have been interesting to listen to from MSP-HNL.
-Mike
 
GoAllegheny
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 11:39 am

I would say that about 75% of the 75 or so UA flights I am on a year carry Channel 9. On virtually every flight (I can remember one where the captain just forgot) that did not have it on, I asked the F/A to ask the captain, and either the captain had already told the F/As during pre-flight that he/she did not intend to use Channel 9, or the Captain said no in response to my question. Some pilots simply refuse to activate it. Insecurity, no doubt!

I doubt that channel 9 is a deciding factor for many people. I'm an airline nut, and I fly UA because of the legroom in Economy Plus, and the choice of flights from my hometown of Chicago. I certainly don't fly it for all of the fees I rack up in flight changes and other BS. I would be surprised if more than 10 people listen to Channel 9 on a typical 320 or 737 load. I would love to be proven wrong on this.
 
CHI787ORD
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 11:54 am

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):
I doubt that channel 9 is a deciding factor for many people. I'm an airline nut, and I fly UA because of the legroom in Economy Plus, and the choice of flights from my hometown of Chicago. I certainly don't fly it for all of the fees I rack up in flight changes and other BS. I would be surprised if more than 10 people listen to Channel 9 on a typical 320 or 737 load. I would love to be proven wrong on this.

I choose to fly UA because it has economy plus, and it is Chicago based (my hometown as well... represent.) But also, I have always had good experiences flying UA. I really think that through everything, they have still mantained the same amount of personal service and customer satisfaction. I love hearing "rhapsody in blue" when I board the plane.

I recently flew HKG-ORD. As soon as I got on the plane, I immediately felt at home back in Chicago. That's the thing with UA, wherever you are, you still feel at home. Oh yeah, channel 9 is great too.
 
boeingfanyyz
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 11:56 am

Think about it...how entertaining would it be when listening on a trip such as JFK-LHR, when you wont hear much for a good seven hours!?

Cheers,
Boeingfanyyz  airplane 
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UAPremierGuy
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 5:10 pm

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):
would be surprised if more than 10 people listen to Channel 9 on a typical 320 or 737 load. I would love to be proven wrong on this.

I think you're exactly right, except in times of turbulence or irregular operations. Then I often see many business travelers tune into Ch. 9 to get an update and find out what is going on. Many people, other than just us dorks, rely on Channel 9 in lieu of frequent updates from the cabin as to what is going on. It is particular useful in figuring out when ETD is due to a ORD gate-hold program, e.g...not that that ever happens  Wink
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bestpilot
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 8:10 pm

Channel 9 is useful for IFR students to listen to the communications between ATC and the professional pilots up front. Useful especially during approach.
 
roseflyer
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 9:40 pm

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):
I doubt that channel 9 is a deciding factor for many people. I'm an airline nut, and I fly UA because of the legroom in Economy Plus, and the choice of flights from my hometown of Chicago. I certainly don't fly it for all of the fees I rack up in flight changes and other BS. I would be surprised if more than 10 people listen to Channel 9 on a typical 320 or 737 load. I would love to be proven wrong on this.

It is not necessarily a deciding factor, but many small things can add up to a good experience. Like Gordon Bethune said in his book "From Worst to First" you can make a pizza so cheap that no one will want to eat it. United compared to the other of the legacy airlines in the United States offers little perks. There is still fully free IFE on all mainline flights. The 737s have just audio (which is no provided by XM Satellite Radio and quite high quality) and the rest of the fleet also has video. Additionally United still has pillows and blankets. United actually does make its product better than some of its competitors (but it falls short of Continental in that only CO still has free food). So while it is not a make or break decision, channel 9 is a nice feature.

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 2):
Amazingly, the only time I've heard something like Channel 9 was on an AS flight... None of my UA mainline flights (not that there have been a huge number - maybe a dozen or so) have had Channel 9 turned on.

Since AS doesn't advertise this...and it was on ONE flight, probably about 7-8 years ago...my assumption is that it was either an aircraft they had gotten from someone else or some enterprising captain had rigged something, but I could be wrong.

For the record, I'm pretty sure it wasn't channel 9; I think it was channel 12.

I really struggle to believe that. Alaska does not have audio entertainment on its planes. It offers portable video players on select flights, but it didn't have anything 7-8 years ago. This must have been a fluke. Could you have actually been on a different airline or have been on a different plane? I don't think it is possible, but weirder things have happened.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
lincoln
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 10:29 pm

Quoting RoseFlyer (Reply 13):
This must have been a fluke. Could you have actually been on a different airline or have been on a different plane?

I'm >90% sure it was AS...Like I said, since it was one aircraft, one flight, and no announcement or anything was made (about any audio IFE, let alone ATC-- actually, thinking about it, I don't remember any programming on other channels), I have to assume that it was a fluke. The flight would have been either PDX-ONT or PDX-LAX, most likely the former, operated by AS as part of a an ONT-PDX-MFR-PDX-ONT itinerary.

Unfourtinately, it was before I really go into avaition, so I don't have any concrete details. Is it possible that AS acquired/leased an aircraft from someone else and didn't disable it? I don't know.

Lincoln
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DIA
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 10:53 pm

What I know about UA 9:

1. I love it...what a great twist on taking a flight. I love the fact that I get to hear all those aviation folks making jokes, requests, sarcastic remarks, and plain 'ole chatter.

2. Because it is at the UA pilots' discretion whether to use it or not, I've been on several UA flights that have not had it on, even after I asked the FA to ask the cockpit whether it will be on or not.

3. I don't understand why, but I've now been on 3 UA 763s that the pilot said it would be on, and it remained off the entire flight...what's the deal?! Bad seat? I thought so, but after three flights?!?!?
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roseflyer
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Fri May 05, 2006 11:07 pm

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 14):
Unfourtinately, it was before I really go into avaition, so I don't have any concrete details. Is it possible that AS acquired/leased an aircraft from someone else and didn't disable it? I don't know.

I guess something is possible, but United is the only airline that offers from the flight deck tower communications. I don't think it could have been that AS got a second hand airplane since United and Alaska don't operate any of the same planes, but 7-8 years ago AS might have still had a few 727s flying around.

Is there a chance that it was a United plane operating the flight? It could have been some strange event, but I'm doubtful it would be an Alaska operated plane.
If you have never designed an airplane part before, let the real designers do the work!
 
luv2fly
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 6:21 am

To be honest I have never really listened to it, more of a need/want to see it, then want to hear it type of person.
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777fan
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 6:29 am

Quoting Tbnist03 (Reply 7):
It would be nice to have other airliners add an atc channel. I would definitely like to listen to that. It would have been interesting to listen to from MSP-HNL.

Don't know if those old DC-10s could handle it! LMAO! I can just see someone changing to CH9 only to have the landing gear deploy at FL33K! LMAO!

Quoting CHI787ORD (Reply 9):
I recently flew HKG-ORD. As soon as I got on the plane, I immediately felt at home back in Chicago. That's the thing with UA, wherever you are, you still feel at home. Oh yeah, channel 9 is great too.

I feel the same way. As a native of Chicago, I always felt that moment I stepped onto a UA plane, I was already home. It also helps that practically every UA flight seems to go through ORD at some point...
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dc10rules
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 7:38 am

Quoting 777fan (Reply 18):
feel the same way. As a native of Chicago, I always felt that moment I stepped onto a UA plane, I was already home. It also helps that practically every UA flight seems to go through ORD at some point...

Ditto

Cheers!
 
MCIFlyer
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 7:47 am

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):
I would be surprised if more than 10 people listen to Channel 9 on a typical 320 or 737 load. I would love to be proven wrong on this.

I guess what we really need are Arbitron numbers for IFE on UA!

(unfortunately, because so many of the people who listen to Channel 9 - like us A-nutters) are involved in the aviation industry, they'd all be disqualified from keeping Arbitron diaries!

I always enjoy listening to Channel 9 - especially ground, departure, and approach. (It's also interesting to listen when passing near the Grand Canyon - flight crew asking for the sightseeing diversion.) I'm headed to SGN in a few weeks and am looking forward to 15+ hrs of Channel 9 in C on the ORD-HKG leg!
 
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United_fan
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 8:29 am

Just got back from LAS,and both ways out of IAD the capt announced that ch9 was available , and what our c/s was going to be.
I also won the contest they had on the plane. You had to guess 'Ted's' weight when 'he' took off from IAD. I came the closest @ 158,000 lb. Captain told me that he never saw anyone get that close (1,700lb). I won 2 tickets to Blue Man Group.
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777fan
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 12:23 pm

Quoting MCIFlyer (Reply 20):
I'm headed to SGN in a few weeks and am looking forward to 15+ hrs of Channel 9 in C on the ORD-HKG leg

Don't want to burst your bubble but most pilots switch channel 9 off once they move to HF over the open water. I've heard it on a couple of occasions and even then it's hard to make out as some of the other traffic on the net was really far away. Consider packing an iPod! Happy travels...


777fan
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mcg
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 1:31 pm

My experiance has been that channel 9 is turned off over water, then turned back on as land approaches. It's always fun to hear the Irish controllers on the way to LHR.

The most interesting channel nine expeience was on a flight IAH - DEN. Once cruise altitude was reached the first officer turned off the atc and provided a disscussion on channel 9 about flying. He really wanted to emphasize how incredeably safe air travel is. What I recall most was the experience of the two piliots. He (the first officer) described his background as "ex-Air Force, flew F-117 and F-15 aircraft, left Air Force as F-15 squadron commander, 12,000 hours total time"; he described the captain's experience as "Vietnam era F-4 pilot, 100 missions over North Vietnam, 'hundreds' of carrier landings, stopped counting hours after reaching 30,000 hours total time".

I was really struck by the level of experience of these two pilots, I felt like I was in good hands!
 
N1120A
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 2:55 pm

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 2):
Since AS doesn't advertise this...and it was on ONE flight, probably about 7-8 years ago...my assumption is that it was either an aircraft they had gotten from someone else or some enterprising captain had rigged something, but I could be wrong.

All modern commercial aircraft can patch the ATC feed into an audio channel if the pilots want to. Remember the recent thing where the ATC guy asked his girlfriend to marry him and the Air Canada pilot patched him through on the PA? Same thing. The cockpit has final control over the system and can do some interesting things with it based on the wireing

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):
I would be surprised if more than 10 people listen to Channel 9 on a typical 320 or 737 load. I would love to be proven wrong on this.

Probably a bit more that than

Quoting Mcg (Reply 23):
My experiance has been that channel 9 is turned off over water, then turned back on as land approaches. It's always fun to hear the Irish controllers on the way to LHR.

It isn't that it is turned off over water, it is that they don't really talk to anyone unless talking to another airplane on VHF
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777fan
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 3:38 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):
It isn't that it is turned off over water, it is that they don't really talk to anyone unless talking to another airplane on VHF

Correct - HF is the rule over water. VHF is occasionally used between a/c in proximity to one another. I've seen this to be the case on a few recent trips from the mainland to HNL; UA pilots will often ask "company" or even other airlines' pilots for ride reports up ahead. On occasion, you'll get HF position reports from a/c to regional HF controllers but the transmissions are often muffled.


777fan
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lorm
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 4:00 pm

Quoting N1120A (Reply 24):

It isn't that it is turned off over water, it is that they don't really talk to anyone unless talking to another airplane on VHF

Yes it can and is turned off. On UA's 757,767 and 737s there is an observer audio switch in the cockpit that allows these 3 aircraft to have the channel 9 audio to be switched off at the cockpit's discretion.

When off they resort to the Jazz Session audio programming. Occationally on overwater flights they will forget to turn it off and you'll hear air to air VHF transmissions on the overwater chat frequency, usually 128.95.

-LorM
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N1120A
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 4:05 pm

Quoting LorM (Reply 26):
Yes it can and is turned off. On UA's 757,767 and 737s there is an observer audio switch in the cockpit that allows these 3 aircraft to have the channel 9 audio to be switched off at the cockpit's discretion.

I didn't say that it can't be turned off. I am well aware that Channel 9 can be turned off on any of United's aircraft.
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darrenthe747
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Sat May 06, 2006 4:10 pm

my recent flight on UAL 901 (EDDF-KSFO) we had channel 9 for most of the 12 hour flight. It was very interesting to hear a speedbird (BA) 747 also enroute to SFO just ahead of us warn our pilots of some "moderate chop" and then see the seat belt sign go on.
All animals are created equal, but some are more equal than others.
 
Electech6299
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Mon May 08, 2006 1:07 pm

Quoting GoAllegheny (Reply 8):
either the captain had already told the F/As during pre-flight that he/she did not intend to use Channel 9, or the Captain said no in response to my question. Some pilots simply refuse to activate it. Insecurity, no doubt!

I dunno, this strikes me of two very possible scenarios, related to the post below:

Quoting DIA (Reply 15):
I love the fact that I get to hear all those aviation folks making jokes, requests, sarcastic remarks, and plain 'ole chatter.

1) Some pilots speech could raise enough eyebrows that their manager tells them not to activate CH 9, 2) pilots that already know that about themselves and don't want to expose any "virgin ears" to their speech, or 3) just don't like being listened in on...

Probably more of #2/3 than #1, but anything's possible.
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
cx777fan
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Mon May 08, 2006 2:12 pm

Quoting Lincoln (Reply 4):
"Excuse me, I was hoping you could tell me if the captain..."

She cut me off "No channel 9 on this flight; we've already asked.

United inflight service is wonderful isn't it. I had a similar experience when I tried to ask a FA to ask if ch 9 could be switched on on a flight from NRT to BKK. Since Ch9 is the only entertainment on UA I find interesting it was looking like a long flight without it.

Listening to Ch9 on flights from NRT to SE Asian destinations is really interesting as communication is passed from one tower to another in several different countries. Also hearing CX, SQ and JL pilots speaking and dreaming of the much higher levels of service, food and comfort on those flights...
 
christao17
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RE: Channel 9 On United

Mon May 08, 2006 3:31 pm

Quoting Mcg (Reply 23):
The most interesting channel nine expeience was on a flight IAH - DEN. Once cruise altitude was reached the first officer turned off the atc and provided a disscussion on channel 9 about flying. He really wanted to emphasize how incredeably safe air travel is. What I recall most was the experience of the two piliots. He (the first officer) described his background as "ex-Air Force, flew F-117 and F-15 aircraft, left Air Force as F-15 squadron commander, 12,000 hours total time"; he described the captain's experience as "Vietnam era F-4 pilot, 100 missions over North Vietnam, 'hundreds' of carrier landings, stopped counting hours after reaching 30,000 hours total time".

I had a similar experience where instead of interrupting the flight with announcements about landmarks we were flying over, the captain let us know before departure that he'd be providing that information on channel 9. It was a fascinating trip!
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