propilot83
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 2:41 am

In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 7:42 am

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?
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:47 am

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"
 
Mir
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Joined: Mon Jan 05, 2004 3:55 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 11:48 am



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
 
propilot83
Posts: 618
Joined: Sat Jan 27, 2001 2:41 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 5:46 pm

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?
 
EMBQA
Posts: 7798
Joined: Sat Oct 25, 2003 3:52 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:04 pm

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"
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:10 pm

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.
 
KELPkid
Posts: 5247
Joined: Wed Nov 02, 2005 5:33 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Wed Aug 26, 2009 6:33 pm



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 :-)
 
pilotpip
Posts: 2824
Joined: Fri Sep 19, 2003 3:26 pm

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Thu Aug 27, 2009 12:23 am

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
 
jgarrido
Posts: 258
Joined: Thu Mar 08, 2007 4:40 pm

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:28 am



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.
 
ryu2
Posts: 1546
Joined: Tue Aug 06, 2002 8:18 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Thu Aug 27, 2009 11:11 pm

Also, over the oceans, many planes use data link (text messages) rather than voice communications these days.
 
pwm2txlhopper
Posts: 1155
Joined: Tue Jan 27, 2004 10:40 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:15 am



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?
 
CosmicCruiser
Posts: 2050
Joined: Tue Feb 22, 2005 3:01 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Sat Aug 29, 2009 3:20 am



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".
 
tdscanuck
Posts: 8572
Joined: Wed Jan 11, 2006 7:25 am

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Sat Aug 29, 2009 5:06 am



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.
 
EcuadorianMD11
Posts: 132
Joined: Tue Apr 28, 2009 5:32 pm

RE: In-Flight Communication With ATC Centers

Sat Aug 29, 2009 12:22 pm



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
A lot of people need to be offended on a regular basis I always felt, and I�´m the very boy to do it! - Billy Connolly

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