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dr1980
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ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sun Aug 16, 2020 1:56 pm

Listening to LiveATC this morning I noticed aircraft being told to “change my frequency xxx.xx”. This is in the Halifax Terminal/Moncton Centre area. Is this because the controller is working several sectors with different frequencies, so he’s basically handing aircraft off to himself? If so, is he using this phraseology instead of a regular handoff so the pilot doesn’t wonder why they hear the same controller? Just guessing.
Dave/CYHZ
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:11 pm

dr1980 wrote:
Listening to LiveATC this morning I noticed aircraft being told to “change my frequency xxx.xx”. This is in the Halifax Terminal/Moncton Centre area. Is this because the controller is working several sectors with different frequencies, so he’s basically handing aircraft off to himself? If so, is he using this phraseology instead of a regular handoff so the pilot doesn’t wonder why they hear the same controller? Just guessing.


This is very common, As you progress through a controller's area, you may be asked to change to another frequency. The controller might be in charge of a large area, but different frequencies depending on where you are in that area.

In Australia or Indonesia, for example, this happens all the time.

As you say, handing the aircraft off to himself.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
dr1980
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sun Aug 16, 2020 2:34 pm

Thanks for confirming
Dave/CYHZ
 
msy2351
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sun Aug 16, 2020 4:46 pm

It is done for frequency coverage or another controller is getting ready to split off a sector or sectors and having aircraft on the proper frequency ahead of time reduces workload and also the risk for potential confusion. Splitting sectors when a controller is busy can be pretty chaotic.
 
bradyj23
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sun Aug 16, 2020 11:15 pm

msy2351 wrote:
It is done for frequency coverage or another controller is getting ready to split off a sector or sectors and having aircraft on the proper frequency ahead of time reduces workload and also the risk for potential confusion. Splitting sectors when a controller is busy can be pretty chaotic.


It can be both but usually frequency coverage.
 
Yikes!
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Mon Aug 17, 2020 8:56 am

dr1980 wrote:
Thanks for confirming

Notice also the controller did NOT say "change to my frequency..."

Elimination of the words "to" and "for" is important not to confuse "two" and "four" which historically, has caused confusion, especially when English is a second language.

About 5 years ago, NavCanada issued an AIC requesting RT terminology be modified by controllers and pilots alike. For some reason, the AIC disappeared and the procedure seems to have vanished.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Mon Aug 17, 2020 12:42 pm

Yikes! wrote:
Notice also the controller did NOT say "change to my frequency..."

Elimination of the words "to" and "for" is important not to confuse "two" and "four" which historically, has caused confusion, especially when English is a second language.

About 5 years ago, NavCanada issued an AIC requesting RT terminology be modified by controllers and pilots alike. For some reason, the AIC disappeared and the procedure seems to have vanished.


Before I retired some eight years ago we'd say "change to my frequency" here in the U.S., though guess it could have changed just like "position and hold" is gone now. :expressionless:
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Mon Aug 17, 2020 1:09 pm

AFAIK using "to" is not recommended, but you hear it all the time.

E.g. "Climb to two thousand four hundred meters," in Mainland China.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
LH707330
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Mon Aug 17, 2020 4:47 pm

I hear "change to my frequency" a decent amount in the US, either that or they just tell you "contact approach on xxx.xx" and then it's the same person again.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Mon Aug 17, 2020 10:32 pm

Another place you hear this frequently is flying into larger airports at night. For example in El Paso, one controller is working every frequency from Clearance delivery to Approach so sometimes you either stay on approach all the way until shutdown on the ramp or change to each one of his frequencies.
 
Woodreau
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Tue Aug 18, 2020 2:48 pm

When i was in the Navy, after launching aircraft/helos off the deck, to switch the aircraft to the next controlling agency, we’d just say “Push purple.” (Or other corresponding color that corresponded to the frequency they were supposed to be on)

Or if I’m already talking to an aircraft and wanted to talk to the aircraft on another frequency, I’d just tell them, “Meet me on Orange.”
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Tue Aug 18, 2020 10:14 pm

SierraPacific wrote:
Another place you hear this frequently is flying into larger airports at night. For example in El Paso, one controller is working every frequency from Clearance delivery to Approach so sometimes you either stay on approach all the way until shutdown on the ramp or change to each one of his frequencies.


:stirthepot: That is some funny stuff.....ELP a "larger airport"!!! :rotfl: Don't flame me, my Sis and her family live in ELP and we go out there a couple of times a year, but larger.....ok!

I will say that back in the day when we at IAH would put the entire approach control and tower up in the tower cab for the mid-shift we would be working all the frequencies from the cab, however, I'd always change from the approach frequency to the tower frequency as the transmitter/receiver sites could be miles away and down at 1,000' or so you'd not be able to talk to the crew. Leaving not so bad as by maybe 8,000' or so you'd put them on the center so no big deal.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
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SierraPacific
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:58 am

IAHFLYR wrote:
SierraPacific wrote:
Another place you hear this frequently is flying into larger airports at night. For example in El Paso, one controller is working every frequency from Clearance delivery to Approach so sometimes you either stay on approach all the way until shutdown on the ramp or change to each one of his frequencies.


:stirthepot: That is some funny stuff.....ELP a "larger airport"!!! :rotfl: Don't flame me, my Sis and her family live in ELP and we go out there a couple of times a year, but larger.....ok!

I will say that back in the day when we at IAH would put the entire approach control and tower up in the tower cab for the mid-shift we would be working all the frequencies from the cab, however, I'd always change from the approach frequency to the tower frequency as the transmitter/receiver sites could be miles away and down at 1,000' or so you'd not be able to talk to the crew. Leaving not so bad as by maybe 8,000' or so you'd put them on the center so no big deal.


Yeah, definitely not large compared to a bravo like IAH or PHX but it was one of the few Class C up downs that I have flown at recently.

The controller out there must have been bored out of his mind at 2am talking to only us :lol:
 
RetiredWeasel
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:02 am

Woodreau wrote:
When i was in the Navy, after launching aircraft/helos off the deck, to switch the aircraft to the next controlling agency, we’d just say “Push purple.” (Or other corresponding color that corresponded to the frequency they were supposed to be on)

Or if I’m already talking to an aircraft and wanted to talk to the aircraft on another frequency, I’d just tell them, “Meet me on Orange.”


In an F-4 squadron I flew in, we'd say push Winchester which was of course 303.0 (thirty thirty) on UHF. Not to be confused with "I'm Winchester" which meant I've expended all my ordinance.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:57 am

SierraPacific wrote:
The controller out there must have been bored out of his mind at 2am talking to only us :lol:


At least they were talking to ya! :checkmark: Since they opened the new tower at IAH back in 1997, TRACON was 1.5 miles from it so they had their own crews over there working the shifts so no more to monitor all the frequencies from the tower.

Boring was certainly something you had to equalize on mid-shifts, at least in Houston there was only a couple of hours between the last airline flights into IAH or HOU, a flight or two into one of the satellite airports and then you'd get the cargo haulers arriving IAH and then the red-eyes would start, so you'd get out of the bored mode pretty quick.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
mxaxai
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 12:51 pm

Some airports have two tower frequencies, one for IFR traffic (English only) and one for VFR traffic (English or local language). They're both used by the same controller but allows to separate the VFR chatter from commercial operations.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 1:40 pm

mxaxai wrote:
Some airports have two tower frequencies, one for IFR traffic (English only) and one for VFR traffic (English or local language). They're both used by the same controller but allows to separate the VFR chatter from commercial operations.


IMHO, as a pilot I would not like that at all. I want to know what other aviators are doing and where they are in relation to my plane. Hearing only 1/2 the story from those on the same frequency as myself only provides 1/2 the picture. Yes, while you still hear what hte controller is telling the others you don't hear their reply.

As a controller nothing is more frustrating (well there are a few other things) than to have two or more frequencies going in your headset and you get two transmissions from pilots at same time, you're lucky to be able to hear bits and pieces of either. When I needed to have more than one frequency on the sector I was working I'd put the one with less traffic in the loudspeaker and have only one in my headset. It worked better, though could be annoying to the controller next to you in the TRACON/Tower/Center.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 2:39 pm

I’ve flown all over and some planes/controllers using a different language didn’t bother me. But, having a Russian navigator doing all the talking from the jump seat in Russian was a bit strange. Fortunately, day VMC at a quiet location like most places in Siberia.
 
LH707330
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 5:55 pm

Woodreau wrote:
When i was in the Navy, after launching aircraft/helos off the deck, to switch the aircraft to the next controlling agency, we’d just say “Push purple.” (Or other corresponding color that corresponded to the frequency they were supposed to be on)

Or if I’m already talking to an aircraft and wanted to talk to the aircraft on another frequency, I’d just tell them, “Meet me on Orange.”

Why purple and orange, what do those colors signify? Was the assumption that the tower (ship) or some other entity always had the same frequency?
IAHFLYR wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Some airports have two tower frequencies, one for IFR traffic (English only) and one for VFR traffic (English or local language). They're both used by the same controller but allows to separate the VFR chatter from commercial operations.


IMHO, as a pilot I would not like that at all. I want to know what other aviators are doing and where they are in relation to my plane. Hearing only 1/2 the story from those on the same frequency as myself only provides 1/2 the picture. Yes, while you still hear what hte controller is telling the others you don't hear their reply.

As a controller nothing is more frustrating (well there are a few other things) than to have two or more frequencies going in your headset and you get two transmissions from pilots at same time, you're lucky to be able to hear bits and pieces of either. When I needed to have more than one frequency on the sector I was working I'd put the one with less traffic in the loudspeaker and have only one in my headset. It worked better, though could be annoying to the controller next to you in the TRACON/Tower/Center.

It has its pros and cons from a piloting standpoint, I guess as a workaround you could always monitor the other frequency on com 2 if you care what's going on. At the same time, I don't want to hear someone else's IFR clearance if I'm in the patch. My local airport has a different ground and tower frequency, and during lighter times they transmit on both, sometimes they just tell you to stay on tower the whole time.
 
Woodreau
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 6:49 pm

The reason for the colors is that depending on the circuit it may not be a single discrete frequency like civilian ATC frequencies. Instead it might be a spread spectrum set. Where the frequency hops from one frequency to another at certain intervals. (A hopset). But not all are spread spectrum some are discrete frequencies.

They only thing that the operator needs to know is the name of the circuit. The operators don’t bother with the frequency.

They just know to push the plane from land/launch to Red Crown. So the Frequency set for Red Crown is Purple (for that particular day). On another day it might be a different color. FAD might be pink, strike might be orange, etc.

The data for the radio to access specific radio circuits are loaded by the avionics tech onto the plane/ship.

To be honest I have no idea what the pilots do on their end to switch circuits. But aboard the ship we call radio and ask the radiomen load specific circuits into different channels and then just dial the channel on the handset aboard ship. We have no idea what frequency(ies) is(are) used.

We just know that on that particular day land launch is red and for me to access land launch to talk to the pilots it’s button 2. And red crown is green and it’s my button 3.

And if it doesn’t work, radio gets a phone call from me to unfubar it (the ship radios.)

Otherwise the only frequencies I know are 121.5 / 156.8 / 243.0 / 2182kHz. Everything else I know by name, color, and button assignment.
Bonus animus sit, ab experientia. Quod salvatum fuerit de malis usu venit judicium.
 
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Starlionblue
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Wed Aug 19, 2020 11:26 pm

IAHFLYR wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Some airports have two tower frequencies, one for IFR traffic (English only) and one for VFR traffic (English or local language). They're both used by the same controller but allows to separate the VFR chatter from commercial operations.


IMHO, as a pilot I would not like that at all. I want to know what other aviators are doing and where they are in relation to my plane. Hearing only 1/2 the story from those on the same frequency as myself only provides 1/2 the picture. Yes, while you still hear what hte controller is telling the others you don't hear their reply.

As a controller nothing is more frustrating (well there are a few other things) than to have two or more frequencies going in your headset and you get two transmissions from pilots at same time, you're lucky to be able to hear bits and pieces of either. When I needed to have more than one frequency on the sector I was working I'd put the one with less traffic in the loudspeaker and have only one in my headset. It worked better, though could be annoying to the controller next to you in the TRACON/Tower/Center.


In a similar vein, at places like CDG, controllers will use English and French for different traffic. So if you don't speak French you will have little idea what is going on with those aircraft.

To complicate matters more, like a lot of larger airports, CDG has two tower frequencies, one for north and one for south.

You get used to it.
"There are no stupid questions, but there are a lot of inquisitive idiots." - John Ringo
 
LH707330
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:47 am

Woodreau wrote:
The reason for the colors is that depending on the circuit it may not be a single discrete frequency like civilian ATC frequencies. Instead it might be a spread spectrum set. Where the frequency hops from one frequency to another at certain intervals. (A hopset). But not all are spread spectrum some are discrete frequencies.

They only thing that the operator needs to know is the name of the circuit. The operators don’t bother with the frequency.

They just know to push the plane from land/launch to Red Crown. So the Frequency set for Red Crown is Purple (for that particular day). On another day it might be a different color. FAD might be pink, strike might be orange, etc.

The data for the radio to access specific radio circuits are loaded by the avionics tech onto the plane/ship.

To be honest I have no idea what the pilots do on their end to switch circuits. But aboard the ship we call radio and ask the radiomen load specific circuits into different channels and then just dial the channel on the handset aboard ship. We have no idea what frequency(ies) is(are) used.

We just know that on that particular day land launch is red and for me to access land launch to talk to the pilots it’s button 2. And red crown is green and it’s my button 3.

And if it doesn’t work, radio gets a phone call from me to unfubar it (the ship radios.)

Otherwise the only frequencies I know are 121.5 / 156.8 / 243.0 / 2182kHz. Everything else I know by name, color, and button assignment.

Thanks for the rundown, good info. Are the hopsets to make it harder for non-authorized entities to follow along with what's being discussed?

I love the "unfubar it" comment, that's a good request for people :D Reminds me of a seatback spring failure that someone wrote up as "port seat has epic gangster lean."
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Thu Aug 20, 2020 12:51 am

Frequency hopping makes it impossible—it’s an anti-jamming program.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Thu Aug 20, 2020 9:09 pm

Starlionblue wrote:
To complicate matters more, like a lot of larger airports, CDG has two tower frequencies, one for north and one for south.

You get used to it.


Oh for sure, at IAH, DFW, MIA, ATL, DEN, PHX, LAX, etc., there are multiple tower frequencies that are required due to the dual/triple independent simultaneous operations. Each runway has a different frequency which is not that bad simply because everyone landing that runway will be on that tower frequency.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
LH707330
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Fri Aug 21, 2020 4:29 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Frequency hopping makes it impossible—it’s an anti-jamming program.

Cool, thanks for the info.
 
Lrockeagle
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sun Aug 23, 2020 3:25 am

IAHFLYR wrote:
mxaxai wrote:
Some airports have two tower frequencies, one for IFR traffic (English only) and one for VFR traffic (English or local language). They're both used by the same controller but allows to separate the VFR chatter from commercial operations.


IMHO, as a pilot I would not like that at all. I want to know what other aviators are doing and where they are in relation to my plane. Hearing only 1/2 the story from those on the same frequency as myself only provides 1/2 the picture. Yes, while you still hear what hte controller is telling the others you don't hear their reply.

As a controller nothing is more frustrating (well there are a few other things) than to have two or more frequencies going in your headset and you get two transmissions from pilots at same time, you're lucky to be able to hear bits and pieces of either. When I needed to have more than one frequency on the sector I was working I'd put the one with less traffic in the loudspeaker and have only one in my headset. It worked better, though could be annoying to the controller next to you in the TRACON/Tower/Center.

Gen Tommy Franks was an airborne FAC(or similar?, in ‘Nam) and wired up his headset so each ear had a different freq and then had an earbud with ANOTHER freq on it. Coordinating artillery with two howitzer units with his guys on the ground or some such
Lrockeagle
15 years ago

I got $20 says AA takes their 787's with GE powerplants. Just a hunch. Any takers?
 
SFOT
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Thu Aug 27, 2020 12:33 am

As a retired Oakland Center controller, when giving a frequency change to another sector or facility, you stated the name of the next facility and the frequency, which then requires the aircrew to check in with their call sign and altitude or altitude they are climbing to. With the phrase change to my frequency tells the aircrew to just check in on the new frequency usually just saying that they are up or an abbreviated check in. This is very common at night or midshift
 
geologyrocks
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Joined: Sun Nov 13, 2011 12:05 am

Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Tue Sep 08, 2020 12:54 am

Another reason, other than those already stated for geographic purposes, is sometimes you want everyone on the same frequency to help reduce everyone keying up on each other.
 
N1120A
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Re: ATC Command “Change my Frequency”

Sat Sep 12, 2020 1:00 am

"Change to my frequency" happens in the US all the time - usually in larger airspaces where they combine frequency during slower periods. I've never heard an American controller leave out the "to" part of that, just like I've never heard one say "cleared takeoff" instead of "cleared for takeoff." I notice frequency changing with the same controller usually happens in approach control airspace, while center controllers often, but not always, just rely on different transmitters.
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