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saab2000
Topic Author
Posts: 1230
Joined: Thu Jun 21, 2001 6:19 pm

United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 1:08 am

About a week ago I flew as a passenger from IAD to LAX. It was my first ever flight on United and I must say that it was a very nice flight. We left on time (to the minute) on a clean 747-400. We arrived early.

During the flight I listened in on ch 9 on the headphones. I was surprised at the relatively low level of chatter on the frequency. Sometimes in Europe it is virtually impossible to break into the new frequency when we are handed over to a new sector. London and Milan are particularly bad in that regard. Even on the departure from IAD it was not that busy and I expected a very busy departure time.

I have never flown IFR in the US so I have no idea what the frequencies are like. How is it around the major cities? Do they tend to be busy or do they have enough sectors and frequencies and controllers that it stays manageable?

FWIW, I enjoyed the flight on UA. The flight attendants were basically friendly and the captain gave a very good briefing of the flight conditions and the routing during the taxiing to the runway. My experience on US airlines has occasionally been one of surly flight attendants and pilot announcements that were essentially unintelligable, even for me as an American.

Anyway, good job United. Hope you make it.
smrtrthnu
 
WMUPilot
Posts: 1428
Joined: Thu Jan 30, 2003 2:48 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 3:01 am

Usually at cruising altitude you won't hear much chatter as planes are already on course and have no need to talk with ATC. Except the often hand-off to the next Air Traffic Control sector. When you are at lower altitudes and on approach frequencies around the major cities then you will hear alot more chatter as planes are being vectored in for arrival.
JetBlue - Bringing humanity back to air travel
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:13 am

I think you just happened to have caught the low amount of chattering by chance. I'm not sure what time of day you landed at LAX but the SoCal approach is usually very busy as planes come in from all over, particularly international and intra-California routes. I have landed at LAX numerous times and always listen to Channel on board any UA aircraft and the airwaves are usually pretty busy especially in the afternoon/early evening. Granted perhaps not to the point of London or Milan as you mentioned but very busy indeed.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
flynavy
Posts: 2179
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 1:48 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:22 am

Interestingly enough, it's up to the pilot to decide whether or not he wants the passengers to listen to ATC on Ch. 9. I recently took a round trip from LAX to MCO. The outbound leg had ATC on Ch. 9, but coming back (via SFO) the pilot didn't allow us to listen. The flight attendant told me it was a "security issue." I was a bit annoyed by this. Has anyone else had similar experiences? Both flights, LAX-MCO and MCO-SFO, were on 757-200's.
Change is: one airline, six continents!
 
caetravlr
Posts: 865
Joined: Mon Oct 16, 2000 8:19 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 4:46 am

Flynavy, apparently, the F/A either didn't want to go ask the pilot to turn it on for you, or had already been told before the flight that he wasn't going to do it, and to blow off anyone who asks. Either way, the security issue thing is of course bull. I hope it was not just laziness on her part. I have been fortunate enough to have never been on a flight where the captain refused to turn it on. I have never even had to ask.

Are there any other carriers in the world that have this? I am looking forward to hearing it on my way into Frankfurt on the 19th.
A woman drove me to drink and I didn't have the decency to thank her. - W.C. Fields
 
WesternDC1010
Posts: 309
Joined: Sat Jul 19, 2003 9:29 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 6:18 am

Flynavy,

I've had many flights different UA flights where I could not listen to Channel 9. The most recent was no access to channel 9 on a 777-222 LAX-HNL segment until an hour after takeoff. The HNL-LAX 757-222 segment had no access to the ATC-cockpit communication during the entire red-eye flight.

I'm not so sure that denied access to this channel is a 'security' issue. Don't the F/A's have access to the in-flight entertainment controls? Can anyone clear this up?

- Ron
Western Airlines - The Only Way To Fly
 
AirOne
Posts: 589
Joined: Mon Apr 03, 2000 4:41 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 6:29 am

Hi,

Well you have to compare airports with similar aircraft movements. I flew UA, ORD-LGA and on depature and arrival its was constant chatter.

AirOne
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 6:41 am

Ron,

Activating Channel 9 on UA flights is completely the captain's discretion. The only thing FA's can do is go up to the cockpit and put in the request for you. Final decision is the captain's.
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
gocaps16
Posts: 4138
Joined: Sat Jan 29, 2000 9:14 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Sun Jul 20, 2003 7:05 am

Just to let you know, I've had one experience that I requested the captain to turn on ch. 9 as a pilot myself and an aviation enthuiast. So he agreed and listened it on the whole 90 min. flight into ORD.

The only exception where UA has to turn off ch. 9 is if you're flying into or out of DCA due to "sercurity reasons." Complete bull, i think.

Kevin
 
FutureFO
Posts: 2812
Joined: Sat Oct 06, 2001 10:58 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:16 am

The option of Ch. 9 is solely based on the captains discretion. Sometimes if it is not on you can sometimes ask the F/A to ask the captain and express some interest. Otherwise at cruise there almost no talk or chatter between the crew and Enroute TC. The only communication you may hear is ride condition, weather diversion and frequency changes.
I Don't know where I am anymore
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:28 am

I was on a 737-300 from OKC-DEN three years ago when the co-pilot or captain came out of the cockpit, walked down the aisle to the exit row and looked out the window at the wing. Then he looked at the other wing. He went back to the cockpit, and that's when I noticed they had cut off channel 9. Then, they cut the power to the engine and the aircraft slowed from cruise speed to a silent whisper. Then they extended the flaps a few degrees and then retracted them. The flight attendants were all in the back of the aircraft looking at some manual. Channel nine remained off for the duration of the flight and we were never told what was going on. If there is a problem with the aircraft, do the pilots know to turn off channel nine so the passengers won't hear pilot's discussions with ATC?

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
UAL Bagsmasher
Posts: 1839
Joined: Wed Sep 08, 1999 12:52 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:41 am

Don't quote me, but I remember hearing that CH.9 has a couple second delay on it. This allows the crew to turn off the "OBS Audio ENT" switch if there is something they don't want you hearing.
 
modesto2
Posts: 2722
Joined: Sun Jul 16, 2000 3:44 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:54 am

UA's channel 9 is the greatest feature! ATC chatter varies on location and time of day. I once departing IAD on UA947, bound for SFO in the early evening. The radio was full of deparing UA heavies, Swissair, Austrian and numerous others. After living in the Bay Area and SoCal, I can confidently say that these two sectors are always full of activity. Obviously, there are more hectic times than others. But for the most part, approach and tower frequencies are usually jampacked.

My experience with channel 9 has been mostly good - but mixed. I've made it a habit to speak with the pilots before each flight; I always request channel 9. I don't recall ever having this request denied. However, channel 9 has been deactivated for numerous reasons - inop audio or pilots who forget to activate it. If the channel is still not activated after departure, speak with a F/A who should be willing to speak with the crew about turning it on. Quite frankly, this feature is enough reason to fly UA as much as possible.
 
trickijedi
Posts: 3201
Joined: Sun May 13, 2001 4:35 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:17 pm

Some captains even advertise Channel 9 on their flights and encourage passengers to listen to it by providing the flight number and call sign.

I'm sure most people don't... just us enthusiasts.

It is indeed one of the greatest features an airline has ever put out!  Big thumbs up
Its better to be on the ground wishing you were in the air than be in the air wishing you were on the ground. Fly safe!
 
boeing 747-311
Posts: 777
Joined: Fri Mar 30, 2001 10:29 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 2:45 pm

I think this feature is great, and i loved listening to it on my flights! i thought it was really neat!
Come fly with US
 
LFutia
Posts: 3159
Joined: Sun Dec 08, 2002 11:04 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:16 pm

I asked the F/A whom which i thought was the Capt. He'd said that he ask to see if Ch.9 will be available. When i got onboard, my brom had somehow gotten Diet Coke all over the inside of his backpack and i went to go get napkins to clean it up and he said that Ch.9 is available... Sometimes you just have to ask and other times its there... But it is always up to the captain's discretion.

Laterz...

Leo/ORD
Leo/ORD
 
triscl
Posts: 138
Joined: Tue Jul 15, 2003 4:08 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Mon Jul 21, 2003 11:24 pm

I fly UA all the time and I find maybe 25% of the time ch9 is not on. I've always been to shy to ask them to turn it on...but next time!
 
DIA
Posts: 3053
Joined: Sun Jan 28, 2001 2:24 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Tue Jul 22, 2003 1:06 am

Channel 9 has turned out to be a great way to learn a lot of aviation terms, slang, operations, etc. I've heard several "arguements" between controllers and a/c crews, especially when it involves different altitude requests. Out of dozens of flights on UA, I've only experienced one flight where channel 9 was not working correctly.

If you have a chance, try to fly on a UA 777(Coach seats have PTVs). When you have a PTV with flight info along with channel 9. . .life is great, and the flight becomes much more interesting, even without a window.
Ding! You are now free to keep supporting Frontier.
 
konrad
Posts: 584
Joined: Fri Mar 15, 2002 3:54 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Tue Jul 22, 2003 1:40 am

I flew recently UA 777s IAD-CDG and return. Channel 9 was turned off on both flights. Asked the captain after one of the flights - he said he keeps it off on transatlantic flights, suggested it is for "security". What a loss, I was looking forward to listen to french ATC.
 
b752fanatic
Posts: 892
Joined: Thu Jul 17, 2003 1:44 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Tue Jul 22, 2003 1:59 am

Guys, I want to hear ATC chatter.

Long time ago, I was hearing a lot of BOS aproach and Departure on a web page that gave real time chatter and even videos of the field.

Do you guys know any web page of any ATC Real time in the US or in any other part of the world?
"Truth is more of a stranger than fiction." Mark Twain
 
UAL747
Posts: 6725
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 1999 5:42 am

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Tue Jul 22, 2003 3:18 am

I know DFW and ORD have live ATC for their approaches. It's a yahoo broadcast. Just type in "live ATC" on your search engine and you should get several hits. Boston Logan has a webcam and ATC.

UAL747
"Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy. Bangkok Tower, United 890 Heavy.....Okay, fine, we'll just turn 190 and Visual Our Way
 
SAS-A321
Posts: 348
Joined: Thu Mar 14, 2002 11:44 pm

RE: United Airlines Channel 9

Tue Jul 22, 2003 4:54 am

Flew UA1219 ORD-SAN the 16th July. Channel 9 was turned on during the entire flight. It was fun to listen to the extremely busy ground controller at ORD. There was an emergency and one called the controller and asked what the emergency vehicles was for. The controller replied quickly and wise: "There's an emergency".
Up in the air I listend to the requests for deviation due to the large towering cumulus clouds.
It's Scandinavian

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