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atc-discussion Unicom voice range


Anthony Vogelaar

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Anthony Vogelaar

Hi,
I was away for a couple of years and I am happy to be back again. I was used to use unicom in text mode only. Now I noticed it is used for voice as well. When I depart VFR from a uncontrolled airfield ex EGPJ - Fife do I announce taxi, take off and leaving the circuit messages on unicom? And if everyone is doing so what is the range of my message and the range from receiving voice messages from others?

Thanks, Anthony

 

Edited by Anthony Vogelaar
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Trevor Hannant

Do I make calls?

If you have something like VATSpy installed, then take a look at the surrounding area on there before you make a call.  If there's no-one else on the ground or in the immediate vicinity of the aerodrome, you can skip certain announcements as there's no-one there to affect.   If you're about to depart/are in the circuit and you see someone inbound, routing low level overhead, departing also then yes, announce your intentions.  

It's all about who NEEDS to know - if the only traffic within 40 miles is an overflight at Fl350, they don't need to know...

 

What is the UNICOM range?

Without getting all technical, it varies depending on many factors including your altitude.  It works in as similar a way as normal radio waves will so the higher you go, the further your transmissions will be heard.   The maximum effective range is 15nm - you can find out more on the tech details here:

https://audio.vatsim.net/storage/AFV User Guide.pdf

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Michael Pike

And each aircraft has its own range of 15 miles. Communication can be successful whenever the ranges overlap, so in effect you have a maximum of 30 miles - useful when you're en-route.

Text Unicom can still be used as before.

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