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#165 Radio Rant No. 1

Written on 9-10-12

Okay, I’m going to admit it right now:  This is a little piece about an admittedly minor issue.  BUT, it’s one that I hear all the time and maybe I can share it with my readers and keep some of them from committing this silly error.  Oh, and before I go any further, let me admit that I have done this before and will probably do it again.  But every time I do, I slap myself and say, “You idiot!”

dscn5955It’s the practice of transmitting, releasing the transmit button, and then realizing you had more to say and transmitting again.  That would be okay if no one was listening who was in a position to answer.  But the problem is that when there is someone who SHOULD answer, their answer will come at the same time your second transmission takes place.  YOU won’t hear the resulting heterodyne squeal.  Only some poor sunavacheesmaker who is simply monitoring will hear the squeal and wince while he reaches for the volume knob.  There was a prime example today.

Just this morning I was doing a test flight of some video gear.  Our little airport has no parallel taxiway[1], so other peeps are rightfully concerned, lest the guy who just landed plans on taxiing back while they are on final.  I had just landed and was exiting at the departure end and heading to my hangar.  Since I tend to move a lot faster than most people (at least that’s what Tara says!), the guy who was concerned about my whereabouts didn’t ask about me until I was in front of my house and shutting down!  This happens all the time.  I refuse to call “clear of the active” unless I am on a blind runway.  Sorry, it’s just a “thing” with me.  Earlier, when I made my usual call on downwind, I transmitted, “I’m gonna clear at the departure end…”.  The inbound guy evidently wasn’t paying attention.  As I turned into my front yard, I could hear him say, “aircraft that just landed, are you going to taxi back…”  I heard him release his transmit button and then I answered, “I’m at my hangar and shutting down”[2].  Before I turned off the master, I could hear his transmission that I had just covered because he’d done the old “second transmit” thing.  “… or should I wait for you…”

Okay, I’ll admit it.  I’m a jerk.  I just shut down and let him stew in his juices.  I’m sure he landed, wondering if that little one-forty was going to materialize on the runway, coming right at him.  If that was you, I’m sorry.  But next time, say what you’re going to say and don’t cover my reply with a second transmit.  I don’t have all day.  I’ve got stuff to do…

Oh, and Happy Swooping,


[1] That’s changed.  We now have such a parallel taxiway and it’s lovely!

[2] I can’t tell you how many times I’ve had someone in the pattern inquire as to my position when I’m already at the hangar and shutting down.  “Clear of the active” is a ridiculous and overly-relied-upon transmission.  I think it’s often used by those who just love to talk on the radio.  Use your peepers!  Ray Charles could see that I’m clear of the active!

6 comments to #165 Radio Rant No. 1

  • Ray could see you? I bet he wished so, but if you said so, he would. I’m just say’n. 🙂


  • Jack Fleetwood

    We all have our radio rants… mine is “anyone in the pattern please advise”. It really ticks me off. If you make a radio call and I’m in the pattern, somewhere where it will affect you if I don’t make an immediate radio call, I’ll make the call. The FAA agrees with me, but that won’t stop the whuffos! AIM 4-1-9(g)(1) Pilots stating traffic in the area, “please advise” is not a recognized self-announce position and/or intention phrase and should not be used under any condition.

    Oh, and I don’t call clear of the runway either! How about “clear of the active”? Gotta love that one! Which runway are you clear of? They’re all active!

    • brian

      I’m sure it’ll annoy Jack, but I use the “please advise” call from time to time. The reason is that many pilots seem afraid to say anything on the radio and have to be kicked in the pants to let me know they are there. It is a call that is generally disapproved by virtually everyone. Oh, well, I’m often swimming against the tide. He and I are in total agreement about “Clear of the active”, however! That one is the subject of one of my radio rants. Thanks, Jack. Hell, Bert Garrison and Bob Hoover disagreed about Gin, so even great aviators disagree about some subjects!

  • Bert G Garrison

    I am saddened to say I missed my opportunity to pour Mr. Hoover a glass of Tanqueray No. Ten! I am sure he would have Liked it! Now next time I am in Sisters I will raise a glass in his honor!

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