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Which frequency to switch to?


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Justin, in my opinion, the controller should tell you what frequency to change to. Otherwise using the command "frequency changed approved." literally means change the frequency. You could change to anything and you have complied with the atc instruction.

 

The basic rule however on VATSIM is that if not under control by atc, then all pilots must 'monitor' 122.800

 

In your case, I hope there was no further atc available, so it suggests 122.800 would have been approprite.

 

When I control I use one of two phrases "Leaving my Airspace, no further atc available at this time, monitor 122.800".

Sean

C1/O P3

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Okay! But what if I need flight following? Do I tune to approach for that?

 

If there is an overlying controller in the area that you are flying and you want flight following, then yes, tune that facility. However, if you are departing a Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D airspace and wanted flight following, good practice would dictate that you would have requested that on initial ground contact.

 

Odds are, there is just no further adjacent ATC online outside of the present controllers airspace. Now, here is where I will draw irk from some. At that time, I say change to whatever frequency you want. If you want to tune AWOS, go to 123.45, go over to the standard VATSIM unicom of 122.800, monitor what would be the overlying facility, or just tune up for the next facility, whatever. There are those who interpret the COC's "should" monitor Unicom (122.800) when not under positive control as the word of gospel. "Should" is vastly different from "Shall", or "Must". I do support tuning the unicom however if you are uncontrolled and within 15nm of your destination for SA and traffic coordination (if there is any). Have fun!

 

Nick

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There are those who interpret the COC's "should" monitor Unicom (122.800) when not under positive control as the word of gospel. "Should" is vastly different from "Shall", or "Must"

If you're a lawyer, yes, it's vastly different. For our purposes I think the intent of the rule is fairly clear.

 

If you want to tune something else, here's an easy solution -- tune what you want on COM1, tune 122.8 on COM2, then set vPilot (or your aircraft) to receive on both. Viola'.

Cheers,

-R.

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And I respectfully disagree. I always have, and have not been provided with close to an adequate basis not to. It is not about not having one of my frequencies tied up. It is about not wanting to listen to constant callouts that have no relevance to my operation, and honestly more often than not, are quite inappropriate for the purpose of the frequency to begin with. Again, I tune unicom in the departure and destination areas and utilize several methods to cross check for traffic. In that, I have accomplished the overall intent, and have preserved safety and have not removed from the user experience in doing so.

 

Edit: And from my controller side, I will always issue "frequency change approved" as opposed to "monitor unicom"

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Justin, in my opinion, the controller should tell you what frequency to change to. Otherwise using the command "frequency changed approved." literally means change the frequency. You could change to anything and you have complied with the atc instruction.

"Frequency change approved" is the FAA phraseology. And yes, the intent is exactly as you described it - it's intentionally open-ended, e.g. it's not an "instruction" rather just an approval.

 

The pilot can then change to a CTAF, a different controller, an ATIS, an air-to-air common frequency, ... etc. No specific instruction is given because the controller has none to give; ATC doesn't care what frequency you go to next - it's up to the pilot to decide where to go. For example, if CTR is online, a VFR pilot leaving B/C/D airspace could choose to request flight following from CTR. Or, they could decide to monitor Unicom instead. It's not ATC's job to make that decision for them, hence why the specific frequency to tune next isn't specified.

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OMG, if I was handing off a pilot to another controller, but didn't give the pilot the new freq, I'd resign today.

 

My view is that we are here to help pilots, not make it harder. Sometimes the next controller isn't a logical step for a pilot to see readily. I'd say it's part of positive control, telling them the next frequency.

 

I respect your position, but don't agree with it.

Sean

C1/O P3

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I don't understand why "Frequency change approved" is even a thing. I understand it is official FAA phraseology and I respect that, but it should be much more helpful to let the pilot know which frequency they should be switching to. That way there is no confusion, no frustrated pilots, no angry controllers. The phraseology I use which is standard in New Zealand is "Leaving controlled airspace, monitor UNICOM on 122.800" or just simply: "Contact (station) on xxx.xxx".

Andrew Ogden | I3
Gander Oceanic OCA Chief
VATSIM Web Developer

Visit us: https://ganderoceanic.com
Contact: [email protected] 

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problem is you are missing whether the pilot made his intentions known early on, as Nick mentioned above, its normally a good idea to let ATC know on initial contact that you intend to continue with flight following after exiting the airspace. this way they are ready for you and can get you your squawk etc.. IE "ABC Ground/Clearance, Cessna 12345, VFR Departure to the south with flight following". thats going to get p[Mod - Happy Thoughts]ed on and instead of hearing "frequency changed approved" after departing, youll now hear instead "contact XYZ Departure/Approach 123.45".

 

if the controller doesnt know what you plan to do, you havent made it known, then they simply have one option "frequency change approved" when you clear their airspace

 

key thing is minimizing radio usage. yes you can say a very long string of words to make it utterly clear the pilot can now change frequency and why, but think what thats going to do to you when the radio starts clogging up

 

when in doubt with any instruction, key up or type in the text box. theyll help you on the spot

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I don't understand why "Frequency change approved" is even a thing. I understand it is official FAA phraseology and I respect that, but it should be much more helpful to let the pilot know which frequency they should be switching to. That way there is no confusion, no frustrated pilots, no angry controllers. The phraseology I use which is standard in New Zealand is "Leaving controlled airspace, monitor UNICOM on 122.800" or just simply: "Contact (station) on xxx.xxx".

 

In the real world, each airport's CTAF is different, and it is not up to the approach controller to know or monitor that airport's CTAF for any advisories. their frequency controls the airspace they are in, not who they should be switching to. If anything, if the given airport is closed or does not have a tower, the CTAF is indicated on the chart for that particular airport, and it is the pilot that should be familiar with that chart and facility's advisory frequencies.

 

If it is outside the approach/departure controller/director's airspace, but not in the a given airport, the UNICOM frequency should also be known to the pilot in that area, as it is also depicted on the charts that the pilot should be familiar with (and should have on board).

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

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Sorry guys, I obviously mis-read.

 

I read "Frequency changed approved." Is the FAA standard, and interpreted that to mean no need to say anything else. My bad. If a pilot doesn't know what freq to change to I reckon we just tell them.

Sean

C1/O P3

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