Monday, 10 August 2009

Air/Ground radio

I called in at Compton Abbas for some fuel on Saturday. Compton's callsign is Compton Radio which indicates that they ofer an Air/Ground service, and they do it properly, which is to say within the regulations. Air/Ground cannot provide instructions to a pilot either in the air or on the ground, so when you call final they'll tell you the wind, that's all. When it's time to leave, an Air/Ground service can't give you taxi instructions or give you clearance to take off - they can give you the wind direction and strength.

Landing at Compton on Saturday it was surprising how many people (it was heaving) kept announcing that they were on final, then short final, then very short final. Each time the A/G operator gave them (correctly) the wind direction and speed, adding the information that they were an Air/Ground service. The airwaves were also pretty full of people asking for taxi instructions, and calling ready for departure at the hold, expecting to be cleared for take-off.

Don't get me wrong, this is not a general moan about the quality of RT, but some of the people suffering from a lack of understanding were (correctly) using the Student prefix. In my opinion the fault lies with their instructors who should know better, and who should have ensured that their students understand the different services available, particularly as they're supposedly under supervison.

CAP413 has the details.

No comments: