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Aircraft Monitoring Forum This is the place to discuss monitoring civilian aircraft communications.

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Old 01-30-2014, 10:06 AM
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Location: East Brunswick/South Seaside Park, NJ
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Question General Aircraft Scanning Questions

I hate when I use my scanner and search the aircraft band and I get a random frequency hit then can barely understand what they say, or who it is or where they are going. So, my question is, where can i get a nice list of aircraft frequencies commercial and mil air or are there some nice websites that could help. NOT new to scanning by any means, but new to aircraft scanning, or should I correct that and say frustrated by aircraft scanning. I know to use the database to find local airport freqs, but what i more want is what airline uses which freqs when they are in the air. Or when I do a search a frequency hits, how I can locate who it may be. Very interested in like the 200 - 300 Mhz.

Any help or clarification is greatly appreciated!!!

I live in central NJ. By Newark and by McGuire AFB or Lakehurst Naval Air Station and Earl Naval Weapons Station.
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Old 01-30-2014, 10:34 AM
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There is a great wealth of information on Military Comms Monitoring MilAir Frequencies HF VHF UHF and its updated regularly by users and the owner. Check out his frequency database section. You can search for stuff by just putting in your zipcode. He also has a logging section that is real-time MilAirComms Real-Time Frequency Logger MilAir Comms Spotter Network and a new comm mapping system that is pretty neat Military Comms Map of Military Communication Spots/Logs

I am sure there will be others who in some way will follow up criticizing his website but just go and judge for yourself. Without it I would only be hearing 1/2 of what I near now.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:01 AM
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I agree it can be hard to figure out who's talking in the airbands. Here's a couple of ideas. First your scanner, does it have alpha tags for display or possibly an led for alerts? That would help identify the things you want to hear. You might take a look in the NJ forums and possibly get someone to email you a copy of their scanner files? A helpful website is FlightAware - Flight Tracker / Flight Status / Flight Tracking you can see a map of the planes in your area just put in the nearest airport. KEWR for Newark.
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:08 AM
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This book helped me figure out the meaning behind those 1.5 second transmissions. It does help to understand the language of pilots to make sense of it all.

Say Again, Please: Guide to Radio Communications: Bob Gardner: 9781560277606: Books
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Old 01-30-2014, 11:12 AM
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As this is a military forum I will restrict my comments to that...

Your first task is to test your system to see if it's sensitive enough to pick up milcom. In general any good scanner with an antenna nice and high, clear of obstructions is going to get something. A good test bed would be the ARTCC frequencies (there are military as well as civilian ones). I'm unsure of whether Burlington county would be at the northern fringes of ZDC (Washington DC) or ZNY (New York) coverage, so I'll supply both from our database...

Washington (ZDC) Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

New York (ZNY) Air Route Traffic Control Center (ARTCC) Scanner Frequencies and Radio Frequency Reference

Program the RCAG sites that are physically closest to you

Next you know that our database has an entry for McGuire, but if you hit the WIKI button on the upper right, you'll go to an article with lots more information. Unfortunately much of this is rather dated, but it does give you a good place to start.

There is a dedicated milcom mailing list on that could also help, along with the links found in the military monitoring blog...

Milcom Monitoring Post

I would start with testing my system with the ARTCC freqs first. Flights go through those regions daily, so there's no shortage of activity.

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Old 01-30-2014, 3:27 PM
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You can also use Gives tower and radar frequencies to both civilian and military airfields. VHF and UHF. Also has links to sectional charts and airport diagrams/pix.

Eugene KG4AVE
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Old 01-30-2014, 5:58 PM
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Airlines don't use a 'company frequency' when talking with ATC - they use the published frequency that they are told to use for the specific phase of their flight - ground movements, departure, areas and altitude, descent, approach, and ground again - sometimes different frequencies for parts of the same airfield.
'Company frequencies' may be used by an aircraft to talk to their home base operations office, but it'll probably be out of radio range. ARINC provide a means to contact home base and their frequencies are well published. All reasonably sized airports will have handling agents for terminal operations, refuellers, catering, cargo etc but they are usually all organised by the operations agent for the airline. For instance Air NZ here handle Qantas, JetStar, Virgin, Mount Cook and others that pass through daily - they just call up on the operations frequency who arrange everything.
Instead of scanning through a whole load of frequencies, pick the departure frequency for your local airport and just listen that for a bit. You'll hear a flight number with instructions and the aircraft reply - you may hear ATC give him a hand-off to another frequency which you can follow and track the aircaftt until he is out of range.....
Hope that explains things a bit.
Cheers - Martin ZL2MC - Palmerston North

Last edited by majoco; 01-30-2014 at 6:02 PM..
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