Aircraft Down or Training on 251.900?

vagrant

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Was listening around 4:00 UTC and 251.900 MHz AM locked on. I heard one side of the conversation and it was not too clear. The first thing they asked was what are the last two letters of the color of the day. I have never heard that before, which is what got my attention.

In the following, Pinion 71 is the voice I could hear.

0408 UTC
1. We need to asses your physical condition...unintelligible. (silence) Copy all drink water.
2. Pinion 71, good copy your last "out of verse"? (probably "...your last response")
3. unintelligible...good copy 0412. (Which was the UTC time)

0413 UTC
1. Pinion. Standby for 71
2. Go ahead.
3. 71 Stand by

0420 UTC
1. 71 Copy
2. Hawk, Pinion 71.
3. Pinion 71 just talked to the IP. He has no idea if there are known threats nearby. He's hearing a lot of noise to the south. Is there anything we're picking up, if it is friendly or otherwise. (silence) 10-4.
4. 71 copy

0422 UTC
1. Viper 22, Pinion 71
2. Pinion 71 we are indicating the noise you hear to the south is non hostile, but (unintelligible) stay concealed if possible.
3. Pinion 71 we are working a plan now. I will let you know as soon as I know. For now, confirm are you alone or are there other people with you? (silence) 71 copies.
4. Viper 22, do you know what shot you down? Roger, so its non threat, copy.
5. Viper 22, Pinion 71. Our (unintelligible) 55 is taking over on scene command.

0425 UTC
1. 71 it should be. Their ETA is approximately...now. 10-4 good luck.
I then heard another station on the freq. but the signal is not strong, so unable to understand.
 
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vagrant

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I thought about it being satellite and FM at the end of what I heard. The scanner that first picked it up is set to auto on that freq. so I checked the SDR. I recorded the session using SDRUno. Even when I replayed the session, if I switch to FM it is garbled, but fine on AM.

I should note that after some searching on this forum, others noted that Pinion 71 may be a U2 out of Beale AFB. Here's the thing, his voice did not sound like he was wearing a mask. I have also heard U2 pilots over the years and their audio does not sound the same as what I heard.

Also note that I made an error when transcribing the above. The numbers 71 and 55 were actually "seven one" and "five five", never seventy one or fifty five.

Additionally, early on after 7 - 1 asked about the last two letters of the color of the day, he inquired if they were in water. By "they" I am assuming Viper 22. That was not recorded as it took a minute to get things running on SDRUno.

I heard this using two different antennas.
#1. 200-400 MHz discone mil antenna, with mil air filter and preamp about 18' AGL w/LMR-400.
#2. Discone 30' AGL, with preamp and 1/2" Heliax. This is what the SDRUno is connected to.

Initially, when the transmission started I could barely pick out some audio. A TX as though they were responding to Pinion 7 - 1 on the Mil antenna setup. Additionally, if this was via satellite would they simulcast? I mean, wouldn't I have heard the other stations about as clear as Pinion 7 - 1, depending on their TX to the satellite?

While I have hearing training and real scramble comms over the years, I have not heard enough of them to tell if this was one or the other. Pinion 7 - 1 did not have a stressed voice. It was clear and calm. Some other parts I remember about the comms before recording was Pinion 7 - 1 initially urged the person to keep their responses short and not disclose too much info.
 

prcguy

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Satellite can have different signal levels with some being weak and strong on the same channel. It all depends on the transmitting station, their antenna, etc. The satellite is pretty much a linear transponder until it saturates with a signal above a certain level. Weaker transmissions below the saturation point will be correspondingly weaker.

I thought about it being satellite and FM at the end of what I heard. The scanner that first picked it up is set to auto on that freq. so I checked the SDR. I recorded the session using SDRUno. Even when I replayed the session, if I switch to FM it is garbled, but fine on AM.

I should note that after some searching on this forum, others noted that Pinion 71 may be a U2 out of Beale AFB. Here's the thing, his voice did not sound like he was wearing a mask. I have also heard U2 pilots over the years and their audio does not sound the same as what I heard.

Also note that I made an error when transcribing the above. The numbers 71 and 55 were actually "seven one" and "five five", never seventy one or fifty five.

Additionally, early on after 7 - 1 asked about the last two letters of the color of the day, he inquired if they were in water. By "they" I am assuming Viper 22. That was not recorded as it took a minute to get things running on SDRUno.

I heard this using two different antennas.
#1. 200-400 MHz discone mil antenna, with mil air filter and preamp about 18' AGL w/LMR-400.
#2. Discone 30' AGL, with preamp and 1/2" Heliax. This is what the SDRUno is connected to.

Initially, when the transmission started I could barely pick out some audio. A TX as though they were responding to Pinion 7 - 1 on the Mil antenna setup. Additionally, if this was via satellite would they simulcast? I mean, wouldn't I have heard the other stations about as clear as Pinion 7 - 1, depending on their TX to the satellite?

While I have hearing training and real scramble comms over the years, I have not heard enough of them to tell if this was one or the other. Pinion 7 - 1 did not have a stressed voice. It was clear and calm. Some other parts I remember about the comms before recording was Pinion 7 - 1 initially urged the person to keep their responses short and not disclose too much info.
 

Tech792

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I'm pretty sure 251.9 is a common air/sea rescue channel. It's used here on the east coast. Most likely a training exercise.
 

vagrant

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It was definitely different coms than the normal day-to-day. I would post the audio, but SDRUno records more than just the audio which results in files that are Gigabytes in size, even for just a few minutes. I've configured the computer the Mil Air scanner is connected to record audio when it comes up on that freq. Those files will be low bit rate mp3 and easy to share/post in the future.

The thing is though, when I have heard training exercises, the words practice, simulated, exercise etc. are mixed in or at the beginning. Perhaps I missed that by the time the scanner pulled up that frequency. Nothing in the news about it, so probably just training.
 

Hooligan

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Sounds like standard Combat Search & Rescue/Survival/Evasion/Resistance/Escape training on a known CSAR training channel. VIPER 22 would have been the callsign of the downed aircraft pilot, PINION 71 would have been the initial CSAR asset to establish/maintain comms until/unless relieved by an asset better suited for the task -- usually an HC-130, MQ-9, RQ-4, OA-10C. In the case of two downed aircrew members, the pilot would have been "VIPER 22" & back-seater would have been referred to as "VIPER 22 BRAVO." U-2s are one of a few aircraft types that have a special system for communicating in digital bursts with a modern DOD survival radio. I've never heard them announce it was an exercise, drill, training, etc. other than the Reaper guys saying something like "We've got a total of 90 minutes left for training before RTB" but if a real emergency takes place, it will be differentiated by the phrase "real-world."

Usually they dump one or two aircrew and a SERE Specialist off at some remote location & as part of the scenario, they may have minor or major injuries, etc. They learn a little SERE & CSAR stuff, including the comms procedures, & eventually get rescued by a helo or CV-22 with air cover. Color of the day establishes that the ground party truly is a friendly, then once they access the "isolated party's" classified ISOPREP file, they'll ask one or two other questions they already know the answer to from the individual's ISOPREP form, like "What was the name of your first dog?" or "What is the second to last letter of the basic color of your first car?" to authenticate the individual.

This sort of thing is heard regularly in Southern Nevada, usually involving MQ-9 Reapers as the CSAR On-Scene Commander, sometimes with the full CSAR package of high-cover & low-cover fighter/attack aircraft & HH-60s.

 

spacellamaman

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Was listening around 4:00 UTC and 251.900 MHz AM locked on. I heard one side of the conversation and it was not too clear. The first thing they asked was what are the last two letters of the color of the day. I have never heard that before, which is what got my attention.

In the following, Pinion 71 is the voice I could hear.

0408 UTC
1. We need to asses your physical condition...unintelligible. (silence) Copy all drink water.
2. Pinion 71, good copy your last "out of verse"? (probably "...your last response")
3. unintelligible...good copy 0412. (Which was the UTC time)

0413 UTC
1. Pinion. Standby for 71
2. Go ahead.
3. 71 Stand by

0420 UTC
1. 71 Copy
2. Hawk, Pinion 71.
3. Pinion 71 just talked to the IP. He has no idea if there are known threats nearby. He's hearing a lot of noise to the south. Is there anything we're picking up, if it is friendly or otherwise. (silence) 10-4.
4. 71 copy

0422 UTC
1. Viper 22, Pinion 71
2. Pinion 71 we are indicating the noise you hear to the south is non hostile, but (unintelligible) stay concealed if possible.
3. Pinion 71 we are working a plan now. I will let you know as soon as I know. For now, confirm are you alone or are there other people with you? (silence) 71 copies.
4. Viper 22, do you know what shot you down? Roger, so its non threat, copy.
5. Viper 22, Pinion 71. Our (unintelligible) 55 is taking over on scene command.

0425 UTC
1. 71 it should be. Their ETA is approximately...now. 10-4 good luck.
I then heard another station on the freq. but the signal is not strong, so unable to understand.

something was posted last year regarding a very similar situation in central NC around 5/19/19 and some tidbits were posted in the milradiocomms database. the poster noted 3x freqs being used at various points, one being 251.9, along with 236.0 and 130.3, the last being one used frequently for Combat Control Team training in the area.

selected dialog across all three freqs:

"...have your condition, number in your party?" "...this is Red Leader...clear comms...I have report of unknown personnel directly west of your position...window for...cache...concealment..." 05/19/2019 between 12-1500h. Weak Rx. Poss Relaed to 130.3/251.9 comms -AJ

"...Team Rescue this is Red Leader, Red Leader..." "...(?)broke(?) one, Red Leader, Red Leader, one-thirty-thirty..." 05/19/2019 between 12-1500h. Weak Rx. Poss Related to 236.0/251.9 comms -AJ

"...light...wait for contact then say position..." "...08, 98, 179...(?)Strike King(?) grids are...17SPU...6(missed digit here?)308...98179..." 05/19/2019 1615h weak Rx. poss related to 130.3/236.0 comms -AJ

a note from Jan 2019 indicates likely the same sort of thing:

251.9 - VIKING44 talking to ground forces and others for past hour. 96-6043 (AE272D), a CN-235 , in air over Ft. Bragg currently and commonly uses VIKING callsign. Ok Rx from Stanly Co NC -AJ-AJ 1/27/2019, 2015h


i have it on good authority that the stuff the poster heard sounded very very similar to what you are hearing and was a fairly unique incident to monitor. i also have it on good authority that the poster is highly intelligent and very good-looking.
 

reconrider8

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Eastern, NC
Heard something similar a few weeks ago not to far from us a buddy of mine had majority of the conversation recorded. Even went as far as telling how bad the damage was to the guy. Extensive blood loss with a broken left femur.
 

vagrant

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I heard reasonably detailed stuff like that once. It was Lemoore NAS performing a security exercise of an intruder on base a year or two ago. It was in the clear via P25, but it has been a while since I have heard any of their security coms. They may have changed something, or it could be me. During this training, they would sprinkle their transmissions with "exercise exercise".

Several times I have heard a UAV operator coordinating with multiple airborne and ground assets on air strikes. I heard "simulated" peppered into the transmissions. It is pretty interesting to hear stuff in the clear and wonder WTF until you hear the word simulated. It gets me every time and I check to see if it is an FM satellite.
 

larry14

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May 10, 2005
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Minden, Nevada
Pinion 71 is a U-2. They use 259.1 to conduct CSAR training. I hear it 2-3 times a month. It was not Hawk, it was Mock. Mock is the role player. I have also heard others using 258.1 in Fallon and Nellis areas. Same topic, CSAR.
It makes for good listening.
The other day I heard them defending against simulated Mig 29 threats.
 
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larry14

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Minden, Nevada
Beale is in Yuba. I guarantee it's not an approach into Sac as I am right on the other side if the mountain from that and the GPS plots they give are usually near Beale, Fallon, or Redding.
 
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