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New To Aircraft Monitoring... need some help.

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trumpetboy50

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It would appear to me as though there is no tower. That is why there is a CTAF frequency. CTAF stands for Common Traffic Advisory Frequency. So the pilots make traffic calls on this frequency announcing their intentions. The AWOS-3 alpha tag frequency is how the pilots get the local weather. AWOS = Automated Weather Observations Station. Not quite sure what the Radio Navigation frequency is for. And the APP/DEP frequency is for the aircraft who are flying IFR (Instrument Flight Rules), they would obtain their clearances and such on this frequency. Hope this helps!
 

crayon

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Feel free to post any other beginer tips for picking up aircraft.
What type of radio equipment are you using? If you are using the stock antenna, you may want to consider getting a antenna that has been customized for aviation frequencies.
 

nwiscan

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Thanks for the info, I wasnt able to get that last link to work however.

Im using handheld and base scanners with indoor antennas; Im now thinking that besides the local airport I inquired about, aviation and military scanning will not be possible with my indoor antennas.

If you happened to look at the link for the frequencies for the Lansing Airport:

So I want to monitor the UNICOM for their traffic?, the ARR/DEPT CHICAGO frequency is then used for what? Is that like a repeater for traffic from Midway and Ohare Chicago that might effect the traffic around Lansing Airport?

Thank you again guys for your assistance.
 

737mech

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Nav Freq for your airport

That freq 115.0 is for ADF (Automatic Direction Finder) equipment. On the Nav radio in the aircraft the pilot can dial in the freq and on his ADF indicator the pointer needle will point to the airport. There is usually no audible comms on that freq unless you hear ditty bop morse code? Anyway that's what the Nav Freq is for.
 

K9WG

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Something you might try is to get a book on air traffic control at your local library. They publish books for prospective ATC controllers that explain the system at a basic level. That really helped me understand the communications and terminology.
 

ind224

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Are you in Munster or Hammond? Yes, you want the Unicom. And do 123.450 my understanding is they do quite a bit of autogyro out there.
Outdoor antenna as high as you can get. Min of RG6 coax.
I grew up in Cal City and we used to ride our bikes out there. I used to listen to Chicago traffic on a RS VHF kit. For what they were it kicked butt with a nothing antenna.Santa never got me the desired Bearcat 210 XL...
When I was a kid they had airshows, too. And the Pepsi biplane.
You can use the AWOS to see how you are performing. It probably has current weather and possibly active runway info.
 
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nwiscan

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Ind224 - I am in Dyer. Grew up in Munster right along state line right behinds the Sportsman Club a few blocks from the airport. Golfer Tony Lema's plane went down feet from my backyard trying to get to Lansing Airport to refuel.

Question about the frequencies so the one labeled Arrival/Departure Chicago I am curious what that is? Im getting spotty reception on it.
 

ind224

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It is probably an approach or departure corridor. Go to Flight Aware dot com
and look at the VFR sectional for Lansing. Then you can move the chart around to look at other airports in the area O'Hare, Midway, Gary, and get some good frequencies. Towers will probably not something you can hear due to distance and elevation but approach and departures should work OK with an outdoor antenna.
Then type in KORD in the Airport ID field on the main Flight Aware page. Live tracking.
Blue planes are coming and going from O'Hare and green are transients passing through.
 

nwiscan

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Can anyone help me make sense of these frequencies in regards to which are the ones to monitor.... its for another tiny airport a few minutes from me:

Airport Communications
CTAF/UNICOM: 123.0
CHICAGO APPROACH: 133.1
CHICAGO DEPARTURE: 133.1
WX AWOS-3 at GYY (6 nm N): 134.575 (219-944-0010)
WX AWOS-3 at IGQ (6 nm W): 119.275 (708-895-9526)
WX ASOS at VPZ (18 nm E): 125.875 (219-531-1770)

COMMUNICATIONS PRVDD BY TERRE HOUTE RADIO ON FREQ 123.65 ( CROWNPOINT RCO).
AirNav: 05C - Griffith-Merrillville Airport
 

hhrj

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CTAF/UNICOM: 123.0 = Local advisory freq
CHICAGO APPROACH: 133.1 = Air traffic control for arriving aircraft, especially IFR (instrument flight rules).
CHICAGO DEPARTURE: 133.1 = same but for departure.
WX AWOS-3 at GYY (6 nm N): 134.575 (219-944-0010) = automated weather at GYY and phone no.
WX AWOS-3 at IGQ (6 nm W): 119.275 (708-895-9526)
WX ASOS at VPZ (18 nm E): 125.875 (219-531-1770)

COMMUNICATIONS PRVDD BY TERRE HOUTE RADIO ON FREQ 123.65 ( CROWNPOINT RCO).

RCO= Remote Communications Outlet, by using this freq the pilots are talking to controllers stationed at Terre Haute. You should be able to receive this if you're nearby by (10-15 miles). Most if not all RCO's include a radar site so that the controllers can see what's happening in this airspace.
I'm a pilot and I listen to Jacksonville, Fl (Jax Center) on 127.95 through RCO which is 13 miles away using just a rubber duck. In fact the traffic on that freq is non stop. At night the controller handles all the quadrants so I can hear them talking to far off aircraft all over about a 200 mile radius from Jax. I can also hear two way conversations in about a 90 mile range of the local RCO.
Keep in mind that aircraft have the line of sight working for them so you can hear them much easier than a transmission from a ground based unit. Case in point, I live 7 miles from the major airport here but I can't receive any of their transmissions. I can however, hear all of the transmissions from airborne aircraft on both app/dep, twr, and unicom freqs. The flow is this, enroute the plane talks to Jax, then to Chas app, then to Chasn Twr, and finally to Chasn ground control after landing. Each controller clears the plane to a prescribed point and altitude and then passes it to the next controller.

Hope that I haven't confused you too much, just apply it to your area/airports.
 

ILoveHandhelds

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Something you might try is to get a book on air traffic control at your local library. They publish books for prospective ATC controllers that explain the system at a basic level. That really helped me understand the communications and terminology.
Hi K9WG, what's the name of this book? I'm interested in reading it.
 
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