Where is the interesting traffic?

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parsissn

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I occasionally listen to Port Columbus (CMH) since it's about 1 mile from my office. What I have found is for me, it gets somewhat boring quickly since most of the voice traffic I hear is very routing. Approach and landing, departure, etc. I'm guessing I'm just not listening to the right types of channels.

So, what types of channels do you find most interesting for airport / aircraft listening?

Mark
 

Bucko

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As for commercial aircraft I find all interesting at times but my favorites are the airlines enroute between 128.8 to 132.0. But the Military communications are my favorite.
 
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DaveNF2G

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Air travel in the USA is the least accident- and disaster-prone mode of travel. The overwhelming majority of aviation communications are routine.

I have intercepted thousands of ACARS digital messages and have only seen 2 or 3 that involved genuine emergencies (2 sick passengers and a potentially serious aircraft system failure).
 

ka3jjz

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Also listen during storms or just before. Sometimes pilots will make comments to the tower about weather conditions they see at their altitude. It was amazing to hear very few flights in the BWI area during the height of the 2 blizzards, and the occasional operator that would say something along the manner of 'the tower is closed, and we have minimal support staff'

Downright scary stuff 73 Mike
 

Warthog1

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Try the AIRINC frequencies of 129.45 & 129.9
You get some boring stuff there too, but occasionally you hear some more urgent traffic.
 

RobKB1FJR

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122.750 Air to Air "official"

Also out here in the Boston area 123.025 is the Helicopter air to air
 

JoeyC

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I believe it was an AIRINC freq where I once heard an airliiner at altitude troubleshooting a malfunctioning system in the cockpit via some kind of phone patch from "San Francisco" to the service tech somewhere else.
 

w0fg

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We're in a high-traffic area for trans-con flights. About once a week or so, I'll hear something on the area ARINC frequency that is 'unusual'...either a MedLink call or a conversation about a mechanical or maintenance issue. During bad weather in the spring and summer the center frequencies sometimes get a bit more interesting with requests to divert around thunderstorm cells. Otherwise all of the traffic is routine, which as Dave noted, is how it should be.
 

Command30

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Listening to air traffic was great growing up. I'd learn all about the schedules, what carriers fly in/out and the time of day. It would also help me when spotting and doing photography out at the airport.

These days, I listen to the Airport Authority chatter such as the fire department, airside operations, and the Air Canada trunked network (has carrier stuff like bagroom, STOC, tow crew, etc). Not thrilling, but more dynamic than the ATC for the most part.
 

nanZor

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So, what types of channels do you find most interesting for airport / aircraft listening?
For me, GA (general aviation) airports are more interesting than the big commercial ones. Cessna's, Pipers, Mooneys, experimentals, smaller jets, etc.

I'm not familiar with your area, but on airnav.com I see that there might be some GA airports near you:

KOSU
KTZR
KLHO
KDLZ

Although the traffic may seem the same, there is something about looking out your window and seeing the Cessna you are listening to. Even better is to grab the navigational charts and see if you can follow the track as the pilot reads out what waypoints he is over etc.

For even more fun, visit a GA airport and check out the visitor center if they have one. Listen to the tower freq, and maybe some small binoculars, and you might be surprised if you suddenly want to sign up for an introductory demo-ride - even if it is nothing more than just flying the pattern a few times.

Once you are shoulder-to-shoulder with another pilot in a small aircraft, those routine comms won't be routine any longer!

If you are an aircraft monitoring enthusiast, there is nothing like actually going up shoulder-to-shoulder - at least once!
 
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Pennywise

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122.825 Mhz, 122.875 Mhz, 128.825 Mhz to 132.0 Mhz & 136.5 Mhz to 136.975 Mhz are the entertaining frequencies to monitor, In between the VIP passenger to pilot to the airline company dispatcher rental car orders, crew van to overnight motel confirmations & all manner of UM notifications, blah blah blah you will receive some nerve racking edge of your seat conversations that will convince you to completely swear off flying forever, anyway anything is better then climbs, decents, vectors & the so on ATC traffic, now if you lived in the LA area you could monitor the media networks traffic choppers on the allocated UHF remote feed frequencies covering the constant car chases in the "City of Angels"
 
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K4DHR

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Most ATC comms is VERY routine. As one of my instructors in OKC joked this job is, "Turn Left, Turn Right, Go Up, Go Down, collect your paycheck every other Tuesday" over and over again.

If you're in an area where the military does a lot of anchor refueling (ie., they fly an orbit over a given location instead of flying along a track) and you can figure out what the tanker to receiver frequency is, that would probably be a bit more interesting than your everyday ATC stuff.
 
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