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Aviation Handheld Radios

Chris Scharf

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I do a lot of flying here at the beach. There is a private airstrip a few miles away. A couple of the pilots flying out of there are crazy - doing a lot of low beach flybys over the ocean with some acrobatic maneuvers thrown in for good measure. It's fun to watch. I want to invest in a decent handheld radio so I can monitor activity at this airstrip so I know what's coming.

I did a quick look on Amazon and like the looks of a couple radios. I'm putting it up for discussion here to get a feel for the pros and cons of different units. Does anyone have input?
 

AH-1G

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Good idea to get hand held. As you are able to listen but also communicate with pilots in your area. I believe 122.8 for Ucom. Unless your a real pilot make sure when communicating you use proper lingo. Example: lets say, Pilots Ridge a Unicom airport
You may want to say.
"Pilots Ridge Unicom, Drone WMA7, 3 miles south at 400 feet, flying in area. (The WMA7 would be the last four of your registration#)
 
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Outta Control

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Good idea to get hand held. As you are able to listen but also communicate with pilots in your area. I believe 122.8 for Ucom. Unless your a real pilot make sure when communicating you use proper lingo. Example: lets say, Pilots Ridge a Unicom airport
You may want to say.
"Pilots Ridge Unicom, Drone WMA7, 3 miles south at 400 feet, flying in area. (The WMA7 would be the last four of your registration#)
Yup, I use lingo.
 
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Chris Scharf

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Good idea to get hand held. As you are able to listen but also communicate with pilots in your area. I believe 122.8 for Ucom. Unless your a real pilot make sure when communicating you use proper lingo. Example: lets say, Pilots Ridge a Unicom airport
You may want to say.
"Pilots Ridge Unicom, Drone WMA7, 3 miles south at 400 feet, flying in area. (The WMA7 would be the last four of your registration#)
AH-1G - Is Pilots Ridge the name of an airfield near you? That's the name of the strip I was referring to at the top of this post. Coincidence?
 

Zzzoom3

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I carry a Yaesu FTA-750L if I will be operating near any airfields or in controlled airspace (with permission). I have the earbud for it so I can just clip the radio on and stick the earbud in. You still have to grab it to transmit this way. Mainly I am just monitoring Twr or Unicom. I also insert the freq I will be monitoring in my DJI software Remote Identification info even though I realize this isn't going to be picked up by aircraft currently.

Since many people have no idea what you may or may not be doing when they see you flying a drone, anything and everything you can do to show a peace officer that you are being as compliant as possible can help if confronted!

Also consider looking on Sporty's Pilot Shop website. Sporty's has their own radio which has good reviews. I got the Yaesu radio because it has GPS and a VOR receiver and is a backup radio when flying a manned aircraft.
 

Tim Jones

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Interesting, might need to look into one of these.
I could see those as being handy
 

jack.s

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I use this
ICOM IC-A14
Works great. In Canada I have an ROC-A licence that is required to transmit and yup need to use Alpha.
If in controlled airspace we need to prearrange with Nav Canada as well.
 
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Rodger

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I use the Yaesu FTA 750 L as well. It has an excellent GPS that is spot on. I use that for my Sectional Coordinates. The only disappointment is that there is no case for it.

9853.jpg
 

Rodger

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Good idea to get hand held. As you are able to listen but also communicate with pilots in your area. I believe 122.8 for Ucom. Unless your a real pilot make sure when communicating you use proper lingo. Example: lets say, Pilots Ridge a Unicom airport
You may want to say.
"Pilots Ridge Unicom, Drone WMA7, 3 miles south at 400 feet, flying in area. (The WMA7 would be the last four of your registration#)

I don't think that we are allowed to transmit in the air band unless it is part of a waiver and a tail number is given in the waiver by the FAA
 

Bob L

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If I'm a certified real pilot, am I not allowed to transmit while flying my drone?
I can’t cite exact regulations but having seen this discussion on many Facebook pages I can tell you that the FCC license that you “use” when you fly a manned aircraft is associated with the aircraft itself. Your drone has no such FCC license, therefore legally you’re not supposed to transmit on ATC frequencies with the hand held on the ground while flying your drone. There is some contradictory guidance that is contained in several FAA issued airspace authorizations that people have said they have received from the FAA that requires them to transmit to the local tower when operating within the airspace for which they have the authorization. Personally, short of an emergency, I would not transmit from the ground while flying my drone, and I have had my private pilots certificate for decades.
 
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EyeDrone

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Hi All,
I live in Australia, (NSW,) and I have a Remote Pilots Licence. Just about to get my ReOC. I also have an Aeronautical Radio Operators Certificate which qualifies me to communicate with Air Traffic Control when I am flying near Airstrips.
Definitely learn the lingo before you start communicating with the Air Space Controllers. Also, big fines if you are not liscenced to transmit on the specific VHF frequencies. Let's us all work to keep our industry free of those who flaunt the laws and give us professionals a bad name. So much potential for commercial drone work. It just needs regulating.
Cheers, Mic.
 

Tennessee Drone Services

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Here's the hand-held I use to monitor when flying in controlled airspace with authorization. I have no complaints. MVIMG_20180217_083927.jpg
 

Greg Struve

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I do a lot of flying here at the beach. There is a private airstrip a few miles away. A couple of the pilots flying out of there are crazy - doing a lot of low beach flybys over the ocean with some acrobatic maneuvers thrown in for good measure. It's fun to watch. I want to invest in a decent handheld radio so I can monitor activity at this airstrip so I know what's coming.

I did a quick look on Amazon and like the looks of a couple radios. I'm putting it up for discussion here to get a feel for the pros and cons of different units. Does anyone have input?
Many times an airport is shown, and it is usually a heloport for a small county building which would be rare for a helo to land/takeoff there. I carry an Icon transceiver with scanning ability. Frequencies are easily found to monitor. Have never needed to abort. My FIRST indication is my hearing. Helos do not have a whisper mode....when you hear a helo, land immediately!
 
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I can’t cite exact regulations but having seen this discussion on many Facebook pages I can tell you that the FCC license that you “use” when you fly a manned aircraft is associated with the aircraft itself. Your drone has no such FCC license, therefore legally you’re not supposed to transmit on ATC frequencies with the hand held on the ground while flying your drone. There is some contradictory guidance that is contained in several FAA issued airspace authorizations that people have said they have received from the FAA that requires them to transmit to the local tower when operating within the airspace for which they have the authorization. Personally, short of an emergency, I would not transmit from the ground while flying my drone, and I have had my private pilots certificate for decades.
Concur, the best way is to get the LiveATC app and listen to any frequency for that airport area. Departure, Tower, ATIS, Arrival, Guard etc.
 
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