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Author Topic: f-16s at SYR  (Read 6443 times)
darry2385
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« on: February 03, 2009, 03:40:52 PM »

The 174th FW is stationed at KSYR, so every now and then I pick up the airport's communication w/ them on the KSYR feed.  I can't hear the pilots, presumably they're on a scrambled channel or something along those lines, but thats not my question.  As they're turning the break before coming back around to land, the tower controller says to the pilot: "west cable indicates up".  What does that mean?
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #1 on: February 03, 2009, 04:10:50 PM »

Hey, Darry -

There is a steel cable that resides in a perpendicular channel across the runway.  This cable is there to literally stop the F16s in the event of an aborted takeoff or problems on the landing roll.  This cable is elevated up out of the channel when there are F16 operations (departures or arrivals).   I don't know how high the cable is elevated but I would suspect perhaps a foot or so above the runway.  Think of this cable as somewhat similar in concept to what you see on aircraft carriers. 

There is a cable that crosses each end of the the main runway, located about 2,000 to 2,500 feet from the end. 

You will also hear "barrier maintenance" as a callsign a lot when the ground frequency comes in on the feed.  This is the group responsible for inspecting the cable to be sure it is fully operational.    They drive a truck from the guard base onto the taxiways and eventually to the point on the runway where the mechanical housing is for these cables, adjacent to the runway at each end.

As far as the communications are concerned, the F16s talk on a UHF frequency that is not scrambled.  In the beginning of the feed I had tried to scan the frequency but the quality was too poor (presumably due to my 9 miles from the airport) so I had to abandon it.   If I ever get the feed relocated up to the airport I may try to add these frequencies back in.

All SYR VHF frequencies you hear on the SYR feed have a counterpart in UHF for the F16s, which is why you hear the controllers talking but not the F16 pilots responding.
« Last Edit: February 03, 2009, 04:12:27 PM by KSYR-pjr » Logged

Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
darry2385
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« Reply #2 on: February 04, 2009, 01:04:50 PM »

Thanks for the explanation, makes sense.  And looking at Google Maps, I think its quite clear where the cables are. 

I wouldn't worry too much about the UHF freqs, all the planes will most likely be gone by October. 
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #3 on: February 04, 2009, 02:09:28 PM »

Good idea about looking at Google Maps.  I didn't think to originally do it, but here is the screenshot of it with the west cable annotated:



Oh, and I now see I overestimated the cables' distance from the end of the runway.  Both cables are actually closer to 1,400 feet from the end.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #4 on: February 04, 2009, 02:15:39 PM »

An interesting point about Google Maps/Earth and the SYR airport.   

For the longest time the airport image itself was much lower resolution than the surrounding area, which was in a very high resolution.  This meant that Map/Earth users could not zoom into the airport's image without the image breaking up and becoming meaningless.  I always assumed that this was purposely done by Google to protect the ANG base there at SYR.

However, these days there is a higher quality image, but still not at the resolution of the surrounding area.  It almost seems that the image was "washed" out by Google for the same purpose as above.   I liken it to looking at a watercolor representation of the image, especially notable when you zoom all the way in.  Try that with the surrounding area for a comparison.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
makonyy15
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« Reply #5 on: February 04, 2009, 03:50:28 PM »

Have you tried Windows Live Local? Their "Birds Eye" option allows for pretty crisp and clean images of the airfield, IMHO. You can see the cable location here, http://maps.live.com/default.aspx?v=2&FORM=LMLTCP&cp=r5j5n98npy39&style=b&lvl=1&tilt=-90&dir=0&alt=-1000&scene=8378239&phx=0&phy=0&phscl=1&encType=1

I usually rely on Google Earth for its ease of use and download-ability, but this proves handy sometimes when you want to get even closer.
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Аэрофлот Jr.
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« Reply #6 on: February 04, 2009, 08:15:00 PM »

Never knew about this steel cable thingg at KSYR lol i thought it was only on Navy Aircraft Carriors .. Anyways thanks for the good information guyss .

I think this is a stupid question ,, but  any chance of that steel cable stop the jets over running the runway on landing or aborted takeoffs ?

and great picture 'makonyy15' !
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sincerely, Rae
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #7 on: February 04, 2009, 08:38:01 PM »

Have you tried Windows Live Local? Their "Birds Eye" option allows for pretty crisp and clean images of the airfield, IMHO.

Ah, much nicer. 

The availability of these high quality images begs the question:  Why does Google "wash" the airport image when MS clearly does not?
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #8 on: February 04, 2009, 08:48:54 PM »

I think this is a stupid question ,, but  any chance of that steel cable stop the jets over running the runway on landing or aborted takeoffs ?

The cable must be in the down position for all non-F16 operations so there would not be enough time to elevate it should an aborted takeoff or an overrun occur.

Secondly, how do the F16s use this cable?  Not being a military pilot nor never having seen this in action I don't know exactly.  However, logic suggests that the F16 is probably equipped with a hook similar to military aircraft involved in carrier operations - not something with which public air transport aircraft are equipped.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #9 on: February 04, 2009, 08:54:33 PM »

Interesting.   Just found this brief article about the Wisconsin Air Guard's F16s necessitating the installation of a similar cable at another airport:

Wisconsin ANG 115th FW gets cable-arrest system

The article states that F16s are equipped with an arrestor hook and that there may be scenarios where, if a runway overshoot by a non-military aircraft is expected, the tower will raise the cable.   The article also states that the cable is elevated about 6 inches off the runway for the F16s.


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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Аэрофлот Jr.
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« Reply #10 on: February 04, 2009, 09:45:12 PM »

Interesting.   Just found this brief article about the Wisconsin Air Guard's F16s necessitating the installation of a similar cable at another airport:

Wisconsin ANG 115th FW gets cable-arrest system





ohh  i see . good article. its pretty cool system .
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sincerely, Rae
darry2385
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« Reply #11 on: February 04, 2009, 10:38:35 PM »

Right after Google updated the airport imagery from the very low-res to normal resolution, it wasn't immediately washed out.  Guess they got some pressure from somebody to wash it a little bit. 

Great clear images from MS though, wonder why they can do it but Google can't.
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mkop
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« Reply #12 on: February 05, 2009, 01:17:05 AM »

This system is also marked on the airport diagram. Look for the little zig-zaggy line with arrows that's marked BAK-12/14.



Many civilian airports that are used for military operations have one of these systems installed.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #13 on: February 05, 2009, 09:33:39 AM »

This system is also marked on the airport diagram. Look for the little zig-zaggy line with arrows that's marked BAK-12/14.

Ha, very good - Thanks for teaching this GA pilot something today.    I have been using Jepp Charts since my instrument  instruction days.   After you posted this fact I pulled up the Jepp version of the airport diagram to see how I might have missed learning this.    Look here (red annotation mine):




It seems that Jepp chose to only depict the "Z" shaped arrows while leaving off the label.    Having never been shown that and admittedly never curious enough to think that the "Z" shaped arrows actually denoted something specific, I was not aware that the system was on both types of charts.

BAK - In looking that up just now I see stands for Barrier Arrestor Kit. 

I am going back to bed now having fulfilled my quota so early this morning of learning something new every day.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
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« Reply #14 on: February 05, 2009, 02:41:06 PM »

Secondly, how do the F16s use this cable?  Not being a military pilot nor never having seen this in action I don't know exactly.  However, logic suggests that the F16 is probably equipped with a hook similar to military aircraft involved in carrier operations - not something with which public air transport aircraft are equipped.

You might be surprised how many Air Force types are equipped with a tailhook: the F-15, -16, even the F-22 has a hook.  Unlike their Navy brethren, their hooks are designed mainly for emergencies.  A press of a button blows a bottle that forces them down.  To raise the hook, you have to walk around the back of the jet and man-handle it back up.  Wink  They also have a shear bolt that will break to allow the hook to swivel after you catch the cable crooked.

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