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Author Topic: Hand offs and 'no joy'  (Read 3104 times)
Jonathan_tcu
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« on: August 16, 2005, 05:40:34 PM »

I'm listening to Montreal Center 133.97 where the controller is switching his flights from say the Rouyn sector to the Timmins sector and asking the pilots to keep trying every XX minutes or XX miles and 'if no joy (if no communication)" keep trying.  My question is if the controlle knows there will be no joy prior to handing off, why hand off in the first place?
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #1 on: August 16, 2005, 06:21:13 PM »

Quote from: Jonathan_tcu
I'm listening to Montreal Center 133.97 where the controller is switching his flights from say the Rouyn sector to the Timmins sector and asking the pilots to keep trying every XX minutes or XX miles and 'if no joy (if no communication)" keep trying.  My question is if the controlle knows there will be no joy prior to handing off, why hand off in the first place?


Because the aircraft is about to leave the first controller's airspace.

Based on my piloting experience, when a handoff occurs in the US airspace, the controller first coordinates the handoff with the adjacent sector using a land line or some other off-radio method of communication.  After the adjacent sector's controller accepts the handoff, the first controller then directs the aircraft to contact that new sector on a specific frequency.

In your scenario, the aircraft was most likely accepted by the bordering sector and it was about to pass through a known area of temporary radio-free airspace.    

The IFR system is designed to handle momentary or complete communication failures between ATC and IFR aircraft.

As a sidebar:  In the US, the phrase "no joy" is used by ex-military pilots to indicate that they have not spotted traffic called out by ATC.  "Tally Ho" is its counterpart, meaning "traffic in sight."  I have never read of this dual meaning before your post.
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ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #2 on: August 16, 2005, 07:18:30 PM »

I knew that part, because when the Montreal controller stops talking and his mic gets stuck sometimes, he starts talking on the hotline while coordinating.  A lot of aircrafts here in northern Ontario that are handing off to Winnipeg's airspace on frq 134.07 I believe, are asked to contact the center about 15 minutes later.  However, I hear aircrafts handing off to say Wawa, Ranger Lake, Sault Ste Marie who are asked to contact the center, and if no joy, try every 2, 4 minutes or every 5 miles due to range from the antenna.  But, sometimes the hand off is immediate and always works.  I'm sure the controllers ARE handing off at the same spot each time.
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davolijj
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« Reply #3 on: August 16, 2005, 08:32:45 PM »

Quote from: Jonathan_tcu
I'm sure the controllers ARE handing off at the same spot each time.


Yes but the aircraft may be at different altitudes which affects reception dramatically.
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Jonathan_tcu
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« Reply #4 on: August 16, 2005, 08:34:38 PM »

Ok.  That's the key then, altitude.  That makes more sense.  Thanks guys!  I don't know why I couldn't think of that.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #5 on: August 16, 2005, 08:55:58 PM »

Quote from: Jonathan_tcu
I'm sure the controllers ARE handing off at the same spot each time.


How do you know this?   Smiley  Without knowing the aircraft's received IFR route and their present position, you don't know for sure where in the sector this aircraft is.    The aircraft could be navigating via RNAV (GPS) and cleared to some waypoint farther down the route or the aircraft could be flying the standard VOR airways.  

Additionally, altitude also plays a role in where the aircraft is handed off.  For example, jet aircraft that climb out of my home airport, a class C airport, will be handed off much closer to the airport than a normal "spam can" GA aircraft.  This is because the top of our approach control's airspace is 10,000 feet.  To the east, the border extends to about 50nm from the center of the airport.

As a GA IFR aircraft, I will typically be handed off near this 50nm ring (if I filed for an IFR altitude at 10,000 or below).  However, a jet airliner that is departing our airport will be handed off about 15-20nm out, due to the fact that they bump up against the ceiling of the approach airspace much sooner.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
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