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Author Topic: Hello!... UK & United Channel 9  (Read 12785 times)
AdsUK
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« on: July 09, 2007, 04:53:40 PM »

Hello ATC World  grin

I've just found this site and OMG it's amazing!!

I, like a lot of you are gutted over the crazy 1942 law in the UK restricting any broadcasts of UK feeds.  However, (maybe I shouldn't draw attention to this), but how does United Airlines get away with broadcasting their ATC on Channel 9, while at Heathrow and when flying across the UK?
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sunburn
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« Reply #1 on: July 09, 2007, 06:06:42 PM »

well... that's stumped me.
i can't think of a legitimate legal way for them to broadcast atc whilst in uk airspace.

i think maybe it's just another case of something being 'frowned upon' by NATS and Ofcom.

and welcome!
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tyketto
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« Reply #2 on: July 09, 2007, 06:14:45 PM »

The big case here is that UAL isn't broadcasting that or 'rebroadcasting' that out to the public masses, and is staying within their aircraft. For all intents and purposes, Ch. 9 is like closed circuit TV; only going to the people who can hear it (which is only in that aircraft). If it were being retransmitted across a far wider medium, such as the internet or radio frequency, that would be another story.

Looking deeper into Ch. 9, all that it is is part of the IFE, which has nothing to do with retransmitting or broadcasting. As it's a feature of their IFE service, it doesn't cross the line according to UK law.

Please take this as my opinion; IANAL.

BL.
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Lezam
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« Reply #3 on: July 10, 2007, 12:05:52 AM »

Do they only do this on international flights? Or domestic as well?
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tyketto
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« Reply #4 on: July 10, 2007, 01:35:08 AM »

Do they only do this on international flights? Or domestic as well?

It's generally on all of UAL's flights, but Ch. 9 is at the pilot's discretion. Generally, if passengers interested in listening to that channel ask the Captain or FO to turn it on, they oblige, and you have ATC from gate to gate piped directly to your seat.

I know I've listened to it a fair bit on short hops (KLAS-KLAX) but also heard it on long hauls (KOMA-KDEN-KLAX-NZAA-YMML and return).

BL.
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petervee
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« Reply #5 on: July 10, 2007, 02:04:37 AM »

Hi,
I fly United often internationally, and always request the FA, as I enter the plane, to ask the pilot for channel 9 ATC. They always oblige. The problem is that there is a high frequency whine on the audio of a 767 on intl flights and I have been meaning to create a notch filter to filter it out. Havent done it yet. Over the Atlantic UA uses CPDLC (satellite based position reports) so you lose audio right after Scotland or Shanwick. You could gtet audio back as they enter Canadian space at St. Anthony's and Northern Quebec/Labrator landfalls.
In domestic flights, channel 9 is always on ATC and the pilot announces the fact during his/her welcome PA announcement.
Peter
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Panop
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« Reply #6 on: July 10, 2007, 10:52:56 AM »

This is a really long standing thing with UA.  Showing my age here, I recall listening to the same feed from JFK - LAX in one of their DC-8-30s way back in 1972 though it wasn't available on a couple of subsequent flights with them (perhaps I should have asked).  Maybe a few other airlines might follow suit if sufficient numbers of us asked them to add this to their audio especially with the wider choice of channels that are now possible.  It obviously has not presented UA with any serious problems and they must think it a worthwhile PR exercise.  Doubtless someone somewhere will see it as a 'security' risk but I can't for the life of me imagine what the risk is.  By the way, I recall that annoying whistle from then as well so they've never fixed that bug!
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MathFox
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« Reply #7 on: July 14, 2007, 10:32:41 AM »

I've listened a several times to "Channel 9" over the Atlantic and while there's no communication with ATC, there is quite some plane to plane communication; part chatter and part keeping each other informed about relative positions.
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The Hoffspatcher
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« Reply #8 on: July 15, 2007, 08:35:03 AM »

The UK law says you cannot listen into transmissions that you don't have permission for.

Obviously, we have permission to recieve and transmit on the ATC frequencies so no problem.
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Ben Hoffman; BAv, ADX
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MathFox
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« Reply #9 on: July 15, 2007, 09:27:02 AM »

The UK law says you cannot listen into transmissions that you don't have permission for.

Obviously, we have permission to recieve and transmit on the ATC frequencies so no problem.

And United is registered in the US, so in large part, US (and not British) law applies to the plane and activities that happen aboard.
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jamall02864
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« Reply #10 on: July 15, 2007, 12:58:13 PM »

does united have the channel 9 on all aircraft. i thought i had read somewhere that only the 757 and 767 had this feature.

-- Greg
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KMSY
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« Reply #11 on: July 15, 2007, 01:15:52 PM »

Most of the older aircraft like 737-300s don't have them because they're just old. The IFE systems aren't as modern as they are on 75s and 76s.
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tyketto
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« Reply #12 on: July 15, 2007, 02:45:51 PM »

I believe they do. Last time I was on a UAL 737, it was Shuttle by United, and it had it. Their 757s and bigger, and A319/A320s have it for sure.

BL.
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KMSY
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« Reply #13 on: July 15, 2007, 03:18:36 PM »

Well. United flies 737 -500s and -300s. The -500s are about seven or eight years older than the -300s (the first 300 was born in 1980). I'm not sure how often or to what extent UA retrofits/refits their aging 737 fleet. But I'm sure at least some aircraft that are leased or acquired by United do not have these systems. It could just be hit or miss, with some aircraft being already fitted with an updated IFE system.

I do remember reading in a Hemispheres (UA's inflight mag) that the smaller the aircraft, the smaller selection of channels.
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coolian2
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« Reply #14 on: July 16, 2007, 02:26:41 AM »

The UK law says you cannot listen into transmissions that you don't have permission for.

Obviously, we have permission to recieve and transmit on the ATC frequencies so no problem.

And United is registered in the US, so in large part, US (and not British) law applies to the plane and activities that happen aboard.

Apologies for going off on a tangent, but would that also determine the drinking age onboard?
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tyketto
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« Reply #15 on: July 16, 2007, 03:12:05 AM »

The UK law says you cannot listen into transmissions that you don't have permission for.

Obviously, we have permission to recieve and transmit on the ATC frequencies so no problem.

And United is registered in the US, so in large part, US (and not British) law applies to the plane and activities that happen aboard.

Apologies for going off on a tangent, but would that also determine the drinking age onboard?

I believe that it would (I was 21 when I flew internationally on UAL, plus I didn't order anything at the time), because the smoking regulation is applied across all internationally flying US carriers, and that is applicable law. Once again, call the airline for confirmation on that; IANAL.

BL.
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The Hoffspatcher
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« Reply #16 on: July 16, 2007, 06:52:11 AM »

Yes - UA = US Airline = US Law.

All UA aircraft offer Channel 9 at the Capt's discresion.
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Panop
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« Reply #17 on: October 21, 2007, 11:35:27 AM »

The drinking age being based on the country of origin  seems to be the case though a lot of airlines and aircrew are more concerned with their bar sales than any rules so enforcement can vary (a US registered aircraft operating a service for a non-US airline would raise some interesting legal issues I suspect - I bet a good lawyer could have a field day with code sharing flights!).  Whilst on the ground in any country the rules of that country apply.  If you are ever transiting a 'dry' country like Saudi Arabia, even if you are not leaving the plane, make sure you hide all alcohol away or it can (and will!) be confiscated! 

Back to the channel 9 discussion, the age of the aircraft per se is not an issue - see my previous post concerning DC-8s -  but very likely some specific aircraft types' sound systems were not connected for this function and at other times may just not have worked - having that facility working would be a very low priority for the maintenance staff.
« Last Edit: October 21, 2007, 11:39:15 AM by Panop » Logged
Casper87
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« Reply #18 on: October 22, 2007, 04:42:55 AM »

The UK law says you cannot listen into transmissions that you don't have permission for.

Obviously, we have permission to recieve and transmit on the ATC frequencies so no problem.

And United is registered in the US, so in large part, US (and not British) law applies to the plane and activities that happen aboard.

Actually youre wrong.....ICAO law states that the pilot in command of an aircraft will follow laws applying to the following:

1. The states (airspace) the aircraft is flying in
2. Country the aircraft is registered

In that order......hence even the it is an Amercian registered aircraft, when flying in UK airspace UK law will have priority over US law.

Same with licencing....If a pilot with an FAA PPL flys in the UK he/she must abide by UK law.

But as stated before....these laws apply to what the "aircraft" can do. So any communications inside can be listened to becasue its kept inside the aircraft. Same as alcohol.....in UK soverienty you can drink at the age of 18 but onboard a US registered aircraft then US law would still apply.
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