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Author Topic: Yet another practical use of LiveATC's feeds  (Read 3173 times)
KSYR-pjr
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« on: July 15, 2005, 04:48:12 PM »

Yesterday about 4:30pm eastern time I was flying my Bonanza from Dunkirk, NY (far western NY state, USA) to Syracuse, NY, normally a one hour flight.  When I first departed there were two moderate, distinct thunderstorm cells, one to the northwest and one to the southeast of my destination airport.  

Early in my trip these two cells were far enough from the airport that aircraft were still able to approach and land.  However, as I drew closer to my home airport the two cells merged into one larger, more powerful cell right over the airport and there it remained, moving at only 5 knots or so (No. 1 on the image below) and dumping about 3 inches of rain with wind gusts of 55 kts.  I heard later that the ILS was knocked out of service after a lightning bolt hit the ILS antenna.





Seeing this monster both visually in front of me as well as on my onboard downlinked radar display (which reported the tops of this cell at 50,000 ft), I knew my only choice was to divert to another airport and wait it out, rather than waste fuel flying an extended hold over some fix.  Thus, I called ATC and notified them of my intentions to divert to Ithaca airport (no. 2 arrow).  Ithaca was very hazy, but clear of storms.

Safely on the ground at Ithaca, I pulled out my laptop in the FBO and connected to their free wireless network.  I had the intention of browsing some newsgroups to kill some time when it hit me:  Connect to LiveATC's feed of Syracuse to hear the status of the airport as well as when aircraft would again start landing.  

After about an hour of listening to holding and ground-stopped aircraft, I overheard on the feed aircraft of all sizes landing and departing.   The radar confirmed that the storm had moved northwest of the airport, so I knew that I was safe to depart.  

Before this day, I had never thought of such a practical use of the LiveATC feed.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
IndyTower
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« Reply #1 on: July 17, 2005, 11:43:15 AM »

I thought of that post last night when I was trying to decide whether or not to walk down the street to my girlfriend's parent's place in Indy because of the rain and stoms in the area.  It's close enough to walk and not worth driving...you'd get just as wet going from the front door to the car and vice versa.  

So, I checked the radar and it was last updated 15 minutes earlier.  So I turned on my feed and checked a few other sites with radar and after a minute or so a pilot asked about the weather around the field....

http://www.liveatc.net/forum/viewtopic.php?p=2523#2523

I'm about 3 DME from the approach end of 14, so that gave me a huge amount of information for the weather situation in my immediate area.  

Thanks for the idea!  While not quite as practical and useful as for your situation, this worked out perfectly for me.

Matt
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #2 on: July 18, 2005, 06:33:45 PM »

Quote from: IndyTower
Thanks for the idea!  While not quite as practical and useful as for your situation, this worked out perfectly for me.


Sounds like it was indeed perfect for you.

I just grabbed the two available Syracuse feed archives prior to and during the storm depicted in the radar image above for some interesting listening.  This was an amusing exchange from one of them:

Approach:  "Jetlink XXX, Syracuse Approach, currently there is up to level 6 weather over the field with reports of a microburst alert on final for runway one zero, a loss of six zero knots, and multiple aircraft holding and not attempting the approach.  What would you like to do?"

Aircraft: "HOLD!!"

Hilarious, in an aviation sort of way.  Smiley
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Shaun
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« Reply #3 on: July 21, 2005, 08:31:45 AM »

Must remember that one!

Good job!
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