Text Messaging Approach & Departure Procedures

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Daleandee

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I've been wondering if something along this line will ever make it into General Aviation, that is, the approach/departure controller sending the information to the cockpit by text instead of voice. Seems the advantages would be many. Found this article from a few years ago:

https://phys.org/news/2016-09-air-traffic-shifting-text-messaging.html

Admittedly the few instructions for most day VFR flights are usually easy enough to remember and read back. Still, sometimes it's busy, bumpy, & difficult to hear with all the radio clutter and it seems texting the information into the cockpit would make life easier than trying to write down this information.

I don't fly often into towered fields but the more I venture out the more it becomes necessary to do so.

Perhaps this is as simple as an extremely accurate "talk to text" program (or app) using your smart phone to translate the message and hold it on the screen until you delete it ...

Curious,

Dale
N319WF
 

Victor Bravo

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I believe that some kind of phone app, connected with the modern whiz-bang Garmin G-5000, would be really useful for instrument departure clearances. I'm definitely not an IFR pilot, but I know we have several real live professional pilots here on HBA... what do you folks think?

You get a secure text from the tower, or an e-mail, on your iPad or phone, and the clearance comes up on your screen as BOTH a text clearance and an "approach plate" looking drawing on the moving map. You verify that you got the clearance, and even read back a verification code or something. It would save time on the radio, and it would eliminate mis-pronunciation or errors in the clearance delivery. AND it would very likely significantly reduce workload for pilots and ATC.

Am I totally off my rocker here? I think Dale is on to something important, but it is more relevant to the IFR system..
 

SVSUSteve

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It probably will eventually become a thing for GA at busier airports (although at 99.9% of airports, simply making people use the VHF radio already in their plane would be more than sufficient) but then again, our chunk of aviation still has a conniption fit every time anyone suggests that it should be a requirement to do anything even if it's simply updating the regs to reflect that aviation has changed from the days when lucking out while scud running was seen as a measure of piloting prowess (and became enshrined as such in aviation literature) and radios were prohibitively heavy for light aircraft. We're 40+ years on from the latter being an issue and we still have people who act like petulant children over any discussion of doing away with NORDO.

I wonder if people similarly had tantrums when they switched from celestial navigation ("By God, if it was good enough for navigation during the Age of Exploration then it should be fine for this airliner!") to LORAN. LOL
 

Hephaestus

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Its too bad there wasnt an easy addition to the adsb system to do that. Shoulf be across the board for everyone in controlled airspace.

Honestly I hate nordo's. Spend 60$ get a bloody handheld and join the 21st century. No excuses. But its usually those same guys who do straight in approaches and whatever they want because they're 'special'.
 

Vigilant1

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I'd be happy to receive VFR instructions via text. Transmitting from the plane would have to be something very simple (will comply, please retransmit, I'll reply by voice). Getting away from voice means there's no need for a readback.
As error-prone and inefficient as voice come are, they are going to have a place for a LONG time. There are many accidents avoided by the SA we get from hearing the comms with other aircraft. (Hey, I'm turning base and someone just announced he's 2 miles out on a straight in to the same runway. Looking . . .)
 

Daleandee

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I'd be happy to receive VFR instructions via text. Transmitting from the plane would have to be something very simple (will comply, please retransmit, I'll reply by voice).
Yes ... that's what I had in mind i.e. receiving the clearance messages where they are readable. Then the pilot is not trying to write and fly at the same time. In my "neutral stability" Cleanex writing can be interesting when there's turbulence and bumps as the airplane tends to wander if not monitored very closely. The other plus is that with the controller sending it to the pilot the information should be correct and eliminates a step where an error could be introduced. Confirmation could be by voice to the tower.

I don't see radios going away anytime soon and agree with others that those that have them should learn to use them and those that do not have one should get one and then learn to use it. But when using a radio I don't need you to tell me where you are coming from, what you had for breakfast, and why your wife isn't speaking to you today ...

Dale
N319WF
 

Pops

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And then we would miss all the very interesting and funny things you hear on the radio.
 

Hephaestus

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I'd be happy to receive VFR instructions via text. Transmitting from the plane would have to be something very simple (will comply, please retransmit, I'll reply by voice). Getting away from voice means there's no need for a readback.
Acknowledge and readback over radio would solve a lot of issues but adsb should resolve even more.

But we're also in the age where voice to text can be done by a low cost device in our hand...
 

SVSUSteve

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Its too bad there wasnt an easy addition to the adsb system to do that. Shoulf be across the board for everyone in controlled airspace.

Honestly I hate nordo's. Spend 60$ get a bloody handheld and join the 21st century. No excuses. But its usually those same guys who do straight in approaches and whatever they want because they're 'special'.
Joining the 1980s would be a more accurate description since the readily available form of the tech has been around since at least that time. Then again, these are usually the same folks who will proudly describe multiple instances of partial or complete loss of power due to carb icing. Usually in breathless “So there I was...” style, trying to make it sound like they were Ernest Gann’s copilot flying into the Greenland fjords during the War and not trundling along smashing bugs and songbirds on a pleasant summer afternoon in the hardest VMC possible above a part of the Midwest flatter than a tabletop. But they can’t grasp that it’s a problem that is entirely avoidable if you don’t stick an engine whose fuel is introduced by a piece of Victorian technology on the front of the plane you just spent several years building and trying to tweak for optimal performance. It’s like arguing with a religious zealot.

I enjoy listening to the NORDO crowd gripe about IFR traffic doing straight-in approaches. “You have no warning and this guy comes blundering into the pattern! I had to go around because of him cutting me off as I made turned base to final” or “I pull out on the runway to takeoff and *simulated engine noise* this guy roars over top of me like he owns the place!”

Meanwhile, anyone who has had their radio on heard that “blundering” pilot make radio calls at 10 miles, 5 miles, 3 miles, 2 miles, and had to sidestep to avoid a collision when the NORDO chap turned in front of him too busy enjoying the smell of his own farts to look for traffic or listen to the radio.

The best ones are those that happen at places where the FBO or someone else records the traffic. The FBO manager back home did this (mostly to use in training his students on proper vs improper radio procedure) and I miss watching the NORDO guys go pale when the manager would say “Let’s go to the tape!”. *evil laugh*
 

SVSUSteve

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And then we would miss all the very interesting and funny things you hear on the radio.
One of the few reasons I miss living in Indianapolis is hearing the guy who would visit the airport I lived by at least a couple of times a week:
“Battle Creek traffic, November....”
Usually someone would politely remind him it’s EAGLE Creek.

Once, having come through earlier in the day and then again in the afternoon, he did it after being corrected by another pilot. One of the ladies at the FBO gets on the radio: “Say ‘Battle Creek’ one more time and I am adding two dollars a gallon to your fuel bill.”
Another pilot: “Ma’am, you can’t hear it but we’re slow clapping up here.”
FBO: “Nice try but you’re not getting a discount Jake.”
 

Pops

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Going into Richmond Bird, Va. (RIC) and the controller was having a hard day with the light traffic and talking so fast you would think he was at OSH. Someone with a REAL SLOW SOUTHERN COUNTRY voice came on the radio and said "See--- how--- fast---I--- talk, I ---- can't--- lesson--- any---faster--- either". Everyone in the area were hitting their push to talk and laughing.
 

TFF

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It’s the radio guys that tend to be the problem. The no radio guy is looking. Radio guy never looks out till he sees the shadow. The nordo expects the other guy is looking out instead of admiring his panel. The only problem I have had was from a kid who use to fly a T craft without a license. He did not even know what the numbers were in n the runway. After a couple of close calls like landing into taking off traffic. The FAA fixed that one.
 

Pops

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Two of the best pilots that I know never had a license. Met the one about 1970. One flew a Cessna twin. Both flew for over 40 years. In my area about 1/2 of the people driving autos didn't have a license in the 1950's. My Aunt got stopped by the state police ( I think for speeding) when she was about 95 years old and the cop ask her for her drivers license, she said she has been driving since 1919 and knew how to drive and didn't think she needed one. Cop told her that its required now and maybe she should get one. He let her go without a ticket. She quit driving about 2 years latter. She spent most of her free time taking all the old people to the doctors, etc. She lived to 103.


Now back to the regular programing.
 

Hephaestus

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Id like to agree that the nordo guy is looking but practical reality these days... Hes not. Pre 1990 the nordo guys were the best.

Now most nordo guys are ultralight guys who just expect everyone else to try to be safe around them.

Theres been a bunch of near misses related to one at my home field. So TC in their infinite wisdom - sends an 'enforcement' guy down. Brand new white caravan that says transport canada on it.

Parks in the main lot... (Small airport theres like 20 spots there)

We watched buddy drive in, pull a u turn and nope the eff out of there pretty much daily when the TC guy was there...

Complaint is unfounded - no evidence.

:mad:o_O
 

Daleandee

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Not sure what would help this particular pilot! If it wasn't so serious it would be funny ...


Dale
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SVSUSteve

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It’s the radio guys that tend to be the problem. The no radio guy is looking. Radio guy never looks out till he sees the shadow. The nordo expects the other guy is looking out instead of admiring his panel. The only problem I have had was from a kid who use to fly a T craft without a license. He did not even know what the numbers were in n the runway. After a couple of close calls like landing into taking off traffic. The FAA fixed that one.
It’s funny because the only GA“radio guy” I know of who was responsible for a midair is the crusty idiot who was using a frequency list that was at least several years old. We know that was when the CTAF changed at the accident airport and he was heard making calls on the wrong frequency and continued doing so after a pilot tried to correct him. I guess he couldn’t grasp that things change in aviation. I’m sure he was too busy thinking back to when he was an extra on Sky King.

There’s also that crash where the guy during his takeoff roll finally saw the guy coming the opposite way (who had been making radio calls) and instead of aborting the takeoff and going off the side, he played chicken until pulling back hard and rolling into a back with predictably lethal consequences.

As for the “FAA fixed that one”, I was a dual student riding with my instructor and one of his friends (who happened to be a FSDO employee) when we had another aircraft pass over top of us and land ahead of us on the runway. The FAA took care of that one too. He literally tried to use the ‘back in my day pilots didn’t need radios’ argument by that we were distracted by having our “heads down“. With his obvious hatred for modern technology, I wanna guess that he’s now living in a remote cabin in Montana.

That’s as close as I ever with to be to another aircraft in flight. Some of my friends wonder why I don’t have any interest in formation flights to like Oshkosh etc. That’s a major reason in addition to the little matter of “You’re not escorting bombers over Berlin or scrambling to defend London no matter how big of WWII markings you paint on your kit plane or how loudly you proclaim your type club to be an ‘air force’ so there’s no reason for a formation approach or landing especially when odds are the guys next to you probably have fewer hours logged in the past year than there are weeks in one”.
 

Daleandee

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In the beginning of trying out a couple of "talk to text" programs for my iPhone. The most accurate so far has been the free "Evernote" app. Other programs work but the accuracy of the translation leaves a lot to be desired. No program I've tried so far is much good at copying a prerecorded voice through a speaker. But in the noisy cockpit my phone will be wired into the aircraft intercom. Once I do that I'll have a better idea if it will work at all. I also have an iPad but if you've seen my cockpit you know that real estate for more equipment is rare to non-existent.

So, just having fun. Even if I never use this for flight purposes it is something to fiddle with ...

Dale
N319WF
 
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