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Author Topic: Aeronautical Mobile: Is this situation legal?  (Read 1161 times)
KG6EJT
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« on: February 19, 2007, 02:49:56 PM »

Is this legal?

Yesterday, I copied a 20m QSO between a ham in Alaska and a member of an airline flight crew. He ID’d and said he was an aeronautical mobile,using the Boeing 757’s HF radio while the aircraft was in the air over the Gulf of Mexico. I’d always heard that a radio must be “type-accepted” by the FCC to be used in amateur service. Does the fact that he was over international waters make a difference? It seems to me it doesn’t. What do you guys think?

73,

-Larry
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KB4QAA
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2007, 03:11:36 PM »

US amateur radio equipment is not required to be type accepted.

However, FCC and I believe international regulations require any radio aboard ships and aircraft used for amateur operations to be separate from the ship/acft radios.  You can use the installed antennas but not the radios.

a.m.
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N3BIF
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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2007, 03:28:53 PM »

 Legal ?  I don't know, but this activity is not unusual,  I have often heard  of crew ,members even a pilot or two pass the time making qso,s
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KZ1X
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« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2007, 03:37:43 PM »

§97.11 Stations aboard ships or aircraft.

(a) The installation and operation of an amateur station on a ship or aircraft must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft.

(b) The station must be separate from and independent of all other radio apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft, except a common antenna may be shared with a voluntary ship radio installation. The station's transmissions must not cause interference to any other apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft.

(c) The station must not constitute a hazard to the safety of life or property. For a station aboard an aircraft, the apparatus shall not be operated while the aircraft is operating under Instrument Flight Rules, as defined by the FAA, unless the station has been found to comply with all applicable FAA Rules.
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KI4BDS
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« Reply #4 on: February 19, 2007, 04:14:11 PM »

Yup! Totally legal. I worked for McDonell-Douglas Flight Test division and it was part of the Flight test requirement. The pilot is a liscensed operater and the equipment is FCC certified including HF and Vhf,Radar, and DME,etc. Some companies encourage pilots to talk on HF. You can set a 777, 767, 757, MD11 at the end of a runway and have it programmed, It will takeoff at the push of a button, climb at the optimum airspeed, to an optimum altitude, level off and cruise until fuel is burned of and climb again until at maximum altitude (The flight planned one) descend, fly the apropriate ILS for aprogrammed runway and land, stop and wait for the pilot to pull clear of the runway. The only reason we have pilots is because the public wouldnt allow them not to and something could go wrong that a machine couldnt think thru. YET!! It is the most boring job in the world to sit for up to 10 hrs. at the controls of a robot. Karl
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KG6EJT
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« Reply #5 on: February 19, 2007, 04:21:45 PM »

That's pretty much what I had thought. I know I probably couldn't (even in the pre-terrorism days) go to the radio shack of a cruise ship, ask to use one of their marine hf rigs and call CQ on 20m.

The "legality" issue here would not be so much if the activity is permitted, but rather what equipment was used. In this case, the flight officer clearly said he was "using the 757's hf radio." Sounds like a "no no" to me, just for a different reason than I thought.

By the way, there was a mini-pileup for the guy after he finished his initial QSO with the ham in KL7.

73,

-Larry
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AA4PB
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« Reply #6 on: February 19, 2007, 04:42:23 PM »

Yup! Totally legal. I worked for McDonell-Douglas Flight Test division and it was part of the Flight test requirement
--------------------------------------------------
Nope, totally illegal to use the aircraft's required HF radio for amateur communications. In addition, McDonell-Douglas is violating FCC regulations to use amateur radio frequencies for flight test requirements. If the aircraft is licensed in the U.S. then it falls under U.S. regulations when it is in international air space.

In spite of the regulations against it, it is not uncommon for crew members with ham licenses, with the captain's permission, to use spare permanently installed HF radios on ships and planes to make contacts on the ham bands.
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N3OX
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« Reply #7 on: February 19, 2007, 05:06:23 PM »

"it is not uncommon for crew members with ham licenses, with the captain's permission, to use spare permanently installed HF radios"

How many spare HF rigs are required by FAA regs?  How many backup rigs are installed?

If the answer were, for example, zero and one, or one and two, a case could be made for the spare one or the "spare spare" one to be considered seperate from the rest of the apparatus.  

Dan
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73,
Dan
http://www.n3ox.net

Monkey/silicon cyborg, beeping at rocks since 1995.
W7ETA
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« Reply #8 on: February 19, 2007, 05:09:02 PM »

Even if you talked with the ham, you wouldn't have to worry if it was legal.
73
Bob
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KB1LKR
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« Reply #9 on: February 19, 2007, 05:10:31 PM »

As to former US FCC "Type Acceptance" (or now either a Certification or a Declaration of Conformity. Amateur (part 97) equipment (in the US) is unusual in that it does *not* require Type Acceptance, Certification, or a Declaration of Conformity for use in the amateur frequency allocations. On the other hand, equipment FCC Type Accepted for other services can be used in the amateur bands, e.g. public service/commercial business radios are sometimes modified/programmed for amateur service.

I can't speak to FCC, FAA, ICAO, IASA, or other international rules re: use of aircraft radios in amateur service though.
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K0RFD
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« Reply #10 on: February 19, 2007, 06:25:02 PM »

I've probably worked the same guy.

He's legal.
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KG6EJT
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« Reply #11 on: February 19, 2007, 08:02:34 PM »

Just to be clear, I didn't have the QSO with the guy. In fact, I refrained from joining the pileup because I wasn't sure how legal the whole thing was.
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W7ETA
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« Reply #12 on: February 19, 2007, 09:53:17 PM »

WFWL
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NA0AA
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« Reply #13 on: February 19, 2007, 09:53:47 PM »

My guess would be that provided YOU are operating your station in accordance with your license, then you have no liablity.  Who is to say what that operator on the other end is using, aero mobile or terrestrial?

FWIW, the only aircraft HF rigs I've seen did not seem very suited to Amateur operation.  Their controls are normally limited and since they use Selcal, they don't even have much of a squelch function.

But heck, it would be easy enough to patch in a rig if you knew what you were doing.

Once ran a long-wire out the belly of a plane - had to tune by adjusting the length.  Over central India.
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W8JI
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« Reply #14 on: February 20, 2007, 03:38:11 AM »

§97.11 Stations aboard ships or aircraft.

(a) The installation and operation of an amateur station on a ship or aircraft must be approved by the master of the ship or pilot in command of the aircraft.>>

He certainly did that.


(b) The station must be separate from and independent of all other radio apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft, except a common antenna may be shared with a voluntary ship radio installation. The station's transmissions must not cause interference to any other apparatus installed on the ship or aircraft. >>>

While we don't know the exact configuration, ANY HF radio independent of other radios or equipment would fit the bill. Most equipment is designed that way.



(c) The station must not constitute a hazard to the safety of life or property. For a station aboard an aircraft, the apparatus shall not be operated while the aircraft is operating under Instrument Flight Rules, as defined by the FAA, unless the station has been found to comply with all applicable FAA Rules.>>

No problem there either.

Like many FCC rules, this section is now subject to how the reader understands it. It probably fit very well with intentions of the law 40-50 years ago when a single radio station that was a large complex mix of several pieces of gear was used for primary communications. No one would want to see monitoring of 500kHz distress frequencies disrupted so someone could chat on 80 meters.

Today all the communications systems and gear are stand alone independent devices that do not interact or affect other communications systems. Many are not even required to be monitored or installed.

Technology changes fast, rules change slow.
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