Discussion in 'AUS/NZ General Discussion' started by shags_j, Mar 17, 2016.
Group format comes from the AIP, not RAAus. "RV Eighty-Five Nineteen" is my callsign for example.
I have recently done over 40 hours of cross country flying lodging VFR Sartime plans all the way.
I can definitely state that for RAAus aircraft Airservices/NAIPS requires the Aircraft ID field to contain the last 4 digits of the aircraft registration. i.e. for 19-7780 the ID is "7780".
I used flight following on occasions but did not enter CTA (although I can as I also have a PPL and my aircraft has an "approved" engine [R912]) and the controller had no problem finding my plan in the "system".
My transponder is only mode C (so the mode S/ADS-B situation did not arise) but I agree that the situation needs to be clarified.
RAAus is considering re-using the same 4 numbers (in some cases) with each of the different RAAus prefixes - e.g. 19-1234, 24-1234, 55-1234 etc.
This would create a small but definitely possible chance that there could be 2 aircraft with the same ID in the system at the same time.
I think this should be avoided - there are 9999 numbers theoretically available and only about 3500 aircraft on the register so it should not be necessary to re-use the same numbers for some considerable time.
Here’s the simple way of understanding the system, I’ll use two examples, the first is my Foxbat.
It has an individual 24 bit/ 6 digit hex ID & the flight ID has been locked in as R1234 as an example as this combination will never change,(as per the Air Services requirements,) unless I decide to get a new mode S transponder or change my rego, on domestic flight plans my call sign is e.g. 1234, however my ATC call sign is Foxbat1234 ref AIP GEN 3.4-22
The next example I will use is an airline flight, again the 24 bit/hex code is an a/c’s individual ID, I am flying from Hong Kong-Taipie so when I set up the flight management system I must ensure that the ICAO airline code & flight number up to 7 digits long matches the call sign on the flight plan e.g. HDA486, however the ATC call sign is Dragon486, clear as mud?
Now if that original a/c goes tech & a swap is required, no problem the FMS is loaded on the new a/c, the a/c again has its individual hex code & HDA486 would be inserted as above.
When ATC look at their scopes they will see that R1234 is a recreational a/c for quick ID & QF1234 is a Qantas jet, have a look at Flight radar 24.
I will have to dig out the reference but i think that the numbers as groups of two is the preferred way of giving a long rego in the USA.
I've haven't done that for over 20 years. However I can see how it might apply to the old "thumbwheel" style transponders. Modern digital transponders don't normally accept the new code until all 4 digits are entered, so selecting standby to enter it is just wasting your time.
This is all in AIP GEN 3.4, Para 4.15-16.
"Group form" (grouping the callsign numbers into pairs) is the preferred method. However the "conventional" format of stating individual numbers is not prohibited and is still valid. It does say however, that if ATC addresses you in the group form, like "RV eighty five nineteen" (RV 8519) then you should respond with that form for the remainder of the flight.
The 2xxx and 6xxx ranges are assigned to HGFA for trikes registered with them
That still leaves about 4500 unused numbers.
Not so sure about the callsigns starting with a 6 only for trikes, as we have a Flight Design CTLS at our aero club registered 24-6669
And being a Kiwi that's one to many 6's for me.
OK. So I'm still confused as to the role of the flight plan. If I'm going to remain outside CTAs (but possibly operate within CTRs, perhaps only Class D) then nobody will ever actually see it (unless in the hopefully unlikely situation of there is an unfortunate event).
What happens when a random VFR operator calls up out of the blue announcing a flight plan amendment? My training has always been in VH registered aircraft, so presumably there is no issues finding the flight plan.
From what you write, it seems to me that the systems tracking SSR and accepting flight plans are separate (not sure what FDC is). We have always requested a code on the ground so far (except for MIL airspace). Presumably, our flight plan is migrated in some form when we get assigned a code.
Are we not filing a 'Flight Notification' rather than a flight plan, if the need arises for flight following or airspace clearance it helps speed up the process for the controller if a notification is in the system on what your intentions are, rather than ATC having to take all the details down?
The following is from the Airservices site 'It is emphasised that the flight notification form is NOT a flight plan. What you do in flight has not changed, and the requirements for flights under the IFR and VFR have not changed (see AIP and ERSA). It is recommended that pilots consult AIP ENR 1.10 for the requirements on flight planning and flight notification'.
I'll leave shags to get the regulatory answer however from my point of view:
I won't see your flight notification, but sartimes will. If you ring up with a flight plan amendment and what you mean is a notification then I have to pass it to sartimes as I don't have visibility or capability to change it. If you want access to CTA you should do a plan, a notification isn't enough and we will have to make one out of the blue if you haven't filed one and just call up = delays.
Flight following also requires a plan not a notification (usually, we can put a temporary tag on but usually we would make a plan up so it sticks to your code).
Planning as the last four digits is good, trust me when I say we won't find your plan if you file it as 241234, 191234, R1234 or jab1234 for example(unless you spell it out). 99% of controllers wouldn't know the difference between a foxbat or a jabiru, let alone that regos start with 19 or 24. Last couple of weeks I have given flight following to a jabiru and he planned as 4473(or numbers to that effect.)
Operationally no one could care less honestly if you use grouped numbers or say each number separately. As per AIP grouped is preferred but we have bigger fish to fry than someone that refuses to group numbers (we speak in grouped numbers all day every day, it's no less safe or harder to understand then individual numbers trust me.)
So if I'm planning a flight through controlled airspace or would like flight following rather than doing a flight notification through NAIPS I need to file a flight plan. Is this done through NAIPS or has to be phoned in, I was under the impression that having a flight note in the system would help speed things up for ATC in relation to knowing what my flight intentions are, however it appears that is not the case.
Wht concerns me in this discussion is the number of people who don't appear to understand the basics of flight planning and navigation, most have presumably got their cross country endorsements yet don't understand the flight plan system and from lots of other posts the number of people who are not able to read the weather is appalling. And let's not start on the radio work and position reporting.
Who is conducting and signing off on the training and testing.
Don't think you are on the right track there with your comment, as most RAAus operate in G Class only; as you would known there is no requirement to file anything. So from your comments this doesn't mean that the person doesn't know how to get from A to B and plan a flight and navigate correctly. Again most wouldn't even request flight following etc, however for those that want to understand the system and have knowledge of what needs to be done when they want to utilise this service I say is a good thing, isn't this what this forum 'ATC question' about. Based on your comment we should know it all prior to getting signed off. Isn't a good pilot always learning, can you please navigate me to your best seller book 'I know everything on flying' as I'm already lost......
I'm confused now (must be one of those Aldo is referring too...). I understand a flightplan as something I compile and then use inflight. A Flight Notification is what I submit using NAIPS, with departure point & time, routing, alternate, cruising level and Comm/SSR status etc, which, I've always understood is what I need to do to get flight following or better access to CTA without upsetting ATC by not having "a plan in the system" and then them needing to get the details via radio.
If that is not the case, what is the difference between a 'plan' and a 'notification' so far as ATC are concerned?
Woops. I wrote last night just after getting into bed so clearly I was half asleep. Let me clarify what I meant because I got things slightly wrong there myself.
What I meant by a flight notification was actually just a plain SARTIME, which if you write in your route segments etc we will not actually see (but SARTIMES will).
A flight plan (which is actually called a flight notification in NAIPS now that I look at it which is probably where the confusion came from for me last night) is the one you put all your speeds/levels/routes etc in detail. Now even if you submit one of these, unless you have planned through CTA, then ATC doesn't actually directly get sent a copy of the plan as 9/10 times we don't need it. It is however easily findable for us usually so we can drag it up if you give us a call (but best if you do this with a bit of time to run not right on the CTA boundary.) Same applies for flight following, we will be able to find it easily enough usually.
As for the NAIPS or phone question from flying kiwi, preference is via NAIPS because its easier than taking details via phone but you can do both if needed.
Sorry for that confusion, hopefully that clears it up a little. I'll edit my post above to reflect the incorrect info. Edit: Apparently I cant change that post, so hopefully people read far enough this post.
From the Airservices website go to Flight Briefing - Pilot and Airside Safety - Working with Air Traffic control.
In this situation the usual means of establishing identification is to instruct the pilot to squawk a discrete (individual) code. To obtain a discrete code, it is normally necessary for a flight plan (flight notification) to exist within the ATC Eurocat system. However, inactive VFR plans are not always displayed to controllers, so the first question you are likely to get from a controller is “have you got a flight plan in the system?”
Some great info on how the system works and I see Nathan has clarified things as well
Awesome, thanks for clarifying that Nathan. Not confused anymore!
Interesting discussion. I fly through Richmond CTR quite often and never submit a notification/flight plan. Mind you, it's a 5 minute transit through a very quiet control zone (these days, unlike in my past life where there could regularly be 4 C130s and 2 Caribous simultaneously in the circuit pattern) which has specific VFR transit procedures in the ERSA. The identification and clearance generally comes literally within a few seconds of entering the squawk code and I only ever recall a delay of a couple of minutes once. Also they often just clear me direct, not even by the VFR route. I'm going to have a chat to some in-house ATC contacts there to see whether I'm unintentionally making their life difficult!
On these short flights I haven't submitted anything through NAIPS (technically called flight notification) so I'm not covered for SAR. To cover that I effectively leave a "Flight Note". The purest version of a flight note is the form in AIP with all the boxes filled out and left with a responsible person. However my version consists of an sms or phone call immediately before departure to the guys in the hangar at the other end. They all know the aircraft details well, and know that I track direct between Cessnock airport and Wiseman's Ferry - the entry point to the Richmond CTR boundary. For such a simple and short flight between 2 airports where your aircraft is well known and also within full radar coverage, I figure a sensible equivalent to the "textbook" flight note is fine.
Flight Note - little bit of paper with a few pertinent details of your VFR flight left with a responsible person who can call authorities if you don't show up.
Flight Plan - bigger bit of paper (or an electronic device) with lots of details of your VFR or IFR flight plus spaces to do fuel logs, timing, etc.
Flight Notification - the act of getting those details into the ATC system via one of several different means. Depending on what you're doing, this may be required, or not required, or not required but desirable.
If in doubt, refer to AIP ENR 1.10.
The Airservices Australia NAIPS site contains the following:
Flight Notification Form
Pilots are not required, as they once were, to lodge details about tracks, headings, true air and ground speeds or time intervals. However, this does not absolve them from the responsibility of preparing a flight and fuel plan for their flight.
The methodology used by individual pilots to prepare their plans is a matter of choice, but good aviation practice and common sense dictates that a careful plan is the key to a good flight.
Information Required on the Form
The information now required by ATS to deliver air traffic control is limited to the following:
information about the aircraft
the radio and communications equipment on board
the departure and destination points of the flight
the planned route
the cruising speed of the aircraft
the emergency equipment on board
the number of passengers on board
details of the pilot
The flight notification form is divided into a number of boxes or items. Each of these items requires information delivered in a specific way.
The AIP has a complete summary of all possible options for the flight notification form in AIP ENR 1.10 Appendix 2.
Airservices has released a range of instructional videos to help pilots plan
their flights in the NAIPS Internet Service (NIS). Available at:
I recommend RAAus pilots who wish to fly in CTA/R or use flight following register for and use the NAIPS to get their weather and submit flight notifications (plans and sartimes).
I use the Champagne Flight Planner 3000 program for flight planning - it allows you to download weather and apply (automatically) winds and then check and submit your plan to NAIPS. Saves a lot of time and effort.
I do not use them (yet) but I understand OzRunways and AvPlan provide a similar facility.
Or you can submit the plan manually via NAIPS on the internet from your PC, tablet or mobile phone - check out the 'Briefing' and 'Flight Notification' tabs.
NAIPS also allows you to store your aircraft details and/or standard flight plans to make the process faster.
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