In 2017 on our group flight to Oshkosh we used a frequency pilots refer to as “fingers”, it is simply 12345 (frequency 123.45). This allowed us to coordinate our flight of 3 throughout the trip and a few times we ran across other pilots on the same frequency. Since then I’ve always wondered how we could adopt this to Infinite Flight. There have been a few idea on the forum about chats, but unfortunately that is not possible in App. Also, despite my searches, I haven’t see a fully flushed out idea about Pilot Unicom and how it would work. So hear is the idea. Hopefully the community likes it and together we can accomplish anything.
In real life only aircraft within a certain distance of each other can communicate on the same frequency, so in the context of Infinite Flight for example we’ll say this is set to 15 nautical miles. The Idea is to allow 2 or more aircraft within the specified distance of each other to communicate simple intentions or vital information (no have a conversation). The “Pilot Unicom Frequency 123.45” would be selected from your normal frequency list.
Below is a visual representation of how the Pilot Unicom would work:
- Aircraft #1 (MMF508) is on the Pilot Unicom frequency, but out of range of other aircraft on the frequency
- Aircraft #2 (AA888) and #3 (Delta 1249) are both on Pilot Unicom and within range to receive any announcements on the frequency.
- Aircraft #4 (FedEx 17) has decided to remain on “No Frequency” and is blissfully uninterrupted by anyones Pilot Unicom announcements.
This could also be useful for large VA flights. While the aircraft at the front of a 100nm long line of aircraft would not be able to communicate with the last aircraft miles in the back, Pilot Unicom announcement could be pass down the chain as the flight progresses.
Pilot Unicom Messages:
Again this would be just to communicate basic intentions and vital information.
Status: “AA888 is at 10,000ft heading 270 at 250kts”
Request Aircraft Advisory “AA888 requesting advisory from aircraft on frequency”
"Maneuvering" > North, East, South or West
"Climbing or Decending to" > specified Altitude (similar to request altitude change)
Speed Change > “increasing/slowing to XXXkts” (maybe set in increments of 50kts)
Misc Message: Thank you, Thank you Good Day, I’m Sorry and Your Welcome
Flight Plan: “AA888 flight plan filed” and “resuming flight plan navigation”
Frequency Change > "AA888 switching to frequency… " Channels listed on you available frequency at the time (ATIS, Approach, Tower, Airport Unicom), and option to switch automatically.
I sure you see how some basic Pilot Unicom communications could open up a world of possibilities.
That is the basic idea in a nut shell. I’m sure there is still much to discuss. Things like, is Pilot Unicom only active in the air, would you have an indication that someone is on Pilot Unicom and should certain aircraft have additional Pilot Unicom announcements. For Example could Tankers announce that they are “accepting or declining refueling requests at the time”?
What make IF great is flying together and hopefully this would make the experience even better. Looking forward to the discussion.