The Importance of Unicom

So there I was, completing my overnight flight (well, 7 and a half hours, which was not enough sleep but that’s not the point) from Kuala Lumpur to Sydney in order to take advantage of the Expert Server ATC that was scheduled to be in the area. Sometime below 1000 feet, after I had been cleared to land, Tower went offline to swap controllers, which meant the rest of my approach would be executed in the dead period during controller changes.

I announced my position on final and continued my approach, knowing that the aircraft cleared for takeoff ahead of me would be off the ground by the time I crossed the threshold and no other aircraft had been cleared for takeoff. Any aircraft would hear my announcement, check the map, and decide against entering the runway. Or so I thought…

On final to 16R with planes lined up on either side.

Making a minor adjustment while the F-22 on the side casually enters the runway I am about to land on. I had announced final both before and after their takeoff announcement, obviously to no avail.

Initiating my go around as they continue to work their way onto the runway as if nothing had happened.

At least it made for some cool photos

Don’t worry, I’m 100+ feet above the F-22 at this point, but the perspective makes it look like I could be able to plant my wheels into both tailfins.

Here is proof of the above ;)

Don’t worry though, I was able to land safely on the second attempt after some nice accommodation from the approach and new tower controllers.

Flaring with a 757 holding behind me

Touchdown, with the left wheel only just touching before the right

Now, the purpose of this post is NOT to hate on the pilot flying the F-22. For all I know they could have been new to Expert Server and simply lost situational awareness. It happens, though I hope they realized what had happened and will take steps to avoid it in future.

The purpose IS to remind you all that Unicom is a place for two-way communication, just as ATC is. It is not just a place to announce what you’re doing and do it, but to listen to other pilots and establish an understanding of what is taking place and anything you should be aware of. All pilots on Unicom heard (twice) that there was a plane on final to 16R, so any plane waiting for or expecting takeoff on 16R should’ve heard that and at least checked to make sure there was time to spare before entering the runway.

The purpose was also to share some cool photos lol. I hope you enjoyed those too.

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Stameron cone

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I actually did that on purpose because I knew you would respond. Now that that has happened, it can be deleted

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I’m one of those “interesting” people who uses UNICOM when there are no other planes to be seen for at all for hundreds of miles around.

“If you announce taxi when there’s nobody there to hear it, do you really say anything?” Possibly.

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I do the same haha, don’t worry.

It’s still better to announce it anyways and IRL you’d never know who’s tuned in and could be listening. 😉

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Its always a fighter jet

4 days ago a F22 was like 30cm from my wing while I was on final

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Fair point haha. You’d be surprised how many commercial jets could use a quick refresh on how to fly their planes too though

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Stameron cone

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Great shots, and well written too, unicom is definitely important!


What is the point in this? 🥴

Wndrew Au

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Inside joke

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Don’t listen to him, he just heard it once and ran with it. ;)

Thanks for the poaitive feedback otherwise though haha

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Petition for you to change your name to WndrewAu

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Yeah don’t worry your not alone

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