Hello IFC and welcome to my first community tutorial. Today I will be teaching everyone who might be new and is struggling using and understanding unicom how to use and understand it.
Unicom (universal communications) is a non controlled, pilot advisory frequency used to let pilots know who is around them and what their plans are. It is mainly used in small GA airports so pilots know who is around them and what they are doing. So if they are taxing to a runway, taking off, inbound, their stage of pattern etc. In Infinite Flight we use it for the same purpose, just we use it at all airports when there is no ATC active. But what does everything mean and do? That will be explained in the next part of the tutorial. Remember: Unicom should always be used even if no one is at the airport. Always.
When you spawn into a live session you will automatically be turned into the airfields unicom. When inbound you can contact a unicom from around 27 NM from the airport you wish to contact.
This one is self explanatory. You are announcing you are taxing to a runway. An example is: “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Taxing To Runway 23.” To send this command click Taxi > then click the runway you wish to taxi too. Taxi Tutorial
2: Take Off
Again this one is self explanatory. You are Taking Off for pattern work or departing the airspace. An example is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Is Taking Off Runway 23, Remaining In The Pattern" or departing ether "North, South, East or West.” To send this command click Take Off > click your runway > click remaining in the pattern or departing North, South, East or West. Take off Tutorial, Crosswind Take off Tutorial & Pattern Work Tutorial.
3: Clear Of All Runways
This one sounds simple but it is a mistake I hear too much! You only use this command when clear of all runways. Lets take KSFO for example: You want to get to runway 28L. But to get to there you must cross runway 19R & 19L. You would only announce clear of all runways when you have crossed 19R and 19L. Not between the two unless there is an aircraft landing on the runway in-front of you. If that happened you would most certainly say Clear of all Runways so the pilot knows you are not going to cause a Go Around. Another thing to remember is to say Clear of all Runways when you have just landed and vacated. So if there was a pilot on final they know they are all good to land. An example is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Is Clear Of All Runways.” To send this command just click Clear of all Runways.
4: Send Traffic Advisory
This one is one that not as well known by people but really easy to use and understand. So when people are in the air they have the option to request traffic advisory. That means they would like to know from the people doing pattern work what runway they are using and are they doing left or right pattern. So you could say “Glasgow Unicom Is Using Runway 23, Left Traffic." That lets pilots know you are using runway 23" and doing some left traffic patterns. This should only be used when requested by other pilots as it is easy abused. To send this click on Send Traffic Advisories > click on your runway > then click on left or right traffic.
5: Cross Runway
This one is really simple to understand, you are letting pilots know you are Crossing a Runway. It is advised not to use a runway that has a strong tailwind (red) or crosswind (amber) when there is a runway available with a perfect headwind(green). But if someone has a pattern on a red runway say that one. Also never say a runway that can’t be used due to terrain. An example if this is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Crossing Runway 23." To send this command click Cross Runway > then click the active runway. Also yes I know you would almost never have to cross a runway at Glasgow but this is the airport I am using in my examples 90% of the time.
6: Hold Short
This is really simple to understand, it means you will stop your your aircraft on the ground behind the hold short line. Reasons you would hold short is you need to do something to the aircraft, get your lights ready, there is an aircraft on the runway or there is traffic on short final. An example of this message is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Holding Short Of Runway 23." To send this message click Hold Short > then click your runway.
1: Report Position
This one is easy to understand, this means you are reposting the stages of pattern. So Upwind, Crosswind, Downwind, Base & Final. If you have no clue how to fly a pattern check this tutorial on pattern work. An example of this message is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Is On Left Downwind Runway 23." To send this or any pattern message click Report Position > your leg of pattern > your runway.
2: Go Around
As with most stuff on unicom this one is so easy to get your head round. All it means is you are going to aboard your landing, power up and take the aircraft around the patch for another go at landing. If you have no idea how to execute a go around check this tutorial. An example of this message is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Going Around." To send this message just click Go Around.
3: Announce Inbound
This announcement is really helpful for other pilots, it lets them know who is inbound, what runway they will be using, where they are etc. Like most announcements this should always used when inbound to an airport. An example of this message is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Is 32 Nautical Miles To The South @ 7000FT, Will Make Left Traffic Runway 23." So send this long message click Announce Inbound > click your runway > left or right traffic or straight in.
4: Request Traffic Advisory
If you remember number 4 of the on the ground announcements, that was send traffic advisory. That is the reply to this command. So you want to know runway people are using etc you can request it. An example of this message is “Glasgow Unicom, L-KONG Request Traffic Advisory." To send this message just click Request Traffic Advisory.
5: Send Traffic Advisory
We just looked at requesting a traffic advisory. So here is how to send one again! You could say “Glasgow Unicom Is Using Runway 23, Left Traffic." That lets pilots know you are using runway 23" and doing some left traffic patterns. This should only be used when requested by other pilots as it is easy abused. To send this click on send Traffic Advisories > click on your runway > then click on left or right traffic.
TL3+ Notes & Topic Notes:
This is mainly for TL3+:
- I am more than aware every word in the examples have a capital letter, that is to stay because it helps it stand out. Along with it being I bold. Please don’t change that.
- Only change spelling, grammar, etc if needed.
- This topic is approved by @MishaCamp