Using & Understanding Unicom Tutorial


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.


First of all what is unicom?

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.


How do I tune into unicom?

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.


Announcements on ground and what they do:

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 14.47.42


1: Taxi

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.


Announcements in the air and what they do:

Screenshot 2020-06-22 at 14.47.54


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.

Legs of pattern:

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Credits here


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.


I really hope this has helped you understand unicom!

Thank you for viewing my tutorial!
Have a great day!
-Luke

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
43 Likes

This is very helpful.

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I am glad, that is what I was aiming for. To help people get a better understanding of unicom :)

@Sashaz55 They are really, really old though… (Just my opinion). (And the second one is very short while the first one is a video.)

And @Luke_King-kong this a fantastic looking topic, really, really well made. Thanks for sharing!

3 Likes

Thank you very much, that is why I wanted to make mine as the other two are from the pre global times.

1 Like

Very good topic, looks like a lot of effort went into it!
Cign :)

Thank you!


Like any tutorial it did :)

Nice tutorial! Why can’t I make one?

Hey mate, to create a topic in #tutorials you must be TL3 or higher!

1 Like

Yes, and also yours is really in-depth and some people do prefer text over videos (especially for such topics).

Thanks once again for all your efforts!

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Hi, first, nice tutorial! I already know some of these commands but it’s useful for people who don’t know how to use it. Second, it’s a question, you must say “clear of all runways” when you don’t have to cross any runways (I mean, when you crossed all runways, even though they are not close at all) or when you’ve exited a runway (in this case, the command can be used multiple times)?

Hey, clear of all runways should always be announced when leaving a runway. So when you cross a runway / runways you announce clear of all runways. Also if you land you have to announce clear of all runways too so traffic behind knows they are free to land. I will make that more clear in the topic. Hope this helps!

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Okay, thank you for the answer!

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I think you mean hear**

I do, thank you @TimShan05 for changing it for me :)

Thank you! Finally someone understands…

Congratulations on the tutorial, it’s a good one and it will help a lot of new people to understand how they can use correctly the unicom, great job

Haha, thank you @dca.iad.aviation!


I agree, it will help lots of people. Thank you very much @Victor_R!

2 Likes

Amazing and well thought out topic! Very organize and easy to understand! I hope this helps a lot of people.

While this may be true if you will be immediately crossing the next runway, “clear of all runways” is sent when you are clear of any runway. This ensures traffic knows that your are clear of it. Your KSFO example is ikr be correct unless the aircraft was going to stop to let a departure on runway 1R takeoff.

So there is no rule against announcing “clear of all runway” when you have the intention of crossing another runway.

That is true, I will make that a little more clear :)

1 Like