Author Topic: Help with Basics of Finding ATC feeds?  (Read 884 times)

Offline jackson_h_1994

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Help with Basics of Finding ATC feeds?
« on: January 16, 2020, 12:33:42 PM »
Hi --

Apologies for such a basic question, but I'm wondering if anyone has a beginner's guide to finding and listening to ATC feeds. I work as a researcher and oftentimes I'm asked to find ATC audio for flights where something dramatic has happened -- Delta 89 dumping fuel over LA, for example, or planes making emergency landings for other reasons.

There are so many LAX feeds I don't know where to start, I don't quite understand how or when a plane would change frequencies, and so on.

Wondering if anyone has ever come up with a basic "this is how this works" kind of guide, or a guide for finding specific audio you're looking for. I would love to see it, if so.

Would appreciate any and all help anyone might be willing to provide!

Thanks very much,
Jackson



Offline dannews

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Re: Help with Basics of Finding ATC feeds?
« Reply #1 on: January 19, 2020, 03:19:02 PM »
Hey there,

In an ideal world, Flightradar24 would have a function that would show you what frequency a flight is operating on, but that is probably too difficult or impossible to achieve.

I often look at which channel has had a sudden bump in listeners and tune into that one, as usually people with more knowledge than I of these things know exactly where to listen.

I'm lucky that I live in Auckland so arrivals/departures are all on one frequency regardless of where they are coming from.

Offline Ariffraff

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Re: Help with Basics of Finding ATC feeds?
« Reply #2 on: February 18, 2020, 06:03:19 PM »
Hi --

Apologies for such a basic question, but I'm wondering if anyone has a beginner's guide to finding and listening to ATC feeds. I work as a researcher and oftentimes I'm asked to find ATC audio for flights where something dramatic has happened -- Delta 89 dumping fuel over LA, for example, or planes making emergency landings for other reasons.

There are so many LAX feeds I don't know where to start, I don't quite understand how or when a plane would change frequencies, and so on.

Wondering if anyone has ever come up with a basic "this is how this works" kind of guide, or a guide for finding specific audio you're looking for. I would love to see it, if so.

1. Many people here listen a lot more than I do but, I find that VAS aviation is a good start that and the audio clips section of this site.
Following aviation listeners on twitter helps as well.

Offline wiedehopf

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Re: Help with Basics of Finding ATC feeds?
« Reply #3 on: February 19, 2020, 03:42:56 AM »
Just listen for a couple of hours, you'll start to understand what is going on if you try.

You should probably also read this: https://www.skybrary.aero/index.php/Sectorisation

Try following a plane departing LAX.
You make sure you know its callsign and you can see it on FR24 or planefinder or https://tar1090.adsbexchange.com/

You'll hear it being cleared for takeoff, the plane is switched from tower to departure frequency.
This frequency will likely not be announced as it is given to the plane beforehand.

Frequency changes after that will be given to the airplane, so you can hear the new frequency.
You follow that frequency (requires some searching on liveatc).

liveatc doesn't cover all frequencies everywhere, so this can be quite difficult.

As a starting exercise, maybe try the following:

A plane taxiing at JFK taxies out on ground frequency (121.9), is switched to JFK tower (123.9 or 119.1), is then cleared for takeoff.
After takeoff it's switched to departure (135.9 during the day, 125.7 when it's less busy).
The next frequency will depend on where the plane is going and the time of day.
But you should be able to hear that frequency and maybe find it on liveatc.

If you are tasked with researching this stuff, you should also understand altitude changes, heading changes and direct to.
https://skyvector.com/ can be helpful in looking for intersections.

Understanding departures, arrivals and approach procedures doesn't hurt either, read some plates here: https://flightaware.com/resources/airport/KJFK/procedures