Monday, 15 October 2012

German Air Force on HF

I have been doing an HF scan on my Icom 703 of 20 or so European military SSB voice frequencies, primarily Navy and Air Force, for an hour or so each morning for several months now. I no longer hear the Italian Air Force and Navy like I did last autumn and in fact have heard so little I was beginning to wonder if during this short space of 12 months a lot of the military had dropped the use of HF. As I have mentioned recently, the French Air Force and Navy are active on HF, as indeed are the Portuguese Air Force.
What a joy, then, this morning to hear much activity on the German Air Force frequency of 5687 with callsigns GAF041 and 033 calling in with solid signals and departure and arrival times in a mix of German and English language. I even heard mention of "frequency kilo" which I understand is 8965khz. So a little later in the day I will try that one for a few hours and see what I hear.

If anyone has any more information on HF voice frequencies used by the military, please do drop me a line, either via the comments page of the blog or via my email mentioned in the profile. I would love to hear from you.

In the meantime I will keep monitoring and report anything interesting here on the blog.

Thursday, 11 October 2012

French Air Force AWACS

Cracking bit of early morning DX on aircraft in the South Atlantic today and then later, on 6700 khz I heard some RTTY and French voice comms for a FAF AWACS aircraft using the familiar "Cyrano" callsign. I went to play the recording back to try and translate a little of it but I had the audio routed into the PC for PSK and not my tape recorder. Silly me. A shame as the comms were long and sounded interesting. Logged at 0757UTC today 11th October. I understand these Boeing Sentry E3's are based at Avord AFB......

Wednesday, 10 October 2012

Royal/VIP Flight Ascot (RRR) 1610

I heard this very aircraft serial number ZD621, a BAe HS-125 700B as flight Ascot 1610 calling TASCOM on 6733 earlier today 10th October 2012 at 1103UTC. I didn't hear all of the conversation, but caught the aircraft's selcal code of DJFK and his request for the Keflavik weather. I shall have a look at a few news pages and see if any of the royal family were travelling across the Atlantic today as this range of callsigns belongs to 32 (Royal) Squadron and is used for the Queen's flight and other VIPs.

Lots of activity also on the French Navy (Atlantic) frequency of 5708 early this morning around 0730UTC in voice and RTTY. Clearly heard the ships using the stations callsign "Armor".

No DX the last few mornings as the K indices have been so high, but hopefully they will gradually settle down and allow some South American monitoring before the weekend.

Monday, 8 October 2012

Portuguese Air Force on HF

I have returned from my holidays with a sprained knee so am unable to get out and about as much as usual. The upside of this is that I have more time to spend on the radio! I have had a few interesting logs this afternoon.

8992 Portuguese Air Force 1412UTC flight x27 wkg Lisboa w/several overs in Portuguese
8992 Hickam AFB, Hawaii 1431UTC with std broadcast. Very clear. First time ever for this AFB!
8764 (pres) USCG with an ALE data burst. Had to stop monitoring with the PC now on.

I have seen listed for Portuguese Air Force the following HF frequencies in addition to 8992 but am not sure how old/accurate the information is:

5687 khz
6685 khz
8992 khz (heard this one many times myself but guess they must have lower back-up HF freqs...)
9007 khz

This is a Nord 2502 Noratlas of the Portuguese Air Force pictured at Sintra AFB, Lisbon

I have a special interest in Portugal and the Portuguese language so expect to see more posts on the Portuguese Air Force.

Must get this PC off now and get the DX394 back on!

More South Atlantic HF Logs

I have been on holiday in the UK and spent the early morning hours monitoring 6535khz and 6649khz USB.
These frequencies were very busy around 0500-0700UTC with traffic in the EUR/SAM corridor. Atlantico Radio on 6649 was a faiurly good signal most mornings and it was a joy to hear the female controller talking portuguese to the TAM pilots and then trying to translate the numbers and some of the conversation!

However the most interest SAT catch for me was on 6th October back at my main QTH when I heard Aeromexico 028 trying unsuccessfully to raise Cenamer control on 6649 in Spanish at 0626UTC. I was only recently saying how little I now hear in South America itself compared to years ago, so it was a joy to know that at least Cenamer listen on 6649 and that pilots call on this frequency which I shall pay closer attention to from now on, especially since I saw yesterday on DX Atlas that the grey line will link SW England with NE Brazil in the coming months. This Aeromexico flight, by the way, was en-route from Mexico City to Buenos Aires.

I also heard a US pilot with callsign xxxx 908 call on 6649 at 0609UTC today, the 08th October. Knowing AA and UA used to have flight to South America beginning with a "9" I typed American Airlines 908 into the "Flightstats" website, and sure enough an AA908 was currently en-route from Buenos Aires to Miami with an ETA of 1101UTC.

I'm guessing these South American flights no longer routinely use HF across the Amazon region but call in from time to time, perhaps when VHF contact is lost or when the CPDLC link is lost or further perhaps when they are CPDLC-linked and require a flight level change (which I am not sure can be made via CPDLC.....??).

73 for today, Adam