Interesting night

So I was out flying to Bermuda tonight, then on up to Toronto (long night)…and we were out in the middle of nowhere heading up the airway from Bermuda to the New York coastal area where the airways dump out, and we hear a United Airlines guy calling on the HF to New York ARINC asking for a reroute - return to Dulles for electrical issues, declaring an emergency. It was pretty interesting hearing it all play out on the HF because it is a pretty horrible way to communicate (mostly poor audio quality). They patched NY Center through to the guy to get some details and reroute him…looks like he got pretty far out there before turning around…

This is why if God wanted us to fly he would have given us wings :grin:
Glad it all turned out ok :+1:

It couldn’t have been all that bad as Gander was much closer than New York at the point that they turned around. Where were the tracks last night?

I’m guessing that their electrical issues knocked out their CPDLC because as you mentioned, HF can be difficult to communicate with.

No, the NY Controller (not the ARINC New York) actually told the United Crew that they’d be sending them a new clearance via CPDLC, but I think they wanted a handle on what was going on first…and get them pointed in the right direction. It wasn’t busy last night at that hour…the frequencies were pretty quiet.

HF is horrible…but unfortunately it is all we have in our little jets. I’d kill for SELCAL…

No SELCAL ? :astonished: . Having to listen to all that static, SELCAL tones etc would drive me insane (some would say I’m already there of course)…

One thing with CPDLC, even when sending a free text message, is that the FMS isn’t exactly easy to type with. I guess sometimes it is just quicker to jump on the radio and use voice.

I think that might have been the logic…other than exercising their emergency authority, they needed a new clearance to turn around. I’m sure United (like us) have non-radar emergency offset procedures for just that event…but it’d be interesting to know if he turned around and got on the radio or got the permission first. I’m sure it was highly dependent on the nature of their electrical problems. I haven’t seen any reports in the news about it…

Well, the good news is…with a jet that only carries four hours of fuel, you usually don’t get TOO far into HF areas. Usually only an hour or two at the max… But still…yeah…it is pretty horrible…

For those of you not knowing what we are talking about…is long range HF radios that we use to communicate when we are far from VHF radio range and non-radar… It sounds like this…except this is a really good frequency…it usually isn’t this good…LOL…

1 Like

Just the thought of HF alone makes me shudder… I weep for you pilots out there suffering through that!