Introduction to Aero Scanning with an Emphasis on the Halifax, Nova Scotia region
These pages will be of interest to anyone who is interested in hearing aircraft landing and departing Halifax Stanfield International Airport, and other nearby airports, or to aircraft in flight in the airspace above or adjacent to Nova Scotia. Much of what is described here is transferable to other areas in general but not in specifics such as frequencies. In these pages I do NOT discuss or list anything to do with HF radio used in transoceanic flights, nor do I deal in any depth with military flights, other than those involved in refueling over Nova Scotia, nor do I dlscuss data transmissions such as ACARS or ADSB.
My two main activities personally in aviation radio are:
1. To listen to flights as they approach and land at Halifax, or vice versa as they leave, and in connection with this actually see the aircraft, whether I am at home or at the airport. I do stop at the airport very frequently for short visits on my way to and from work, but I am NOT a photographer. Having said that, I do enjoy the photos taken at the airport, some by acquaintances of mine, and I marvel at their work, and want to thank them for taking the photos and posting them. For this aspect of listening I always use the scanner rather than on-line feeds that have built-in delays. Mobile I generally use a Uniden Bearcat mobile trunktracking scanner connected to a magmount whip on the trunk lid. There is no need for trunktracking in aero listening but this unit does well on the aero band, and at times I may wish to also listen to other services. I keep a Bearcat BC-125AT with me in the car as well, in case I want to listen to two frequencies simultaneously, but this is only useful right at the airport. At home I have several scanners, but rely mostly on a Radio Shack PRO-2048, connected to a dedicated rooftop aero vertical antenna, through which I can hear activity at the airport, as well as aloft.
2. To listen to aircraft high-flying over my area as mostly they head to and from Europe. This is mostly an at-home activity, and done while I am doing ohter things in my "den". For this I mostly listen on the scanner, but also on occasion listen to on-line feeds. In both cases I will also have FlightRadar24 and/or the other ADS-B-based dynamic maps up in front of me on the screen, so that I can both hear and "see" the aircraft. And yes I also do go outside on occasion to see the real aircraft as it passes high overhead. I can hear aircraft direct at high altitudes out to around 200 miles, but with cross coupling I can hear them much farther via my local ACC site. This aspect of listening is the one that I suspect makes me an oddball but there may be a few others out there that are interested in this. I include the frequencies and the areas they are used in, along with an explanation of the sectors, high and low, as well as simulcasting and cross-coupling.
I have been interested in radio and in aircraft most of my
life. As a kid I was fortunate to often see RCAF Lancasters, Neptunes,
Expeditors and CF-100's, so you know that goes back a long way, and that I
am getting well along in age. Unlike many of my fellow aero enthusiasts I am
not crazy about fighter jets, though they are okay. I like
airliners and military transports. I am not a major air traveller
but do have a few highlights. I think I was up in a small airplane when I was a child back in
the late fifties, but that is lost in time. A highlight around 1960 was to
go on a new TCA Viscount from
EXTERNAL AERO LINKS
These are all outside my control and may or may not be active.
Please send me any other useful links relating to aircraft, aero charts, aero frequencies, etc.
|Professional quality photos of aircraft (on the airliners.net website). Enter CYHZ in keywords to get Halifax||Airportnavfinder is where I go to get info on airports and relationship to navaids and adjacent airports. I use this in my Flight Simulation grand tour of North America.|
|SkyVector: Flight Planning / Aeronautical Charts||
Airnav.com Get info on airports, navaids, reporting points, etc.
|Canadian Airport Weather Cameras||
Nav Canada's Notices to Airmen (NOTAMS)
|Transport Canada Aeronautical Information Manual||VATCAN Moncton Flight Simulation website down|
|Rockwell Collins (AIRINC) VHF & HF coverage maps||Canairradio -- for info on Canadian aero frequencies|
|GlobalAir.com||Nav Canada's Airport Diagram Site|
|US FAA Airport Diagrams and Approach Plates|
Aviation Safety Network (descriptions & photos of air crashes and incidents)
|NTSB (United States National Transportation Safety Board) reports on incidents. down||www.planespotters.net (Lists of current and historic aircraft types, deliveries, etc)|
|www. aviation.ca down||VFRMAP - Digital Aeronautical Charts|
|Aero Inside get daily digests of aircraft incidents in your email||Canadian Aviator|
|Nav Canada Aeronautical Information Circulars||SKYbrary - Articles on the North Atlantic Tracks|
|Official websites for Other Nova Scotia Airports||
Official Websites for New Brunswick/PEI/Maine airports
Cessna CH-1 Skyhook. As of 2019 my only helicopter ride has been in one of these at the 1962 Seattle World's Fair, in my pre-teen years.