Callsign Query

Callsign Query

Postby Matt0 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 12:55 pm

Hello there,

I noticed last night a guy on the network was told to change his call sign to the 'American style registration/call sign'

Is this rule absolute?

Not trying to challenge the authority of the controllers or staff just clarifying and querying out of curiosity really.

What happens in real world flying when say a U.K registered aircraft is flying in U.S airspace. Let's say he's G-TGLL is the reg would he not identify with ATC using that the abbreviate to GLL once established as we would here in the UK ?

Or would he be allocated a temporary or permanment U.S call sign etc...

I guess that obviously in the long term if a U.S pilot purchased a U.K registered aircraft he would more than likely change to a U.S registration with the right authorities etc but that's obviously a long term thing. What if Joe Bloggs is on tour in his PA-28 from the U.K touring around the states?
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Keith Smith » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:03 pm

You can use international registrations as long as they're in the correct form. It's likely that the pilot had a random callsign in the wrong format.

It's highly unlikely that our controller would ask someone with a valid foreign registration to swap to a US civil registration. If so, that was a mistake and we'd need to fix it.

Also, I'm moving this out of the Pilot Training Program forum since it is not related to the Pilot Training Program.
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Matt0 » Sat Jun 06, 2015 1:55 pm

Thanks for the quick reply Keith. Also thanks for clearing that issue up for me.

Great place you've created here my experience so far has been outstanding and already learnt so much from the VFR workshops and training programs. First rate stuff, it has advanced my aviation knowledge twofold again thanks for providing this great service you really do deserve gratitude for that, and of course the staff that contribute so much time and effort into PE and do such an outstanding job sometimes amidst complete carnage.
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby cruster » Sat Jun 06, 2015 3:37 pm

Here's a semi-related question. I fly for a (my) FSE group, "General Aviation." When I fly on VATSIM, I use the call GNZ5xx (with the xx corresponding to the last two digits of the N number from the plane in question). GNZ (callsign "Gonzo") is the actual ICAO (or is it IATA?) for a real-world Polish outfit, also named "General Aviation." Is the GNZ5xx call valid/legal on Pilot Edge? Or should I just use the N number from the tail? I ask because I'm getting ready to install the software either tonight or tomorrow morning... :)
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Nelson L. » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:03 pm

If its real-world, it should be fine. The controllers may be stumped for the first few times you use it, but they'll catch on quickly (especially if you make it clear it's rw). I remember the controllers kept calling me CalAir the first few times I flew Air China (CAL as opposed to CAX)....
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Peter Grey » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:20 pm

The expectation on callsigns is that you will use 1 of 3 types of callsigns:

1. A US "N number" which properly corresponds to the FAA rules. Log on with the N (this is the most common thing people leave out), followed by 1-5 numbers, followed by 1-2 letters (with a total length of 5 characters after the N). N1-N99 are for FAA use only, and no I or O as letters, finally the first number can't be a 0.

All controllers know these rules and enforce them.

2. An "Air carrier" callsign. Which is 3 letters followed by 1-4 numbers. In rare cases there can be a letter at the end (no US carrier by default uses a letter after the 3 id letters). Europe airlines commonly use letters and those types of callsigns will be accepted.

The 3 letters always corespondents to the ICAO airline code. The most common mistake is using the IATA code. For example American Airlines is AAL NOT AA.

If you are using an "obscure" airline (like GNZ), please put your callsign in the remarks: "Callsign Gonzo". The controller may be confused and question you, but a statement of "this is a real world Polish airline" will end it. I checked my master database and it is listed so you are ok there. I use the list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airline_codes for checking.

As a general rule you must use a real world airline. We have made a couple of exceptions for well known Virtual Airlines (Like Excel = TPX, Cal Air = CAX, and Air Northwest = ANW ).

3. A foreign callsign that meets the foreign countries formatting requirements.

If it's a callsign you would find in that country you can use it here. Not all controllers check this, however some (include myself) do.

I use this database to determine if it's valid: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aircraft_registration#List_of_countries.2Fregions_and_their_registration_prefixes_and_patterns


Note there are a couple other valid callsign patterns, but they are rare and not worth the time to bring up in detail.

Hopefully that answers all questions brought up.
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Nelson L. » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:21 pm

Peter,

CAL=China Airlines (Dynasty)

CAX=Cal Air

:oops:

(he fixed it...)
Last edited by Nelson L. on Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:54 pm, edited 3 times in total.
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Peter Grey » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:23 pm

I missed the note regarding callsign shortening.

US callsigns are shortened by stating the last 3 digits of the callsign. Cessna N12345 becomes Cessna 345. The controller must initiate the shortening before the pilot can do so.

Aircarrier style callsigns are never shortened to just the numbers.

Foreign callsigns are never shortened in the US. Note that our shortening method is different from the most common foreign method (first letter followed by last 2).
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby Peter Grey » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:23 pm

Peter,

CAL=China Airlines (Dynasty)

CAX=Cal Air


Whoops, fixed.
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Re: Callsign Query

Postby cruster » Sat Jun 06, 2015 4:48 pm

Peter Grey wrote:If you are using an "obscure" airline (like GNZ), please put your callsign in the remarks: "Callsign Gonzo". The controller may be confused and question you, but a statement of "this is a real world Polish airline" will end it. I checked my master database and it is listed so you are ok there. I use the list at http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_airline_codes for checking.


I appreciate the specific direction. On the other virtual ATC platform, I do put "Callsign Gonzo" in the comments section. I've never had a controller reference me that way, though. It's always "Golf November Zulu Five Zero Eight" or whatever. No big deal, really, I'm flexible and I know they're talking to me, so it still works.

EDIT: Aaand...the flight I'm doing right now (on VATSIM) the controller actually referred to me by callsign. PE is magic.

Hopefully that answers all questions brought up.


Answered mine, thanks!
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