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Flightradar 24

Q codes predated WW1, they originated with some of the early CW radio systems to abbreviate complex messages eg QRK5 is much shorter than “the readability of your signal is perfect”. Given that for long range aircraft ops, they would have to use WT - ie Morse, it made sense to extend the Q-code series beyond radio procedures to include weather, runways, pressure etc. I don’t know if aviation uses Z-codes, but there are also a series of Z-codes, that were used extensively on RATT (teleprinter) circuits.

This thread deviation is reminding me of years ago on MAOTs sitting there listening to some stuffy bloke that sounded like he’d previously been narrating the Pathe Newsreels. ”This is Royal Air Force Volmet. Airfield colour states as at 1000Z - Abingdon Blue, Brize Norton Blue, Brüggen Yellow”. I think those ran for 15 minutes, then it would switch to a sequence of actual weather - “Wildrenrath - light rain, temperature one four, dew point one one, QNH one zero zero four decreasing, eight oktas“ etc. Being a Scaley, none of this made sense to me initially, but fair dos, the RAF team leaders would explain it. Then it became interesting hearing anomalies. UK could be clear weather, high pressure, all stations blue, then you’d hear “Waddington, black”. Someone had an oopsie at Waddo?

Thanks for taking me back thirty years!
I still encourage my radio crews to tune into the various VOLMET stations to check their antennas and propagation. They are very reliable, simple SSB plain speech, good signal quality and you can set your watch by them. If you are in Germany, for example, and can pick up Shannon VOLMET, then your antenna is good for skywave. Once they start to pick up transmissions from far (and even further) flung places, they tend to get a bit geeky at it. Estimating when they will be able to pick up Novosibirsk on 3MHz or Luanda on 6MHz from Denmark on a broadband dipole, for example. Yes, this is officially beardy now.
 
I still encourage my radio crews to tune into the various VOLMET stations to check their antennas and propagation. They are very reliable, simple SSB plain speech, good signal quality and you can set your watch by them. If you are in Germany, for example, and can pick up Shannon VOLMET, then your antenna is good for skywave. Once they start to pick up transmissions from far (and even further) flung places, they tend to get a bit geeky at it. Estimating when they will be able to pick up Novosibirsk on 3MHz or Luanda on 6MHz from Denmark on a broadband dipole, for example. Yes, this is officially beardy now.
Yes they are excellent for that. Do you also use the WWV signals?
 

BlipDriver

Old-Salt
There’s also a thing called a SNOTAM which gives loads of information on things like how slippery runways are when contaminated with snow and ice etc. That too is coded but nobody can ever remember how to decode it because it’s not used often enough to become familiar. This is really handy as when it happens, you’re already very busy and now need to root around in manuals to find the decode as the transmitted, coded version was apparently developed at Bletchley Park.
Fully agree, everytime we got snow and snowtams nobody could read them, until we found that the fir kept a copy. Probably why it's changing: New contaminated runway reporting system | UK Civil Aviation Authority
With experience, you can predict fog by watching the temperature -v- dew point temperature (the two temperatures in Actuals, in that order). When they match and you have a light wind, fog is virtually certain and can form very quickly. You can also calculate cloud base by using temperature and adiabatic lapse rates but that’s enough for today.
Unless you're in Jersey, they used to send trainee met observers there as 15knot+ fog is interesting apparently.
 

BlipDriver

Old-Salt
snip - Almost everyone still uses a very simple standard message format OLDI (Online Data Interchange) between countries which only gives 3 message types with basic message data i.e. Callsign, beacon, time, level and squawk. Its much better than the previous telephoned coordination though! - snip
Used to love the calls during a shutdown - not! "It's Maastricht, I have 10 estimates for you"
 
Used to love the calls during a shutdown - not! "It's Maastricht, I have 10 estimates for you"
Well, we can’t pull over whilst you lot finish your fag. We’ve got beers to get back to.

Chop chop.
 
Do you sometimes get the feeling that some people think that you can?
Yes. Not least the clowns that come up with Flight Time Limitations for crew and then cite “well, lorry drivers operate similar hours”.
 

Ritch

LE
GRIM 11 and 12 returning to the US after the latest mammoth flight, turning round over Israel.
20210117_122401.jpg
 
Yes. Not least the clowns that come up with Flight Time Limitations for crew and then cite “well, lorry drivers operate similar hours”.
There's a difference??
 

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