One of my readers (VE3FYN) send us the following bit of info after he contacted the event organiser… as you can read from the following
I sent off letters. Good idea. I also went to the event’s site and posted a copy of my letter to organizer Nigel Protter. I received the following response from him. I would be interested in knowing if IC really gave him the advice he suggests. I think it is a flagrant and deliberate mis-interpretation of the regs to buy an amateur radio for the purposes of emergency communications. I also have my doubts that the ham frequency was used for life-threatening emergencies only. On the other hand, it is a perfectly legitimate use of the aeronautical bands. His e-mail is email@example.com
And the organiser replied to Warren the following:
Many, if not most paraglider pilots are HAM licensed in Canada or their own country.
Given this challenge, my understanding after discussions with a senior spectrum manger at IC is that a protocol for paraglider pilots to enjoy the safety of amateur band radio without violating the regs assumes the following:
1/ It is legal for a non-licensed person to possess a programable amateur band transceiver.
2/ It is legal for a non-licensed person to listen to amateur radio channel communications.
3/ It is legal for a non-licensed person to transmit on an amateur radio frequency radio in an emergency that involves significant actual or potential injury or risk to persons or to property. This is a judgement call where reason must prevail.
4/ Non radio-licensed pilots must refrain from transmitting unless they are involved in or assisting in an “emergency”.
5/ Non-licensed pilots who sensed a real need to issue a PIREP (pilot weather condition report for the purpose of flight safety) would issue a radio call as follows: “Securitée, Securitée, this is pilot number , Level (1,2 or 3) conditions encountered as follows at , Securitée Securitée, over”
6/ Non-licensed pilots who are making an unplanned out-landing might, for safety purposes, issue a “Securitée” advising of their outlanding location.
7/ Licensed or unlicensed pilots may likewise issue a pan pan or mayday message at their discretion in the interest of safety and security.
As paraglider pilots we are not spectrum managers or enforcers. Some use the radio for safety in support of the hobby. Local pilots are not in any position to police or inspect other pilots who may or may not use radios for whatever purpose. Most pilots do understand and respect the scarcity and public utility of spectrum, and do our best to minimize its abuse by others.
146.415 and I believe also 146.460 are commonly used all over the world by licensed amateur radio operators who fly gliders as a chat channel.
Perhaps there might be a way to get HAMs and flyers together to work out a system that works for all and meets the regs? Maybe we can improve the regs?
Radio abuse will be an ongoing issue I’m afraid, but education is the key. Also, please remember most pilots are HAMs too.
best regards, – Nigel Protter 604-894-0116 Direct LinkedIn: http://ca.linkedin.com/in/NigelProtter
Now my opinion is as follows… I believe that the intent of the act does allow emergency use of a radio by a non ham…. I would coy ncider that to be more of a non ham stumbling along and finding an amateur in an emergency situation and using his radio to call for help rather than carrying a nice new shiney handheld with you in a glad freezer bag with a sticker on it saying “For emergency use only!” and I promise not to use it….
As has been pointed out by many people the air band radios would be better suited for this sort of thing or even the FRS or theGMRS Handhelds anyone can buy at many different department stores. They have the same power and range but you don’t need a license to operate it.
This is a perfect example of use it or lose it…
Still waiting for the actual reply from IC before really yelling though…
You comments are????
Thanks to Warren for sharing the reply with us…