HF Radio

Michael95U

Well-Known Member
We are going to be operating one of our PA-31's from San Juan to the BVI and other islands this winter. The FAA is requiring us to install an HF radio and to do a proving run. We already operate a 208 floatplane where they did not make this requirement.

So some questions:

1) Has anyone ever heard of having to install an HF radio in a piston twin being operated out of San Juan? I highly doubt Cape Air has them installed in their aircraft.
2) Anyone have any HF radio recommendations if I DO need to install one?
3) Has anyone ever had to do a proving run or is the FAA looking for a vacation trip?
 

dasleben

That's just, like, your opinion, man
Everything out there is VHF, with exception of New York Oceanic airspace. San Juan, Piarco, Maiquetia, etc. are all VHF. Perhaps the FAA needs to get a map and be shown where the BVI is. :)
 

Off In The Jungle

Well-Known Member
We use Codan HF radios in our planes coupled with smart tuners, and they work pretty well for the most part. It is a good idea to open the smart tuner boxes and slather the coils inside with hot glue to make them a bit more rugged, as the weak link in the system are the coils in the smart tuners.

Sent from my GT-I9300 using Tapatalk 2
 

GX

Well-Known Member
I saw the thread title and it made me think of the E6 and what its HF radios can do. ;)
 

z987k

Well-Known Member
Ask for the reg requiring it. Remember when dealing with the FSDO, they literally make crap up all the time.
When they say "that's just how we do things", go higher.
 

Michael95U

Well-Known Member
I wonder is the FAA thinks the BVI's are Bermuda?
I am thinking that as well. I just did two hours of research pulling out the regs and only one flight could MAYBE be considered extended over water operations (San Juan to Antigua). The definition is more than 50nm from shore.

I hate when they make stuff up. Our DO is going along with them and I have put my foot down that I am not spending $20k on installing a HF radio in a Piper Chieftain.

Also, they want us to do a "Validation Flight." I have never heard of this before. Thoughts?
 

beeteeaye

Next stop...Indy.
There's local control facilities throughout the USVI and BVI. That seems like an odd request to make.
 

dustoff17

Still trying to reach the Top Shelf
I believe the 406 ELT is required, a High frequency communication radio is NOT!

I agree that you should just ask to see the reg to which they refer.....
 

Michael95U

Well-Known Member
I believe the 406 ELT is required, a High frequency communication radio is NOT!

I agree that you should just ask to see the reg to which they refer.....
I think they are trying to get me with this one:

(g) Extended over-water exceptions. Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a), (d), and (e) of this section, installation and use of a single long-range navigation system and a single long-range communication system for extended over-water operations in certain geographic areas may be authorized by the Administrator and approved in the certificate holder's operations specifications. The following are among the operational factors the Administrator may consider in granting an authorization:
(1) The ability of the flight crew to navigate the airplane along the route within the degree of accuracy required for ATC;
(2) The length of the route being flown; and
(3) The duration of the very high frequency communications gap.
 

swisspilot

Well-Known Member
You don`t need it on the C208 becasue you only fly VFR I Think, most IFR ops below FL250 out in the Atlantic need HF everytime you are out of VHF range, when flying around Islands to an uncontrolled airport with no facilities chances are you can`t get VHF.

We had the same requirements in the South Pacific, most airplanes had an HF, it`s really nice to have even if we would only use it to open and close flight plans on the ground when in remote areas, or in case we would fly very low over water. Yes HF are expensive, but 20K is not much for a new installation, if you get it on a new C208 they charge you 100K (not joking), there are some cheap TSO ones out there, I may be able to get you one for a steal (send me pm), icom also makes a resonable priced HF, it works very well if you don`t have much space on the panel as it comes with a remote control panel. A big issue with some planes is the antenna location, or if you have a G1000, on the C206 with G1000 we just need to have an alternative way of comm other then VHF, we first used a SAT phone and then installed spidertracks. All the N reg planes that I have seen transit in the Pacific were required to have HF too, I know for sure single engines piston need to have it and for multi IFR while flying out of VHF range.

How do you open/close the flight plan in the C208 on floats when you land in a remote location?
 

swisspilot

Well-Known Member
If you fly Intl then you don`t only have to meet the FAA requirements but also other intl regulation, as many FAA requirements are not ICAO compliant you may need extra stuff.

Looks like that for a piston twin you need an HF, or SATCOM, HF doesn`t seem required for turboprop or jet....probably becasue they fly much higher...
 

dasleben

That's just, like, your opinion, man
The Caribbean has very extensive VHF coverage, even at lower altitudes, and particularly in San Juan airspace. The only thing I can think of is if you're doing, say, SJU to Curacao at low altitudes, which is a 400nm over-water segment. Something you may reconsider doing in a piston twin or Caravan, anyway.
 

dustoff17

Still trying to reach the Top Shelf
I think they are trying to get me with this one:

(g) Extended over-water exceptions. Notwithstanding the requirements of paragraphs (a), (d), and (e) of this section, installation and use of a single long-range navigation system and a single long-range communication system for extended over-water operations in certain geographic areas may be authorized by the Administrator and approved in the certificate holder's operations specifications. The following are among the operational factors the Administrator may consider in granting an authorization:
(1) The ability of the flight crew to navigate the airplane along the route within the degree of accuracy required for ATC;
(2) The length of the route being flown; and
(3) The duration of the very high frequency communications gap.
Here's the key for you. The Caribbean is NOT one of these geographical areas! Ask your FSDO to define the precise Geographical Areas under this Reg. This Reg is one that was originally written for the ferry flights involving single-engine aircraft crossing the North Atlantic! Your POI is a tard (and yes, you can quote me)
 

swisspilot

Well-Known Member
The Caribbean has very extensive VHF coverage, even at lower altitudes, and particularly in San Juan airspace. The only thing I can think of is if you're doing, say, SJU to Curacao at low altitudes, which is a 400nm over-water segment. Something you may reconsider doing in a piston twin or Caravan, anyway.
And anyway you are not allowed to do legs of over 300 NMs in twin piston, and and be over 100 NMs from land in single in the Caribbean for hire.

As far as VHF coverage, I use to loose VHF below 1500 about 100 NM away from the facility, I had no other way to tell ATC I landed and close my flightplan then to use an HF or my cellphone/satphone.

My current company flies in the Caribbean and we follow this regs:

CLOSING A FLIGHT PLAN
(a) The PIC shall make a report of arrival either in person or by radio to the appropriate ATC facility at the earliest
possible moment after landing at the destination aerodrome, unless ATC automatically closes a flight plan.
(b) When a flight plan has been submitted for a portion of a flight, but not the arrival at destination, the PIC shall
close that flight plan en route with the appropriate ATC facility.
(c) When no ATC facility exists at the arrival aerodrome, the PIC shall contact the nearest ATC facility to close the
flight plan as soon as practicable after landing and by the quickest means available.
(d) When communication facilities at the arrival aerodrome are known to be inadequate and alternate
arrangements for the handling of arrival reports on the ground are not available, the following actions shall be
taken. Immediately prior to landing the aircraft shall, if practicable, transmit to the appropriate air traffic services
unit, a message comparable to an arrival report, where such a report is required. Normally this transmission
shall be made to the aeronautical station serving the air traffic services unit in charge of the flight information
region in which the aircraft is operated.

In many cases the only way is by HF
 
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