If you are a pilot you might want to look into getting a transceiver (transmitter/receiver). It is more expensive than a scanner (which only receives), but if you ever have a radio failure in the plane one day, you can use the transceiver to contact ATC.
You can get these at pilot shops at airports or through the king or sporty's catalog.
I would have to say to go with a scanner (bearcat, radio shack, etc). Stay away from that overpriced piece of crap at Sporty's!!!! With a good scanner, you can put 100 or more frequencies into the memory bank, and you can even label what they are. That way, you don't have to try to figure out whose saying what...you just look at the screen, and it's a done deal!!!!
A handheld transceiver is a good idea, but it doesn't save the same purpose as a scanner does.
...I own a Sporty's piece-o-crap model transceiver, and in reality, it is not a piece of crap. I don't use it much, but it paid for itself last year when I had an audio panel render the radios inop. on an IFR flight.
I believe MTSUer is talking about Scanners. A scanner wouldnt get you home on an IFR day. If ya just want to listen to atc at home, get a base model and the associated attena. If you wanna take it to the airport get the Bearcat as mentioned above.
If you're gunna get a scanner get one big *** antena man. I cant pick up anything with my $350 scanner from Radio Shack unless I'm within about 3-4 miles of Corpus Christi Intl. I cant hear anything just dead squelch.
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get a scanner get one big *** antena man
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I have the Radio Shack ProScan 94. It has nice features and covers a wide range frequencies ... except the antenna it comes with is worthless for the aviation band. I bought a $10 telescoping antenna, which improved things some, but its still can't compare to the reception of most handheld transceivers.
Its the antenna's fault. I hooked it up to the hangar-mounted antenna at an FBO and it worked like a champ ... but isn't very portable that way.