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Wed, Aug 16, 2006

ANN's Daily Aero-Tips (08.16.06): ARINC

Aero-Tips!

A good pilot is always learning -- how many times have you heard this old standard throughout your flying career? There is no truer statement in all of flying (well, with the possible exception of "there are no old, bold pilots.")

Aero-News has called upon the expertise of Thomas P. Turner, master CFI and all-around-good-guy, to bring our readers -- and us -- daily tips to improve our skills as aviators. Some of them, you may have heard before... but for each of us, there will also be something we might never have considered before, or something that didn't "stick" the way it should have the first time we memorized it for the practical test.

Look for our daily Aero-Tips segments, coming each day to you through the Aero-News Network.

Aero-Tips 08.16.06

A reader writes:

I'd like to learn about the ARINC frequencies at FBOs. Pilot ground schools don't cover these. For example, Raytheon Aircraft Services at KICT (Wichita, Kansas) lists ARINC frequency 130.575. Can anyone use them like a Unicom? What are the rules for pilots?

ARINC is a subscription flight communications service that has expanded far since incorporation in 1929. It is an $891 million company that's recognized as the leading provider of transportation communications and systems engineering solutions for five major industries: aviation, airports, defense, government, and transportation.

ARINC and Airplanes

Although ARINC fills a multitude of aviation roles, it's probably best known for its air-to-ground Domestic Voice Service. With a network of almost 110 ARINC-operated VHF radio stations in the United States and Canada, ARINC provides en route coverage above 20,000 feet in the continental United States, Hawaii, and on the coastal regions of western Canada and Alaska, as well as on-ground coverage at most major U.S. airports.

The service allows aircrews and ground parties to immediately communicate about matters such as:

  • Operational control and flight information
  • Aircraft malfunctions and emergencies
  • In-flight medical assistance
  • Weather and destination airport information
  • Aircraft diversions

ARINC also allows subscribers to:

  • Send transcribed messages via AviNet® to any ICAO address worldwide
  • Deliver messages by telephone
  • Establish a phone patch between aircraft and any ground facility
  • Deliver ground-originated calls to aircraft anywhere in the coverage area
  • Signal the aircraft's Selective Calling System (SELCAL) that a message is incoming, so pilots do not have to constantly monitor for incoming calls.

ARINC, then, is a subscriber service for commercial, military and CEO-level corporate flight operations. Most private and even corporate pilots will probably never need, or use, ARINC's services, but they can be vital for those operators that do subscribe.

Aero-tip of the day: If you have a question about a communication frequency or service, ask.

FMI: Aero-Tips

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