Flying Training

Lesson 49: Training Area Flight, post-GFPT

Saturday 15 September 2007, 8.00am in Citabria MWY.

Weather: Clear and sunny. Wind 240° at 8 knots

Keen to make use of my shiny new GFPT, I booked MWY for a solo around the training area. It was a good day for photographs and all went well until I tuned in the wrong frequency for Camden Tower - 121.1MHz instead of 120.1.

121.1 is Sydney Flightwatch, and they soon told me to make my inbound call on the correct frequency. A little more experience would have helped me here, as the section below on the AFRU explains, but the main lesson was just knowing the frequencies (which would of course have been on the VTC, which I had right beside me).

From the Operations section of the CASA VFR Flight Guide:


(AIP GEN 3.4 para. 3.4)

To assist pilots' awareness of inadvertent selection of an incorrect VHF frequency when operating into non-towered aerodromes, a device known as an Aerodrome Frequency Response Unit (AFRU) may be installed. An AFRU will provide an automatic response when pilots transmit on the traffic frequency for the aerodrome at which it is installed.

The features of the AFRU are as follows:

A. When the aerodrome traffic frequency has not been used for the past five minutes, the next transmissions over two (2) seconds long will cause a voice identification to be transmitted in response, eg, "GOULBURN CTAF".

B. When the aerodrome traffic frequency has been used within the previous five (5) minutes, a 300 millisecond tone will be generated after each transmission over two (2) seconds long.

A series of three (3) microphone clicks within a period of five (5) seconds will also cause the AFRU to transmit a voice identification for the particular aerodrome.

In the event that the transmitter in the AFRU becomes jammed for a period of greater than one minute, the unit will automatically shut down.

The operation of the AFRU provides additional safety enhancements by confirming the operation of the aircraft's transmitter and receiver, the volume setting, and that the pilot has selected the correct frequency for use at that aerodrome.