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Communicating with FSS

Source: www.pilotworkshop.com/tips/comm-fss, Featuring John Krug

Subscriber question:

"I find it confusing to communicate with Flight Service Stations while in-flight. Sometimes you can transmit and receive over the same frequency, while other times you need to transmit over one frequency and receive over a VOR. A review would be helpful." - Kevin W.

John:

"Normally you would communicate with FSS through the frequencies shown on the sectional chart. The FSS frequencies are listed in a box above certain VOR stations.
At times because of the aircraft altitude or distance from the station, you may not be able to receive and transmit on the same frequency.

Communicating with FSS

To increase reception range, some Flight Service Stations are also able to transmit over VORs and other Navaids. The notation R shown after the frequency indicates Receive capability i.e. 122.1R. This means that the FSS can receive on 122.1 and transmit over the VOR frequency.

You need to configure your aircraft radio and audio panel properly to utilize this feature. First, tune your Com radio to 122.1. Then tune the Nav radio to the VOR you wish to use. Select both the Nav and the Com audio through your audio panel. You may have to select Voice on your Nav radio.

On your initial call to the FSS make sure you state the frequencies that you are transmitting and receiving on. The FSS specialist may be monitoring multiple frequencies.

For example, you would call Bangor Radio, Cessna One Two Three Alpha, transmitting 122.1, listening Augusta VOR, over."

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