Listening to the Air Traffic Control Center at Luqa Airport, Malta, in the Mediterranean, south of Sicily. Here we hear people like VIPER Flight check in as they head south out of Italy or north, back to Italy.
I will admit that this is pretty slow going, since not a lot of flights pass through Malta's area, but it is a chance to listen in on the war and also to commercial traffic transiting the area. NealCroz may enjoy it for background music.
The term Squawk, is used to describe the four number code (Octals for You Math Geeks) for the "Selective Identification Feature" (SIF) that identified the airplane to the radar operator via a "transponder" in the aircraft, triggered by a radar signal. (Or the pilot going "Flash".) Sometimes they talk about altitude as a "Flight Level" or Level, which would be in thousands of feet. Flight Level 300 is 30,000 feet.
You will hear places described by four letters, part of an ICAO code. While here you might be going to Logan Airport, in Europe it is sometimes safer to use the Four Letter ICAO identifiers for the bases. A friend of mind ran an F-4 out of gas because the weather at Aviano Air Base was bad and there were already aircraft in the barriers on each end of the runway and he was told to divert to Istrana, (LIPS). His back seater misspelled Istrana and thus couldn't get a backup frequency out of either the Letdown Book or the Enroute Supplement. The chap thought it began with an "A" and couldn't get it out of his head. They flamed out two miles on final when they tried to turn back to Aviano to land on the taxiway or somewhere.
LICZ is the Sigonella Air Base on Sicily, used by the US. LIPA is Aviano AB, in the north of Italy. LICT is Trapani Air Base, on the northwestern tip of Sicily. On the other hand, Gozo is just the name of an airfield on the other island of Malta.
A hat tip to my friend Charlie, known as Gunship (a past association from his Air Force career).
Regards — Cliff
10 months ago