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Thread: "Experimental" On Initial Contact With Tower

  1. #1

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    "Experimental" On Initial Contact With Tower

    CFR Section 91.319(d)(3) requires that each person operating an aircraft with an experimental certificate shall notify the control tower of the experimental nature of the aircraft when operating into or out of airports with operating control towers.

    There was a time when every EAB was a one-off. Today a very high percentage of the EAB fleet isn't very experimental.

    What is the origin and original intent of 91.319(d)(3)? It is an outdated rule?
    Dan Horton
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    Barrett IO-390
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  2. #2

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    Quote Originally Posted by DanH View Post
    What is the origin and original intent of 91.319(d)(3)? It is an outdated rule?
    Simple advisory message. Like a pilot has to brief a passenger of the experimental nature of the aircraft before taking off.

    No, not outdated at all.

  3. #3
    Auburntsts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    Simple advisory message. Like a pilot has to brief a passenger of the experimental nature of the aircraft before taking off.

    No, not outdated at all.
    Maybe not outdated but I question the usefulness for 2 reasons:

    1. The rule applies only to towers and no other ATC facilities. Even though I fly IFR a lot, I can easily go on dozens of flights before I go on one where I need to talk to a tower.

    2. Experimental, as a category, is meaningless by itself due to the huge range of aircraft performance that it encompasses. Plus Experimentals are quite common in many areas these days, at least compared to back in the day, so they aren't so unique to require the advisory, IMO.

    Having said that, I comply with 91.319 (and my OPLIMs too as mine has the same requirement as the reg with regards to this) by prefacing my initial call to any tower with "Experimental RV 728TT...". Thereafter I drop the "Experimental" from all other subsequent communications and never use it all with Approach or Center.
    Last edited by Auburntsts; 05-01-2019 at 11:28 AM.
    Todd “I drink and know things” Stovall
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  4. #4

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    I do it as well, but find it worse than useless. It often gets the controller stumbling over "Experimental" or "RV", and also more frequently mixing up the N-number.

  5. #5
    EAA Staff Joda's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Auburntsts View Post
    I comply with 91.319 (and my OPLIMs too as mine has the same requirement as the reg with regards to this) by prefacing my initial call to any tower with "Experimental RV 728TT...". Thereafter I drop the "Experimental" from all other subsequent communications and never use it all with Approach or Center.
    Yep, that's how I do it too.

    In theory, notifying the tower is supposed to alert them of your experimental aircraft so that they can do their best to not route you over densely populated areas any more than they have to. In practice, they handle experimental aircraft exactly the same as any other aircraft. But that's the theory!
    Cheers!

    Joe

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    I used to do that. but quit. It doesn.t make sense, is it FIFI or a tiny homebuilt? Better info for the controller and other pilots is to know what kind of plane you are. To be exact you could say, "experimental Fury on downwind" but I have never had ATC or FAA make an issue of it.

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bill Greenwood View Post
    I used to do that. but quit. It doesn.t make sense, is it FIFI or a tiny homebuilt? Better info for the controller and other pilots is to know what kind of plane you are. To be exact you could say, "experimental Fury on downwind" but I have never had ATC or FAA make an issue of it.
    The trouble is, it *is* a requirement by Part 91. But, unlike a lot of people seem to think, it is NOT a requirement to use "Experimental" as your aircraft type in a radio call. As Dan Horton posted, a homebuilt pilot is required to notify the tower of the experimental nature of the aircraft. It's not part of the call sign. To quote the Airman's Information Manual:

    4-2-4 Aircraft Call Signs

    3. Civil aircraft pilots should state the aircraft type, model or manufacturer’s name, followed by the digits/letters of the registration number. When the aircraft manufacturer’s name or model is stated, the prefix “N” is dropped; e.g., Aztec Two Four Six Four Alpha.
    EXAMPLE−
    1. Bonanza Six Five Five Golf.
    2. Breezy Six One Three Romeo Experimental (omit “Experimental” after initial contact).


    I haven't flown into a towered field in ~20 years, but the tower invariably shortened "Fly Baby Four Five Eight Four Eight Experimental" to "Experimental Eight Four Eight." Their decision, but I had complied with 91.319.

    Ron "Stop that Polish chatter" Wanttaja

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    To be exact you could say, "experimental Fury on downwind"
    An what would one look for? A Fury bi-plane, a Sea Fury, a Lopresti Fury (swift) a North America FJ-2/3 Fury, an LSA Storm RG Fury or C-FURY, a homebuilt from Canada?

  9. #9
    rwanttaja's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by martymayes View Post
    An what would one look for? A Fury bi-plane, a Sea Fury, a Lopresti Fury (swift) a North America FJ-2/3 Fury, an LSA Storm RG Fury or C-FURY, a homebuilt from Canada?
    Same sort of issue if one just says, "Cessna." A 150, a 210, a 421, a T-37, a Citation.....

    The issue is giving the controller some sort of clue as to the performance level of the aircraft. Someone calling in as "RV two five golf" will probably be recognized by most controllers, but most probably won't benefit from "Fly Baby 4-8-4" or "Story Special 1-3-november." Sticking "Experimental" in the call at least reassures the controller that they didn't miss-hear a more familiar name.

    I once entered the pattern behind a 172... "Auburn Traffic, Fly Baby 8-4-8 turning downwind, #2 behind the Cessna, Auburn."

    The apparent student in the Cessna fearfully asked if he needed to speed up.....

    Ron "Mind the pipper burns" Wanttaja

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