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UAL CH9: Coming to You Live From the Cockpit?

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Many travelers say they find the rapid-fire communications and sometimes lighthearted banter with controllers far more entertaining than the normal fare of second-run movies and music collections offered on in-flight entertainment systems. And some nervous fliers say they find it soothing to hear their captain's confident voice. But allowing passengers to listen in on the cockpit is controversial. Pilots cite concerns about having too many passengers monitoring their performance from the… (online.wsj.com) Altro...

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cool1
cool1 0
I do enjoy tuning in to UAL channel 9
during flight time. Makes it more fun &
educational. Wish all airlines had this
feature.
GordonM
GordonM 0
I think it is an excellent service that I enjoy. On a United flight to LAX a couple of years ago one pilot went so far as to offer briefing on the flight on channel 9. He spoke for several minutes on the aircraft, the pilots roles and the flight. It was an excellent piece of communication that I would certainly like to see on all airlines.
reedsd
reedsd 0
Channel 9 is the primary reason I am a 1K on United. It's nice to follow the inbound routing and know just how delayed you will be today coming into ORD.
Toolate
Toolate 0
Must agree with the calmative effect that the ability to monitor air/gnd and air/air dialog has. If it's choppy and it's discussed, then I can relax when we make a course or alt. adjustment. It also allows me to calm my flying companions or flight neighbors. As an avid "scannist" and former StormWatch/EMT, knowing what's happening allows me to prepare rather than worry. Is there a list of carriers that allow "channel 9" type monitoring? The last few flights were with SWA and I found no such channel..:(
cirrusly
cirrusly 0
I'm sure that the crew has the ability to turn it off if the situation calls for it(in-flight emergency, etc.) right?
packgrad2000
^I'm pretty sure "Turning off Channel 9" is not on the emergency checklist if an emergency came up.
TSAASI
TSAASI 0
It seems that Ch 9 activation is up to the PIC's personal preference. I have experienced about a 60/40 ratio of availability/non availability of Ch 9. I find that as an ex-USAF airplane driver, I am more comfortable as a passenger if I can see out the window and hear ATC. My best Ch 9 story was a flight from OKC to DIA in 2002 when a USAF F-16 declared an emergency and was cleared for an emergency descent and approach to Tinker AFB. Couldn't hear the F-16 (he was on UHF) but ATC was scrambling to make a hole for his descent!
UAL047
UAL047 0
for cirrusly and packgrad2000,
The UAL Flight Ops Manual does state in the non-normal checklist to switch off CH 9. While we all would prefer to have it on to monitor the situation, I can appreciate why the airline (for whom I used to work) would not want it on. The crew has enough to deal with in an emergency, if a mayday call is made, which is also procedure in certain emergencies, it could create a panic in the back of the plane and that is something they do not want. While I am certain we would not panic and would prefer to know what is going on, in this case, I happen to agree with the policy; I've been on flights that have diverted and observed the crew dealing with panicked passengers...it isn't pretty and is something that can easily be avoided by keeping CH 9 off during an emergency. It is for that reason that I (reluctantly) agree with the procedure and policy...
Toolate
Toolate 0
Is there an update to the use of Ch 9 on aircraft lately? While I'm sure I've heard such traffic on the in cabin entertainment connection and head phones, and while I've heard this traffic on other airlines (US Air or Continental), is there a current list of carriers using this ability to monitor ATC/Cockpit traffic?

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