Wednesday, May 31, 2006

130.650 MHz. What is it really?

Hey I love a good mystery, bet you do also. I especially like radio frequency mysteries.

I bet if you go out and do a Google search like I did for the mission tag on 130.650 MHz you will see a lot of listings showing this as an AMC frequency -- nationwide. You will also see it listed as AMC Command Post (Contract Carrier aircraft) among other things.

But when you dig just a bit, those listing just do not hold up under closer observation. In order for a frequency to be truly classified as nationwide, that means that the people on the west coast hear the same mission activity on it as those in the mid continent or the east coast.

Now I know where some of this started (no don't ask cause I won't tell you). But let's look at two pieces of official information in the public domain that may reveal what this frequency really is, and it isn't a nationwide AMC frequency.

First the FCC database Yes sir, we discovered that the good folks at ARINC in Annapolis, Maryland, control the assignments on this frequency. They are the managers of the 128.825-132.000 MHz spectrum and some new frequency discretes in the 136-137 MHz range.

The bulk of the 40 listings (about 75%) come back to plain old civilian airports. Down here in the south Frontier airlines uses it as an ops freq into Hartsfield-Jackson. Only one assignment actually came back to a military base:

KFT8 NAS Norfolk, VA (listed in the current DoD IFR Sup as AMC/ATOC). That would certainly fit the bill, but this is definitely not a USAF AMC outfit.

There are two other FCC ARINC listings at civilian airports that have mil units assigned on them:

KSL6 Bradley Intl Airport, CT, and WPZQ967 Portland Intl Airport, OR. I am not aware that either of these are hotbeds of AMC transport/contract activity, but I need some "current" field reports to confirm the user of 130.650 MHz in those locations.

The second source is the DoD IFR Supplement (not the most reliable of sources in some cases). Here is the listing in the latest edition of that pub for 130.650 MHz:

Ft. Campbell/Campbell AAF/Sabre AHF, KY Pilot to Dispatcher
Lackland AFB Kelly Field Annex, TX Pilot to Dispatcher
Scott AFB Midamerica, IL 375AW Command Post.

None of these are listed in the FCC database. All three I am sure have contract aircraft in/out and I can confirm the Lackland freq was in use as of last month.

So where are the rest of the listings?

So here is the deal. Join me in putting this one into your scanner and let me know if you hear any aircraft calling military facilities. Maybe we can find out what 130.650 MHz really is in the 21st century. You can send your reports to the email address above and I will report back on the blog any results we receive.

Good hunting and 73 de Larry