PMR446 Aeronautical Mobile DX Contact

(The Pilot's Identity Withheld For Legal Reasons)

On Sunday 23rd November 2003 I was monitoring the PMR446 band for activity. A local motorbike training school was operating on channel 8 and I wasn't taking much notice until I heard another (Scottish) voice breaking in between the cyclists. The voice appeared to be DX-Ing !

So I gave out a call and a very weak signal came back saying, "Is that you Delboy?" - He had been a regular visitor to my site and recognised the Geordie accent no doubt !

I confirmed my identity and location and asked the station to move to channel 5. Upon calling on channel 5 I found out that the other station was a pilot who was in a small aircraft off the east coast of Scotland. 

Contact was very difficult so I asked him to stay on the channel until I could get up to the top of our local high point, and old pit heap.

Accompanied by David (M0DAD), I rushed to the top of the pit heap and gave the pilot another call. He came back loud and clear. He told me that he was at a height of 5250 feet and was trying out his new Oregon Scientific PMR radios. He had not expected to get such a good contact. The pilots signal was mostly strong and clear but occasionally he faded out a little as he turned the plane. He reported a good strong signal from my Motorola T6222 and from David's Binatone 100. Both David and myself took turns talking to him and the conversation lasted about 20 minutes before he had to return to the airfield. 

The pilot later sent me the above map showing his location during the conversation. At the furthest point he was an incredible 80 miles from my location here in Blyth !!!!

Now that just goes to show what height does for your signal !

Please note both Delboy Enterprises and the pilot have attempted to find out if this conversation is legal. NO-ONE seems able to tell us for sure !

Apparently the subject of operating PMR446 in the air has never been discussed before now !

Delboy's PMR446 Main Page