September 10th, 2010

‘GoNumbers’ is a term frequently used in aviation radio phraseology but a term you will
not often see written in any FRTO manual of procedure.

‘Numbers’ is the term for the unofficial international chat frequency, namely VHF frequency 123.45MHz. It follows that the term ‘gonumbers’ is a signal for whoever you are talking to to change to frequency 123.45 so that you may speak about non essential matters without blocking the main frequency.

Broadcast to any pilot on frequency the term “gonumbers” and they will, normally, if they can, change on their second com box to frequency 123.45 and proceed to ‘chat’. That is, to be more technical, talk about things non-essential to the operation of the flight, well at least it shouldn’t be related to the essential radio communication of the flight.

Some countries specify a numbers ban, eg in the UK numbers is banned – a bit of sacrilige to us, but they apparently use it for some discreet ATC chat. (We secretly think ATC just dont like pilots chatting).
Other countries have an official chat frequency, for example in Namibia the AIP specifies 130.35MHz as the official chat frequency, but people still like to gonumbers.

Gonumbers assist us in getting through some of the more mundane parts of the flight so that we are more capable of dealing with those critical moments, (airline flying, long periods of boredom punctuated by moments of extreme terror).

Gonumbers also assists us with those moments that we dont really want to admit on the main frequency, for example being lost, forgetting how to program the gps, or misplacing essential information, coordinates/radio frequencies etc. (Once heard on numbers “I am haveing problems with my routing… – buddy we cant really help you with that, but if you mean the GPS…” )

After being asked the 10th time about details of my recent jet conversion by aviation and non aviation people, It occurred to me that people like hearing funny or gory details about aviation, probably as much as they do about doctors or sex workers.
In aviation there are numerous myths/jokes/stories and rumours that have been around for many years, from time to time people claim them as their own. Why? Quite possibly because they are like urban myths and legends, yes- they have happened to someone once, but also they have happened to more than one person more than once.
Some are stories we can learn from, some are just plain funny.
This page relays personal and not so personal examples of such stories.

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About the moderator and sponsors:
This page was created by 1618 Designs, an IT consultancy company specialising in web development and web-based applications. The page is sponsored by Red Sky Ventures cc, an aviation training and resource company. All submissions are checked and approved by Red Sky Ventures Directors Ricco and Danielle Bruckert. Below is a brief background for those of you interested

Moderator: Danielle Bruckert
Asides from blogging and writing aviation books Danielle works full time for Air Namibia as a First Officer on the B737. Prior to this she was working as a freelance charter pilot and flight instructor. She still maintains contact with General Aviation through flight instruction and flight testing on light piston and turbine aircraft.

Moderator: Ricco Bruckert
Ricco is an Air Traffic Controller with tower, approach and area ratings. Due to the small number of controllers in Namibia he has the opportunity to keep all ratings current and additionally holds an OJTI rating giving ‘on the job’ training in all three areas. He most enjoys working at Eros Airport where the mix of training, commercial, high and low performance makes for an interesting challenge when the circuit becomes busy.

Update : As of 2009 Ricco and Danielle are on a “sabbatical” in Al Ain in the UAE. Ricco is working approach procedural and tower control and Danielle is teaching Multi-Crew Cooperation (MCC) training in a Canadian Regional Jet (CRJ) Simulator as well as flying Cessna 172′s(with full glass cockpit Garmin 1000) whenever the MCC schedule permits. They both hope to get back to Namibia sooner or later.

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