HAM Radio Usage While Hang and Paragliding in the State of Utah
The state of Utah has a very active HAM radio community. As such there are many frequencies that are ‘reserved’ for repeater operations, local HAM radio clubs, and other operations. In an effort to work with the HAM radio community, which was here long before we were, we have reached out to them for the best frequencies to use while flying within the state.
The following HAM radio frequencies should be utilized for communications when hang and paragliding within the state of Utah. These frequencies can only be used by licensed HAM radio operators, and are the least likely to conflict with other HAM radio repeaters, operations, and organizations. Please see below the frequency list for more information.
Air – Air and Air – Ground – Air
- Primary: 447.800
- Alternate: 447.825
- 2nd Alternate: 146.560 (likely to be monitored, and possibly in use by non-pilot operators)
Ground – Ground and Emergency
- Primary: 146.560 (likely to be monitored, and possibly in use by non-pilot operators)
- Alternate: 146.540 (Most likely to be monitored and in use by non-pilot operators – be respectful and wait for the air to clear.)
Some things to keep in mind
- When we are at altitude our radio transmissions can travel for well over 100 miles even at low power levels. This means there is a potential for not only many other non-pilots to hear your communications, but it also means that you wont know they can hear you as they will not be able to communicate with you from the ground as easily, and you may be conflicting with their communications unknowingly. (I once was able to hear pilots communicating over the Uinta basin near Roosevelt when I was in Provo – they could NOT hear me). Be mindful of this, and be respectful.
- Always default to the lowest power setting possible when in the air. If needed raise your power level when on the ground to communicate.
- UHF frequencies were selected for AIR – AIR communications by design. UHF frequencies do not travel through obstructions such as vegetation, vehicles, glass, buildings, etc. as well as VHF frequencies do. Because of this UHF is more seldom used by ground – ground operators, and the frequencies are less congested by use. Since we are airborne we are not as susceptible to interference from objects, so the UHF frequencies should work very well for us while reducing our interference with others.
- You must hold a valid HAM radio license to use these frequencies, and they cannot be used for commercial gain such as tandem flights for profit, instruction, SIV instruction, etc.
- In a true emergency it is always appropriate to ask other HAM radio users for use of a frequency for emergency communications. You will be surprised how quickly they will surrender the frequency for use, and you will very likely be offered assistance.