A Case For 121.5

Would like to get a discussion going on replacing 122.8 with 121.5. As a USA real corporate jet pilot we are required to monitor 121.5 during the entire flight. Having 121.5 monitored, when no controllers are available, gives the opportunity of realism and lets newly logged on controllers make a blind voice statement stating they are about to start controlling in a given sector. There still is a need for 122.8. That is for flying at an uncontrolled airport doing something like “touch and go” practice landings. Once you leave the ATA (airport traffic area) switching to “guard” 121.5 would be appropriate.
Regards to all-

Hello Edward,

It is not allowed by Code Of Conduct over VATSIM network.

**A16** All voice and text communications frequencies are for operational use only. Account holders shall not carry out private conversations over any communication channels, frequencies, or resources, with the exception of private text messages. The guard VHF radio frequency (121.500) shall not be used.

I see a major argument against this. for the RW, Guard is not only a frequency that pilots are to monitor, but controllers are to monitor as well, especially for if any ELTs go off, as well as to get hold of pilots who may be lost or NORDO. Unless it is an emergency or required, everyone would be monitoring 121.5.

That is different from UNICOM or any CTAF, which is airport specific, as well as used for traffic to use for their own reporting, which ATC isn’t really privy to. ATC won’t broadcast on UNICOM or CTAF, especially if an airport is closed. If ATC is broadcasting on CTAF at a given field, then the field would technically be considered towered. For example, when KVGT (N. Las Vegas Airport) tower is closed, the Tower frequency (which also controls field lighting) is also the CTAF frequency. The TRACON has no control over that frequency, and as such would not be monitoring it at all. If a controller were on that frequency, then they would be operating that frequency, this making KVGT towered and open.

For VATSIM, Guard goes throughout the network. One thing we don’t really need is someone advertising that they’re open at a given field and have everyone (regardless of range) get that message; that would lead to pilots asking for the same thing on guard, giving everyone (pilots and controllers) all of these messages that are not applicable to them. UNICOM at least has a range limit; Guard does not. We also can’t disable receiving anything on Guard as well, so we’d be spammed with those messages, whether we like it or not. Some pilot over at LFPG won’t really care that a controller is announcing that he is up and running at KPSC, but would still get the announcement that they are up.

This is why Guard is stated in the CoC to not be used, and that SUPs, ADMs, and above are really the only ones to use it and have a valid reason to do it.


Good Lord, could you imagine all the infantile meowing and other sound effects? It happens in reality to an unbelievable degree; can you imagine it on the network?

Not to mention, this would be an entirely unrealistic use for guard.

121.5 is the internarional air distress frequency. I don’t know about elsewhere, but in the UK any transmission on that frequency is immediately triangulated for location and sets off alarms. Having global non-urgent transmissions on that frequency is really not a very good idea.

Thanks for all the good points that have been addressed on this matter. Could I suggest that 121.5 be used as a world wide link to virtual ATC Supervisors? For example if you (by mistake) drifted into virtual controlled airspace, you would be contacted by an ATC Supervisor (politely) on guard to remedy the situation. In the real world, guard is used 90 percent of the time for “dropped frequency’s”. That is where real airline pilots confuse a radio frequency change. It is (as pointed out) an emergency frequency by ICAO standards. Regards to all-

Marine radios for years have sent a coded data burst containing station ID and position with every transmission on an emergency channel. I LIVE for the day we get that in aviation, and the first guard fool that doesn’t know it meows on the freq, and they make an example of him. I genuinely want to see someone get every certificate they have revoked. These effing people have zero business in a real airplane.

That would only work if all pilots actually monitored 121.5 at all times. And since we have the benefit of private messages, we already have a solution for supervisors to contact pilots. We also have the ability for ATC to send “contact me on xxx.xxx” messages.