It is generally understood that radio communications are vital for safe aviation procedures. The ability to communicate with air traffic control on the ground, knowing your position in the sky and potential threats provides for a safe travel duration for both the pilots as well as the passengers.
So, why now are two way radios becoming even more valuable in aviation communications?
The threats of plane error, corrupted passengers and more are obvious, however, aviation in itself is not just utilized to transport from one location to the next.
With the recent droughts as well as many forest fires occurring across the country, local volunteer pilots have begun monitoring from the sky and potentially saving lives through the use of their smaller planes in surveying the surrounding ground areas. With the use of two way radios in these smaller aircrafts, pilots have been able to keep those updated on the ground with regards to how quickly fires may be spreading and in which direction. They have even, in some cases, escorted police and firefighters above site areas in order to give them a better vantage point and a view of what is really happening. This has been extremely beneficial as it allows the teams to collectively decide how to approach the situation based on a view from above.
One recent example of this situation recently occurred in North Adams, MA. An article titled “Local Pilots Provided Aid During Clarksburg Brush Fire,” written by Jack Guerino, describes this exact scenario. This was the first time several small-plane pilots worked with the local airport in flying these teams above the brushfire. Because this provided such great perspective, not only is the airport now going to allow these smaller planes to utilize the airport for volunteer services, but the Airport Commission is considering purchasing two way radios for better aerial/ground communications. In reference to an interview with Airport Manager Willard Greenwald, “He said aviation radios would cut down on disturbances and background noise and allow the planes to better communicate to ground crews.”
The value of owning these radios lies in the awareness and ability to inform those in the air as well as on the ground of any current situation.