For those who carry an airband transeiver in the bush:

I'm cleaning equipment this morning. I came across a note I had written for a friend listing radio frequencies for aircraft travelling the Alsek River corridor. I had written four different frequencies for him and that list did not include the high altitude center frequencies used by commercial aircraft. Since there are so many potential frequencies a pilot may be monitoring, I thought it would be useful to list frequencies that could be used by ground parties to contact aircraft. If you are not broadcasting on the pilot's frequency you may as well turn the radio off.

Since many aircraft are equipped with two radios it helps to tell the pilot which frequency you are using. A typical contact might go like this: "Aircraft overflying _____ this is a ground station on 121.5 with priority traffic." This lets the pilot know which radio to use and that you have a potential emergency situation.

Universal Distress Frequency: 121.5 (mHz). Many pilots keep a radio tuned to this frequency. Remember that military planes do not use civilian frequencies but many are equipped to receive and transmit on this frequency. Use of this frequency may also activate satellite SAR command.

Canada en route frequency: 126.7. For parts of Alaska near the Canadian border, pilots will sometimes monitor this frequency.

Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF): There is variability here but it is generally 122.8 or 122.9. This is the frequency pilots use when landing and departing uncontrolled airports and many pilots simply leave the radio tuned to that frequency until returning to home base. Check with local pilots and airports in your area. If you are near a controlled airport, pilots will likely be on tower frequency, which is different for each airport.

High Altitude en route Frequency: This is the frequency used by high altitude airliners to talk to center controllers and varies by sector. If your area is under an airliner route you can talk to them with the correct center frequency (many also monitor 121.5). Ask a pilot to show you a high- or low-altitude IFR enroute chart and copy the frequencies for your area.

Air Taxi Company Frequency: This is a unique frequency issued to commercial transporters. Check with air taxis in your area to see what frequencies they monitor.

I am sure there are many frequencies I have not listed and I hope others will come in and add to the list.

Whenever I head into the bush or plan a cross country flight I have a list of contact frequencies for the area I am travelling just in case I get stupid or simply have bad luck. I also carry a satellite telephone that is pre-programmed with the numbers in the other emergency contact thread.

When flying, I usually keep a radio tuned to 121.5 but I don't know many other private pilots that do.