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Consolidated "Channel 9 Availability" Discussion Thread [Merged]

Consolidated "Channel 9 Availability" Discussion Thread [Merged]

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Old Oct 10, 19, 12:47 am   -   Wikipost
Please read: This is a community-maintained wiki post containing the most important information from this thread. You may edit the Wiki once you have been on FT for 90 days and have made 90 posts.
Last edit by: wxguy
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Wiki note about the forum’s several, active “Channel 9” threads.

Offering live ATC communications on UA flights on Chanel 9 of the audio entertainment system (“Channel 9”) is exclusive to United and offered at the Captain’s discretion. This forum has four prime, active threads about Channel 9. This note will guide you to the right thread for your post, or to where you would look for those channel 9 posts you’re interested in.

1) This discussion thread to pursue issues about Channel 9 availability. (See the next paragraph. if you merely wish to list the flights offering or not offering channel 9.)

2) A thread – intended as a basic status thread only to list the specific channel 9-equipped flights offering or not offering Channel 9. The thumbs-up/down codes used in the thread are:
^ Channel 9 offered on this flight but no announcement made about it.
^^ Channel 9 offered and crew announced or promoted its availability.
Channel 9 not offered on this flight.
Channel 9 availability reports (no discussion)[Consoldidated]

3) A thread, to discuss interesting things heard on Channel 9, such as interesting exchanges between pilots and controllers or asking about pilot-controller phraseology. The Consolidated "Interesting Things Heard on Channel 9" Thread [Merged]

4) A thread to discuss United’s progress in converting legacy Continental aircraft to offer Channel 9.
Anyone get channel 9 on a reconfigured CO or PDE aircraft yet?

The following aircraft types have "From the Flight Deck" installed (commonly known as "Channel 9," as that's the location it is found on audio handset selectors):
pmUA 777-200ERs
pmCO 777-200ERs
pmUA 777-300ERs
pmUA 777-200As (high density, first class only)
pmUA 767-300ERs
pmCO 767-400ERs
pmUA 757-200 (28J p.s.)
pmCO 757-200 (16J p.s.) -- effective with cabin refresh announced October 2019

[pmUA A320 and A319 aircraft have had it removed. It is not installed on any 737s, 787s, nor pre-2019/2020 cabin refresh program pmCO 757-200s (16J p.s.) or pmCO 757-300s.]

The Moderators may move misplaced posts to conform to these thread aims.

Archived posts in Consolidated "Channel 9 Availability" Discussion Thread [ARCHIVE]
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Old Dec 20, 19, 4:03 pm
Join Date: Apr 2000
Posts: 2,737
12/16 UA988 FRA-IAD, on the entire time, did not have to ask.
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Old Dec 20, 19, 5:40 pm
Join Date: Oct 2018
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Posts: 29
12/20 UA500, SFO-IAD, captain announced it would be on.
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Old Dec 24, 19, 9:27 am
Join Date: Jan 2016
Programs: UA GS
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12/22 UA 291 SFO-IAD... on the entire flight
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Old Dec 26, 19, 6:44 am
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12/25 UA58 SFO-FRA (77W) - I asked a flight attendant who looked super confused and had never heard of Channel 9/FTFD. After a lot of confusion, the purser came over and took the request up to the flight deck. Was on for the first few hours and then for the approach starting ~1 hour before landing. Great Christmas present
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Old Dec 27, 19, 10:28 am
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12/22 EWR-SJU 764
12/27 SJU-EWR 764 Asked the captain and he said [incorrectly] that it was only available on the -300.
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Old Dec 27, 19, 12:26 pm
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12/26 UA 1684 SFO-LIH, ^ on for the entire flight although it's pretty quiet between Oakland Center's "radar services terminated" and Honolulu Center Approach coming online.
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Old Dec 29, 19, 10:19 pm
Join Date: Feb 2018
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12/27 UA988 FRA-IAD 👎

While chatting with purser, asked if she'd ask Captain if we could have it on. She grimaced and claimed that most pilots no longer want it on, and besides "it's boring anyway."

Told her I thoroughly enjoyed that it was on gate to gate IAD-FRA, without having to ask. She kind of rolled her eyes, basically said "sorry, you're out of luck," and it was very clear she wasn't going to bother asking. 🙁

Last edited by IADdelayed; Dec 29, 19 at 10:27 pm Reason: Fixed formatting
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Old Dec 30, 19, 5:20 pm
Join Date: Oct 2016
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12/30 iah - lhr

Currently enjoying my first Ch 9 experience on UA880 IAH - LHR on a Polarized 777-200 N78002. ^
Didn’t ask to have it turned on (although someone else may have done!) - a fair bit of ATC activity whilst flying near Cleveland, OH

This is such an interesting feature but from reading this thread it sadly looks like it doesn’t feature that often
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Old Dec 31, 19, 10:14 pm
Join Date: Mar 2007
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12/31 IAD-SFO ^ It was on gate-gate, and I dIdn't even have to ask. First time in a very long time, and a great way to end 2019!
findark likes this.
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Old Jan 22, 20, 6:31 am
Join Date: Dec 2004
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This could be the end of Channel 9. Not due to any decision by UA, but rather by the slow demise of voice communications between ATC and commercial aircraft. Routine communications such as altitude changes, reroutes, frequency changes, and other clearances will be given by text.

FAA NextGen Data Communications
Additional detail
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Old Jan 22, 20, 2:40 pm
Senior Moderator/Moderator: Coronavirus, United MileagePlus
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I predict that over busy land, and positive radar/GPS air routes, there'll still be time-sensitive radio Controller/Pilot communications for some greater years than FAA or other countries' ATC services predict.

Right now, CPDLC (Controller-Pilot Datalink Communications) are being used at busy and some smaller towers to avoid a lot of radio issuance of routine flight plan clearances and altitude changes up to departure. (Used to require a dedicated tower position radio frequency known as "Clearance Delivery".) And for some years, flight plan, route and altitude changes and clearances "over the Pond" (via Gander and Shanwick) and over the Pacific via Oakland ARTCC Oceanic have been handled via the CPDLC system. But those communications have been under non-positive radar environments which were not normally carried over UA's "Channel 9" audio.
wxguy likes this.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 5:03 am
Join Date: Feb 2016
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Posts: 68
2/15/20 UA30 EWR-MUC, ^^ On, and the captain made a friendly announcement before we left the gate to tune in

Last edited by junglematt; Feb 19, 20 at 5:04 am Reason: Posted wrong date
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Old Feb 19, 20, 5:08 am
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2/15 UA 901 SFO-LHR

i stopped by the cockpit and asked if they'd have CH 9 on and they said sure. Didn't hear it. Later I also asked a FA to ask them and make sure and they said yes, everything was was on. But still nothing for the entire flight. Oh well.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 8:04 am
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Originally Posted by Ryu2 View Post
2/15 UA 901 SFO-LHR

i stopped by the cockpit and asked if they'd have CH 9 on and they said sure. Didn't hear it. Later I also asked a FA to ask them and make sure and they said yes, everything was was on. But still nothing for the entire flight. Oh well.
A possible scenario: Captain flipped the "OBS ENT" switch on the overhead panel, to ON but the #1 VHF radio volume was down on the left-side jumpseat position. That audio panel is what feeds ATC into the entertainment system.
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Old Feb 19, 20, 8:15 am
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06FEB SFO TPE asked the purser to request it and it was turned on, at least until the reserve crew took over and turned it off

16FEB TPE SFO was on gate to gate, I’m guessing someone forgot to turn it off, but that’s just the skeptical me
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