Take the following actions, as appropriate, if two-way radio communications are lost with an aircraft:
1. When an IFR aircraft experiences two-way radio communications failure, air traffic control is based on anticipated pilot actions. Pilot procedures and recommended practices are set forth in the AIM, CFRs, and pertinent military regulations.
2. Should the pilot of an aircraft equipped with a coded radar beacon transponder experience a loss of two-way radio capability, the pilot can be expected to adjust the transponder to reply on Mode 3/A Code 7600.
In the event of lost communications with an aircraft under your control jurisdiction use all appropriate means available to reestablish communications with the aircraft. These may include, but not be limited to, emergency frequencies, NAVAIDs that are equipped with voice capability, FSS, Aeronautical Radio Incorporated (ARINC), etc.
1. ARINC is a commercial communications corporation which designs, constructs, operates, leases or otherwise engages in radio activities serving the aviation community. ARINC has the capability of relaying information to/from subscribing aircraft throughout the country.
2. Aircraft communications addressing and reporting system (ACARS) or selective calling (SELCAL) may be utilized to reestablish radio communications with suitably equipped aircraft. ACARS can be accessed by contacting the San Francisco ARINC communications center, watch supervisor, at 925-294-8297 and 800-621-0140. Provide ARINC the aircraft call sign, approximate location, and contact instructions. In order to utilize the SELCAL system, the SELCAL code for the subject aircraft must be known. If the SELCAL code is not contained in the remarks section of the flight plan, contact the pertinent air carrier dispatch office to determine the code. Then contact the San Francisco ARINC communications center, watch supervisor, at 925-294-8297 and 800-621-0140. Provide ARINC the aircraft call sign, SELCAL code, approximate location, and contact instructions.
Broadcast clearances through any available means of communications including the voice feature of NAVAIDs.
1. Some UHF equipped aircraft have VHF navigation equipment and can receive 121.5 MHz.
2. “Any available means” includes the use of FSS and ARINC.
If radio communications have not been (re) established with the aircraft after 5 minutes, consider the aircraft’s or pilot’s activity to be suspicious and report it to the FLM/CIC per FAA Order JO 7610.4, Chapter 7, Hijacked/Suspicious Aircraft Reporting and Procedures, and Paragraph 2-1-25f, Supervisory Notification, of this order.