ATC and pilots have been using mobiles as a backup to radio for some time -although not legitimately. Radio has line of sight limitations which can be awkward - for example the hills across the IoM block all radio traffic to the north unless the pilot gets up high. If the weather is dodgy and aircraft are stuck below 1500ft you may not get good radio contact with EGNS until you get to Peel or Laxey. Some pilots call us from their mobiles well before those points - just to say they are on the way and to check the weather - if bad enough to make them divert its far better to do so just as they leave the Scottish coast rather than have to truck all the way across the Irish Sea and get into radio cover to find the bad news. I admit I've done it myself flying back from Machrihanish in bad weather as I passed Stranraer. The pilot based at Mount Rule is also outside radio coverage so he calls us on his mobile as he lines up - the strip is inside our zone. We then give him a clearance on the phone and he calls us on radio just after getting airborne. Handy things mobiles. bones bones@xxxxxxx http://woodair.net -----Original Message----- From: jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx [mailto:jhb_airlines-bounce@xxxxxxxxxxxxx] On Behalf Of Denis Ripley Sent: 11 August 2008 15:04 To: JHB Airlines Subject: [jhb_airlines] Cleared to land Thought this might be of interest for those pilots with cellphones(mobiles). In view of this I understand that the Boss will be issuing said phones to all JHB pilots for use on IVAO <vbg> Denis Controller Directs Aircraft Via Cellphone Text Message The pilot of a Piper Seneca with five aboard was last November instructed to land via text message. The report from the Air Accident Investigation Branch was published Aug. 6 detailing the complete electrical failure aboard the Seneca and the 39-year-old pilot's reaction to fly clear of clouds after departing Kerry airport for a flight to Jersey, in the U.K. The pilot attempted to contact Kerry airport and air traffic control in Cork via cellphone. After making contact with Cork and then losing contact, he received a text message from a Cork controller advising him that air traffic control had him on radar and he was cleared to land at the airport. The aircraft landed safely at the airport after performing a fly-by to confirm wheels down. The report praised the efforts of the controller. "In this incident the positive and proactive initiative of the ATC controller, who, on realising that mobile audio communication from the pilot was intermittent, quickly switched to texting his instructions instead," reported air accident investigator John Hughes.