143.750MHz - 143.950MHz
All pilots are encouraged to consider obtaining a 2m-band two-war radio for use on the ground and in flight to maintain contact with other pilots. When used in flight, radios must be operated with a helmet mounted speaker and microphone and a 'Push-to-Talk' (PTT) switch. Two-way radios are especially important in emergency or rescue situations, as mobile phones often do not get good reception in remote mountain areas. Thery are also much cheaper to operate. If you do obtain a 2m-band radio then please refrain from using it unnecessarily as you will be using an open frequency shared by all pilots. Mindless chatter can become tiresome. Keep your language clean!
At present there are no dedicated frequencys allocated to hang glider and paraglider pilots. However, pilots have for many years been using a narrow range of frequencies which appear to be unused by anyone else. The legality of this 'frequency squatting' is something of a grey area, however the safety benefits can not be over emphasised and far outweigh any sanction imposed by the regulating authority. The IHPA is actively working to have at least one frequency available and dedicated to hang glider and paraglider pilots. In the meantime, pilots should restrict themselves to using the narrow range of frequencies between 143.750MHz and 143.950MHz. Do NOT stray beyond these frequencies.
NOTE: A common problem with using your radio in the air is that your transmission is often garbled and completely unintelligible because of wind-noise and/or the microphone is placed directly in front of your mouth (in the helmet's chin-guard.) To minimise this (very) annoying problem you should install your helmet mounted microphone well back to one side of your jaw, facing backwards and protected behind a thick layer of foam padding (helmet padding.) The microphone is more than sensitive enough to pick up your voice even when you talk normally - you don't have to shout! Please, as a courtesy to your fellow pilots, check that your microphone is properly positioned so that other pilots can hear you clearly in the air. Your radio is of no use if others can not hear you clearly!
Frequencies above 146.000MHz and below 143.750MHz are already assigned to other users, including the emergency services. Do not, under any circumstances, use any of these frequencies.
The National Microlight Association of Ireland has been assigned the single frequency of 130.400MHz for their exclusive use. Hang glider and paraglider pilots may NOT use this frequency.
Frequencies between 144.000MHz and 146.000MHz are assigned to the amateur radio enthusiasts (HAMS) - Do NOT use these frequencies.
Pilots wishing to qualify for an RT Licence may wish to contact the National Microlight Association of Ireland (NMAI) who regularly hold RT courses. Click on the 'NMAI Services' menu item on their web page. A list of Airband frequencies used by airports and aerodromes around the country may be found on the Flying In Ireland website.
Buying a RadioThe Alinco DJV17, DJ195 and Yaesu VX150 models are in common use by pilots, and are known to be reliable.
Try the following links to find vendors carrying these radios:
Universal Radio Inc.
eBay (search for Alinco DJ193 or DJ195 or Yaesu VX150)
OzReport - read pilot's comments on these radios here.
Repair ServiceIf your radio is dead, dying or just on the blink, you could try contacting Waters & Stanton Ltd. who have successfully repaired 2m-band radios for pilots in the past.