Pilot/Tower chatter on walkie-talkie


Hello all - I live near IAD and have 2 acres for my dog boarding facility. I use walkie-talkies to talk to my employees out with the dogs, and I often pick up pilot chatter on them. My property is close to the landing flight path and what I usually hear are the pilots talking to the Tower as they prepare to land.
I have tried to change the frequency, but I still get the chatter. Why does this happen and can my using the walkie talkies interfere with pilot communications?
Just curious.


What’s the model of walkie talkies that you use?

If you have them nearby, an FCC ID number would be helpful as well.


Welcome to the forums, Hawkface! I grew up in Fairfax, and just moved out of Annandale to Strasburg.

Whereabouts near Dulles are you? Sterling, Reston, Chantilly, Fairfax, Haymarket, Ashburn? How near to the airport determines how low the planes are flying, and thus whether your radios can interfere.

Around Sterling and Chantilly, the planes are probably lower than 1,000 feet, so if the radios can transmit 1/4 of a mile or more, then you could very well be interfering.

As Newark mentioned, knowing what make and model of radios you have would help us to know better about what kind of range they have, and knowing where you generally live will give us a better idea of whether the planes are within range of them.


If you are using a “legal” walkie-talkie, with an FCC certification, and are on a frequency that the walkie-talkie is designed to be transmitting on, then you are not interfering with aviation communications. The FCC wouldn’t certify a radio that would interfere with flight frequencies.

Many cheap radios are not well-designed on the reception side and will pick up image frequencies from pagers, mobile phones, and perhaps even airplanes.

Now if you’re using a radio that someone has modified on the transmit side, all bets are off and you could be a hazard to those pilots.


I have Motorola T6530XLR walkie talkies and got some bleed from a Citation 560 that flew low overhead today.


Are you using these on FRS (unlicensed) or GMRS (licensed) channels?


FRS (unlicensed), of course.


Here’s one for the “are you on crack file.”

One night at work a client came up to me and asked why someone was speaking Spanish into the intercom in the mens room. I say, “uh…we don’t have an intercom system in the building, and no one that speaks Spanish at 4:45 in the morning, in fact we’re the only people here.”

I follow him into the bathroom and sure enough, clear as a bell. A women is speaking Spanish. So we start looking around the bathroom. It’s coming from the air freshener!!! Now it gets odd, the stupid thing is only on the wall with a hook, it doesn’t plug in to anything. I does have a battery though and the sound is just emanating from this thing. I take the battery out and it stops, put it back in and it starts again.

The next day it wasn’t doing it, I wish I had called Fox and Molder.


What make/model? Does it have a fan?


It would’ve been interesting to know WHAT was being said in spanish…
Anything about “muerte”, “asesinato” or “matado”?


What makes you say “FRS of course”? That model Motorola is capable of both, it’s a duo-band.


Because it was Ch. 13 and that is a FRS unlicensed freq. I have never used the GMRS channels before because I don’t have a license. GMRS would probably work better for skiing but I follow all of the rules, all of the time.


My family’s been using the GMRS frequencies for years. Ignorance is bliss.


I was sitting in my parents house watching TV one day when something really funny happened. They live in a small town on the approach end of the runway about 2 miles away. As I was watching CABLE TV, I heard a Piper Cherokee make a radio call for a 5 mile final, then a little later a short final. The cable station was about 4 miles away from where we lived. And the really funny thing was it was my brother flying our plane. Explain That.

From what I can recall, it wasn’t a local channel and never happend again. (that i know about)

Another thing that I have experienced is hearing radio stations over the VHF radio in my plane when flying near radio towers. Im sure others have heard this as well. Makes it hard to talk to ATC.

And while I’m on the subject of radio stuff. I really hate it when I’m at an airport and can hear a little beep in my headset every couple seconds, then take a look over and it happens every time ATC’s radar sweeps past the plane. This seemed to only happen when I had an ANR headset.


Its probably due to Intermod and frequency mixing in your location, we hear hams all the time on tower freq when they are actually talking on their repeater and another frq is mixing with theirs and the product ends up where it really isnt… its a product of your radio’s reciever.