Squawk codes.

First off, I am NOT a pilot.

I live in Las Vegas, and I’m trying to interpret squawk codes.

1200 is used by many of the vegas tourist helicopters, and I am assuming that this means they are flying on visual.
411 is used by the LVMPD helicopter
squawks beginning with 54 seem to be issued by nellis AFB for aircraft flying onto the Nellis Test Range.

Is there a document I can read that will tell me what the other squawk codes refer to?



Wikipedia has some information. 1200 is standard VFR (Visual Flight Rules) code. 5xxx is a an aircraft in military operations. Ones pilots/controllers should know are 7500 for “Unlawful Interference” 7600 for “communications failure/problems” and 7700 for “General Emergency”. Some interesting stuff in there such as 77xx is used for SR71, YF12, U2, B57, pressure suit flights and a/c ops above FL600.

1255 is somewhat commonly used for aerial firefighting operations. 1277 is pretty common for SAR operations. The Coasties use that one frequently.

Air traffic facilities have assigned subsets, or blocks, of transpoder codes to issue out as neccesary. “Your favorite tower or approach control name here” may have 0301 through 0377 to use however they want. They may then more or less permanantly assign 03XX to a specific aircraft, say, a police, fire, Lifeguard or news helicopter.

Could this be a KMFD thing with all the military ops as I routinely get 5xxx for my XC’s?

I’d hardly doubt anybody would be intimidated by the hardware I pack in my Sundowner nor would you want the country’s safety in the hands of it’s performance :stuck_out_tongue:

Out my way, I know 0101 through 0149 is for local VFR flights not leaving KJAN airspace and 0150 and higher are IFR flights not leaving KJAN airspace. I believe as Warrior5B explains that local helicopter operations such as medivac / police or news have a permanent squawk code that they use rather then random assigned numbers.

Yep, that is what I was talking about. 0101 through 0177 would be a subset for KJAN local area use. The facility has further broken down that subset for local VFR (0101 through, I’m guessing :slight_smile:, 0147) and local IFR (0150 through 0177).

As far as 54xx, more than likely that block is designated for Nellis’ local use. 5401-5477 is probably available for use by other, geographically separated, facilities too.

DUH :blush:

If the original poster could find the local letters of agreement with the various ATC facilities in the area, that would be one way to find out the specific codes used for various aircraft activities. The local facilities may also have letters of agreement with the various law enforcement, sightseeing or firefighting agencies.

As Warrior5B pointed out, these are sometimes permanent assignments.

According to this document, “…aircraft engaged in, or traveling to, fire fighting operations are approved to use a special beacon code, 1255.”

This document was published in 1997 so code 1255 may or may not be used in the same manner today.