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Tuesday, January 14, 2020

Aeronautical Mobile Contact from the Dominican Republic

On the morning of January 9, 2020, I was up early, sitting alone out in my open-air tropical hamshack on Bahia Rincon on the Samana peninsula of the Dominican Republic.   I had been looking at the stars. As the sky brightened I was listening to band noise from a still-dead 20 meter band on my uBITX.  

Skies were partly cloudy.  The Big Dipper hung upside down in front of me.  I had also seen Corvus, Scorpio, Andromeda, and Leo.  There were a few meteors and one bright satellite.  

But 20 was quiet... until, suddenly,  BOOM! A very loud and clear SSB signal came through.  It was KX4WE/Aeronautical Mobile.  Mike was in a 767.  I called him and he came back right away, giving me a 57 report. He gave his position as 170 miles Northwest of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  He was heading to Port-o-Spain, Trinidad from Miami.  We had a quick QSO -- it reminded me a lot of my contacts with the MIR space station from Santo Domingo in the mid-1990s.  Suddenly Mike's signal dropped very significantly.  I figured that he had moved further south and was no longer line-of-site with me. I had some hills to my south and they were now attenuating Mike's signal.  I could hear him working M0NKL.  We were Mike's only two contacts on 20. 

I realized later that had I looked up, I might have seen the lights of the plane.  Below is the track of the aircraft.  He was at 35,000 feet when he passed over the DR. 

This contact was a lot of fun. Thanks Mike! 


  1. That was cool!

    Dale BA4TB

  2. I believe I might have heard you checking into the 14.300 net once a few years ago. Looked up your qrz and was amazed.


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