What Does Squawk Code Mean in Aviation?
When we talk about airline communication, there is a common term often heard by most of us called squawk. Squawk is basically a 4-digit code used by airplanes for communication in the air and airplane as communication between the airplane and the controlling centre at the airport. Its main purpose is to establish a connection between the airport and the. Before the departure, the airplane is given a code so that the pilot knows that it is safe to take off.
This code keeps showing are computer screens at the airport. It helps in the detection of the speed, altitude and height of the aero plane. The 4-digit code called squawk ranges from some numbers from 0 to 9. There are many combinations of these codes used to perform various operations with airplanes.
The historical significance of squawk code
The earliest forms of radars were used in the second world war by Britain's when they fought against Germany. The first use the squawk code-named "parrot". As it was not a very advanced reader so it could only catch the signals from moving objects in the air. But there was a problem with that. It could detect that there was an airplane in the air but could not distinguish between friendly and foe airplane.
This led to the advancement in technology regarding squawk and radar that we see nowadays. Radars function in a very interesting way. They receive and transmit radio waves and establish communication between the airline base and an aircraft.
What is a squawk sheet?
Squawk is used to control the air traffic and to report some issues that occur with the airplane. The whole log or record of squawk is collectively known as the squawk sheet. The purpose of the squawk sheet is to keep a record; it provides information for the pilot and management engineer. Writing it becomes easier to analyze it later so that the pilot and technical engineer can troubleshoot the problem well.
While writing a squawk, there are a few things that are needed to be taken into consideration. The whole conversation does not need to be written. Keep in mind that squawk explains all the issues with the aircraft, not with the pilot. It is a file for the aircraft technician, not the maintenance of history.
What is the benefit of using squawk codes?
Squawk codes are important as they maintain the connection between the aircraft and the airbase. This communication is essential to maintain air traffic and prevent accidents. Since the squawk codes have been established, it has become safer to travel through an airplane. During a war situation, it is extremely needed as well as beneficial too.
The way how air traffic control towers are very simple. First, as the pilot takes off, the controller from the controlling department of the airline gives the signal for takeoff. Afterwards, when the airplane is in the air, the controlling department sends short pulses to the aircraft. The pilot, in return, also gives short pulses to inform the air traffic about his position, speed and altitude.
What is a transponder?
A transponder is defined as an electronic device that produces a reaction when it receives radio signals. Aircraft have transponders installed in them help them in identifying the position of other aircraft on the traffic control radars. This reduces the collision risk of two aircraft with each other.
A transponder generates responses by transmitting a four-digit code to a secondary radar which assists the air traffic controllers. Due to this function, the position of other aircraft is detected on the radar of an aircraft. This is how the pilot can control air traffic.
What are the common squawk codes?
The squawk codes differ in every country. As the phone number code of the country is different, the squawk code of every country differs. There are particular sets of numbers that are specific as codes for a country. However, there are common squawk codes known by all.
The 4-digit code 7700 shows that the pilot is in the case of an emergency like engine failure or loss of navigation. The code 7600 shows that the pilot has lost the radio signals. The code 7500 similarly shows that the airplane has been hijacked.