Originally Posted by subzali
So since Technician class gets you priveleges on all amateur bands 50 MHz and higher, does that mean we can call on the aircraft frequencies? It looks like their band lies somewhere in the 115-135 MHz range. I was just thinking in case you're out in the middle of nowhere sometimes the planes flying overhead are closer than the nearest repeater or ground contact. But maybe the aircraft frequencies are above 50 MHz but aren't considered to be amateur bands - or maybe our radios (in stock form) can't drop to 115 MHz? I'm still learning, but don't really know how to fish yet.
Just 'cause you're a ham doesn't give you privileges on aircraft automatically. I think you have to actually be a pilot or ground controller.
That said, aircraft is in the VHF band, however they use AM. The VX-7R can do AM or FM on 6m, but only FM in 2m, 220MHz or 440MHz. The FT-7800/88/89 can't transmit AM anywhere. Even the FT-8900R will only do FM on 10m.
All of them (in fact most wide band RX radios) can hear AM, just very limited transmit ability of it. You'd probably have to get an HF rig that could tune the VHF band to even consider it. It might be easier to just carry an aircraft radio for emergencies. Also a fair number of pilots are hams (in fact just about every private pilot I personally know is a ham, that's odd now that I think about it) and probably will have a ham radio anyway.