Amateur radio in the news: 11/18/12

This edition of “Amateur Radio in the News” features a story on how a young ham in Ireland helped prevent an airline disaster and how electrical engineering students in New Mexico are getting licenses and using amateur radio as a basis for their senior projects.

Ham radio fan saves U.S. bacon by spotting Sandy mayday call. Amateur radio fan Benny Young, from Tyrone, was tuning in on his hut-based hobby when he heard a ‘mayday’ call from a plane over the Atlantic. But the United Airlines captain, en route from Dublin to Boston, wasn’t able to reach flight controllers in the US. Benny, 29, picked up the pilot’s distress call and managed to get it passed on to emergency services. Here are a couple more reports:

Mentor guides NMSU engineering students as they construct amateur radios. Faculty adviser Robert Hull, Professor Vojin G. Oklobdzija and mentor David Hassall, WA5DJJ, mentor these senior engineering students as they complete their senior project – getting their amateur radio licenses and building QRP rigs.

EU standardizes “hamtagonistic” power line network tech. BPL just refuses to go away. I don’t know why Europe is so keen on this technology, which has failed to gain any traction at all here in the U.S.


  1. Good post. This was a big enough event that it should have been on national news but I never heard anything about it until I read it here. The public needs to know about events like this because too many people are saying that ham radio is no longer needed.

  2. Raymond PD0RT says:

    The BBC news article ( now gives an update :

    Update 27 November 2012: Further checks have shown United Airlines does not fly from Dublin to Boston. Irish and US aviation authorities also say they have no record of these events.

    This information was put to Mr Young, who did not wish to comment.

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