Shanwick Bogus Messages

Just around New Years, a story started growing legs about Bogus CPDLC messages from Shanwick and Gander. In the most worrying version of events, the G550 crew received a “Descend at Max Rate” type message on CPDLC, and when they checked on voice with ATC it hadn’t come from them.

We had lots of replies on this – both by email and in slack, thanks everyone! So here is the event summary as pieced together by the community:

– This was a single event that happened in December, at 0500Z one morning, to a G550
– It was caused by an avionics bug in the FMS – a valid error message was parsed incorrectly and assigned a value of “Descend at max rate” by the FMS, which appeared on the screen.
– Fears of it being some kind of spoofing or hack are unfounded. The initial story spread like wildfire! But ultimately, a non-event.

Confirm Assigned Route

This was the second part of the concerns about CPDLC messages from Shanwick. Lots of crews have been getting an FMS message after passing the Oceanic Entry Point saying “Confirm Assigned Route”. We’ve probably gotten 50 distinct messages/emails/queries on this. Many crews don’t know quite what this is or what to do with it, and many wondered if it was also a “bogus message”.

This is normal. It’s a new procedure, and this message is now automatically sent by Gander, Shanwick, and Iceland. The reason for the message, is to act as a cross check, now that we’re all cruising with 30 miles between us instead of the old school 60. When you do “Confirm Assigned Route”, then ATC knows that you’re both on the same page.

We first mentioned it here in November, have a read. The only recent update is that Gander and Iceland have automated the CPDLC message, so everyone that logs on will get the “Confirm Assigned Route” message.

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