Questions tagged [air-traffic-control]

Air Traffic Control (ATC) is a service of ground-based controllers that directs and coordinates aircraft to improve safety and efficiency.

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1answer
102 views

What is the reason behind updating the radar tracks on the CWP in chunks instead of updating them all at once?

Some time ago, I noticed that the controller's screen (CWP) of a particular system in a European ACC. was not updating all the visible tracks at once but it was following this pattern: The screen ...
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1answer
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What does "closed traffic" mean?

I'm a Japanese ATC working in Japan. I want to ask about "closed traffic". I checked 7110.65 for this. Question 1: What is successive operation? One day I was on duty and the air force pilot ...
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Practice Pans - are there any genuine reasons not to use them?

I'm a low time PPL. In my personal opinion, practice pans, perhaps one or two a year, are a good thing. Practice in a procedure that builds confidence removes one more item from the pucker factor ...
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1answer
577 views

Who or what is the DEN and what do they do?

I was reading some older Av.SE pages and ended up on the ATC procedural document JO 7110.65 for handling emergencies. Down at the very bottom under 10.2.19(b) which has to do with medical/health ...
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Does "Cross [FIX] at 250 knots" mean I have to maintain 250 knots after the fix?

If you are given the clearance to "cross [FIX] at 250 knots", does this specifically mean : 1 ) Cross fix at 250 knots, and then after [FIX] your assigned speed is 250 knots until otherwise ...
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1answer
32 views

How to convert European ATC license (and medical) to FAA equivalents?

I have an Air Traffic Controller license issued by the European union (compliant with ICAO standards). Ratings for tower and approach radar with current validations for both. How can I convert this to ...
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1answer
60 views

How are practice areas communicated?

When I fly near my local airport (KSSF) in San Antonio, there's a designated South Practice Area and North Practice Area. ATC knows where they are and all the ...
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2answers
4k views

What does it mean when the controller uses the word "request"?

I recently had the opportunity to fly a PAR approach into Büchel Airbase in Germany. It was a ton of fun and I'll definitely try it again when I get the chance. However, as we were getting set up for ...
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1answer
743 views

What is the difference between CTAF and the Tower frequency? Why does the Chart Supplement list the same frequency twice?

At many part-time towered airports the Chart Supplement will have a listing along these lines: COMMUNICATIONS: CTAF 119.2, TOWER 119.2 (1400–0500Z‡) The CTAF is the same frequency as the Tower. What ...
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276 views

Which frequency to contact when arriving at a Class C airport when the tower is open, and which frequency when it is closed?

I came across this question on my PPL exam and I'm not able to properly interpret some pieces. The question is: When approaching Lincoln Municipal from the west at noon for the purpose of landing, ...
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1answer
205 views

Is IWA (Phoenix Gateway) a Federal Contract Tower?

how can I find out which airports are operated by the FAA and which are FAA-contract (or even independently operated)? I'm currently looking specifically at IWA, Phoenix Gateway Tower.
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Is there any source of live ATC audio with subtitles?

I'd like to know if there is a way to hear ATC and pilots' communications, with subtitles.
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138 views

Can non-FAA towers employ foreigners?

I understand you must be a US citizen in order to work ATC with FAA. Is it different with the non-FAA towers? Could I as a European citizen be employed (working visa/greencard) there?
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What are the boxes around the airport on the IVAO Approach (APP) screen?

I play IVAO and I sometimes get curious about different positions that different controllers play on. Let's take this airport, Birmingham UK, this is what the APP (Approach) screen looks like What do ...
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1answer
163 views

In a two-pilot aircraft (Capt/FO), are both pilots held responsible for a pilot deviation?

In the U.S. if, for example, an aircraft is instucted by ATC to climb and maintain FL280 but instead climbs to FL290, are both pilots, in an aircraft requiring two pilots (e.g. A320 or similar), held ...
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264 views

What’s the difference between Arrival and Approach controllers?

Some airports have two separated frequencies related to arrival. Arrival and approach. When I navigate to some airports that have both frequencies, I first contact the arrival controller then, at a ...
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Why do English-speaking pilots and ATC say "Niner" instead of "Nine"?

Besides the fact that it's now a standard, why do American-English-speaking pilots and ATC say "Niner" instead of "Nine"? None of the other numerals are pronounced in an atypical fashion. For what ...
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4answers
10k views

How do I tell ATC that I don't have a transponder?

If my plane doesn't have a transponder and ATC tells me to squawk some transponder code, how should I respond? Is it just as simple as "I don't have a transponder"? This is for the United States and ...
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1answer
174 views

Pilot communication with ATC partially unreadable

Can anybody decipher this pilot's landing request due to moderate turbulence (some unreadable words...). Thanks ! https://www.icloud.com/iclouddrive/03kDM9-xQ7Oyz3kUaeRJj6M5Q#AUDIO-2021-12-03-07-51-...
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3answers
1k views

How to use/be an airborne relay

There are some cases where a pilot may not be able to reach ATC directly due to lack of power or being below the radio horizon: On a handheld backup radio After a forced landing Over open water In ...
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What is an appropriate way to practice ATC communications?

I'm a PPL trainee and I'm looking for a way to improve my radio communication. https://www.liveatc.net/ is a great way to practice but I can't fully understand the conversation between the unit and ...
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Did the last US plane to leave Afghanistan have support from the control tower?

CNN's says says that The last US military planes have left Afghanistan, Gen. Frank McKenzie, the commander of US Central Command, announced Monday at the Pentagon. The US departure marks the end of a ...
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Why does the MVA have 1000 ft height buffer?

As per definition the Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA) in each sector provides 1000 ft above the highest obstruction [...]. I am curious where these 1000 ft stem from. Why not 500 ft? Why not 300 ft,...
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2answers
1k views

If I'm on a IFR flight plan with appropriate IFR reserves, and I'm given a lower altitude which will consume more fuel, what should I do?

Let's say I'm on a long-range flight at my requested altitude of FL250, and I am handed off into a very busy sector where the controller tells me "Descend and maintain FL210, for traffic." At FL250, ...
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1answer
335 views

Are there any U.S. airports that offer GCA (PAR/ASR) approaches?

Are there any U.S. Civilian or Joint-Use (military/civilian) airports that currently offer either/both a PAR (Precision Approach Radar) or an ASR (Airport Surveillance Radar) Ground Controlled ...
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3answers
346 views

What is the difference between "cruise" and "en-route"?

I have a little misunderstanding about the two concepts: Cruise and En-route. Could you guys help me to compare the similarities and differences between these two concepts, maybe in some aspect like ...
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110 views

What should be approx altitude of jet aircraft 10 nautical miles to landing [duplicate]

Please assume the elevation of airport to 2000ft ASL. Under what conditions ATC might mandate aircrafts to fly at lower altitudes? What might be approximate speed at this distance?
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157 views

Does ATC expect 250 KIAS during vectors for an instrument or visual approach?

During vectors to an instrument or visual approach does ATC expect the pilot to maintain 250 KIAS until cleared for the approach or instructed to slow to another speed?
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1answer
527 views

How does an airspace class change from E to D affect already airborne aircraft?

In the US, there are some airports with a part-time tower. When the tower is in operation, the airspace around the airport is class D and requires communication with the tower. When the tower is ...
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3answers
68k views

"What's our vector, Victor?": What does this mean?

In Airplane there is a famous sequence: ...
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80 views

Flight directional headings [duplicate]

I listen to aircraft land and take off weekly. I noticed in taking off they usually only use about 3 to 5 different directions. I don't understand what they mean when for example they said to the ...
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4answers
11k views

What is the meaning of “American 755, turn right, heading 320"?

I am studying a text entitled Unmanned Aircraft Systems. How can we simplify the instruction in quotes so that it is more understandable and can be understood by a nontechnical. Please note I am not ...
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What navigation actions does a pilot take when simply told to "go around"?

In this recording of ATC during the 2008 crash of a British Airways Boeing 777 at London Heathrow the controller is heard to say "Qatari 011, go around". How would the pilot of Qatari 011 ...
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4answers
10k views

Why do aircraft on Flight Radar 24 jump around randomly sometimes?

I use Flight Radar 24 on my iPad to track friends/families flights when they are traveling (not paranoia, just curious). I've noticed that, quite often, their plane will jump from one location to ...
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9answers
3k views

Is it bad form to call "ready to depart" when you know you won't be cleared yet?

My local aerodrome is towered and has parallel hard and grass runways. Simultaneous parallel departures or landings are not normally allowed. On one occasion we had been instructed to "line up and ...
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2answers
5k views

Why are planes required to cruise at round flight levels only above 18000 ft of altitude?

AFAIK, planes flying at up to FL180 (18,000 ft pressure altitude) are allowed to fly at both round and semi-round altitudes (e.g. 15,000 ft or 15,500 ft). Planes flying above FL180 must fly at a round ...
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0answers
217 views

Why do flights approaching Kabul seem to take a different route since the Taliban took over?

From a reporter on Twitter: Nerdy question but genuinely curious: All fights into Kabul would previously approach from the east, flying towards the direction of Nangarhar, then making a U-turn over ...
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3answers
7k views

Does air traffic control identify a distress situation when an aircraft flies triangles in the sky?

There is an account in a TSB Canada investigation report after a loss of radio and transponder: The emergency procedure to be followed by a pilot to alert radar stations when in distress and unable ...
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How do civil aircraft flying in formation handle ATC?

I assume that while en route, one aircraft could simply pick up flight following and the others do not need to talk to ATC, but what about upon reaching an airport? Do they simply announce "flight of ...
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3answers
10k views

Is it legal to fly the localizer approach when cleared for the ILS?

Most ILS approaches include localizer minimums that can be used if the glideslope transmitter or receiver fails. For example: In this case, to fly the ILS you would intercept the glideslope just ...
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3answers
3k views

What call sign does Marine One use when the President is not on board?

How would the pilot of Marine One identify himself to air traffic control without the President on board? Does it have an N-number? If anyone knows, I would like a specific call sign/N-number of any ...
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12k views

How are squawk codes assigned?

How are the 4-digit squawk codes assigned to individual flights? This answer indicates that there should be a "correct" one. How does ATC know what is "correct" and what is "incorrect"?
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100 views

Is the Special Traffic Management Program (STMP) still in use?

I'm doing some research on STMP. this NBAA link say that STMP is gone. however, this link makes it look like STMP was in use for oshkosh 2021. the subdomain may indicate it wasn't used though so it's ...
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3answers
9k views

What is the range and accuracy of ATC radar systems?

What is the average range, accuracy, and update frequency of radar systems used to monitor airspace in the USA? I'm primarily interested in capabilities for tracking smaller general aviation aircraft ...
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4answers
7k views

Is it a flight violation to mishear ATC instructions for exiting the runway?

I was on landing rollout and misheard a tower "turn off at xxx switch ground" call. We read back the incorrect taxi way and turned off there and switched to the ground frequency. After our incorrect ...
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158 views

Does compliance with ATC instructions apply to VFR aircraft in Class G?

(U.S.) 14 CFR 91.123 (b) states: Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised. FAR 91.123(b) was ...
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4k views

May I enter Class C airspace if I'm told "remain VFR"?

During a flight yesterday, the approach frequency for a local Class C was unusually busy. I was heading back to an underlying Class D and the frequency finally quieted down enough for me to poke in a ...
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1answer
2k views

How do I request a frequency change to listen to ATIS?

If I only have one radio, and I'm using VFR Flight Following, what do I tell ATC when I want to pick up ATIS for the landing airport before I'm told to contact the tower?
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535 views

Should I inform ATC about minor deviations to maintain VFR while on practice instrument approaches?

When talking to approach control for the purpose of performing practice instrument approaches in VMC with a safety pilot, the pilot (and safety pilot) is required to "maintain VFR." However, the pilot ...
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4answers
896 views

What type of chart is displayed on ATC radar screens?

I am looking to make an emulation of the radar screen familiar to Air Traffic Controllers, such as the pictures below. I have been having a very hard time finding what type of chart/map is being used. ...

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