60

I'm a controller, not a pilot, so I can only speak from my own perspective. What we are taught in ATC school is that many pilots are reluctant to use the word mayday because they feel it might escalate a situation unnecessarily and potentially create a lot of paperwork. I guess, mentally, it seems like calling mayday is a significant, irreversible step ...


42

This answer assumes the manouevring was related to the Military training activities going on off-shore. While plausible, there is another plausible explanition in ymb1's answer. That was a British Airways Boeing 747 on its way from London to Miami. Just off the coast there is a military exercise going on (see the LJ35 doing circles in the screenshot from ...


26

Admin stuff, emails, chat with a colleague if you are not alone on shift, read up on (ever changing) procedures, eat, read a book, make sure the coffee machine works, meditate, watch TV. Anything goes, really, as long as you keep an eye on the radar and stay close enough to hear the radio and answer the phone. Of course, this is all assuming that there are ...


26

Saying mayday or pan-pan is only recommended, and repeating it three times is merely preferable. That statement applies to USA, and ICAO in general, by referencing both the AIM and AIP; and ICAO's Annex 10 Volume 2, respectively. Let's begin with the basic (from the linked AIP): A pilot who encounters a distress or urgency condition can obtain ...


16

I'd like to add to @DL's answer: Skipping further ahead in time, it wasn't a reroute out of a bottleneck, rather an introduced time delay. Either TBFM (Time Based Flow Management), or sector capacity constraints (though it also happened for northbound traffic). The FAA website confirms Miami (MIA) as one of the airports with TBFM deployed. The military ...


14

Traffic is fairly predictable. They operate with more personell during peak times and with much less in the night. During peak times there are separate controllers for apron operations, clearance delivery, taxiing, takeoffs and landings, arrivals, departures and for each en-route sector. During slow times, a single controller handles multiple roles or ...


11

Yes, an IFR flightplan can be cancelled at any time. The pilot simply tells ATC "cancelling my IFR flight", then it is cancelled. Depending on airspace classification, ATC may need to issue a clearance to continue as a VFR flight. However, diverting to another destination that originally planned is not the same as cancelling a flightplan. To do so, the ...


7

I can’t speak for Australia, but in the United States there are thousands of uncontrolled airports throughout the country, both privately and publicly operated. Larger, better equipped public uncontrolled airports have good facilities such as paved runways and taxiways, instrument approaches, automated weather reporting stations, pilot controlled airport ...


7

"Mayday, Mayday, Mayday" tells ATC (and everyone else on frequency) that you have an emergency, but it gives them exactly zero information about the nature of the emergency or what you need other than getting their attention and time on frequency. If you're in a portion of flight where you don't already have the attention of the controller, then adding "...


5

Yes, helicopters are allowed near busy (and any other) airports, because why not? Ok, seriously: helicopters in general are just as able aircraft as ones with fixed wings. General limitations for use of airspace may be in effect depending on airspace categories around aiports, but to my knowledge there are no airports in the world that would specifially ...


4

The Eurocontrol Lexicon can help here as well. The Estimated In-Block Time is defined as: The estimated time that an aircraft will arrive in-block. (Eurocontrol) This is not very helpful, but the definition for Actual In-Block Time is: The actual date and time when the parking brakes have been engaged at the parking position. (Eurocontrol) This ...


4

Where noted, the information in this answer is from Advisory Circular 103-6, which was issued in 1983, but which apparently is not actually obsolete. Is it possible to get the equivalent of flight following or at least call up ATC to let them know you are there, if you are planning on flying at higher altitudes? I am used to doing this for a D airspace if ...


4

Faced with bad weather, some icing, and an aircraft with a collapsed gear on the runway, I landed on the taxiway. The matter was complicated in that ATC was unaware of the runway closure. This was at night, in the winter, and the airport owner / manager fired up his equipment to light up the incident area, and did not file a NOTAM until after I was on the ...


3

If you look at all the information in a flight plan, the route of flight is a relatively small part of it. Most of the data is about the aircraft (e.g. navigation and safety equipment), crew and passengers, which is used to determine if the flight is legal or by search and rescue folks if the aircraft goes missing. Given the volume of such data and how ...


3

You normally never ask for a landing clearance itself. At a VFR airport the controller is mentally sequencing aircraft as they arrive and are cleared into the zone, and gives routing instructions as necessary to make aircraft find their way onto final in the desired sequence with the necessary spacing. Having already been cleared into the control zone the ...


3

The entire point of an Air Defense Identification Zone (ADIZ) is to notify pilots that the relevant defense forces require identifying all aircraft to determine whether they are a threat. They much prefer to do this via you filing the appropriate flight plan and talking to ATC/FIS. If you don't do that, you should expect to be intercepted by said defense ...


2

There is very little air traffic control for such airstrips* precisely because there is very little traffic. Even a popular semi-backcountry strip, say Smiley Creek in Idaho, might see a dozen or two planes on a summer weekend. You just use your eyes, and monitor the CTAF and announce your intentions. Other places I might land and camp for several days ...


2

The way 91.215 is written, you must operate your mode C transponder in rule airspace unless ATC tells you not to. The reason ATC tells you not to squawk in the case of a formation flight is to avoid triggering a constant stream of Collision Alerts between members of the formation, which is useless, annoying and may distract them from an actual problem ...


1

This is an Obstacle Departure so this is not assigned by ATC. Some obstacle departures are textual based and some have an image depiction of the departure, such as this one. Part 91 pilots are not required to follow Obstacle Departures under an IFR flight plane but it is highly encouraged. Commercial flights must follow Obstacle Departure procedures and ...


1

Items in parentheses on these charts are not said when referring to them by name. It's the same for other departures/arrivals that are RNAV, and for approaches that may be GPS or RNP.


1

Mayday is a protocol for "breaking in unannounced" you might say, or for broadcasting in the clear on an open frequency to whoever might hear you. So if you are flying around VFR and need to broadcast that your engine just quit, or are in an airliner on the North Atlantic Tracks out of ground based VHF and radar coverage, you use Mayday for sure. When you ...


1

When filing a VFR flight plan with an ATS route identifier in it, consider the following: - check that the aircraft is equipped with suitable navigation aid receivers (e.g., ADF, VOR, GPS) - check the lowest altitude permitted for that specific ATS route - make sure the weather / clouds will allow you to climb and maintain the minimum ATS route altitude in ...


1

It is wise that controllers alert even when the pilot has not declared an emergency. They have to be prepared and start coordination and assessment of the situation because one situation that is not emergent in the air can turn quickly to a distress one. This does not mean that controllers have to block the frequency and ask every moment. The controllers ...


1

IMHO, I offer the following, the current FAR requires an operable transponder to enter any Mode C veil, regardless of your flight circumstances...(VFR/IFR/formation/flight plan or not/flight following or not). On January 1, 2020 the new requirement for all aircraft to enter any Mode C veil is an operable transponder with AD-SB Out capability. If you are ...


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