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4

In addition to the above answers, the term final controller can also refer to the controller issuing instruction for a ground controlled approach, such as a PAR or ASR approach. Aircraft will get handed off to this controller before commencing the approach, and will receive lateral and/or vertical guidance depending on the equipment available for that runway....


3

FAA answer. No, the instruction to "Squawk VFR" (code 1200) would not be proper in this case. But there can be nuances. First of all (and this is an extremely pedantic point), just because the controller said "Squawk VFR" does not mean they are no longer providing IFR separation. Yes, yes, of course it is a near-certainty that in this ...


11

"Final" or "Final vector" is the position in charge of, well, final approach. It is a radar control position worked in the TRACON. As aircraft are transferred from the ARTCC to the Tracon, the Center (or Enroute) controller will tell them to contact the "Approach" controller. Everyone in the TRACON uses the callsign "...


2

A Final (radar) controller in a TRACON provides instructions (e.g., radar vectors, speed adjustments, etc.) and an instrument approach clearance (if required) necessary to sequence, provide separation with other aircraft, and align the aircraft with the landing runway. Once this is done the pilot will be instructed to contact the Control Tower. Typically ...


1

One additional cause for the low audio quality is the audio bitrate that LiveATC uses to record and broadcast their audio. The audio is typically 16 KHz which is just fine for spoken word audio, but the MP3 bitrate is around 17 Kbps. Your typical music service will use an audio bitrate at or above 128 Kbps. At ~17 Kbps there's just not a lot of data there,...


9

Short version: Poor quality audio on LiveATC is mostly due to obstructions attenuating the signal. Controllers and pilots usually don't have much trouble hearing each other unless there are multiple stations transmitting on the same frequency at once or there's something like a mountain in the way (or possibly a building in the case of airplanes on the ...


3

ATC antenna placement and frequency assignment go through an extensive analysis process that looks at the targeted airspace volume to ensure satisfactory radio coverage. The analysis also looks at where the frequency is used elsewhere to prevent any type of interference. The study looks at the altitude of the aircraft in the airspace volume, the length/width ...


4

I spent many years in ATC quality assurance. It is a joint responsibility for the controller to issue a valid clearance and ensure the pilot reads it back correctly, and for the pilot to hear the clearance correctly and acknowledge it. If the controller issues a valid clearance, such as "climb and maintain one zero thousand" and the pilot says &...


5

According to this AvWeb article, in early 1999 the FAA issued an "interpretive rule" covering this exact situation. The rule is available in text and PDF form at the Federal Register. Part of the "History" section of the rule states (emphasis mine): [...] when a miscommunication or misunderstanding occurs, the FAA deems responsible the ...


9

It's on the controller, even if the pilot intentionally read back an error. It has to be that way in "the moment". That pilot's intent is difficult to prove, anyway, but it can be done, in extreme cases. When was a new radar trainee, so, let's say 1990 (wow, a whole 'nother century), we had a pilot that flew for Rocky Mountain Airways, a regional ...


20

The real quality is almost always better, and I'll give a simplified explanation for why. LiveATC works by an individual volunteering to host a receiver on their house. Aircraft use VHF radio (except in remote and oceanic areas). VHF radio waves can only travel in line-of-sight. Therefore, if the person's house cannot see the aircraft (which given the sheer ...


17

In my experience in both an ARTCC and TRACON, the majority of radio communications were clear and without noteworthy feedback or static. There were some exceptions that were likely the result of a poor quality transmitter/headset/microphone from the aircraft and/or its location (low altitude, mountainous terrain, etc.). Typically, considering the ...


3

In the Center, time of day makes a difference, and so does traffic flow. With less traffic flow, sectors will be combined, and the high altitude area around BFF will go from 134.57 to 135.02, because it's combined with the next sector to the east, and 135,02 has better coverage over the combined airspace (there's only one main/standby set for 134.57 at ...


5

The answer to this question really has to do with shared expectations between pilots and controllers with regards to workload. Let’s consider two scenarios: Before the field is in sight – (your question) As an instrument rated pilot, on a filed flight plan with an appropriate equipment code, ATC expects you to be capable of following a published approach ...


1

Typically the type of approach to expect is noted on the ATIS (e.g., ILS, RNAV, Visual [including Charted Visual Flight Procedures -CVFP). It's OK to request an approach not being advertised on the ATIS or the approach you are told to expect by ATC on initial contact with the approach controller (e.g., TRACON). Often the traffic flow requirements to the ...


1

It's perfectly fine to request a visual approach before you have visual reference, just make it clear that you are not ready for the approach yet ("Request visual later on" or something). ATC may still assign you another type of approach if a visual does not fit in the traffic picture.


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