Misheard Mistakes

Beyond separating and sequencing aircraft, air traffic controllers are responsible for managing expectations. When I’m working traffic, I must ensure that what each pilot expects to be doing matches with what I expect him to be doing. Otherwise, it’s like trying to act out a play when all the actors are reading from different scripts. […]

Controller Training

During my time as a controller, I’ve had a lot of pilots ask about what’s involved with ATC training and how it compares to pilot training. Unlike for some pilots, it’s not one and done, nor should it be. The Big Picture ATC has many different functions and jobs. Most pilots know of the main […]

Reinventing NOTAMS

Air Canada Flight 759 almost landed at night on a taxiway adjacent to closed SFO Runway 28L on July 7, 2017. At the last moment, the pilots aborted. The NTSB estimated it came within 14 feet of another aircraft. Investigators discovered the NOTAM closing the runway was buried on page 8 of their 27-page flight […]

The IFP Gateway

The FAA’s IFP Information Gateway offers all published Instrument Fight Procedures for download and status checks such as whether procedures are new, up for amendment, or on the block for cancellation. Uniquely, it gives pilots a fast, efficient way to query IFP designers concerning any issues. It even offers automatic notification of changes to a […]

Culling Procedures

Still carrying a chart case with leather binders of paper approach plates? Your back probably tells you that the FAA has been issuing Instrument Flight Procedures (IFPs) at a phenomenal rate. The iPads, electronic tablets, and FMS Data Bases have masked the explosion of IFPs. However, the FAA is targeting the elimination of underutilized procedures […]

January 2022 Quiz: Not What You Planned

Working remotely has its perks. The commute is great, the view is pretty good, and the dining options are usually decent as well. But, being cooped up in the same place day after day can lead to stir craziness. So when the opportunity arose to take a work trip from your home in Boston to […]

Be an FAA Whisperer

Should it become necessary, you really need to know and understand ways to deal with the FAA. These days it’s more likely you will...

October 2021 Quiz: No Time For Coasting

You recently needed to take extended travel to destinations beyond the practical range of your trusty Cessna Cardinal RG. Your avionics shop just took...

September 2021 Quiz

Little-known Coded Departure Routes can solve routing problems for bad weather, traffic, and more. Are you up on the ins and outs of CDRs?

August 2021 Quiz

You accidentally bust a Class Charlie. After landing, the FBO hands you a note to call the TRACON. The manager is hopping mad and...

Can You Bust the Rust?

Your last flight was 13 months ago, the coronavirus having curtailed your flying activities. Safely vaccinated, you’re itching to get back in the air...

Quiz: June 2021

In a recent hangar session with a group of instructors, we discussed common weaknesses seen in IPCs. This quiz is the result of our...