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Flight Learnings

ATC Inflight Weather Avoidance Assistance

The Air Traffic Control System

ATC Radar Weather Displays ATC radar systems are able to display areas of precipitation by sending out a beam of radio energy that is reflected back to the radar antenna when it strikes an object or moisture which may be in the form of rain drops, hail, or snow. The larger the object, or the […]

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Communication Facilities (Part Two)

The Air Traffic Control System

Terminal Radar Approach Control (TRACON) TRACONs are considered terminal facilities because they provide the link between the departure airport and the en route structure of the NAS. Terminal airspace normally extends 30 nautical miles (NM) from the facility, with a vertical extent of 10,000 feet; however, dimensions vary widely. Class B and Class C airspace […]

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Communication Facilities (Part One)

The Air Traffic Control System

The controller’s primary responsibility is separation of aircraft operating under IFR. This is accomplished with ATC facilities which include the AFSS, airport traffic control tower (ATCT), terminal radar approach control (TRACON), and air route traffic control center (ARTCC). Automated Flight Service Stations (AFSS) A pilot’s first contact with ATC is usually through AFSS, either by […]

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Communication Procedures

The Air Traffic Control System

Clarity in communication is essential for a safe instrument flight. This requires pilots and controllers to use terms that are understood by both—the Pilot/Controller Glossary in the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) is the best source of terms and definitions. The AIM is revised twice a year and new definitions are added, so the glossary should […]

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Communication Equipment

The Air Traffic Control System

Navigation/Communication (NAV/COM) Equipment Civilian pilots communicate with ATC on frequencies in the very high frequency (VHF) range between 118.000 and 136.975 MHz. To derive full benefit from the ATC system, radios capable of 25 kHz spacing are required (e.g., 134.500, 134.575, 134.600). If ATC assigns a frequency that cannot be selected, ask for an alternative […]

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Terminal Arrival Area (TAA) (Part Two)

The National Airspace System

Landing Minimums The minimums section sets forth the lowest altitude and visibility requirements for the approach, whether precision or nonprecision, straight-in or circling, or radar vectored. When a fix is incorporated in a nonprecision final segment, two sets of minimums may be published, depending upon how the fix can be identified. Two sets of minimums […]

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Terminal Arrival Area (TAA) (Part One)

The National Airspace System

The design objective of the TAA procedure is to provide a transition method for arriving aircraft with GPS/RNAV equipment. TAAs will also eliminate or reduce the need for feeder routes, departure extensions, and procedure turns or course reversal. The TAA is controlled airspace established in conjunction with the standard or modified RNAV approach configurations. The […]

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Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) Charts (Part Two)

The National Airspace System

The Plan View The plan view provides a graphical overhead view of the procedure, and depicts the routes that guide the pilot from the en route segments to the initial approach fix (IAF). [Figure 8-10] During the initial approach, the aircraft has departed the en route phase of flight and is maneuvering to enter an […]

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Instrument Approach Procedure (IAP) Charts (Part One)

The National Airspace System

The IAP chart provides the method to descend and land safely in low visibility conditions. The FAA establishes an IAP after thorough analyses of obstructions, terrain features, and navigational facilities. Maneuvers, including altitude changes, course corrections, and other limitations, are prescribed in the IAP. The approach charts reflect the criteria associated with the United States […]

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