p 5.37 ( 3,271)
Special Radio Situations 
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Departure Taxiing; ...You are required to; ...Arrival Taxi; ... Taxiing Problems; ...The Four Causes of Runway Incursions; ..Side Note; ..After Landing;Ground Communications Outlet...Instructional Communications; ...Where Communication Problems Occur; Radio Failure Lesson;  …NORDO Procedures; …NORDO Opinion; …Transmitter Failure on Radar; …Pre-solo Radio Exercise; …Opening a Flight Plan; …Position Report Sequence; …Weather  PIREP: (getting);Giving Weather  PIREP; …To Amend a Flight Plan; …To Close Flight Plan; …Remote Communications Outlet (RCO); ...The RCO Is Not a RTR; Emergency Use of the FSS; …D F Steer; …Precipitation Static; …For Study; …Assertive Safety; … Communications Items; … Special Uses of the Flight Service Station; …Cell Phone FSS Roaming NumbersUse a Tape Recorder; ...Aircraft Radios; ...The Radio; ...Emergency Locator Transmitter; ...ELT Update; …ELT Future; Direct Line to Search and Rescue; 1-800 851-3051 ...Automatic Direction Finder; ...RADAR; ...The Transponder; ...How the Numbers Work; ...Radar Separation; ...Radar Identification; ...Data Block; ...Transmitter Failure on Radar; …Radio Reception Quality; …Aircraft Radio Facts; …Radar Radio; ...A Reason to File a Flight Plan; ... NORDO Lesson; ...

Departure Taxiing
Whether in the air or on the ground it is important that the pilot have situational awareness. It is not enough to just know your position. You must know and anticipate the communications requirements of what lies ahead. If you are given a command, EXECUTE, then use the radio. It is just as easy to inadvertently break an FAR on the ground as in the air. The violation is far more likely to be noticed on the ground.

You should make any request for a taxi route or runway to ground on initial call up. An aircraft costs just as much for ground time as for airtime. Ask for a closer runway if it is better for your purposes and winds within your capability. Traffic permitting, you will be accommodated by your friendly ATC.

You are required to:
--Read back all runway hold short instructions. This must include your aircraft number and the taxiway or runway identified by ATC. You cannot move past the holding point until issued a clearance by ground. (This is the only time Ground Control uses the word 'cleared".) If you have any doubt as to what to do, ask ATC for help.

--Readback the taxi route given by ATC.

--Read back the name of the runway as given in your taxi instructions.

--Read back all runway crossing, holding, and takeoff clearances.

The actual departure is relatively simple since the active runway can be observed. However, it is necessary to discuss and practice the departure to be requested for the direction of flight. You must hear other traffic as they communicate. You must be aware as to the potential hazard caused by their present position and movement. You must study airport areas so as to be aware of where to look.

"Concord ground Cessna 1234X East ramp with (ATIS word)
request...if any"

When Ground replies:
"Cessna 34X taxi to 34L"
You are now required to respond with your identification and the runway as assigned:
"34X taxiing to 34L"

You have done your run-up well clear of taxiways and allowed maximum room in the area for other aircraft. You have faced the wind for `engine cooling'. Mandatory when you start flying high performance aircraft. After completion of the runup checklist and the pre-takeoff checklist you must contact the tower before taxiing out. If you know that other aircraft are ahead of you add the words 'in sequence' to the callup. Acknowledge any clearance with the word hold in it and repeat back the instruction.

Arrival Taxi
The transition from flight to ground control of an aircraft is a busy time for pilots. It is often just the moment that ATC advises that you should contact ground often along with other instructions, i.e.
...when clear
...hold short of...
...cross and contact ground...
...remain this frequency until...
and combinations of these.

The pilot is well advised to become familiar with the nuances of this transition. Remain on tower frequency until you are clear of the runway. You are not clear of the runway until you cross the hold bars. Exiting on intersecting runways without hold bars is a judgment situation as to how far is 'clear'.

After landing and clearing the runway by crossing the hold lines, you should wait for tower to direct a change of frequency. Determine your location before communicating. Have mike in left hand so that right hand is on throttle. If you are planning to be IFR rated get a headset and yoke mike.

You should wait for tower to direct a change of frequency. You should remain on the tower frequency until told to change, however, if the controller is very busy you might contact ground on your own. A judgment call. Try to face approaching traffic and get a clearance before moving.

If you are uncertain as to where to go, request taxi assistance. Determine your location before communicating. If you don't know where you are, say so and give any relevant information beginning with your last known position even if it was a departure point, your planned route. Describe buildings, nearby aircraft, signs, directions, painted lines or terrain.

"Concord ground Cessna 1234X holding short of the left
to transient parking unfamiliar"

Taxiing Problems
Forty-six percent of all aircraft accidents occur on the ground. A small percentage of these ground accidents occur due to runway incursions. An aircraft goes on to a runway where it does not belong. However, several hundred incursions occur every year that do not result in accidents. The pilots guilty of these incursions become subject to FAA and/or NTSB sanctions. A clearance to taxi to a runway allows you to cross all runways and taxiways on the way but does not allow you to go on the assigned runway or any parallels at any point.

The Four Causes of Runway Incursions Are:
1) Controller/operational,
2) Pilot factors,
3) Ground vehicles, and
4) Obstacles on runway.

Memory loss is the number one cause of controller errors. Distraction is the major cause of this loss of memory. Controllers may make a separation misjudgment by mistakenly making speed assumptions that are not there. Controller coordination or phraseology in the tower between local and ground can be a problem if an aircraft is cleared to taxi in front of a landing aircraft. The last area of causes is communication, which comprises a vast range of problems. Readback and hear back is a forever difficulty.

Pilots forget to do what they say they will do. All of the controller causes are compounded because the training levels of pilots are not as consistent as that of controllers. Pilots are more likely to have equipment difficulty. The biggest difference is situational awareness. Controllers know where they are. The pilot must form a mental picture of who is where in the air and on the ground. Pilots tend to get misplaced and lost. The more experienced the pilot the more ready he will be to accept controller taxi assistance. You can learn to anticipate what the controller is going to do. Do not accept a clearance which you believe will place you in harms way.

Side note:
Taxi directions are clearances even though the word clearance is omitted. If you are given a 'stop' during taxi you must be given a 'clearance' to proceed.

After landing
-- Exit the runway without delay at the first available taxiway or on a specified taxiway as instructed by ATC. If you need a long landing, just advise. Approval would depend on traffic volume. AIM 4-3-20a
-- After clearing the runway you landed on, hold and obtain taxi clearance. Same as taxiing to a runway, you must obtain a clearance from ground control after exiting a runway. AIM 4-3-20c, d; 4-3-18d(3)
-- If you have questions, just ask. ATC must know what you want to do before they can properly carry out their control duties. AIM 4-2-1b

Radio Competence
--Poor radio procedures in a high performance aircraft must embarrass the aircraft.
--Time spend flying should challenge opportunities to use the radio correctly.
--Practice your phrasing for smoothness and to eliminate punctuation and pauses.
--There should be no WWII antiquities over the radio.
--The procedures to use with the FSS are different and just as specific as those with Flight Watch, TRACON, the uncontrolled airport, or a Tower.
--The competent pilot knows when he is unfamiliar and says so to all concerned.
--According to the FARs you don't need to read back a clearance but it is wise to do so.
--Read back all runway assignments on the air or ground. Readback all hold short instructions.
--Get the ATIS before ATC has to ask and be sure to say you have it.
--Expect each facility to have its differences in procedure and individuals who differ even more.
--Think ahead of what you are going to need to say. Give accurate position reports.
--Don't say, this is…with you…twenty-five hundred…over a location…feet…mile...runway

Ground Communications Outlet (GCO)
Procedure before departing IFR from an airfield that requires using a Ground Communications Outlet (GCO) to contact the ARTCC, FSS, or facility to get a weather information, close a flight plan or clearance as explained in the AIM. The GCO system is intended to be used only on the ground. You must use one second long mike switch clicks four times to make automated voice advise you that it is dialing a specific ATC facility. Six such clicks will connect you to an FSS. I believe Truckee, CA has such an outlet.

Instructional Communications
he initial presumption of a problem is that instructors train for single pilot independence as opposed to team work between those in the cockpit. I plead guilty that I teach my students early on to be situationally aware and precise in their radio communications. My only compromise to team effort is that I require all students to rehearse their planned communications over the intercom prior to keying the radio. I critique, as I feel required. Everything is taped.

Ground Operations
For the proportion of time dual training spends on the airport, a very high number of communications incidents happen. 1/3 of all reports occurred during the pre-takeoff operations. An additional 1/3 of the incidents occurred during the post landing operation. This tends to confirm that ground operations are not the best place to teach students how to use the radio. Personally, I never let the aircraft start until we have made a complete review of all air and ground communications going and coming.

Air Operations
44% of communication incidents occurred in Class Delta airspace. This seems to mean that dual
airport operations require better management of instructional communications.

In the Cockpit
Inside the cockpit communications were a major problem which included erroneous, confusing or misleading statements or instructions. I must plea mea culpa in this region simply because I seem to frequently misstate left for right or right for left.  However, I always insist student to contact tower to verify either instructions or clearance as the case may be.  

The areas of communications problems:
--Instructor made misleading or confusing directions with student taking wrong action.
--Instructor misinterpreted ATC and student took no or wrong action.
--Instructor failed to communicate with student and student took no or wrong action.
--21% of problems were related to radio or intercom operational difficulties
--Nearly 25% of ground incidents were the result of instructional process interference with ATC.
--75% of incidents involved failure to follow ATC requirements with resulting violation of FARs.
--The conflict between inter-cockpit and ATC demands require further study.
--Intermittent microphone switch problems.

Where Communication Problems Occur
--Highest level of difficulty lies within 1000 feet of airport surface.
--Students have difficulty following CFI instructions
--20% of problems related to communications equipment.
--Identification of dual flight training aircraft as…"Cessna trainer…

Radio Failure Lessons
NORDO ATC term for no radio)
Only twenty years ago 90 frequencies were usual with a mix of both tubes and transistors. It was difficult flying across the U.S. to Quebec, Canada, having only half of the required frequencies. Radio failure procedures were more often under actual conditions twenty years ago. By the third lesson I did a radio failure arrival to remove the shock of an actual occurrence. This is an exercise that is not part of many training programs today.

Since the advent of the transistor the frequency of radio failure has greatly declined. However, component failure such as speakers, microphones, switches, or headsets does occur. It is wise to have some spares available. The spare mike in the luggage space is useless to the solo pilot, however. At some point every pilot should practice NORDO procedures with a safety pilot monitoring the radio on a headset. ATC is very cooperative. Just advise them of your request for a NORDO, intentions and procedure you expect to follow. The known existence of a single NORDO aircraft does not create a serious ATC problem.  

I now conduct a simulated radio failure lesson by requesting of the tower approval of a NORDO (no radio) arrival with the proviso that I will maintain a headset listening watch of the procedure. I will remove the student's headset and have them make an airport arrival without any communication. I have the student over-fly the airport at twice pattern altitude and make a determination of the runway in use. We then proceed outbound on a reverse 45 while descending to pattern altitude. Well clear of the pattern we make a course reversal and proceed inbound on a 45 to the downwind. We maintain a continuous watch of the tower for a light signal.

--A steady green light must be observed before a landing can be made.

Even without a light signal we continue in the pattern, downwind, base and final. No landing will be made unless a continuous green light is observed. This is a very worthwhile experience for every student and should relieve some anxiety about, "What if...

--Landings can be legally made without radio at uncontrolled airports.

It would be possible to land at an uncontrolled airport and phone a controlled airport tower and advise them of your intentions to make a no-radio (NORDO) arrival. Such a phone call is required to land at a Class C airport. They will give you an arrival slot and route so that you can be identified on arrival. The average time of inadvertent (low volume, switch off) radio failure is about 8 minutes. Low time in type is likely cause. One reason not to use a cell phone except in a flight emergency is that you can be billed for every relay transmitter you activate. Story is that one pilot received a bill for $350.

A handheld nav/com is the easy but rather expensive solution to nav/com failure. Such failure is not an emergency in VFR conditions. Without radios there are alternative methods to handle all airspaces except certain Class B situations and Class A. Radio failure can be very deceptive. If you have been communicating and nothing happens for a while, make a trial contact to confirm all is well such as, "Podunk Approach radio check. ATC radios do fail on occasion.

Radio Failure Actions
Fly the plane
Check controls and settings
Check mike
Check cables and plugs
Check breakers and fuses
Check on another frequency

NORDO procedures
An older NORDO arrival method consisted of circling the tower at five hundred feet above the tower in ever widening circles until the controllers gave you the steady green. You respond to the steady green by wagging the wings and entering downwind to the appropriate runway. You should still be expecting and getting a green light prior to landing. especially on final.
--Phone ahead and plan NORDO arrival
--Remain clear and determine airport pattern
--Enter on 45 to longest runway, show a light
--Watch for light signals and aircraft
--Acknowledge light signals with wings/lights

I teach NORDO just by calling the tower and asking if we can fly into the Class Delta without communicating or transponder and have the student, without his headset on, overfly the airport above pattern altitude and enter on 45 to the longest runway and fly the pattern awaiting a solid green light. as clearance to land.

Meanwhile, I will monitor the radio and advise ATC if some unexpected situation arises.
Many years ago before transponders I had a radio failure at Oakland in the pattern with an 81 (My present age) year old pilot as student. In the pattern we did everything but fly into the tower trying to catch their attention and to get a green light. We were totally ignored.

We left the pattern and headed for Concord (13 miles) we entered the pattern and had a green light on the 45. Turning base and final the solid green light turned to an intermittent flashing green. My interpretation of that was that Oakland had notified CCR of our previous maneuvers and had suggested requested that we return to Oakland. So we headed back to Oakland and with a solid green light landed.

I called both towers to find out what was going on. Oakland told me that it was not unusual to have an aircraft on 27L in the 600' pattern ignore making or getting clearances if they were the only aircraft there. OH!

I called CCR and was advised that they had given me a solid green light all the way around the pattern. OH!

Came to find out that in addition to the window frames, there were ladders in use outside the windows for maintenance or washing. The combination of these as we flew the pattern caused the flashes of the light gun.

Incidentally, the only radio failure I have had since totally transistor radios has been having the transmitter relay freeze on me. Yes, in California. Fly long enough and you will have a story for every occasion.

NORDO Opinion
I fly into a Class D quite often with no radio. If I can, I call them on the phone with an estimated arrival time. When I get to the airport I come in above the pattern altitude from a direction free of IFR arrivals. I circle the tower until I get a green light to enter the pattern. I have yet to make a full circle.

When I get the green I enter a downwind for the active runway and watch the tower for another green. That one is "clear to land." Once I am on the ground I usually grab a phone and call the tower to say "Thanks." I am often complimented on my NORDO approach procedure.--

Transmitter Failure on Radar
Infrequently a radio microphone or transmitter will fail when in radar contact. The controller can by a carefully selected series of questions determine what you plan to do. You will be asked to IDENT or not in response to the questions. The transponder can work effectively on low power long after radios and transmitters fail. Taped records are kept of radar pictures and this can be used to locate downed aircraft.

Pre-solo Radio Exercise
After landings have been made at all the nearby airports, the student should be ready to do landings at CCR. Up to this point the student has been using the radio for all arrivals and departures but the instructor has done the pattern communications. When landing proficiency reaches the solo level the instructor has one more lesson before full responsibility for the radio goes to the student. After this lesson the student is ready to prove ability to solo.

This flight is best done at a tower field with multiple runways, in calm winds and light traffic. By prior arrangement with the tower, the instructor has requested that the controller give a variety of clearances and directions. These should cover all common activities that occur during runway changes, congested traffic, and other operational situations. Among other things, the student is being taught the priorities of flying. #1 fly the plane. #2 navigate. #3 communicate. The intent is to expose the student to as many variations of airport procedures as 45 minutes will allow.

The student is advised that no mistakes on his part will occur. The instructor will provide all the help needed to see that the student will have a successful experience. ATC will direct the aircraft to all the runways. These will include such things as: Right base to the left, short approach, side step to R/L runway, stop and go, go around, land hold short, taxi back, long landing with 180 for takeoff, etc. The pattern work will include: 360's for spacing, 270's re-enter on base, L/R 180's, over fly field and enter downwind, red light, green light, etc. On occasion ATC may simulate radio difficulty and use light signals.

One of the purposes of this is to overload the student with procedure, workload, and communications so as to create a landing-without-clearance situation. Every pilot should, if in doubt, verify that a clearance has been given. The student may forget to contact the tower before turning base. I sometimes arrange that these things will occur with the tower.

Opening a flight plan:
After initial contact from above:

34X: "Cessna 34X VFR Concord to Reno via Blue Canyon open flight plan off at one-two" (twelve minutes after hour)

FSS: "34X your flight plan is opened Oakland altimeter 3002"

Position report Sequence:
After initial contact from above:

34X: "Cessna 34X position report VFR Concord to Reno Sacramento at four-five estimate Blue Canyon zero-eight Reno"

The sequence of the position report requires:

Your identification.

The fact that you are making a position report on a VFR/IFR flight between two distant points

You are at a present position

The time you expect to reach your next major checkpoint; and

The name only of the next checkpoint.

FSS: "34X roger your position report Sacramento altimeter 2992

Weather PIREP: (getting)
After initial contact as above:

34X: "Cessna 34X VFR CCR-RNO request current weather and PIREPS for Sierras with winds at 9 and 12"

FSS will give as much data as is available. You may feel it desirable to give a PIREP of your current location and weather/winds/turbulence etc. You will be requested to include aircraft type and flight route.

A PIREP becomes an official weather report. You are expected and required to give a PIREP when encountering any un-forecast weather or hazard.

The major items of a PIREP are cloud bases and tops, layers, flight visibility, precipitation, visibility restrictions, wind, temperatures aloft, icing and turbulence. You can give a PIREP to any ATC facility. As soon as you call it a PIREP it is required that the information be forwarded to other aircraft.

Giving Weather PIREP
It is surprising how difficult some pilots find giving a description of the weather. Describe clouds by type, altitude and extent of coverage. Describe turbulence as to whether things in the aircraft rock, slide or jump. Describe visibility by identifying things you can see. Some of the best PIREP material is telling what is not happening. Put a copy of the PIREP sequence on the back of your lapboard so you can look at it while giving the report..

The first five items are mandatory:

1. A PIREP can be routine (/UA or urgent (/UUA)

2. /OV is the location of nearest three letter navaid identification

3. /TM is the time written in four digits in GMT

4. /FL is the altitude written in three digits for hundreds of feet or unknown as /FLUNKN

5. /TP is the type of aircraft up to four digits or UNKN

6. /SK uses SCT, BKN or OVC as cloud cover symbol. Base height is in hundreds of feet. / (solidus) separates layers

7. /WX is flight visibility and weather. Standard symbols but no intensity.

8. /TA is Celsius temperature

9. /WV is wind direction and velocity in six digits.

10. /TB is turbulence with altitude only if different from #4,

11. /IC is icing shown in standard contractions of type and intensity.

12. /RM is remarks about most hazardous condition first.

1. /OV Where
2. /TM Time
3. /FL Altitude
4. /TP Aircraft
5. /SK Sky
6. /FV Visibility
7. /TA Temperature
8. WV Wind
9. /TB Turbulence
10./IC Icing
11./RM Remarks

To Amend a flight plan:
After initial contact as above:

34X: "Cessna 34X VFR CCR-RNO wish to extend my ETA by three-zero minutes due to unexpected head winds"

Note: If on any flight plan you are going to be over 30 minutes late, be sure to contact the nearest FSS and give an extension to be forwarded to your destination. Being overdue by more than 30 minutes initiates search procedures.

To close flight plan:
After initial contact as above:

34X: "Cessna 34X Close VFR flight CCR-RNO 15 west RNO have airport in sight"

Remote Communications Outlet (RCO)
RCO is a two way remote radio facility which is connected to a distant FSS via a land line. The discrete frequency is on top of the blue box with the letters RCO inside. Location shown in small blue outline boxes on sectional. See city of Qunicy on S.F. sectional NW of Reno.

The RCO is not a RTR
The remote communications outlet (RCO) has a landline that allows it to transmit any radio communication to and from a flight service station (FSS). The Remote transmitter/Receivers has the same system but it goes to
an ATC facility. Both may be UHF or VHF, for ground use, for airborne use, some facilities are unmonitored and unprotected.

Emergency Use of the FSS
It is far better to have sought a little assistance too soon than to need a great deal of help when it is too late. Enough said. The next time you are slightly misplaced get help. They need the practice and it will be easier for you next time.

D F Steer
(Direction Finding Procedures obsolete in most of lower US.)
In a non-radar situation you can get help by knowing how to get a Direction Finding Steer. This aid is available through certain FSS locations.. An antenna is able to aim at your radio transmitter and give the bearing information to the controller. You can be told your present position. You can be steered to a particular airport or location. It is possible to make a DF approach in bad weather just by maintaining control of your aircraft while following directions.

Establish contact with a FSS and request a DF exercise. If work load permits they are willing to allow practice. If your flight operations permit, plan a visit to the Rancho FSS afterwards to see how they work from their end.

You will be requested to answer certain information about your aircraft and flight conditions such as fuel aboard, flight conditions, persons aboard, last known position etc. You will be given other cautions regarding VFR, heading and altitude. Then you will be told to KEY your mike switch. Do not talk into the microphone. Count to 10 silently/slowly and then give your aircraft identification. The controller will transfer the antenna/ transmitter information to a map. Over a period of a few minutes the process will be repeated until a pattern develops to show your route. The process can be greatly simplified if you have an operational VOR to give cross bearings. Try it.

Every FSS has the capability, using a chart and the radio to give an aircraft in radio contact the required information to get it to a safe landing. They have a set series of questions that must be asked regarding flight conditions, fuel on board, souls on board, last known position, etc. Then they talk you through the basic operation of the VOR and OBS giving you the frequencies and settings. When you visit an FSS be sure to see how this is done. This is done twice from two different VORs to get a fix. From this fix and by getting repeated fixes even the most disoriented pilot can be directed to a desired destination.

Some FSSs have DF (Direction Finding) capability which is a somewhat different procedure but is limited to 'line of sight' altitude/range. Part of your cross-country training should include exercises in these operations.

Where the FSS may feel that more urgent assistance is required and radar is available the pilot may be given another radio frequency to use. Radar offers a more direct assistance than is available through VOR fixes.

Not so long ago getting a DF Steer from the FSS was a fairly common instructional exercise. The process used the 1/60 procedure somewhat as follows. No wind conditions.

1. Key your microphone for ten seconds and then give aircraft I.D. FSS would plot your radial from the transmitter as shown screen.
2. You would be instructed to turn 90-degrees from radial. FSS would start timer.
3. At intervals you would be told to key your mic as before. This was done until you had crossed 10-degrees of radii.
4. FSS would mark time in seconds and divide by 10. This was the number of minutes it would take you to fly to the transmitter.

Precipitation static
Precipitation static does not require precipitation to occur. It can happen any time to any aircraft. Precipitation static is the formation of an electrical charge on an aircraft. Normally, atmospheric particles flow over an aircraft they create a charge that flows free of the aircraft just as fast as it flows on. In some situations parts of the aircraft are not well grounded (windshields, plastic wingtips). Electrical charges do not flow readily off ungrounded parts of the aircraft. A charge will build up and will discharge occasionally in such a manner as to create radio noise and interference.

Precipitation static can occur during high winds, from exhaust, and antennas. The Corona effect of precipitation static can cause a sound like frying eggs to come over your headset. It can be strong enough to fry a radio. Arcing noise occurs when a piece of metal is not properly bonded and grounded to the aircraft. A special meter is required to test for this condition.

For Study
If you haven't been to OAK, HWD, PAO, etc. you might want to consider how you would go and the frequencies to use. There are several variations for example for going to Oakland.

You can fly to Oakland by way of the Orinda side and arrive by only contacting only the tower. It can also be done by direct route below 1500' the same way. You can fly direct to Oakland contacting approach on 127.0 (On weekends 120.9 since frequencies merge) at any altitude below 3000. You will be told to fly direct to Mormon Temple at or below 2500' and make entry from there. This not a clearance.

Above 3000' the frequency will always be 120.9 for the Class B. As a student you are not allowed to enter but you should get your instructor to take you into it just to see how the procedure is the same as for Class C entry except that you will be given a clearance.

Suggest you go over the boundaries of Class C and see how the footprint merges with Class B

Assertive Safety
What we do with the aircraft must be done as aggressively as possible to eliminate safety problems. Situational awareness is a primary requisite for safety. The pilot must be sensitive to everything than is slightly out of the ordinary. Any attempt to expedite or find an easier way with ATC is likely to contain some unexpected and perhaps less safe factors.

Communications Items
--ATC measures piloting skills by your communicatiom skills
--For every NEW contact use your FULL aircraft ID after the name of the ATC facility.
Use more than five words when:
--Responding to runway assignments by tower or ground.
--Responding to hold short instructions by tower or ground
--Responding to ATC requests for a 'report'
--Responding to any clearance subject to misinterpretation
--Always exercise brevity and clarity
--Not using excess verbage is a safety consideration.
--Verification of altitudes and vectors is a non-required safety procedure.
--Respond with your abbreviated aircraft ID, direction of turn, heading and/or altitude.change
--Comply without response if ATC does not give you time to respond.
--Give every new ATC contact any restrictions or limits established by prior controller
--Always advise ATC Tower if something other than a full stop-landing is planned.
--There is never a justification for saying "with you" or "this is"
--Plan ahead by writing out extended communications.

Special Uses of the Flight Service Station
FSS IN 2005
Try an all-new highly sophisticated telephone system that will route calls to FSS specialists with knowledge of your geographic weather, topography, and airspace. You'll also have the option of registering your pilot information and personal minimums so that the briefer can tailor the information to your level of experience. What if a NOTAM affects your itinerary? You'll receive an e-mail or text message with the change. And, at the suggestion of AOPA, you'll be able to see from your home computer the same weather depictions the briefer sees. Lockheed officials also told AOPA staff on Thursday that walk-in visits will be allowed at the new facilities. Lockheed plans to have its system fully operational in April 2006.
--Hazardous Area Reporting Service
--Selected stations and areas where you advise when entering and leaving
--Timed interval radio contacts to track progress across hazard area
--Normal FSS search may take two hours after you are 30 minutes over due.
--Hazardous Area search begins when you are 5 minutes overdue on making contact

Flight Service Station Cell Phone Numbers:
(800) WX-BRIEF automatically connects you with the closest Flight Service Station to the area code from which you’re calling. If you’re using your cell phone, you’ll get connected to your home FSS no matter where you are in the country. Since it’s better to talk to local weather briefers, use the numbers listed below for specific facilities. I’ve been told that the cell number will not work in the local FSS Area. You must be roaming.  Let me know if you find otherwise.

All numbers use the (866) toll free area code.
Albuquerque 499-5390;  Altoona 708-9987;   Anderson 225-2172;  Anniston 609-8684
Bangor 295-3835;  Boise 258-9068;  Bridgeport 293-5149;  Buffalo 678-2759;  Burlington 847-1846;  Casper 277-7498;  Cedar City 667-3858;  Cleveland 780-8261;  Columbia 223-4352;  
Columbus 288-3448;  Conroe 689-5992;  Dayton 505-6163;  Denver 751-7021;  Deridder 401-5659;  
Elkins 656-2661;  Fairbanks 248-6516;  Fort Dodge 300-2858;  Ft Worth 272-7915;  Gainesville 523-7229;  Grand Forks 306-6931;  Great Falls 527-7601;  Green Bay 845-4888;  Greenwood 245-6109;  Hawthorne 879-8252; Honolulu 766-0820;  Huron 732-1331;  Jackson 840-1051;  
Jonesboro 520-8890;  Juneau 297-2236;  Kankakee 450-6593;  Kenai 864-1737;  Islip 365-5019;  
Lansing 879-4066;  Leesburg 225-7410;  Louisville 412-7968;  Macon 276-0243;  McAlester 269-0189;  McMinnville 833-7631;  Miami 347-0316;  Millville 225-7620;  Nashville 890-1348;  
Oakland 469-7828;  Prescott 226-3763;  Princeton 841-6469;  Raleigh 663-3354;  Rancho Murrieta 272-7525;   Reno 281-2737;  Riverside 838-2250;  San Angelo 300-3867;  San Diego 682-2175;  
San Juan 822-8537;  Seattle 384-7323;  St Louis 671-6176;  St Petersburg 295-3983;  
Terre Haute 224-9906;  Wichita 672-5145;  Williamsport 655-6434;  

Use a tape recorder
Check this link for a digital recorder that records for 36 hours on two small batteries and can download to a computer. It may well be an instructors best investment.
I just noticed that they have the price listed higher, but sells the same item on ebay for $150. Check it out.
I got this 36-hour recorder for $150 (URL link below). It is the size of a cigarette lighter, and weighs nothing. Runs on two small AAA batteries. It fits neatly inside my shirt pocket. It came with a lapel style mic, the kind you attach to your shirt tie. Instead of messing with the intercom connections, I attached this mic inside my headset ear cup using a small piece of velcro. It stays there permanently. The wire is thin enough not to create any detectable air gap between the headset and my skin. Before every flight I plug the mic wire to the recorder in my pocket. Takes 5 seconds to do that. Then you forget about it. It has a VOR mode (Voice Activated Recording) as well as a continuous mode. I usually use the VOR mode. After you are done, you can listen to it directly off the recorder (sound quality is not the greatest because of its tiny speaker) or download to a PC. It comes with a USB cable and it takes a fraction of a second to download everything. It comes with a software program. It is not the greatest, so I use a different program called Goldwave (shareware) to edit, amplify, cut, paste and manipulate the audio. If you have a laptop sitting at the airport, this should be trivial to do. I don't have one, so I usually email the file to the student from home. For such a simple arrangement, the sound quality is amazingly good. Listen for yourself (I have attached a small sound clip with this email).

Finally, after over thirty years, I have come upon a recorder that will really do the job of recording all of a ground/flight lesson without requiring any attention. At $100 it is not inexpensive but it will give you a continuous three hours of recording on a 90-minute tape. It is the Sony Cassette-Corder Model TCM-50DV. It is self reversing and will play at half speed while recording. The negative to all this is that, unless you have another player capable of half-speed playback you must playback on the Cassette-Corder. This can partially be overcome by getting a Radio Shack power adapter of 1.5~3volts so you don't need to use batteries to playback. Get Radio Shack AC Adapter CAT. NO. 273-1654B

The Radio Shack part #33-3028 Stereo clip-on microphone is another (cheaper) way. The mike is pencil eraser size and can be put under your headset muff and give satisfactory tapes.

If you use a tape recorder on your flights, you must be sure that your patch cord has the proper impedance. A Radio Shack cord with gray or black connectors will work with a 9-volt portable system. An aircraft hard-wired system operates on 12 or 24 volts and must have a 1-meg resistor installed to prevent overdriving the input to the recorder. The use of a tape recorder is the best way I know to improve learning retention.

How to make the patch cord is found on Page 5.37 Special Radio Situations. Read all of the two sections about recorders and plan accordingly. I make patch cords in sets of four for about $10 each. The best tape recorder I have found is a Sony X2 self reversing. Hard to find but will give up to 3 hours on a 90 minute tape. I am using a 'My Voice" recorder that is about the size of a Leatherman Knife in its case. One of my students is using a slightly larger one He also uses it in his job as a policeman.

The software is type specific so for others to play your recordings they would need to install your software as well. I am seeking a method of editing the recordings that does not require as much time to review as required for making the flight. I'm lucky to have the time available. As I listen to the recording from my computer I type remarks about what I was teaching the student and the impact it should have on his present and future flying.

Additionally, I think it would be an excellent idea to have the student append his own remarks without knowing what the instructor has written. Then a session for comparison of the two sets of remarks would be a good indicator as to whether the student was getting the message and knowledge that the instructor was trying to send. Were this method to be followed through I believe that instruction/learning would be improved made more efficient and thereby less expensive.

I am now using an Olympus digital voice recorder VN240 that gives me four hours on long-play.  On January 30, 05 I received a radio call suggesting that I had busted Class Bravo without a clearance.  I
really expect my audio tape of the flight to prove otherwise.

Emailer could not get patch cord to work. Bought Radio Shack microphone about the size of a pencil eraser. Puts it under his headset earcup. Claims it works very well. Certainly worth trying if it keeps out the engine

Recording Another Way
I did find one post where someone suggested purchasing the following cords, which I'm assuming just plug into one-another to accomplish the same thing:
1. Radio Shack part number 274-302C, a Dual Headphone Adapter, which has a single male 1/4-inch plug and two female 1/4-inch sockets.
2. Radio Shack part number 274-372A, a Right Angle Adapter, which has a 1/8-inch male lug/female socket.
3. Radio Shack part number 42-2157B, a 6-foot Audio Cable, with 1/8-inch male mini plug on one end, and a 1/4-inch male phono plug on the other.
4. Use of attenuating cable from Radio Shack eliminates need for resistors.

As many of you know I have always taught and flown with a tape recorder operating. My preference is that the student provides both the recorder and tapes while I will provide the patch-cord. I make the cords in groups of four for economy. I have never charged for them and have lost count of how many are in use. They can be made for about $10. An instructor might want two of them so as to be equipped for both the hard-wired 12-volt (with resistor) and the battery powered 9-volt (without resistor) intercom.

The benefits of recording instruction are several. The student is relieved from note taking and can easily review and take notes later when time is not so precious. The student will be able to review radio procedures and radio situations of which he was oblivious at the time of recording. The instructor is less apt to give instruction for which he might be exposed to liability. Common example is failing to require clearing prior to a turn.

I am now including the Radio Shack part numbers and the actual manufacturing instructions. Failure to use stereo components may mean that your headset will function in only one ear.
Cat No 42-2387 6-ft shielded audio cable. (stereo) Makes two patch cords.
Cat No 274-1546A Three conductor heavy-duty, shielded 1/4" phone p
lug (stereo) Buy two to make two.
Cat No 274-302c Dual headphone adapter (stereo) Buy two to make two.
Cat No 271-1356 1 megohm resistors (5) Makes five patch cords. These resistors are not required for battery (9-volt) intercoms.

If you do not know how to use flux and solder and work in a tight space, it might be better to have someone else follow the directions.
Cut audio cable in half. Three feet is plenty long for cockpit. Carefully use sharp knife or razor to remove 3/4 inch of rubber shielding from cut end of cable. Foil is not important but wires and covering must not be exposed yet.

Take metal phone plug apart and slide knurled outside spring first over the cable. Failure to make this important step means you will need to take everything apart afterwards.

Select one of the small resistors and cut one wire to within 3/8-inch of resistor and make a hook with needle nose pliers . Clip hook on to the grounding hole of the phone plug. The one nearest the end. Now might be a good time to solder this connection. Bend the wire at the other end of the transistor back over the resistor. Wire this end of the resistor to the bare woven ground wire using a minimum of wire required to keep the resistor in the groove and the wires clear. Good time to solder and cut off excess wire.

Now remove about 3/8-inch of red and black insulation from the ends of the remaining wires. Fold the wires over the holes and solder them. I don't believe which hole is critical. You want to make sure that no wires are touching where they shouldn't. Slide the knurled part of the phone plug up the wire and screw the plug together. Plug one side into the splitter and you're ready for taping. Just plug the splitter into the aircraft phone jack and your headset into the other side of the splitter.

I have used this taping system ever since headsets and intercoms became available in the early seventies. Prior to that I used the tape recorder and tried to talk over the cockpit noise and even later kept the recorder under one of my headset earmuffs. Not everything is important but a pilot with instructional ambitions might do worse than saving some tapes for future reference.

Aircraft Radios
The FCC has permanently abolished radio station licensing requirements and fees for U.S. Aircraft.

Navaids Available in the US as of 1997
VORs 1027
ILSs 1197
VASIs 1308

Aircraft frequencies are the same worldwide. Non-military aircraft use Very High Frequencies (VHF); the military uses Ultra High frequencies (UHF).

ADF 190-535 (1605) kHz (Kilohertz) thousands of cycles per sec.
VOR/LOC 108.0-117.95
VHF COM 117.95-136.0
Glideslope 328.6-335.4
XPONDER 1030-1090
DME 960-1215 (1605)
RADAR 5350-15700

The antenna for a given frequency is 1/4 the frequency length. This length can be electronically as well as physically determined. This allows best radio performance. Antennas have a size determined by the frequency. The higher the frequency the shorter the antenna. A com radio has a wavelength close to two meters and the antenna is close to 1/4 that length. Loran C has an antenna similar to a com antenna. The ELT antenna is slightly more than a foot long. The VOR antenna is V-shaped. A combination VOR antenna and glideslope. The glideslope antenna is often inside the cockpit close to the top of the windshield.

Marker beacon antenna is on the bottom of the aircraft. The antenna is about three feet long and attached at two points. Later models are canoe shaped fiber glass fittings about eight inches long. GPS are teacup saucer sized rectangles or ovals on top of the plane.

As often as not the antenna is at fault when radios work poorly. Vibration and dirt affect both transmission and reception efficiency. Any cracks in the metal or plastic of an antenna housing will open the door to corrosion. During preflight look for cracks and corrosion.

The Radio
The frequency of a radio is the number you use to determine the number of cycles per second your radio can both transmit and receive. A combination of crystals inside the radio make a large combination of selected frequencies possible. Most modern radios have 720 different frequencies. If you should need to use a 25-kHz frequency on your 720 channel radio, it is nice to know that any final digit readout that ends in 2 or 7 is followed by a 5 even though it does not show. Some radios have switches for this feature but if no switch exists just remember than 123.72 is really 123.725

Varying the compression of the basic frequency transmits the aircraft radio's vocal changes (modulation). Frequency modulation (FM) is not as subject to electrical disturbances as is the more common commercial amplitude modulation (AM).

The aircraft hand microphone is noise canceling. This means that positioned properly the propeller/engine/wind noise will be mostly eliminated. Proper positioning means that the mike is held close to the mouth. A normal speaking voice should be used. If the mike is held sideways by the casual communicator, a hiss or whistle can occur to the listener. Holding the microphone too far away allows aircraft noise to enter along with the voice.

Emergency Locator Transmitter
The Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) is a 1970 congressional imposed device, which because of technical deficiencies has been unable to perform adequately. ELTs are activated by impact but include hand activation. In 1991 only 61 out of 2037 transmissions were legitimate. All others were false alarms. 97% of past ELT signals have been false alarms. In 75% of the accidents where an ELT transmission was required the ELT failed to operate. In 1992 the time between "last known position" and location of accident by ELT averages 17 hours. If a VFR flight plan is filed the search time is decreased by 48 hours and 63 hours for an IFR plan.

You should know that the General Aviation ELT technology is such that it will be hours before the ELT will actually activate a search. Average time is two hours before search begins. Up to 50 hours before search begins is not unusual. Having a cellular phone is a better option. /Call /afrcc 800/851-3051 for starting an immediate search. ELT's are destroyed or fail to operate 75% of the time. Accident activation rate is only 12% with a 97% false alarm rate. There are 30,000 ELT activations a year.

The satellites in space, both Russian and American, require two passes over two hours apart to confirm and locate a signal source. Search and rescue satellites (Sarsats) interprets any 121.5 broadcast of over 30 seconds as an emergency. ELT location can take from 45 seconds to three hours. ATC facilities are "supposed" to monitor 121.5 but often have the volume too low to hear. Present doppler system accuracy + 20 miles. A GPS type used for ten years is under development fore civil use.

U. S. has SAR (Search and Rescue) centers at Langly, Virginia and Elmendorf, Alaska. Search begins with 'phone search' contacting local authorities to eliminate a false alarm. Civil Air Patrol, COAST GUARD, local authorities conduct actual search. 24 other countries have terminals used for reception of signals.

The ELT must be replaced as placarded on it by date of 1/2 battery life followed by A&Ps signature. It must have aircraft logbook entries as to date of installation and A&Ps signature. Since 6-21-94 ELT inspection required annually as part of annual inspection. It must be replace if activated for one hour. Data, dates and location required information for PTS. (flight test). Pilot's test of ELT is limited to three audio sweeps during the first five minutes of any hour.

The aircraft shutdown checklist includes putting 121.5 on the com radio prior to turning it off. This ten seconds is used to save the time and money that would be wasted if an Emergency Locator Transmitter (ELT) false alarm is pursued by the U. S. Air Force Rescue Coordination Center (AFRCC) now located on the East coast.
--Spot inspections of ELTs show that less than half work as expected
--Around world saves were 85 souls out oif 60 occasions
--406MHz system has two stationary and two standby satellites.
--406 system has digital identificat of aircraft and pertinent information. Reduces false alarms
--60 percent survival rate of aircraft occupants if rescued inside eight hours.
--406 system locates in average of 45 minutes within l1 to 3 miles
--121.5 system cloes in 2009

ELT Update
Your ELT works through the Cospas-Sarsat system which has receivers for 121.5, 243,or 406 MHz. The
relative motion of Doppler signals computes the position of an ELT. 14 of the 39 receiving stations around
the world are on U.S. territory. ELTs operating on 406 MHz has a registration database that gives ownership.
The satellites are in polar orbit and are most accurate and often at the poles and least accurate and often at
the equator.

The 406 frequency is accurate within 1-3 miles some with GPS data accuracy without homing. 121.5 is
accurate within 5-12 miles and uses homing only. End of service in 3009.

Only second generation ELTs (TSO-C91a) can be installed after 6-21-95
Battery expiration dates on ELT and maintenance record
New inertia switch will not activate on hard landings.
Can interface with Loran and GPS
Next generation is:
Emergency Position Indicator Radio Beacons (EPIRB's)
Personal Locator Beacon (PLB's) 406.025 MHz ELT's
Cost is $2,800
System can receive and download information such as position and identification in one satellite pass.
ELTs in storage must have battery removed.

If you are planning an over water flight consider buying or renting an EPIRB type ELT which can be manually or water contact activated. The 406 ELT transmits a complete identification database for the aircraft and owner. The 406 also has a night strobe for low visibility searches. All of this will be antiquated if the potential of the GPS/Datalink is allowed on the civilian market.

ELT Future
February l, 2009 is the last day that 121.5 will be monitored by the satellite systems of the world.
--406MHz ELT does everything better
--More power
--dedicated and protected frequency
--instantaneous detection
--accurate location
--Faster search and rescue
--digital identification for owner and aircraft

Automatic Direction Finder
The ADF was the second electronic navigational aid used in aviation. Rotating light towers came first. Fifty years ago Bill Lear (Lear jet) perfected the ADF. The technology is complicated and cost is high. An ADF takes two parts of an AM radio signal through a sense and loop antenna. Comparison of the signals through an electronic Wheatstone Bridge enables a needle to be turned to a bearing to a station. Unlike turning a portable radio for the 'null' the expensive part of the ADF is making it show "to" the station automatically. The ADF has several frequency channels and selector switch positions, which determine what is received and whether the ADF needle is operative. Commercial broadcast stations, non-directional beacons and compass locators can be used by the ADF.

Radio detection and ranging was first developed in WWII. The antenna used was a Yagi; a Japanese invention still used for TV. As a primary system it was relatively inaccurate for distance and altitudes could only be guessed at. A primary target showed as a blurry spot on a screen. Shortly after WWII the French developed a way to remove unwanted targets such as freeway traffic. The British had made a magnetron transmitter tube, just like the one in your microwave.

In much of the U.S. your transponder may be targeted by more than one Center radar antenna. However, your aircraft does not appear as multiple targets. You appear as a computer derived approximation called a mosaic. You are given a circular error of 1/16 of a mile. Thus, the 5-mile airway aircraft separation required by ATC operations orders. Terminal radar is used for Airport Surveillance approaches (ASR) because it is usually located close to the terminal airport.

The Transponder
+ a bit of history
During WWII the British developed a top-secret 10" x 10" x 10" radar transceiver. It would respond to a radar-
interrogating signal by responding with a coded transmission. A code would allow the land based radar station to distinguish British from German aircraft on their radar screen. The radio also contained an internal thermite bomb which, when triggered by an inertial switch (crash), would destroy the interior of the set. This was supposed to prevent German discovery of the codes. (A reverse ELT?) The British code-named the system Parrot. The United States Army Air Forces version of the system was called IFF, for Identification Friend or Foe.

As with many WWII developments, the IFF system was designed to prevent a clever German ruse. The Germans were following the night bombers back to England. German aircraft would join in the stream of returning British bombers. They would wait until the bombers were most vulnerable, just prior to landing, and then shoot them down. Parrot allowed detection of these German aircraft since their (primary) return would not have a distinctive code. Only 10 codes were available and they were changed daily.

When radar became available for civil use the size and power of radar antennae could pick up most aircraft but only 10 codes had to be expanded to 64 codes. Within a brief period it was expanded to 4096 codes because the number of aircraft in flight required a large number of discrete codes for different type operations. Ground radar transmits on two frequencies one is for powerful detection the other is a trigger at a high frequency of 1030 MHz. This trigger causes the transponder to respond on a frequency of 1090 MHz with a coded reply that can be tailored to the aircraft. Ground radar will interrogate an aircraft for a few microseconds by use of a radar beam and then pause for several hundred micro-seconds. If an aircraft is transponder equipped, transponder will reply in a Base 8 code which will serve to identify a variety of items. 1200 identifies a VFR flight. Altitude encoders give altitude. Discrete codes show IFR/VFR flight and/or destination as well as being in radar contact/communication.

Presently, if an aircraft is not squawking VFR of 1200 it will have such a discrete code. A VFR flight out of CCR contacting Travis Approach will have a code beginning with 52--. It is possible that you will be given a single code that will go with you from CCR to RNO or FAT. Airliners have single codes that take them across the country. New computer technology now lets ATC have instant access to all aircraft in the U.S. that are on flight plans. All United Airline aircraft can be displayed on a screen and the individual flight identified as to aircraft, flight number, altitude, departure, destination, and speed. This information is available on all flight-planned aircraft.

To control the operation of the airborne set to the best advantage, the ground based radar station would radio instructions regarding the operation of "Parrot". The aircraft would be directed to "squawk your parrot", meaning to turn on the set for identification; or to "strangle (not kill) your parrot" as a directive for turning the set to standby.

The only vestige of this that remains today, other than the entire ATC system itself, is the term "Squawk", as an ATC directive for operation or code for the transponder. Old time ATC controllers may still have you "strangle" your parrot (x-ponder) if it is not working properly.

Today the transponder usually has a four position switch-- off, stby (standby), on (Mode A), and alt (altitude Mode C), a test button, and ident (identification) button, a response light, and four selector switches with numbers from 0 to 7. Certain aircraft letters and numbers cannot be reproduced but frequently the discrete code can be seen to represent a specific aircraft due to their similarity. A transponder is not legal for use unless it has been tested and inspected within the past 24 calendar months and found to be in compliance with ability to squawk a code and an altitude within + 150' accuracy.

All transponders operate on 1090 MHz. For Mode A the transponder gives back only the four digit code. For Mode C includes the altitude. This is done 600 times a second but only 20-30 responses occur during the radar beam passage. If two radar interrogations occur nearly simultaneously the transponder response may become garbled at the radar site. This often leads ATC to claim that your transponder isn't working properly. Your recycling the transponder is a way of changing the response sequence. If one radar location has had no difficulty with your transponder refer the problem site to them. Often different locations are using widely age different systems. Ask that the radar tapes be saved so that the FAA may make an analysis of the problem.

All codes are discreet and assigned by ATC to give other controllers information regarding your type of flight and destination. Operations such as VFR without advisory, VFR with advisory, IFR, destination, specific airport operation, TCA, ARSA, Local IFR, Tower enroute IFR, X-country IFR, emergency, hijack, and radio failure all have differing first two digit codes which tell ATC controllers about your flight and destination. An improved Mode S system is under development which will allow selective interrogation.

An airplane may be without an altitude encoder and operate only on MODE A or ON. Under Mode A, ATC will expect you to maintain either an assigned or agreed upon altitude and to report changes. Flight with Mode A is somewhat restricted. If you know that your transponder does not have Mode C capability, be sure to advise ATC. Know the following restrictions.

Aircraft above 10,000 feet are required to have an operative transponder with Mode C. Aircraft in Class C airspace or above the outer perimeter of the Class C airspace up to 10,000' are required to have a transponder Mode C. Any flight above the Sacramento Class C comes under this last requirement. Any aircraft in a Class B or operating within 30 nautical miles of the Class B primary airport is required to have an encoding transponder. Exceptions are made for aircraft without electrical systems and high mountain flights within 2500' of the surface. The transponder and encoder system must be inspected every 24 months. It is illegal not to use your transponder, while flying, to its highest capacity.

An aircraft without an operating transponder shows, if at all, as a primary target. All transponder targets are called secondary. Under MODE C, or ALT, your aircraft will have an encoder which tells ATC your altitude. ATC will always need to know if your altitude encoder is operating correctly. This altitude encoder is crosschecked by ATC with your altimeter setting via radio. They will remind you of the current altimeter setting and perhaps ask you to switch to MODE A if your encoder is off by more than 300'. An error of 300' makes the transponder unsafe to use for traffic avoidance purposes.

If you should experience a transponder failure, be cautious about accepting flight into a radar environment where radar is the prime system. Once you land at a Class C airport without a transponder you may be unable to get out. Trick: Try to get piggybacked on to another aircraft as a flight of two. Nice if you can get out in the direction you want to go. Radar can track a primary signal with little difficulty today. They can even attach a data block. Planed flights into Class C or even B require one-hour notice.

Any MODE C traffic that has not been crosschecked will be given to you as UNCONFIRMED altitude. For this reason you should always include your altitude in the information to ATC. Advise if you are level, climbing, descending and final altitude. When you have not been assigned an altitude, be sure to advise ATC when you plan to make changes of an established altitude.

On the ground the transponder should be set to standby. This stops the squawk but allows the transponder to stay warm and ready for operation when needed. The start takeoff, emergency, and post-landing checklist should have transponder as a checklist item. Whenever changing codes on the transponder recommendation is that 'standby' be selected during the change since it prevents inadvertent discrete codes being sent to ATC. The transponder should be turned on as you taxi onto the runway for takeoff. Use of MODE C is now required in many cases as noted in a prior paragraph.

How the Numbers Work
There are 4096 possible code selections on a transponder from 0000 to 7777. This is a Base 8 number system, which is used by computers as a short method of storing Base 2. Base 2 is the number system of computers. The four places of the transponder from right to left are 1's, 8's, 64's, and 512"s. We know it is a base 8 because the highest digit is 7. The eight possible digits are 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, and 7. Counting in Base 8 proceeds as follows:

Base 10
Place Values 512 64 8 l equivalent
0 0 0 0 = 0 This is the 'presidential' code.
0 0 0 1 = 1 (1 one)
Set as transponder to
code numbers. 0 0 0 7 = 7 (7 ones)
0 0 1 0 = 8 (1 eight, no ones)
0 0 1 1 = 9 (1 eight and one one)
0 0 7 7 = 63 (7 eights, 7 ones)
0 1 0 0 = 64 (1 sixty-four, no eights, no ones)
0 1 0 1 = 65 (1 sixty-four, no eights, one one)
0 7 7 7 = 7 sixty-fours, 7 eights, and 7 ones)
448 + 56 + 7 ones = 511
7 7 7 7 = 4095
4095 added to 0000 makes the possible 4096 transponder codes. More than you ever wanted to know?
Emergency 7 7 0 0 = 4032 in base 10
Nordo 7 6 0 0 = 3968
Hijack 7 5 0 0 = 3904
VFR 1 2 0 0 = 640

Radar Separation
Terminal Area (TRACON)
Basic separation within 40 miles of single antenna is three miles in airport/terminal airspace. IFR/VFR separation is 1.5> miles in Class B. Beyond 40 miles of antenna it is 5 miles.

Air Route Traffic Control Centers (ARTCC)
5 miles is the minimum for IFR. Several antenna returns are displayed as one.

The pilot should know that under VFR conditions once you have told ATC that you have visual contact with traffic you may not receive any further radar advisories on that traffic. They may not advise you again of altitude or direction. It is up to you to evade any possible wake turbulence. ATC will let you fly right under a DC-10' wake turbulence and not issue a warning. You must be aware of this lack of protection and be assertive enough to make a 360 or whatever it takes for avoidance.

ATC separation minimums are 1000 vertical and three miles lateral and 2000' and five miles above 29,000.
Visual separation by the pilot applies only if an approved form of separation is confirmed. The purpose of making
the pilot responsible is to reduce radio congestion and reduce burden on controllers. Once a pilot acknowledges
visual contact the responsibility for separation is his until he says he no longer has visual contact.

Radar Identification
1. Contact and identity established by 1-mile or runway is 'contact".
2. Radar return at specific reported position is 'contact'.
3. Radar vectors may be used to identify and establish 'contact'
4. Transponder codes are used. Mode C gives altitude that must be validated by each successive controller.

Data Block
The computerized radar is capable of showing the aircraft route, a conflict with another aircraft, range and bearing from any fix, and a minimum safe altitude warning. The code given tells the type of flight and destination. I was recently given a code at Concord that I used all the way to Santa Ana in Southern Califonria..

Transmitter Failure on Radar
Infrequently a radio microphone or transmitter will fail when in radar contact. The controller can by a carefully selected series of questions determine what you plan to do. You will be asked to IDENT or not in response to the questions. The transponder can work effectively on low power long after radios and transmitters fail. Taped records are kept of radar pictures and this can be used to locate downed aircraft.

Radio Reception Quality
5 x 5 is a radio shorthand for the grade of reception
1=worst, 5=best "5 by 5" means all ratings are 5 = best.


Aircraft Radio Facts
--Hertz is a measurement of frequency based upon cycles per second.
--Radio frequencies are measured in thousands of cycles per second or kHz.
--Aircraft radio frequencies are in millions of cycles per second or MHz or Very High Frequency (VHF).
--VHF is from 30 to 300 MHz with aircraft radio from 108 to 118 for VHF navaids and 118 to 136 for com.

Radar Radio
--On occasion either pilot or ATC can terminate radar service. You must know on what occasions
--ATC can terminate when aircraft is on VFR flight and controller feels he is too busy.
--ATC can terminate when aircraft descends below radar coverage.
--Pilot can terminate when aircraft is VFR or on VFR flight and just wants to terminate.
--Radar service termination is automatic when pilot terminates an IFR flight. Outside Classes C. B TRSA,
or an instrument approach has been completed.

A Reason to File a Flight Plan
I have been re-treading a pilot who had 200 hours some twenty years ago. Just last week I flew a relatively short cross-country and back. Then he repeated the flight solo. Everything went well. The next flight involved going to five intermediate airports and then a direct flight home. We had previously gone through the process of opening and closing flight plans, position reports and use of available radar facilities.

The following day he planned to repeat the flight which involved almost four hours when full stop taxi backs were included in the times. My expectation was that he would repeat the flight as previously flown. I repeatedly suggested that he file a flight plan. Never happened.

Some two hours before his expected arrival phone call to me I contacted FSS and found that he had never filed. Contacted Center and found that he had made only one contact but they could not tell me if he was coming or going. Not at all the way we had practiced and planned. I waited another hour and contacted our home field and left my phone number so they could call when he arrived. Another hour later I called the tower and found that he was just on short final.

He called to say that everything went very well. However, he had changed the sequence of airports as well as the directions he flew including a home field landing for lunch. He was hours late from my ETA expectations.

Had he been a student I could have been in deep trouble. As a pilot he required no sign-off to make the flight but what he did was a major judgment failure. He was so bubbly happy on having made the flight with changes on his own and even went to an airport we had avoided previously because of parachute activity. I let him revel in his success BUT we will have a talk this weekend. He was never lost, knew where he was going but had told no one. 30% of his flight was over the Pacific Coast Mountain Range. Had something gone wrong we could still be looking for him.

Filing a flight plan for such a flight with an FSS position report on every arrival or departure would have made MY day more enjoyable. I will certainly make sure that he tells his wife (unable to fly) about every flight and files a flight plan, gives position reports, flies as planned unless on an amended flight plan. Failure to utilize the FSS is sheer laziness or more dangerously, over-confidence

NORDO Lesson
I teach NORDO just by calling the tower and asking if we can fly into the Class Delta without communicating or transponder. I have the student, without his headset on, overfly the airport above pattern altitude and enter on 45 to the longest runway and fly the pattern awaiting a solid green light as clearance to land. Meanwhile, I will monitor the radio and advise ATC if some unexpected situation arises.

Many years ago before transponders I had a radio failure at Oakland in the pattern with an 81 (My present age) year old pilot as student. In the pattern we did everything but fly into the tower trying to catch their attention and to get a green light. We were totally ignored.

We left the pattern and headed for Concord (13 miles) we entered the pattern and had a green light on the 45. Turning base and final the solid green light turned to an intermittent flashing green. My interpretation of that was that Oakland had notified CCR of our previous maneuvers and had suggested requested that we return to Oakland. So we headed back to Oakland and with a solid green light landed.

I called both towers to find out what was going on. Oakland told me that it was not unusual to have an aircraft on 27L in the 600' pattern ignore making or getting clearances if they were the only aircraft there. OH!

I called CCR and was advised that they had given me a solid green light all the way around the pattern. OH!

Came to find out that in addition to the window frames, there were ladders in use ouside the windows for maintenance or washing. The combination of these as we flew the pattern caused the flashes of the light gun.

Incidentally, the only radio failure I have had since totally transistor radios has been having the transmitter relay freeze on me. Yes. in California. Fly long enough and you will have a story for every occasion.

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Continued on Page 5.38 Radio Makes SVFR Possible