The relationship between pilots and air traffic control personnel has never been cavalier. There is an invisible wall that exists – the disembodied voice that carries instructions phrased in officially sanctioned terminology is both reassuringly familiar and yet remote and impersonal.
Air Traffic Controllers are distant authoritative “Gods”, heard but never seen, whose main purpose in life is to keep pilots from killing themselves and others by telling them where to go. Behind that confident decisive voice we hear on the radios are men and women who come through some intense training in order to get a job that pays well and commands respect.
At this time the only real information the pilot has about air traffic comes in the form of government directives and orders, written in stilted language that tells the pilot what he has to do, but not why. They do not tell the pilot how their actions are welded into a pattern that affects all the other pilots.
An Air Traffic Control specialist for over 33 years, first with the Federal Government and later with Lockheed Martin, Rose Marie Kern has written articles for 17 different aviation magazines and newsletters and is a popular speaker for pilot associations in the southwest. The book she is writing, Air to Ground, gives pilots a glimpse into the cold corridors of Air Traffic, and allows them insights into the people who work in an environment so critical to their own.
Air to Ground contains current and historical data on the National Airspace System, the Air Traffic Control System, and aviation weather in a way that is friendly, easily readable and understandable to even the most novice pilot. It is not meant to replace the government’s directives, but to supplement them.
Although there are a few books that talk about Air Traffic on the market, no other book approaches the pilot from this perspective, it fills a vacancy long overlooked. Intermingled with the technical information are stories and snippets of humor collected over the last 33 years. These little bits exemplify what happens in the Air Traffic workplace when the microphone is not keyed, humanizing the disembodied voices the pilots hear.
The book, Air to Ground, appeals to pilots, airport managers and the air traffic personnel who work in the U.S. and will greatly enhance the pilot’s understanding of the National Airspace System, its procedures, and the people whose job it is to provide for the safe and efficient flow of Air Traffic.
Table of Contents for Air to Ground
13 Chapter 1 The National Airspace System
17 Chapter 2 – Classes of Airspace
21 Chapter 3 – Air Space Division and Separation of ATC Duties
31 Chapter 4 – The Future of ATC
34 Chapter 5 – Careers in Air Traffic Control
The Psychology of ATC
41 Chapter 6 – FAA Website
45 Chapter 7 – The History of Flight Service
51 Chapter 8 – Painless Pilot Weather Briefing
57 Chapter 9 – Do You Want Just “Any Briefer”?
61 Chapter 10 – Types of Weather Briefings
63 Chapter 11 – Weather Brief Training for Student Pilots
67 Chapter 12 – The Standard Briefing
67 Part 1 – Adverse Conditions –
82 Part 2 – The Synopsis
83 Part 3 – VNR Statement – Fright Service
85 Part 4 – Current Conditions – Metars
88 Pilot Reports
92 How to Give a Pilot Report that is Appreciated
97 Reading the Radar
107 Satellite Data – A Bird’s Eye View
109 Part 5 – Forecast Conditions – The Area Forecast
112 Terminal Forecasts
117 Part 6 – Winds Aloft – Every Way the Wind Blows
120 RUC Wind Forecasts
123 Wild and Wicked Wind Shear
129 Part 7 – Notices to Airmen
129 Navigating the NOTAM Jungle
133 The Dreaded TFR
137 FICONs – Ramping up for Winter
141 RUNWAY FICONS -TALPA and RCC
147 Do You Need to File a NOTAM?
151 Chapter 13 – Other Types of Briefings
155 Flying into Climate Change
161 Chapter 14 – Adverse Condition Alerting Service (ACAS)
163 Chapter 15 – Filing Your Flight Plan
168 Changing to ICAO
175 Pros and Cons of Filing Multi-Leg Flight Plans
176 Where the Heck is my Flight Plan?
180 Creating a Pilot Profile
183 Chapter 16 – The Evolution of Aviation Radio Communications
187 Flight Service “Radio”
191 Relaying IFR Clearances
194 Declaring an Emergency
196 Chapter 17 – Flight Service Flight Data functions
199 How VFR Search and Rescue Works
205 SE-SAR – Surveillance Enhanced Search and Rescue
209 Chapter 18 – Air Traffic Control Tower – History and Overview
214 Tower and TRACON Operations
222 Terminal Radar Approach Control or TRACON
231 Chapter 19 – Talking to Air Traffic Control
235 Frequency Congestion
238 Hey There…It’s My Turn!
241 Transferring Control
245 Wake Turbulance
249 Chapter 20 – Air Route Traffic Control Centers
255 ARTCC Operational Positions and Responsibilities
263 ERAM Implementation and ICAO Flight Plans
266 What is VFR Flight Following?
269 ATC Zero
273 IFR Clearances
276 IFR Clearance Limits – questions from pilots.
281 What is a Special VFR Clearance?
283 Chapter 21 – Understanding the The Rules
283 Airplane 54-Where are you?
291 IFR Pop Ups
295 Where Does it Say I Can’t Fly There?
299 GPS Anomalies
303 Stay on Top of the Charts
307 Watch out for Drones
311 Special Use Airspace
315 Using the Special Traffic Management Programs
319 When Systems Don’t Work