Plane & Pilot
Sunday, February 1, 2004

Faces Behind The Microphone


Twenty-six tips to help you get more from air traffic control


atcPilots and air traffic controllers share a unique relationship, a mutual trust and understanding that supports the modern system of flight. Virtually every time a pilot climbs into the cockpit of an airplane, he or she engages in some sort of verbal exchange with the ATC environment.
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This relationship between pilots and ATC exists to be maintained. Learning what we, as pilots, can do to help make life easier for ourselves and the men and women behind our mics will only enhance this development. Even though we have busy days, it’s always worth the few extra minutes to get a quick briefing from a controller, to ask questions when something is unclear and to say, “Thanks a lot for the help.” It goes both ways.

Issuance Frequency Of Useful Weather Charts

TAF (Terminal Aerodrome Forecast): Issued four times daily (10:00, 16:00, 22:00, 04:00) and valid for a 24-hour period

FA (Area Forecast): Issued three times daily with a 12-hour specific forecast and a six-hour categorical outlook

TWEB (Transcribed Weather En-route Broadcast): Issued four times daily and valid for a six-hour period

FD (Winds Aloft): Issued twice daily at 08:30 and 20:30



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