Bring Back FAM Trips 2

Last time, I talked about the FAA program that allowed Controllers to ride in cockpit jumpseats for Familiarization Flights – FAM Flights. Each airline had its own procedures and customs for access to the jump seat.  Generally, all one had to do was present yourself in dispatch with an FAA ID and a form signed […]

FAM trips – Bring them back!

Many years ago when I first started with the FAA, one of the benefits that I had heard from the older Controllers was the legendary FAM Trip. For those of you not familiar with the term, this FAA program allowed Controllers to ride in the cockpit jump seat on airliners. The program was conceived as […]

Emergencies and ATC (part 4)

OK, the emergency is over. Let’s assume, for this discussion, that everyone is on the ground and safe. What happens after the emergency? Well, FAR 91.3 doesn’t say much. It only says that we must submit a report to the Administrator but only if requested and only if we deviated from any rule (any FAR). […]

Emergencies and ATC (part 3)

Last time, we talked about an emergency involving an Air Carrier that was handled in a near textbook manner. Several people asked about what actually happens during and after an Emergency is declared. The Controller’s Handbook – the 7110.65 – devotes a whole chapter to guidance on Emergencies. It gives the following guidance to ATC […]

Professionalism – On Being a Cockpit Skeptic

Professionalism in aviation has been in the news a lot recently. FAA Administrator Randy Babbit has spoken on the need in light of several recent high profile events such as the Colgan crash in Buffalo and the NWA overshoot of its destination. One of the hallmarks of a professional aviator is being a skeptic – […]

“Hold Short of Runway 23!”

How many times as a pilot, have we heard that phrase? Well, as of June 30th we will be hearing it a lot more. The FAA instituted a change to the Air Traffic Controller’s handbook (the 7110.65) that changes the way taxi instructions are issued. Previously, a taxi clearance (as we all know from the […]

Proper use of CTAF (Common Traffic Advisory Frequency)

CAN WE TALK? Can we ever! Just tune in 122.8 on a nice weekend and you will hear lots of pilots talking, but many of them are not communicating very well. The use of the common traffic advisory frequency (CTAF) for traffic information is a great tool when it is used correctly. Sadly it too […]

Emergencies and ATC

Declaring an emergency is one of the easiest actions a pilot can take. FAR 91.3 spells it out very clearly. “The pilot-in-command of an aircraft is directly responsible for and is the final authority as to the operation of that aircraft. In an emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot-in-command may deviate from any rule in […]