“Cessna 9130D, caution wake turbulence for the departing Boeing 757, Runway 25, cleared for takeoff.” Gulp!

Never fear, ATC is here to protect you against the hazards of wake turbulence. No kidding. ATC uses very specific rules to help you remain clear of wake turbulence. We’ll look at those rules and how to work within them in today’s show. (Notice how I never mention the Boeing 777 in today’s show. I have no idea why I left it out.)

Next, a short story about a pilot called Mr. Stupid. He had weird ideas about how to cope with slower moving aircraft in a controlled airport pattern.

How do you respond to an ATC instruction to change frequencies? The AIM has specific guidance. Let’s see if you follow that guidance when you fly.

My lastest book, Radio Mastery for IFR Pilots, is in the hands of a large editing task force comprised of pilots and air traffic controllers. I’ll tell you why in this week’s show.

All this, plus your Question of the Week.

Correction (5-4-15): I just had a tower controller point something out. There is an error in the segment on wake turbulence separation in this show. When a large aircraft takes off from an intersection ahead of a small aircraft, the small aircraft must delay 3 minutes for wake turbulence. This rule for separation only applies if the 2 aircraft are more than 500 feet apart as they sit on the runway, prior to takeoff. I said in the podcast this rule applies anytime the larger aircraft weighs more than 12,500 pounds.

Actually, the AIM defines a small aircraft, for this single rule for separation, as weighing 12,500 pounds or less. It does not follow that a large aircraft is one that weighs more than 12,500 pounds as I incorrectly said in the show. The ATC Manual, J.O. 7110.65, defines a large aircraft as one that weighs more than 41,000 pounds and a small aircraft is one that weighs 41,000 pounds or less. The inconsistency between the AIM and the ATC Manual on this matter tripped me up. I’ll correct the information in the audio show when I return from vacation. (Would you believe I’m writing this from Hawaii? Yes, rather than enjoy paradise, I’m busy sweating the details of separation for wake turbulence. I gotta chill out!)

Note: Due to time constraints at on the day Radar Contact was released, there are no show notes for this show.

Your Question of the Week:

The FAA’s NextGen program is on it’s way and it will eventually affect all pilots flying general aviation aircraft. A key feature of NextGen is the replacement of conventional air traffic control radar with equipment that monitors aircraft position, altitude and airspeed using a transmit and receive system called ADS-B. When fully implemented, almost all aircraft operating in the U.S. and coastal waters will be required to have ADS-B installed and operating. Here are your questions: By what date must almost all aircraft have ADS-B Out installed and operational. What aircraft will be exempt from the requirement to have ADS-B Out.

When you think you know the answer to those questions, go http://ATCcommunication.com/answers for complete answers as well as a full explanation of how those answers were derived.


Thank You for Your Support

by JeffKanarish on April 19, 2015

The call for volunteers to help edit my next book, Radio Mastery for IFR Pilots, is now over. In the next few days I will contact the pilots and air traffic controllers selected for the editing team. Thank you to all who volunteered to help.

All the best,


Working with ATC Around Storms

March 29, 2015

Here is a very good article about working with ATC around thunderstorms. It’s written by an air traffic controller. The controller says this article is for laymen but I learned new details about ATC’s NEXRAD radar from this article. Enjoy! http://www.58aviation.com/en-route-wx.html

Read the full article →

Shaky Emergencies and Cranky Air Traffic Controllers

March 11, 2015

Hey Air Traffic Control, I think I might have a big problem but I’m not declaring an emergency. Standby for further information. In today’s show we are going to discuss aircraft problems that fall into gray areas. We’ll discuss how to break through the fog of indecision and determine whether you need to declare an […]

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Aircraft Position Reports

February 2, 2015

Reporting your position on the radio, while in an uncontrolled airport pattern, is a little bit like playing a game of Marco Polo. Other pilots in the pattern rely on your timely and accurate reports to help maintain awareness of your position. Miss a required report or state your position incorrectly and you’ve instantly become […]

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What it Takes to Be an Airline Pilot

January 22, 2015

Here’s a brief timeout from our discussion on ATC communication to look at what it takes to be an airline pilot. I have had many student pilots write to me asking about what it takes to be an airline pilot. I think the following article at Lifehacker.com tells the story best. Pay attention to the […]

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How to Work with ATC Around Class B and Other Closed Airspace

December 13, 2014

If you are a pilot who hates to work with ATC because you feel doing so would restrict your flying freedom, I’ve got surprising news for you. Working with ATC can actually lighten your load and help you enjoy your flight. This is especially true when you have to fly around Class B and other airspace closed to VFR aircraft. […]

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Consequences of Declaring an Emergency with ATC

November 26, 2014

My airplane has a problem. A big problem. I think I can handle it. No, I’m sure I can handle it. Maybe I can handle it. Can I handle it? I’m not sure.I had better declare an emergency with ATC and get some help. But what if this turns out to be nothing? What if I […]

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Use ATC to Save Your Life

September 21, 2014

Daher-Socata TBM-850. Source: fr.wikipedia.orgEarlier this month, a single-engine turboprop aircraft crashed into the ocean near Jamaica. Early indications are the airplane’s cabin pressurization system failed and the pilot lost consciousness due to hypoxia. The plane continued flying on autopilot until fuel ran out and the engine quit. Could ATC have helped prevent this accident? The […]

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Aircraft Radio Discipline Before You (Think You) Need It

September 4, 2014

We’ll cross that bridge when we come to it. Hey, we’re already there! If you are just starting your career or avocation as a pilot, you are probably thinking about the basics of radio communication. Specifically, you would be happy to fire off a radio transmission without getting tongue-tied: Town and Country Tower, Cessna 9130 […]

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