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Author Topic: Acronyms & Abbreviations  (Read 18334 times)
dan9125
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« on: June 12, 2007, 10:15:15 AM »

I hear alot of Acronyms used while listening to ATC. I've heard one I can't figure out. Pilots say it when they get a traffic alert. I think its two letters like RA or TA or something like that. Anyone know this one?

 Thanks
  Dan
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Trevor
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« Reply #1 on: June 12, 2007, 10:22:13 AM »

TA is traffic advisory. RA is resolution advisory. Both are from the TCAS/ACAS system onboard the aircraft. A traffic advisory just advises the pilot that the computer is tracking a potentially conflicting aircraft and that the pilot should be aware of it but that no action is required at this time. A resolution advisory is more serious - the computer has determined that the traffic is a serious collision hazard and the pilot MUST follow the computer's instruction to climb or descend. Current generation TCAS/ACAS can only solve conflictions vertically, the computers from each aircraft will communicate and ensure that one aircraft receives a climb RA and the other receives a descend RA. If the computer cannot do this (some older TCAS's can only provide TA's and not RA's) then neither aircraft will receive an RA. As a final note, an RA always overrides ATC instructions and clearances.

You can read more on Wikipedia. Click here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/TCAS
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dan9125
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« Reply #2 on: June 12, 2007, 11:48:46 AM »

Trevor,
  Thanks for clearing that up, I heard a heavy miitary aircraft departing Niagara Falls a few weeks ago when he recieved an "RA" over the scenic Niagara Falls tour. Alot of traffic in that area on a nice day. I knew it was something to do with traffic but couldnt remember the letters.

 TCAS:  Traffic Collision Avoidance System 
 ACAS:  Aircraft Collision Avoidance System 

 Dan
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MIAMIATC
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« Reply #3 on: June 12, 2007, 02:08:29 PM »

How about the FISHFINDER Huh?
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dan9125
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« Reply #4 on: June 12, 2007, 02:13:55 PM »

Thats one of my favorites.
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Unbeliever
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« Reply #5 on: June 12, 2007, 09:36:45 PM »

"Fishfinder" is the pilot colloquialism for the TCAS/TIS/Traffic display.

--Carlos V.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #6 on: June 13, 2007, 02:14:10 PM »

"Fishfinder" is the pilot colloquialism for the TCAS/TIS/Traffic display.

Which, from what I understand, actually means very little to a controller in terms of the controller's expected response. 

ATC:  "United XXX, traffic twelve o'clock, 2 miles, 8,000 feet opposite direction is a Bonanza."

Pilot:  "United XXX has him on the fishfinder."


In the US, the two standard, expected responses that actually result in some type of controller action are:  "Negative traffic" or "Traffic in sight."





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Regards, Peter
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davolijj
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« Reply #7 on: June 13, 2007, 02:53:33 PM »

Perhaps in the future the subsequent transmission will be,

ATC:  "United XXX maintain TCAS separation with the bonanza decend and maintain..."

Scary thought but who knows?
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JD
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« Reply #8 on: June 13, 2007, 03:31:29 PM »

Scary thought but who knows?

In the future where ADS is a requirement and ATC is being run by the lowest bidder, perhaps that is one such scenario.   Sad

In the meantime those pilots looking to go higher or lower and more direct to their next fix sooner would be better served by spotting traffic with their eyes and then replying with "traffic in sight."     
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davolijj
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« Reply #9 on: June 13, 2007, 09:36:53 PM »

In the meantime those pilots looking to go higher or lower and more direct to their next fix sooner would be better served by spotting traffic with their eyes and then replying with "traffic in sight."     

Unless they're in Class A airspace where visual separation is prohibitted.
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JD
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« Reply #10 on: June 14, 2007, 06:59:53 AM »

In the meantime those pilots looking to go higher or lower and more direct to their next fix sooner would be better served by spotting traffic with their eyes and then replying with "traffic in sight."     

Thanks for saying this, Peter.  It means absolutely nothing to the controller when a pilot says they have the aircraft on TCAS.  Valuable frequency time is lost in the process.  Unfortunately there are so many "cool things" for pilots to say that ATC frequencies are full of useless information. 

We don't care if the "ride is smooth".  No you are not "with me," you are level at, climbing, or descending through an altitude.  If you are a departure then I know that you are  "looking for higher."  The higher I get you, the sooner you are out of my hair, or what's left of my hair.  There is probably a very good reason why you are not climbing and I don't have time to explain it to you right now that traffic is in your way.  The sooner I turn you on course, the sooner you leave my airspace.  It is a mutual desire for both of us to get you on course.  You asking to go on course does not move the aircraft which is blocking your route.  The list goes on and on. 

The Aeronautical Information Manual is a time tested document.  It was created through years of practice.  New pilots in this forum, please fight the urge to sound cool and just stick to the phraseology in the AIM.  We will all be better served.  I highly recommend reading this article  http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/182633-1.html

You will be a much better aviator if you read the whole series of articles, but there is a reason that this one is the first in the series.  It's all about safety. 

w0x0f



         
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #11 on: June 14, 2007, 09:35:31 PM »

Unless they're in Class A airspace where visual separation is prohibitted.

Serious question, as I have only flown in the flight levels once so far in the Bonanza (and with a transponder that was calibrated by avionics incorrectly, but that is an other story):   Does ATC call out traffic in class A airspace?  It seems that especially now with RSVM (closer flight levels due to reduced separation) that traffic call-outs are not needed there?
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #12 on: June 14, 2007, 09:58:38 PM »

You will be a much better aviator if you read the whole series of articles, but there is a reason that this one is the first in the series.  It's all about safety. 

I started taking standardized aviation communication phraseology much more seriously after reading of the runway accident in Sarasota, Florida, where one Cessna waiting at the end of the runway was cleared for takeoff while another farther up the runway and unseen by him was told by tower to taxi into position and hold.  This mistaken instruction by tower happened in part because there was a third Cessna in line behind the first at the end of the runway and the controller thought that third Cessna was the aircraft who called ready using poor phraseology.   In reality, it was the pilot waiting at the intersection taxiway who had called the controller with something like, ""this is...nine six zero we're number two ready for takeoff." when he should have called, "Tower, Cessna XXX, at intersection XXXXX, ready for departure runway XX."

Four people were killed when the first Cessna hit the holding second Cessna at almost takeoff speed.   

The details of that accident are here in the NTSB report for those interested.

Also, I am a big fan of Don Brown's columns over at Avweb.com (which are at Avweb in archive mode but unfortunately for us he has ended his career there as a writer).  For those unaware, Don was a controller out of the Atlanta Center (US) for many years and also a safety manager for the facility for a number of years before he started writing columns offering a controller's view of the ATC/general aviation pilot relationship.   A recurring theme in his columns was AIM recommended phraseology.
 


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Jason
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« Reply #13 on: June 14, 2007, 10:36:40 PM »

Also, I am a big fan of Don Brown's columns over at Avweb.com (which are at Avweb in archive mode but unfortunately for us he has ended his career there as a writer).  For those unaware, Don was a controller out of the Atlanta Center (US) for many years and also a safety manager for the facility for a number of years before he started writing columns offering a controller's view of the ATC/general aviation pilot relationship.   A recurring theme in his columns was AIM recommended phraseology.

It is quite a chilling accident indeed and we should all learn from it just as you did.

You can get a list of Don Brown's columns by clicking the following link: http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/list.html.  He also runs his own blog, titled "Get The Flick" which you can find at http://gettheflick.blogspot.com/.
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davolijj
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« Reply #14 on: June 15, 2007, 09:48:45 AM »

Most of the traffic calls I see in the flight levels are for merging target procedures, and they usually sound something like this:

"United Sixteen and American Twenty-five, traffic twelve o'clock, one zero miles, opposite direction, eastbound seven twenty seven at flight level three three zero, westbound MD-Eighty at flight level three one zero."

It looks like that example from the 7110.65  5-1-8 is a little dated since it doesn't reflect RVSM altitudes but you get the picture.

Traffic advisories as an additional service are not required in class A airspace:

Quote from: 7110.65  2-1-21

2-1-21. TRAFFIC ADVISORIES

Unless an aircraft is operating within Class A airspace or omission is requested by the pilot, issue traffic advisories to all aircraft (IFR or VFR) on your frequency when, in your judgment, their proximity may diminish to less than the applicable separation minima....
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JD
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« Reply #15 on: June 15, 2007, 10:11:05 AM »

Don Brown has retired but is still blogging ATC related information and anything else that comes to mind.   http://gettheflick.blogspot.com/

Here are the merging target procedure requirements that JD referenced.

5-1-8. MERGING TARGET PROCEDURES

a. Except while they are established in a holding pattern, apply merging target procedures to all radar identified:

1. Aircraft at 10,000 feet and above.

2. Turbojet aircraft regardless of altitude.

3. Presidential aircraft regardless of altitude.

b. Issue traffic information to those aircraft listed in subpara a whose targets appear likely to merge unless the aircraft are separated by more than the appropriate vertical separation minima.

 EXAMPLE-
"Traffic twelve o'clock, seven miles, eastbound, MD-80, at one seven thousand."

"United Sixteen and American Twenty-five, traffic twelve o'clock, one zero miles, opposite direction, eastbound seven twenty seven at flight level three three zero, westbound MD-Eighty at flight level three one zero."

c. When both aircraft in subpara b are in RVSM airspace, and vertically separated by 1,000 feet, if either pilot reports they are unable to maintain RVSM due to turbulence or mountain wave, vector either aircraft to avoid merging with the target of the other aircraft.

EXAMPLE-
"Delta One Twenty Three, fly heading two niner zero, vector for traffic. Traffic twelve o'clock, one zero miles, opposite direction, MD-80 eastbound at flight level three two zero."

d. If the pilot requests, vector his/her aircraft to avoid merging with the target of previously issued traffic.

NOTE-
Aircraft closure rates are so rapid that when applying merging target procedures, controller issuance of traffic must be commenced in ample time for the pilot to decide if a vector is necessary.

e. If unable to provide vector service, inform the pilot.

NOTE-
The phraseology "Unable RVSM due turbulence (or mountain wave)" is only intended for severe turbulence or other weather encounters with altitude deviations of approximately 200 feet or more.



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dan9125
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« Reply #16 on: June 15, 2007, 01:18:12 PM »

RVSM: Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums

 In case I was the only one that didnt know.

 Dan
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2007, 06:16:53 PM »

Quote
Unless they're in Class A airspace where visual separation is prohibitted.

Actually, controllers can use visual separation in Class A airspace, but there are more restrictions on it.  I've used it before and I liked it.

Quote
Which, from what I understand, actually means very little to a controller in terms of the controller's expected response. 

ATC:  "United XXX, traffic twelve o'clock, 2 miles, 8,000 feet opposite direction is a Bonanza."

Pilot:  "United XXX has him on the fishfinder."



While "fishfinder" is not approved phraseology, it is easy enough to understand. 

Peace smiley
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #18 on: June 27, 2007, 10:45:06 AM »

While "fishfinder" is not approved phraseology, it is easy enough to understand. 

But again, my point is that this response means nothing to the controller and serves no purpose except to add to frequency clutter.  Would you agree that one of the main reasons a controller is calling out other traffic to an IFR aircraft is so that IFR separation minimums can legally be supplanted by visual separation?   

I have yet to hear on any frequency in any part of the US airspace, "Delta 1234, maintain 'fishfinder' separation with the Bonanza, climb and maintain one four thousand."
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dan9125
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2007, 12:14:28 PM »

I listen to the marine frequencies when i'm at my lake cottage and I hear fisherman use "fishfinder" all the time.  wink
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TrixieKQ
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« Reply #20 on: June 27, 2007, 01:04:51 PM »


But again, my point is that this response means nothing to the controller and serves no purpose except to add to frequency clutter.  Would you agree that one of the main reasons a controller is calling out other traffic to an IFR aircraft is so that IFR separation minimums can legally be supplanted by visual separation?  

I have yet to hear on any frequency in any part of the US airspace, "Delta 1234, maintain 'fishfinder' separation with the Bonanza, climb and maintain one four thousand."


Peter, you are correct that one purpose of calling traffic allows for visual separation, but that is secondary.  The primary purpose of calling traffic to any aircraft is simply to advise the pilot about the other aircraft.  The purpose (I believe, although you'd have to check with the rule writers) is so the pilot has a general idea of what is going on around him. 


In the US, the two standard, expected responses that actually result in some type of controller action are:  "Negative traffic" or "Traffic in sight."


Pilots need to let the controller know that the pilot heard the call.  "I've got him on the fishfinder" is not approved phraseology, but it is not necessarily frequency clutter because the pilot is supposed to reply to the controller anyway.

Unless some bigwig somewhere loses their mind, you'll never hear "Delta 1234, maintain 'fishfinder' separation..." .  Personally, I would be willing to trust my radar or the pilot's eyes to maintain separation.  I would not rely on TCAS.

By the way, just to be semantically technical, visual separation is an IFR separation minima.  In the same way that radar allows controllers to use less stringent separation minima than non-radar, visual separation allows for less stringent separation minima.

Peace  smiley
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« Reply #21 on: June 27, 2007, 01:17:46 PM »

Quote
Unless they're in Class A airspace where visual separation is prohibitted.

Actually, controllers can use visual separation in Class A airspace, but there are more restrictions on it.  I've used it before and I liked it.

Peace smiley


Could you elaborate more on this please? From what I was told (and this being from both controllers at Vandenberg and Nellis AFBs plus a controller at SCT), in Class A airspace, it was always the controller's responsibility for maintaining separation of the aircrafts (outside of being underneath the transition altitude).

BL.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #22 on: June 27, 2007, 01:29:12 PM »

Pilots need to let the controller know that the pilot heard the call.  "I've got him on the fishfinder" is not approved phraseology, but it is not necessarily frequency clutter because the pilot is supposed to reply to the controller anyway.

So, do you as a controller interpret, "I have him on the fishfinder," to mean the same thing as "negative traffic?"   It seems to me from the other side of the radio that controllers would continue to provide traffic callouts until they heard "traffic in sight."

By the way, just to be semantically technical, visual separation is an IFR separation minima.  In the same way that radar allows controllers to use less stringent separation minima than non-radar, visual separation allows for less stringent separation minima.

Ah, ok.  Thanks for the correction.
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davolijj
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« Reply #23 on: June 27, 2007, 01:43:22 PM »

Could you elaborate more on this please? From what I was told (and this being from both controllers at Vandenberg and Nellis AFBs plus a controller at SCT), in Class A airspace, it was always the controller's responsibility for maintaining separation of the aircrafts (outside of being underneath the transition altitude).

BL.

I think it's pretty clear if you read the good book:

Quote from: 7110.65R  Capter 7
Chapter 7. Visual

Section 1. General


7-1-1. CLASS A AIRSPACE RESTRICTIONS

Do not apply visual separation or issue VFR or "VFR-on-top" clearances in Class A airspace.


Maybe that's a recent change but as far as I know the restriction is that you can't use it.
 


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« Reply #24 on: June 27, 2007, 01:55:45 PM »

Quote from: 7110.65R  Capter 7
Chapter 7. Visual

Section 1. General


7-1-1. CLASS A AIRSPACE RESTRICTIONS

Do not apply visual separation or issue VFR or "VFR-on-top" clearances in Class A airspace.


Maybe that's a recent change but as far as I know the restriction is that you can't use it.

It's been that way for a long time (as long as I can remember), no visual separation may be applied in class A airspace.
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