Issue # 2001 - 4
to Final Approach
Course Prior to Published Segment of an Instrument
Approach Procedure (IAP)
There are many times when it is desirable to position an aircraft onto
the final approach course prior to a published, charted segment of an
IAP. Sometimes IAP's have
no initial segment and require vectors; sometimes a route will
intersect an extended final approach course making a long intercept
a vector or assignment to a final approach course beyond the published
segment is accomplished, FAAO 7110.65 Air Traffic Control, requires
that controllers assign an altitude to maintain until the aircraft is
established on a segment of a published route or IAP.
This ensures that both the pilot and controller know precisely
what altitude is to be flown and precisely where descent to
appropriate minimum or step down altitudes can begin.
aircraft are vectored onto a localizer or final approach course
between an intermediate fix and the approach gate.
These aircraft are normally told to maintain an altitude until
established on a segment of the approach.
This procedure is appropriate, however, only when that
aircraft, when established, will be on a published segment of the
a pilot will intercept the localizer, final approach course, or arc
prior to a published segment of an approach, altitude assignment must
be stated a different way. FAAO
7110.65 Air Traffic Control, paragraph 5-9-4c2, Arrival Instructions,
Example 3, provides one example of proper phraseology for altitude
assignment when an aircraft is established on an IAP course prior to a
3 is being vectored to intercept the final approach course beyond the
approach segments, 5 miles from Alpha at 5,000 feet.
The minimum vectoring altitude for this area is 4,000 feet.
"Five miles from Alpha.
Turn right heading three three zero.
Cross Alpha at or above four thousand.
Cleared I-L-S runway three six approach."
an aircraft is assigned a route that will establish the aircraft on a
published segment of an approach, the controller must issue an
altitude to maintain until the aircraft is established on a published
segment of the approach. (ATP-120)
North American Air Defense (NORAD) is tasked with monitoring the
movement of presidential and vice-presidential aircraft.
These highly sensitive missions require the timely transfer of
information to fulfill safety and national security requirements. The
requirement to pass this information is set forth in FAAO 7610.4J
Special Military Operations, paragraph 5-7-8, Presidential Aircraft.
order to keep our air traffic facilities and air defense activities
aware of presidential movement, it is imperative the controller
responsible for AMIS transmit the mandatory movement messages for all
aircraft transporting the President and Vice President. (ATP-200)
Importance of Pilot Weather Reports
The FAA and the National Weather Service have placed great
emphasis on PIREP's. Requirements
for soliciting PIREP's for terminal and en route controllers are
contained in FAAO 7110.65 Air Traffic Control, Chapter 2, Section 6,
Weather Information. FSS
controllers should refer to
FAAO 7110.10 Flight Services, Chapter 9, Section 2, Pilot
Weather Report (UA/UUA). All
controllers should be proactive in their requests for PIREP's,
consistent with priority of duties.
reporting cloud layers, turbulence, icing, convection activity, and
low-level wind shear are of paramount importance.
Most of these phenomena can only be observed by the pilot.
Controllers use this information to reroute traffic and in
pilot weather briefings for increased safety.
Forecasters use PIREP's as a prime ingredient in the AIRMET
Bulletin, SIGMET's, and center weather advisories.
7110.10, Flight Services, has standardized PIREP format with other
reports and forecasts. Since
PIREP's are available to forecasters, controllers, dispatchers, and
pilots alike, correct format is essential.
One specific area of concern is location.
FAAO 7110.10, Flight Services, paragraphs
9-2-15 b. 1. and
9-2-15 b. 2. specify
PIREP location (/OV). Various
automated programs alert forecasters and automatically plot data.
Information is used for forecast verification and archived for
formatted PIREP's are often lost.
This also has the potential to seriously affect aviation
be of most value, reports must accurately contain location, time,
altitude, type aircraft, sky cover, and temperature, as well as
turbulence and icing. Controllers
should make every effort to obtain complete information. FAAO 7110.10
Flight Services, paragraph 9-2-15, follows:
text element indicators as described below, prepare PIREP's for system
entry in the following format:
UUA or UA. Message type - Urgent or Routine PIREP.
Location in reference to a VHF NAVAID or an airport, using the
three or four letter identifier. If appropriate, encode the
identifier, then three digits to define a radial and three digits to
define the distance in nautical miles.
KFMG233016/RM RNO 10SW
Route segment. Two or more fixes, as in subparas 9-2-15b1 and
b2 examples, to describe a route.
/TM. Time that the reported phenomenon occurred or was
encountered. Report time in four digits UTC.
/FL. Altitude/flight level. Enter the altitude in hundreds of
feet (MSL) where the phenomenon was first encountered. If not known,
enter UNKN. If the aircraft was climbing or descending, enter the
appropriate contraction (DURGC or DURGD) in the remarks/RM TEI. If the
condition was encountered within a layer, enter the altitude range
within the appropriate TEI describing the condition.
/TP. Type aircraft. Enter aircraft type. If not known, enter
UNKN. Icing and turbulence reports shall always include the type
/SK. Sky condition. Report height of cloud bases, tops, and
cloud coverage as follows:
Enter the height of the base of a layer of clouds in hundreds
of feet (MSL). Enter the
top of a layer in hundreds of feet (MSL) preceded by the word
"-TOP." If reported as clear above the highest cloud layer,
enter "`SKC'' following the reported level.
Use authorized contractions for cloud cover.
Cloud cover amount ranges will be entered with a hyphen and no
spaces separating the amounts; i.e., BKN-OVC.
Unknown heights are indicated by the contraction UNKN.
If a pilot indicates he/she is in the clouds, enter IMC.
When more than one layer is reported, separate layers by a
/WX. Flight visibility and flight weather. Report weather
conditions encountered by the pilot as follows:
Flight visibility, if reported, will be the first entry in the
/WX field. Enter as FV followed by a two-digit visibility value
rounded down, if necessary, to
the nearest whole statute mile and append "SM" (FV03SM). If
visibility is reported as unrestricted, enter FV99SM.
Enter flight weather types using one or more of the standard
surface weather reporting symbols contained in
type and symbols
Intensity of precipitation (- for light, no qualifier for
moderate, and + for heavy) shall be indicated with precipitation
types, except ice crystals and hail, including those associated with a
thunderstorm and those of a showery nature.
Intensity of obscurations shall be ascribed as moderate or +
heavy for dust and sandstorms only.
No intensity for blowing dust, blowing sand, or blowing snow.
FV01SM +DS000-TOP083/SKC/RM DURGC
When more than one form of precipitation is combined in the
report, the dominant type shall be reported first.
When FC is entered in /WX, FUNNEL CLOUD is spelled out on /RM.
When +FC is entered in /WX, TORNADO
or WATERSPOUT is spelled out in the /RM TEI.
FC /RM FUNNEL CLOUD
+FC /RM TORNADO or WATERSPOUT
When the size of hail is stated, enter in 1/4" increments
in remarks /RM TEI.
The proximity qualifier VC
(Vicinity) is only used with TS, FG, FC, +FC,
SH, PO, BLDU, BLSA, and BLSN.
FV02SM BLDU000-TOP083 VC W
When more than one type of weather is reported enter in the
following order: 1) TORNADO, WATERSPOUT, OR FUNNEL CLOUD;
2) Thunderstorm with or without associated precipitation; 3)
Weather phenomena in order of decreasing predominance.
No more than three groups in a single PIREP.
Weather layers shall be entered with the base and/or top of the
layer when reported. Use
the same format as in the /SK TEI.
/TA. Air Temperature. Report outside air temperature using two
digits in degrees Celsius. Prefix negative temperatures with an M;
e.g., /TA 08 or /TA M08.
/WV. Wind direction and speed. Encode using three digits to
indicate wind direction (magnetic) and two or three digits to indicate
When the reported speed is less than 10 Kts, use a leading zero.
The wind group will always have "KT" appended.
/TB. Turbulence. Report intensity, type, and altitude as
Intensity. Enter duration if reported by the pilot
(intermittent, occasional continuous) and intensity using contractions
LGT, MOD, SEV, or EXTRM. Separate a range or variation of intensity
with a hyphen; e.g., MOD-SEV. If turbulence was forecasted, but not
encountered, enter NEG.
Type. Enter CAT or CHOP if reported by the pilot.
Altitude. Report altitude only if it differs from value
reported in /FL. When a layer of turbulence is reported, separate
height values with a hyphen. If lower or upper limits are not defined,
use BLO or ABV.
MOD-SEV BLO 080
MOD-SEV CAT 350
MOD CHOP 220/NEG 230-280
MOD CAT ABV 290
IC. Icing. Report intensity, type, and altitude of icing as
Intensity. Enter intensity first using contractions TRACE, LGT,
MOD, or SEV. Separate reports of a range or variation of intensity
with a hyphen. If icing was forecast but not encountered, enter NEG.
Type. Enter the reported icing type as RIME, CLR, or MX.
Altitude. Enter the reported icing/altitude only if different
from the value reported in the /FL TEI. Use a hyphen to separate
reported layers of icing. Use ABV or BLO when a layer is not defined.
LGT-MOD MX 085
MOD RIME BLO 095
SEV CLR 035-062
When icing is reported always report temperature in the /TA TEI.
/RM. Remarks. Use this TEI to report a phenomenon which is
considered important but does not fit in any of the other TEI's. This
includes, but is not limited to, low level wind shear (LLWS) reports,
thunderstorm lines, coverage and movement, size of hail (1/4''
increments), lightning, clouds
observed but not encountered, geographical or local description of
where the phenomenon occurred, and contrails. Report hazardous weather
first. Describe LLWS to the extent possible.
Wind Shear. +/- 10 kts or more fluctuations in wind speed, within 2, 000 ft of the surface, require an Urgent (UUA) pilot report. When Low Level Wind Shear is entered in a pilot report enter LLWS as the first remark in the /RM TEI. LLWS may be reported as -, +, or +/- depending on how it affects the aircraft. If the location is different from the /OV or /FL fields, include the location in the remarks.
LLWS +/-15 KT SFC-008 DURGC RY22 JFK
FUNNEL CLOUD, TORNADO, and WATERSPOUT are entered with the
direction of movement if reported.
TORNADO E MOV E
Thunderstorm. Enter coverage (ISOL, FEW, SCT, NMRS) and
description (LN, BKN LN,SLD LN) if reported.
Follow with "TS," the location and movement, and the
type of lightning if reported.
NMRS TS S MOV E GR1/2
Lightning. Enter frequency (OCNL, FRQ), followed by type (LTGIC,
LTGCC, LTGCG, LTGCA, or combinations), if reported.
Electric Discharge. Enter DISCHARGE followed by the altitude.
remarks when clouds can be seen but were not encountered and reported
CB E MOV N
Plain Language. If
specific phraseology is not adequate, use plain language to describe
the phenomena or local geographic locations.
Include remarks that do not fit in other TEI's like DURGC,
DURGD, RCA, TOP, TOC, or CONTRAILS.
BUMPY VERY ROUGH RIDE
BIS270030/TM 1445/FL060/TP CVLT/TB
/RM Donner Summit Pass
Volcanic Eruption. Volcanic Ash alone is an Urgent PIREP.
A report of volcanic activity shall include as much information
as possible. Include name
of the mountain, ash cloud and movement, height of the top and bottom
of the ash, etc. If
received from other than a pilot, enter Aircraft "UNKN,'' Flight
Level "UNKN,'' and /RM UNOFFICIAL.
ANC240075/TM 2110/FL370/TP DC10/WX VA/RM VOLCANIC ERUPTION 2008Z MT
ASH 40S MOV SSE
pilot commented that when he had experienced an engine failure in a
twin piston-engine aircraft during takeoff, the controller immediately
demanded to know how much fuel he had on board, the number of
passengers, and his intentions. Having
his hands full, he could not respond, yet the controller persisted in
asking for the information. Although
well intentioned, the controller was actually compounding the pilot's
workload and adding to his anxiety.
are no hard and fast rules to follow during an emergency.
Guidelines are provided in the FAAO 7110.65, Air Traffic
Control, but what it boils down to is that both pilot and controller
do the best they can with the set of circumstances they are facing.
has specific requirements that must be met.
The pilot initially must regain or maintain control of the
aircraft and utilize an emergency checklist.
The controller must obtain certain information from the pilot
so that appropriate and effective services can be provided.
Sometimes, those requirements can be at odds with the needs of
both parties at the time. The
following thoughts are presented to help controllers fulfill their
responsibilities and, at the same time, provide the best assistance to
of the questions the controller asked were pertinent and necessary.
Not only is the controller required to get the information, the
information is required for practical reasons to aid in rescue
efforts. The problem the
controller faces is the timing of the request for information.
engine failure during takeoff is a very serious event.
The pilot's actions following the failure in the next few
minutes will determine whether or not the event will be survived.
Many light twins have marginal climb capability with one engine
inoperative. There are
several aircraft that will quickly turn over onto their backs if the
pilot fails to correctly identify the failed engine and promptly
configure the propeller so that drag is reduced significantly.
Jet aircraft are less affected by this phenomenon; however, all
pilots will be very, very busy managing the aircraft and its
accompanying checklist during the first minutes of the event.
look at what information you, the controller, really need, and why you
of persons on board.
rescue personnel need to know how many people to look for, and what
facilities should be alerted or dispatched to a possible accident
site. Will one med-evac
chopper or ambulance be sufficient, or are several hospitals and their
med-evac equipment needed, or needed to be prepared, for a large
number of casualties? Rescue
personnel need to know that all persons are accounted for so that they
do not put themselves into danger unnecessarily by looking for other
persons who are already out of the aircraft and safe.
information alerts rescue personnel as to what kind and number of
firefighting machines and personnel may be needed should the aircraft
catch fire. When asking
how much fuel is on board, it is important that the amount is
expressed in pounds or gallons, not time.
Why? If the
aircraft is carrying hazardous materials, the rescue personnel may be
at risk if they are not wearing appropriate protective gear.
is the pilot/crew's intentions?
Why? Bottom line,
it is the sole responsibility of the aircrew to decide what to do.
Air traffic needs to know what the aircrew's desires are so
that appropriate services and help can be provided.
This does not preclude you from offering information that may
be helpful. For example,
wind direction and velocity, and/or the use of any or a specific
that's what you need. Now,
the delicate part…how and when.
the pilot reports that an engine has failed, temporarily hold off on
the questions to give the crew time to stabilize the aircraft.
At some point, ask the pilot to "Say intentions when
able." During the
first 2 or 3 minutes, it should be apparent whether the aircraft will
be able to maintain flight or at least a steady rate of descent.
Use your best judgment to decide when to ask for the number of
persons and amount of fuel on board.
If the crew/pilot is too busy to respond, avoid hounding them
for it at that moment. If
the aircraft is going down or is going to attempt a landing on the
airport, it is more important to find out how many people are onboard
than how much fuel there is. A
fire is certainly a possibility if the landing is off airport or
uncontrolled. If the
engine failure occurred during departure, then it is very probable
that the aircraft is fully laden with fuel.
Thus, the number of persons to be rescued might be more
important to know at that moment than how many gallons or pounds of
fuel are available to burn.
If the aircraft is a Part 121 or Part 135 operator or charter
outfit, you can get much of the information you need from the
company's dispatch officer.
an engine fails during cruise flight, in most cases, you will not be
aware of the event until the aircrew tells you.
By that time, the aircraft will most likely be stabilized.
The situation should still be considered an emergency, but it
will be much easier to obtain all of the information you need.
In some cases, an engine out may almost seem to be a
"non-event" but do not ever become complacent, even though
the pilot may sound very casual.
Find out what the pilot wants to do and then handle the
situation as an emergency. Some
aircraft require a lot of rudder pressure to keep the aircraft
straight, and a fatigued pilot leg could be part of an eventual loss
of control. As Yogi Berra
said, "it ain't over 'til it's over!"