My Dad's Y2K Aviation Question!

Sat Jan 01, 2000 1:47 am


I have finally come upon an aviation question from my dad that I couldn't answer! He asked me how an airplane's clocks work. So how do they work? When you cross over a time zone, does the clock change to local time or what?

Happy Y2K!

Jack M
Posts: 11191
Joined: Tue Jun 15, 1999 11:29 am

RE: My Dad's Y2K Aviation Question!

Sat Jan 01, 2000 2:15 am

As far as I'm aware, aircraft clocks (at least in the airline world) are set to UTC (aka GMT or Zulu time). This is what the ATC uses, especially when giving out Expect Further Clearance (EFC) times, and other delay information. Once you set the clock to this time, there's no need to change it, as UTC doesn't change with the time zones. The *conversion factor* to local time and standard/daylight savings times will vary. It's easier for most of us airline grunts to stay on UTC...

Happy New Year!
ALL views, opinions expressed are mine ONLY and are NOT representative of those shared by Southwest Airlines Co.
Posts: 881
Joined: Sun Oct 17, 1999 5:16 am

RE: My Dad's Y2K Aviation Question!

Sat Jan 01, 2000 3:08 am

He's right the clocks for the airplane, FMC's,ACARS, are all set to UTC or(GMT) time. They are updated either buy ARINC,or manually.
Posts: 1066
Joined: Fri Mar 16, 2007 1:29 pm

RE: My Dad's Y2K Aviation Question!

Sat Jan 01, 2000 9:18 am

To update the clock manually (as we have to on our dinosaur 757), we tune in WWV or WWVH on 2.5, 5.0, 10.0 or 15.0 KHz, or Canadian CHU on 3330, 7335 or 14670 KHz and listen for the "beep" every minute on the minute. There are other stations around the world, but these are the principle North American and Pacific time signal stations.

Best Regards and HAPPY NEW YEAR!


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