Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:32 am

Hi guys.

I have a few questions about ATC procedures when an airline pilot first checks in with an airport's terminal approach control.

When I'm at home with my receiver, listening to airline pilots checking in with Toronto International's approach controllers (unfortunately I can only hear the pilots side of the radio work), almost all the aircraft are being assigned a 4 digit code which I assume is a transponder code. Each aircraft is given a different code.

The pilot's transmisions usually go something like this....

"Toronto arrival, Air Canada four seven niner is with you, level at one zero thousand, we're slowing to two fifty knots, we have tango".

(after the silence during the controllers intructions, the pilot's readback always starts with a 4 digit code)

"eight niner niner three, down to eight thousand, two ten on the speed, Air Canada four seven niner".

Then, the pilot's readbacks always involve lower altitudes, slower speeds, and some heading changes, untill reaching 4000 feet or lower where they're finally cleared to intercept the ILS for their runway and are handed off to the tower (Toronto's TWR frequencies are 118.35 or 118.7).

My questions are .... Are the 4 digit codes (such as 8993), assigned to these aircraft, transponder codes? (I can't think of what else they could be). If so, why is it nessesary for each aircraft to have it's own seperate code?

Obviously there's a difference between flying VFR (where you always squawk 1200 on your transponder, unless otherwise instructed by ATC - at least from my experience) and flying IFR in the system.

Some detailed info about these 4 digit codes and why they're required to be different for each aircraft would be much appreciated.


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Guest

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 5:52 am

My guess is that the 4 digit code is probably sea level pressure, and ATC is giving the pilot an updated altimeter setting expressed in milibars (Canada uses milibars, right? Down in the states we use inches of mercury.) IFR arrivals would have been issued a 4 digit transponder code with their IFR clearance before they took off.

So let's see, "eight niner niner three" would be 899.3 milibars, right? Except that translates into about 26.56" hg, so I'm assuming that you are using a hypothetical pilot/controller dialouge.

So anyway, that's my guess.

'Speed
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 6:12 am

Hello NormalSpeed.

Thanks for your reply.

Up here in Canada (the "Great White North"), we also use inches of mercury. If you tune into the ATIS for any airport you will hear the altimeter setting is 29.97 for example.

The only place I ever hear milibars being used is for the barametric pressure during the local new's weather report.

The 8993 code I used in my post is from an actual transmision between an Air Canada pilot and Toronto Intl's approach controller a few days ago. I wrote it down for the purpose of asking this question. It's not hypothetical.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
timz
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 9:01 am

That's a puzzle, all right. Transponder codes don't go that high, do they?
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 9:06 am

Hello Timz.

Good question. I don't know how high a transponder's code can go.

I do know that they can go as high as 7700, 7600, and 7500 though.....for extremely important reasons.


Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
AAR90
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 9:12 am

It has been my experience (I fly a lot of LAX-YYC trips) that:
1. YYC arrival controllers almost always provide the current altimeter setting upon initial check-in.
2. They almost _never_ change an aircraft's transponder code, and....
3. ATC Transponders do not utilize digits 8 or 9 in any way/shape/form.

I suspect you've got a distorted reception of the readback of the altimeter setting; "two niner niner three" (29.93).
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 10:26 am

Hello AAR90.

OK, I hear you loud and clear regarding your explanation about how transponders never utilize digits 8 or 9 and that they are almost never changed.

NormalSpeed explained that transponder codes are issued with a pilot's IFR clearance before takeoff, and Timz also says transponder codes don't go that high.

So, that tells me that this 4 digit code has noting to do with the transponder.

It is possible that the 4 digit code I used as an example (8993) was off the top of my head, although I really thought it was one that I wrote down because I've been listening to these pilots checking in and have been writting down exactly what the pilot's were reading back in order to prepare for this question.

Regarding my original posted questions, not only did I ask if these 4 digits being read back were transponder codes, but I also wanted to find out why they were all different. Now that I've learned that airline pilots recieve their transponder codes along with their IFR clearance before they depart...can you please let me now if all their codes are different or not, and if so, what's the reason for that?
Unfortunately I'm not at my home right now, so I don't have my receiver to listen to, or the other codes that I've been writting down.

What I can tell you though, as sure as I'm sitting here alive, is that these pilots are always reading back a 4 digit code to the arrival controller, and they are never the same 4 numbers. So these numbers couldn't possibly be altimeter settings. Also, one pilot could check in and readback a code like 4532, then the next pilot checking in 30 seconds later will readback something like 5614, etc, etc, and they always say these numbers at the begining of their readback after their initial contact with the Terminal's ATC.

Gentlemen, I will most definetly post more solid examples of these pilot's readbacks tommorow, including the airline and their 4 digit codes.

> > > Here's a question that you can probably answer right away, because I do have it written down in my pocket. Last night many pilots were also receiving a 3 digit number upon initial contact with arrival. I heard one pilot check in and then ask (loud and clear) "and what's our number for tonight?" to which she read back "OK, 447, Thanks". This same number was read back by several pilots and one pilot said "OK, we've got 447 on the meter".

What does this 3 digit number mean?

PS, I hope I'm not driving you guys crazy with this stuff. I keep hearing pilots saying it, and simply wan't to understand what it means.

Chris  Smile



"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
Guest

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 10:53 am

Just to answer the question about how high a transponder will go, normally transponders will only go to 7096. Hence the term "7096 code transponder."

'Speed
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 10:58 am

It's 4096 code transponder there, tiger.

That has nothing to do with how high it will go.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 11:20 am

Mr. Spaceman... any way you can get closer to the transmitter for this sector? Hearing the other end might help clear things up.


The three digit code has to do with the altitmeter with the first digit truncated.... the "meter" is slang for the altimeter. Just _447 is impossible though on an altimeter.... no matter with Hg or mb's....

Which brings me to my next point: are you sure you are hearing the numbers right? The first thing i am always told is the altimeter setting after ATC acknowledging my check in. It willl always start with a 2 or 3 and be a 4 digit code though if in Hg, or a 900 or 1000 number for mb's.


NormalSpeed- i was being sarcastic too though on the last post  Smile i hope it didnt sound harsh. Just raggin on ya!
Chicks dig winglets.
 
AAR90
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 11:31 am

It's 4096 code transponder there, tiger.
That has nothing to do with how high it will go.


If memory serves, there are 4,096 available combination of numbers on the Mode-3 transponder code. Someone want to do the math?

Regarding my original posted questions, not only did I ask if these 4 digits being read back were transponder codes, but I also wanted to find out why they were all different.

ATC uses an aircraft's Mode-3 transponder code to enhance its radar position (more accurate than raw radar) as well as provide additional flight information (stored in a database of active flight plans) such as call sign, type acft, navigation equipment installed, etc., etc. The ATC computers look up the data based upon the 4-digit Mode-3 code assigned to each aircraft.

Now that I've learned that airline pilots recieve their transponder codes along with their IFR clearance before they depart...can you please let me now if all their codes are different or not, and if so, what's the reason for that?

Yes and no, see above. Normally each IFR flight plan is assigned a unique transponder code prior to departure and that code will stay with that flight plan as long as it remains active (aircraft may/may not be airborne). However, with all the aircraft that can be airborne at any given time, 4096 codes isn't enough so ATC will often issue a new transponder code to an airborne aircraft (normally entering a new sector) thereby freeing up the old code for someone else's use in the old (just departed) sector.

*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
XFSUgimpLB41X
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 12:11 pm

What's that I feel in my mouth??? Oh.. it's my foot!

Very good AAR90.... The calculation is 8x8x8x8=4096...the number of combinations.

0-7 on each slot and 4 slots... is how you get 8, in case anyone is wondering that hasn't been blessed with a wonderful class of statistics.
Chicks dig winglets.
 
covert
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sat Jan 11, 2003 2:26 pm

Mode C transponders use octal notation, meaning 0-7, 8 numbers. As stated above, there are 4096 possible combinations.

Examples:
1200-VFR Traffic
7500-Hijack
7600-Radio Malfunction
7700-Emergency
none
 
Guest

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sun Jan 12, 2003 12:38 am

"It's 4096 code transponder there, tiger."

Fine. But don't ever call me tiger again.

'Speed

 
miller22
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RE: Canadair RJ Flight Question

Sun Jan 12, 2003 1:08 am

Xponders will go to 7777. Although don't dial that in. Thats what the military uses on its target drones.
 
AAR90
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:05 am

Mode C transponders use octal notation,

Actually, Mode C is the altitude reporting feature and has no pilot controlled functions except on/off (and maybe "standby").

Xponders will go to 7777. Although don't dial that in. Thats what the military uses on its target drones.

Perhaps, but in the hundreds of range clearance flights I've flown, US military has never used 7777. We've always assigned a specific code [in all modes] for each specific target: drone, missile or plane.

Very good AAR90.... The calculation is 8x8x8x8=4096...the number of combinations.

That's not "good." I'm just a dumb pilot and couldn't figure out the math myself.  Big grin The trivia knowledge comes from 10+ years of flying around 6 tons of avionics --including the interrogator that queries the transponders and a million+ watt radar system.  Sad Then again, it was good to know the "moles" could see everything ATC could not.  Big thumbs up
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sun Jan 12, 2003 4:46 am

Hi guys.

Thanks for all that information about mode-3 transponder combinations, etc.

> XFSUgimpLB41X, I just got this ICOM R-2 receiver (it's smaller than a pack of smokes) for a birthday gift from my girlfriend on Nov 16. Since then, I've only had time to visit Toronto International Airport 2 times with the last visit being a month ago (it's only a 25 minute drive on the highway, but I've been very busy). While I was at Toronto Intl, I could hear everone perfectly...the ATC controllers for arrival, departure, the tower and ground were loud and clear.

Although I wasn't concentrating on the 4 and 3 digit numbers I hear pilot's saying during their readbacks to approach when I was last at YYZ (I was busy reading my new toy's manual), I know that I never heard the word "squawk" used once by anyone.

To answer your question, I will be going out to YYZ tonight or in the morning so I can really listen to the controller's instructions. Also, yes sir, I am hearing the numbers right. I have perfect hearing and the reception on this receiver is excellent!  Big thumbs up

> AAR90, thanks for that great info about why and when a pilot's transponder code might be changed by ATC during flight.

> > > OK, here we go again. Let's see if the following info can shine any light on this 4 digit question (I'm thinking of changing my user name to "4 DIGITS"  Nuts).

Last night and this morning I sat back with my girlfriend (who's also an A.Net member) and listened to the pilot's readbacks after checking in with Toronto's arrival controllers.

Starting at 9:20 pm (Jan 10, 21:20 hrs, Toronto time) I heard the following 4 digit numbers read back by 5 different pilots checking in over a 4 minute period.

In order of pilot's readback.

7362
7362
1832
1835
1835

Several pilots checking in didn't readback any codes other than their flight #.

Between 9:30 and 9:40 pm, 5 different aircraft's pilots read back the same 4 digit code...2970.

These airliners were mostly Air Canada, however some others were American Airlines, Jazz, US Air, as well as a medivac flight. I couldn't pick up the names of many of the airlines checking in because of the pilot's lingo being too quick!

Here's some in detail.....(Jan 10, 22:05 hrs local time) "Good evening Toronto, Northwest one four eight eight's with you at one one thousand, speed showing two fifty knots, with whiskey".

His readback...."two niner six niner, down to seven thousand, Northwest one four eight eight".

This morning (Jan 11, 10:35 hrs local time) I heard this pilot's transmision..." Good morning Toronto, Air Canada seven three three's with you at one one thousand, coming at you at two fifty knots with xray.

His readback...."OK, twenty four right, one zero niner four, air canada seven three three".

A readback code at 11:20 this morning for Air Canada 579 was 2984. Another for Air Canada 555 at 11:28 am was 2985.

That's all folks. I wish I could record these pilots and post an audio, that would surely help. I'm very aware that some of these codes could be an altimeter setting...such as 2985, but, what about 1094, 1832 or 7362?

Incase you guys have had enough of this question about these mysterious 4 digit readbacks, here a quick question that I think I know the answer to, but want to make sure.

Sometimes I've heard pilots say during their readbacks "OK, we've got 5 on the glideslope" I've also heard 4 and 3 "on the glideslope".

Are these pilots simply being told how many aircraft are currently flying down the ILS?

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
covert
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Sun Jan 12, 2003 11:36 am

Right AAR90, the code itself is mode A....
none
 
arv79
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Tue Jan 14, 2003 4:08 am

When I used to listen to Toronto arrival on squawkident.com, the controller always gave the latest altimeter along with the landing runway. As far as I can recall, I've never heard any 4 digit number that didn't sound like an altimeter reading.

Regarding the "we've got 5 on the glideslope"; I've heard instructions like "leave 5/4/3 on the glideslope" which , if I'm not mistaken, means leave 5000, 4000, 3000 respectively once established on the glideslope.

Arvind.
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Tue Jan 14, 2003 6:01 am

Hello Arv79.

Well, it's seems like this question will remain a mystery for me, at least for now.

Regarding these 4 digits I keep hearing the pilots reading back to the controllers, some could be the altimeter setting (ex: 2978), however, most couldn't be. Also, for some reason these constantly changing 4 numbers are not always part of the pilot's readbacks. I'll hear them being used for several hours, then suddenly the pilots stop repeating them to ATC for many hours. So, I don't know exactly what the purpose for these numbers is, but, I do know that I'm not going to worry about it anymore. Big grin

One last comment ..... as I'm sure you know, every pilots who checks in with Toronto's arrival controllers finishes his initial contact communication with reference to the ATIS identification. Ex: "......we're at two ten knots with foxtrot", so they already have the current altimeter setting. On many occasions I've heard pilot's check in and mention that he had the ATIS info "DELTA" for example, when the ATIS had already been updated to "ECHO", and the controllers always make sure that the pilots have listened to the current ATIS info.

Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
AAR90
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Tue Jan 14, 2003 8:37 am

Spaceman,
Can you give me a quick review of exactly what information you're questioning. I'm scheduled to fly AA1856 LAX-YYZ arriving ~1700hrs. on 14th. I'll try and pay attention to anything specific you're asking about.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Tue Jan 14, 2003 9:42 am

Hi AAR90.

Sure thing.

Basically, while listening to pilots checking in with Toronto's arrival controllers I've noticed that when reading back their first instructions from ATC, they often include a 4 digit number at the begining of their readback.

Example:

1) Pilot checks in with arrival.

2) Pilot receives ATC instructions (unfortunately I can't hear ATC from my home).

3) Pilot reads back ATC's instructions and starts by saying 4 numbers such as 7362, 1832, 1835, 1094, etc.

Question...What's these 4 number's purpose? (if they're not a transponder code or altimeter setting).

PS, I'll be tracking your flight on the internet and listening for your initial contact with Toronto's arrival, etc. I think that will be a blast!

Have a "great" flight!

Chris  Smile




"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
arv79
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Wed Jan 15, 2003 12:41 am

Spaceman,

I too have heard pilots checking in with an outdated ATIS information. But I've also heard pilots checking in with a more recent ATIS information which the controller doesn't have. For example, once when I was hearing the conversation, majority of the pilots had a more recent version of the ATIS and the controller was unaware that it had changed and his console obviously didn't reflect the change. Lets hope no such problems occur with the radar scope!!! (just kidding).

Arvind.
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Wed Jan 15, 2003 4:25 am

Hi guys.

Here's a quick update on the status of AAR90's flight from Los Angeles (LAX) to Toronto (YYZ).

He's currently level at 37,000 ft with a speed of 603 mph over norther Arizona. He's flying a 737-800 and is currently scheduled to arrive here in Toronto at 5:24 pm (Toronto local time).

I'm tracking him here. He's flying American Airlines FLT # 1586.

http://www.flytecomm.com/cgi-bin/trackflight

By the time I type this he'll be further along.

> Arv79, to me, one of the best things about listening to pilots on a receiver is that you get to hear their different styles of radio jargon/lingo, and when some confusion, laughter or the unexpected happens (like landing gear that won't extend), it becomes very interesting.

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
Mr Spaceman
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 16, 2003 6:00 am

Hi guys.

>AAR90, I heard you check in with Toronto's arrival yesterday evening around 17:15 hrs (local Toronto time). Unfortunately, your first transmission was very fuzzy and all I heard was "fuz fuz American fuz fuz fuz" etc, but I knew it was you because I was tracking your flight on my PC, and you were the only American Airlines flight scheduled for that time.

I don't know if you were given a 4 diggit code or not because your initial contact was unclear, however, none of the other airliners for an hour before you and 15 minutes after were reading back a 4 number code...except one, who read back "three zero one seven" (that sounds like an altimeter setting to me).

As you got closer to me (I'm 14 nm due east of YYZ), your transmissions became much clearer and I heard you read back lower altitudes and then your clearance to intercept the ILS for runway 23. I was hoping you would fly right over my home (a few other airliners were), but I guess you turned inbound around 12 nm DME. I had my binnoculars ready too...Dang!  Sad

I heard you read back "one seventy knots to Xray, American fifteen eight six", while you were on the glide slope. Then your last transmission at 17:25 was "Americam fifteen eighty six, Thank You".

How was your landing? Did you have a crosswind? (I'm to far away to receive the ATIS which was Sierra). Also, were you doing the radio work, or was it your first officer?

Question: At YYZ, is the NDB "Xray" located on the ILS for rwy 23 at 3.7 DME the Outer Marker?

LAX
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YYZ
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Chris  Smile







"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
AAR90
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 16, 2003 7:12 am

He's currently level at 37,000 ft with a speed of 603 mph over norther Arizona.

Hauling A** due to 45 minute late departure awaiting the plane's arrival from DEN (fog in SoCal area). The 75 knot tailwind over AZ helped as did the 100+ tailwind in eastern CO.  Acting devilish We parked just 16 minutes later than published schedule.  Big thumbs up

>AAR90, I heard you check in with Toronto's arrival yesterday evening around 17:15 hrs (local Toronto time). Unfortunately, your first transmission was very fuzzy and all I heard was "fuz fuz American fuz fuz fuz" etc, but I knew it was you...

We were pretty far west, but ATC had us switch early because of our high ground speed.

I don't know if you were given a 4 diggit code or not because your initial contact was unclear, however, none of the other airliners for an hour before you and 15 minutes after were reading back a 4 number code...except one, who read back "three zero one seven" (that sounds like an altimeter setting to me).

If that "one" was after the "thank you" [see below] then it was the newest altimeter setting. YYZ ATIS changed from "November" to "Sierra" [yep, 6 different ATIS broadcasts] in less than 20 minutes. On initial check-in "Arrival" said "R" was current [we had "P"] and my garbled reply finised with: "we'll get Romeo."

As for the 4 digits, I noticed nothing significantly different or unusual. There was a large number of flights that, after initial check-in, were replying with their flight number at the start of their next transmission and without the airline/callsign preface. Not all that unusual, but it seemed more than normal and since most were local commuter flights there were a lot of 7*** and 3*** series flight numbers. About the only think I can surmise that these are most likely the source of your 4-digit numbers. Without listening to an actual tape of what you're hearing, that's my best guess.

As you got closer to me (I'm 14 nm due east of YYZ), your transmissions became much clearer

Slowed down causing increased nose attitude and realignment of antennas.

...and I heard you read back lower altitudes and then your clearance to intercept the ILS for runway 23. I was hoping you would fly right over my home (a few other airliners were), but I guess you turned inbound around 12 nm DME.

3 runway changes in 10 minutes. Yep, 12 mile (not DME) final for Rwy-23 (west side of airport).

...I had my binnoculars ready too...Dang!

Sorry. Not that great visibility anyway. Light snow all the way in.

How was your landing?

Smooooottttthhhhh!!!! Sadly, it was the FO's landing, not mine. Of course he did float it a little causing a 30 second longer taxi-in time.  Wink/being sarcastic

Did you have a crosswind? (I'm to far away to receive the ATIS which was Sierra).

Yep, about 15 knots right crosswind.

Also, were you doing the radio work, or was it your first officer?

That was me. Testing out my PantherElectronics CAT headset. Your's is the first comment about poor transmission I've received in the first two months of use.

Question: At YYZ, is the NDB "Xray" located on the ILS for rwy 23 at 3.7 DME the Outer Marker?

"Xray" is the outer marker for Rwy 23 ILS, located 3.7 miles from the end of the runway. YYZ ATC likes you to keep the assigned speed until reaching Xray, then slow to your final approach speed.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
sccutler
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 16, 2003 11:16 am

Fun thread, gang. And special kudos to AAR90 for taking the time to answer so completely.

Which brings up a question.

How do you like that Panther CAT setup? I am thinking about buying one, but the cost gives me pause- not a trivial amount without a good rec!
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
AAR90
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 16, 2003 1:35 pm

How do you like that Panther CAT setup? I am thinking about buying one, but the cost gives me pause- not a trivial amount without a good rec!

It has it's good and bad points. Pretty obvious it was primarily designed for small, civil plane use. A heavy coiled cord with amplifier (with volumn control) on one end and two plug connections on the other. The very light weight headset cord connects to the amplifier. There is an in-line microphone mute switch [small box] with clothing clip about 3 feet from the ends with the earpieces. Earpiece cords, one each (also very light weight) come out of the switchbox.

Bad points? Much too much cable length for an airliner cockpit. No need for a mute switch. No need for a volumn control. Too many connections & cables for the constant pack/unpack that goes on with regularly changing planes (average AA domestic day has 1-3 changes of aircraft). Excellent noise attenuation reduces ambient cockpit noise (often very loud) significantly --good for prevention of hearing loss which is common for airline pilots-- but can make cross-cockpit communcations difficult. Transmitter side-tone is very weak.

Good points? Soft molded earpieces provide VERY GOOD noise attenuation. Much better than any earplugs, headset or earpiece I've ever used. Not as good as earplugs and helmet/headset when used together, but much more comfortable (means I'll use it). Caution for crewed cockpits --you might have to ask your co-pilot to speak a bit louder than normal. Excellent sound quality. Apparently above average microphone quality (save Spaceman's new scanner) with absolutely NO COCKPIT BACKGROUND NOISE. Extremely comfortable and light weight (5-hr flight without so much as a sore ear).

Panther Electronics (the company)? Good customer service, but relatively slow delivery rate. Advertised 2 weeks, but figure on 4-6 weeks IF you call and bug them to ship the product. These are all custom made so there is no "stock" to ship off the shelf. They have to build your earpieces one-at-a-time placing the proper electronics in the proper earpiece (they reversed mine the first time). Good warranty and follow-up customer service --they corrected the mic/speaker problem without charge in about a week (including shipping CA-FL-CA).

I don't fly small civil aircraft very often, but this headset should work well in the Dutchess I used to rent 2-3 times a year. Great noise reduction, fantastic comfort (can use the earpieces for preflight earplugs), and excellent transmit/receive quality. Yes, their a bit pricey, but not all that much more than the better quality ANR headsets --which I've never found to be comfortable for long periods of time.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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Joined: Thu Mar 15, 2001 5:09 am

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Wed Jan 22, 2003 4:00 am

Hi guys.

> AAR90, Thank You very much for getting back to me /us and explaining a bit about how your flight from LAX to YYZ went.

I'm very sorry for the delay in replying to you. I tried to reply back to you after your response many days ago, however, the technical forum was down, and I've been quite busy up till now.

I do have some follow up questions for you...and I'll try to be brief (I don't know if that's possible though, hehehe).

Here's some questions:

While you were maintaining 170 knots untill reaching the outer marker (Xray at 3.7 DME), how were you configured regarding the 737's flaps? (I'm assuming your landing gear was already down). Also, what changes were required after you crossed Xray, regarding your power and flap settings, so that you would arrive over rwy 23's threshold at your target speed (Vref I believe). Because it's been many days since that flight, I can't expect you to have it memorized, thus any ballpark info about how you would normally be configured (when it's -5 C outside) would be great to know.

AAR90, I have a few more questions to ask you, but, I have to go now.

Chris  Smile

"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:03 am

While you were maintaining 170 knots untill reaching the outer marker (Xray at 3.7 DME), how were you configured regarding the 737's flaps? (I'm assuming your landing gear was already down).

Flaps-15, Gear-down. If trying to fly the 3-degree glideslope with gear up, the -800 has to be doing 210+ knots (flaps=10 since flaps=15 with gear not locked down sounds that annoying continous horn).

Also, what changes were required after you crossed Xray, regarding your power and flap settings, so that you would arrive over rwy 23's threshold at your target speed (Vref I believe).

Last item first; Vref + 5 kias when using autothrottle (calculated wind additives w/o autothrottle). I think we targeted 139 kias that day. Immediately upon crossing Xray: (1) power to flight idle, (2) Flaps to 30, (3) keep the nose down to stay on glidepath and..... wait... wait... wait for the speed to come back to the target speed. Initially the -800 doesn't like to slow down, but once below 155 kias or so she slows pretty nice. Lots of wing out there (can be seen from the cockpit which is pretty rare) with lots of lift so you have to force the nose down when increasing flap settings to maintain glideslope. A talented FO who allowed the bird to make a nice, smooth transition to a stablized "on-speed" condition at ~900' AGL. And as mentioned, the touchdown was exceptional!  Big thumbs up I tried, but mine the next day at LAX wasn't even close.  Crying
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!
 
sudden
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Wed Jan 22, 2003 8:31 pm

This was very interesting reading and a big thanks to AAR90 for all the info you provided us with.


Go catch the sky!

Sudden.
When in doubt, flat out!
 
Mr Spaceman
Topic Author
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RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 23, 2003 7:23 am

Hi guys.

> AAR90, as mentioned by Sudden, the information you provided was extremely interesting. I was surprised to learn that as soon as you crossed the outer marker ("Xray" at 3.7 DME from rwy 23), you reduced your power to flight idle. However, you made it very clear as to why this is nessesary....so you can slow down to your target speed, etc. Learning things like this about airliners puts a big smile on my face! Big grin

Regarding your new Panther CAT headphones, I hope I didn't insult you by telling you that your first transmision was fuzzy when you checked in. Trust me though, many, many pilot's radios sound a lot worst then yours did when they're far away (like you were).

Question....Is the type of headset that the woman pilot in the link below is wearing, the same as yours? (the ear pieces are blue).

http://www.pantherelectronics.com

Once again, AAR90, I can't Thank You enough for the effort you made in trying to help me understand my origional question about those 4 diggit numbers that pilots were reading back. I have no idea what those 4 numbers were being used for.  Sad I did make it out to Toronto Intl a few times since this thread started, which allowed me to hear the arrival controllers, and like you (and others) explained, the only 4 numbers that were being mentioned by the controllers were the altimeter setting.

Somehow I've managed to keep from putting my head through a wall over this 4 number question. I have decided to pretend I never asked it in the first place!

PS, to be able to communicate with you via this website, and then track your flight and listen to your radio work while on arrival to YYZ was a complete "BLAST" to me!  Big thumbs up


Chris  Smile
"Just a minute while I re-invent myself"
 
LY744
Posts: 5185
Joined: Sat Feb 03, 2001 11:55 pm

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 23, 2003 9:19 am

What about whoever runs torontocontroltower.ca, you could try contacting them.  Smile

LY744.
Pacifism only works if EVERYBODY practices it
 
AAR90
Posts: 3140
Joined: Fri Jan 21, 2000 11:51 am

RE: Pilot / ATC Terminal Arrival Procedures Question?

Thu Jan 23, 2003 11:19 am

Regarding your new Panther CAT headphones, I hope I didn't insult you by telling you that your first transmision was fuzzy when you checked in. Trust me though, many, many pilot's radios sound a lot worst then yours did when they're far away (like you were).

Can't insult a Captain.... and I never fly with anybody I don't like either.  Laugh out loud Seriously, that was the first negative comment I've received from outside the cockpit and since they're still new I'm taking notice.

Question....Is the type of headset that the woman pilot in the link below is wearing, the same as yours? (the ear pieces are blue).

Yep. There are limited choices. Mine are (gotta go look).... Right ear=microphone=blue; Left ear=speaker=Reddish Orange. Originally delivered with speaker in right ear/mic in left but I had them change it (no charge) since it works better that way in a crewed cockpit.

...the only 4 numbers that were being mentioned by the controllers were the altimeter setting.

Listen carefully and over a longer period of time you'll probably notice a relatively large percentage of "local" flights using their flight number without the airline callsign (after initial checkin). Happens a lot throughout North America, so its not something I'd consider unusual. Normally not a problem since most folks know who's talking by sound of voice and flight number.

Somehow I've managed to keep from putting my head through a wall over this 4 number question. I have decided to pretend I never asked it in the first place!

Hehehehe. The only dumb question is the question never asked.  Wink/being sarcastic Sorry we couldn't definitively answer yours though.  Crying

PS, to be able to communicate with you via this website, and then track your flight and listen to your radio work while on arrival to YYZ was a complete "BLAST" to me!

Yep, I'm a "retired" BBS Sysop from pre-www days. I'll try to remember to email you on my next trip to YYZ. I've got "late reserve" next month which means red-eyes to ORD or YYZ most likely trips.... IF I get called.
*NO CARRIER* -- A Naval Aviator's worst nightmare!

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