air traffic control - Why did this plane fly in a zigzag pattern?

I was tracking flight NKS739 from LAX to SEA this morning and saw that it made some some odd turns. If you look at the track from you can see that it was heading toward SEA then it took a large turn to the right then to the left then returned to its original course.This does not look like the usual technical glitch from Flightradar24, and FlightAware shows the same track. There was no weather anywhere in the area. There were many aircraft in the area at the time and none of them made any unusual turns. There are no MOA's in th...Read more

air traffic control - How close can separation be during a landing clearance?

How close can separation between two aircraft be during landing? during visual landing clearance? Specifically, I refer to this Aviation Herald Report where: When the Boeing 777-300 was about 2.1nm before touch down a BAe Avro began its takeoff run on runway 08R. The Boeing 777 was subsequently cleared to land on runway 08R, winds from 130 degrees at 7 knots. When the Boeing 777-300 crossed the runway threshold, the Jumbolino was climbing out still short of the runway end.(Source: - Singapore B773 at Munich on Nov 3rd 2...Read more

air traffic control - How are landing aircraft handled during an emergency runway closure?

A Hypothetical scenario A landing aircraft at a busy airport such as London Gatwick LGW has an issue during landing that requires the immediate closure of the runway.My understanding is that there could be several aircraft lined up on approach to land at busy times and more circling waiting to land. If such an incident as the one described above were to happen how would ATC handle the other aircraft?Obviously they will almost certainly need to be diverted, would they contact each aircraft individually to give instructions starting with the c...Read more

air traffic control - What is the process for requesting flight following in Canada?

In US, the process to get flight following is pretty straightforward. You call the approach/center frequency, request a flight following and you get it.On a recent flight originating from a Canadian airport (Lachute, CSE4), I contacted Montreal approach after takeoff and requested flight following. They asked me if I had filed a flight plan. I said no, and they asked me to speak to Quebec radio so that a flight plan could be filed, Quebec radio will then give me a number and I am supposed to call Montreal approach again with that number. I cont...Read more

air traffic control - Do special procedures exist for commercial pilots flying over Russia?

Since Russia, and in particular the Asian part of it, is huge, I was wondering if there are special procedures for commercial pilots to follow over Russia (in particular and specifically Siberia and other sparsely populated parts)? (Except that they use the metric system.)Does Russia provide radar coverage and flight following services over its entire territory? As an example, do the use procedures like the North Atlantic Tracks, or do pilots implement their "own ATC" by stating position reports regularly, just like over some parts of Africa?Or...Read more

air traffic control - What is the proper ICAO phraseology to activate a flight plan?

OK, so you have a flight plan filed (over internet, phone, company or however), go to the aircraft and get in the cockpit. So you call the controller and request IFR or VFR as appropriate.What is the recommended wording of the request and how it is actually pronounced? Is “IFR” spelled, like “requesting eye-eff-are”, using phonetic alphabet like “requesting India Foxtrot Romeo” or expanded like “requesting instrument flight rules”?Should you add the destination or other description of the plan? The ATC already has it, but it might serve as a ch...Read more

air traffic control - How to correctly interpret the taxi procedures in ICAO Doc 4444?

I have a question to ICAO Doc4444, Chapter, Taxi procedures for departure, c).My question is how to interpret the following, knowing that words in parentheses are mandatory, and words in square parentheses indicate optional additional words. TAXI TO HOLDING POINT [number] [RUNWAY (number)] [HOLD SHORT OF RUNWAY (number) (or CROSS RUNWAY (number))] [TIME (time)];I assume that this can be exploded to 12 variants (not including TIME at the end of each variant which would give another 12 variants).TAXI TO HOLDING POINT TAXI TO HOLDING P...Read more

air traffic control - What does "<aircraft type> X miles in trail, runway 25R cleared to land" mean?

I was listening to the LiveATC Phoenix North Tower feed as he was clearing aircraft to land. He said something like "Southwest fifteen sixty five, Phoenix Tower, (aircraft type), X miles in trail, runway 25R, cleared to land".What does the "(aircraft type) X miles in trail" portion mean?Is the controller pointing out the aircraft behind the aircraft that is being given the landing clearance? If yes, why would the aircraft in front care?...Read more