Aviation In Canada

Sunday, June 19, 2005

Flight Progress Strips

As a follow up to yesterday's article, I have taken the time to scan a couple of flight progress strips we use in Moncton ACC. I'll show you the grpahics, and then talk about them a little. For those who are familiar with these in general, they'll look a little different from the strips used elsewhere in Canada, since this one was produced by CAATS, our new computer system that is still undergoing testing in Moncton ACC. Let me apologize for the image posting bleeding into the next column. If I made the imade any smaller, I found I was losing intelligibility, and I had difficulty modifying the blog's template due to the background images. We'll just have to suffer a little here.

Here we see the basic enroute strip. This is a westbound flight, and therefore the basic details are printed on the left-hand side. Starting there, we see the aircraft identification (Canjet flight 161), a Medium wake turbulence category Boeing 737-500, the "W" denotes RVSM certification, filed true airspeed of 428 knots. Underneath that is the SSR code assigned to the airplane. Along the bottom row, we see that he departed St. John's, NF (CYYT), and is proceeding from YYT directly to YHZ, with the destination in the far right bottom corner of Halifax International, NS (CYHZ). The "WL16" is formatting code used by CAATS and is not worth explaining. In the box on the far right hand side is the fix posting, ie where we will post this strip in our data board. This strip is meant to posted under our YQY header strip, but since the aircraft isn't actually going over YQY, we post A/YQY, or abeam Sydney VOR, which means near it. Since the fix posting is A/YQY, we show an estimate for the aircraft's passage of YQY of 1948z, and an altitude of FL360. The lone little "1" on the right hand side of the strip denotes this is Revision 1, or Rev1, of this flight plan.

This next example is Air Georgian, or GGN, flight number 7463. Also a medium, it's a Beech 1900 equipped with GPS, filed TAS of 270 knots, assigned code 4345. Notice how all the name and type info is on the right side this time? This is because this aircraft is eastbound. Whether the flight is eastbound or westbound for strip production follows the same rules as for cruising level - eastbound is 000-179° magnetic, and westbound is 180-359°. In any case, look at the bottom line again. The aircraft has filed a cruising altitude of 15,000 feet, is departing CYHZ and flying V312 to CYQY. Again, the EP39 is not worth explaining. In the fix posting box (this time on the far left), you see CYHZ as the fix, therefore this is our departure strip. For that reason, we have a time in the smaller box just to the right of the fix posting box, which shows as the pilot's proposed time of departure from CYHZ, of 1635z. Notice in the box just to the right of the time there is a hand-drawn slash in there. This is how we show departure strips. We would put a cross in this section if the strip were an arrival strip, and leave it blank if it were an enroute strip (such as the example above).

We have a manual of strip marking which tells us what we write, where, and how it's supposed to look to show various details such as who this information has been passed to, what altitudes he has been cleared to, methods of showing changes to routing, and so on. If hte aircraft has been cleared for an approach, this is shown in the box just to the left of the GGN's identification, and so on. But these are the basics of what a strip looks like. If it's desired, perhaps I can demonstrate the progression of some strip marking. Interested?