Aviation In Canada

Friday, June 24, 2005

Strip Marking Example

Here's the strip marking example I've been telling you I'd get to. I had an example flight plan made up on a Piper PA-31 Navajo going from Saint John, NB, to Fredericton, NB, filed at 6,000 feet along the airway V310, which surrounds the infamous CYR724 restricted area. I'll narate a little as we go.

In the first two images presented below, the strips have just come out of the printer, and the controller identifies the strips as the CYSJ departure strip and puts a slash in the middle boxes, and the CYFC strip as the arrival strip, and marks a cross there. The flight is proposed off at 2230z and is a westbound flight, so the strips are printed up with the identification info on the left and the fix posting on the right.

At 2229, SJ FSS calls and says "Alpha Romeo Tango is taxiing, requesting IFR clearance off runway 32." The controller slots the strips under the board, checks for possible conflicts, and issues the following clearance to be read to the airplane verbatim:

ATC clears Foxtrot Alpha Romeo Tango to the Fredericton VOR via Victor three one zero, maintain six thousand. Depart runway 32, turn right heading zero two zero to intercept Victor three one zero and proceed on course. Squawk four three two seven. Clearance cancelled if not airborne by two two three five.

The readback from FSS comes and is correct, and now the clock starts ticking. The pilot has to be airborne before 2235z (meaning 2235:01 is too late). The clearance has to be issued by radio, read back by the pilot, the airplane taxied onto the runway and departed by that time. Sound like a tight window? Maybe it is, but that's what the controller could offer. If the pilot can't make that easily, it's always the pilot's discretion to refuse the clearance and wait for a better time. Anyway, the strips now look like this when the clearance is issued:

The altitude is marked in the middle box, showing in hundreds of feet. Just to the right of that, a big "D" is marked indicating a clearance has been "delivered" (with a non-standard notation of time, 30 minutes past the hour). The runway number and departure instructions are written in a standard shorthand, with the "CC" indicating the "clearance cancelled" time. Note how little is written on the arrival strip? That fills up as we approach destination.

More to follow tomorrow... (don't you just hate when people do this?)