October 24, 2014


Nine years ago, I was in Oklahoma City studying maps.  I hoped that by Christmas Eve I would be driving to NH to start a new life.  My ATC dreams came true, and I continued my life long obsession with aviation.  As I evolved over the years, I am no longer the blogger I was in 2005.  But as someone who is still wakes up mostly excited to be a part of the high altitude spot welding prevention program (the FAA), I feel like I must still have something to contribute here, even if it's not the same blog you've all be kindly following for all these years.

It's been a year since I've posted.  I've received a few "where did you go? we miss you!" emails during this time, and I appreciate it.  I've been busy.  I got engaged and married this year - to a girl that is so amazing I couldn't have dreamed her up before I met her.  This summer was really busy at ZBW, for me at least.  I worked a lot of evening shifts, and it felt like a constant request for deviations.  Thankfully, my wife has a calming effect on me that is invaluable.  But I don't have the energy anymore to write about that stuff specifically as it happens like I once did.

So, what to do.  I clearly have an active audience here, and we all share the common theme in the world of aviation to continue learning and discussion and dreaming.  One of the most inspiring and important and relevant things in my career over the last few years has been the Flight Deck Training program.  As many of you already know, this is the program where controllers can fly in the jumpseat of certain airlines.  I won't go into too much detail about it, but it is essentially 8 hours of world-view shattering perspective.  Without a doubt, the things I've observed and conversed with pilots have improved my work as a controller.   So, I realized that that is what this blog needs to become.  More of a conversation.

My idea is to re-brand the blog a little bit.  It'll still be called NAS CONFUSION.  But I need inspiration and a topic.  So email me or comment about things you wish you could sit down and talk to a controller about.  If it's Boston Center related, great, lets "talk".  If its more of a general topic, then I'll take some time and talk to my friends in the ATC world about it and attempt to answer it, for you and everyone, as a post, the best I can.   You can even frame your question is the form of a gripe and I won't take it too personal.  So, let's go!

Contact me by emailing me at dmatc1@gmail.com or deltamike172@hotmail.com
or post a comment....

I look forward to hearing from you!



Wayne Conrad said...

What things do pilots read back that you wish they wouldn't?

What things do pilots not read back that you wish they would?

Which of the official phraseologies would you change? Conversely, which of the official phraseologies do you wish pilots would use more?

deltamike172 said...

Excellent so far! I also got "What does air traffic control habitually do that you do not like?", which so far has been almost exclusively either 1. Issuing a complex multi-step clearance, advise if unable, immediately followed by a frequency change. They are busy still inputting the restriction into the FMS, and what was the frequency? And do you still care if it turns out we can't comply? and 2 - RNAV Descend Via inconsistencies. I will address this last one about RNAV Descend and Climb Via soon.

Wayne Conrad said...

I look forward to hearing what you have to say.

More questions:

The AIM gives very specific phrases for reporting altitude, "Level four thousand", "two thousand climbing one three thousand," etc. I don't often hear pilots using the official phrases. Instead, it's shorter phrases such as "two for thirteen." Do the shorter forms help you out on a busy frequency? Have you ever seen the use of these abbreviated forms cause problems that would have been avoided if the official form were used? Are there specific forms of altitude report abbreviations that do cause problems?

I forget where I read this (Don Brown?) but I've heard the advice that VFR traffic calling a busy controller to ask for flight following or a popup clearance start out with something like "LA Center N129P VFR request" and then wait for the controller to get back to him. Does that work for you? What things can pilots who are requesting services do to make your life easier? What things do they do that you would rather they don't?

Anonymous said...

Delta Mike,

Get the Flick (Don Brown) posted a topic on his site about the enroute 'Q' routes. Do this routes transit thru your airspace? Any real would experience with the roues? If I understand correctly some of the route cross the international boundary with Canada which kick in user fees.