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Aircraft Data Flashcards

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Aircraft Data Flashcards

Old 23rd Oct 2019, 20:25
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Aircraft Data Flashcards

I'm going to be starting at NATS soon and the one thing I've heard stressed a lot is to get a head start learning aircraft data. My question is - what data is useful for an ATCO to memorise?

I have 3 major sources to go at -

Jane's - seems a bit light on info.

Eurocontrol - seems a bit heavy on info.

NATS - just right? Do I really need to learn length and wingspan to 2 decimal points?

So if I were to design my own aircraft flashcards which would be the best data to learn? Also, should I go with my gut feeling that I should know more about an Airbus A320 say than a Bombardier CRJ-900LR?
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 21:36
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Have you been told whether you’re doing Tower, Approach or Area yet?
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 21:40
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Aircraft Data Flashcards

Originally Posted by Trevor Hannant
Have you been told whether youíre doing Tower, Approach or Area yet?
I very much doubt it, that decision isn't made until the end of the Basic course.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 22:00
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Originally Posted by Trevor Hannant
Have you been told whether youíre doing Tower, Approach or Area yet?
Havenít been told yet. Iím assuming that to start with weíll train as though all 3 are a possibility.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 22:04
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I don’t know if NATS still use them however if you are going to Global ATS in Gloucester you will be probably going down the Aerodrome route.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 22:14
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Originally Posted by AyrTC
I donít know if NATS still use them however if you are going to Global ATS in Gloucester you will be probably going down the Aerodrome route.
Iím going to CTC in January - as far as I know this could lead to any.
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 22:41
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Does the question about whether the OP will be studying for aerodrome, approach or area imply that aircraft stats are significantly more important to learn for one rating as opposed to the others?
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 23:25
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For area and approach, performance like typical cruise speed, climb/descent rates and approach speeds are going to be of use. On an aerodrome, physical size or weight can be important because of infrastructure limitations. TBH, I've never been sure of the value of learning such stuff pretty much by rote. In the real world, relative speeds (and critical or challenging type mixes) and the like will soon become apparent, and what is often more important is the range of operational performance that is possible rather than nominal or typical values, and on an airport (certainly in the UK) if there are places where aircraft over a particular size or of a particular type are limited for some reason this will be clearly set out in the MATS part 2 (the procedures document for that particular airport)..
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Old 23rd Oct 2019, 23:39
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I, too, would question the value of learning things by rote that are more than likely to be subsequently forgotten, unless otherwise reinforced on the job.

However, if Iím not mistaken, a good deal of the college-based learning is done in precisely this way (by rote), so regardless of its value or otherwise, I think the OP is looking for suggestions on how to get a head start on this side of things.
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 07:22
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I would say aircraft data simply have a good knowledge of aircraft types jet or props. The aircraft speeds are in front of you but learn how to divide by 60 to get miles per minute, its amazing how very well educated people I have trained find it very hard to do mental arithmetic! In my day one of the first things they did was set hundreds of mental arithmetic questions to practise on and then give you a ten minute test to see haw many you can do! No baring other than to get your brain working quicker!
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 08:16
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According to EASA, the required knowledge during BASIC training for aircraft and their performance is:

- Recognise the most commonly used aircraft.

- State the ICAO aircraft type designators and categories for the most commonly used aircraft.
ie: Type designators, approach and wake turbulence categories

- State the standard average performance data of the most commonly used aircraft.
ie: Rate of climb/descent, cruising speed, ceiling

So the job of the school is to pick a number of aircraft that are common, and then make cards with the required knowledge to give to the students.

Fortunately, it doesn't state how you select the aircraft, or haw many... So the most easy is to take a pick amongst the ones the students are most likely getting to work with.

To answer the initial thread, the school decides what you have to learn, just ask them.
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Old 24th Oct 2019, 08:26
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Originally Posted by jmmoric
According to EASA, the required knowledge during BASIC training for aircraft and their performance is:

- Recognise the most commonly used aircraft.

- State the ICAO aircraft type designators and categories for the most commonly used aircraft.
ie: Type designators, approach and wake turbulence categories

- State the standard average performance data of the most commonly used aircraft.
ie: Rate of climb/descent, cruising speed, ceiling

So the job of the school is to pick a number of aircraft that are common, and then make cards with the required knowledge to give to the students.

Fortunately, it doesn't state how you select the aircraft, or haw many... So the most easy is to take a pick amongst the ones the students are most likely getting to work with.

To answer the initial thread, the school decides what you have to learn, just ask them.
Thanks Ė this is really helpful! It makes a lot of sense to learn those bits of information, and it mostly reflects the aircraft details provided in a NATS pre-learning document. It also feels a lot more manageable than having to learn tones of things that would appear unnecessary, like number of seats, wingspan, etc.
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 06:42
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Originally Posted by alfaman
I very much doubt it, that decision isn't made until the end of the Basic course.
Current courses new before they started
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 06:46
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Originally Posted by Quilt


Havenít been told yet. Iím assuming that to start with weíll train as though all 3 are a possibility.
As above, I wouldnít get into the depths of wingspans, number of seats etc. jmmoricís advice is a good starting point as if you go Area, a good amount of the stuff in the pre-learning will be of no use at all
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 09:23
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Originally Posted by Trevor Hannant


As above, I wouldnít get into the depths of wingspans, number of seats etc. jmmoricís advice is a good starting point as if you go Area, a good amount of the stuff in the pre-learning will be of no use at all
have you gone down the area Trevor?

I know at global it is 50 of the Ďmost commoní aircraft types. My course and I didnít start to learn them until the week before the exam although we were told it would be best but when the actual revising started we all kept pushing it back as other stuff became more important to learn at the time.
The 50 types on our list though were all over the place, 747, a380, eufi, chinook, pa28, caravan, glex and so on.
Might be worth doing some detective work and finding someone who has been through the same college for a list of what to concentrate on. No point learning ones that you wonít need to know.
I heard (and canít verify this) that at CTC you only need to learn a handful for the aircraft recognition part of the tests. Someone with more knowledge on CTC will verify that for you though.
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 10:11
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Originally Posted by jmmoric
According to EASA, the required knowledge during BASIC training for aircraft and their performance is:

- Recognise the most commonly used aircraft.

- State the ICAO aircraft type designators and categories for the most commonly used aircraft.
ie: Type designators, approach and wake turbulence categories

- State the standard average performance data of the most commonly used aircraft.
ie: Rate of climb/descent, cruising speed, ceiling

So the job of the school is to pick a number of aircraft that are common, and then make cards with the required knowledge to give to the students.

Fortunately, it doesn't state how you select the aircraft, or haw many... So the most easy is to take a pick amongst the ones the students are most likely getting to work with.

To answer the initial thread, the school decides what you have to learn, just ask them.
FAA Order 7110.65 used to contain an Appendix with typical climb/descent rates for pretty well anything with an ICAO type designator.

It doesn't any longer, but you can still download a relatively recent issue (2015) from the FAA website: JO 7110.65W
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Old 25th Oct 2019, 19:32
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Originally Posted by Trevor Hannant


Current courses new before they started
No they don't: they might presume based on the ITO they go to,& the units with the greatest volume, but things change. The only fixed point is when they pass basic onto rating.
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Old 26th Oct 2019, 16:02
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Originally Posted by alfaman
No they don't: they might presume based on the ITO they go to,& the units with the greatest volume, but things change. The only fixed point is when they pass basic onto rating.
is that at CTC?
I was told by NATS before starting at Global I was doing ADI and APS. I later found out Global donít teach area ratings but still I knew Iíd be in a tower.
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Old 26th Oct 2019, 18:27
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Originally Posted by Runway26


is that at CTC?
I was told by NATS before starting at Global I was doing ADI and APS. I later found out Global donít teach area ratings but still I knew Iíd be in a tower.
If you're at Global, chances are you'll do Basic then all being well continue to ADI & APS, but nothing in NATS is ever cast in stone - business need is always first.
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Old 26th Oct 2019, 18:49
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Thanks to everyone for their help, I wound up creating a set of flash cards with:

* Aircraft Name
* ICAO
* Wake Turbulence Category
* Cruise Speed
* Cruise Level
* Climb Rate to FL150
* Descent Rate to FL100

Iíve stuck to the same ~50 aircraft as the NATS pack. I think that should be a decent start and isnít bad information to know regardless of my eventual rating.

Enjoying how the rest of the discussion has turned out in this thread. Iím hoping for an area rating at CTC (I was told I was too tall to go to Gloucester) but I know it could go either way.

Last edited by Quilt; 26th Oct 2019 at 19:43.
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