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Radar Vectors from Tower


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I was flying in the south minding my own business all of a sudden Bing Bong i look and i get a contact me ( I am 15 miles out of the airport that i intend to land at). So i didn't contact him I thought maybe it was a mistake a few seconds later Bing Bong Same person same message so I contacted him and he started giving me radar vectors and I obeyed him.

 

So my question to you guys is Have you ever heard of a Tower Controller giving Radar Vectors?

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In ZHU (Houston), I have been told not to give radar vectors since we treat the tower position as non-radar.

 

I had a pilot call me about 55 miles from IAH (I was working IAH TWR) and I couldn't see him since he was out of the range. All I did was politely inform him to contact me when he was established on the localizer for landing, since there was no APP online, which he did.

 

But Wade is correct, there are some towers out there which have a radar position, although I don't think this would be at the larger cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B airports (Which all the ARTCCs have).

 

I would [Mod - Happy Thoughts]ume the radar position within the tower is more for smaller airports which do not otherwise have TRACON service.

 

Also, something to watch for, is someone who is not officially on a control position giving instructions. If you do not recongize the callsign, write down the callsign and if possible the VATSIM ID number and notify the ATM of the ARTCC you were flying in when the incident occured after your flight.

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I was also taught to not give radar vectors at tower. I often get pilots contacting me asking me for vectors to the airport, when there's no CTR or APP online. I tell them that I can't, because I'm a non-radar position.

 

I have stretched it a bit and told them what direction the airport is from them and approximately how far. I've only done that to people who are a little lost and can't find it. But usually when someone calls up form a long distance away, I tell them what the active runways are, and based on where their airline parks, I'll give them a suggested runway, but I leave the choice to them and ask them to call on final.

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Evening everyone, I was the tower controller tonight. I sent you on a right downwind because you were 5 miles out, and on a heading to go directly over the airport with another aircraft on final. If I remember correctly I was using the 27 and 26's at Miami, and I put you on the 26L, which you requested?

 

Sorry for the confusion

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Tower NEVER gives radar-vectors to IFR aircraft besides the occasionally runway heading or go around/missed approach headings. VFR aircraft will receive occasional vectors from Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B towers to get in/out of the cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B if the TWR controller is busy. In the real-world, tower owns an airspace always. Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] D towers usually own 4 miles around the airport up to (usually) 2,500 ft. Cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] C and B towers usually own a piece of the B/C as well as a wider airspace determined by specific SOPs.

 

As far as receiving radar vectors from a TWR 25 miles out, that is incorrect. They should never provide IFR radar vectors to arrivals unless for traffic reasons. No ARTCC should have an exception to this in their SOPs, however ARTCCs do have different procedures for radar towers.

 

Hope that helps.

 

Justin

Justin A. Martin

Training Administrator

VATSIM Miami ARTCC

http://www.zmaartcc.net

atc1o.png

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I was also taught to not give radar vectors at tower. I often get pilots contacting me asking me for vectors to the airport, when there's no CTR or APP online. I tell them that I can't, because I'm a non-radar position.

 

I have stretched it a bit and told them what direction the airport is from them and approximately how far. I've only done that to people who are a little lost and can't find it. But usually when someone calls up form a long distance away, I tell them what the active runways are, and based on where their airline parks, I'll give them a suggested runway, but I leave the choice to them and ask them to call on final.

 

There's no problem in giving someone a "airport at your 2 o'clock, 5 miles" advisory. Quite a few towers in the US have a D-BRITE display in the tower that allows the LC to keep tabs on aircraft that are beyond his/her visual range, which even in perfect conditions may be no more than a couple of miles for smaller aircraft. However, this is NOT an ASR position, it is merely a situational awareness tool for keeping tabs on aircraft that are in the pattern or on approach, particularly in instrument conditions. A controller cannot legally use it to provide separation services.

 

There are allegedly some ATCTs that DO have a ARTS station in the cab, but I have no idea where they are located. Typically any airport that has radar positions co-located with the tower is going to have them down in a TRACON (which may not be much larger than some peoples' living rooms) at the base of the tower. This is what is commonly referred to as an "up/down" facility, as in, the controllers work both the non-radar positions upstairs in the tower cab, and the radar positions downstairs in the TRACON. Some airports that don't see very heavy traffic may only have one radar position open on a regular basis, only when the traffic picks up will they split the airspace between two or more controllers. I toured an up/down facility about a month or so ago and they had one guy on radar, plus someone on "data" (handles flight plans, coordinating with the surrounding center, etc), then 4 folks up in the tower. LC, GC, cab-coordinator and the supervisor, who actually went back and forth between the tower and TRACON downstairs as needed.

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Evening everyone, I was the tower controller tonight. I sent you on a right downwind because you were 5 miles out, and on a heading to go directly over the airport with another aircraft on final. If I remember correctly I was using the 27 and 26's at Miami, and I put you on the 26L, which you requested?

 

Sorry for the confusion

 

^ Hello, anyone read this? It was me on Miami Tower, and above is my explanation of the circomestances.

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There are allegedly some ATCTs that DO have a ARTS station in the cab, but I have no idea where they are located.

 

The EUG ACTC has an ARTS radar in the tower cab for the late night/early morning shifts where one person works all positions from DEL to APP from the cab. Once more people arrive, and the MFR sector is activated, the work is shifted down to the radar room at the base of the tower.

KZSE C3/Facilities Administrator

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There are allegedly some ATCTs that DO have a ARTS station in the cab, but I have no idea where they are located.

 

The EUG ACTC has an ARTS radar in the tower cab for the late night/early morning shifts where one person works all positions from DEL to APP from the cab. Once more people arrive, and the MFR sector is activated, the work is shifted down to the radar room at the base of the tower.

 

Interesting.. I wonder how they got by the FAA directive that there are now supposed to be at least two people in the cab at all times..

 

BL.

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

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Evening everyone, I was the tower controller tonight. I sent you on a right downwind because you were 5 miles out, and on a heading to go directly over the airport with another aircraft on final. If I remember correctly I was using the 27 and 26's at Miami, and I put you on the 26L, which you requested?

 

I heard a heading 090 call and not a downwind call and I had a buddy of mine confirm it who was flying with me.

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There are at least a few towers that are designated as limited approach control facilities (or words to that effect) to the point where they are allowed to vector aircraft within their airspace.

 

There's the primary caveat though, "in their airspace." Local control's airspace is normally extremely limited, and not really suited to providing sequencing and vectors as an approach controller normally would. Something like turning a slow/low departing or overflight aircraft out of the way of a departure or arrival though may qualify.

 

Letters of agreement between a particular tower/approach control specify whether and where the tower is allowed to vector. I know for sure that PHX allows the local controller to vector aircraft as necessary, but it's something that's used on, well, a limited basis... approach handles the bulk of the work (e.g. - sequencing airliners to the runways).

 

For VATSIM purposes... well, I guess it depends on whether the local controller is helping you, or asking you to do something entirely different than you had planned. If he's just helping get you lined up with the localizer, and is giving otherwise competent instructions, go with it I suppose. Otherwise, really, as long as you are executing an ATIS advertized approach to the airport (or anything if they dont mention something), you just gotta get clearance to land.

 

My $.02

 

~Nate

Nate Johns

 

"All things are difficult before they are easy."

- Dr. Thomas Fuller, Gnomologia, 1732

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The up/down facility is alive and well. Incase anyone ever wants to know how hard the tower guys are really working.

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/ato/tracon/

 

I heard a heading 090 call and not a downwind call and I had a buddy of mine confirm it who was flying with me.

 

 

 

I think the tower was not providing a vector, but suggesting a heading for downwind. In either case if it was MIA they have a radar tower, or so it would seem, as the same facility and controllers provide approach control services for the entire tracon.

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There are allegedly some ATCTs that DO have a ARTS station in the cab, but I have no idea where they are located.

 

The EUG ACTC has an ARTS radar in the tower cab for the late night/early morning shifts where one person works all positions from DEL to APP from the cab. Once more people arrive, and the MFR sector is activated, the work is shifted down to the radar room at the base of the tower.

 

Interesting.. I wonder how they got by the FAA directive that there are now supposed to be at least two people in the cab at all times..

 

BL.

 

The other person is probably a SUP.

KZSE C3/Facilities Administrator

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Let me clarify

 

I should have not said aircraft generally. 90% of the time vectors with the tower are given to VFR aircraft exiting the cl[Mod - Happy Thoughts] B airspace. As far as helicopters go, they are usually on VFR, reference point flight plans; however, IFR helicopters are not uncommon and, if you have a RADAR QUALIFIED TOWER (not just DBRITE) then you can give vectors to these aircraft.

 

Justin

Justin A. Martin

Training Administrator

VATSIM Miami ARTCC

http://www.zmaartcc.net

atc1o.png

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