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ATC Tutorial

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{{Main article|Air Traffic Control}}
[[Air traffic control|Air Traffic Control]] is an agreed procedure and process which keeps the [[aircraft]] separated to ensure that they don't crash into each other or are affected by turbulence when passing through the same air space. The separation of planes taking off or landing at airports is three minutes. This allows the air to settle again. Pilots have used an analogy of calling the atmosphere soup as air and liquid has similar properties.
In order to be able to effectively and reliably communicate, ATC and pilots agree on a set of keywords and jargon. This may vary between regions and the like. English is the agreed language for internaltional flights. <!-- <ref>{{cite web |url=http://www.icao.int/icao/en/trivia/peltrgFAQ.htm#23 |title=IDAO FAQ |accessdate=2009-03-03 |dateformat=lmdy}}</ref> -->
Our plane, B-ELIO, is now about 40NM east-south-east of Heathrow ready to start the approach to runway 9L - as tower has chosen runway 9R for departures, with the winds of 87@22 - the plane is at 18,000 ft and is heading at 270 (towards the left of our screen...).
Did you remember that the landing direction would be towards the right of the screen? I hope so... Anyway, planes need to be at 2,500 ft about 8NM away from the airport heading in the correct direction to intercept the magical [[Instrument Landing System|ILS]] device that will guide them perfectly onto the runway. We know we need to keep the plane at 8,000 ft until its past OCK, and then get it down to 2,500 and onto the grey dotted line leading to the left runway (9L) for the ILS and tower to take the passengers safely to the ground. Formulate a plan: accept the hand-off, descend the plane to 8,000 and send it directly towards OCK VOR, at OCK descend it to 2,500 and fly it past OCK on 270, then turn it to 360 (north, easier to read than '0') up the grey dotted line pointing north, then turn it to 45 so that is cuts the grey-dotted line at 90 to runway 9L... when the plane is on a course taking it through extended center-line (an imaginary line representing a line extending from the runway) it is said to be intercepting the localizer. The plane can then be told to get itself onto this extended center-line as the ILS will warn the plane when it needs to turn to establish itself on the line.
Since the airplane is on the wrong side of the airport, we fly three sides of a rectangle, the first is known as the down-wind (since you land heading up-wind), then the next 'leg' is known as the base, and the red-line shows the final. If the plane was coming from the west, he could just fly a 'straight-in' approach, also known as an extended final - as the plane only flies a very long final.
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