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May 2, 2011

## Interactive Quiz #159: Separation Anxiety

Everyone knows that air traffic controllers keep aircraft from bumping into each other, but just how much separation does ATC provide? That's not an essay question. Instead, separate fact from misconceptions about ATC service in this quiz.

INSTRUCTIONS: Answer the questions as best you can, then click on the "Score my quiz answers" button to see your score and read the explanations. If you don't like your score the first time around, you can change some of your answers and resubmit. To get the most out of this quiz, we suggest you keep trying until you get a perfect score.

NOTE: When more than one answer is true, only the most complete, correct answer will be scored as correct. The answers are assumed to apply within the United States unless otherwise noted.

1. When not providing approved radar separation (horizontal), the minimum vertical separation ATC applies between two IFR aircraft operating inside controlled airspace below FL290 (29,000 feet) is (_____) feet. (Fill in the blank and ignore VFR-on-top, oceanic, VFR climbs, visual separation and RVSM.)
a. 500
b. 1000
c. 1500
d. 2000
2. The previous question mentioned RVSM. Even though we asked you to ignore it, we lied. What does RVSM mean?
a. Reduced Vertical Separation Minimums
b. Relaxed Vertical Separation Minimums
d. Referenced Vertical Separation Minimums
3. Radar approach controllers must separate VFR from IFR radar targets, operating inside Class C airspace, by at least (_____) feet vertically or by assuring that radar targets don't merge. (Assume no visual separation in use and neither aircraft is Heavy or a Boeing 757.)
a. 500
b. 1000
c. 1500
d. 2000
4. Inside Class C airspace, radar air traffic controllers are required to provide (_____) (_____) radar separation (horizontal) or (_____)-feet vertical separation between VFR aircraft. (Fill in the blanks with the best answer.)
a. target resolution, 500
b. 1.5 miles, 500
c. 3 miles, 500
d. 3 miles, 1000
e. None of the above
5. It's daytime, VFR, and you're landing your Cessna 172 at an airport with an operating control tower. Tower tells you to follow a Cherokee 140 on final. You see the Cherokee, follow it, and as the Cherokee touches down, Tower tells you, "Cleared to land." As you cross the runway threshold, you see that the Cherokee is still rolling out halfway down the runway's 7000-foot length. Even though you've been cleared to land, if the preceding Cherokee has not cleared the runway you must (shall) begin a go-around.
a. True
b. False
6. Normally, approach/departure radar controllers need 3 miles radar separation between IFR targets (don't you love thinking of yourself as a target?) unless the targets are separated vertically by at least 1000 feet. But, according to the ATC manual, the tower can launch successive IFR departures from the same airport with as little as 1-mile separation, provided the courses diverge by at least how many degrees?
a. 15
b. 30
c. 45
d. 90
7. ATC applies extra separation to aircraft where wake turbulence is a threat. For wake-turbulence purposes, aircraft are divided into three classes: small, large and heavy. Small includes aircraft of (_____) pounds or less maximum certificated takeoff weight. Heavy includes all aircraft capable of takeoff weights of more than (_____) pounds. (Fill in the blanks.)
a. 12,500, 250,000
b. 19,000, 255,000
c. 41,000, 255,000
d. 41,000, 300,000
8. Now that you know your wake-turbulence classes -- small, large, heavy -- from the previous question, how much radar separation should an approach controller provide a small aircraft operating in trail of a heavy or a Boeing 757?
a. 3 miles
b. 4 miles
c. 5 miles
d. 6 miles
9. Air traffic controllers have a dual duty priority to both separate air traffic and to issue safety alerts. Safety alerts include warning of intruder VFR traffic that the controller thinks might be a threat plus obstacle or terrain alerts, such as low-altitude alerts. All IFR and VFR aircraft receiving radar service will receive low-altitude alerts, when needed, from ATC.
a. True
b. False
10. When ATC issues traffic, "Cessna 81L, traffic two o'clock, three miles ..." the controller will include the traffic's altitude, if known and verified, or will say, "altitude unknown," if it's not known. What is the correct ATC altitude phraseology that indicates the traffic is squawking 1200 but not talking to ATC?
a. "Altitude indicates (feet MSL)."
b. "Altitude indicates (feet MSL) unverified."
c. "Unverified altitude indicates (feet MSL)."
d. "Mode C indicates (feet MSL)."

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