Say Again? #42: The Mysterious D-Side »

The D-side isn't the song on the back of the C-side record ... it's an air traffic controller who uses brains rather than eyes to keep track of planes. A data controller can be the best friend a radar controller (and a pilot) ever had, but due to policy and personell changes, D-sides are becoming rare birds. AVweb's Don Brown explains in this month's "Say Again?" column. More

Say Again? #41: ATC 105 -- Phraseology »

You've got plenty to learn when becoming a pilot -- and one of the more intimidating things is talking on the microphone. But proper phraseology can save your life, and it's easier to learn when you're new. AVweb's Don Brown has another in his basic communication courses in this month's column. More

Say Again? #40: Outside Looking In »

After years trying to convince pilots and controllers to adopt safer habits, AVweb's Don Brown is feeling beaten down and jaded. He's quite ready to retire. By chance, he recently attended two events that lifted his spirits and gave him a bit more faith in humanity and aviation, and he tells the tale in this month's "Say Again?" column. More

Say Again? #39: ATC 205 - IFR Flight Plan II »

Want another good reason to be careful how you file your flight plan? How about avoiding a midair collision? AVweb's Don Brown is back with another in his " courses " on better ATC and pilot communication. This month he's trying to figure out why some pilot wants to go to Kentucky via Canada. More

Say Again? #38: ATC 104 -- VFR High Time »

Student and low-time pilots are expected to stumble a bit on the radio. But if you're a high-time pilot flying VFR, your bad habits (perhaps learned by imitating a smooth-talking jet jock) might be causing trouble for controllers and other pilots. AVweb's Don Brown reminds you that there's the book way, and then there's the way that could get a book thrown at you. More

Say Again? #37: VFR In A Vacuum »

Have you been turned down lately when you asked ATC for VFR advisories? Expect it to happen more and more often, especially when you and other pilots don't file a correct flight plan or use the proper phraseology. AVweb's Don Brown points out how the impending controller shortage will reduce the additional services ATC can provide. More

Say Again? #36: Spring is Sprung »

Time once again for the weather to bring nasty thunderstorms into your favorite airspace. Some planes have long had on-board radar, and recently we've started to see NEXRAD radar on those GA glass-cockpit displays. This spring, AVweb's Don Brown finally has NEXRAD available on his radar scope. But keeping us out of thunderstorms never is that easy, is it? More

Say Again? #35: Lessons Unlearned »

The National Airspace System has lots of redundancies; and some would say that takes more effort than is necessary. Why fly on airways when direct can be faster? Why read back the entire clearance or radio frequency change when you can just give your callsign? AVweb's Don Brown tells of a time when a perfect storm of at least 11 separate, small errors built up to bring two planes mere feet from each other at high speed. More

Say Again? #34: It's No Joke »

It'd be easy to assume some pilots are just stupid, given the behavior AVweb's Don Brown sometimes sees in his radar screen. But since they've managed to work their way through the FAA certification process, it's more productive to look at the system problems to see why pilots seem to do stupid things. More

Say Again? #33: ATC 204 — IFR En Route »

Time to go back to school with AVweb's Don Brown. This time, he's discussing the pitfalls of IFR en route planning, especially short hops and requests for "direct-to." Get your charts handy and get ready to cruise. More