Thursday, March 20, 2008


Yesterday, I sent you to Strange Maps and I’m going to send you there again. Open up this map in a new window on your browser so you can refer to it as you read.

Locate Atlanta, GA on the map. Precisely.

Describe to me how to drive from New York to Atlanta using this map.

How many “intersections” are there between New York City and Atlanta on this map.

No, this isn’t designed just to frustrate you. I want you to think about maps. In transportation, you have to be able to give directions. To be able to give directions, there must be common points of reference. A road -- Interstate 85. An intersection -- the SW corner of Maple and Third. Landmarks -- In Marietta (an Atlanta suburb), you can’t go anywhere without reference to “The Big Chicken.”

The FAA is heading down a dangerous road and I really wonder why no one seems to be paying attention. Take a look at these two STARs (Standard Terminal Arrival Routes.)

I see only two common points of reference -- the ATL (Atlanta) VOR and the SOT (Snowbird) VOR. That doesn’t do you much good (some, but not much) when you’re trying to figure out if you can hold at SHANE or PLEES on the PECHY STAR while you’re holding at ODF on the WHINZ STAR.

Some of my long-time readers might recognize this as another version of the same problem I’m been talking about for years...Where does a flight from GSO direct M54 cross a flight on V35 ?

If you don’t know what GSO, M54 and V35 are then you begin to see the problem. It’s like trying to program the GPS in your car to turn left at the first light south of the Big Chicken.

Think about it.

Don Brown
March 20, 2008

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