FAA History Lesson -- October 28, 1998

From the Update to FAA Historical Chronology 1997-2012 (A .pdf file)

" FAA officials told a public hearing in Rockville, Maryland, that, while a federal plan to consolidate four of their region's air traffic control facilities would lead to an overall reduction in airplane noise, it also might aggravate the problem for some local communities. Under the plan, FAA would close the separate terminal radar control (TRACON) facilities at Dulles International, Reagan National, and Baltimore- Washington International airports and Andrews Air Force Base and open an overall center in Loudoun County or Fauquier County. (See January 7, 1999.) "

Potomac TRACON is born. How'd that work out? Anybody remember "The Potomac Current and Undertow"?

Don Brown
October 28, 2013


LRod said…
I'm less concerned with the Mode-C aspects than I am with the fact that of all the military installations along or adjacent to the flight track (and easily projected once the Lear failed to make the turn at TLH) interceptors were apparently only able to maintain contact for around an hour in two separate segments. I'm not sanguine with the air defense implications of that performance.

Also, in that time of altitude fluctuation, what did the data blocks reflect? Did Mode-C function properly?

The answer to your last question is simple, in my mind. You don't use vertical at all. Basically block all altitudes.

I've made a "last assigned altitude was FL350" handoff to approach control when a Rework A4 flamed out on a test hop and lost electrical (I found out later). He got it relit (and was able to talk again) at around 15,000'. I owned FL240 and above, approach owned FL230 and below. Basically, we just kept everyone away from his primary target.

ZJX, ORD, ZAU retired

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