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Chapter 21 Builds Relationship With ATC

By Bill Janowicz, EAA 1193213, President of Chapter 21

May 2017 - On Wednesday, April 12, nearly two dozen EAA Chapter 21 (Evansville, Indiana) members and guests visited the Evansville Regional Airport (KEVV) terminal radar approach control facility (TRACON) and tower cab (ATCT). This was the chapter’s first visit to the facility to see the recently upgraded radar and approach control equipment.

The evening tour, conducted by controller/pilot Trent Tyler, began in the approach control facility and and later included small groupings being escorted up to the tower cab to observe the on going night operations in the surrounding Class C airspace. (Note: If you’ve flown to EAA AirVenture Oshkosh or SUN ’n FUN International Fly-In & Expo, it is quite likely that you have spoken to or heard Trent on the radio).

Topics discussed included the transition to ADS-B and Class C requirements, airport surveillance radar (ASR) and precision/nonprecision approaches, remote communications (RCO), radar coverage area, weather services, satellite airport operations, drone (UAS) operations/restrictions and waivers, and radio/navaid communication issues. The latter stems from a recent Flight Check squawk of the VOR Runway 4 approach. Of course many of our members based at nearby Skylane Airport (3EV) were interested in the operations in the Class C airspace carve-out and ADS-B requirement.

Members learned of opportunities to assist our local controllers and have plans to do so in the near future. Firstly, of the 24 controllers based here in Evansville, only one is a pilot. As such, EAA Chapter 21 members will be sponsoring controller orientation Eagle Flights for the staff and families of the EVV TRACON. Secondly, local pilots and the FAA navaid technicians have been dealing with an intermittent and as yet unidentified radio interference problem. Members volunteered their time and aircraft to fly the technicians out using their equipment to identify the source of the interference and remedy it.

This visit, and many others like it, demonstrate how EAA members and the general aviation community can collaborate with ATC. In the end, controllers, maintenance technicians, and pilots agree that aviation safety is both a shared responsibility and mutual goal.

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