Re: Air traffic control questions

From:         rob@scilibx.ucsc.edu (Rob Strand)
Organization: UC Santa Cruz Science Library
Date:         13 Jun 94 10:42:08 
References:   1
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In article <airliners.1994.1313@ohare.Chicago.COM> katie@physics2.berkeley.edu (Katie Schwarz) writes:
>this right? If so, what area is completely covered by radar (contiguous
>United States? North America?) How far can the radar follow a plane flying

Depends on the altitude.  I think coverage is complete for air carrier
planes in the lower 48--prolly less than half of Canada and Alaska.

>across an ocean?

Not very far.
>
>How does the ground control know which aircraft they're seeing -- by the
>transponder? I don't remember ever hearing the controllers ask "what are

The instrument of choice is the Mark 1 I-ball and the procedure is
called "looking out the window".

>you squawking?" although I think the plane is told what to squawk before
>taking off; why don't they need to ask?

The controllers control the squawk codes.  If one ever asked a pilot
what he was squawking it would be because he had gotten confused
or the pilot had switched to one of the emergency codes.

-- 

-Rob Strand

   rob@ucscvm.ucsc.edu