One or more familiarisation flights (fam flights) will take place during an Air Traffic Control Officer’s (ATCO’s) career which will provide an understanding of the flight deck and flight crew procedures. The aim of this collection of articles is to provide controllers with briefing information regarding the useful aspects to observe during a fam flight.
This briefing material consists of two parts. Initially there is a Flight Sequence overview of a typical flight, which provides the ATCO with some useful pointers and some information on what to expect during each phase of flight. Each section ends with a set of key points of specific items that ATCOs on fam flights should look out for. These are mostly items and events that may relate to safety and that have been of particular interest within NATS lately.
There is also a General Information section that explains general flight deck working concepts. This outlines some flight deck basics, and the principles behind crew interaction.
This material was written by David Harrison (former Air Traffic Controller and current Captain Thomson Airways) and Patrick Lyen (NATS Airspace Development, former XL Airways Pilot).
This section is broken down into the following flight phases:
This section of SKYbrary is based on NATS document number HF/RPT/14, Issue 1, October 2012.
NATS have also produced two films that cover the basics of the modern flight deck during normal and emergency operations. Whilst the focus of the material above is on the Boeing flight deck, the films are based on the Airbus flight deck.