Radar Identification Methods

Shane VanHoven

  • Members
  • 85
    • View Profile
Radar Identification Methods
« on: October 21, 2018, 12:01:40 am »
I've noticed while flying around the country on the network, controllers have used more than one method of radar identification to radar ID me. Which is cool and all... but just in case it wasn't on purpose, I figured I'd write up a little bit on it, to give you a perspective of someone who spends about 60% of his real world transmissions establishing radar with someone! :)

This can all be found in chapter 5 of the .65. Specifically 5-3-2 and 5-3-3. The methods are broken down into two categories. Primary methods (5-3-2) and Beacon methods (5-3-3). They are pretty self explanatory: the primary methods can be used on primary targets, while the beacon methods can be used on Mode 3/A beacon systems (that's lawyer talk for a transponder).

5-3-2 Primary Radar Identification Methods:

1. Observe a departing aircraft target within 1 mile of the departure runway.

- Airport must have an operating control tower.
- A verbal or nonverbal rolling call must have been received from the tower for each departure.
- This is the most common method used for IFR departures. Since most facilities on the network simulate some sort of rolling call or automatic release system, you can use this method, as long as you observe the target on your screen within a mile.

2. Get a position report from a pilot and correlate that report to a target located in the same spot

- The chosen fix or visual reporting point MUST be depicted on your radar scope.
- There must be only one target at that location (obviously) or else you'd have to choose another method.
- This is a common way to ID someone coming into your center from uncontrolled airspace on the network. The pilot might check on with "10 miles south of Hector." That phrase is perfectly acceptable and adequate to complete the ID. If there are more than one target on the scope at that position, choose a different method.

3. Identifying turns of 30 degrees or more

- It's as simple as it sounds, but obviously make sure only one aircraft makes these turns!
- Keep minimum altitudes in mind if you're using this method on an IFR aircraft!

5-3-3 Beacon Identification Methods

1. Tell the aircraft to IDENT

- See the ID on your screen, boom.

2. Request the aircraft to change to a specific squawk code

- Observe the squawk change. Technically you actually have to watch the numbers change on your screen in order to apply this one in the terminal environment, but that rule gets broken at least several times per minute. Side note: a good general practice, if you're going to break a rule, know the rule you're breaking!

3. Request aircraft to squawk STANDBY

- Observe the target go away, then tell them to squawk normal again and observe the target reappear.



Those are the options! You only need to apply ONE of them. More is extra work that doesn't earn you extra pay or any stickers or anything. But boy that'd be nice.

Questions are welcome, I'll leave you with DX's favorite radar ID method. It's the one that uses all the methods in one transmission: "DAL2168 IDENT, squawk standby, reset transponder squawk 4635, turn 30 degrees left vectors for radar identification, squawk normal, radar contact!" Or something like that. Sorry for misquoting you DX.

Happy identifying!

SQ

Shane VanHoven
Minneapolis ARTCC, VATUSA ACE Team | Instructor
Private pilot, Instrument, ASEL
FAA Air Traffic Developmental, Terminal

Rick Rump

  • VATUSA Staff
  • 319
    • View Profile
    • vZDC
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #1 on: October 21, 2018, 08:45:31 am »
Beautiful write up!
Deputy Training Director
https://vatusa.net

Brin Brody

  • ZJX Staff
  • 194
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #2 on: October 21, 2018, 11:05:31 am »
People like you make me very happy.  :)

I've been known to use beacon methods 1 and 2 combined (squawk #### and IDENT) for a double confirmation, but if I'm pressed for time, I'll cut it down to one (or switch to primary identification).

Fantastic resource - thanks!
Brin Brody
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Jacksonville ARTCC
datm@zjxartcc.org


Dominic Nguyen

  • Members
  • 6
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #3 on: October 22, 2018, 12:07:31 am »
People like you make me very happy.  :)

I've been known to use beacon methods 1 and 2 combined (squawk #### and IDENT) for a double confirmation, but if I'm pressed for time, I'll cut it down to one (or switch to primary identification).

Fantastic resource - thanks!

When you're enroute, 99% of the time you're using the automatic association rule. The squawk is only if you watch it change; hence the ident. Technically you're using only 1 method at a given time. When it gets questionable, you move onto the next method. Using primary ident would honestly take more time if you're pressed on time.

Brin Brody

  • ZJX Staff
  • 194
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #4 on: October 22, 2018, 08:45:59 am »
People like you make me very happy.  :)

I've been known to use beacon methods 1 and 2 combined (squawk #### and IDENT) for a double confirmation, but if I'm pressed for time, I'll cut it down to one (or switch to primary identification).

Fantastic resource - thanks!

When you're enroute, 99% of the time you're using the automatic association rule. The squawk is only if you watch it change; hence the ident. Technically you're using only 1 method at a given time. When it gets questionable, you move onto the next method. Using primary ident would honestly take more time if you're pressed on time.

Typically the switch to primary identification is at the TRACON level.  Enroute, I agree, it'll take longer.
Brin Brody
Deputy Air Traffic Manager
Jacksonville ARTCC
datm@zjxartcc.org


Rick Rump

  • VATUSA Staff
  • 319
    • View Profile
    • vZDC
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #5 on: October 25, 2018, 11:10:02 am »
As an aside, you can reference VATUSA JO7140.100 in the CBTs, https://www.vatusa.net/cbt which also discusses this topic.
Deputy Training Director
https://vatusa.net

Tony Jeppesen

  • VATUSA Staff
  • 241
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #6 on: October 25, 2018, 03:15:37 pm »
Great write up Shane!
Tony Jeppesen
Depurty Division Director - VATUSA

Alex Seeberger

  • Members
  • 49
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #7 on: October 28, 2018, 11:58:46 am »
I've noticed while flying around the country on the network, controllers have used more than one method of radar identification to radar ID me. Which is cool and all... but just in case it wasn't on purpose, I figured I'd write up a little bit on it, to give you a perspective of someone who spends about 60% of his real world transmissions establishing radar with someone! :)

This is a perfect venue for this discussion Shane. The live network, in a condescending tone really isn’t the way to effectively educate someone:)

Virtually all “re-education” (workload permitting) with pilots should be done in private chat. I think this philosophy holds true with most experienced controllers. This keeps VATSIM the learning and friendly environment it’s designed to be.

In the RW, I’ve never (0%) heard a controller critique their student on VHF comms.
« Last Edit: October 28, 2018, 12:15:02 pm by Alex Seeberger »

Matt Bromback

  • Members
  • 184
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #8 on: October 28, 2018, 01:03:01 pm »
I've noticed while flying around the country on the network, controllers have used more than one method of radar identification to radar ID me. Which is cool and all... but just in case it wasn't on purpose, I figured I'd write up a little bit on it, to give you a perspective of someone who spends about 60% of his real world transmissions establishing radar with someone! :)

This is a perfect venue for this discussion Shane. The live network, in a condescending tone really isn’t the way to effectively educate someone:)

Virtually all “re-education” (workload permitting) with pilots should be done in private chat. I think this philosophy holds true with most experienced controllers. This keeps VATSIM the learning and friendly environment it’s designed to be.

In the RW, I’ve never (0%) heard a controller critique their student on VHF comms.

While I totally understand your point here...

I have totally heard plenty of times while flying “for future reference....” usually only happens at smaller fields or not busy airspace, other times it’s the standard got a phone number for ya! Doh!!

Best thing we can do is just use your best judgement in a time/place to educate a pilot/controller. While what Shane wrote is excellent and I hope people learn from it, the reality is only a small percentage read the forums.

If your flying in a ARTCC that you don’t control at, submit feedback, or try and find out their TS info and have a chat with the controllers. I would not have a problem at all if someone like Shane or anyone came into TS to educate me on something or had a question. ATMs take not of this please, don’t make your TS and/or discord a damn fortress.
Matt Bromback

Alex Seeberger

  • Members
  • 49
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #9 on: October 28, 2018, 01:09:43 pm »
I've noticed while flying around the country on the network, controllers have used more than one method of radar identification to radar ID me. Which is cool and all... but just in case it wasn't on purpose, I figured I'd write up a little bit on it, to give you a perspective of someone who spends about 60% of his real world transmissions establishing radar with someone! :)

This is a perfect venue for this discussion Shane. The live network, in a condescending tone really isn’t the way to effectively educate someone:)

Virtually all “re-education” (workload permitting) with pilots should be done in private chat. I think this philosophy holds true with most experienced controllers. This keeps VATSIM the learning and friendly environment it’s designed to be.

In the RW, I’ve never (0%) heard a controller critique their student on VHF comms.


Best thing we can do is just use your best judgement in a time/place to educate a pilot/controller. While what Shane wrote is excellent and I hope people learn from it, the reality is only a small percentage read the forums.

If your flying in a ARTCC that you don’t control at, submit feedback, or try and find out their TS info and have a chat with the controllers. I would not have a problem at all if someone like Shane or anyone came into TS to educate me on something or had a question. ATMs take not of this please, don’t make your TS and/or discord a damn fortress.

This is exactly how constructive criticism should be communicated.

Matthew Kosmoski

  • ZHU Staff
  • 546
    • View Profile
    • ZHU ARTCC
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #10 on: October 28, 2018, 01:24:54 pm »
ATMs take not of this please, don’t make your TS and/or discord a damn fortress.

I mean, we're supposed to make our Teamspeaks available to at least staff, but I've never seen any value in locking it to the roster, or locking them at all.  VATSIM is much larger than any one facility, and none of us are worried about hitting user count license limits generally (except that one time during that one event ;-)).  The community as a whole should have opportunity to mingle.

There's a reason our is publicly available and will continue to be public.  That being said, we could make it easier for non-members to find the TS info... but it's just something that keeps getting forgotten about as a lower priority than the other irons in the fire.
Matthew Kosmoski (MK)
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org

Shane VanHoven

  • Members
  • 85
    • View Profile
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #11 on: November 02, 2018, 01:04:52 am »
The live network, in a condescending tone really isn’t the way to effectively educate someone:)

Are you suggesting I do this? Or are you just saying words not directed to anyone in particular?

In any case, my tolerance for mistakes has actually increased lately just because I've realized that the whole point of our job is to separate airplanes. If some pilot makes a mistake on the network and they're the only airplane within 600 miles, I'll literally ignore it and pretend like nothing happened. I'm too lazy to go off on the guy especially when 9 times out of 10 they won't even understand the words I'm saying because the voice quality is so bad.
Shane VanHoven
Minneapolis ARTCC, VATUSA ACE Team | Instructor
Private pilot, Instrument, ASEL
FAA Air Traffic Developmental, Terminal

Matthew Kosmoski

  • ZHU Staff
  • 546
    • View Profile
    • ZHU ARTCC
Re: Radar Identification Methods
« Reply #12 on: November 02, 2018, 03:11:33 pm »
The live network, in a condescending tone really isn’t the way to effectively educate someone:)

Are you suggesting I do this? Or are you just saying words not directed to anyone in particular?

In any case, my tolerance for mistakes has actually increased lately just because I've realized that the whole point of our job is to separate airplanes. If some pilot makes a mistake on the network and they're the only airplane within 600 miles, I'll literally ignore it and pretend like nothing happened. I'm too lazy to go off on the guy especially when 9 times out of 10 they won't even understand the words I'm saying because the voice quality is so bad.

Much like the real world, no harm no foul can be applied at times.
Matthew Kosmoski (MK)
Air Traffic Manager | ZHU ARTCC
mkosmoski@zhuartcc.org
www.zhuartcc.org