Greetings from The Aero Experience Team


The Aero Experience is a celebration of Midwest aviation and aerospace achievement. We invite you to join us as we explore the treasures of Midwest aviation through first-hand experiences. Our contributors take turns flying lead, and we are always looking for new destinations. Check in with The Aero Experience frequently to see where we will land today, and then go out and have your own aero experiences!

Blue skies,

Carmelo Turdo, Mark Nankivil and Fred Harl - The Aero Experience Team

Friday, June 15, 2018

Elite Aviation Hosts Pilot and Controller Forum June Speaker Series Event

By Carmelo Turdo
Elite Aviation hosted their June Speaker Series event, Pilot and Controller Forum, Thursday evening at their Spirit of St. Louis Airport Facility. The interactive discussion featured a dialogue between attending pilots and FAA Air Traffic Controllers about real-world experiences flying through airspace around St. Louis. FAA St. Louis TRACON Air Traffic Control Manager Kase McDonald led the program with a short presentation on the capabilities (and limitations) of the current air traffic control system. With him were Spirit of St. Louis Airport Air Traffic Control Manager Larry Strayhorn and Controller Stace King to add their wealth of experience to the dialogue.   
The recurring theme of the forum was the need to maintain open communication between pilots and air traffic controllers while navigating through the various airspace levels around St. Louis. The basic rules of airmanship provide guidance on aircraft operations in and out of controlled airspace, and timely notification of a pilot's intentions to the appropriate air traffic control facility begins what should be a routine and safe clearance. Clear communication, including read-back of instructions and a request for clarification if needed, is essential for the system to function effectively.

As of now, the U.S. air traffic control system does not utilize ADS-B for primary operations (although data is available for reference), and no formal training program for controllers is yet in place. The St. Louis area radar network continues to provide effective coverage for designated controlled airspace, and it remains unclear if or when ADS-B will play a more prominent role in air traffic control operations after the mandatory aircraft upgrades are completed. 

The Elite Aviation Speaker Series provides an opportunity for the aviation community to come together and interact with industry experts and FAA representatives to improve the safety and enjoyment of flying. The topics are timely, the speakers are current in their field and the interactive format allows for direct participation in the advancement of knowledge. The next Elite Speaker Series event is scheduled for July 19.

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