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Newsletter - March 14th, 2013

Help the FBOs that Help You
The deadline is fast approaching for the 2013 Pilots' Choice Awards. This is your chance to help recognize the FBOs that go out of their way to help you. Go to to cast your ballot today. Voting continues now through March 31, 2013. Categories include Best FBO, Best Tower location, Best ATC Center and more. Let the professionals that have been serving you know that you appreciate their efforts.
Voting is limited to existing users. If your account was created after January 14, 2013, you'll need to wait until next year to vote in the Pilots' Choice Awards. The winners will be announced online in April.


ICAO 2012: Make sure you and ATC are speaking the same language
When talking to ATC about aircraft equipment it's necessary to specify whether you're referring to ICAO or Domestic formatting. With the advent of ICAO format flight plans for domestic flights, there have been many instances of "Who's on first" in radio communication, when the topic is what type of equipment you have.
The scenario
You're flying your CL30 from KVNY to KTEB.
As you approach New York's airspace, the controller needs to reroute you and wants to know if he can assign the JAIKE THREE Arrival (a STAR requiring RNAV 1 capabilities).
The controller asks you "what type equipment are you?", and then the confusion begins. Why?
Look at the two flight plans below for the same flight.

Domestic Format as Displayed on NavLog
ICAO Format as Displayed on NavLog

In Domestic Format, the comfortable and simple CL30/Q was used, and this is what controllers are still using today when controlling you.
On the other hand, look at the ICAO 2012 format flight plan on the right that pilots are using. Depending on how you count, there are over 40 characters (some will have more) needed to describe your equipment capabilities.
Controllers are still using Domestic Format, but pilots are using ICAO Format (since pilots have been told they must file ICAO format for RNAV assignment).
See our previous article:
So here's what happens: When queried by ATC about your equipment, you erroneously give him your aircraft type and wake turbulence category of CL30/M (M is for medium wake turbulence) from the ICAO Format flight plan. The controller, using "Domestic" format, hears CL30/M and uses this, which means in domestic format that you are a CL30 that has TACAN ONLY with NO TRANSPONDER (let alone no RVSM).
"Who's on first? (And I Don't Know's flying at 37,000 feet.)"
Here's what you need to know.
1.) When queried by ATC, know that their 'native' language is Domestic format. However, they can 'speak' ICAO format if you let them know that's what you're using. (They do have the means to translate.)
2.) Almost always a question about your equipment is brought upon by your ICAO data being incomplete or erroneous. When your ICAO data is translated into Domestic format by the ATC computers for the Controllers, something gets lost in the translation if you have entered bad data. (Please use the A/C ICAO data on the left side of the Main Menu page to enter/change your ICAO data.)
3.) Most queries or questions from a controlller concern:
a. RVSM. There should be a "W" in your equipment list (Equip: SDFGHRWXYZ/S) if you are RVSM capable.
b. RNAV 1 (required for RNAV SIDs and STARs): You need a D1 and A1 in NAV/RNVD1E2A1 (D is for departure and A for arrival) and at least one 'D' in PBN/A1B2C2C3D2D3O2S2 for being assigned a RNAV SID or STAR.
4.) If queried by ATC about your equipment, you can do a pre-emptive "we are RVSM and RNAV 1 capable". The controller will most likely say "thanks" and the conversation will be over.
5.) If there is still a question about equipment type, tell the controller that you filed in ICAO Format.
6.) If you constantly get queried from different controllers about your equipment, that's a certain sign that you have erroreous ICAO data in your A/C ICAO Data section.
7.) The change to ICAO formatting is part of a huge transition from the current system to the new ERAM (En Route Automation Modernization) system. Please don't complain to us or the controllers. The world has changed and things are now done the "ICAO" way.'s job is to make it easier for you to deal with the 'new world' and let you do your jobs out there with the least amount of confusion.

New Cycle of Charts Available at the Chart Store
The Chart Store is now offering updated March 7, 2013 editions of charts for sale. You can place your orders for these new charts now. The charts will be shipped to you the same day, and you will receive them within 3 to 5 business days. The Chart Store also offers Canadian paper charts. Please visit to view our complete inventory of products.
New Sectionals:
Dallas - Ft. Worth
Las Vegas
San Francisco
West Aleutian Islands
New WAC Chart:
New Helicopter Chart:
New TAC Charts:
Dallas - Ft. Worth
Las Vegas
San Francisco
Subscriptions are available for all of our paper charts. You never need to worry about not having the most current chart again. To subscribe please call one of our Chart Store specialists at 203-262-9200. For more general inquiries regarding our paper charts, please email us at

Satcom Direct Users: Upload your flight plans and get your pre-departure clearance (with Recall Number) emailed to you
You may already know that, in conjunction with Satcom Direct, allows you to get your NavLog information sent directly to the flight deck. There's no need to type all your data into your FMS. This saves time, saves your fingers, and cuts down on data entry errors. Your FMS computer can be pre-populated with following data from your flight plan:
  • Route of flight

  • Navigation points and intersections

  • SIDs and STARs

  • Winds aloft data

  • Fuel Burn Info

  • ETE

    If you're a Satcom Direct customer, you can also get your pre-departure clearance directly from your Active Flight Plan List. Not only that, you can get both your PDC and Recall number sent to you as an email or a text message. The PDC email will only go to the PIC/SIC associated with that flight, based on your filed flight plan. To activate this feature, go to the User/Pilot Info link on the left side of the Main Menu page and select the File Notify column.
    For more information on uploading your flight plan data through Satcom Direct, contact Satcom sales at 321-777-3000. On Twitter
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    Contributing Editor: David Wilson
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