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Understanding ATC Handoffs


An ATC handoff occurs when a controller transfers an aircraft to next controller along the aircraft’s route. Here is a basic explanation provided by an active Air Traffic Controller and CFII:

Handoffs happen in 3 Steps…

  1. Transfer of radar identification
    1. When the aircraft nears the boundary of the next sector, we begin the radar handoff
    2. This usually occurs about 3 minutes from the boundary, though times vary widely by controller preference
    3. This referred to as “flashing” at the next sector
  2. Transfer of communications
    1. Once the receiving the controller accepts the handoff (step 1) communications are transferred
    2. “Contact XXX on XXX.XX”
    3. This is the part where airlines like to ignore controllers and make us repeat ourselves multiple times
  3. Transfer of control
    1. This occurs once the aircraft crosses the boundary between sectors
    2. At this point, the receiving controller is now in complete control of the flight

Important notes…

  • After Step 1 begins, but prior to step 3, neither the receiving controller nor the transferring controller can change anything regarding the flight without verbally communicating with the other controller.
  • This is usually when you’ll get a reply of “Standby”, since we need to perform coordination first
  • If the flight is entering another sector in the same center, this can happen quickly, as we have instant communication lines between sectors
  • If the flight is entering another facility, such as going from center to approach, or from one center to another, we have to call the other sector. Sometimes it takes a while for them to answer.


Chris Pezalla is  an active flight instructor and publisher of the Advanced Guide To Holding Patterns. For a free preview of his book on Amazon Click Here.



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PaulDrinkingjpeg OnlineWelcome to episode 111!  Carl Valeri and Co-Host Paul Grieco discuss a number of questions from listeners including preparing for training and how to pick the right regional. First, Paul discusses his upgrade to Captain versus Carl's decision to remain as a First Officer. They also discuss the differences in Operation Specifications (Op-Specs) and Operations Manuals.


Carl recently interviewed Chris Pezalla on the Stuck Mic AVCast regarding Holding Patterns, which you can check out at Stuck MicAvCast.com. They also put together a new video series titled Advanced Holding Patterns. The first video is free! The entire series may be purchased for only $64 and listeners of this podcast are eligible for a 10% discount using the code ACP10.

Questions and Listener Mail:

  • What books should I read before beginning training and what should I take with me?
  • Guidance for choosing a regional airline.
  • The" Valeri Effect".
  • Training and working on IFR time because that is what the airlines are looking for.
  • Idea: create an all sim flight school in New York City and partner with FBOs.
  • Question on accessing scholarships.
  • Questions on Airman Certification Standards and Private Instructions. You can learn more at Stuck Mic AVCast 116.
  • Difference between part 141 or part 61 training, joining Air Force Reserves and then getting leave time to train for the airlines. Check out information on the Soldier's and Sailor's Relief Act.

ACS ElementsPreflight:

Welcome to Episode 122 of Stuck Mic AvCast. We have a great discussion today about the new Airmen Certification Standards. Also, we have been receiving feedback on climb gradients so we will explain how to calculate the required rate of climb. Before we take off there are a few things to go over on our preflight check list.


EAA AirVenture Oshkosh July 25-31.

Blue Angels Return to Vero Beach Air Show June 25-26, 2016

Aerospace Students at Polk State College Get "Hired" T-Shirts at the open house. 

Cruise Flight:

Today Airmen Certification Standards (ACS) Go Live for the Private and Instrument rating. We will go through some of the highlights of ACS. For a an in depth explanation listen to Eric Crump Explain the new Airmen Certification Standard in episode 116. We are excited about the new ACS!

In this episode we will discuss climb gradients and calculating your rate of climb. One of the questions I receive while teaching IFR and a question often asked by examiners is "how do you know you will be safe while climbing to your cruise altitude".  Methods of calculating your rate of climb are discussed in the article Departure Procedure Climb Gradient And Calculating Your Rate Of Climb . We review these methods and provide tips used by pilots and instructors.

After Landing:

Picks Of The Week:

Victoria - Density Altitude Calculator

Larry - Weather 4 Dummies

Russ - FAA Weather Cams

Rick - Brighton City Airport Webcam

Tom - DROTAMS - Drone NOTAMS by SkyVector

Carl - Advanced Guide To Holding Patterns Book



ACP109 Air Force Loadmaster To Professional Pilot

LarryC17Today we have a special guest who is transitioning from an Air Force loadmaster to professional pilot. Larry Unger is truly an inspiration. If you are considering transitioning from the military to a professional pilot you need to hear his story.

Larry is an advocate for those considering serving their country through a career in the military.  He explains how military service will enhanced your life and career.

Joining me today is Russ Roslewski who has a special connection to Larry's flying career. Listen the episode to learn more.

In This episode we discuss:

  • Flying in the C-17 around the world.
  • The benefits of choosing an aviation career in the military.
  • Positions  including:  mechanic, crew chief, and  loadmaster.
  • Transitioning from the military to a professional pilot.

Links Mentioned in the Podcast:


Pre-Flight Checklist:

LinAndVicWelcome to the show, we have a very special guest with us along with Carl, Rick and Victoria.

Carl suggested you checkout the June issue of Flight Training magazine, has a cover article on cross wind landings, which ties right in to the recent episode we did on this same topic. Also please continue to contact us on the site with your comments and questions.

Victoria reminded about the Get into the Air Scholarship from Air Pros, which has a deadline coming up this year of June 15th.

Cruise Flight:

Victoria introduced this episode's Interviewee Lin Caywood. Lin helped Victoria get into the 99's and further her aviation career. She was also one of the participants in the Air Race Classic.

We discuss with Lin:

  • How she got into flying
  • Training
  • Her experience in being introduced to aviation
  • 15 years ago went through 4 instructors
  • Has seen a change in more Women in the cockpit
  • Have seen a change in general?
  • 4 days to complete the race
  • 1 day weather buffer
  • How handicapping for the race works
  • Have a special competition for school teams
  • Mother bird program
  • If first time race team.
  • Like fly camp
  • Airraceclassic.org
  • For crew just need a license
  • They have a few small scholarships that are raise
  • 501(c) 3
  • Girl scouts
  • Lots of awareness
  • 99’s wai.
  • All have local chapters
  • Where she is going next
  • Eventually wants to get her CFI
  • Mentor in the learn to fly scholarship
  • Oshkosh 99’s booth
  • PBS documentary filmed during the race
  • Beyond the powder
  • Used to be called the powder puff derby in the early days
  • Will air again in june on pbs.
  • Local 99’s has set up a local school visit for airport day
  • Host of 2017 of start of the race.
  • Sugarloaf 99’s in fredrick

After Landing Checklist:

~Pick of the Week~

No picks this week, but here are some links mentioned in the episode:





Live from Sun N Fun 2016 – Stuck Mic AvCast 118

Pre-Flight Checklist:

BreitlingSunNFun2016This is a special, LIVE episode of Stuck Mic from the Sun N Fun Air Show! Carl is joined by special c0-hosts Russ Roslewski, Larry Overstreet, Robert Cigliano, Tom Frick, Eric Crump, and Derek Lagasse.

  • Carl is meeting Russ Roslewski in person for the first time. Russ has his own CFI blog and accepts user submissions.

  • Eric Crump announced that he missed announcing some people in his initial welcome to Sun N Fun including his wife and kids, Dad, and his Mom.

Cruise Flight:

  • Polk State College asked Carl to be the coach of the flight team this year, and it has been a great year. The team captain also joined them on the deck. M0A donated so they could have a plane to use. Kevin Lacey of Airplane Repo promoted the organization. A number of others donated and assisted including ASA and the local FBO. You can donate to the team as well.

  • The captain of the flight team this year is now a working pilot flying around the Caribbean and will be Assistant Coach next year.

  • Rod of Open Airplane stopped by the deck to talk about the way they rent airplanes the same way people rent cars.

  • AOPA is advocating starting a flight club, and is giving away an airplane to support it. Check out their site for details.

  • Ken Cage of Airplane Repo discusses their show and how it promotes aviation.

  • Rob Williams, Executive Director for the Aerospace Center for Excellence

  • Victoria and Turbo the Flying Dog joined by Skype

  • Listener mail about accidents or incidents, which led to a discussion about talking about your mistakes and learning from them.

  • Inspiring future aviators

After Landing Checklist:

~Picks of the Week~

No picks of the week as this is a live interview show.

Photo Credit @pilotmandi on Instagram

This episode is sponsored by Aviation Careers Podcast and the Aerospace Scholarships Guide

Aerospace Scholarships 2016 Cover 300


CarlPostFlightWelcome to Episode 105 of the podcast where we inspire you to achieve your career goals and live your dream by following your passion and doing a job you love. Today is a spacial episode where we help you answer one question: Are You too Old To Fly? This is probably the most common one we get from you the listener so lets address it right now! Both myself and my co host this eventing began our aviation careers late in life and left very lucrative careers to pursue our passion and become an airline pilot.

Paul and I discuss what led us to make our decision to give up the life we had and move forward in a new direction. For my entire life I have lived outside my comfort zone but there are some important things we must consider when deciding if we should pack it in and start our new career.

Before we begin don't forget if you want to contact us please visit AviationCareersPodcast.com. There you will find many ways to contact us along with our other services such as career coaching, the scholarships directory, and our interview preparation services which is included on the coaching page. I want to apologize to those that have called into the show but since we have grown it has been impossible for me to call each and every one of you back individually.

Therefore if you can please send me an e-mail because many times I may only be available to talk at 3 am and since I don't want to disturb you and your family in the middle of the night the best way to get in touch with me is through the website. Also if you have a question please write into the show and we will answer them. We will exclude all of your personal information.

Paul and I discuss:

  • How we both began our new careers late in life: mine at 33 and Paul’s at 34.

  • It’s not just about the money.

  • Why planning is so very important when making a career change.

  • Why you should include your family in the discussion.

  • Who to include in your inner circle.

  • Being realistic with your salary expectations.

  • How many years until you reach your goals?

  • What it is like to do something you love and fly for a living.

  • Why you need a checklist to succeed.

  • T Chart.

  • Are you Too old to fly?


RickShuttleWelcome aviators and airplane geeks to the show where we talk about learning to fly, living to fly, and loving to fly. Spring is upon us and for many this is the season where we start flying again from a winter break. It also is the season of dynamic changes in weather and strong winds. Tonight we are going to discuss one of the most important topics and one that can prevent most landing accidents; crosswind landings and how to set our personal limits.

Joining us this evening we have with us aviators from a variety of backgrounds including flight instructors, new pilots, and airline pilots. This should be an interesting discussion and most importantly I hope you will learn something about setting your own personal crosswind limits.

Pre-Flight Checklist:

Before we begin our discussion of crosswinds we have a few announcements:

  • April 15th episode will be the recording from our live show at Sun N Fun 2015 and if you missed the live discussion this would be a great way to listen in. We normally break the record for the longest live podcast at Sun N Fun and hope to do it again this year. Make sure you listen because we always have some very special guests.

  • Feedback: Thanks for the e-mails and very positive comments on how you are enjoying the new/old format of the show as we get back to our roots and the original charter of this podcast to entertain but also to provide teaching moments you can discuss with your friends and instructor. Please visit StuckMicAvCast.com if you have a question or feedback.

  • Please visit our sponsor AvationCareersPodcast.com If you or someone you know is interested in a career in aviation this will help them navigate a path towards their career goal. AviationCareersPodcast.com provides career coaching, interview preparation, and the largest online directory of scholarships so visit AviationCareersPodcast.com today.

  • Rick Felty visit Steven F. Udvar-Hazy Museum, where many Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum planes are exhibited.

  • Victoria discussed a $500 scholarship her employer is offering to cover any type air training. You can find the information on their website or in the ACP Scholarship Guide.

Cruise Flight:

Crosswind Landings - What is Your Limit?

  • Personal Minimums

  • Crosswind limitations

  • Tips And Tricks

  • What are our wind challenges?

    • Gusty Winds

    • Wind Shear

    • Cross Wind

  • Max demonstrated crowsswind

  • Safe ground handling

  • Pilot limitations : stress, lack of recent experience, fatigue, etc.

  • Determining your crosswind based on airspeed and crab angle.

After Landing Checklist:

~Pick Of The Week~

Victoria - Aircraft Wrecks in Arizona and the Southwest: A site dedicated to history of crashes complete with modern pictures.
Rick - Video of an Extra300 doing maneuvers.
Carl - FDOT Airport Directory. You can get a spiral bound copy with all Florida airports including military.
Russ - Wind History: A great website to get detailed historical wind data for local airports. Averaged 2006-2010.
Tom - Flightintel app for Android or iOS: wind and weather information for 50 miles around you.

The next episode of Stuck Mic AVCast will be broadcast LIVE at Sun n' Fun! Carl, Tom, and Russ will all be there, stop in and say "hi!" Rick and Victoria will also be on the live episode.


Pre-Flight Checklist:

Carl, Tom, Paul, the other Tom, Russ, and Eric are all on this episode to discuss how to be prepared for an in-flight fire.

Eric announced that Polk State University recently had their first hiring visit from Express Jet, which gave conditional offers to seven of his students. Eric also announced that he actually got to get in an airplane today for some observation in a 172.

Carl announced that the 2016 edition of the Aerospace Scholarships guide will be out shortly on Amazon.

Paul has been mentoring a friend named Doug that recently completed his private rating in 12 days, and then went ahead and finished his commercial rating.

Tom Frick announced that he recently taught a student named Mark through his private rating so he could fly drones.

Cruise Flight:

  • Carl recently had a flight where smoke was detected in the bathroom of the plane he was flying. He discussed the procedure of the pilot and flight attendants investigating where the smoke is coming from.
  • Eric said smoke and fire is discussed in training, but might not be trained enough for it in a form of practice.
  • Eric said you don't have time to pull out a checklist and flip through it, you must have "immediate action items" that you memorize and do immediately.
  • Paul discussed a fire he had on a flight and how he got back to an airport safely. He said his instructors trained him very well to be prepared for a fire emergency.
  • Paul also discussed another fire he heard about where a crew did not land a plane with a fire because they were going through checklists, not wanting to land overweight, etc. rather than just landing the plane, which ultimately crashed.
  • Tom W. and Carl discussed procedures and equipment for dealing with laptop and phone batteries which sometimes catch fire on a plane and are almost impossible to put out.
  • Tom also mentioned that it's a good idea to practice these procedures in the simulator because when the cockpit fills with smoke, you can't see the controls and sometimes you need to just know where the controls are.
  • Three components to a fire: oxygen, heat, and fuel. If you take any one of those away from the fire it will go out.

After Flight Checklist:

~Picks of the Week~

Russ: FAA Instrument Flight Procedures Gateway-which lists charts and upcoming changes at all airports. You can also create an account to get updates to airports you use.

Tom F: Garmin Pilot- A comprehensive suite of  Android navigation apps designed for GA and corporate pilots

Paul: Everything Explained for the Professional Pilot- A book that explains flight rules and regulations without confusing jargon.

Carl: Fore-Flight- Electronic flight bag and apps for pilots

Tom W: Wind Map- a website that shows wind patterns to help you plan your flight

Carl: Sunset Pub and Grill at Lincoln Park airport- A great restaurant to eat at and watch planes take off and landLincoln Lincoln


Cold Weather Flying – Stuck Mic AvCast Episode 112


SnowyMountainsCarl, Eric, Larry, Tom and Russ are here for this episode to warm your heart for aviation in this cold weather. Eric is currently in Washington, D.C. working on the new Airman Certification Standards with an FAA working group, and he's not used to it being this cold! Larry is even colder weather where it is 1 degree!

Russ announced new rules for Student Pilot Certificates beginning April 1st. From now on when you go for your 3rd class medical certificate you will not get your Student Pilot Certificate there, you will get it through your flight instructor, and it will be a plastic card. The new plastic certificates do not expire, but it is expected that the processing time may be lengthened because it needs to go to the FAA and TSA, which could potentially delay the time to solo. The FAA is trying to get the turnaround time to 3 weeks or less, but advanced planning will be required to avoid delays.

Cruise Flight:

The main topic for today is flying in colder weather, especially when flying IFR and utilizing cold weather restricted airports.

  • From high to low, from hot to cold, look out below! Altimeters could potentially give altitude errors in cold weather. This creates restrictions at certain cold weather airports.
  • Russ explained required obstacle clearance in cold weather restricted airports.
  • The colder it is, and the higher up you are above the weather station (usually airport you are flying to) the more the altimeter can be off, as much as 500 or more feet.
  • In a VFR environment, it's not as big of a deal, and in some places or in some groups flying is not done below temperatures that would cause altitude problems.
  • Airplanes have conditions in which they are designed to operate, and it is very important to know what those limitations are and abide by them.
  • Heaters and blankets can be used to keep planes warm while on the ground, but heaters can also damage certain parts of the engine.
  • If it's too cold to fly, you can still keep your skills up by using a simulator.

After Flight Checklist:

~Picks of the Week~

Tom: Weather Flying by Robert N. Buck, a great and current book about weather and aviation.

Russ: The Stafford Air and Space Museum at Weatherford Airport (OJA) near Oklahoma City, which has all kinds of aviation and space exhibits right off I-40.

Carl: The 2016 edition of the Aerospace Scholarships Guide will be out in the next week!

Larry: Jacobson Flare App, which addresses the flair portion of the landing procedure.

Eric: Eric had to cut out early, but you can check out Polk State College where Eric runs the Aerospace Program. This is a great university for an aerospace education!