2003 Controllers' Corner

We encourage e-mail:  WHPTOWER@aol.com


December, 2003 Controllers’ Corner:

Season’s Greetings to All!  With the winter weather setting in and the associated increase in Runway 30 usage, we would like to
ask for help in expediting the flow of ground movement.  Whenever possible, we would appreciate it if you used the back ramp
to taxi to Runway 30.  This helps aircraft exiting the runway to do so sooner.  Also, for the IFR departures, pleas call the tower
frequency – 135.0 – from the run-up area before taxiing all the way down to the runway.  We can then call SoCal TRACON and
ask for an estimated departure time, which should help prevent the runway from becoming blocked to VRF aircraft.

Good News: The tower has finally been cleared for visitors by the FAA and Serco!  There are some restrictions, though.  For
instance, there must be two or more tower personnel present in the tower for any visitors to be allowed.  Therefore, due to our
staffing levels, we recommend trying to visit the tower between 12:00 p.m. and 5:00 p.m.  We know the visits can be educational
and a great tool for both pilots and controllers.  We look forward to seeing you all again soon…just not all at once!

Happy Holidays!
The Tower Crew (whptower@aol.com / 818-896-5555)


November, 2003 Controllers’ Corner:

Well, winter - - and its associated bad weather - - has finally arrived in Southern California. We would like to remind you all to
check the NOTAMs prior to flying. As the fires and flash floods of the past few weeks have shown us, TFRs and unfriendly
weather conditions can pop up and change on a day-to-day basis.  Also, with an election year fast approaching, there
will most certainly be presidential and VIP movements. These can also be causes for TFRs.  So, keep your eyes peeled for
anything that may affect your flight!  As always, if you have any questions for the tower, we can be reached at
whptower@aol.com or by phone at (818) 896-5555.

Have a Happy Thanksgiving!
The Tower Crew



October, 2003 Controllers’ Corner:

Well, winter is almost upon us again, so we all need to be aware of the weather surrounding us.

For those of you using Special VFR, please refresh yourselves with the proper procedures if you haven't flown in Special VFR
in a while. Remember that the controllers cannot solicit your Special VFR request; we need to hear the words "Special VFR" in
your request.  We need to be certain that you are familiar with the rules.  If you hear us saying, “Whiteman is IFR - say type of
request,” that is all the prompting that we can legally give you.

We have also been noticing lately that some pilots are calling for take off from the run-up area.  To help us out, please take the
initiative and pull up to the hold short lines or get in line if there is more than one aircraft ready for departure and call from
there.  When runway 30 is in use, we will make the determination depending on the traffic load, so please call us prior to
taxiing up to runway 30. That end of the airport is pressed for space.

If you have any questions, please feel free to email us at whptower@aol.com or call the tower.  Thanks!

-The Tower Crew



August, 2003 Controllers’ Corner

Good Day, Everyone!

There are a couple of things that we would like to emphasize this month.  First, we cannot stress the importance of checking the
NOTAMs for the local area before you takeoff.  We have had some recent incidents with TFR's and pilots.

Also we would like to reiterate that when you are instructed to follow an aircraft, you do not yet have clearance to land.  Please
do not assume that you are cleared to land until you are cleared because sometimes the landing sequence changes.

Please be safe and enjoy your flight.



June, 2003

From the Controllers’ Corner

Hello, Everyone!

Looks like the June Gloom is hanging around a little longer than normal this year…or maybe it's just a little thicker this time around.

Well, when the Gloom departs us, we can all expect a heavier traffic load, with schools departing and weather conditions improving.  Therefore, we would like to ask that all of you try to help us help you!

We are getting a lot of transmissions that are just Whiteman Ground or Whiteman Tower and a call sign.  This requires a lot more talking and time on our part than is necessary.  Please help us out by saying who you are, where you are, and your request on your initial contact to tower or ground.

EXAMPLE: "Whiteman Tower--Cessna 1234--Newhall pass request landing."  Giving us all this info on your first contact will be a great help to us, especially in the approaching busy season.

Also, if you catch the numbers, runway, wind, & altimeter from a transmission to another aircraft, please let us know that you have the numbers.  This is another way to help us cut down on our verbiage.

Thank you all so much! Lets have a great summer!

-The Tower Crew



May, 2003

Good “May” to all.  There is not too much to report from the tower this month.  We are still closed to tower tours and haven't received any word on when we will open back up.

The only point we want to reiterate this month is runway exiting.  As the summer nears, the traffic will most likely pick up again.  We need the pilots to exit the runway at the first available taxiway.  We have had a trend lately of pilots rolling past taxiways at very slow speeds.  This makes it hard for us to get departures out before the next arrival.  We have certain separation standards we have to keep.  Please note, we aren't asking you to stop unsafely--just once you have reached a safe exiting speed, take the next taxiway.

Also, after exiting the runway, pull past the hold short lines.  If we are talking to other aircraft when you land, we are expecting you to exit and pull past the hold short lines as stated in the AIM.  If you have any questions, please feel free to ask us or consult the AIM.



March, 2003

Hello, and welcome to this month’s controllers’ corner.

There have been many phone calls inquiring about tower tours recently.  However, a few weeks ago, when the Homeland Security Department upgraded the terrorism threat level to “Orange,” all towers contracted out by the FAA were instructed to stop allowing visitors into the towers unless the visitation was approved by the Hub or our main office.

Since then, the threat level has been downgraded to “Yellow.”  However, both our Hub and our main office, Serco, have instructed us to remain in an upgraded state of security.  Consequently, we are still not allowed to have visitors in the tower without higher approval.

With the world events as they are, it looks as though it may be quite a while until we are allowed to have visitors in the tower cab again.  Hopefully, the policy will change soon, but be prepared for this one to last for quite some time.

We look forward to the day when we are given the green light to open the doors back up, and we will let you all know as soon as it happens.

In the meantime, please keep our troops in your hearts and prayers.

Thanks,
The Tower Crew
WHP FCT



February, 2003

Hello to All,

Well, it looks like we are finally getting some much needed rainfall in Southern California.  With a few months of winter still ahead of us, we would just like to remind you all to be aware of the weather conditions around us.

For those of you who choose to fly in special VFR, please be familiar with the appropriate publications and charts you are required to know in order to operate in special VFR, i.e. the AIM, VFR terminal charts, etc.

We would also like to remind you that we, as controllers, CANNOT initiate a special VFR flight or request.  This is because pilots are expected to know and follow all appropriate rules when requesting and operating in special VFR.  We, as controllers, don't know if the pilots are actually familiar with all the rules required.  Therefore, if we were to initiate a special VFR request to an unfamiliar pilot, we would be held accountable by law should anything happen.

So, many times when we are marginally IFR and pilots request VFR taxi instructions, we will say, "Whiteman tower is IFR say request."  This is about all the prompting we can give.  Just keep in mind that we are trying to remind you within the law, and if you never ask for "special VFR", the magic words, or an IFR clearance, there is nothing we can do for you.

We also would like to remind you that on the days when BUR and VNY are using their localizer/ILS, expect some delays on departing IFR because our IFR departure procedures take us right through their instrument approaches.

Thank You All,
WHP Tower Crew



January, 2003

Greetings from the tower…

We hope that everyone had a safe and happy holiday season.  Well, Lupe has moved on to the big office, and we are still standing - - so it looks like another good year is in store.  This month, we controllers have been discussing what we can do to help improve the operations at Whiteman.  This is what we came up with:

We have been noticing that many pilots are reading back everything that the tower says.  It isn’t always necessary to do so.  However, hold instructions must be read back every time.  For example, "N123 hold short of the runway" requires "Whiteman tower N123 holding short of the runway."

Also, when the ground controller gives you taxi instructions to the runway, you are required to read back the runway.  Finally, if the tower changes your instructions, we need to hear you acknowledge by restating your new instructions.  For example, if N123 is on a 3 mile final and the tower changes the plan and puts N123 in the upwind, the communication must flow as follows:
"N123 enter the upwind, disabled aircraft on the runway."
"N123 roger entering the upwind."

What we are trying to limit is the amount of unnecessary transmissions that are made.  When we do get busy, we like to keep our transmissions short and to the point so that we can get on to the next aircraft.  As you all know, there can be a lot of you in the Newhall pass at the same time.  If the pilots can also cut out unnecessary transmissions, quality and timely service is much easier for us to provide.

An example of what we are trying to cut out would be a pilot reading back the runway the following: wind, altimeter, and reporting point after we issue it on initial contact.  Most of the time WILCO, I understand and will comply, ROGER, or COPY ALL will suffice.  However, if there is any doubt in your mind as to what your instructions are, please be safe and ask again.  All we want to do is provide the best service possible so that we can all have a fun and safe new year flying at Whiteman Airport.

Thanks and We'll See You Soon,

The Tower Crew
 

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