Air Canada News Near Miss at SFO, Private Pilot Tips on Squelch and Audio Panels, ATC Privatization + GA News

Air Canada flight 759 had a near miss last week, when it inadvertently lined up to land on a taxiway instead of on the runway. The FlightAware online tracking service showed the Air Canada Airbus 320 dropping to as low as 175 feet before increasing altitude above Taxiway C, flying over three fully loaded United Airlines and one Philippine Airlines airliners. At 11:55 p.m., the time of the incident, Runway 28L was closed with its lights dark, according to the FAA. It’s possible that shifted the Air Canada pilot’s orientation to the right, leading him to think that Taxiway C was actually runway 28R. We talk about the key reason that a disaster was narrowly averted, and how that applies to pilots flying general aviation aircraft.

We also talk about the poorly understood squelch controls on radios and intercoms and how to set them properly. And about how to operate the switches on older audio panels found in 1960s through 1980s Cessnas and Pipers. Plus listener questions: Should you Dive and Drive on an instrument approach? How should a future CFI learn to land from the right seat? What should you do if you violate the minimum altitudes over a wildlife or marine sanctuary?

Click here for the survey. Tell us which plane you fly most often. Please visit my new Patreon page and help me with my goal of funding the creation of two apps for my show, one for Apple and one for Google Play, so that non-techie pilots can find the show in the app store.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

News Stories

Air Traffic Control (ATC) Government Privatization Explained – Call to Action for General Aviation Private and Instrument Pilots and People Planning to Learn to Fly to Contact Congress

ATC Privatization
On June 22, 2017, the U.S. House of Representatives released H.R. 2997, the AIRR Act, calling for the privatization of Air Traffic Control in the U.S. Later, both EAA, the Experimental Aircraft Association, and NBAA, the National Business Aviation Association, issued an urgent call for members to contact their representatives in Congress to oppose ATC privatization. AOPA, the Aircraft Owner and Pilots Association, also sent a call for their members to contact their representations just before we published this show, which is why we weren’t able to mention them in the podcast. Please take action by going to to generate a letter to your representatives in Congress.

Please support my show by checking out my new Patreon Page. You will ultimately find lots of free posts on the page. To kick things off, I just posted a pdf of the Delta Airlines study on privatization, which you can download and read for free now. I’ve also posted results of an ATC Privatization survey of US pilots conducted of Airplane Geeks podcast listeners in February 2017.

Please consider supporting my show with contributions of as little as $2 per month, also at my Patreon page.

Today, I’m devoting this entire episode to privatization. I’ll be playing audio clips from the President, members of Congress, Airline CEOs, EAA CEO Jack Pelton, and from pilots in other countries that have privatized their air traffic control system. I’ll also share results of a survey of pilot podcast listeners on privatizing ATC. And to help me, I’m joined by Senior Editor of Flying Magazine, Rob Mark.

You can Dictate a listener question from your phone and I’ll try to answer it on a future show, or send an email.

Audio Clip sources

  • Review of Air Traffic Control Reform Proposals – Hearing Before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives. February 10, 2016. Video   Hearing Transcript
  • Building a 21st Century Infrastructure for America: Federal Aviation Administration Authorization – Hearing Before the Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives June 8, 2017. Video
  • Full Committee Markup –  Committee on Transportation and Infrastructure House of Representatives. June 27, 2017. Video