Airplane Tower and Runways

The tower gives the pilot instructions on his radio where and when to land. The men in the tower also have a gun that shoots colored lights, by which they can give more instructions to the pilot. Planes without radios or at least without receivers usually do not land at crowded airports, because it is…

The tower gives the pilot instructions on his radio where and when to land. The men in the tower also have a gun that shoots colored lights, by which they can give more instructions to the pilot. Planes without radios or at least without receivers usually do not land at crowded airports, because it is too hard for them to get directions. Helps to landing night the runways are lit up with a row of white lights on each side two thirds of the way down, and yellow lights for the last one-third, so that pilots will know they are coming -to the end.

There are four green lights at each end, and the taxi ways have blue lights. Rotating lights on the tower tell the pilot which runways are being used. Airports also have blind-landing devices that guide the pilot from some position over or near the airport to the end of the runway when he is unable to see it because of bad weather. There were two such devices in use in 1953: GCA, Ground Control Approach, in which men in a truck located about halfway down on the side of the runway use radar to guide or “talk” the pilot down; and ILS, Instrument Landing System, which is a series of radios that transmit signals to an instrument in the plane by which the pilot can guide itself down. For various reasons the military favors the former, the airlines the latter. “operations” In addition there is at every airport a place which is most commonly called “operations.” This provides information on three things: weather, navigation, and clearance.

At the weather desk a pilot can find out the weather where he is going, and all along the way. He then can tell whether he will have to direct his airplane by instruments, or whether he can do it by merely watching the ground. At the navigation table he figures out the compass headings to fly, allowing for any wind present, and also the time it will take him. Thus he knows whether he will have enough fuel, since he already knows how much the plane uses per hour.At the clearance desk, he must file a clearance if he is going to fly on instruments, called IFR, Instrument Flight Rules.

This means he will be flying in the clouds without looking at the ground. The CAA (Civil Aeronautics Administration, a branch of the United States government) can then coordinate his path with that of other planes so that they will not bump into each other. If lie is going to fly VFR, Visual Flight Rules, by looking at the ground, a flight plan is not required, though it may file one, saying when it expects to reach its destination. When he arrives he merely tells the CAA, who take care of the flight plans, that he is there; otherwise, if he should become an hour overdue, they would begin to look for him. The hangars airports also have hangars, or large garages, where planes may be stored and repaired. There are also parking spaces outside of the hangars, either concrete or asphalt, where planes may be tied down, since small planes are easily blown by the wind.