Willamette Aviation News

December 2020


Be Prepared For an 'ATC Zero' Event As Cases Rise

It's not just for the airlines — general aviation pilots also rely upon Air Traffic Control services, both at towered fields and regional centers. And if an ATC facility goes offline with little or no advance warning, it can present unexpected challenges and delays. As COVID cases increase during the winter months, the AOPA is encouraging general aviation pilots to be aware of the potential for an "ATC Zero" event. New York, Indianapolis, and Las Vegas were affected earlier this year due to positive coronavirus tests. ATC Zero also can be caused by equipment failures, extreme weather, and on-site emergencies.

While complete ATC outages are uncommon (there were around 400 nationwide in 2019), "ATC Limited" and "ATC Alert" scenarios also can occur, such as when a facility takes on additional duties to cover a service outage at another location. As always, pilots are advised to check NOTAMs before every flight. A Temporary Flight Restriction (TFR) also may be established if an ATC Zero event occurs. If there are any facility or airspace issues, a briefing from Flight Service will point them out. If ATC is limited, you should not expect flight following or practice approaches. Your good decisions, and thorough flight planning, are essential to the safe conclusion of every flight.

For more information on ATC Zero events — and the impact they can have on both VFR and IFR flights — please visit this page on the AOPA website.


Short Finals…

· Not sure what would make the perfect holiday gift for a pilot you know, or for somebody who is ready to learn how to fly? A gift certificate from Willamette Aviation is perfect for any occasion. Just drop by our online gift certificate page, where you can select one of several Discovery Flight options (such as a flight over downtown Portland), ground school tuition, a customized flight lesson, or even a Pilot Shop spree. Add the certificate to your cart, print it out, and your aviation holiday shopping is done!
· We hope you enjoy this year's holiday season with family and friends. We are planning to be closed Christmas Day — let us know beforehand if you would like to schedule a plane for a scenic holiday flight. We are planning an exciting 2021, with even more seminars, ground schools, BBQs, and special events, and we'll be welcoming plenty of first solos and new certificated pilots along the way. We're looking forward to seeing you here as well.


Look for more from Willamette Aviation in the next newsletter. Until then, fly smart and safe!

David F. Waggoner
Willamette Aviation
(503) 678-2252



Dec. 17: FAA medical exams (Janice Buenafe M.D.) (Willamette Aviation)

Dec. 19: FAA medical exams (Janice Buenafe M.D.) (Willamette Aviation)

Dec. 25: Christmas Day: Office closed


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Willamette Aviation Service, LLC
23115 Airport Road NE
Aurora, Oregon 97002