Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

2 Answers

What does the controller see on the radarscope when we squawk 1200?

Asked by: 2147 views
Airspace, Commercial Pilot, Flight Instructor, General Aviation, Private Pilot, Student Pilot

What does the controller see on the radarscope when we squawk 1200?

Ace Any FAA Written Test!
Actual FAA Questions / Free Lifetime Updates
The best explanations in the business
Fast, efficient study.
Pass Your Checkride With Confidence!
FAA Practical Test prep that reflects actual checkrides.
Any checkride: Airplane, Helicopter, Glider, etc.
Written and maintained by actual pilot examiners and master CFIs.
The World's Most Trusted eLogbook
Be Organized, Current, Professional, and Safe.
Highly customizable - for student pilots through pros.
Free Transition Service for users of other eLogs.
Our sincere thanks to pilots such as yourself who support AskACFI while helping themselves by using the awesome PC, Mac, iPhone/iPad, and Android aviation apps of our sponsors.

2 Answers

  1. Best Answer


    Heather McNevin on Mar 06, 2014

    Great question. There are two systems that we use at an Air Route Traffic Control Center. One is primary, the other is secondary. Primary is just the radar beam hitting something (we may not know what) and bouncing back. Secondary is the information displayed after our equipment has a conversation with your transponder.

    If you were squawking another code, we see the code change to 1200. If you are just out flying VFR, below 5,000 indicated, our system displays you as a V. If you are indicating above 5,000 our system displays you as an I (for intruder). If you have a Mode C transponder, we will also see what altitude you are indicating in three digits next to your track. If you do not have a transponder, I can still see you in radar, however it is different. You will display as a . Yep, as a tiny dot. Trucks, trains, towers, birds, etc also may appear as a tiny dot. There will be no altitude indicated for primary only radar hits.

    If you are IFR or getting VFR flight following, you will have a track with a data block on our screen. No matter if you are a J3 or an A380, you will display as a small slanted green line that is 1 nm long.

    Approach control facilities use a different computer system, so you look different to them.

    +9 Votes Thumb up 9 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  2. psequeira on Mar 07, 2014

    Very informative thanks Heather

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes


The following terms have been auto-detected the question above and any answers or discussion provided. Click on a term to see its definition from the Dauntless Aviation JargonBuster Glossary.

Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.