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7 Answers

Pilot/Controller Glossary

Asked by: 2289 views Airspace


This text is found in the Pilot/Controller Glossary:


ADDITIONAL SERVICESAdvisory information

provided by ATC which includes but is not limited to

the following:

a: ...


b: Weather and chaff information.


Hi, I;m Dutch and couldn't figure out the meaning of chaff, except that it has something to do with grain, but not with the weather indirectly. But

I think that the controller tells the pilot were to fly before encountering severe weather in this case.

Am I right?


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7 Answers

  1. Lucas on Nov 03, 2014

    Chaff is a military countermeasure which will redirect incoming missiles to it rather than the attacked airplane. They are highly reflective and get easily picked up by radar as false echoes.
    They have nothing to do with any weather phenomenon. Why ATC would provide that information beats me (LOL), maybe to let you know:
    one that if you have radar and see an echo in front of you they can advise you that is not weather but chaff.
    Two, but, even if it is just chaff you would probably want to stay away from that area as it signifies intense military training at very high speeds so again I would stay the heck away from there.

    if you want a reference here you go:



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  2. Lucas on Nov 03, 2014

    Here is also another reference that can clarify the importance of recognizing the difference between actual radar returns from severe weather and chaff:


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  3. Mark Kolber on Nov 03, 2014

    Danny, if you look you’ll find that “chaff” is also listed and defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary.

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  4. Sam Dawson on Nov 04, 2014

    There have been cases of military aircraft accidentally deploying chaff and disrupting ATC radar. I know my unit did it once on the west coast. It was embarrassing, but I got the impression ours was not the first unit to do this.

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  5. _Danny_ on Nov 04, 2014

    Yeah I believe that. Thanks.

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  6. OSCAR ARANDA on Nov 07, 2014

    The thing is that chaff dipoles are conductive. Then, if You cross a chaff cloud probably your aircraft may experience some kínd of electrical malfunction or shortcircuit (not my C-152) This is why if ATC knows or detects some chaff, they will warn You.

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  7. _Danny_ on Nov 07, 2014

    Good to know thank you!

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