5-2-18. VALIDATION OF MODE C READOUT

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  • 5-2-18. VALIDATION OF MODE C READOUT

    Ensure that Mode C altitude readouts are valid after accepting an interfacility handoff, initial track start, track start from coast/suspend tabular list, or during and after an unreliable Mode C readout, except as follows:

    NOTE: Consider a Mode C readout unreliable when any condition, not just those that display an indicator in the Data Block, exists that indicates that the Mode C may be in error.

    1. CTRD-equipped tower cabs are not required to validate Mode C altitude readouts after accepting interfacility handoffs from TRACONs according to the procedures in Paragraph 5-4-3, Methods, subparagraph a4.
    2. ERAM facilities are not required to validate Mode C altitude readouts after accepting interfacility handoffs from other ERAM facilities, except:
      1. After initial track start or track start from coast is required, or
      2. During and after the display of a missing, unreasonable, exceptional, or otherwise unreliable Mode C readout indicator.
    3. Consider an altitude readout valid when:
      1. It varies less than 300 feet from the pilot reported altitude, or
        • PHRASEOLOGY
        • (If aircraft is known to be operating below the lowest usable flight level),
        • SAY ALTITUDE.
        • or
        • (If aircraft is known to be operating at or above the lowest usable flight level),
        • SAY FLIGHT LEVEL.
      2. You receive a continuous readout from an aircraft on the airport and the readout varies by less than 300 feet from the field elevation, or

        NOTE: A continuous readout exists only when the altitude filter limits are set to include the field elevation.

      3. You have correlated the altitude information in your data block with the validated information in a data block generated in another facility (by verbally coordinating with the other controller) and your readout is exactly the same as the readout in the other data block.
    4. When unable to validate the read out, do not use the Mode C altitude information for separation.
    5. Whenever you observe an invalid Mode C readout below FL 180:
      1. Issue the correct altimeter setting and confirm the pilot has accurately reported the altitude.
        • PHRASEOLOGY
        • (Location) ALTIMETER (appropriate altimeter), VERIFY ALTITUDE.
      2. If the altitude readout continues to be invalid:
        1. (a) Instruct the pilot to turn off the altitude reporting part of his/her transponder and include the reason; and
        2. (b) Notify the operations supervisor-in-charge of the aircraft call sign.
          • PHRASEOLOGY
          • STOP ALTITUDE SQUAWK. ALTITUDE DIFFERS BY (number of feet) FEET.
    6. Whenever you observe an invalid Mode C readout at or above FL 180, unless the aircraft is descending below Class A airspace:
      1. Verify that the pilot is using 29.92 inches of mercury as the altimeter setting and has accurately reported the altitude.
        • PHRASEOLOGY
        • VERIFY USING TWO NINER NINER TWO AS YOUR ALTIMETER SETTING.
        • (If aircraft is known to be operating at or above the lowest usable flight level),
        • VERIFY FLIGHT LEVEL.
      2. If the Mode C read out continues to be invalid:
        1. (a) Instruct the pilot to turn off the altitude reporting part of his/her transponder and include the reason; and
        2. (b) Notify the operational supervisor-in-charge of the aircraft call sign.
          • PHRASEOLOGY
          • STOP ALTITUDE SQUAWK. ALTITUDE DIFFERS BY (number of feet) FEET.
    7. Whenever possible, inhibit altitude readouts on all consoles when a malfunction of the ground equipment causes repeated invalid readouts.
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