Traffic Collision Avoidance System: Avoiding close encounters or worse!

TCAS does provide many benefits when it comes to increasing situational awareness for flight crews and along with the benefits come the challenges to people such as AMTs that are tasked with keeping it working.

Having just encountered a three-hour ATC delay on a recent airline trip, I did go to the Amtrak schedule and found that it would take the train about 10 hours (not considering Federal Railroad Administration (FRA) Rail Traffic Controller induced delays) to travel between my required city pairs. Even with a three-hour delay I am still convinced travel by air is the only way to go.

Jim Sparks has been in aviation for 30 years and is a licensed A&P. His career began in general aviation as a mechanic, electrician, and avionics technician. Currently when not writing for AMT, he is the manager of aviation maintenance for a private company with a fleet including light single engine aircraft, helicopters, and several types of business jets. You can reach him at

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