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SYST 560 FALL 2015


August, 2015

Introduction to Air Transportation Systems is for those who are starting or plan professions in the air transportation industry. This course provides a survey of the entire field, including aircraft performance, navigation, Air Traffic Control, Traffic Flow Management and safety. The course prepares students for the FAA Knowledge Exam

Assigments require the application of fundamental principles of physics and fluid mechanics, in analysis and simulation of real-world problems.

This course is available through Web Conferencing

Click here for link to Webconference

Instructor:  Dr. Lance Sherry 
Contact Info:,  703-993-1711
Location:  Robinson Hall A101, 

Class Day: Mondays 16:30-19:00
Office Hours:  Wednesdays 16:00-18:00pm or by appointment

TextBook: Pilots Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge (FAA h-8083-25A) Download no-cost .pdf here
Class Handouts

Week Date Topic Materials
1 08/31 Atmosphere & Flight Instruments
  • Workbook: Atmosphere, Aerodynamics, Aircraft Dynamics, Aircraft Performance
  • Lecture Notes: Atmosphere (FAA Handbook)
  • Lecture Notes #1: Atmosphere
  • SWYK Quiz: Standatd Atmosphere 1
  • SWYK Quiz: Standatd Atmosphere 2
  • Consolidated Homework Atmosphere

  • Lecture Notes: Flight Instruments
  • 2 09/07 Labor Day (No Class)
    3 09/14 Aircraft Structures, Aerodynamic & Propulsion Forces
  • Aircraft Components and Functions
  • Video: Wing-tip Vorticies
  • Video: AAL 587 Wake Vortex Accident

  • Lecture Notes: Jet Englines

  • Video: Flight Control Systems
  • Video: Lift
  • Video: Forces Acting on the Aircraft
  • Video: Aerodynamic Forces in Flight Manuevers and Stalls
  • Video: Basic Propeller Principles
  • Video: Powerplant (Chap 6, pg 6-1 to 6-14)
  • Vodeo: Turbine Engines (Chap 6, pg 6-20 to 6-24)

  • Homework: Lift
  • 4 09/21 Aircraft Dynamics Guest Lecture: Logan Hester (Drone Operations Manager, Expert Drones), "Assembling and Operating a Drone"

  • Lecture Notes: Aircraft Dynamics - Airport Surface Taxi & Takeoff
  • Lecture Notes: Aircraft Dynamics - Airborne
  • Instrumentation (Chap 2, pg 2-11 to 2-12)
  • Aircraft Performance - Performance (Chap 10, pg 10-5 to 10-10)
  • Aircraft Performance - Part 1 of 2)
  • Aircraft Performance - Part 2 of 2)
  • 5 09/28 Aircraft Performance
  • Video - Aircraft Equations of Motion (Lewis)
  • BADA User Manual
  • B737 Model
  • Homework: Aerodynamics Due tbd
  • Video: Aerodynamics Homework Solutions.pptx Watch in Slideshow Mode

  • Lecture Notes: Aircraft Dynamics - Surface Operations Homework Due tbd
  • Lecture Notes: Aircraft Velocity and Runway Operations

  • Lecture Notes: Introduction to Flight Management Systems
  • 6 10/05 Navigation
  • Lecture Notes - Navigation
  • Lecture Notes: Navigation Overview
  • Lecture Notes: Navigation Systems: Enroute
  • Lecture Notes: Navigation Systems: Approach
  • Lecture Notes: Navigation Systems: Runway

  • Navigation Homework (7 Questions). Due tbd
  • Navigation Homework Solutions(7 Questions)
  • 7 10/13 Airports & Aeronautic Charts Columbus Day. No class on Monday
  • Workbook: Intro to Airports
  • Workbook: Airport Diagram - San Diego
  • Solutions: Airport Diagram - San Diego
  • San Diego ILS 9
  • Lecture Notes: Aeronautical Charts - Terminal Navigation
  • Solutions: Aeronautical Charts - Terminal Navigation
  • Lecture Notes: Aeronautical Charts - Enroute Navigation
  • Solutions: Aeronautical Charts - Enroute Navigation
  • Aeronautical Charts
  • Solutions: Airport Landing & Navigation Equipment

  • 8 10/19 Air Navigation Service
  • Lecture Notes: Air Navigation Service Providers (ANSPs)
  • Workbook: Intro ATC
  • Canadian ATC Exam Study Guide
  • FAA Air Traffic Control Procedures 7110.65
  • Lecture Notes: Nested-loop Model of Air Traffic Control/Management
  • 9 10/26 Mid-term Exam
    10 11/02 Airline Operations Center Lecture Notes: Intro Airline Operations and Dispatch - Part 1 11/14 (O'Keefe)
    Lecture Notes: Intro Airline Operations and Dispatch - Part 2 11/14 (O'Keefe)
    Lecture Notes: Intro Airline Operations and Dispatch - Part 3 11/14 (O'Keefe)
    Lecture Notes: Intro Airline Operations and Dispatch - Part 4A 11/14 (O'Keefe)
    Lecture Notes: Intro Airline Operations and Dispatch - Part 5 11/14 (O'Keefe)

    Lecture Notes: ATC Communcations
    ATC Communcations Homework. Due xxx

    Lecture Notes: History of ATC
    Lecture Notes: ATC Airspace System Structure
    Lecture Notes: ATC Organization
    Lecture Notes: ATC Control Tower Operations
    Lecture Notes: ATC TRACON and Enroute Operations
    Lecture Notes: ATC Non-radar Separation

    Homework ANSP, due Nov 3

  • NTSB Video on Runway Incursion Incident at PVD
  • 11 11/09 Putting it all together - Flight Operations Notes: Flight Operations
    12 11/16 Aviation Weather
  • Lecture Notes: Aviation Weather Summary Chart
  • FAA Handbook - Chap 11 and 12
  • Aviation Weasther Quiz
  • Homework: Aviation Weasther (Due Nov 17)

  • Weather Theory Video
  • Weather Hazards and Clouds - U.S. Army Film 1966
  • Thunderstorm Video
  • Aviation Weather Services Video
  • How to Read a METAR Video
  • METAR Quiz with Answer Video
  • How to Read a TAF Video
  • Winds and Currents (Chap 11, pg 11-7 to 11-11)
  • 13 11/23 Aviation Environment- Noise & Environment FAA Primer on Aviation and Environemt
    A National Vision Statement, Framework for Goals and Recommended Actions
    Workbook: Aviation Environment - Noise
    Homework: Aviation Noise (Due Nov 24)

    Lecture Notes: Aviation Environment (Emissions and Noise)
    Lecture Notes: Aviation Emissions
    14 11/30 Aircraft Accident Investigation (Methods and Processes) Guest Lecture: Honorable Chris Hart (Chair NTSB)
    Guest Lecture Notes: Challenges of Continuing Safety Improvement (Hart)

    Lecture Notes: Accident Investigation (Mathews)

    Lecture Notes: Human-Machine Interaction Sequence Diagrams

    Accident Investigation: Flight SWA 1455 Case Study Workbook
    Accident Investigation: Flight AAL 1572 Case Study Workbook

    AirFrance 447 Accident Investigation: Flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro - Paris
    NOVA Video: Flight AF 447 Rio de Janeiro - Paris
    Turkish Airlines 1951 Accident Investigation: Turkish Airlines 1951
    National Geographic Video: Turkish Airlines 1951 - Schipol Airport
  • Decison-making (Chap 17, pg 17-16 to 17-22)
  • 15 12/07 FINAL EXAM
    16 12/14 Final Exam moved to 12/7

    * Dates all tentative, subject to change without notice

    Two Minute Knowledge Videos:
  • Load Factors (Chap 4, pg 4-28 to 4-34)
  • Weight & Balance (Chap 4, pg 4-35 to 4-38)
  • High Speed Lift (Chap 4, pg 4-39 to 4-45)
  • Other Sources:
    2.    Terminal Chaos (AIAA, Library of Flight) George Donohue and Russel D. Shaver III. ISBN – 978-1-56347-949-6
    3.    Air Transportation Systems Engineering (Progress in Astronautics and Aeronautics, 193). George L.Donohue and Andres G. Zellweger (Editors), American Institute of Aeronautics and Astronautics, AIAA, 2001.
    4.    Fundamentals of Air Traffic Control – Michael S.Nolan ISBN 0-534-39388-8
    5.    How to Become a Pilot – FAA
    6.    Private Pilot – Jepperson
    7.    Understanding Mathematics for Aircraft Navigation – James S. Wolper
    Practice FAA Knowledge Exam Quizzes:
  • On-line Quiz
  • Exam4Pilots On-line Quiz
  • FAA Question Bank pdf

  • Student Objective:
    Prepare stduents for FAA Knowlwegde Exam. Students will learn the necessary basic knowledge in air traffic management of the air transportation system. This course prepares students for work in the industry and for conduct of graduate studies and research.

    Relationship to Other Courses:

    This is a required course for graduate students in air transportation systems. This course is prerequisite for OR750/SYST660.

    Student Obligations:

        * Complete reading assignments and complete workbooks
        * Homework/quiz turned in at start of class
        * Late penalty 50%
        * Mid-term Exams (Closed book)
        * Final Exam (Closed-book)
        * Field trips
        * Khan Academy Video


        * Homework/Quizzes/Video (20%)
        * Mid-term Exam (40%)
        * Final Exam (40%)

    Grading Scale:

    A    93%    Exceptional in all respects
    A-    90%    Excellent, shows clear understanding of concepts and application of ideas
    B+    88%    Very good, shows basic understanding of concepts and application of ideas
    B    83%    Good, shows acceptable understanding, baseline for undergraduate work
    B-    80%    Adequate, shows acceptable understanding, but with deficiencies
    C+    78%    Weak, but minimally meets requirements
    C    70%    Very weak, but minimally meets requirements
    D    60%    Misses several requirements, but not to the point of being considered failing

    All grades are final

    Academic Honesty:
    Honor Code strictly enforced.
    Suspected violations will be reported