ATC IssuesA place where pilots may enter the 'lions den' that is Air Traffic Control in complete safety and find out the answers to all those obscure topics which you always wanted to know the answer to but were afraid to ask.
Whilst blasting skywards the other day at 4000fpm I was asked to expedite climb! Does the guy looking at the radar screen have any readout of our vertical speed, and if so what sort of climb rate would constitute an expedited climb in this situation (other than a higher RoC than the present)? Just curious as we can do 6000fpm and I wondered if thats what he wanted.
I imagine what he means is to increase your rate of climb.He will not have a ROC readout but he will be able to see the numbers rolling. On occasion you may be asked to give max rate of climb till, which probably requires no explanation.
------------------ And that's what I think about that.
Although we only get the height readout on the Mode C and not the rate of climb, at 4000fpm the numbers would be rattling up at a fair old rate anyway - don't know what was going on around you to be asked for increase over that!
The request would almost certainly have been to ensure separation from other traffic without having to stop your climb at an intermediate level. It was not necessarily a request to increase your rate of climb, but without asking you to expedite the controller would have no way of knowing that your present rate of climb would continue. That's my opinion anyway.
I believe what is usually desired by ATC is a max angle of climb not the max rate. It's usually a problem regarding height by distance rather than height by time however I believe the generic ATC is not familiar with the difference. The other aspect which is important is the fact that the difference between max rate and max angle with a number of aircraft is negligible in terms of IAS/MNo.; with others it is significant.
I have visited Frankfurt ACC in January when they presented their great new ATC System to the pilot community. They have a feature that shows the average rate of climb during the last 10 seconds or so, so they are quite informed. Also, a good controller knows the rates certain types can do, and only when you are unusually agile or hampered by extraordinary conditions he asks for something you cannot do.
I agree with spotter. The controller probably wanted you to continue your climb until you where vertically seperated from the other a/c. Classic example of an airmiss occured like this at Bovingdon. The TMA controller saw that the Shuttle was climbing at a good rate so didn't bother to say expedite. His next comment was 'No atc speed'. The shuttle increased speed, reduced roc and had an airmiss with an a/c in the stack.
"expedite climb" or "expedite descend" are often used to ensure a good (controllers point of view) rate of climb/descend and not to have it increased. Expedite climb may soun like increase rate of climb but often means continue climb as you're now. On radar screens the ATCo can read the Mode C and the update depends on the system and on the antenna speed (rpm). Some systems also show the average rate of climb/descend. Speaking for myself, I often use the terms "expedite climb" with "until FL..." to let the pilot know about my need to have vertical separation at a specific altitude.
Often comes up in conversations on the flight deck this subject. What are ATC really asking for? Basically the controller wants you to pass through FL's as quickly as poss. Why? because he is relying on vertical separation in your case , rather than or as well as horizontal separation. Forget how well you can climb over a set distance. that is not what he wants. just get going up or down as the case maybe. Often it is only used if he wants to make sure his plan will work. But if you don't help out you may find the next call is AVOIDING ACTION. If you don't think you can do any better , do let him know. He may have another plan! Good Luck.!!!
Some ACCs in Europe provide the actual Rate of Climb / Descent in the Track Data Blocks. This info is derived from a Mode C tracker. When Mode C tracker is used, the method of establishing vertical separation differs from that used in the UK. I always used to specify a Rate of Climb or Descent to aircraft (based upon acquired knowledge of aircraft performance) to ensure that I had vertical separation prior to losing horizontal separation. If an aircraft is told to expedite, the controller cannot be sure of the actual rate of climb or descent, whereas if an actual rate is specified, eg. "2500fpm minimum until passing FL310" the situation is more controlled.
Several times I've seen a/c go up at 4000fpm climbing to 6000ft and on that basis clear them higher (say, FL130) in the anticipation that they will continue at something close to that ROC. In the process of sorting something else out I look back to I see it doing 2000 fpm !
IMHO, the angle of climb is what most ATCOs are looking for when they say expedite.
[This message has been edited by identnospeed (edited 20 May 2000).]
karrank.. What a very positive post. Could it be that by expediting climb for a period it will avoid an aircraft leveling off at an intermediatery level???It may also help an aircraft reaching it's optimum level quicker without the requirement for delaying vectors.It may show that the controller has an understanding of the type of aircraft involved and performance of same...NO NO your probably right,it's just being lazy...
------------------ And that's what I think about that.
running up to 60 a/c per hour thru a 30mile by 40 mile sector which goes from FL55 to FL175 (ie. not very big) with every single a/c requiring either descent or climb occasionally requires the use of the word expedite just to keep levels free..........Things can rapidly grind to a halt. Leaving things to waffle up or down results, ultimately in poor service provision, something we in NATS are going to hear more about post-privatisation.
Creativity is fine if you actually have the time or airspace to ponder.
But if when the "E" word is used it gets 2 of the 12 a/c off the frequency, rest assured it is NOT as a result of laziness !!
WEEEEEELLLLLL! Maybe, but I work a larger relatively low traffic density group of sectors where you see all the bangs well in advance and "do" something early. If our guys say "expedite" it means they didn't spot something 10 minutes ago when they should have and no longer have room for a requirement and maybe a vector might no longer do the job.
I would prefer to say "reach F350 by 20 miles Gripdicken" for the same effect, if the aeroplane can't do it that day you find out straight away (mostly.)
"Cut him off and call him shorty!" - Lorenna Bobbit (Patron Saint of ATC)
I think most of these posts prove my previous comments. I agree with the fact that if you hear the word expedite it usually means that options have become limited and therefore I would advocate that the use of this word should be limited to where performance (of some nature) needs to be enhanced in the interest of everybody having a great "rest of the day". This is similar to the phrase "break right/left" where, to a military trained pilot, you pull blackout G's and heave a 60 degree bank asap. Therefore I cringe when I hear hot-shots using this sort of phrase as a matter of course. YOOOOOOO IDIOT.
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