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.
Inbound a Scottish airfield yesterday and just prior to handover to approach the airways controller gave ourselves and another aircraft speed control since he was outside of us and behind as well (300kts and 280kts respectively). Young pilot in other aircraft became pushy and was going on about how they could do 340kts blah blah. Quite rightly the airways controller gave him short shrift and we were both handed over to approach.
On handover low and behold the young pilot was at it again with his 340kts nonsense. Staggeringly the approach controller gave in to him and changed the order on approach. Despite assurances, in the end we did have a longer approach than we would originally have made and were also kept up in a layer of kak due to the other aircraft delaying our descent.
Now as far as I am concerned you guys and gals are in charge. What you say goes and I wouldn't dream of questioning a speed reduction. It doesn't bother me who goes first. What does bother me is when some pushy young oik with absolutely no understanding of the capabilities of my aircraft (and probably very little of his own) gets to call the tune. In my opinion it was all very unprofessional.
Can't condone that sort of behaviour. I am very much a "quiet life" merchant, I really can't be bothered to hassle a controller for the sake of saving 2 minutes. There are plenty of occasions when you get put in front of someone else and an equal number when the opposite happens, who cares.
Not sure if being young has anything to do with it, he may well have had a "speedy" skipper putting words in his mouth.
Rather presumptious to suggest someone has very little knowledge of their own aircraft Chubbsy! If they've got the type rating then I'd say they've got a fairly good idea of what their aircraft is capable of.
Anyway, I've got a tenner that says 340kts at low level is an Airbus and some pushy young oik is code for BA. Do I win a prize?
I'm fairly sure that I was sitting in the radar room watching this lot pan out (however, I wasn't the controller), if it isn't the same incident then it's very similar and deserves a mention.
Chubbs Yes, the guy was wittering on about the speed he could do as opposed to your 240kts below 100 but remember that if he's going 100kts faster than yourself then he has a really good chance of getting in before you. Looking at it from the radar, and not from TCAS, he was always going to be number one anyway. You were pointing directly at the field, whereas he was pointing at a 10 mile final, funnily enough that's the best place to make an approach from. Please note that if the APC controller was to bend both aircraft out, then the outside aircraft leaves controlled airspace.
It seems to me that more and more at this airfield people think that because they're inside, whether they're higher or slower or whatever else, they're automatically number one. But that's just not true.... It's difficult enough as it is to maximise aircraft movements in tight airspace to the northeast (making approaches to a south westerly runway) without having guys trying to vector themselves and be fully aware what's going on from TCAS.
As it turned out he was made number one and went visual long before yourselves, even though you were brought into the field and positioned downwind, which is becoming more and more the norm to keep you guys out of the hold.
I thought I'd just let you know the situation as it worked out, and although the whinge from you was about the other pilot I don't see that it can all be blamed on him...... maybe I'm naive to it all but if someone tells me he can keep his speed up, and it works to my advantage then sorry but he's number one.
Callyoushortly - thanks for taking the time to reply. Firstly I don't want to nit pick but I would disagree with your assertion that the other aircraft was "always going to be number one". Your colleague clearly only advised us the order had changed after pushing by the other crew. But that really is not the point.
Having been going in and out of your airfield for over 15 years I am well aware thanks of how you you operate and your airspace limitations. I didn't have any problem with your controller - my gripe was with the crew on the other aircraft. Having been advised to keep a speed I do consider it unprofessional of them to question it not once but twice. When did the Wild West come to aviation? Do you honestly want us to barter for priority when we first check in with your approach?
From an operating perspective, what is clever about thundering in with wings glowing and then hanging on the speedbrake? I bet that impresses the passengers no end.
No, I am afraid I am not impressed by crews who are pushy in order to get in front of others. They should be ignored instead of being encouraged. Why the hell can't they queue up gracefully like the rest of us?
Topofthestack - yes I have visited West Drayton - I have the greatest respect and would heartily recommend such visits.
As an Area bod,it is reasonable to assume that the aircraft at 280kts had that restriction put on it and probably told to report it too the airfield on contact.If the facts are correct,that crew did not obey a control instruction,which had been put in place with the best of intentions.Where it was perceived to be in the sequence is another story,what if the pilot of the 'first' aircraft had increased speed to 340 kts,there would have been even less airspace to vector them in.This is an example of airmanship that has no place in busy TMA environments.
Nice one - I might use that next time I get the usual "does the speed restriction apply tonight" from a "can we" airways (EK) pilot on a night shift when he's number 23 to land.
You think THAT was unprofessional? You should see and hear some of the operators here. English is not only not their 1st language, it's not their 2nd, 3rd or 4th either! (and that's just the Australians!!) The pilot's operating notes are on the back of a fag packet and have to be regularly consulted during the flight because it looks like this is the first time the crew have encountered this a/c type. Their idea of speed control is to be in the middle of a long sequence of modern heavy, slippery jets and, completely without warning, abandon their assigned speed and reduce to something (hopefully, but not necessarily) just above the stall. Where the pilot using the radio is the non-English speaker and has to have the (barely) English speaking other one shout the approximately correct replies in the background over the open mic. Where headsets appear to be a luxury and the use of hand mics results in feedback that Jimmy Hendrix would have been proud of. Captain, PLEASE put both hands back on the steering wheel as it frightens me to think how little control you already have over the aircraft! Where there is often a strange background roar on the r/t which I am convinced is because they have the window open! Where the undercarriage is lowered at about half a mile from touchdown, if at all. Where many of the aircraft are at least twice as old as their crews. Where callsigns are an optional extra in any r/t transmission. Where it seems most airline's operations depts have a prize for the highest number of almost identical trip numbers they can schedule (No, I take that back, schedules imply planning) accidentally get airborne one after the other to confuse the poor ATCOs and pilots. We recently had 5 or 6 go off on the same route, one behind the other to destinations in Europe with 2 and 3 number callsigns all ending in the number 1. That means the crews will be taking each others calls in close to 20 FIRs for the duration of their flights. And that is a common occurence.
Don't get me wrong, I absolutely love working here - it's an experience you can't get in Europe that's for sure. And for the other thread, no, I have no intentions of returning home yet.