During my last six days at work I have been cleared to land on the wrong (i.e. downwind) runway three times, (twice after explaining that we, and another aircraft had previously been cleared for the VOR approach to another runway); vectored through the LLZ at a 90deg intercept once; given such shambolic taxi instructions (with a ringing phone and shouting in the background) that they were unusable, and had to come off 121.5 as a local eeejit was using it to blow raspberries and crack jokes with a friend.
It's not all bad, but am I becoming increasingly intolerant, or is it getting worse down there ?
Appreciate your thoughts.
Last edited by miles offtarget; 14th Nov 2007 at 14:23.
Just the usual rubbish you expect from Spanish ATC....
I watched and listened to a spanish classic from the front office, whilst comfortably seated on the ground. No1 was cleared to intercept and approach.....
No2 was cleared to intercept and approach.......about 2 miles behind the first (and we could see this out the DV window for gawds sake) predictably..No2 told to reduce to minimum clean (a heavy weight A330) behind the No1 (a light weight 757)...needless to say the go around was inevitable, as was the ensuing departure delay chaos...
Around madrid we were cleared told to climb to a flight level and given a heading that set us up for a near miss ( head on ) with a heavy jet , we could see the Iberia pilot wipe the sweat of his brow as we took evasive action. This is the second time i personally have experienced this once we were VFR but the last IFR.
Thirtysomething's post reminded me, did anyone hear the German (possibly Air Berlin, but apologies if not) pilot arguing with Bordeaux on Thursday evening about reducing to min MN in the cruise.
'...but why, ...I have never been asked to do this before, explain to me why you need me to do this...it is because of the trafic in my 11 o/c, he is not going to be a factor...can you tell Brussels etc..'
Why do they let you level off at an intermediate level before giving you the frequency change you need for higher? You end up saying 'approaching FL... 'etc.. to try and prompt them and looking like an ass.
I had 3 reportable incidents in one trip, including being vectored off a SID into direct conflict with a departing Airbus on a different SID, co-alt, in my 10 o'clock at less than half a mile....when i spoke to the "supervisor" about it later, i was told the controller invlolved was "sorry, and has gone home now." Great.
It really does give you a much greater appreciation of the high standards of ATC in the UK.
Well .. whilst I hate the routine jingoistic 'bashing' of foreign ATC, which assumes an odious air of natural superiority from us in Northern Europe, I do have repetitive experiences breathtakingly bizarre controlling at one major Iberian airport.
The latest one was when we were told to reduce speed to 190kts. We told them on base leg we would need to reduce further. Plate says 160 to 4 on final, and we were in a heavy 757 with a tailwind on the approach (at this airport they never seem to take the wind aloft into account) calm on the RW. A cheerful "Roger" was the reply. Started to reduce to 160 to meet their own published speed control and at 6 miles we were told to increase speed to 190 again!
Huh??? ... beg pardon?? Anyone heard of stabilisation criteria? I mean, when they ask you to maintain 190 downwind, do they seriously expect us maintain that speed to touch down ????!!!!
ATC Watcher says "Give us locations and more details to anwer." No offence, but I really did laugh at that comment. Thats like something a powerful proactive senior airline manager would say before he "kicks ass". I have never whined about ATC on PPRuNe before but I have: 1. Filled out 4 SAIR's in the last 12 months detailing some SERIOUS safety issues and incidents 2. Filled out a non flight specific report to our management about the general state of ATC in the area and its non compatibilty with standard procedures and best practices. 3. Made "acquaintences" with an ATCO in spain, flew down on my day off, went to dinner with him him and we swapped info about problems (two proffessionals going behind backs of management to fix things from bottom up, which is i guess not very proffesional ) and then made recommendations to our chief pilot based on my new knowledge, some of which is now in force. Overall it is still a shambles there. I NOW FEEL I HAVE THE RIGHT TO WHINE ON AN INTERNET FORUM SO DONT PICK ON ME!!! Genuinly nothing personal ATC watcher, but you did make your comment sound like that reporting the problem over PPRuNe to you will have more of an affect to change things, rather than my previous course of action. I know you most likely didn't mean it that way....it's just my cynical mind
I work for a LoCo 737 brigade, and fly to all the usual suspects about 4 times week. Spanish ATC is without question the worst in Europe.
Without TCAS, moving map displays and terrain overlays, I would have serious concerns about operating in Spain at all. We are regularly given descent clearance below MSA in IMC.
I only started operating in Spain about 3 years ago (having spent several years flying just abouy everywhere else in Europe), so the contrast was all the more shocking. One of the things I noticed immediately, was that UK pilots seemed to talk a lot (on frequency) about their positions and speeds. It became apparent rather quickly, that this was to keep other traffic informed when things get bad with ATC (which is very common).
I reckon you could file a couple of ASRs on just about every sector which involves departure or arrival at a Spanish airport (especially in the south).
Spanish pilots are concerned about it as well ... I seem to remember some call to action amongst Spanish pilots about 18 months on this very forum.
I appreciate the reasons are complex - but I hope they sort it out before it ends in tears AGAIN
I have had some interesting situations in Spanish airspace. However, I fly in Spain everyday in the Seville/Madrid area and the controllers here do an awesome job - even when swamped with hundreds of training VFR flights. I don't doubt that they could do things better, but in this region they do a good job.
Great suggestion ... I have filed dozens of MORs over the years, AND NOTHING EVER HAPPENS !!!
If I filed an MOR everytime something happened (by which I mean anything reportable under CAP382 The Mandatory Occurance Reporting Scheme), then I would be spending a significant amount of time after EVERY Spanish trip filing paperwork.
We all know that Spanish ATC is a big issue. The UK CAA knows that Spanish ATC is a big issue. JAR, EASA and ICAO all know that Spanish ATC is a big problem .... BUT NOBODY IS DOING ANYTHING ABOUT IT !!!!!!!!
What about the French,as soon as you check in "turn right 20 degrees" for no apparent reason or turn to a waypoint the other side of France due military activity on a Sunday afternoon - they must have the best trained airforce in the world!!!, and god help you if there is an Air France in the same sector
Location: Huh huh huh ... what was the question again?
Encountered a VOR failure at one of the above listed Spanish airports. Controller just kept clearing us for the VOR approach as he didn't understand us telling him the VOR was u/s. Eventually he seemed to grasp the idea and cleared us for the VOR procedure on the reciprocal runway ...... which uses the same VOR
To balance the issue a bit though, some of the airports in Spain seem ok to me. I've always found Malaga to be reasonable.