View Full Version : The Arrogance Of Britannia 034A

one four sick
6th Jun 2004, 08:42
Last night into ALC there was a Britannia 034A flight in the sequence to land.
We were ahead on an 18 miles final, an Iberia behind us and then the Britannia. When the controller asked him to slow down, his reaction was utter contempt and included a phrase such as "...if the Iberia could pedal faster" in a most unbelievably pompous manner. After this all his transmissions were accompanied by the most arrogant huff and heavy breathing of disapproval.
It was evident that he thought he should be able to make do without being controlled as he was incredibly morose and condescending.
The Iberia, like us was doing the published speeds on the approach plate, with inputs from the controller, this of course was most "inconvenient" to our friend as even when he got his landing clearance he sounded aloof and arrogant as he acknowledged it.
What a great shame he brought on other british operators, even on us LOCOs, we felt.
As it happens, luckily the controller didn't seem to have picked up on it, due to language limitations I guess. This however didn't stop US from feeling embarassed.
God only knows how his colleauge must have felt all day, having had to endure sitting next to this impossibly opinionated and immature, yet pompous hooray henry.

6th Jun 2004, 09:24
Yep, heard a similar one the other day in Tokyo's airspace. A Cathay whale was impatient to climb but was blocked and he got snippy about a Northwest plane (perhaps a 757) that was cruising Mach .78 in front of him. It was pretty choppy around Fuji headed southbound so maybe it was for turbulence. Or maybe it's just contract time again. Anyway, instead of asking directly, the Cathay pilot in a haughty imperial voice kept prodding the controller to find out why NW was cruising .78.

Northwest finally had enough and announced "listen buddy, if we want to cruise .78, we'll cruise .78". Cathay probably got a nice long view of a slow red tail well past Bulan...

6th Jun 2004, 09:27
Correct me if I'm wrong but to me all Britannia crews sound the same.

Scarlet Pimpernel
6th Jun 2004, 10:02
As at trainer it is quite frustrating to see young trainees harassed by those who think they own the airspace. It seems to be an increasing problem.

We are all trying to do the same job whatever company we work for. Surely we have enough problems generated elsewhere without creating more for ourselves.

The " I've been here a hundred times brigade " need to grow up and show more respect for their fellow aviators.

Formally Known As
6th Jun 2004, 10:13
Who the **** made him king?

Thats typical of the majority of Britannia of course, all up themselves. Common courtesy seems to be thing of the past.

Just because one flys for Britannia doesn't make them special, in my book.

6th Jun 2004, 10:58
Slightly off-topic, but the Cathay/NW incident described above reminds of a story from the early days of the jet age. Apparently, a BOAC Comet IV was cruising at a FL somewhat higher than a (faster) PAA 707.

A rather snooty English voice enquired of the PAA 707: "what are you doing DOWN there?"

Quick as a flash, the American pilot responded "mach 0.83, buddy!"

Util BUS
6th Jun 2004, 11:00
It seems rather unfair to judge a whole airline by one event. I don’t know what the background to the situation is, but it reminds me of another thread about how Iberia and other Spanish aircraft are cutting the que’s at Spanish airports.

For example, how many times have you had to slow down to 220 over Palma while the Binter ATR is given priority into IBZ? Maybe frustration got the better of him.

Formally Known As
6th Jun 2004, 11:21
Harassing controllers in any way, does not enhance safety.

6th Jun 2004, 11:26
Off the east coast of Italy. early 90's, Nigel trying to climb:

"Brindisi, Speedbird bla-de-blah, could you tell us the callsign of the aircraft that is at our cruising level?"

one four sick
6th Jun 2004, 11:53
Util BUS,

No one is "judging" the "entire" airline becaue of one tosser, that would be idiotic however, he was 3rd in the sequence, no one was put in in front and where he was at the time, the speed limit would have been imposed by the approach plate anyway.

The cases you are mentioning are very true indeed, but this one stands out sorely, as someone put it so well:
I prefer the Spanish antics a hundred times over the example this highly disgusting individual.

Yes they all sound similar at BY as someone commented, but that's just the culture or.... the lack of it.

Orion Man
6th Jun 2004, 12:28
Everyone here has undoubtedly been irritated by Spanish ATC whether in mainland Spain or the Canaries. They shamelessly look after their own and think that by conversing in Spanish that UK operators are none the wiser.

That said, the gentleman involved here if true has let our airline down and himself. We're not all like that at Britannia.

6th Jun 2004, 12:57
There is no room whatsoever for rudeness or arrogance in the air.

In the case of the Spanish ATC's relationship with Spanish operators; I find it unprofessional and rude in the extreme to be given an extra 10-15 miles of vectoring to fit in a Binter or Iberia from a higher level in front of us.

Though not an excuse for the ill-considered utterances of my college, I understand the sentiment.

99% of the guys at Britannia are courteous and professional airmen/airwomen 100% of the time.

Flying Scotsman, you are a little miss guided if you think that working for one of the best Airlines in the world involves just "flogging a 767 around Europe"

Thankfully, in my experience, courtesy in the air is still alive and well:ok:

Apologies to those offended the other night by my college.

6th Jun 2004, 12:59

As a Brits pilot, maybe you could call your Ops to call the Capt involved and suggest he might like to look here, or phone you and you can explain. He might have had a good reason, might have been taken out of context, and/or might like the right to reply.

After all, even if he is the complete t*sser made out here, it is all rather wasted if he is not made aware of the thread.


one four sick
6th Jun 2004, 13:20
Nigel OD,

Spot on, as this was the desired goal of my posting in the first place.

one four sick

6th Jun 2004, 13:44
one four sick,

ZZzzzzzzzzzzz, Put it in writing to: Chief Pilot Britannia Airways, Luton LU2 9ND

Nigel OD, which RE RASH's did you come down in?

Would a Captain in B.A get a call about this kind of issue? I guess not, he/she certainly would not in Britannia.

6th Jun 2004, 13:56
As a former controller of UK TC airspace I can only add my agreement to this topic.

Britannia Airways (Otherwise known as "Can we Airways" because of their incessant requests for direct/higher/lower etc etc) were the airline I disliked most while controlling.

There seemed to be a continual attitude that they were the only plane in the sky and we as ATC were a mere irritant to their progress through the clear blue skies.

I recall on one occasion I was working a heavy rush inbound at about 7:30 one morning, we had in excess of 20 minute delays at LHR, we were stack switching and my R/T frequency was saturated. All crews were demonstrating a high standard of R/T discipline and keeping readbacks to the minimum and we were just about winning. Until a Britannia outbound came along and after giving initial climb, he had to level off, at which point he began whinging for higher. After three calls from him I eventually and for the only time had to deliver a verbal tongue lashing because it was obvious the guy didn't have a clue about the situation going on around him. Not to mention his constant stepping on of other higher priority transmissions with "level at FLxxx, request higher".

It's not great to generalise in such a way but this was fairly typical of BY crews (not normally as bad as this), and I can tell you it does not endear yourselves to the coal face controllers who are actually there to keep you alive and try to help when possible, not to restrict climb/descent nor to deny direct to the centrefix for no good reason. Other airlines seem to play the game, BY at times not.
Again, let me be clear that I'm not tarnishing the whole airline, I have dealt with some fine BY crews, but instances of controller "harassment" do the rounds fairly quickly in the rest room and on the floor and anecdotal evidence and my experience is that BY is the worst offender by far.

Anyway having said this let me conclude by giving an example of the most unprofessional R/T transmission I ever heard............from an Airtours (At the time) crew.
I was listening in as a trainee and this AIH inbound had been bleating for descent all the way down looking for a straight in. The controller eventually had to level him at FL100 against outbound traffic at FL90. The pilot was whining and moaning and requesting lower at least three additional times, and when he was finally given descent his response was
"Well that's really useful now isn't it"

I nearly fell off my chair, unbelievable !

6th Jun 2004, 14:11
What a great shame he brought on other british operators, even on us LOCOs...........

...........even on us LOCOs.................huh????

6th Jun 2004, 14:21
I always find it hilarious when i hear some prat at BA making radios calls as "THE SpeedBird XXX"

Its amazing how much of a ****** with a carrot up his bum (never heard a her say it yet) they sound like, and its even funnier when all the other airlines in the vicinity all suddenly become THE so & so. It's quite amazing how quickly "The Speedbird XXX" suddenly returns to just plain old "Speedbird XXX".

METO power
6th Jun 2004, 14:41
I always ask myself what’s the „speed“ for when I hear the call sign “speedbird”. ;)

6th Jun 2004, 14:49
Nigel OD, which RE RASH's did you come down in? Haven't a clue what you're on about...

Would a Captain in B.A get a call about this kind of issue? I guess not, he/she certainly would not in Britannia If a specific BA Flt was getting the slagging off here the BY Capt is, I would likely attempt to contact, or get a message to him. It might let him defend himself, and/or let them know he was dragging the crews' reputation through the mud (justified or not).

However, since a specific comment about a BY crew has been turned into the usual BA slagging off match, I'll bow out...


Airbus Girl
6th Jun 2004, 15:09
Its much better if you are nice. Coming into a certain London airport one night and there were only 2 aircraft around - us and an unknown, ahead of us. We were slowed day way early, and just accepted what ATC were saying. Out of interest, we asked what the type was that was ahead (we were in a jet). ATC then told us it was a Shorts and explained that he didn't have enough room to get us in ahead, even though he knew we were the faster aircraft. I said this was no problem, and the Shorts guy then joined in the banter too, apologising and saying that they would pedal as fast as they could! No one got annoyed or stressed and we only landed a couple of minutes later than we would have done anyway.
You hear people hassling ATC alot on the radio, and you just hope that ATC don't help them when they are just being plain rude.

6th Jun 2004, 15:18

I agree, slagging match, darned awful thing envy.

RE RASH- Recent rain shower

Expeditedescent, London controllers or "Non standard R.T'ers" as we like to call them.

This is a generalization, not fair and not accurate, but occurs day in day out.

Please don't generalise, London ATCO's in the main are the best, inturn so are Britannia Pilots.

6th Jun 2004, 16:43
Whilst I agree with the sentiment of what you say, don't you think it's a bit mean to identify this guy so specifically, whilst remaining anonymous yourself ? Management read this and they’ll know exactly who he is. Also, you don’t know what other stress he has in his life. Yes I know we shouldn’t bring it to work, but it happens. Personally, I find this kind of stuff fun to listen to!

6th Jun 2004, 16:48
Have to agree with blueloo on the matter of the dreaded ‘thuh’.

The (not just Speedbird) ‘thuh’ grates with me too. If they could hear what utter tossers they sound to the rest of ‘mere us’, I’m sure they’d drop it poste haste.

Hate to say it on this hallowed day when we’re all thanking the Poms for saving democracy etc, (and I do, quite sincerely), but the offenders seem almost always to be a ‘certain type of Englishman’ who’d probably consider themselves of the errrr… ‘officer class’ – to judge by ‘thuh’ accents at least.

When I head someone saying it, I find myself saying “‘Thuh’ London, this is…”

Empty Cruise
6th Jun 2004, 17:06
Had similar experience at a certain Scandi airport. There was a consistent favoring of a national lo-co carrier, which didn't really bother us all that much - delays were kept reasonably in check.

However, one morning, we were coming in from the north (landing from south to north). 20 NM N of said aerodrome, we were asked to reduce to 180 KIAS (ATR - but still...). Not a single other aircraft on the freq., neither on TCAS. When we passed 16 NM south of the airport, we finally got our bogie on TCAS - sure enough, the local lo-co coming from the south in a 737. We were subsequently turned onto a 20 NM final and asked to reduce further to 160 KIAS. :mad: :mad: :mad:

Now, instead of lashing out at the controller in question, we had a talk with our fleet mgr, and ended up having a civilised chat to APCH at the aerodrome in question. We took the opportunity to explain them something about the deceleration / tailwind potential of our aircraft and expressed our desire to play ball (i.s.o. being no. 4 after 3 helicopters and having a 25 NM final (has happened :yuk: )). After that - problems almost disappeared. Now they are happy to supply ammended missed approach instructions and turn us onto 7 NM final at 240 KIAS winds permitting. A lot more easy for us - we simply say what kind of final we are looking for when checking in, and they try to use our t/p flexibility as the "wild card". Sometimes it works out, other times it doesn't.

But they are trying - and that goes a long way! So talking calmly and in a respectful voice to the people you are dealing with does help. :ok: Being a major p*in in the a:mad:e will only serve to demonstrate your own lack of leadership & situational awareness.

Lets stay polite out there, eh?


Whipping Boy's SATCO
6th Jun 2004, 17:51
AG, your story reminds me of a similar night-time scenario. I was apologising to an RAF VC10 (Aaaaaascot Blah) because I had to delay him behind a "Shed". Quick as a flash, the "Shed" came back with:

"I'm a TURBO Shed and I'm carrying your newspapers. Confirm reduce speed to 120?"

6th Jun 2004, 18:25

Good point!

Fear ye not, no one gives a damn.

My final words on the subject are: Baah humbug you Spanish ATC:*

6th Jun 2004, 18:33
I have been trying to thrash the "London it's THE WunderJet 123" out of my colleagues a thousand times without much success so perhaps if I show them this thread I may at last have some clout!

While we're on the subject of tw*ts how many of you Scottish controllers can be ars*d with Glasgow outbounds PERSISTENTLY, like a CONVEYER BELT asking ".......'morning, any chance of an early right turn?" (in crawling voice). It drives me up the wall just listening in especially when it is blatantly obvious the controller is saturated with calls and needs the SIDs to keep his picture together. Controllers: you can eradicate this menace by being a bit more abrupt with your answer !!!!

How popular a thread do you think we'd have entitled "The irritating things we hear on the wireless"?!

6th Jun 2004, 21:41
But it is the Speedbird 123 which is calling, just as it could also be Delta's 456, as favoured by the Americans. I really do not undertstand what you are all fussing about. I have no problem with either.

le loup garou
6th Jun 2004, 22:26
I feel that some people have misinterprated one four sick's original post.

The Brit A/C was not being asked to slow because of the Iberia ( and preferances for same nationality carriers, although I'm not saying that doesn't happen) but because of the backlog of aircaft caused by the published approach speeds.

This seems to me, a rather strange thing to get frustrated by. Surely airmanship and situational awareness would have made him understand why the preceding two aircraft were slowing. :confused:

Unfortunately it does open the door for generalisation but I don't believe this indicative of Brit pilots, the ones I know at least. Who are all very professional, courteous people, who aren't quite as impatient as their colleague.


le loup garou

6th Jun 2004, 23:03

Not wishing to rain on your parade, at busy times it actually helps Glasgow out when we're on 05 if the jets can go right due to the amount of slower traffic we have outbound to the highlands and islands.

The only time traffic will not get a right turn is because of a large amount of edinburghj outbounds which conflict with anything turning right at or befoore the GLG and departing into TMA airspace.

As a Glasgow Controller, I will try and get you the most expeditious route, especially when it means I can get that ATP or Saab out to the west 2 minutes behind you on a direct route.

I remember a particular incident a few weeks ago when a BAW shuttle asked for a right turn off 05 from the GLG, I co=ordinated with Scottish and got him GLG right turn direct MCT and then he changed his mind and said he needed to fly the SID due to being early???

I apprecitae that timings are paramount but why the hell ask for the early turn to save miles, increase my workload to get it for you and then change your mind????

6th Jun 2004, 23:17
Expeditedecent says Britannia Airways (Otherwise known as "Can we Airways" because of their incessant requests for direct/higher/lower etc etc) were the airline I disliked most while controlling.
I am not sure what experience you have in flying through Foreign controlled airspaces but what I have notice as an ex regularly French airspace user is as follow.... Ask for a direct and in 80%of the cases they will give it to you. Don't ask and in 100% of the cases and you won't get it. Today, I fly for Britannia and I still use it. Sometimes It works, sometimes it doesn't but I never thought it as a rude request. As a matter of fact I have asked my partner (Maastricht Area Controller) and she doesn't seem to think it is a problem as long as it is requested in a nice manner and available.

As for those who believe that Britannia is a pompous airline all I can say is join them, meet the guy/gals and make your mind up. 2 seconds RT seem very short to make up a fair idea of anyone's personality. Plus, I would like to add that as a non British born pilot I have always felt comfortable and happy flying with this now long time serving Britannia "Nigels". As much as I would like to have their command of the English language, I doubt I would be able to raise the challenge... Which perhaps will suit those who are complaining about an apparent sounding arrogance request. Of course I doubt it will statisfy the ones who feel threatened by foreigners. Ho well, you can't win!

Back to Expeditedecent's comment.... you say, you remember once a Britannia blah blah.... Big deal! Surely with your vast experience you must also remember at least in one occasion when a BA,AF,LF,SR,AA,..... was rude to you. Why don't you tell us about it so we can too get a "fair" idea of what these guys are like.

T*ssers everywhere, that s for sure and Britannia is no the only factory making unit.

7th Jun 2004, 06:57
For many years BY has, sadly, had a reputation for assuming that they were so much better than any other charter carrier, in all departments. As far as flight crew are concerned, I wonder if the arrogance that they constantly demonstrate is tied up with the fact that most of them are ex-RAF pilots and they feel that they are a cut above us lowly commercial trained guys. They may be right...after all, they brought 20 years experience of flying Chipmunks into the industry!!!

7th Jun 2004, 08:19
Ah - but ex-mil aren't always the same!

Having flown a '10 from somewhere in US/Canada to Turnhouse, dropped off the pax and freight, we were all set to push tits and head back to Brize except that we couldn't get a GAT ATC slot until after CDT would have expired. Get on GSM phone to military radar to arrange OAT "We're busy with an exercise and can't take you...." Told him that yes, he darn well would take us as a scheduled task takes priority over playing little war games. Still refused, so got airborne VFR thanks to the flexible and friendly folk at Turnhouse and set off south under a FIS. Came up on Jock Mil's UHF initial contact frequency and requested RIS, climb etc. Huffy controller eventually agreed. Shame that it wasn't quite good enough to have come all the way back VFR, otherwise I'd have flown us back underneath the airways enjoying the view....

Probably not something which "Thuh" birdseed or other people-tube operators would have been able to get away with for obvious reasons.

Being rude to ATC doesn't help. In my view, civil ATC are notably more 'civil' than some of the abrupt and aggressive military ATCOs - with whom it is often necessary to stand one's ground. The UK has a Gold Standard of ATC; it was always a delight to work them after coming back from certain directions to dear old Blighty!

one four sick
7th Jun 2004, 08:58

You have to try to UNDERSTAND what the topic is ABOUT.


Agree, touché.


Fair enough, but he may not do it again! What are you gonna gain by knowing who I am anyway? Who are you?

le loup garou

Spot on answer.


Damn, so it wasn't a BY this time.


Just joining Britannia means a 13 page application form with questions like: What DRIVING OFFENCES have you had in the last 7 years, please give details.
Sorry, but that just about does it for me.


Possibly quite correct.

7th Jun 2004, 09:07
One four sick,

"UNDERSTAND the topic" What's to understand, you obviously have not read all my posts.

What is clear is your dislike of Britannia and BA.

As I said earlier, Chief Pilot, Britannia Airways Luton LU2 9ND


The number of ex-RAF pilots in Britannia is small. In the sixty’s and seventies perhaps, but today it's only about 10- 15% in total.

As for being the best, well! I would not say we are only a cut above charter, we are a cut above the lot:E

one four sick
7th Jun 2004, 09:15

You are running a big risk of misunderstanding what people say.
I am NOT anti BY and have never even mentioned BA.
I have loads of friends in both, but the arrogance of this guy had to be heard on the RT.
You weren't there, so just relax and bear with us.
There is communication now behind the scenes about this, you don't need to give me the address, anyway, I don't do snailmail anymore!

one four sick

two speed prop 3
7th Jun 2004, 09:26
One Four Sick:

"just joining Britannia means a 13 page application form with questions like......"

Ah, The real reason for your bitterness shows its ugly face. Never mind, give it 6 months and try again. Until then start practicing your arrogant Britannia RT voice.:p :p :p

7th Jun 2004, 09:30
"Communication behind the scenes"

Don't delude yourself! Unless you make a specific complaint in writing, snail mail or e-mail, I guarantee you absolutely nothing will come of this.

Though it does not excuse rudeness on the wireless, the blatant Spanish prioritising of their carriers make me want to be very rude. My comments would be far harsher than "peddle faster":}

7th Jun 2004, 10:06

I am afraid your post sums it up.

Even if they had a 50 page application form they would still get a load of t*****s. Probably more.

openfly and beagle

Agree with your views. Military agression and arrogance has no place in civilian avaition

7th Jun 2004, 10:37

I quite agree!

Even some of us old MFC boys have got into Britannia.

P.S. Have you ever flown into a Spanish airport?

one four sick
7th Jun 2004, 11:10
two speed prop 3

So you think that just because I know about the BY application procedure, I have tried, failed and now am bitter as a result.
Are you as good as this when it comes to choosing the lottery numbers???
Are you really THAT simple?
Arrogance is intolerable, particulary the way it sounded, so get with it please.


QUOTE: "Don't delude yourself! Unless you make a specific complaint in writing, snail mail or e-mail, I guarantee you absolutely nothing will come of this."

This thread has "come of this". Good enough for starters.

"Even some of us old MFC boys have got into Britannia"

I would have never guessed you're BY.


Good post there.

Bird On

Or... OFF????
I bet you would have been horrified to hear the Hooray Henry as I did, just use a bit of imagination.

All you guys that have either missed the point, or just didn't like it, the fact is it happened, and it shouldn't have.
The fact that it has brought out a load of comments is why PPRUNE works for me.
I think I have said enough, now I'll leave you to debate the rest.

one four sick

Max Angle
7th Jun 2004, 11:15
As for being the best, well! I would not say we are only a cut above charter, we are a cut above the lot Very amusing to find that there are still people in Brits, who like some BA folks actually do believe that they are better than everyone else. No doubt BY have some very good guys but then so do most operators, to go round thinking the pilots in your own company are better then everyone elses is pure self-delusion. Even operators who consider themselves a "cut above the lot" come to grief sometimes as your company found out not that many years ago.

7th Jun 2004, 11:38
Max Angle,

That was really below the belt:ugh:

I am just proud of Britannia and her heritage, it's a great airline.

co pilot
7th Jun 2004, 11:46
Dogma -

What are you on about??? What's this utter tosh? There is a real problem here with BY and I for one am beginning to think it may have been YOU this discussion is all about!
Where is your Carma man???

7th Jun 2004, 11:55
Co pilot,

Good one, your incoherent post is amusing! Though I was flying on Saturday night, it was not to AGP. I know who was and they are sound aviators.

Max Angle:(

7th Jun 2004, 12:10

The "insulting RT" was on approach to LEAL, ALC!
So indeed, you might not have been to LEMG, but did you go to Alicante???


Now seriously folks, In my opinion, things are seriously being blown out of proportions here, not worthy of our profession.
It is evident that all of us must communicate with ATC in a most "gentlemanly "fashion, but we ALL know that we are sometimes less so on the frequency. I am sure that everyone here with some experience has been in that alley before, and although not professional nor polite, it is only human.
This incident might not have been good airmanship, and indeed even bad CRM, which should include ATC in my opinion, but 3 pages about a stressed BY skipper??!
Knowing LEAL's ATC people, they would for sure give that BY flight some small "inconveniences" if they were really pissed off by this.
By the way, my experience tells me that it are the Swiss guys who are quite prone to being "snotty" and "cocky".
Maybe it's culture related...

Stu Bigzorst
7th Jun 2004, 12:13
In my experience ex mil officers treat ATC as a service doled out by juniors for your benefit. "Don't let them boss you around" I was told once. "Tell them what you want, they are there to serve you".

Civilian pilots seem to treat ATC as your partner in the job of getting from A to B.

Suggest BY R/T may have been from the former school of thought, especially since they were only Spaniards.


7th Jun 2004, 12:18

Oop's. Blown my cover!

Good points though, currently a bit bored so dragging this thread out:)

co pilot
7th Jun 2004, 12:31
Dogma -

Why not just go out a bit then??

Hotel Tango
7th Jun 2004, 12:58
For what it's worth, my experience has been that of course the great majority of crews are OK. But, if I'm going to have pushy types they will more generally be Brits, Dutch or Belgian (both sched and charter). I have also found that a larger number of new generation ATC colleagues show a lack of knowledge and as a consequence a good deal less tollerance to pilots and their operational constraints/pressures/workload. We live in a "ME ME ME and SCREW YOU" world now.

7th Jun 2004, 13:44
Unfortunately Hotel Tango, you are all too correct.
The ME, ME, ME attitude with regard to ATC communications results in sub-par safety margins, in my opinion.
Wonder just why it is so hard for a few 'superior' pilots to just let the controller do the job for what he is paid for...rocket science it ain't.:hmm:

7th Jun 2004, 14:02
Co pilot,

Just been out, nice day, hot. Might go out with the dog.

Must stop being so derogatory about my wife.

Shaka Zulu
7th Jun 2004, 14:18
HT might be correct about our changing society but don't make a comment that the pushy types are mainly British/Belgium and Dutch.
You see them all over the f***** world from every nation and or culture.
Pilots Judgement is the only comment I want to make, if it's not too busy then ask in all fairness for a shortcut, I'd like to get home and want to experience the hot day Dogma is talking about :)) grinz

Cheers, going out

co pilot
7th Jun 2004, 14:19
Dogma -


Ranger One
7th Jun 2004, 14:21

After three calls from him I eventually and for the only time had to deliver a verbal tongue lashing...

I humbly suggest that instead of using the frequency to administer said lashing, a simple '<callsign> descend and maintain...' would have conveyed the message, traffic permitting!

(also conveying an unspoken 'and shut up about it or I'll give you ten minutes of 'amusing' vectors as well...')



7th Jun 2004, 15:36
Sheesh, I'm surprised that posting my own experiences has drawn such ire.

Sorry if anyone doesn't like it but it's fact.

R1, had I any levels available I may have used one, however my transmission was brief, direct and achieved said goal.


I don't have a problem with asking for direct at the right time. When the frequency is going balls out it's a bit stupid to ask, if it suits the controllers plan he/she will have already issued it.

Comparing Maastricht UAC and London TC is a bit disingenuous, in London TC if a direct is available it will be given without asking more often then not. The constraints of airspace and procedures make such opportunities very limited however.

The title "Can we Airways" is one not used by me, but has evolved over the years and is used frequently by ATC staff when BY comes up in conversation. Why is that...............Do we all have some kind of vendetta against BY?

The fact is AMEX, in reference to:
"you say, you remember once a Britannia blah blah.... Big deal! Surely with your vast experience you must also remember at least in one occasion when a BA,AF,LF,SR,AA,..... was rude to you. Why don't you tell us about it so we can too get a "fair" idea of what these guys are like."

No other airline has acted in my experience in such a way as that BY crew. So I can't regail you with any other examples, I also guess you did not read the MYT crew exchange I gave at the end of my post.

Yet another example of someone who doesn't like what someone is saying so has to resort to attacking.

That is my experience of dealing with BY, I'm sorry you don't like it or agree with it, but that's how it is.

cat 3a
7th Jun 2004, 16:51

I had the same experience with an ex military trainer years ago
his words " dont say thank you they just doing their job "

That was during my GFT's training years ago in a small airfield (non busy)

I still remember it

About the BY maybe he had a bad day.....we all do
and I am sure you can find good or bad operators with good or bad CRM in all the airlines regardless of country, culture etc

7th Jun 2004, 18:01
One Four Sick,
If you were on an 18 mile final to ALC with an Iberia BEHIND you, you can bet your bottom dollar you were holding them up!

The 10-9 states the speeds for the localiser interception etc, but honestly, who doesn't try and get the speed restriction lifted. So IMHO, if you were no 1, and at the 10-9 speeds you were slow.

I bet you drive a big red car!
Why dont you just go and get your pilots licence, then you could stop having to tell us how big it is.
A "tongue lashing", get a grip man!

one four sick
7th Jun 2004, 18:28

I don't really understand your assumptions, but just don't try to read too much into it.
We were number 1 at some 18 miles from the runway - fact.
We were doing 180 KTS - fact.
We were doing 180KTS to 4 miles as asked by the controller - fact.
There were other airplanes in the sky - fact.
There were other airplanes on the ground - fact.
End of complication, don't try to make up another story, just understand that the arrogant driver was just that - ARROGANT, perhaps for no reason at all.
I have not ever even tried to hint as to WHY he may have been arrogant, as I don't really care.
You should like me, accept that there are different speeds and positions in the sky and we all have to fit into it one way or another, so that arrogance and haughtiness is futile.

one four suck

Sleeve Wing
7th Jun 2004, 18:45
Come on, guys. What a mountain out of a mole-hill !

You all know that, when we're working a foreign ATC unit and we're fairly close behind someone, just slow down and make some room.

Its not really worth the ulcers, is it?

Rgds, Sleeve. ;) ;)

7th Jun 2004, 19:35
Goes to show that when we talk on RT we are acting as ambassadors for our operating company. The only RT that gets noticed is that which is "non-standard" or what we might define as "unreasonable".

I think we can all have an "off" day but requests for directs when ATC are working flat out show a lack of situational awareness!

I have always found that it pays to be standard and "courteous" when on the RT and that there is little mileage in getting peoples backs up by constantly badgering for directs etc. or trying to "fly" other pilots a/c by innuendo!

Bally Heck
7th Jun 2004, 20:02
Oh Dear.

I was there that night (or rather early the following morning) in a Brit aeroplane. Not I hasten to add in the offending aircraft. Probably a couple of hours later.

It does perhaps go some way to explaining ATC's considerable lack of co-operation when we were late on departure. Every obstacle put in hour way causing us an extra ten minutes delay. We did however remain polite composed and very much the crew on form.

What comes around goes around.

Please rest assured that there is not a Company wide ethos of arrogance and "me me me" any more than in any other Company. We all have our share of ill mannered cads.:{

ATC Watcher
7th Jun 2004, 20:26
One bad remark by one crew does not have to reflect on the whole airline. I find BY to be quite OK , and this is based on quite a number of years (unfortunately) of listening / talking to them .

We do stressful jobs and sometimes it shows on the R/T.
No big deal.
Ignore the guy is the most appropriate response, because, in any case as a controller you will always win..;)

AMEX : who is she ???? at least PM me her initials ! Merde , je suis curieux !

7th Jun 2004, 22:38
Bravo ATC Watcher!

If anybody gets above their station they get ignored for a few calls.

You get tossers in every airline, but there is usually more than one way of subtley making them look like idiots - usually by letting them continue with their inane spouting until they realise that no one gives a toss.

Pub User
7th Jun 2004, 23:20
one four sick

Sorry but I don't know how to do those very clever quotation liney format thingies, but:


We were number 1 at some 18 miles from the runway - fact.
We were doing 180 KTS - fact.
We were doing 180KTS to 4 miles as asked by the controller - fact.

You were doing 180 kts for 14 miles, and baulking a Spaniard? My greatest respect goes out to you. You can't really knock the BY driver for joining in the fun and having a verbal dig at the Iberia in front of him can you? It is, after all, an opportunity not to be missed.

By the way, congratulations on one of the fastest-growing threads I've seen for a while.

8th Jun 2004, 00:09
By the way, congratulations on one of the fastest-growing threads I've seen for a while. Unlike Britannia's business....
See, arrogant yes but with a sense of humour;)

Now how about I call myself The Britannia 123A next time? Would it perfect the whole picture of being the charters Nigels? :D :D :D

As far as military making the most of the Britannia pilots workforce, like someone else mentioned, it is far from the truth. Those who have indeed a military background are mostly nice guys with a wealth of experience in both military and civilian ops and a pleasure to fly or having a beer with. Britannia has a reputation but there is a gap between facts and fiction. Best way to verify this is from the inside... Do it, I doubt you will be disappointed.

8th Jun 2004, 01:05
Slightly off topic but main jist is the same.......

"I have always found that it pays to be standard and "courteous" when on the RT"

This also applies when you are calling in company too. We don't just sit around on our @$$es drinking tea (well not always :E ), we are doing our best for you. Do yo think that we like you to sit out on the taxiway for 40mins while a stand clears ???.

LHR isn't exaclty the best place to operate from at the mo, and if you arrive off schedule then sometimes there isn't much choice other than to sit and wait.

Also don't forget that most smaller airlines/handling agents share frequencies, so they can all hear you making an :mad: of yourself when barking at the chap/chapess on the other end.


8th Jun 2004, 01:23

"Big deal! Surely with your vast experience you must also remember at least in one occasion when a BA,AF,LF,SR,AA,..... was rude to you"


"I bet you drive a big red car!
Why dont you just go and get your pilots licence, then you could stop having to tell us how big it is.
A "tongue lashing", get a grip man!"

To think you people are in charge of people's lives is frightening.
I wish I could be as grown up as you pilots and be able to dish out insults like you. I guess being a lowly controller with nothing better to do than stop you doing what you want all day long, I'll just have to hope I can be as wonderful as you both think you are one day.(See sarcasm, controllers can do it too)
The sarky, arrogant tone is exactly the kind of attitude I'm talking about at BY.........thank you for demonstrating my point perfectly.

Yes I did give that knob a quick blast because he was stepping on high priority calls (as previously stated), which was affecting the safe, orderly and expeditious flow of traffic through the sector. You would obviously prefer to have an airprox then with another aircraft in order to allow your collegue to tell me he was level for the fourth time and wanted higher?

I'm just grateful that 99% of the aircrews who regularly trawl the skies over Blighty are extremely courteous and on the ball and were a pleasure to work with. And yes that did include BY crews as well before any more of you jump on me for sharing my experience..........obviously it doesn't count as I don't have a pilots license.

To conclude with a quote:
"T*ssers everywhere, that s for sure........"

Agree with that, there's a couple here.

8th Jun 2004, 07:33
Stu Bigzorst...
especially since they were only Spaniards.

I sincerely hope I've got the worng end of the stick, but what exactly do you mean by "only Spaniards" ???

Stu Bigzorst
8th Jun 2004, 08:24

This is sarcasm! The point being that the fool in question might be an even bigger fool because he is dealing with people that HE considers to be inferior to HIM.

No actual insult in there, apart from to the original offender.

Orion Man
8th Jun 2004, 11:17

Don't get rattled by a couple of provacateurs on here. There will always be a percentage of morons in any business. English ATCOs are the best in the world without doubt and knowing a few of them I know what a stressful job it can be and pilots do not think it is a "lowly job."

There would be uproar if you guys treated the spanish airline operators in the same way as we are often treated in Spain, the Balearics or the Canaries. They look after their own first to the detriment of others. I am not defending the gentleman involved here but he is not here to defend himself. All I can say is that I have raged with anger at Spanish ATC before. At least you can pride yourselves with the proper impartiality you display in this country.

8th Jun 2004, 12:17
Orion Man,

Quite right, however in this case it seems there was no reason for any of that, as the Iberia appears to have been behind the Author's aircraft, not as it were - squeezed in, as they often do. For this reason the BY was out of order, if indeed he sounded as out of order, as alleged.

8th Jun 2004, 22:06
Hotel Tango

The simple answer to your point about lack of flight deck awareness is that controllers are deemed a security risk and fam flights are no longer available. Until this stupid restriction is lifted you can expect to be asked to do things which do not fit in with your operational requirments. Therefore get this ban lifted so that inexperienced atcos can see from the sharp end what you require to operate your aircraft safely .

PPRuNe Radar
8th Jun 2004, 22:20

Not strictly true. UK carriers are permitted to carry ATCOs subject to various conditions being met. Several airlines have agreements with NATS for fam flights, including BA, though there are then other issues which come in to play and probably put people off (such as doing it in your own time and at own expense).

If you work at a NATS unit then there is no reason why your management shouldn't have made you aware of what is on offer.

If you don't, then why not suggest to someone in a position of authority at your unit/organisation that they approach some local operators to see what might be available ??

9th Jun 2004, 07:36
Stu Bigzorst...

As I did say, I hoped I had got the wrong end of the stick, and obviously I did, so my sincerest apologies.

It's just I spent many happy years living and working in Spain, and I'm married to a Spaniard, and I too often hear certain nationalities picking on the Spaniards for being some sort of inferior nationality...


9th Jun 2004, 07:53
You get a lot of pompous English voices on the RT worldwide and also a lot of stupid yanks bleating on about the ninth innings in a Yankees game on the pond.

However as annoying as our American bretheran can be there is nothing worse than athat plummy superior tw*t who thinks he knows it all.

Brittania pilots have long held themselves in very high esteem. They are just soo much better at flying all night to Greece and back.

Don't they employ mostly ex airforce people? Does Lord Flash actually work for them?

I rest my case


The Lord Flash
9th Jun 2004, 09:08
Sorry NN but I work for the same company as you! Toodle Pip.

You and me both know its darn rude to ask for direct to's and bleat on about rounders when we should clearly be talking about that jolly exciting game football and kid ourselves how well England are going to go this year.

Its a jolly good thing Britannia dont employ any of those darn colonials and Johnny foreigners to drag down their RT. Dont you think?

Type faster you lot! :p

Have a good look at this thread and realise how much you guys are kidding yourselves. There are much more serious things to be worried about.

The Lord Flash.

9th Jun 2004, 10:10
English ATCOs are the best in the world without doubt

Darn, I must have missed the World ATC Championships, when were they? :p

9th Jun 2004, 10:35

I was refering to the other Flasheart, he of RAF enhanced seniority fame.


Pub User
9th Jun 2004, 22:56

Surely the real Lord Flash was RFC?

He would never lower himself to work for a charter.

9th Jun 2004, 23:03
Isn't it unbelievable how many replies you get from a non-event like this?:E

Pub User
9th Jun 2004, 23:24
Absolutely astonishing.

By the way Kreuger, when you say 'between Europe and Africa', do you mean geographically, culturally, educationally, ethnically, or metaphorically?

You'll gather, I'm confused. As well as drunk, obviously, at this time of night.

9th Jun 2004, 23:25
Pompous and imperious R/T behavior is, in my view, not limited to certain nationalities

The best one in my memory was a German controller's reply to a recalcitrant Delta 'good ol' boy' in FRA one morning

Having tired of them man's repeated requests for direct / lower - and petulant complaints when his requests were not granted - FRA approach finally got fed up and said

"...Delta xxx, if you cannot do as your are told, you will go to Rudesheim and hold until you can..."

Needless to say, nothig further was heard from the DAL skipper that morning.

dallas dude
10th Jun 2004, 03:57
Quote... " English ATCOs are the best in the world without doubt and knowing a few of them I know what a stressful job it can be and pilots do not think it is a 'lowly job'."

Let's hope ORD's finest don't read pprune!

(tongue in cheek, for those with the humor gene in stasis)

10th Jun 2004, 11:13
From Pub UserBy the way Kreuger, when you say 'between Europe and Africa', do you mean geographically, culturally, educationally, ethnically, or metaphorically?
As you said before you must be drunk, maybe because of your alias, go figure...
And yes, I mean geographically, culturally, educationally, ethnically and no, not metaphorically.
What astonishes me is that it sounds to me that you find it somewhat diminishing in a person!
And by the way, if you were trying to make a point on this thread, what was it?
Mine, as stated before, was that some crew made a arse of themself and from my point of view that should be stated and that is it. A big non-event...
:yuk: :yuk:

10th Jun 2004, 20:13
I remember one evening recovery in one of Aunt Betty's finest, having to charge through the London TCA at all the wrong time - rush hour. The London controller was doing a magnificent job, very slick at moving people the way they wanted to go - including us, cutting right across the flow.

Until a UK charter pratt tried to force his way through the carefully orchestrated scenario. After suffering the pillock for about half a dozen sarcastic calls, she very quietly reminded the captain that all transmissions were recorded, that this particular tape would be pulled for investigation because clearly she was doing an unsatisfactory job and that should the investigation find that she was following the correct procedures, he would be the subject of a violation report.

Every transmission [including my own] signed off with words to the effect that she had done a first rate job and we would be willing to be witnesses at the investigation.

Pratt said virtually nothing for the rest of his transit...

10th Jun 2004, 20:49
I find myself preceeding my callsign with "The" and I have no idea why. Folks, I don't think there is anything sinister about the use of the definite article.

10th Jun 2004, 21:14
I'd like to make a small observation. I seem to recall a thread recently on whether this website should be confined to professional pilots only.

Judging by some of the contributions to this thread, it would seem that there are plenty of professionals out there who deem it necessary to bring post-flight bar talk to the forum.

IMHO there's not much professional about that.
If you feel it necessary to contribute such trivia, then let's not be protesting about others who, although not involved in the profession, feel the need to have their say.

10th Jun 2004, 22:15
one four sick I’ve always found it useful to be in possession of all the facts before I let rip with both barrels. (Especially on a public forum)

It is truly wonderful that a Sky god like yourself would be willing to advise a lesser mortal on the error of his ways. I fear that sending a letter to the chief pilot at Britannia Airways would not result in the pompous hooray Henry getting the message. For that you will have to trot on down to the CAA and demand to speak to the CAA pilot who operated that flight. (As they do from time to time) I’m sure that he would be most grateful for your words of wisdom.

I flew with the pilot that was shot gunning that flight today and he said something about them being told that there was no speed control by the previous controller…but not being present I wouldn’t know.

While I’m at it and in your presence great one, may I confess my sins?

Forgive me for I have sinned, I did today enquire of the Spanish controller if there was any speed restriction, he said nay and I wantonly kept the speed up until just before landing when I had to run the flaps and lower the gear. This saved fuel, truly a terrible crime.

Forgive me for I have sinned. Today on departure I requested an early turnout thus reducing the track miles flown in the SID. This saved yet more fuel, truly a terrible crime.

Forgive me for I have sinned. Today I did lead the Spanish, French and English controllers into temptation. I invited them to offer me shortcuts while in the cruise. They surrendered to my siren song. This saved still more fuel, truly a terrible crime.


10th Jun 2004, 23:22
Very amusing Vox old fruit!

Nevermind: ZZZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz! This is the bar:ok:

Frosty Hoar
11th Jun 2004, 03:00
Urm, think Ill start a thread concerning the arrogance of CAA pilots,must be good for a few pages of chit chat :} .....tumbleweed blows past.......

one four sick
11th Jun 2004, 08:08

I am not sure entirely about the thrust of your contribution, but if you think I mentioned anything about shortcuts anywhere in any capacity, you may need to re read the whole damned thread, as I didn't.
As to the fact wheteher there was or wasn't any speed control, is about as interesting as watching clouds form.
So, what are you trying to say?
By the way, it was BY management that wrote to me, not the oher way.

one four suck

11th Jun 2004, 09:36
Oh dear, I’ll try to explain. You have accused a Britannia pilot of being a pompous hooray Henry. You made an assumption, you were wrong. That then started a lot of comments about how BY pilots are always asking for short cuts and if there is any speed control etc. Unfortunately some comments came from ATCO’s. In short your wrong accusation led to a slagging fest against BY pilots in general…all clear so far?

I then pointed out that in fact the CAA employed the pilot. I then used humour as a way of bringing to the more astute readers that as we are commercial pilots, part of our responsibility is to reduce operating costs. That means operating the aircraft in the most economical way possible. That means we do not drag it in, all dirtied up way out at 18 miles if we can avoid it. It also means that when appropriate we will always request any direct routeing available, which is IMHO the correct thing to do…still with me?

I also mentioned that the CAA pilot had been told by the previous controller that there was no speed control, i.e. he could fly faster than the published speeds for the arrival. From your comments the crew were surprised to be confronted by two aircraft out at 18 plus miles doing such a slow and uneconomical speed after they had been told that there was no speed control. Suddenly they had lots of energy that they had to lose. They were confronted with trying to slow down and descend at the same time, which can be difficult in a 757. Maybe they were a bit disheartened when the situation could have been avoided by being told that there was in fact standard speed control in force?

They should not have let the irritation become apparent on the RT with his comment as you allege. (It could have been an attempt at humour for all you know) But since you appear to have already made your mind up about his accent and drawn conclusions from the tone, rather that the spoken word, it might be that you were in fact wrong.

On a personal note, we are supposed to be professional pilots on this forum. Perhaps a professional way to deal with your concerns would have been to voice them to the relevant people in private. Instead you chose to behave like a petulant child on a public forum. FWIW, IMHO you have let yourself down and the rest of the professional pilots on this forum.:(

11th Jun 2004, 10:08
A 'caveat' - for no-one IN PARTICULAR, OK?:D

It is by no means unusual for 'no speed control' from controller 1 to become 'min clean' or a bit faster from controller 2 or 3 etc. This can happen when 'dynamic' situations develop with departures etc.

It is therefore WISE to have a 'plan' up your sleeve (yes, even with a short-sleeved shirt:D ) to cope with this.

To deflect the 'torrent' of abuse which may follow, this is not a 'go' at CAA or BY pilots.

surely not
11th Jun 2004, 10:29
Right, first up, cards on the table..................I'm not a pilot. If that offends please stop reading now.

I am surprised at several postings which seem to imply that charter pilots are lesser beings to scheduled pilots. I have worked for both sched and charter airlines and in dealings with the pilots I have found ex charter pilots working for sched airlines and ex sched pilots working for charter airlines, so I doubt that there is much difference between them other than in the T & C's.

As Kreuger said earlier, how can this thread have spawned so much comment?

one four sick
11th Jun 2004, 10:32

You say "You have accused a Britannia pilot of being a pompous hooray Henry. You made an assumption, you were wrong."

I say, I was right, I wasn't making an assumption, it was just like I described it - FACT.

You say "That then started a lot of comments about how BY pilots are always asking for SHORT CUTS and if there is any speed control etc"

I say, you're hot headed as you can not possibly show me I said the above, so go read the whole thread again, NOW.

You say"In short your wrong accusation led to a slagging fest against BY pilots in general…all clear so far? "

I say, my accusation was right. Whatever it lead to, it meant to.

As to the rest of your posting - I am getting a lot of anger, opinionated-ness, lack of coherence and lots and lots of EMOTION.

Why not just chill out. As it happens the matter is in hand by the right people, I mean those that are in a position to do something about this.

one four sick

11th Jun 2004, 10:44
BOAC I couldn’t agree more.:ok:

Most pilots in flying practice will always have a plan B/C etc. But I think you’ll find that most CAA pilots don’t get quite as much time on the aircraft as they would like. :{

Maybe in this instance plan A and B had been used and there was no plan C. We don’t know…we weren’t on the flt deck.

11th Jun 2004, 10:46
VOX: I also mentioned that the CAA pilot had been told by the previous controller that there was no speed control, i.e. he could fly faster than the published speeds for the arrival

Forgive me for butting in and I stand to be corrected as I am no pro but I thought that certain speed restrictions are not for ATC to be lifted (such as the 250 KIAS below 10K etc.) so "no speed" does not automatically lift certain restrictions ?

ThinkRate! ThinkRate! Don't Think! Don't Think!

BAL Tastic
11th Jun 2004, 10:50
One four sick,

I have been reading pprune for quite a while and only felt compelled to respond to this thread. Whilst, it's correct to have your say, we will not countenance lies.

The BY management did not write to you. If you persist in this vain I will get the all the information, pull the tapes, review the evidence and pursue you through your Fleet Manager regardless of the circumstances.

Sorry to be so heavy handed but on these issues it pays to speak the truth.

11th Jun 2004, 10:57
As Kreuger said earlier, how can this thread have spawned so much comment?

Because this is pprune.

Its populated (like our profession) by pompous know- it- alls who think they are right about everything. Yep we've all flown with them. Well this forum is their soapbox.

Its part of the fun. I love it. The "who can out pomp each other" competitions are fantastic


11th Jun 2004, 11:23
One four sick, my statement said that you were wrong in your assumption that it was a BY pilot. In fact it appears it may have been a CAA pilot on a BY aircraft.

My statement about the comments regarding shortcuts in no way accuses you of making them. I suggest you go back and re-read.

Your accusation is just that an unfounded accusation at this time. You appear to be the one who is emotional, you don’t seem to be able to read and understand what is plainly in front of your eyes.

Take a deep breath and go and re-read what has been said…you know it makes sense.

NN no one is trying to be pompous mate, but our young (I presume) pilot friend is happy to make allegations that he/she can’t /won’t prove on a public forum.

I fly with the BY boys and girls and to a man/women they are fine people doing a good job. True we can all improve our operation and we have all sorts of personalities/ accents working as flt crew.

While we are proud of our company we don’t think we are better than everyone else. It seemed like this thread was turning into a playground spat at BY’s expense.

The thing about the anonymity of PPRUNE is that one four sick has forgotten that the very people he says he is in contact with could be reading or replying to this thread. :E

11th Jun 2004, 11:43

I wan't getting at you mate but pprune in general terms. Nearly every hot topic is the same.

Can we have an annual "who's the biggest pompous tw*t" award?

Farty Flaps
11th Jun 2004, 12:17
Why is the Caa man operating the flioght?Run that one BY me again!

Is it to stay current or observe, if the former do the CAA pay, or could it all be a bit cosy.

Bring it on

11th Jun 2004, 12:26
N Nigel,

I think we can award the "most incoherent Tw*t award" to farty flaps.

Fart flaps

Christ on a bike.... have you been at the Hooch? To answer your question, the CAA ops inspector flys with all AOC holders regularly. No cost to them.

Farty Flaps
11th Jun 2004, 12:39
Yes i have

christ didnt have a bike

he had a donkey

11th Jun 2004, 12:42
BAL Tastic

"If you persist in this vain I will get the all the information, pull the tapes, review the evidence and pursue you"
Your comments cause concern!

If you continue this threat with action you will probably not be in compliance with ICAO Annex 13, JAR and Uk regulations. You will almost certainly be in breach with the agreements that Britannia have made with its CC (i.e. BALPA). Be careful. :O


BAL Tastic
11th Jun 2004, 13:05

Run that by me again?

If this person (one four Sick), persists to make false and misleading comments, we will take action.

Britannia Airways has not written to Mr One four sick.

11th Jun 2004, 14:37
It has always been my experience that when the CAA guys came flying with us, a training captain had to occupy the right seat so that they could sit in the left seat.

The only way they could fly with a non-training captain was to sit in the right seat which the CAA did not like over much although I have seen it done.

Now it is a while since I flew with the CAA so things might have changed but since BAL Tastic seems to know all the facts, I think it would be useful to know whether it was the CAA pilot on the radio (PNF) or the Britannia pilot (PNF).

If it was indeed the CAA pilot then I am surprised that he would use a phrase such as "Tell the Iberia to pedal faster". Indeed, if it was the Britannia pilot then I am equally surprised that he would use such a phrase in the presence of the CAA!

11th Jun 2004, 14:42
Talk about handbags at dawn! Even I have to admit that this thread has even surprised me with the level of inaccuracy, presumption, schadenfreude, pomposity and overall amount of toys thrown out of the pram! :rolleyes:

From what I can ascertain, a BY flight with a CAA ops guy as PNF (ie. on the radio) into ALC was a bit "out of order" in the view of one LOCO pilot who was ahead of him on the approach. The LOCO pilot expressed his embarrassment at the attitude of the BY (CAA?) pilot towards the Spanish controller who apparently didn't rise to the bait and just carried on, service as normal.

With a comment along the lines of "...Could you ask the Iberia to pedal a bit faster", whilst a fairly obvious attempt at sarcastic humour, obviously lost on the Spanish controller, may have been non-standard, it doesn't appear to imply the broad reaching title given to this thread of "The Arrogance of Britannia 034A". The other sweeping accusations of coathanging responses accusing all BY pilots of pomposity are just ludicrous.

We all have times when frustration at some element of our flight begins to irritate, whether it be another pilot, a controller, a dispatcher or a cabin crew member. Occasionally, that frustration is made more obvious, especially when it is at a controller, whether it be a sarcastic comment or just a heavy sigh. Learn to live with it. It is not the end of the world as we know it. :rolleyes:

I can understand if the effects of the chatter is impinging on some safety aspect but in this case, it just appears that a pilot was frustrated at being slowed down so early in the approach. The pilot obviously didn't have the big picture, which sometimes happens. Big deal. I'd be a bit peeved if I was still at 18NM on finals at ALC and I was told to drag it in, never mind at being No. 3 which probably meant he still had at least 30NM track miles to run. A "roger" accompanied with a big sigh would indicate dissatisfaction with the situation. I certainly wouldn't expect one of the other a/c ahead of me to try and start an inquiry into who I was, just because they were embarrassed.

In my experience, BY pilots are as abnormal as the rest of us. They fly the same a/c, they come as varied a background as the rest of us and have the same emotions. Those of you making very broad accusations that they are somehow different from the rest of us should probably try and be a bit more introspective. We all have bad days from time to time and very occasionally a few let it be known to everyone else that they are not happy. It's no big deal and the fact that this thread has gone as far as it has is a sign that some pilots need to get out a bit more often. :rolleyes:

To the uninitiated who may be reading this thread, what we have here is the traditional bitchfest that starts when one pilot gets embarrassed at the actions of another. It is all bravado, bolstered by the fact that they have a shield of anonymity, although in this case both parties can probably be identified due to the dates, flight numbers and the sequence in the approach. Not a very sensible thing to do, but there you go!

Mountains out of molehills and all that. We pilots are known collectively as a 'Whinge'. Now you know why! :}

Gentlemen (and ladies if necessary), can we all put our toys back in the pram and find something a bit more juicy to have a moan about? :=

one four sick
11th Jun 2004, 18:22
I don't normally give a badger's a$$ about what people say on the RT.

This was DIFFERENT and made us both look at each other in astonishment!! It was THAT different.
Had it not been that different I would have not paid any attention to it.
As I am unable to reproduce this in order to satisfy the doubters, I will just say: pull the tapes if you've got the authority, I wish you would.

I KNOW what we heard, it's your turn BAL Tastic.

Now, I have had just about enough of this, I would have expected the thread to die a deep death by Tuesday last, but there we are.

So, I am going to get drunk and celebrate over 20 thousand hits on PPRUNE for a thread that wasn't meant to be this popular - I thought.

one four sick

11th Jun 2004, 18:51
BAL Tastic gets my vote for the 'who's the biggest pompous tw#t award'.
Good grief, the couple of postings I've put up here may ruffle a few feathers or get a laugh but to actually threaten someone on what is a discussion forum is totally unnecessary.
Loooking at BAL T's profile (bland tasteless curry?) it appears that BAL T is on the 757/767. Thank goodness, I hopefully will never have the 'pleasure' of flying with the Royal Highness!

11th Jun 2004, 19:46
I have read Danny's posting several times over and I am the first to admit that over the last 46 years I have also transgressed on occasion. However I do think that there is a serious point to be made here.

All of us with a CAA license are well aware that they are tasked with setting and maintaining very high standards. There cannot be anyone out there who has not been exposed at some time to the highest levels of pedanticism by one of these "defenders of the faith".

If we are to believe the account given by "one four sick" (and I have no reason to doubt him) then it was one of these "defenders of the faith" who threw his toys out of the pram in public.

I think it is a bit childish for BAL Tastic to be threatening legal action for if the tapes were produced in a court of law as advertised, there could be a lot of egg on several faces. Is he saying that since it was a CAA pilot then that is OK?

What worries me is that the next time I do my 3-yearly TRI/TRE renewal and the "defender of the faith" tells me that it was not conducted exactly and strictly according to JARs then I am going to find the phrase "double standards" coming to mind.

Perhaps someone from the CAA would like to comment.

11th Jun 2004, 20:36

Forgive me for butting in and I stand to be corrected as I am no pro but I thought that certain speed restrictions are not for ATC to be lifted (such as the 250 KIAS below 10K etc.) so "no speed" does not automatically lift certain restrictions ?

ATC CAN AND DO lift the 250 below fl100 spped limit on many occasions as it is often more beneficial for us to have a/c at higher speeds when dealing with a sequence of mixed performance a/c such as the 757, E145, SF34, etc etc

There are restrictions to this such as a/c transiting through class E airspace or traffic outside CAS however the norm (at least where I work) is to let a/c fly at the speed they want to unless we need a slower speed to avoid an extended routeing.

I would also like to add that in my experiece as a controller that ALL the crews that I have had dealings with both on the RT and during the many visits to flight decks have been nothing but professional and not at all pompous or arrogant, yes there are the occaisonal sighs or tones of "GOD BACK AT 220 THIS FAR OUT" but we all have days where we get frustrated at the little things, a little light hearted banter on the RT goes a long way to relieving the stresses of a long day.

I would think that there isn't a pilot or ATCO out there that hasn't made some light hearted comment on the RT, on this occasion perhaps the humour was lost on the controller due to language difficulties and therefore seemed inappropraite to the other crew on the frequency. I for one have aksed a/c to "pedal faster" and the crews have responded in an appropriately humorous fashion with no offence taken, but perhaps that's just the boys and girls at Loganair who have a sense of humour ;) ;)

11th Jun 2004, 22:33
It's true though, all Brittania pilots do sound the same..... :E :p

12th Jun 2004, 02:23
Who amongst us hasn't become exasperated with something at some time and perhaps unwisely with the benefit of hindsight said something we might have regretted once the blood pressure dropped a bit ? It is very difficult sometimes to guage tone from a radio call and thereby interpret someones mood or frustration. Even when that is not the case, events (not broadcast) that surround the isolated fact may often provide a clearer picture as to why something has happened.

I am not attempting to excuse behaviour that might be or seem inappropriate, but I wonder how sin free some of the stone casters are !

In my opinion it was very wrong for the author of this thread to identify the target of his ire so willfully. The subject could have been as usefully discussed without being so blatant. The fact that this has solicited such a spirted response is perhaps not surprising. In my experience nearly everything you hear on the radio from Pilots and ATCO's is very professional and regular. Yes there are regional quirks and very occaisionally something ( perhaps like this) might cause you to look at your oppo' and roll your eyes. However that is no reason to turn it into an identifiable and personal attack. This thread says more about the authors judgement than the subjects in my opinion. :(

12th Jun 2004, 08:20
Imaginary situation. An aerodrome requires a Continuous Descent Approach technique; the FAF is at 8 DME and 2500ft agl. Usual Speedywings Airlines straight in approach plan is to maintain 250KIAS at the SLP until 2 miles to the FAF (10 DME), then decel as rapidly as possible to begin the final approach.

On a particular day, the controller advises 'due traffic, decel to 220 knots by 18 DME please' on the same straight in approach.

From the 18 mile point, how much longer do you think it'll take to cart your bus load of shell-suited oiks and their harpies at 220 instead of 250?

18-10=8; 8 miles at 250 KIAS takes 1.92 minutes; 8 miles at 220 takes 2.18 minutes. A whole 15.7 seconds longer.

When teaching pilots to fly Air Transport flights, we regularly discussed the perceived time saving which resulted from 'high speed approaches' - and how little it actually was. In fact more could be saved from stand-to-stand by planning the roll-out point and taxiway exit carefully than from keeping 'pedal to the metal' until just before the FAF. We developed a low-drag approach technique for the coal-fired old rust-bucket I used to fly as the Vickers FunBus is hardly a whisperjet and we really needed to avoid upsetting folk under the flight path with unreasonable noise - but the idea wasn't to save time, just noise.

So, although the extra 15.7 secs might be perceived as being annoying, if the traffic ahead is a lumbertub flat out at 180, the difference between closing on it at 40 rather than 70 kts might make the difference between achieving separation minima and busting it.

I doubt whether ATC ever intend to mess people about; they are as aware of your commercial pressures as anyone else. An appreciation of how little extra time an early decel will cost might perhaps be useful to some?

12th Jun 2004, 08:47
Except we are talking about fuel burn Beagle. Down low all dirtied up we throw around 100kg a minute out the back of the engine. Say we don’t care. On that approach its only say 2-250 kg extra fuel we use. Now multiply that for every approach that aircraft makes in a year. Now multiply that by the entire fleet. Now you get significant extra fuel required to fly your annual program. We had a very bright spark do the cost analysis for us considering all the relevant factors such as engineering costs etc. We even realised that it was worth instigating single engine taxiing after landing. That only saves a cupful at best…but it was still worth it.

Captain Mercurius
12th Jun 2004, 09:04
Dear Beagle,

I agree with your view.

Some people have the tendency to take things by pride, and they feel proud having the perception that in doing a low-drag approach they are saving a lot of money for their company.

In addition, they get upset , whenever they have the impression that somebody is “obstructing” them.:}

Bear in mind that I am not "tagging" the originator of this topic by all means.

But ,this is a fact, and I have witnessed this thing before, also within my collegues.

Safe flying to all


Right Way Up
12th Jun 2004, 09:32
"Down low all dirtied up we throw around 100kg a minute out the back of the engine. Say we don’t care"
Well slow down earlier to clean speed, then you'll save fuel! A lot of operators fly 330-340 kts in the descent (most probably not the descent speed claimed in the flight plan) and then complain when the guy ahead baulks them.

12th Jun 2004, 10:09
I’m not sure that pride is the right motivator for trying to reduce operating costs. Yes I suppose we all take pride in a flight that’s well conducted and there is an element of satisfaction in getting back 20 minutes early…if for no other reason than to be on your way home when you should be crossing the threshold at that particular time.

It is my belief that pilots tend to be predominately of a more independent nature if you were to consider them as a group. Whenever our bosses (in any company) issue an instruction that we as a group consider suspect, that instruction/procedure tends to get circumnavigated by the operating crew. E.g. it would be a brave manager to challenge a captain on his fuel load if that captain had decided he needed extra for weather delays etc.

The cost savings available to the company I illustrated are a fact. I have no doubt all commercial operators in the UK and around the World will be doing similar analysis and trying to reduce fuel costs. The majority of pilots do realise that they have a direct bearing on the operating costs of the company, granted only by a small amount if taken on an individual bases, but not if taken across the across the fleet. They will do their best to reduce the cost where they can, after all no one wins if the company fails…least of all the flight crew. Aviation is now so cutthroat in nature that any company that squanders money needlessly will not be flying for long. Thankfully pilots tend to be smart enough to know this.

RWU, not sure what your talking about. Who said anything about 340kts in the descent or any other type of stupidity? We are talking about operating the aircraft efficiently…that means complying with the flight plan with regard to speed flight level etc.

Right Way Up
12th Jun 2004, 10:30
Not aimed at you or this incident, but an observation of how some people operate their aircraft. You are completely right about wanting to fly a low drag approach. Unfortunately some aircraft are not quite as good at losing energy as a 757/767. e.g on a 737-700 being a little dirty (180 kts) earlier is a necessity on some approaches such as AGP 14 and ALC 10, especially with a customary tailwind. Even then you will either be using speedbrake or taking gear a lot earlier than usual to get the speed back.

12th Jun 2004, 11:26
Hi right way up, don't think that the 757 is that good at losing energy. It's been a few years since i flew it, but the memories are still fairly vivid.

Right Way Up
12th Jun 2004, 13:59
Have not flown the 757 myself, have just discussed this particular topic with a mate of mine who does. The 737-700 wing is unbelievable. It must be to lift 10 T more load at V2 speeds almost 10 kts less, with the same powered engines as a -300. Its ROD at clean speed is extremely poor!

12th Jun 2004, 14:07
The 757 particularly, is the most "energy critical" (made that up, pertty good hey)

No, really it is the most slippery, according to guys I know whom have "flowen them all"

12th Jun 2004, 14:48
Right way.

The 757 is a slippery basta*d that doesn't go down and slow down very well. With the icing on its even worse and use of speed brake is amost mandatory.

So get you facs right before you post next time eh?


Right Way Up
12th Jun 2004, 14:56
Based on some of the replies to my post I stand humbly corrected, but to:

<<So get you facs right before you post next time eh?>>

Kind of nice courteous attitude that this whole thread alludes to...

P.s. Have found some info on descent rates on 757 and at clean speed is approx 1200 ft/min (no spd brks), compared to 1100 ft/min (no sb)on 737 NG. Thinking about it now I should not be surprised considering those engines!

12th Jun 2004, 15:47
Guys, enough now you are making me yawn. Get out a bit, there's sunshine out there, families to deal with. Leave work back at the airport now, there's a good 23,705 + of you.
This subject has surely come to an end.

Anyway why do BY sound so stuck up when they come on the R/T?

For god's sake, don't answer that!!!!!!!

12th Jun 2004, 17:00

Good one:ok:

We have all got something off our chest.

Nice way to end it!

12th Jun 2004, 21:18

Good attitude to life:


Nuff said!!

14th Jun 2004, 03:40
dogma went to college to learn how to peddle faster.

16th Jun 2004, 10:50
strange isnt it that it always seems to be the airlines with the best conditions seem to have the biggest dickheads.

we have a few in our company but they all seem to come from target airways or am i agreeing with myself..

kick the tires
17th Jun 2004, 08:53
AGP 14, in the -700.

I have found that flap 10 is a good configuration to keep the speed under control. Gets the leading edge slats to full and saves putting the gear down too early.

But yes, a good wing, very nearly as good as the 'Bus..............