View Full Version : QF Pilot Attitudes

13th Aug 2005, 10:46
Minding my own business today somewhere south of Cairns when two Qantas aircraft (well I think that one was Australian or some sort of QF half-breed subsidiary-I've lost count) and the other one a mainline version) got into some sort of bickering over DME distances and such and who was in fact number one in the sequence. After the ATC controller (who yes, was a woman) sorted them out as to how things were going to be handled from her (the professional flow person) perspective the QF pilot said sourly "Well a little notice would have helped".

Yes folks, now ATC do the thinking ahead, not QF pilots. But that is not where the story really starts. (Yes that's a Goon Show line and I'm not quite sure why starting this thread put me in mind of that particular comedy). Then, after a minute or two one or the other of the two Rat brands said, again sourly,"Never argue with a woman". The other, all boys together, agreed. Nasty...and don't get twisted about it, I am not that smart but they weren't trying JUST to be funny, it was very clearly meant and the tone said it all.

Could guys like that just get over it. Please. The comments were demeaning and unprofessional. And, having just perused the "Qantas a/c lands in fog" thread: are we now to assume that Qantas pilots have things "happen" to them, but never create their own reality. (Yes,in a 727 I would have passed the slower a/c miles before so there was no doubt, but those days have gone sadly)

I am not a QF basher....but those quality QF drivers out there, and there are obviously lots, are being dragged down by those who somehow think they're superior and can have a go at the professionals in ATC who do a difficult job as well as they can.

I had a very long blue water trip still to complete when all this happened and could do little about it except to write it up here on Prune.Now I'm in the pub a very long way from OZ, reflecting on how things have changed since I left to work overseas years ago.

It was not very nice. And those concerned could do a lot worse than apologize to the controller concerned for a piece of macho sexist arrogance.

13th Aug 2005, 11:03
Countersunk comes to mind, don't know why.


13th Aug 2005, 11:36
I have to say, in my time I've always found it to be the Qantas pilots who are the most voiciferous on the air with regard to airing complaints, pardon the pun.

The above tale reminds me of an occasion where we were just ahead of them out of CG for SY and the female QF FO, egged on as we were to learn by the Capt ( I mention her sex to demonstrate it isn't always a "guy thing") kept at ATC to give them:

*Higher speed
*Shorter vectors
*Give them more climb
(they were out-climbing us with bigger engines but we were ahead and climbing to a higher lever)
*etc etc

You name it, they insisted on it and ATC refused it, due to a combination (I believe) of impracticality from an ATC POV which QF just could not see and a refusal to be dictated to and with such disgraceful "attitude" on top of it.

This continued all the way until SY Director, whom they implored to give them 34L. He refused and I like to think it was because the word had been passed along from BN Centre, who had earlier become sick of them and vectored them off to ensure they remained Number 2 to us.

The guy I was flying with and I never said a word to them and were treated royally.

The bad airmanship and ill-mannered contempt displayed were mind-blowing. Sure it could be any pain in the *rse and QF isn't the only airline to have them but it just always seems to be QF when these things happen. Need more examples?

The saddest part was the Capt finally, full of bluster and indignation, took the radio to make his needs clear and was just as quickly refused. Equal rights for both sexes!!

In the end, we were held on the other side of 25 and got to wave to them as they taxiied past. Silence.

13th Aug 2005, 11:46
So, there are prats in all airlines- probably an equal percentage of them. Perhaps you hear more from the QF drivers because QF make up 66% of the traffic in the country.

What I find interesting is that whenever I hear stuff coming from DJ or CX or whoever the 'other' person is, I generally turn to the other person sitting beside me, shrug my shoulders and comment that they're obviously not having a fun day. I don't feel the need to jump onto PPRUNE and type 'why do so many [insert airline name here] crew make such prats of themselves'. :ok:

Lets be honest. We've all heard less than great performances from opposition (and our own) crew. Do we REALLY have to keep inserting the knives into each other all the time?

13th Aug 2005, 13:05
Keg, fair cop, and a fairly typle defence.

Recencely overhauled by Q A330 Per- Syd, no biggy, followed said A/C, accross thye continent via Nowra due Thunderstorms to Syd. A-330 positions it's self due to flow and Wx on 34lL; wx does'nt work out, positioned to 34R; Wx doesn't work manourveas to change of rwy 16R.
In the mean time we beceame visual on 34L/16R and requested a right turn, downwind on 16R . due to the severe thunderstorm activity and WX. Qantas, A330 major concern at this point in time, was if the VB 737 was going to LAND!!!!! before it did as it perceved that it was NUMBER ONE.Severe Wx and Lightning, mutiple runway changes and where is the priority

For the record, it is posibale to depart PERTH in front of an A- 330,travel at ECON and with a little intuition and situational awairenese arrive at the gate first.

That would be a left turn on to downwind Rwy 16 R

13th Aug 2005, 17:32
Easily the worst thread in the history of Pprune. Grow up the lot of you.

13th Aug 2005, 22:09
Schnauzer (says it all doesn't it)

You've been with Prune a few months and you can make a grand pronouncement like that. Wow!

Fact is, good communications and attitudes are absolutely critical to safety and efficient operations. Bad attitudes might not kill immediately but they are corrosive and symptomatic of a deeper malaise. Bagging an ATC controller on the basis of gender is nasty, mean and useless. In the history of Pprune, those facts have not ever changed

13th Aug 2005, 23:27
Hey Woomerii, can we have a QF bashing sticky on this forum, where all those individuals with an axe to grind can just go to town and the rest of us can just ignore them?

Pete Conrad
14th Aug 2005, 00:10
Kegs right, you have to worry about folks that have to jump on pprune to whinge about something that occurs every day in every airline.

14th Aug 2005, 03:44
Pete, Keg and the Cute one.

You could always do your petulant act and up stumps never to return. Just like you did to the AFAP when the Geoff and Graham show left town.

The way to kill a thread is not to respond. How dumb can you get.


Avgas and Fanta
14th Aug 2005, 03:59
In regional flying, I would prefer to be running with the QF guys and girls. Compared the the other regional operators, the QF pilots are easier to get on with, more acurate, and happy to work in with the other traffic. The others seam to like calling 5 mile finals at 15nm, pushing in, calling joining downwind 10nm out and 10nm wide. just so they get the right of way. They also seem to be less inclined to break the regs.

14th Aug 2005, 04:29
Exactly who says I have been with Pprune for a couple months, Electra? There are opportunities for other handles my friend.

And the arrogant manner that you used to me would suit you perfectly to be a cranky ill mannered disrespectful QF 744 Captain that you so easily critisise.

You lecture on communications, yet you display a serious lack of ability yourself.

ADMIT it. This is an opportunity to "ave a go" at Qantas. You are in the same category as your mate Sunfish....

14th Aug 2005, 09:24
Ger woof elektra. I'm going to snap at your heels. You arrogant moo you.


14th Aug 2005, 11:12
mmmm........(diplomacy en-rooter)..........

Pete, it doesn't go on in every airline, every day, I can assure you.

There are very different levels of airmanship when it comes to this sort of thing, from extremely polite to outright arrogance. It usually occurs when you are busy and haven't got the time to explain what's going on.

Have had open hostility from a 737 driver when I had the temerity to vector him behind a crossing dash (that he obviously couldn't see) and yep was extremely busy at the time.

Why are WE being vectored? Just shut the f**k up and do it, if you want to whine give me a phone call on the deck.

Must admit that in the time that Ansett was around, I don't think I had one whinge, very professional! Don't know whether this was covered in their training?? Maybe it had something to do with the way they were re-numerated??

Kaptin M
14th Aug 2005, 11:30
Let's be fair here, guys and girls - we've ALL had pressing SOCIAL ENGAGEMENTS, at one time or another, that demanded we arrive ON, or AHEAD of, schedule!
And had us doing our damndest to try to realise that appointment :}

(Note to ATC: You guys (and ladies) obviously also have "social committments on the odd occasion...we realise that you're probably not in such demand as we high fliers :O ......so on the infrequent timeline that someone really, REALLY wants priority, show a little empathy, will you???
Please...pretty please??? :O :D )

14th Aug 2005, 12:38
Avgas and fanta(stic pilot obviously) :

dont have the regs on me, but does

Pilots shall broadcast thier intentions to join a five mile final straight in approach as close as practical to 15nm

ring a bell?

14th Aug 2005, 14:39
AS someone who's best man (and also my cousin) is a check and training captain with Qantas on 747 400s and a brother who is also on 737s with Qantas, I have a connection with our national carrier. But as a controller of some years, Qantas once had the reputation of having the worst attitude.

In recent years, and with the slow decline in numbers of the crusty old captain four bars, by and large, Qantas is slowly losing that not so great reputation.

Mine you there are those two brothers (who I went to school with here in Brissie) who seem to be trying to keep the reputation alive.

And contrary to popular opinion, we do not vector for controller amusement.

Kaptin M
14th Aug 2005, 14:44
And contrary to popular opinion, we do not vector for controller amusement.So I have also heard.
I believe the bets (on who lands first/last) run into the squillions at the end of the month!! :}

14th Aug 2005, 14:50
Kaptin M, how very cynical. The sequence into SY, ML and BN is done by computer (MAESTRO) with only minor human intervention.

Anyway it's like arguing with the referee. You're not going to change an ATC's mind by giving them a gob full. And don't forget, ATC is constrained by management edicts as well ( eg. track shortening).

Kaptin M
14th Aug 2005, 15:23
Betchya if YOU were given a "gob full", you could find yourself equally cynical, DP.

"minor human intervention"....sounds like my overnights.

Anyway, going back to a previous point, "You're not going to change an ATC's mind by giving them a gob full. " - how about a bit more FLEXIBILITY on the part of ATC??
A capability of moving an aircraft forward or back in sequencings, rather than having them set in stone from 200 miles out??

It happens on the odd occasion (that an aircraft ids re-assigned their sequence priority), but unfortunately, it's the VERY odd occasion.

p.s Don't always assume the missionary position!

Capt Snooze
14th Aug 2005, 16:06
Nice bottle of red, Cappie?

Grog Frog
14th Aug 2005, 23:14
I'm with you DP.

The easiest way to get QF to pull back 30 knots used to be request "keep speed up, you're number one to <insert name of opposition>", this works nine out of ten.

king oath
14th Aug 2005, 23:42
It used to be the -400 Captains who had the bad image in QF. Now its the rush tear-ass merchants on the 737.

When they learn to fly they try to log every extra minute they can. After they land the job at QF they spend the rest of there lives trying to log the least number of minutes. Go figure.

coitus interuptus
15th Aug 2005, 00:52
Perhaps to keep the whole thing in perspective and to balance the argument, a name and shame page could be produced and published in the respective airlines crew rooms.

Sure some QF guys are a little different, but I can assure you there are some "interesting characters" in DJ as well. Their demeanour and attitude are apalling, not to mention embarrassing. Some ex regional airline thinking still evident. Professional, I think not!

Uncommon Sense
15th Aug 2005, 00:58
Hey Kaptin,

What do you call someone who can only sequence one aircraft at a time to a runway?

A pilot.

15th Aug 2005, 02:18
Whilst not a regular contributer to this forum I would like to give you some more info in regard to what you thought you heard.

I was crewing one of the 'rat' aircraft involved in this incident.
Following an instuction to commence a vector for spacing into CNS, the actual distance to run to UPOLO had the lead A/C 2nm ahead and 4000' above. This was discovered via inter A/C transmissions and not via ATC. This is when I first realised that the other A/C wasn't too happy and obviously felt aggrieved at be being 'awarded' a vector. The vector was to allow terminal spacing and the lower A/C was assigned #1 due to higher groundspeed and eventually being first to the CNS TMA.

At no stage in the following exchanges with ATC did we engage in anything other than standard R/T transmissions.
Like you, we were amazed at the lack of respect shown towards ATC, and the willingness of other A/C to 'jump in' with comments and support for the aggrieved A/C. The fact that the controller was female (although this shouldn't be relevent), may have led to this blatant display of sexism.

This wasn't as you may have thought as being ATC Vs 'The Rats', it was in fact one highly stressed individual trying to assert his beleif that he had been gazumped. Whilst being critical of this behavior, it is by no means less direspectful for other A/C to fuel the situation with perceived 'humerous' comments.

I felt extreamly sorry for the controller on the recieving end of the exchanges, and even when she herself tried to humour the A/C involved it was met with distain and sarcasm.

My only explanation is that unfortunalely the individual had a bee in his bonnet over something unrelated, and the ATC operator has to be the bearer of news that tipped him over. This is my excusue for always looking for the good in someone.
Now with tha advent of 'ATC RAGE', at least it is giving more fodder to CRM co-ordinators.

Whilst in my own experience these occurances are quite rare, the other 'funny buggers' on frequency making anonymous comments only serves to convolute the situation.

As a footnote you will be happy to know that he got a visual approach via the 'creek corridor' and saved a few precious minutes.

Cheers :ok:

titan uranus
17th Aug 2005, 02:02
here's a classic radio exchange overheard on Hong Kong ground

Qantas has pushed back waiting for taxi
Locally based airline requests pushback and the pilot handling the radio is ex-qantas mainline and new to this operation.
Straight after qantas requests taxi, he regresses to an old habit and uses "qantas XYX" call sign instead of his own: the following exchange is CLASSIC

"Qantas 123 err, I mean Dragon 123, request pushback"
qantas idiot then comes straight back....
"ah you wannabee"
"er no mate, used to be"

.....and they wonder why they get a bad name

Sonny Hammond
17th Aug 2005, 02:29
King Oath

Tear arse merchants on the 737? I don't think so. I think you will find that other med category operator's pilots could be classified as tear arse.
And thats relative. With 250/5000 and 210/3000 The ops at QF(including J*) is pretty conservative.

As far as your logging of time allegations go, with the exception of the small amount of low time cadets, I also think you will find that the experience level on QF 737's is pretty high by all standards.
F/O's with > 10000hrs is not unusual. Is that enough for you?

Maybe your the low time tear arse.

Post Script,

Before you start, I am not talking about 10000 hrs s/o time either.

Avgas and Fanta
17th Aug 2005, 03:08
Avgas and fanta(stic pilot obviously) : dont have the regs on me, but does Pilots shall broadcast thier intentions to join a five mile final straight in approach as close as practical to 15nm ring a bell?

Yes it does. But, last time I checked when you say "***### is 5 mile final RWY XX" that actually meant that you were on a 5nm Final. Much like when you call ***### is downwind RWY XX, it is normally expected that the aircraft might actually be inside the CTAF.

18th Aug 2005, 10:56
how about a bit more FLEXIBILITY on the part of ATC?? Hmmm....Kaptin M when was the last time you visited a centre to discuss sequencing with the ATCs? Maybe you have some misconceptions that need correcting.

I extend to you an invitation to visit Brisbane Centre to see how its done. I'm sure my colleague Uncommon Sense would gladly show you how it's done. Then your caption Modest, mild etc might be really true.

Send us a PM, we'll arrange it for you.

21st Aug 2005, 13:26
In view of the Prime Minister's exhortation that the use of "Mate" is perfectly acceptable and even desirable, in Orstrylian Society, and that "Mate" is the oft used greeting among Virgin Blue pilots, is the rumour true that Qantas have now authorised their first officers and pursers to forewith address the captain as "Mate?"
What's good for the Goose etc...

22nd Aug 2005, 07:27
OK I'll bite.

If the person you are addressing is a mate then call him mate - if he/she's a stranger how can you call them mate. I do agree that some people, not only bureaucrats and Captains, are quite up themselves.

If you don't know a person it should be no problem to address them as sir or madam... unless, of course, you are up yourself!