View Full Version : Planes rerouted to train Controller...

15th Oct 2008, 07:13
Check out the part where the Controller told the pilot to lie about his altitude...:ugh:

FAA probes whether planes rerouted to test trainee - Yahoo! News (http://news.yahoo.com/s/ap/20081015/ap_on_bi_ge/planes_rerouted)

tuskegee airman
15th Oct 2008, 14:28
Hard to believe a supervisory controller would deliberately do this. That's what sims are for. Would love to hear the outcome and if this was just a one-off incident.

" Cook said the four planes a Delta Boeing 757, a Virgin Boeing 747 and two Southwest Boeing 737s were traveling south en route to Orlando International Airport near Wilmington, N.C., ......" :hmm:

Off to have another look at my map.

15th Oct 2008, 14:28
Oh.. From thread title I was expecting Network SouthEast to be involved..

15th Oct 2008, 16:05
From thread title I was expecting Network SouthEast to be involved..

Me too. Off topic, but reminds soon after I started flying, on my first trip over to the Sierra Nevada, and the controller asked, "confirm you have train in sight". I was a bit surprised and started looking for the railroad, and said "looking". That obviously wasn't the answer he was expecting. It took a couple more exchanges to realise he meant "terrain".


fatboy slim
15th Oct 2008, 16:22
Well if any of it is true it's outrageous. I'd be cheesed off if i was sent towards TS just for a spot of fun for a air traffic Instructor.

15th Oct 2008, 16:26
Yep, kinda like taking a VOR approach to train a pilot...

16th Oct 2008, 06:39
Last Saturday, 11 Oct 2008, at approximately 4:10 p.m. EDT an FAA Supervisor at Jacksonville Air Route Traffic Control Center ordered several air traffic controllers to issue new routes to four flights for the purpose of generating more traffic for a trainee undergoing a skills check when a supervisor observes a trainee to see if he or she is ready to be certified to work that sector without direct supervision by a certified air traffic controller.

The new routings were issued to the four flights around Wilmington, N.C. and it required four carriers (a Delta Airlines B757, a Virgin Airways B747 and two Southwest Airlines B737s [one was WN2636]) to fly in excess of 100 miles further and took them from a routing that was clear of weather and forced them to fly through thunderstorms.

Besides rerouting the flights, the supervisor also ordered a veteran controller to leave the four flights "stacked" at varying altitudes above 30,000 feet rather than bringing them all down to 30,000 feet and stringing them out in a line, as would be the normal practice before reaching the Alma sector, Cook said. The supervisor told controllers he wanted to leave the planes stacked so the trainee could practice unstacking them.

The supervisor also ordered a veteran controller to tell one of the four pilots to report an incorrect altitude to see whether the trainee would catch the mistake.... yes, with live air traffic loaded with passengers. Not a simulation!

I would LOVE to hear first hand accounts from the crews.

16th Oct 2008, 15:57
Hard to believe a supervisory controller would deliberately do this.

My wife is an air traffic controller. From some of the stories I've heard, it's not hard to believe at all...

16th Oct 2008, 16:58
its fine to help out in training a controller...PROVIDED YOU HAVE THE OPTION OF SAYING NO

I've been asked to accept an ASR approach to train a controller instead of an ILS...the wx was adequate, we backed up things with our onboard nav.

BUT WE HAD THE RIGHT TO SAY NO...ATC made that clear.

THIS situation didn't seem to have that. AND NOBODY, now a days with fuel costs so very high, WOULD DO IT.

16th Oct 2008, 17:19
It's not an infrequent thing for controllers at my wife's facility to ask a pilot (usually one doing a number of different practice approaches anyway), if they'd like to do a surveillance approach, since the controllers need a certain number of them to remain certified in the procedure.

This situation is compeltely different though...

16th Oct 2008, 17:47
ATC management in the US operates with virtual impunity from the rest of the world. They have unilaterally imposed a labor contract over two years ago, with a 30% pay cut for a new "B" scale controllers, frozen base pay for the current controllers, reduction in premium pays that the management work force retains, a HUGE staffing shortage for controllers while management ranks enjoy 100+% staffing.

So, for an arrogant supervisor (renamed since the unilateral contract to a war-like moniker of "Front Line Manager") to just order whatever he wants, and expect that even though the airlines might complain, he knows he can operate with impunity. Ask the FAA spokesholes that will tell ya, "all is well, safety was never compromised. The only reason that the ATC labor union is making an issue out of this is for a favorable contract."

Except when this issue is brought before the public. Any Joe SixPack can see this isn't right. Any flying professional can see this isn't right. But can the Bush appointees who run the FAA see that?

16th Oct 2008, 18:40
The planes were directed at least 60-70 miles out of their way into an area of airspace known as the "Alma sector," where there were storms Saturday, Cook said.

The pilots would have had to "zigzag" to avoid the storms, adding more extra miles to their trip, Cook said.

No surprise. Few years ago inbound Sanford, Cb on 09 app - asked for 27 - Nope! 09! - attempted app 09 - GA due Cb - Cleared for app 27.

19th Oct 2008, 02:44
When I was an Air Traffic Controller in the US Army I have seen this several times before, especially during periods of low traffic when a trainee was being monitored. But 99% of the time they involved MILITARY aircraft (and they could always refuse of course). I can't agree on rerouting expensive passenger jets with nowadays fuel prices. I wonder if the pilots were given an option to say no?