View Full Version : SY ATIS. Is anyone home!!Long.

21st Nov 2002, 10:51
G'day Guys
I have finally cracked it with whoever (if anyone) is actually responsible for the dribble and fictional tale which comes forth over 126.25 and 118.55 in a strange robotic voice mentioning letters of the phonetic variety.
Not only is it annoying it is becoming dangerous after todays experience(among other's).
Coming in from off the East Coast via shark we recieve the ATIS stating Few at 1000 scattered at 1600 and vis reducing to 4000m in showers.
Cool conditions not bad ok for a visual approach on breakout on the ILS.
Couldn't be easier so we think.
Anyway on downwind for 16L and we get a message from director that the HIAL's are on.
Why we ask ourselves,as DIR has nothing to add just the HIALs are on.Interesting!
OK we think do a last minute check of the ATIS to get an up to date report.
No changes on the ATIS except HIALS on.
We decide to change config's for a full instrument app all the way to the bottom of the approach(lucky for us!).
Anyway over to the tower cleared to land with NO mention of any low cloud reduced vis on the app etc.
Anyway we became visual at 170ft above the minima 390 on Qnh and with vis down around 3000m in heavy drizzle/low cloud.
What is bloody going on up there!
Every other airport in Australia the tower would have provided an advisory of low vis and low cloud on the approach path.
Provide an ATIS which at least gives some semblence of accuracy as to the real conditions at the field.
On taxiing in and passing advice to the tower that we became visual at approx 400 on QNH this was not passed on to an a/c coming down the ILS.
My experience now at Sy airport is that the ATIS is regularly innacurate in cloud base by up to 1000 feet.
It seems that ATC think cloud base is insignificant as to how we operate aircraft.
If the wind changes by 5kts or 5 degrees a new atis will be out in seconds yet the cloud base can drop by hundreds of feet and vis can be way below quoted value's and no changes or advice from the tower is forthcoming.
I even heard a QF 76 driver speak about the total innacuracy of the ATI only to be given a phone number so he could be "sorted out" by the appropriate person!!!
One of the major causes of the Bangkok overrun was a tower controller not passing on accurate wx info to a crew flying an approach and getting something totally different than first thought and planned for.
We use the ATIS for gaining a mental picture of what is happening with the wx at the field.If its not accurate then it should be changed or info passed on at the first oppurtunity so we can plan a/c configurations approach briefs etc.
I would much prefer an ATIS update for a 600 ft reduction in cloud base than a 10degree change in wind direction anyday.
Get it right.
We depend on it and being able to do our job safely depends on it and accurate weather updates when it varies from it.
No that feels better!


SM4 Pirate
21st Nov 2002, 11:55

The SY CATIS (computer ATIS) is updated by the SY tower staff; it used to be done by the coordinator position or Senior Tower; I'm not sure who does it now; there's a traffic manager there sometimes...

Anyway my suggestion is put in a CAIR report; describing events, time circumstances etc. There have been occassions when the CATIS is broadcasting different info to what is on the display at Directors/ approach Melbourne or Brisbane or even the tower cab itself; faults can occur etc. nothing seems failsafe anymore...

I agree with your sentiment about wind and QNH; they are easy to measure (reading the box) and keep accurate; cloud is different; depending on runway configuration etc the base can be very different for different runways; usually this info is updated based on pilot reports or otherwise is an educated guess at best. A mention of we nearly made a 'go round' because the cloud base is XXX will always get them adjusting things.

I agree with you whole heartedly that the info should be accurate but it is difficult to manage at times; particularly if short staffed or something else dramatic is going on that might not be know to others using the aerodrome etc. It's a matter of priorities I guess and if a 'go round' did occur because of the events you describe then that may be the lesser of two evils from the controllers perspective. You make the decision to land or not afterall... and that's the way it should be.

Bottle of Rum.

21st Nov 2002, 13:43
Ramjager, why is it that approx 50% of taxiing aircraft call with the wrong ATIS ident on initial taxi request (sometimes 2 or 3 old ), surely if, as you say "We use the ATIS for gaining a mental picture of what is happening with the wx at the field" this should be checked prior to calling for taxi.

21st Nov 2002, 13:50
Easier to get the 'mental picture' of the weather when your sitting on the ground already! You don't need the ATIS to tell you it's raining when it's running down the windscreen, however it's harder to see the rain when your still 150 miles out ontop. Whilst it's more common to hear people call with the wrong code on taxi, pretty uncommon on arrival unless it's JUST changed.

21st Nov 2002, 18:33

Sadly you have provided a typical response expected of a public servant with little or no concept of providing a service to the paying customer. There is obviously a problem, but of course the provision of the service could not possibly be at fault.... it must be the customer.

Perhaps you would be best to consider the creed "the customer is always right" (although I would be the first to concede that some of our number in aviation are guilty of thinking they are right when often they are not).

Ramjager was not suggesting that the ATIS was not updated, just that the update was left wanting. The fact that "50% of aircraft" fail to have the correct version of the ATIS upon taxi should ring alarm bells. Could it be that the information is being updated with less important infomation too regularly. Many would say that any change to an ATIS would most certainly contain important info but from Ramjager's experience some important info was missed in this case.

My suggestion is that you grasp the concept that the guys up front are the paying customers (the employees of the paying customer at least - ie: the end user) and your lot in life is to provide a service directly to that customer. That may even mean that you will need to update the customer with the latest information - manually.... preferably with a smile. My experience over the last 20 years is that the bulk of your colleagues do infact reflect this attitude. I hope you wouldn't sully your mates' good work.

P.S. - There is a lot more going on in the flight deck prior to departure than simply checking an ATIS every few minutes. Any of the "majors" would gladly provide you with a famil. jumpseat ride to experience the workload first hand.


21st Nov 2002, 20:21

Speaking as an ex ATC, what's the difference between out of date info and the wrong info? Absolutely nothing, they're BOTH wrong. The fact that some of your customers don't bother to obtain the correct info before taxi does not absolve you of your responsibility to keep the current info correct.

Home Brew
21st Nov 2002, 20:45
One of the problems here is that the ATIS does not seem to be updated at regular intervals, at major airports in OZ, and I must assume that YSSY is A major airport!!

It is not uncommon to receive the ATIS 200 miles out, and find the same ATIS current after 40 minutes on the ground.

If crew know that the ATIS is being updated every 30 minutes, (as happens at real airports O/S) they will look for it, even if there are no significant wx changes. The only time SYD changes its ATIS, seems to be when we are dictated to change runway and beat up someone else's back yard and land with maximum crosswind and least headwind.!! :confused:

21st Nov 2002, 21:37
G'day Keepemseperated.
From your response it is clear there is a fundamental problem upstairs.
To get airborne and underway sure all we need are a temp and a w/v.Really couldn't care less whatthe cloud base is unless its below ILS minima as we can brief and discuss this at leisure on the ground beforehand.
IE,divert options after an engine failure etc.
But for approach from my perspective THE major information i want to hear is,
a)Rwy,Cloud base,viz,wind. Many people's order of priority differ but that is mine.As you can see the two most unupdated variable's are at the top of the list.
That is why there IS a problem.Crews are not being told about significant changes of wx below that stated on the ATIS.
I would of thought if i had a 767 coming down the ILS just a friendly warning of "some low cloud and reduced viz moving through the approach path" would be more than sufficent.
ANYTHING would be better than what is happening at the moment which is nothing.
Thanks at tleast for replying.

21st Nov 2002, 22:06
keepem, most drivers get the ATI when we commence our pre flight so on a 767, most blokes are getting it about 20 or so minutes before push back. For it to change two or three times in that time frame is pretty phenomenal but it does happen. We only listen out for the ATI when we get it but we listen to ACD or SMC the rest of the time. Any reason you blokes can't do an 'all stations' broadcast when the ATI changes with the changes. If we want to, we'll go back and get it, if we don't need to, we'll just call recieved that ATI when we taxi. It's not rocket science.

Approach or the closest sector to Sydney normally do that as well so it's not an unknown aspect for ATC to actually help out in that regard. Also I think it is a MEL thing as well as I recall them doing it from time to time (although not all the time).

Anyway, Rammy was providing some feedback. Instead of getting defensive and changing the subject and telling us how bad us drivers are, how about commenting on the specifics of his comments and places where we ALL could improve. We couldn't do our job without you guys, you couldn't do yours unless we were around. The sooner we get our heads around that issue, the quicker we can resolve discrepancies like this one.

Lastly, who needs a CAIR. I'd gladly stick my name to ASIR in circumstances like that!! Not like ASA can do anything to me!! ;) :p

21st Nov 2002, 22:12
As a new PPL I'm still coming to grips with the changes in the ATIS reporting and updating Philosophy, but, as a technician I know the automatic weather stations around every airport in the country produce 1 minute updated data in digital format.
Would it be too hard for this information to be inserted into ATIS automatically every minute? Then winds, temp, QNH and rainfall and in some instances local Vis would be only a minute old at worst.
This function is provided where the Met Bureau has supplied AWIB information for the VOR or NDB. Is ATIS less important or is it seen as treading on someones job allowing a computer to do the updating.
Automation is a bane to many people and keeping their jobs but safety is paramount in this situation.

21st Nov 2002, 22:38
WEll, I might need updating here, but is it not required to notify TWR of the actual cloud base on becoming visual? Don't have Jepps on hand right now but am sure there is something on it in there. Perhaps TWR would be more aware of cloud bases and vis if we all complied in this.

22nd Nov 2002, 19:55
Without wanting to provoke a trans-tasman war - it doesn't seem to take much - I would like to make the observation, from my own experience, and without any "value judgement" on the issue, that at the major Aussie airports at least, the ATIS is changed more frequently than would seem to be necessary, ie, in terms of minor changes - there may be a mandatory requirement of an hourly reissue I am unaware of perhaps? Any comments?

22nd Nov 2002, 21:35
G'day Nzer
Thats half my point.
It seems the ATIS gets changed for the meanial changes but when something occurs which really does affect how WE fly an approach it is not.
Almost like a cry wolf scenario,i don't know how many times we have loooked at one another in amazement trying to figure out WHY the ATIS was changed in the first place. Then you have an incident like the other day where conditions where that bad and no-one notices whats happening outside the glass.
Its very easy to get the impression that we are serving ATC and not the other way around.

No Further Requirements
22nd Nov 2002, 22:18
Howdy all. From an ATC point of view, it sounds like poor reportng to me. With regard to changes in the ATIS, some people think some changes are small and insignificnt, but there are times when you have to change it. And I quote from MATS: ATIS information shall be revised and a new code letter assigned when:

a. the requirement for, or type of instrument approach is changed;
b. the take–off or landing runway is changed;
c. changes occur in the operational status of the aerodrome or its facilities;
d. the current values of meteorological information vary by or exceed the following values and are expected to remain that way for at least 15 minutes:

direction 10 degrees - speed 5 knots

1 hectopascal

1 degree

Cloud (below 5,000 AGL)
base 200 FT - amount changes from one descriptor to another

Between 2,000 M and 10KM - 1000 M (1KM);
Less than 2,000 M - RVR, when available, shall be recorded.

e. Changes to windshear status.

These are when we have to change the ATIS. I don't know about doing the mandatory half hour ATIS change - it would be pretty pointless in some locations. I remember having the same ATIS on for 6 hours once! Why bother changing it for changes sake? It was perfectally accurate.

Ramjager: Just a quick one. While I whould heartedly agree with your post and about the accuracy of the ATIS, I was quite interested to hear you talking about briefing/performing a full instrument APP or just enough of it to get visual. Is this common practice? I didn't know that that went on. If you don't brief it all the way to the minimas and you don't get visual at the expected level, do your company SOPs allow you to continue down or do you have to do a missed approach? Why bother briefing/flying it at all if you only do half of it? Wouldn't it be better to just do the lot 'just incase'? You have proved already that this may save your hide once in a while....

Keg: Good post. It is a big team game and we are all on the same side.

I think good reading for ATC and aircrew alike is the following link to weather a related incident at Brisbane.


I used it to illustrate to some of the guys who haven't worked a wet season yet just how important it is to get weather info correct and get it out to the people who need to know.

Anyway, enough said. Have a good weekend. Cheers,


22nd Nov 2002, 22:36
G'day Nofurtherrequirements
Thanks for the info on the ATIS changes and requirements.
Just on the briefs you will find many companies vary landing configurations based on Wx/Rwy requirements.
If we are going to be visual by 1000ft then any configuration can be used but if not then an instrument app config is required to be used.
This not only changes the physical config of the a/c but also an entire procedural change in terms of full app brief's as opposed self briefs etc.
This is where i think the problem is as i am not sure you guys are told or taught that the way we fly and how we fly strictly depends on conditions at the field.
If its BKN at 2000 and we are using the ILS to become visual at 7nm below the base you will find that most crews are doing a self brief of the app freq's final app crs etc as there is NO intention of going even remotely near the minima or even past the FAF.
We are often told via the ATIS at YSSY to expect an ILS yet we are visual at 35-45nm with only sct cloud below and the field in sight.No matter how many visual calls you make we still end up out at 15-17nm being vertored around the loop onto an ILS which is not required.
ATC is SY do a good job generally in the conditions in which they are req'd to operate what we want is a little more proactive info from the guys and girls in the tower.

PS Talking about ATIS i think CB is the opposite end of the spectrum as on Wed the temp went from 22 to 33 as the info went from Romeo to sierra!!

All the best

24th Nov 2002, 05:30
Alice Springs tower has got it worked out.
Its ALWAYS information Charlie.

24th Nov 2002, 05:56
Perhaps my response was out of line, for that I do apolagise. I guess the main reason was that we only ever hear things when something goes wrong or isn't to someones liking. I didn't see a post regarding the efforts of the guys /gals during the days of 25 only, when we were working our butts off to get every one away as quickly as possible.
Several points though. The mention of the HIALS is a requirement from our end when the vis is below 5000m and they are switched on. The all stations broadcast of the changes is something that does take place, and it is amazing that even after you make such a broadcast the number of a/c that will still call with the old info, despite being pushed back at the time. And on the famil rides the last time we looked into it they had been banned after September 11.

Oh and clive that service that you talk about would be the same that had me delayed for 12 hours without so much as an explanation from the company involved. So service does work both ways.

And public servant OUCH!

24th Nov 2002, 10:52
Hey Keepem', QF service isn't always bad, just like ATC service isn't always excellent.

My last flight kept me in the luxurious BN domestic terminal late on a Sunday evening for four hours due u/s acft, meanwhile over five other equivalent flights left for my destination and I wasn't even offered a transfer! Hmph. :mad:

What comes around goes around. Oh, that reminds me, but it probably deserves its own thread... greasing the ATC wheel, QF style.

But so much of this banter comes down to each party not having any idea of the other's job. Famil flights have been out for over a year (not that they were accessible before that anyway), and how often do rpt drivers plug in to Approach control for a couple of hours for famil?

24th Nov 2002, 11:42
Home Brew,

One of the problems here is that the ATIS does not seem to be updated at regular intervals, at major airports in OZ, and I must assume that YSSY is A major airport!!

Perhaps this is because at some O/S airports the ATIS isn't actually done from the Tower but from using the METAR. Yep, done from the APCH room using the info from MET, and using TRUE winds from the MET sensor rather than MAGNETIC winds.

Its hard to defend the indefensible but I'd be interested in the date that prompted the initial post and I'll compare the ATIS with the METAR/SPECI.

24th Nov 2002, 20:32
Why was the ATIS frequency in Adelaide, 134.5, Notamed off for around two years? Is it going to make a comeback?

30th Nov 2002, 10:05
G'day Ramjager

I wasn't there on the day, but I was the following and I can reasonably guess what might have happened ...

(Some quotes edited to reduce the length of the post to suit Pprune's rules)

Coming in from off the East Coast via shark we recieve the ATIS - Few at 1000 scattered at 1600 and vis reducing to 4000m in showers. On downwind for 16L and we get a message from director that the HIAL's are on. That's all, no weather update. Interesting!

The most likely reason for that is that when the ATIS went up advertising 4000m visibility, it should have included advice that
the HIALS were on and ithat info may have been left out. (We have a SOP that says if the vis is 5000m or less, then HIAL should be on and advertised on the ATIS.) If it wasn't on the ATIS that's an error and new ATIS including the HIAL advice would be required. Presence of the HIAL on the new ATIS would have been the only change and that's what Director passed on to you.

Anyway over to the tower cleared to land with NO mention of any low cloud reduced vis on the app etc. We became visual at 170ft above the minima 390 on Qnh and with vis down around 3000m in heavy drizzle/low cloud. What is bloody going on up there!

It's pretty hard to pick the difference between a grey and wet 4000m vis on final and a grey and wet 3000m vis, especially if it is the initial onset of the weather and moreso if it is not at the field itself but some distance out on the approach. Of course, by the time you fly through it it could be AT the field and by the time the next aircraft approaches it could have moved on, affecting departures or the other parallel approach. The ATIS has to satisfy both approaches and also both departures. We can gain accuracy on visibility with aircraft reports, but until the first aircraft can give us an update, our weather assessment is at best an estimate.

Also, our vis is more optimistic than yours - we don't have driving rain at 150kt on the window like you do, so it's quite likely that when we can see 4000m, you will only see 3000 or so. We report what we can see, not what we think you can see.

When all we can see is grey water falling from the sky, it's sometimes (not always) pretty hard to assess an associated
cloudbase unless we get aircraft reports or observe aircraft coming out of it. Outside the showers it could well be an observable 1000ft. Inside the showers, if we can't see it for the rain, we can't report it. Again, we rely on updates from pilots.

When you got visual the other day at 390ft, was that just the altitude that you acquired the runway/HIAL as they gradually came into view through the wall of water, or did you make a defined cloud-break? If the transition from cloud is obscured for you, so it is for us. Many times I have asked for a cloudbase, only to be told that it was indefinable, lost in the transition from murk to visual, so all we can do is make a best estimate.

Provide an ATIS which at least gives some semblence of accuracy as to the real conditions at the field.

The ATIS is a general meterological observation (defined in AIP and MATS). Due to local effects, very often half the sky can be relatively clear and the other half cruddy. Likewise showers can be and often are confined to a particular sector. But ATIS is specifically based on a general observation. We could quote vis 3000m, showers in area and scattered at 1000 because there is less than 4/8ths overall, but that cloud and those showers could be concentrated towards the approaches, making the base and the vis in that sector poor, with the bay and further south clear as a bell. It is often that way, and vice versa.

Perhaps MATS and AIP need to be amended to say that the ATIS should always reflect weather conditions on the approach, rather than an average, general observation.

That would suit Sydney's channelised traffic, but at other aerodromes that have 360 degree aproach patterns it could cause problems.

On taxiing in and passing advice to the tower that we became visual at approx 400 on QNH this was not passed on to
an a/c coming down the ILS.

I wasn't there and I don't know the circumstances, but on the face of it, it probably should have been.

My experience now at Sy airport is that the ATIS is regularly innacurate in cloud base by up to 1000 feet.

I would dispute that. A few hundred feet maybe. Occasionally more if we have had no reports. It's easy to miss a transition from a cloudbase of, say 3500 to 4500. I doubt we'd miss one from 800 to 1800, for example.

It seems that ATC think cloud base is insignificant as to how we operate aircraft. If the wind changes by 5kts or 5 degrees a new atis will be out in seconds yet the cloud base can drop by hundreds of feet and vis can be way below quoted value's and no changes or advice from the tower is forthcoming.

We don't think it's insignificant because we are told we have to update it, so we presume there is a reason. You are correct if
you think we don't know specifically how it affects the operation of the aircraft. We do not, other than in the most general and coarsest of terms. We update the wind because we get most complaints about the wind.

Equally, do you know how a pilot's operational requirement to use a non-operational crossing runway affects our operation? I'll bet you don't, but I can assure you that the effect can be grossly unfavourable to the integrity of aerodrome and terminal operations and that in many circumstances the safety factor the crew or company is picking up from reduced crosswind
(or whatever) is more than negated by the risk of failure of the system due to the added complexity and workload imposed with the requirement. I can tell you that on more than one occasion it has only been luck or secondary system defences that have prevented an accident.

I point this out not to score points but to supplement your demonstration that in general we just do not adequately understand each other's jobs. I don't believe that in general aircrew have a sufficient understanding of the ATC system, and readily acknowledge that we know little of yours. Part of ATC training used to be a significant attachment to an airline for flight deck familiarisation. Not any more. We used to have relatively easy access to jump-seat rides. Not any more. We used to occasionally socialise - not any more. Crew used to regularly visit ATC - not any more. I, and all the other controllers in this country would like to see that rectified. Both our managements seem recalcitrant in this regard, though at a local level aircrew are always welcome to vist Sy TWR, it's up to you - just a phone call or query via R/T is all that's needed.

OTOH, controllers, who have passed a security check to gain employment, have ID, licence, etc, cannot get a jump seat ride or visit the flight deck, even with formal application. A pretty one-sided situation, to your detriment if your post is an indication. Maybe all airline managements need a wake-up call more than ours does.

As for the wind - Sydney is so politicised that the wind and the ATIS is under constant scrutiny to justify the selected runway
combination. Are you aware that the noise lobby monitors the ATIS and that they have been given information and/or knowledge so that they regularly challenge us in regard to the runways we nominate vs the wind on the ATIS? We (not the TWR, but others) are harassed by phone if Joe Bloggs, "expert" in aviation noise, wind and runway selection, disagrees with our choice. The wind we quote is a composite of all the six threshold wind readouts, weighted for the landing thresholds. Very often the wind at the chosen landing threshold would indicate that a noise-sharing LTOP mode using other runways is available, whereas the wind at those particular runways precludes their
use. Do you think that Joe Bloggs, environmental activist, understands that? If he gets insufficient satisfaction from his initial enquiry he will often refer it to a political representative. We then have to justify what we have done with a written report. If you find our resulting emphasis on the wind onerous you will need to change the political and environmental climate surrounding Sydney Airport. Good luck!

I even heard a QF 76 driver speak about the total innacuracy of the ATI only to be given a phone number so he could be "sorted out" by the appropriate person!!!

I was there at the time. Was the 767 driver given a phone numer so that "HE could be sorted out" or so that "IT (the situation) could be sorted out"? Subtle but major difference, easily missed by angry people primed to pick a fight.

One of the major causes of the Bangkok overrun was a tower controller not passing on accurate wx info to a crew flying
an approach and getting something totally different than first thought and planned for. We use the ATIS for gaining a mental picture of what is happening with the wx at the field. If its not accurate then it should be changed or info passed on at the first oppurtunity so we can plan a/c configurations approach briefs etc. I would much prefer an ATIS update for a 600 ft reduction in cloud base than a 10degree change in wind direction anyday.

Agreed re the updates to approaching aircraft.

In this post I have probably appeared as an apologist, but that is not my intention and I don't really care if that's the way I'm seen. Some will choose to ignore the message, that's inevitable given the backbiting evident in this thread and another started by 375ml. I have tried to explain why an ATIS, a generalised observation, may seem less than than ideal for a particular flight in a particular sector.

Principally, we estimate some elements of the weather until we get pilot reports to update them. Also, more importantly, the weather observation for ATIS is a general observation, not a sector obs for the approach. Your whole complaint is based on the fact that the ATIS did not adequately reflect the weather on the approach. Our instructions are that the weather obs for an ATIS must encompass the whole horizon, not just the approach. (Except for the wind, which is weighted to the landing thresholds.)

I agree that estimates should be updated where there is better information. But if all you can say is "It's as black as the inside of a cow's guts", what use is that?

Get it right.

Provocative and less than conducive to sorting the problem. If I took such liberties while discussing operational requirements you'd be right up me, and rightly so.



1st Dec 2002, 01:46
G'day Ausatco
Thanks for taking the tie for such a comprehensive answere and all of your points are noted and taken on board.
You made many good points a major one this ridiculous situation re flight deck security and jump seat rides for ATC familiarisation.
I must say in general ATC do a very good job at YSSY given the restirictions and conditions under which the airport is requuired to operate.
On the following Sunday night we got great service from director with a large cell to the south of the field causing 5 rwy changes in less than 15mins.
It was great thinking on the run and very well done giventhe number of a/c coming in on thet Sunday night.
My personal opinion is i would like to see far more interaction b/w ATC and tech crew so we all get to see both sides of the fence as it would lead to a far greater understanding of each others jobs,our thinking and a better relationship in general.
Once again thats for your thoughts and the excellent reply.
All the best.

Chimbu chuckles
2nd Dec 2002, 11:08
Believe me guys the job done by Oz ATC is magnificent....wanna see bad try India, Bangladesh, Burma, Indonesia, Cambodia etc etc.

Some of the more vitriolic of you may say "So what?"

In answer I'd say you're being a little pedantic. When ATC nearly causes you to overrun because they told you the runway is dry and wind light and variable on a night circling approach to a one way runway then it's time to stand up and scream...not that that would have worried the Malaysian ATCs one wit. On that occassion a good mate came within a gnats whisker of overrunnng Bintulu in our company Falcon when he splashed down into several inches of water with a ten knot tailwind:eek:

When it is impossible to get weather reports that are even a little reliable/accurate then whinge...did you know in PNG every TAF was a joke? The word 'provisional' was dropped so F28s could operate without having to carry 'unreasonable' loads of fuel.

In 13+ years in PNG the ONLY TAFS I ever saw that reflected reality were ones that were pure fluke. The number of times when I was in the Met Office just after dawn on a glorious clear morning to see TAFS with TEMPO all over them...or the absolute reverse were MANY.

Or the classic "Why are there no TAFs available?" Grunt "Because it is dark!"

I tried to get a TAF at Madang changed once because it said TEMPO and there wasn't a cloud in the sky anywhere over PNG...I'd just flown from POM in an F28..we had to carry (but in the end just didn't) 4000lbs extra fuel because the 'accredited met observer' in the tower refused to even talk to us...simply refused to answer the radio until we requested taxi clearance.

Or the time I requested an actual on POM when 50nm out in a Bandit and at PNR for Lae/NZB at night and they told me it was clear at Moresby....I got in on the 4th ILS in TS by busting the minima.

Spend 8 or 10000 hours flying in a truly 'what you see is what you get' system with NO support from ATC (let alone several direct attempts on my life by ignorant ATCOs)...if nothing else it will teach you what is worth getting worked up about.

If you think an ATIS that is not precisely accurate cloud base & vis wise is worth all the BS in this thread then you REALLY need to get out more.


3rd Dec 2002, 01:41
G'day Chimbu Chuckles
Having flown for the RFDS for some years blasting round to strips in the middle of central Australia where there is no weather and peoples lives depend on MY decisions is pretty familiar territory for me.
I don't know what kind of operation you come from but down here we do things relatively proffessionally and that means we actually use the ATIS as a tool.
Rocking up to an airport configured for a visual approach and to find the cloud base id 350AGL is a rude shock to most people probably even to you a PNG veteran.
At least with NO weather report you can be prepared for the worst as opposed to incorrect information leading you down the garden path.
Bad info is worse than no info.

3rd Dec 2002, 02:40

Why not brief the ILS even for visual conditions? You have to brief the ILS missed approach anyway!

Some international airlines require this when operating into busy international airports, such as Singapore. Works real well when the unexpected happends, bases covered.

When the wx deteriorates quickly, as common in busy Sydney International, I imagine ATC gets real busy too. Aircraft wanting further descent, guys slowing due turbulence with another right behind, vector requests due cells,missed approachs and the odd bloke moaning about ATIS accuracy.

Appreciate your School Of Hard Knocks weening, but aren't you being a bit spoon fed here?


What's this I'm the customer condescending garbage? Professional courtesy thanks! How did you like it when Bob Hawke made the spiteful "Bus Driver" analogy?

And on the checking of the ATIS prior pushback. You guys are kidding? Countdown to pushback, even when busy, is not a Lunar Moonshot! Can't believe it is not standard practice to check. Don't you get professionally embarrassed when making a taxi call with the incorrect ATIS? I do on the occassions I have had my thumb in bum and forgot to check.

What's happening to our aviation traditions built on initiative? Seems everyone is or wants to be spoon fed these days. The standard dropping? Can't even be trusted with a high speed descent!

3rd Dec 2002, 03:42
G'day Gnadenburg
All we are asking for is an "Accurate" reporting of the ATIS or if conditions are changing an update from the tower as to conditions on the app path.
Given how quiet it was that Friday and my report of the base to the tower i would have thought proffesional courtesy would have dictated that the info is passed on.
Also remember that on several occassions when information regarding wx at the field has been significantly different from what is reprted that there have been major problems.
IE Bangkok,woops we forgot to tell you it has been raining.
Dallas Fort worth Sorry guys but there is a cell parked
overhead the field.
Sorry guys but i'm getting a bit tired of asking someone to simply do there job properly.
Its relatively easy for ATC to drop tech crew in it with the auto reporting of incidents however menial,yet at the moment at YSSY we can't get an accurate report of the cloud base for an approach.
As i originally said you get great service from time to time when required and my experience with other towers (ie ML,En AD etc) is that when conditions have deteriorated you get a call saying so.
What is so difficult about that?

Chimbu chuckles
3rd Dec 2002, 06:54

My background is Bush flying, airline flying (PNG & Oz), Corporate (Asia) and hopefully soon back to airline again.

I've never 'rocked up configured for a vis approach' in any aircraft, let alone a jet, unless,

1/. I was OCTA and the weather was CAVOK, or
2/. The ATIS said CAVOK...even then I'd usually brief the ILS...even if it's just "We'll be for a visual straight in via vectors & the rwy XX ILS".

It seems to me that the big complaint here is that the ATIS said cloudbase 1000 odd feet, showers in area, vis blah blah and someone didn't break vis until the minima. If they made an approach in these marginal VMC conditions without briefing the approach and flying it then they're crazy...it must have been obvious for miles back that a vis approach was not on!!

It's like the young Dragonair F/O I was having beers with in HK one night whinging about the Chinese controllers never giving visual approaches. I asked him how often he'd seen VMC in eastern China...all I'd ever experienced there was vis 4000m or less in haze/pollution? The KA captains at the table agreed...just beause it's not cloudy/raining doesn't mean it's VMC...and it certainly doesn't mean you don't need to plan for an ILS.

Gnadenburgh's point about the missed approach is well made...they can happen for many reasons...and the options in busy airspace are limited to published procedures surely?


3rd Dec 2002, 09:02

You had your thumb in your bum to not brief an ILS at a busy international airport in those ATIS reported conditions.

But don't worry, we have all flown airliners on the shark patrol and due bordem become somewhat complacent.

But to be caught out and proceed to blame ATC a bit of a Skypig attitude don't you think?

No, I didn't think you would see my point, because the guys in QF 1 didn't have their thums in their bums either, it was mostly ATCs fault!

Did you contact ATC to voice your concerns? Or did you just post an officious and hostile thread( all those angry little faces) only to give the industry a further insight into the QF 767 community.

How would you feel if the ATC guys slagged off at your communities inability to fly a good speed profile on descent? Have a mailbag full of private sentiments!

But then again, even your management isn't confident in your abilities. Witness your new "Nancy Boy" speed restrictions.

Apologise for the terminology, but I know for a fact such restrictive speed restictions in the third world reserved for those who have experience in CFIT!

3rd Dec 2002, 20:52
Gnadenberg and Chimbu
Just trying to figure out why you think we did not brief the approach?
We configured(ie briefed!) for a visual landing off the bottom of the ILS and configured accordingly.
It was not until we were told by DIR that we reconfigured the app for a full ILS all the way to the bottom.
So as for your thumb in bum you may like to practice your reading.
As for skypig we are only asking ATC to do there job after we took a punt on the wx being worse than we were told.
As for slagging off ATC from my last couple of posts you will notice i did say that given the restrictions they have to ooperate in they do a good job and from time to time a great job given bad wx etc!
Also please point out where i stated we didn't brief the missed approach as that is PART of the ILS brief were we come from!
Just for you Gnadenberg a quick review.
1)The a/c was configured (and breifed!!) for a visual last segment off the ILS as per the ATIS.
2)On DIR Freq we are told now the HIALS are on.
3)We "REBREIF and reconfigure for a full ILS"
4)We break visual at 360-380ft out of cloud.
700 ft doesn't make much difference at FL370 but it does below 1000ft.
If you can't see that then YOU should be briefing CAT3B approaches every time you fly!

3rd Dec 2002, 22:02
Well what's the big deal drama queen?

You briefed and you adapted to a fluid situation. That's why you wear those pretty gold bars.

Polite phone call, professional to professional, might be more appropriate in the future. A lot more achieved out of this professional courtesy than a thread telling people they are not doing their jobs properly on Pprune.

Because you are QF 767, can I re-emphasise "polite phone call".

5th Dec 2002, 01:08

what is the difference in configuration or procedure between your 'visual landing off the bottom of the ILS' and a 'reconfigured approach for a full ILS all the way to the bottom'????


why the assumption that this post is from a 767 driver?? Rammy might care to enlighten you.

5th Dec 2002, 01:55

If you were a little more engrossed in his war story you may have picked up his reference.

Some would say all that attitude and hubris would leave no doubts as to his fraternity!

6th Dec 2002, 00:40

Only a narrow mind would paint all members of a fraternity with the same brush based on the actions of a vocal and obvious minority. Its a bit rough tarring all 640 QF 767 pilots with the same brush dont you think? (Qantas has as many 767 pilots as the Air Force has total pilots, maybe there might just be a spread of personalitites in a group that size)

Rammy mentioned 767's twice, never did he say that he was in a 767.

My reasons for the questions to Rammy;

1) There is no difference to the landing configuration for a 767 whether its a 'full ILS all the way to the bottom' or a 'visual landing of the bottom of the ILS' (Rammys words). As you mentioned there should be no difference to the briefing content of a 767 crew in this scenario and I would be suprised if the full profile would not have been briefed, complete to MAPP. I would not have expected a QF 767 crew to be counting on a 'visual approach' in the scenario provided.

2) This post subject was started on Qrewroom, where the persons profile who started the post states he is a Dash 8 FO. (This may or may not be the same person, or the info old or incorrect but I am after clarification)

Hugh Jarse
6th Dec 2002, 02:36
There are 2 N.Ops landing configurations for the Dash-8: Flap 15 and 35. Flap 15 is normally used for IAL.

Perhaps the point Ramjager is trying to make is that the crew, placing its faith in the ATI, had planned and briefed a flap 35 landing with the fair and reasonable expectation of completing a visual approach. SOPs note that flap 35 is the preferred landing configuration for visual approaches.

I might suggest that it is normal practice to only record 1 set of landing speeds on the TOLD card, and it would be virtually impossible (and imprudent) to look up the revised speeds so late in the approach.

That brings into consideration of the need for a go-around? :confused:

6th Dec 2002, 12:34

Check your private messages.


6th Dec 2002, 13:09

Some would say that wherever Ramjager is, he is serving a damn fine apprentiership for a QF 767 pilot.

I was confused with the scene where he empathises with ATC and in third party, seems to refer to himself as a 767 coming down the ILS

I take your point but that is the problem.

The industry wide perceptions of the QF 767 community are, no doubt, coming from a smaller perentage of the pilot group. Is it 1%, 5% or 10% of QF 767s pilots giving the bad, peer judged, professional reputation? Doesn't matter.

What about guilt by association? It is their culture, yet nobody seems too concerned to change it. Is it a management fault? Partly, as some of this behaviour has been with us for some time and should have been stamped out.