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A Couple of ATC (UK) phraseology questions...

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A Couple of ATC (UK) phraseology questions...

Old 15th Mar 2017, 10:07
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A Couple of ATC (UK) phraseology questions...

Hi all, thought this is the best place to ask for clarification on 2 questions from my technical quiz I need to complete. (I am flight crew)

The crew are on the ADMAG 2X departure from LGW. What is the required RT message on first contact with London CTL:

1) London Control, EZYxxx, ADMAG 2X, Passing Altitude xxxx feet climbing to Altitude 4000 feet.
2) London Control, EZYxxx, ADMAG 2X, Passing xxxx feet climbing 4000 feet.
3) London Control, EZYxxx, ADMAG 2X, Passing altitude xxxx feet climbing Altitude 4000 feet

I thought it would be (3) because I was always told during my training to avoid using the word 'to' in transmissions as it could be mistaken for the number 'two' however some have said (1) is the correct answer? CAP 413 a bit unambiguous.

Second one:

Having committed to land at a specific aerodrome; the crew calculate that any change to the existing clearance may result in landing with less than the planned final reserve fuel. What should be communicated to ATC at this stage?


I've gone for answer (4) as whilst we expect we will go into final reserve fuel, we haven't yet. Only once you have hit final reserve fuel should you declare a mayday.


Lew747 is online now  
Old 15th Mar 2017, 10:34
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Sorry - not a very imaginative reply, but here's a copy and paste from CAP 493

10A. Minimum Fuel and Fuel Shortage
10A.1 Once in possession of the estimated delay for an approach a pilot will determine whether
or not he can continue to the aerodrome or divert to a suitable alternative aerodrome.
10A.2 A pilot's declaration of "MINIMUM FUEL" indicates that no further fuel diversion options
are available where the aircraft is committed to land at the pilot’s nominated aerodrome of
landing with not less than 'final reserve fuel'. However, “MINIMUM FUEL” RTF
phraseology is not universally used by every aircraft operator and pilot.
CAP 493
2 April 2015 Section 1: Chapter 4: Control of Traffic - Page 7
Note: Final reserve fuel is typically fuel for 30 minutes of flight for turbine powered aircraft or 45
minutes for piston powered aircraft. (EASA-OPS)
10A.3 Controllers are not required to provide priority to pilots of aircraft that have declared
"MINIMUM FUEL" or that have indicated that they are becoming short of fuel.
10A.4 Controllers shall respond to a pilot's declaration of “MINIMUM FUEL” by confirming the
estimated delay he can expect to receive expressed in minutes if the pilot is en-route to, is
joining, or is established in an airborne hold; or by expressing the remaining track mileage
from touchdown if the aircraft is being vectored to an approach.
10A.5 Once in possession of either the estimated delay or remaining track mileage, the pilot will
determine whether or not he can continue to the aerodrome with or without declaring a
fuel emergency. Controllers shall keep pilots informed of any increase in delay or
increase in track mileage after the pilot's initial declaration of "MINIMUM FUEL" following
which the controller can expect the pilot to declare an emergency.
10A.6 Controllers shall respond to a pilot who has indicated that he is becoming short of fuel but
has not declared "MINIMUM FUEL", by confirming the estimated delay he can expect to
receive expressed in minutes if the pilot is en-route to, is joining, or is established in an
airborne hold; or by expressing the remaining track mileage from touchdown if the aircraft
is being vectored to an approach; then ask the pilot if he wishes to declare an emergency.
10A.7 Pilots declaring an emergency should use the following RTF phraseology "MAYDAY,
MAYDAY, MAYDAY" or “MAYDAY, MAYDAY, MAYDAY FUEL” and controllers shall
provide such aircraft with flight priority category A (ICAO Annex 6).
LEGAL TENDER is offline  
Old 15th Mar 2017, 12:08
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It's a while since I did it, but I would say option 3, and you're spot-on as to why descend and climb TO xxxx was removed. Can't remember when that happened......late 1990s, I think?
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 14:43
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The UK CAP413 is found here and on page 2 titled "Level Reporting" it states:
3.9 However, care must be taken to ensure that misunderstandings are not generated as a consequence of the phraseology employed during these
phases of flight. For example, levels may be reported as altitude, height or flight levels according to the phase of flight and the altimeter setting. Therefore, when passing level messages, the following conventions apply:

1. The word ‘to’ is to be omitted from messages relating to FLIGHT LEVELS.

2. All messages relating to an aircraft’s climb or descent to a HEIGHT
or ALTITUDE employ the word ‘to’ followed immediately by the
word HEIGHT or ALTITUDE. Furthermore, the initial message in any
such RTF exchange will also include the appropriate QFE or QNH.

I have always thought as Legal Tender has posted that if there is any evidence to say an aircraft is to land with less than final reserve fuel that a MAYDAY will be declared, the term MINIMUM FUEL only means that the diversion is no longer possible however it is still expected to land with the required final reserve. Are you aware that telling ATC you are MINIMUM FUEL that no priority will be given, just the most accurate track mileage to touchdown or anticipated delay passed?
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Old 15th Mar 2017, 17:15
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I would say option 1 based on the bits zonoma posted above.

Also I think the change to add in "altitude" and remove the "to" from flight levels was to do with two things.

One is this accident:

"Descend 2-4-0-0" was interepreted as "descend to 4-0-0" and resulted in a CFIT (plenty more to it than that but that was part of it).

The "to" was removed from flight levels to distinguish it from altitude or height, at least so I was taught.

I also have the same understanding as zonoma.
"minimum fuel" means burning diversion fuel to land at the original airport, it is not an emergency and no priority will be given (just an estimate of track miles or hold delay as appropriate).

If landing below final reserve fuel is a possibility I would expect a pan, if it is a certainty a mayday.
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Old 20th Mar 2017, 16:46
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It's 1 and 4. I had both questions and they were both correct.

Next time, may I repectfully suggest you actually read the company manuals and CAP413? The answers are there (Part A for Q2)
EGPFlyer is online now  
Old 20th Mar 2017, 19:49
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If it helps for the second one, SERA.11012 Minimum Fuel and Fuel Emergency (although I don't think it comes into force until October) says:
(a) When a pilot reports a state of minimum fuel, the controller shall inform the pilot as soon as practicable of any anticipated delays or that no delays are expected.
(b) When the level of fuel renders declaring a situation of distress necessary, the pilot, in accordance with SERA.14095, shall indicate that by using the radiotelephony distress signal (MAYDAY), preferably spoken three times, followed by the nature of the distress condition (FUEL).
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Old 27th Mar 2017, 20:18
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Q1 answer is 1
Q2 answer is 4

Cartman's Twin is offline  
Old 27th Mar 2017, 20:20
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Altitude transmission shall include 'to', clearances to a Flight Level shall not
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