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Pilot Deviation Notice

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Pilot Deviation Notice

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Old 16th Sep 2018, 02:01
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Join Date: Sep 2018
Location: Texas
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Pilot Deviation Notice

I'm a flight instructor in the Memphis, TN area. We do most of our flight training in or just below the Memphis Class B airspace. Today, I was flying with a student who was working on his Commercial Multi-engine conversion (currently holds a Kenyan license). While in the air, we were diligently monitoring the radio frequencies. The student was actively manning the radios and I was monitoring the radios, as well. At one point during the flight, we hear ATC angrily say, "Mem Appch, Duchess XXX..." Confused as to why he's frustrated (we had been listening and hadn't received any prior calls) I responded, "Duchess XXX, go ahead". The controller then says something along the lines of, "Duchess XXX, turn eastbound immediately, traffic less than 1/2 mile ...... WE NEED YOU TO LISTEN, WE'VE ALREADY CALLED YOU THREE TIMES." We immediately cranked it over into a right turn towards the East and after the situation was over my student and I looked at each other--he was just as dumbfounded as I was. Certainly, I miss radio calls from time-to-time, especially in a training environment, but I've always made a conscious effort to listen to ALL radio chatter, not just for my callsign, in order to gain situational awareness; I've NEVER been one of the pilots chastised by ATC for not listening. About 30 seconds after the incident, ATC calls and asks us why we didn't respond to their calls. I politely told him that I'm flying with another experienced commercial pilot, both of us were listening, and we did not hear a single call for us. About 15 seconds later, he informs us of a possible pilot deviation.

I called the number on the ground and spoke to the supervisor of the Memphis tracon. He told me that due to the automatic incident reporting, they already sent in the paperwork. I gave him my name, address, and phone number. He was fairly reasonable about the whole thing and was willing to hear our side of the story (I had the student on speaker phone with me). He mentioned that he had put "possible radio issues" as a probable cause on the paperwork.

Given the fact that I've never had a track record of not listening to approach, and that I had another experienced pilot with me to vouch my story, I find it VERY difficult to believe that we simply "overheard" 3 radio calls. I'm hoping an investigation will find issues on part of the controller or with equipment failure. Nonetheless, I see this as an humbling opportunity for further improvement.

To further add credibility to our case (as I'm sure many of you are assuming we simply weren't listening), we heard the ATC call to the traffic we came in proximity with. We heard the other plane respond and say that he had us on TCAS. It's surprising we heard this and not THREE calls with our tail number. We also heard another pilot get chewed out 5 minutes prior for "not listening". What was interesting is that we never heard ATC call this particular plane before chewing him out (usually I hear the unanswered calls).

My question is: what is going to happen to me? What is the next step in the process? (I filled out a NASA report immediately after calling tracon). Will this go on my record? Will I ever have an opportunity to view the tapes? (liveatc feed for memphis is down). Will this make it difficult for me to go to the airlines?
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Old 16th Sep 2018, 18:45
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Join Date: Nov 2005
Location: River Thames & Surrey
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Ask to listen to the ATC tape for that period or demand a transcript made by an independent person.
If you were below Class B, what class of airspace were you in?
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 02:01
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We were in class B airspace. I will ask for the tapes tomorrow.
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 03:10
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I'm really not into the FAA world , but generally speaking , the no blame culture should be a must in the civil world wich the US should be part of....
During the investigation (the person in charge will download audio and radar tracking if needed) they can simply collect and close the matter at same time, if a serious event occurred they will continue but normally asking you about your side of the story and given that in the specific case you have no fault , nothing should be happening either to you, your licence and your professional life ....

According to your story, the reason can simply be addressed to technical issues, on the ATC side or even on your side, 'cause you're not guilty or responsable for a broken headset, airplane malfunction, o even a flying task wich caused your missing listening/reply, aviate than communicate .
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Old 17th Sep 2018, 18:47
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Join Date: Mar 2001
Location: etha
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Was the RTF rather busy at the time? Could it be that the calls to yourself were saturated out by other pilots transmitting too? I'm also unfamiliar with the FAA and how they would progress this, but in the UK there wouldn't be any action against you as such, but just an education alerting you to what the situation was. Over here the frequencies can be disected enough to work out if more than one person was talking at once and if the transmissions to yourself were "stepped on". Put it down to learning, hopefully it will stay that way, it happens everywhere in the world so don't worry too much about it.
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Old 19th Sep 2018, 00:39
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Join Date: Nov 2006
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Well just a little note. If like you said you were given permission to enter the Bravo airspace to conduct your work it is generally the ATC who is responsible to separate you from other a/c in the bravo or outside period. Hence, the fact that ATC can deny you entry in the Bravo (to busy to keep you safe). That is why you may hear at times when you are flying under VFR rules the phrase "you have left the ABC bravo airspace with some other interactions". This is to notify the pilot that you will no longer receive Class B separation. Now, overall I don't really have the full details but well from the picture you paint I don't see much that can happen. You have done exactly what a pilot should do in these cases. File a report with your side of the situation, ATC will do the same and somebody in some back office may review and deem non event or you may receive a call for more info or you may not hear anything at all.
I would not loose to much sleep over this.......and someone said this is a non punitive environment. Most of the info is made to be a learning tool for all. And overall in aviation, any type of incident has multiple layers.....not just the actions of one individual.

Hope this helps. If you get any other info or feedback that you need help with feel free update us all.
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