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Otmet 1G into LGW would this help?

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Otmet 1G into LGW would this help?

Old 5th Mar 2019, 07:20
  #1 (permalink)  
RMC
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Join Date: Apr 2003
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Otmet 1G into LGW would this help?

Hi, I was flying into LGWthis morning and given the Otmet 1 G.

Instructed to be FL130 by Teltu. Then got headings....early slowdown to 250 knots.....back on the SID but initial stop altitudes of Fl180 and 150.

The 180 restriction was removed keeping us above profile and 150 removed about six miles before Teltu.

This made it sensibly impossible to meet the 130 restriction at 250 knots.

Does an intermediate step altitude automatically cancel a STAR restriction or is it expected that we slow down below 250 knots at FL180 to kill some energy ....then increase speed dive to FL150 and slow down again to min clean to give us a fighting chance of making FL130?

Thanks in advance.
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 13:03
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
Hi, I was flying into LGWthis morning and given the Otmet 1 G.

Instructed to be FL130 by Teltu. Then got headings....early slowdown to 250 knots.....back on the SID but initial stop altitudes of Fl180 and 150.

The 180 restriction was removed keeping us above profile and 150 removed about six miles before Teltu.

This made it sensibly impossible to meet the 130 restriction at 250 knots.

Does an intermediate step altitude automatically cancel a STAR restriction or is it expected that we slow down below 250 knots at FL180 to kill some energy ....then increase speed dive to FL150 and slow down again to min clean to give us a fighting chance of making FL130?

Thanks in advance.
An ATC clearance cancels a previous clearance. If a FL restriction mentioned in the previous clearance is still needed it MUST be repeated.

The controller should take into account that slowing you down may prevent you from making a subsequent FL restriction as the distance remaining is too short. The fact you were cleared to FL130 level by TELTU and then cleared to FL180 and FL150 either suggests poor planning by the controller or, more likely, there were a lot of Gatwick arrivals. For this reason they could have been going towards WILLO above the FL at which they are normally transferred between ATC sectors.

Please tell the controller if what you were asked to do is not achievable. The vast majority of controllers do realise that pilots are not magicians!
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 15:08
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This is what I thought...the only difference here is that TELTU by FL130 is a STAR restriction (which we were cleared on at TOD) . So as the 180 AND 150 FL were issued after the mid descent direct to TELTU they cancelled the FL130 restriction at TELTU as it was not restated right?
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 18:27
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It doesn't sound ideal, but the OTMET arrivals aren't great for the sector that works you between OTMET and TELTU. They're often trying to get you into a stream with the Gatwick traffic coming in from the South and it also crosses the Heathrow inbound track so you'll end up dropping on top of the Heathrow traffic and possibly some of the Gatwick stuff too.

If what you're asked to isn't possible then ask us which one you want us to meet. It will usually be the STAR restriction that we want you to make as there's a lot of traffic going into the TMA from all directions and you need to make the level restrictions to avoid other traffic.
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 18:51
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RMC
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TMT Thanks for the reply. Does the application of FL150 until 6 NM before TELTU not cancel that restriction (we had previously been taken off the STAR and also given a inItial altitude of FL180). The TELTU restriction was not restated after the initial STAR clearance?
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Old 5th Mar 2019, 20:23
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
This is what I thought...the only difference here is that TELTU by FL130 is a STAR restriction (which we were cleared on at TOD) . So as the 180 AND 150 FL were issued after the mid descent direct to TELTU they cancelled the FL130 restriction at TELTU as it was not restated right?
Right. In situations like you encountered this morning it is worth telling the controller that, as your descent was interrupted, the STAR restriction is not realistic.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 12:08
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This is going to make an F/Os day. He was pilot flying on a line check and was criticised heavily for not meeting the STAR restriction even with headings then a direct and an intermediate descent (and no restating of the restriction). Beer voucher will be sent for any link which we can point the checker towards this. Thanks for the replies guys.
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Old 6th Mar 2019, 12:58
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
TMT Thanks for the reply. Does the application of FL150 until 6 NM before TELTU not cancel that restriction (we had previously been taken off the STAR and also given a inItial altitude of FL180). The TELTU restriction was not restated after the initial STAR clearance?
To be honest, I don't know. I've just found a STAR plate for the 1G and it has the Fl130 restriction at TELTU. I don't know if that means you have to be planning the flight to make that restriction regardless or if it's an expect level.

Normally, if you're given a level by restriction and then subsequently given a different clearance, you can disregard the original restriction. As the FL130 is printed on the charts you guys have in the cockpit I don't know if you still have to adhere to that if cleared for that STAR, if you see what I mean. I probably should know, but we have so many agreed levels between sectors for certain traffic that I don;'t know which ones appear on charts and which ones don't.

I'm in tomorrow so I'll canvas some opinions and let you know what we all think and see if we can find anything official written down about it
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 11:41
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We as ATCOs are well aware that going down and slowing down isn't that great, if we give you something impossible just tell us, in this instance "descending FL130, unable to be level by TELTU (at this speed)". Did the controller reissue the "be level by TELTU" when you were recleared to FL130? If not, you do not have to be level and they should have coordinated the descent with the next sector. More importantly, please do not amend your speed issued at all without asking first, even if it is just for a few thousand feet to make a restriction, the trail can be quite tight in that area and separation can be very quickly eroded, sometimes close enough for vortex to be a big issue.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 14:34
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
TMT Thanks for the reply. Does the application of FL150 until 6 NM before TELTU not cancel that restriction (we had previously been taken off the STAR and also given a inItial altitude of FL180). The TELTU restriction was not restated after the initial STAR clearance?
What I think happened here is the TMA had too many Gatwick inbounds then they had levels for and so put a 'check on'. This means the usual method of transferring all Gatwick inbounds from S22 (the sector you were in) to TC Willo (the next sector) at FL130 Level TELTU was cancelled and the controllers then subsequently agree a level for each aircraft on an indivdual basis. As the controller working you had already cleared you to FL130 Level TELTU he/she then stopped you off at FL180 until a level for yourself was agreed upon. I'm assuming this was FL150. The reason for the FL150 Level 5nm before TELTU is that as the controller was never going to reissue the FL130 Level TELTU they were attempting to keep you on the same descent profile so that the Willo controller could climb other aircraft against you.

You should always expect to be cleared to the STAR level but obviously only if the controller re-issues the restriction (which they usually will)

As for the speed restriction, if you can't comply just let us know and we'll make another plan. 9 times out of 10 we'll want you to comply with a level restriction before a speed restriction but if in doubt, ask.

Are you Gatwick/UK based? If so I highly recommend a visit to Swanwick to see for yourself why we use these methods which must seem quite random from the flight deck.
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 14:39
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
This is going to make an F/Os day. He was pilot flying on a line check and was criticised heavily for not meeting the STAR restriction even with headings then a direct and an intermediate descent (and no restating of the restriction). Beer voucher will be sent for any link which we can point the checker towards this. Thanks for the replies guys.
See MATS 1 Section 1 Chapter 4 Para 7.1

When an amendment is made to a clearance the new clearance shall be read in full to the pilot and shall automatically cancel any previous clearance. Controllers must be aware, therefore, that if the original clearance included a restriction, e.g. “cross ABC FL150 or below” then the issue of a revised clearance automatically cancels the earlier restriction, unless it is reiterated with the revised clearance.
This would apply to level restrictions on STAR's
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Old 7th Mar 2019, 18:43
  #12 (permalink)  
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Thanks for the replies everyone...that has been cleared up nicely. I am LGW based and did visit Swanwick a coupe of years ago (invited by one of the respondents to this thread). May well come over again as I got a lot out of that visit. PS if ever you are on a flight please do let the front end know...the least you will get is a tour of the front office....probably of more interest is a seat upgrade. Having flow into some seriously dodgy ATC environments long haul drivers really do appreciate the great work you guys do.
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Old 30th Mar 2019, 02:31
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It seems that the LTC needs to refresh his/her own knowledge of the rules and that the FO is owed a beer!
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Old 31st Mar 2019, 13:26
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Why EITS? The controller hasn't done anything wrong, just may be asked for something that is no longer achievable due to reducing the speed after the aircraft had begun descent. It hasn't been stated if the controller reissued the level by TELTU instruction, and if they did then a pilot reply saying that isn't possible is acceptable. If the speed hadn't been reduced then I'd have fully expected the aircraft to still comply with the TELTU restriction even if I had vectored the aircraft all over the sky and stopped off at an intermediate level, as long as the descent had been continuous. The STAR says "expect FL130 level TELTU", until being cleared either beyond TELTU or below FL130, this should always be expected unless information is received otherwise.

There was an argument on here several years back about vectoring and STARs, some trying to embellish the "a new clearance automatically cancels the previous unless reiterated" saying that as soon as a vector is given, the STAR is automatically cancelled. We are all in this together and that would be a very dangerous game to play!
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