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Annoying habits

Old 27th Sep 2019, 06:44
  #21 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
Location: UK
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I for one try to use standard RT phrases, and try not to get into bad habits. I have been on a full TRUCE day and I make the effort to visit the tower at airports I am based at. My Dad was an ATCO at West Drayton, and he said it was sometimes difficult to “wake up” eastbound transatlantic pilots, inbound to the UK.

I don’t like it either when pilots ask for directs, (except to avoid weather).

Missing runway exits has been mentioned a couple of times: We obviously plan on taking a certain exit and adjust the autobrake accordingly. However, most Airbus have only low and medium settings, (Max is only used for RTO). We apply manual brakes to exit but it sh1ts the passengers up if we stand on the brakes and is very uncomfortable. We have strict company max speeds to take exits - even high speed exits, so if we are too fast, we have to go on to the next exit. By then of course, we are moving quite slowly.........we don’t like missing an exit either !

It would be helpful if the distances from the touch down point to each exit were written on the plate. Some newer aircraft have automatic brake to vacate at a specified exit.

Sometimes, even with the best of intentions, we float a little, which eats up our stopping distance. None of us are perfect
.

Last edited by Uplinker; 27th Sep 2019 at 07:00.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 08:36
  #22 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 2005
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Pilots who slow right down after landing and 'assume' they'll be cleared for backtrack when there's further landing traffic on short final.
If I had time, before landing I would say 'after landing vacate first convenient left/right' (NB I never used to tell them which exit to use in case they braked sharply to make it and burst a tyre and yes I have seen it happen)
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 11:10
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by terrain safe View Post
Not listening at all, especially when really busy and the aircraft is number 1 at the hold, or at a 2 mile final and they are called with no answer. Today 1 aircraft was called 3 times before answering when inside 2 miles from touchdown. Surely you must be expecting a call!!
Not listening on the GMC frequency so increasing the workload. I know you have lots to do for your quick turn around, but if you listen you might get there quicker.
Stop sniffing at a runway high speed exit and then slowly taxying to the next exit. Not only anoyying and delaying everything but also might mean another aircraft has to go around due to you wandering down the runway. Get off the runway asap!!
Stopping on the runway and then turning really slowly down the high speed exit. Just be glad we don't have live microphones!
Calling on GMC that you are approaching where you have been told to hold. I know you are, but there is something either in your way, or about to be, so stop wasting RT time.
Asking to roll to the end as it's easier for you when you can see about 10 aircraft at the holding point witing to depert. As one pilot said on the RT recently when this very request was made by a company aircraft "numpty".

Most pilots are fine and get there and help us out, but the ones who don't......
I don't think that attitude helps getting pilots on board and being helpful.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 16:09
  #24 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2017
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Pilots point of View

Originally Posted by terrain safe View Post
Calling on GMC that you are approaching where you have been told to hold. I know you are, but there is something either in your way, or about to be, so stop wasting RT time.
Just to present the pilot point of view on this one, I take umbrage with this particular piece of advice, the airports I fly into you're cleared to the next point where a potential conflict could arise and 50% of the time if you haven't either been cleared further or informed of the reason for the intermediate hold as you approach said point, we'd come to a stop and wait for a minute or two, only to be then told to continue on to the next point. While I acknowledge some ATCOs are sharper than others we fly with the full mix, we can tell when our presence has surprised you vs when there are specific reasons for our holding position.

If you'd like us not to ask and the frequency isn't too busy, passing the reason why we're stopping at a certain point (traffic crossing, with a slot etc) while clearing us there could avoid unnecessary RT prompts.

Particularly in a heavy it takes a lot of thrust and fuel to get moving again, and can have a noticable impact on brake temps that could all have been avoided by a prompt for further clearance approaching a holding point that would have allowed us to keep it on a roll.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 18:41
  #25 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Nov 1999
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Brake temps and breakaway thrust can be an occasional issue, but it’s rare. I don’t like the impatient; “tell him we’re approaching the hold” or “tell him the stop bar is still on”. Patience is a virtue.

ATC are doing lots of things at once, and they know where you are going to stop. When they get a second from making phone calls and watching other traffic, they will get to us.

There will always be a reason that you are told to hold anywhere - if there wasn’t, you wouldn’t be told to hold !!

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Old 27th Sep 2019, 21:06
  #26 (permalink)  

Only half a speed-brake
 
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Surprised the IDENTs not asked for get such high grades. Do they occur that frequently, or is the annoyance so extreme - what is it that happens once you get one?

Last edited by FlightDetent; 27th Sep 2019 at 21:23.
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Old 27th Sep 2019, 22:32
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
Surprised the IDENTs not asked for get such high grades. Do they occur that frequently, or is the annoyance so extreme - what is it that happens once you get one?
Uncommanded idents serve no useful purpose; the ident can only be used by a controller to identify you when that controller observes you responding to their request for ident.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 06:57
  #28 (permalink)  

Only half a speed-brake
 
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Copy that if you needed one, it must be requested first as you shall observe it in response.

My curiosity still stands, why it gets such high marks here. I would expect definitely
- not keeping or lying about speed adherence,
- fake WX avoidance call for shortcuts,
- deadwood "request if available" / superfluous readbacks
- wishful CTOT (+10) keeping
- known delays or unable-to that are only communicated once the damage is being done (level restrictions, line-ups)

Never imagined IDENTs could be a thing, though they are seldom used in our ops corner.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 08:59
  #29 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Feb 2016
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What an interesting thread....and hopefully a chance to ask some honest questions that quite often crop up on the line.

- Re. speed control. How rapidly are you expecting us to decelerate? The aircraft I fly is USELESS at slowing down with any greater than 1500ft/min VS, even with max spoilers. Quite often the only way to decelerate is to "dive down" to the next assigned level then rely on the speed coming back once level. Or kill the VS to <500ft/min to get rid of energy, then increase the VS again. I presume that you see our actual IAS on Mode-S, as opposed to selected IAS?

- "Descend when ready" - if we've then given it a few minutes in level flight, some of my colleagues like to chip in with "ABC123, commencing descent now". Personally I think it's an un-necessary call, but their argument is that it may help your situational awareness if you'd forgotten about us?

- "Standing by for further climb/descent" - not pointing fingers here, but in some countries it's quite common to be left way above descent profile, with radio silence; it seems the only way to spring ATC back to life is with a little nudge. Cue the sudden "Roger, descend 3000ft, Direct XYZ, cleared for the approach" whilst still at FL100 and 20 miles from the field. Are you suggesting that if we've not been called there's a good reason to just stay quiet and wait for the next clearance?

- "Request FLXXX for the cruise, if available" - our company likes us at FL410-450 most of the time. But quite often it's planned below that due to airspace/capping restrictions or whatever. Is it fair to ask for a higher level, or is that a massive addition to controller workload? Some colleagues argue that having us "up there" keeps us out of your way, but I'm not convinced it's that simple.

- "Expedite climb" - we can often do 5-6000ft/min VS when asked to. Is that acceptable for you, or is there another more sensible number that you're expecting?

Just to chip in a little about runway exits, as a couple of others have alluded to. It can be quite difficult to judge the amount of braking required for a timely exit, especially as our exact touchdown point/GS can vary. We're always aiming for the preferred exit, but then our company data monitoring has very strict rules on exit speeds....sometimes we're stuck between having to leave it to the next exit and annoy ATC, or take the exit above SOP speed and face an internal report

One pet hate, never an issue in the UK but in plenty of other countries, is instructions the moment our wheels have touched down. "ABC123, exit Delta, right on Mike, ground on 123.4" whilst we're still at 100 knots. The roll-out can be quite high workload, ensuring that spoilers/reverse have deployed and that the aircraft is tracking the centreline/decelerating as required. If you need us off at a particular exit, please tell us on final!

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Old 28th Sep 2019, 09:42
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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"ADBxxx Request 5 minutes on the runway"
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 10:37
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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FZRA, I think the gripe with "Request FLXXX, if available" is that the "if available" bit is completely useless. If it's not available, they won't give it to you, you don't have to make the request conditional on the availability of the requested level.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 11:03
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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OK. Quick response re runway exits. All I want is you off the runway. 1st or 2nd exit, I don't care, what is important is the TIME you are on the runway. We set up arrival gaps to give us enough time to either continually land aircraft or land and then depart an aircraft before the next lander. In other word we us a physical gap distance to give us time. Now I understand that you some times float etc and that's fine just don't stop and then slowly taxy the 400m to the next exit. The system can't cope with that, so we then send then next arrival around, either with an aircraft lined up or not, but we have lost a gap, maybe 2. This is critical in a High intensity operation. It takes 3 to 4 minutes before either the next lander or arrival. This then pushes everyone back by this time. So an aircraft at the holding point with a couple in front, who was going to be airborne in the slot time, will now miss the slot and may get a huge delay etc. So you see it's not just one or two aircraft who are affected it can be many. This is why I have grey hair (but I still have my hair!!).
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 11:18
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PilotViking View Post
out of curiosity, how much extra work does it cause when we ask for shortcuts that takes us outside controlled airspace? i.e deconfliction service etc

Thanks for the replies!
From a retired Scottish Control ATCO and I believe this is still the attitude.

From very little to too much !

If you asked ME and it was entirely in my sector, almost an instant decision PROVIDED that the airfield you were landing at could agree to the route and service.

If it involved more sectors, more calls, and more agreement from ALL involved, a bit of a pain actually.

One controller could be quiet but the next could already have a handful several already on DS and not be able to take more.

Quite a few who request directs and DS have absolutely no concept of what is actually happening below FL250, have not bothered to read any NOTAMs regarding military exercises or Danger Areas (because they plan in CAS) and do not know of the existence of TRAs and the freedom this gives the military.

I think the answer is, feel free to ask but don't expect an instant decision and realise a refusal will be for a very good reason, to keep you SAFE.
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 11:34
  #34 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2007
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''Got him on TCAS'' when passed TI in Class 'D'. Totally pointless. Tell me when you can see it, and then I can relax my separation / segregation and let you get on with integrating yourself.


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Old 28th Sep 2019, 17:32
  #35 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jan 2011
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My two cents for you FZRA...

Originally Posted by FZRA View Post

- Re. speed control. How rapidly are you expecting us to decelerate? The aircraft I fly is USELESS at slowing down with any greater than 1500ft/min VS, even with max spoilers. Quite often the only way to decelerate is to "dive down" to the next assigned level then rely on the speed coming back once level. Or kill the VS to <500ft/min to get rid of energy, then increase the VS again. I presume that you see our actual IAS on Mode-S, as opposed to selected IAS?
There are two problems. One is when a conversion speed is given with a when ready descent clearance. So often aircraft will carry on at the cruising level for ~20 miles before descending then go way faster than the restriction given. When questioned we're told 'well we needed to speed up to make the level restriction'. So why not descend earlier when the descent clearance was given?
The other problem is communication. It's impossible for us to know all the intricacies of each aircraft type/current weather conditions and how well they can slow down so it's difficult for us to always know if a speed and level restriction is difficult for you to achieve. So if a restriction isn't compliable then say so! If we know you can't do something we can figure another plan out and carry on. I believe a lot of pilots still think that speed restrictions are just to absorb delays and so if they're ignored it doesn't matter. They're not, they're a form of separation the same as a level or heading. I'm pretty sure you don't want to plough into the aircraft ahead of have to deal with a TCAS RA?

Originally Posted by FZRA View Post
- "Descend when ready" - if we've then given it a few minutes in level flight, some of my colleagues like to chip in with "ABC123, commencing descent now". Personally I think it's an un-necessary call, but their argument is that it may help your situational awareness if you'd forgotten about us?
I can only speak for within the UK but most of our sectors are small enough that we're watching you closely constantly so will know exactly when you've started descending and don't need the reminder. To be honest this is not a massive problem unless it blocks the frequency.

Originally Posted by FZRA View Post
- "Standing by for further climb/descent" - not pointing fingers here, but in some countries it's quite common to be left way above descent profile, with radio silence; it seems the only way to spring ATC back to life is with a little nudge. Cue the sudden "Roger, descend 3000ft, Direct XYZ, cleared for the approach" whilst still at FL100 and 20 miles from the field. Are you suggesting that if we've not been called there's a good reason to just stay quiet and wait for the next clearance?
If it's quiet and you've levelled off for a bit then this is fair game. But it's when the RT is very busy and you keep getting blocked by pilots who are still 2-3000ft from levelling off bugging you for further climb/descent that's the real irritant. We'll get to you when we can, we don't let you level off just for the sake of it.

Originally Posted by FZRA View Post
- "Request FLXXX for the cruise, if available" - our company likes us at FL410-450 most of the time. But quite often it's planned below that due to airspace/capping restrictions or whatever. Is it fair to ask for a higher level, or is that a massive addition to controller workload? Some colleagues argue that having us "up there" keeps us out of your way, but I'm not convinced it's that simple.
We're not permitted to climb you above your filed level when going to adjacent countries. Restrictions are there to keep controller workload manageable and therefore the aircraft safe. It's an annoyance I know but the crux of it is there's too many aircraft for not enough airspace!

Originally Posted by FZRA View Post
- "Expedite climb" - we can often do 5-6000ft/min VS when asked to. Is that acceptable for you, or is there another more sensible number that you're expecting?
If you're given an expedite then the best rate possible is appreciated. It's usually given because we've gone for a dodgy climb through and so probably in your interest to climb like the clappers!

Originally Posted by FZRA View Post
Just to chip in a little about runway exits, as a couple of others have alluded to. It can be quite difficult to judge the amount of braking required for a timely exit, especially as our exact touchdown point/GS can vary. We're always aiming for the preferred exit, but then our company data monitoring has very strict rules on exit speeds....sometimes we're stuck between having to leave it to the next exit and annoy ATC, or take the exit above SOP speed and face an internal report
Never been up a tower so couldn't care less!!
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Old 28th Sep 2019, 20:35
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by FlightDetent View Post
I would expect definitely
- not keeping or lying about speed adherence,
Yes. When we ask “Report your speed?” with a quizzical tone, we already know they’re going too fast, we’re just letting them know we know. Caveat - If the explanation is a hefty tailwind, it’s very helpful to be told.

- fake WX avoidance call for shortcuts,
Yes. The amount of weather avoidance requests (from particular airlines) that coincidentally go direct to 10nm final...

- wishful CTOT (+10) keeping
Yup. “But we can be airborne in 10 minutes” - maybe, if there were no other aircraft landing or departing - that’s what the -5+10 is for. Please, manage your FPL, and delay early for the best outcome. That applies to EOBT +\-15 as well. Appreciate that some ATC colleagues don’t help this issue by fudging CTOTs, it makes those of us who play the game seem inflexible.

My personal bugbear:
Any heading instruction for an arrival that doesn’t reduce track mileage getting “ABC123, can we self-position?” in reply. (Again - particular airlines).

Last edited by rodan; 28th Sep 2019 at 21:03.
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 12:58
  #37 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Jul 2008
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Originally Posted by The Fat Controller View Post
From a retired Scottish Control ATCO and I believe this is still the attitude.

From very little to too much !

If you asked ME and it was entirely in my sector, almost an instant decision PROVIDED that the airfield you were landing at could agree to the route and service.

If it involved more sectors, more calls, and more agreement from ALL involved, a bit of a pain actually.

One controller could be quiet but the next could already have a handful several already on DS and not be able to take more.

Quite a few who request directs and DS have absolutely no concept of what is actually happening below FL250, have not bothered to read any NOTAMs regarding military exercises or Danger Areas (because they plan in CAS) and do not know of the existence of TRAs and the freedom this gives the military.

I think the answer is, feel free to ask but don't expect an instant decision and realise a refusal will be for a very good reason, to keep you SAFE.
Guilty as charged
SAB direct EDI 24 instead of routing via AGPED.

Do appreciate the service and coordination it requires as it saves a lot of time for us (provided no glider activity as then I always stick to CAS NATEB/AGPED/HAVEN)
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 14:50
  #38 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Apr 2018
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Originally Posted by Tom! View Post
Guilty as charged
SAB direct EDI 24 instead of routing via AGPED.

Do appreciate the service and coordination it requires as it saves a lot of time for us (provided no glider activity as then I always stick to CAS NATEB/AGPED/HAVEN)
I have worked with ATCOs who nornally say no to any requests, not because it's not safe or generates too much workload, but just because they can't be arsed. Saying No to everything is an easy answer and you can't go wrong.
It's not a type of ATCO I am particularly proud to work with, but unfortunately they do exist.
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 16:14
  #39 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Aug 2015
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Originally Posted by SThor View Post

”ABC123, standby” (I might have to check with the next sector or unit if you’re requesting something or I’m on the phone and intend to call you back)
”Standing by, ABC123” (seriously!?!)
What response would you prefer ? Silence? Or a super brief 'stby' without a callsign ? - I guess that's what I do.
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Old 29th Sep 2019, 17:27
  #40 (permalink)  
 
Join Date: Mar 2006
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Originally Posted by double_barrel View Post
What response would you prefer ? Silence? Or a super brief 'stby' without a callsign ? - I guess that's what I do.
According to CAP 413, a standby call from ATC requires no response from the pilot. Therefore ‘silence’ is the correct one to choose from your list above.
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