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Sydney ATC and PRM approaches

Old 15th Feb 2012, 01:32
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Sydney ATC and PRM approaches

We departed from our outport this morning on time at 0635. No CTMS. Sydney ATIS was indicating PRM approaches from 0715. Weather at Sydney was 10k+ few at 2500 feet! Our 30 minute sector had us arriving at 0705, which is normal for this particular service, and usually gets us in just prior to the "peak". At least we should avoid the madness, or that's what we thought.

Ahh not to be. Instructions to slow to min speed, hold, and radar vectors, ensured that our arrival into the Sydney terminal was in time for us to participate. assigned runway was 16L (of course), and we were duly processes (at reduced speed) via an 18 mile downwind leg. Established on final and VISUAL at 4000 feet! Then instructed to "...keep your speed up for as long as possible.." Not cleared for avisual approach mind, so just how we were to configure as per SOP's probably didn't figure in the equation.

Arrived at the gate 20 minutes late! Subsequent service(s) were then delayed as a result.

Can anyone explain the logic in this?
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 01:55
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So Normal! Had NTL return early the other morning, departed 5 early, arrived 10 early into NTL then go 1hr 25 CTMS in NTL. The flight is only 25!!! Then 30 mins holding on return leg, at bay 2hrs late. And the weather was good!
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 02:36
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Have you considered the extra traffic that may have diverted from BBN also there would of been delayed departures from SY to BBN! As it was not reopened till about 530, which is 630 NSW.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 02:45
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Anyone from ATC care to comment?
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 02:50
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Established on final and VISUAL at 4000 feet! Then instructed to "...keep your speed up for as long as possible.." Not cleared for avisual approach mind, so just how we were to configure as per SOP's probably didn't figure in the equation.
An ATC clearance determines your application of SOPs? Keh?
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 03:07
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Rhetorical statement Bloggs.

Even though as a mere mortal I sometimes fail to see the logic with the Sydney flow (CTMS met to the minute, yet still holding, PRM approaches in virtual VMC, keep the speed up on final after flying on or near the stall for the past 30 minutes, not literally Bloggs!) I still attempt to comply with instructions. The problem is, sometimes those instructions appear to be made in ignorance of the operators mandated SOP's for the approach in use.

As PIC I always try to apply logic and flexibility to the situation, even though on occasion it appears to be a one-way street!
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 03:13
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Krusty, in the good old days Ansett and Qantas used to put on barbies at the centre in Sydney. We used to be able to do famil flights, pretty easily organised.

We used to chat at these functions and on these flights in an informal way about both our jobs. Now?
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 06:09
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Any one from ATC care to comment?
Krusty, i'm sure part of the problem was the closure of Rwy19 at Brisbane. A few heavies diverted to Sydney putting extra pressure on the long runway there.
Did ATC have time to plan for the extra traffic ?( the wheels up was several hours earlier I believe) I can't really say as I wasn't there but these days we are managed more and more from YSCB. We even have a National Operations Centre there that should have been all over this. CTMS is, I believe, one of their babies. One of the latest stories doing the rounds is they have been taking bookings for practice ILS approaches at the Gold Coast.

The troops in the trenches no doubt did their best with the hand they were dealt. The trouble is these days we have one hand tied behind our back.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 06:21
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Visual at 4000?

The lowest common denominator (foreigners and b767 pilots) wont report until there is not a single fluffy cloud in sight.

My bet is if the rate was run for ILS/IVA another 4-8 wouldn't have been able to even arrive each hour so holding goes through the roof.

18 nm downwind. Lucky ye be!
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 06:29
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ATC Comment. Too many planes, not enough runways.

Actually, the truth that you probably guessed is that ATC are sitting around in the room laughing at how they sped some guy up after slowing him down and made him fly an instrument approach when he was visual. Yeah, thats what really happened.

Next question.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 06:55
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Originally Posted by Duff Man
Visual at 4000?

The lowest common denominator (foreigners and b767 pilots) wont report until there is not a single fluffy cloud in sight.
yep, they seem to have an aversion to it. "let them do the work" was the common phrase I heard whilst there.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 07:21
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Visual at 4000?

The lowest common denominator (foreigners and b767 pilots) wont report until there is not a single fluffy cloud in sight
Well with ignorant comments like that, Im not surprised some of us foreigners are a little cautious at calling "visual" after a 14 hr sector

To the guys in MEL and BNE centres this morning, thanks for your efforts in expediting our unplanned arrival this morning after the broken sewer pipe at BNE.
Managed to be the last arrival before the PRM approaches started
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 07:40
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Just shows how the whole joint is at breaking point, get a wheels up at Brisbane and the whole east coast gets affected! It is a joke!
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 11:00
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Speed up/slow down

In general terms, and I'll keep it simple, think of the final approach sequence as a chain. Everyone in the chain needs to do the same speed, so they dont run up each others arse, etc. If you are not yet in the 'chain', then you may be sped up, slowed down, held, whatever until you enter the 'chain'. eg. your gap in the chain is a space that is a 15nm gap between 2 others in the 'chain'. Your current position, however, is 1 nm in front of the guy who will be behind you. Now, the controller could just let you run at your desired speed, say 280kts, and it will work fine with the one in front of you, but the one behind you, and every other subsequent a/c (could be 50) will get slowed down/extra miles. Or, YOU could get told to do max speed til you fit perfectly into the hole, then told to reduce to 250kts (the speed of everyone in the chain), to assume your position in the chain. The less time and space the controller has to work with, the more dramatic the speeds/vectors need to be.

There are ever more complex variations of this, but thats the guts of it. The longer the chain, the more of this you expect. Back when the 'chain' at any particular oz airport was short ie 3 a/c at any given time, then there was hardly any of this that was noticeable to the pilot. Those days have gone, especially during unplanned events such as wheels ups/wx etc etc.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 11:09
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Had a good chat with aBNE APP guy on Saturday and it seems things have actually gotten worse

Half the staff required....50% of consoles being used....get used to BLAKA doughnuts lads.

Wally you did get some of the blame too

Wait till the dredging ad pumping gear gets installed shortly, and 14/32 s closed.....I am told that will be even more fun for all, not just in BN
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 11:17
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I'll give credit when credit is due, nicely explained Ferris.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 11:20
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The whingers need to do a bit of playing of:

Air Control (Android)

or

Flight Control (i gizmos)

Might help their understanding of what ATC have to do.
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 11:32
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The whingers need to do a bit of playing of:

Air Control (Android)

or

Flight Control (i gizmos)

Might help their understanding of what ATC have to do.
Or for a real test ATC-SIM: a web-based air traffic control simulator
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 18:56
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Well with ignorant comments like that, Im not surprised some of us foreigners are a little cautious at calling "visual" after a 14 hr sector
Not ignorant, and not even a complaint. ATC can only work with what they're given from YOU. If you can continue to the airport with constant ground/water visual contact, you are VISUAL. Director doesn't care if you can't quite see the runway or approach lights yet (unless you are VH- reg).

ATC game for iPhone/iPad - try Sector 33 from NASA. In 10 minutes, you will get an "aha" moment and finally understand the slowdown/speedup conundrum.
NASA - Sector 33 App for iOS
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Old 15th Feb 2012, 19:32
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Also flew in during the PRMs called visual runway in sight passing about 3500ft and was still cleared an ILS PRM even with no conflicting traffic on the adjacent.
I don't suppose ATC were just trying to keep PRM proficient?
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