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ATC Ignorance...Aircraft Type Designators

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ATC Ignorance...Aircraft Type Designators

Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:13
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ATC Ignorance...Aircraft Type Designators

"Traffic is a Dash 8 Delta.....an ATR76....an AC95....."

...you mean Q400?.... ATR72?......Turbo Commander?

The ICAO designation for a particular aircraft type is known to the owners or operators who submit their own flight plans, but is not necessarily known to pilots of other types. ATC operators simply quoting verbatim the ICAO code as a description of the aircraft type sound very ignorant...naive at best. On the other hand, the ATC that best describes the type (as coined by the manufacturer) sounds like they have some knowledge, or at least genuine interest.

How about an accepted description of an aircraft type for each of the ICAO designators? Many ICAO codes quoted verbatim really don't optimally relate the type description
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:31
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Sound like it's is YOUR/PILOT knowledge that is the problem here.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 11:38
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How about no, Scott...ok?

...IFR Traffic is QLK872, a bombardier Dash 8 400 series, twin engine, medium range turbo-prop aircraft (call you back flow) originally introduced in 1984, although models delivered after 1997 have cabin noise suppression. (Call you back Snowy). The aircraft has a large T-tail and very high aspect ratio wings, and the elongated engine nacelles hold the rearward facing landing gear (come back in 15 minutes please mate) and it also has a pointed nose profile. Cruise and descent Speeds, ceiling and capacity available on request...inbound from the northwest, on descent from flight levels, estimating the circuit Time 18.

Last edited by tyler_durden_80; 29th Mar 2017 at 11:53.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:17
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Agree 250<10. WTH is an AC95?? TD80, don't be a drongo.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:24
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I like the tech description of the SD330 / 360 " a Shed "
No one had doubts as to what it was
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:47
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Tyler_durden is the best prune user name I have ever seen. Finally someone with a bit of character (pun not intended) and not some pitiful aviation acronym for a username (no offence caused to people that do). I'm thinking of creating a new prune alias, Juelz Santana? Questions, comments or ciriticims?
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:53
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Originally Posted by TwoFiftyBelowTen View Post
How about an accepted description of an aircraft type for each of the ICAO designators?
Isn't the ICAO designator, by definition, an "accepted description of an aircraft type?"
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:55
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Afraid we don't get controllers with Aviation knowledge any more. They don't know how many engines you've got, if it's pressurised, has retractable gear, etc. They do know that a 3 KT tailwind and a 10 wind shift are aircraft killers.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:58
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Clearly someone new to the game - it's what we're taught to say if you can't recall/don't know the type. We do try to use a common name rather than just the designator where appropriate and the sectors I work have a cheat sheet of most types we see stuck to the console (extracted from MATS).

Personally I'd use: "Dash 8", "ATR", "Aero Commander". But then I'm a crusty ol' flight service officer masquerading as a controller.

Here ya go Bloggsy: http://cfapp.icao.int/Doc8643/report...or(Decode).pdf

Last edited by le Pingouin; 29th Mar 2017 at 13:00. Reason: typo
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 12:59
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ATC Ignorance...Aircraft Type Designators
Maybe ATC only advise the designator that is listed on the flight plan.

Take it up with Canberra if you have an issue with that.

Suggesting ATC are ignorant over this issue indicates that you are......well Ill leave that one alone.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 13:00
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Top stuff, Penguin. I better brush up on my PDF searching tho!
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 13:08
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Ummmm, more of them don't know what the aircraft are than do these days.

I heard a C130 described as a Cessna 130 on frequency once
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 13:12
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We also have access to a searchable database of all types (encode and decode) with many entries featuring a photo (courtesy of Philthy) - great for checking more obscure types if you're unfamiliar.

Hopefully it was a trainee and the training officer highlighted the error of their ways.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 13:39
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ATC in Aus are generally pretty good I think, I do agree some (many) of them need to review what aircraft type a GL5T is? It is a Global 5000, not a Gulfstream!!
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 13:44
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Feel free to offer famil flights!
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 22:59
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Pilots are just as guilty, depending on their background. Entered downwind at Essendon and pilot was told to follow the red Aztec on final. Identified a red aircraft, but he had no clue as to type. He had no GA background being the reason. Not uncommon. I'd bet not many pilots are familiar with the different helos out and about, unless they be helo drivers of course.
I heard a C130 described as a Cessna 130 on frequency once
Wasn't a case of transposition? Meaning he had Cessna 310 fixed in the mind for some reason, perhaps another aircraft he was looking after.
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Old 29th Mar 2017, 23:33
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No, she had a Herc on frequency
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 02:36
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Originally Posted by The name is Porter View Post
No, she had a Herc on frequency
I got called a "Challenger" once in a Herc. Controller thought the code was CL30 instead of C130. They were wondering why a challenger was poking along at m.5.

There is no separate ATC code for Civil Hercs, they're all C130 on the flight strip. Which often results in holding at a FIR boundary, explaining to the next ATC that we don't have a diplomatic clearance because we're a civil aircraft. That explanation is often met with a fairly high degree of scepticism.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 03:02
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I think most controllers do our best, but come on, there has to be a limit to how much a controller can actually be expected to know about the various aircraft types, the job is to seperate them, not provide a janes all the worlds aircraft service for free, and sometimes each designator can have 10 different types associated with it, for example PA31 is chieftain, mojave, Navajo and possibly a few others.

As for the C130 one, it's a bit of an easy mistake to make in the heat of battle. The Australian hercs tend to use C30J now so much less common mistake now.
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Old 30th Mar 2017, 03:19
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Originally Posted by Ia8825 View Post

As for the C130 one, it's a bit of an easy mistake to make in the heat of battle. The Australian hercs tend to use C30J now so much less common mistake now.
That's because the RAAF has replaced all their Hercs with c130J's. The C130J's have a significantly different performance profile than the older Hercs, thus the separate identifier.
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