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"Leaving FL" Call

Old 14th Feb 2020, 00:01
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"Leaving FL" Call

There is one controller in Melbourne (132.2 last night) who has a thing about aircraft reporting, while identified, that they are leaving their cruising flight level.

His favourite trick is to not give a progressive descent clearance- to wait till you are approaching you assigned level and ask for further clearance before saying "OH! Missed your leaving call!" and giving you further descent.

I actually fronted him last night (frequency was quiet and I didn't prolong it" and transmitted "That's nit required". He replied with "It's in the AIP".

I've searched and while a "leaving" call is party of standard phraseology, I didn't interpret it as being a requirement in a RADAR environment, and no other center in the country seems bothered.

I think at best he's being bloody minded, but is he even technically correct?
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 00:56
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It might not be required in the AIP but if he has given you a clearance then asked you to report leaving a level for further clearance there could be a particular reason or it could just be his process to allow him to do his job better, he could be slightly overloaded with the areas he's been given and is doing that to make sure he doesn't miss something. Not going to defend it necessarily but whilst he might be being a bit bloody minded it seems you might also being the same in the whole "It's not in the AIP as far as I'm aware so I'm going to call you out on it".
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 01:04
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JEPS ATC AU-806 3.5.1.6
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 01:53
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The former "Left F/L 310" is far better English than "Leaving F/L 310" and means what is says- which is you have departed F/L ??. "Leaving" is a nebulous term loved by ICAO and can be taken to mean "I haven't actually vacated F/L310 yet but hang in there old chap I will be leaving F/L 310 asap.

I haven't a clue of the rationale for changing what was a perfectly understandable Australian ATC phraseology all those years ago. Rather than bend to a nebulous ICAO RT recommendation, it is time to stand up for commonsense English grammar and if necessary file a Difference to an ICAO Recommendation.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 02:10
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I recall the requirement to report vacating your level in a radar environment went away years ago.

The only reference in the AIP I can find is to report cleared level and passing level when changing frequency.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 02:13
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Originally Posted by Centaurus View Post
I haven't a clue of the rationale for changing what was a perfectly understandable Australian ATC phraseology all those years ago.
With all due respect, how about so when those of use from the 'rest of the ICAO world' are visiting your fine country, we don't have to try to decipher/remember yet another Australianism?

The difference between left and leaving is academic anyway, and has nothing to do with the original question which is one I also struggle with. Wizofoz, you could try my favourite passive-aggressive retort - "My apologies, I thought we were identified (followed by full procedural airspace altitude and position reporting)".
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 02:27
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Left is a direction, hence the change.

no requirement unless asked to report by ATC.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 02:31
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JEP AU-806

3.5 CHANGE OF LEVELS

3.5.1.6 The pilot-in-command of an aircraft, receiving an instruction from ATC to change level, must report:

a. when the aircraft has left a level at which level flight has been conducted in the course of climb, cruise or descent; and

b. when the aircraft leaves a level for which ATC has requested a report.

JEP AU-902

1.2 SUMMARY OF REPORT AND BROADCAST REQUIREMENTS

1.2.1.4 After any ATS directed frequency change, pilots must advise the last assigned level and, if not maintaining the assigned level, the level maintaining or last vacated level; e.g. “MELBOURNE CENTER (CALL SIGN) CLEARED FLIGHT LEVEL TWO ONE ZERO, LEAVING FLIGHT LEVEL TWO NINER ZERO”.

NOTE: The “last vacated level” may be omitted by identified aircraft squawking pressure altitude derived level information.
​​​​​​​
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 02:48
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Originally Posted by Wizofoz View Post
There is one controller in Melbourne (132.2 last night) who has a thing about aircraft reporting, while identified, that they are leaving their cruising flight level.

His favourite trick is to not give a progressive descent clearance- to wait till you are approaching you assigned level and ask for further clearance before saying "OH! Missed your leaving call!" and giving you further descent.

I actually fronted him last night (frequency was quiet and I didn't prolong it" and transmitted "That's nit required". He replied with "It's in the AIP".

I've searched and while a "leaving" call is party of standard phraseology, I didn't interpret it as being a requirement in a RADAR environment, and no other center in the country seems bothered.

I think at best he's being bloody minded, but is he even technically correct?
Indeed, welcome to Australian ATC. The most pedantic in the world. Lucky for them its a huge area with very little traffic.

The odd thing is that Aussie controllers who leave and become expats in the Middle East and Asia are quite the opposite, they're all first class and a joy to work with. This points to either the system or senior managers with "issues".
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 03:41
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Originally Posted by Wizofoz
He replied with "It's in the AIP".
He is right. AIP ENR-1.7 4.1.6 Nothing in there I can see about it not being required if you're already identified, so my reading is the overly-officious ATCO is correct, but that's not to say the requirement to not do so isn't buried elsewhere, like so many of our other fine regulations, exemptions and fluff...


Originally Posted by The AIP
4. CHANGE OF LEVELS 4.1
ATC Approval Required
4.1.1 The pilot in command must commence a change of level as soon as possible, but not later than one (1) minute after receiving that instruction from ATC, unless that instruction specifies a later time or place.
4.1.2 ATC may require that an assigned level must be reached by a specific time, distance or place. If a pilot in command doubts that the restriction can be met, ATC must be advised immediately.
4.1.3 ATS advised expectation of a level restriction does not authorise a pilot to climb or descend to meet that restriction.
4.1.4 An expectation of a level restriction is not required to be read back.
4.1.5 A requirement to report at a time or place given in the same clearance as a descent/climb instruction does not require the new level to be reached by the specified time or place.
4.1.6 The pilot in command of an aircraft, receiving an instruction from ATC to change level, must report:
a. when the aircraft has left a level at which level flight has been conducted in the course of climb, cruise or descent; and
b. when the aircraft leaves a level for which ATC has requested a report.

4.1.7 ATC may provide vertical separation between two climbing aircraft, not otherwise separated, by means of a step-climb. Pilots in command, who are subjected to a step-climb, must adopt the following procedure: a. The pilot in command of the lower aircraft must report approaching each assigned level in the sequence. b. The pilot in command of the higher aircraft, on hearing the lower aircraft report approaching each assigned level, must report the last vacated level.
4.1.8 Step-descents reverse the above para 4.1.7 procedure.
4.1.9 ATC may specify a rate of climb or descent. Other considerations are as follows:
a. The phrase “STANDARD RATE”, when included in a clearance, specifies a rate of climb or descent of not less than 500FT per minute, except that the last 1,000FT to an assigned level must be made at 500FT per minute.
b. In the case of a step-climb or descent, the specified rate will be applicable to all level clearances issued in the course of the step climb or descent. If unable to comply with the prescribed rate, the pilot in command must advise ATC.
4.1.10 Cruise Climb is not used in Australian administered airspace. Where possible, block level clearances will be issued upon request.
4.2 ATC Approval Not Required
4.2.1 In airspace where ATC approval is not required to change level, the pilot of an IFR flight must report present position and intention to ATC approximately one (1) minute prior to making any change
​​​​​​​
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 03:45
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It's their cricket set, besides I just do what the SkyGods do/say, must be right right?
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 03:53
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4.1.6 The pilot in command of an aircraft, receiving an instruction from ATC to change level, must report:
a. when the aircraft has left a level at which level flight has been conducted in the course of climb, cruise or descent;
and
b. when the aircraft leaves a level for which ATC has requested a report.


there’s an AND... clear as mud



Last edited by Bula; 14th Feb 2020 at 04:34.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 04:14
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Originally Posted by lucille View Post
Indeed, welcome to Australian ATC. The most pedantic in the world. Lucky for them its a huge area with very little traffic.

The odd thing is that Aussie controllers who leave and become expats in the Middle East and Asia are quite the opposite, they're all first class and a joy to work with. This points to either the system or senior managers with "issues".
it’s the same with Saffers too. Left in their own world and country, they’re petty tyrants. Outside of SA or Oz and they’re a beacon of control and calm.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 04:44
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Further to my post above....

The only reference in the AIP I can find is to report cleared level and passing level when changing frequency.

Note: The “last vacated level” may be omitted by identified aircraft squawking pressure altitude derived level information.


So if I can omit it when transferring to another frequency, why include it on the current frequency?
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 04:57
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Sounds like they need a break.
If I really needed to know it was easier to say “when ready descend to ... report leaving”.
Anything else is really just pissing on posts.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 04:59
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Originally Posted by Ixixly View Post
It might not be required in the AIP but if he has given you a clearance then asked you to report leaving a level for further clearance there could be a particular reason or it could just be his process to allow him to do his job better, he could be slightly overloaded with the areas he's been given and is doing that to make sure he doesn't miss something. Not going to defend it necessarily but whilst he might be being a bit bloody minded it seems you might also being the same in the whole "It's not in the AIP as far as I'm aware so I'm going to call you out on it".
He DOESN'T ask for a leaving call- he gives "Descend when ready" then assumes you will give the leaving call.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 05:04
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Thanks all- does raise the question- why does this seem to be the only ATCO in the country that gives a @@@@ about it.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 05:12
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An example of when you don't need to call leaving but is consistent with the AIP is the frequency change that coincides with your ToD. When you make the intial call to the new frequency you just have to notify the assigned level that you are descending to. Some where in the mists of time there was probably no requirement to report leaving but an aircraft inadvertently left their altitude and ATC didn't realise. The solution was to require pilots to report leaving.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 06:58
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Originally Posted by Wizofoz View Post
Thanks all- does raise the question- why does this seem to be the only ATCO in the country that gives a @@@@ about it.
AIP seems clear to me (you must call leaving). Maybe other ATCOs can't be bothered picking you up on it, or just assume you've forgotten.
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Old 14th Feb 2020, 07:15
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Talking

Australians........perfecting aviation since 1905
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