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-   -   Mooney accident pilot refused a clearance at 6,500' (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/627036-mooney-accident-pilot-refused-clearance-6-500-a.html)

deja vu 9th Nov 2019 02:09


Originally Posted by junior.VH-LFA (Post 10613821)
No; I'm suggesting that if the weather prevents doing that you declare a pan and make the controllers work for you. That's how it works when you're in danger.

There is always scope to talk about airspace change. This is a perfect forum for that. Make a thread about it and stop hijacking accident threads to push your agenda.

Yeah, it sounds simple, "declare a pan and make the controllers work for you" I always thought they were there to work for you anyway, pan or no pan. Apparently not.
Sadly there are many relatively low time pilots prepared to risk encounters with terrain or weather rather than incur the wrath of CASA or ATC, this has been the case for far too long and needs to stop.

havick 9th Nov 2019 02:35


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10613766)
ACMS. The Moony pilot planned at 6500í

Why would he expect to be totally denied a clearance at that or a similar level?

Its not as if it was JFK.

even LGA and JFK lets VFR traffic through, hear it all the time.

L'aviateur 9th Nov 2019 02:59

It's often difficult to figure out what is possible and what isn't as a pilot. The Sydney controllers seem to be able to handle VFR traffic on the Harbour Scenic when the airspace appears to be completely saturated, absolute kudos to them. Then Williamtown can't give you a transit when it seems like nothing is moving in their airspace...
I thought we had it rough in the UK with being denied the occasional transit, but here in Australia I have experienced numerous delays and denials at tin pot airfields.

Lead Balloon 9th Nov 2019 07:09

At post #186 in the "Bell ditching off Newcastle" thread Maggie Island said:

Don't you worry, the [Willytown] Romeo's are activated with or without justification! (Mine or otherwise)
Says it all, really.

On Track 9th Nov 2019 08:46

L'aviateur, I agree with you about Williamtown. The most anal controllers I've ever dealt with.

visibility3miles 9th Nov 2019 20:08

I was under the impression that air traffic controllers could suppress signals from planes squawking 1200 to avoid clutter on their screen.

As a private pilot, I have had my transmission swamped by another plane transmitting on the same frequency at the same time. I'm told commercial planes have stronger transmitters.

Yes, I have been refused clearance through controlled airspace. I have no problem with this.

If it is an emergency, say so, or act accordingly regardless of permission.

If you look to the left, I was taught, "See and avoid."


the pilot reported that he was operating in clear conditions,
Not the sort of comment that would indicate an emergency...

Mike Flynn 9th Nov 2019 20:41


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10613766)
ACMS. The Moony pilot planned at 6500’

Why would he expect to be totally denied a clearance at that or a similar level?

Its not as if it was JFK.

Reading this thread makes me feel Australian aviation has a responsibility for this accident.

Were the controllers working this aircraft pilots?

I doubt it. Had they ever experienced this scenario?

Could they appreciate what the outcome could be?

Did they help the pilot?



Mike Flynn 9th Nov 2019 20:51


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10614308)
Now some important facts are coming out.

Thanks Prune!

You were the boss some time ago so why blame others now Dick?

Bob Hawke gave you the job as Chairman of CASA.

What did you do to reign in regulation in your days back in the ‘90’s?

It appears the old days of a great welcoming Australian flying community has long gone.

The likes of GOANNA and other outback tours are long gone.

I still have my fixed and rotary wing Aussie licences from decades ago but you regulators are the big issue when it comes to
winter in Australia.

The days of self fly hire for European and American pilots are long gone.

swh 10th Nov 2019 00:22


Originally Posted by havick (Post 10614334)
even LGA and JFK lets VFR traffic through, hear it all the time.

Be hundreds every day, the banner towing advertising, and all the helicopters going to downtown Manhattan, East 34th, West 30th, traffic into TEB, N07, MMU, CDW, LDJ


Originally Posted by deja vu (Post 10614325)
Yeah, it sounds simple, "declare a pan and make the controllers work for you" I always thought they were there to work for you anyway, pan or no pan. Apparently not.

Controllers are not mind readers, I have been denied weather deviations and even being accepted to my diversion airport for ATC procedural issues, simply declared PAN and I got what I needed. If ATC says unavailable, declare a PAN then it becomes available, if the danger level increases declare MAYDAY.

Pilots should use the use the system correctly, if enough people declare a PAN the ATSB will require a change.


Originally Posted by Mike Flynn (Post 10614890)
Were the controllers working this aircraft pilots?

I doubt it. Had they ever experienced this scenario?



No requirement for controllers to be pilots unlike some other countries that require controllers to be at least PPL holders.

Sunfish 10th Nov 2019 00:41

Deja Vu:

Sadly there are many relatively low time pilots prepared to risk encounters with terrain or weather rather than incur the wrath of CASA or ATC, this has been the case for far too long and needs to stop.
If the penalty for incurring the wrath of CASA or ATC was the equivalent of a speeding fine, no one would give it a second thought.

However the penalty is potentially the acquisition of a criminal record, becoming a felon, no reputation, no house, no family, no super, no flying, no firearms, no employment, no air travel and no overseas travel.

Like most rational adults, I regard CASA and ATC as more capricious and vindictive than weather and terrain and in the unlikely event I was caught out I suggest itís not a simple choice to bust controlled airspace at all, despite what you may think.

So, sadly, it isnít going to stop until the law and unjust culture changes.

machtuk 10th Nov 2019 02:01

It ALL boils down to who ultimately is in charge of flight? PICommand!

NaFenn 10th Nov 2019 02:08

While I cant speak of this incident as I dont know any more than the ATSB report - I have had several situation in GA where a clearance was required and ATC weren't keen... until i told them what was happening. A phrase as simple as "due weather, request clearance direct ..." was enough to get a clearance organised - not necissarilly immediately (due IFR traffic or similar) however actually talking to the controller and telling them what you need can make all the difference. Now that I work in an IFR RPT capacity, i do not know a single pilot that I work with that wouldn't mind burning an extra 5-10 minutes of fuel to allow a VFR aircraft through/infront in marginal weather if we're in the way. We can fly through it... they can't.

In some situations, even the old "we have this issue, we are doing this" was enough to make things happen, the paperwork can be dealt with later - and if you have a good enough reason to do your own thing to stay safe... then you're good.

junior.VH-LFA 10th Nov 2019 02:19

Sunfish if you can find me a genuine example of someone who was REQUIRED to breach airspace due to weather or an emergency, who articulated that was the case and was subsequently punished in the way you've described, I'll never question you again.

Good luck.

Track Shortener 10th Nov 2019 02:35


ATC as more capricious and vindictive than weather and terrain and in the unlikely event I was caught out I suggest itís not a simple choice to bust controlled airspace at all, despite what you may think.
So, sadly, it isnít going to stop until the law and unjust culture changes.
I suspect a good way to begin the culture change Sunfish refers to here - on an operating level - is a better mutual understanding of each others' roles. That means pilots visiting ATC facilities and ATCs going flying, in big or little cockpits. Sadly there hasn't been much opportunity to send ATCs on famil flights of late (yay, staffing) but there is a program running to facilitate pilot information nights at the two centres. NaFenn's strategy:

A phrase as simple as "due weather, request clearance direct ..." was enough to get a clearance organised - not necissarilly immediately (due IFR traffic or similar) however actually talking to the controller and telling them what you need can make all the difference. [snip]
In some situations, even the old "we have this issue, we are doing this" was enough to make things happen, the paperwork can be dealt with later - and if you have a good enough reason to do your own thing to stay safe... then you're good.
...is one of the big take-home messages at these nights. They run in Melbourne at least on an ad-hoc basis - contact details here: Pilot Information Nights | Airservices
It sounds to me like this is the sort of thing pilots like Sunfish might find valuable. A bit of mutual understanding goes a long way!

Dick Smith 10th Nov 2019 02:44

The airspace configuration is clearly wrong.

C above D with no terminal radar is likely to be a ď giant roadblock in the skyĒ to quote others.

It now looks as if it has contributed to a fatal accident.

Jabberwocky82 10th Nov 2019 03:22

Please stop it. You have done well for yourself and are held in high regard, and applaud your push for safety when itís appropriate. But youíre ruining it with your routine conduct in these particular threads.

Piston_Broke 10th Nov 2019 03:41


Originally Posted by Track Shortener (Post 10615060)
I suspect a good way to begin the culture change Sunfish refers to here

Don't take Sunfish's view as representative of the real situation.

Last he stated he's had no interaction with CASA at all, and probably only very limited time even communicating with ATC, let alone had any strife with them.

And yes, he for one would benefit from a visit,

Dick Smith 10th Nov 2019 05:12

Jabber. Why donít you explain the reason for the upside down airspace?

It could have a link to this accident.

If it had remained class E the pilot would not have been forced to a lower altitude.

Jabberwocky82 10th Nov 2019 05:32

I simply donít think it is all that complicated. If you know these areas are there, you plan according and communicate with the control zones and you generally have no issues at all.
Use some respect when you talk to the person at the other end of the radio, itís amazing what liberties that can afford you.
Have some knowledge of the process and show them you have tried and you will get a lot more out of the communication.
Plan and accept that sometimes it will not happen straight away and you have to be flexible to get what you want.
Donít fly in to shit situations.

Having been flying on the fires just west the day this aircraft went in, it was not an ideal flying environment. It was hard work, in a helicopter, flying low level. And Iím a somewhat experienced ďprofessionalĒ (I use that term lightly).

And the very similar incident involving the helicopter in to Williamtown. A colleague of mine was the last person to see them alive. They landed and refilled themselves at Coffs Harbour where I had been parking my machine each night. They filled their aircraft up from fuel stored in a drum and a plastic agricultural tank they had onboard the aircraft. Initial reports from the ATSB show the pilot was not even night rated. Yet took off with no possibility at all of finishing the next leg during daylight hours.

Unfortunately these two situations were both tragic. But they were both realistically avoidable and to blame the airspace for what at best seems like poor airmanship is a massively long bow to draw and simply not fair to the people in the ATC zones doing their jobs as best they can. I think education towards the industry to realise stopping and not trying to continue at all costs might be more beneficial than changing some airspaceís that are, at present, completely manageable.

Dick Smith 10th Nov 2019 06:14

Jabber. So why is the airspace upside down?

No other country that I know of has reversed airspace like this. Its clearly not the ATCs fault.

If the pilot had not been forced to a lower level he well may of continued the flight safely above the cloud.

Donít you understand this?


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