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Do you listen to ATC if they tell you the weather ahead is bad?

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Do you listen to ATC if they tell you the weather ahead is bad?

Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:26
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Do you listen to ATC if they tell you the weather ahead is bad?

If your told the weather ahead is poor by ATC would you listen or just disregard??.....yesterday I was giving a service to a light aircraft operating VFR as he tried to route back to his Scottish base.....Being the helpful sort of guy that I am I obtained weather ahead from airfields that he was liable to have to fly over....to say the least these reports were poor....the best OVC at 600ft and the worst OVC at 300ft.......on advising him of this info he tells me "no it's fine where I am as he decides to press on!!! What would you have done???

The outcome could have been a lot worse I fear!!

Last edited by fisbangwollop; 11th Jun 2012 at 14:27.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:30
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There's no helping some people
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:38
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Based on what you've said, I'd say he is an idiot.

But he could be instrument rated and in an appropriate IFR equipped aircraft for the probable icing conditions then it doesn't sound as bad. Maybe he started to fly IFR but couldn't be bothered telling you?? What was his destination weather like? If the cloud base was a lot higher than en-route airfields then it's possible he did do IFR flying and then landed visually at home base.

What aircraft was he flying?

If it was me chugging along in my C152 I would have got the f**k out of there!!

It does beg the question, did he even check the enroute weather before departure??

Poor airmanship from whatever angle you look at it in my opinion.

Don't be put off giving us pilots help like you did. I'm very grateful when controllers go beyond what they have to do to help me out.

Last edited by pudoc; 11th Jun 2012 at 14:43.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:45
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Quite the opposite for me. On my epic (for me) trip from Halton to Kirkwall and back last week, I asked various ATSU for the weather ahead of me to help my decisions on routes and intermediate stops.

Before anybody says anything, I had made detailed plans before I departed but kept them under review throughout the flights.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:55
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I've often asked ATC to get me met further down route, and used that information.

I've also often flown VFR in IMC; so long as things are within my personal limits at destination and hopefully my alternate, and most likely I'm receiving a traffic rather than just basic service. And of-course, conditions aren't consistent with risk of icing.

I'm an IMC holder, so my personal minimum will normally be 600ft and 1800m RVR or thereabouts. If I had an IR, that would come down to 200/900. In either case however I may have local knowledge of my destination that modifies my decision point - in either direction - compared to that based purely upon published data.

Similarly I want options in the event of an emergency en-route: cloudbase below is a significant player, but so is what I can see out of the window and my knowledge of what is around me en-route.

So I think that ATC providing this information is spot on, but ultimately the pilot has to make his own decision and will be using a lot of evidence that ATC doesn't have.


Was this pilot being sensible or stupid? Impossible to tell without being him in my opinion.

G
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:56
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If your told the weather ahead is poor by ATC would you listen or just disregard??.....
Of course I would listen. And I would say thanks. If I can't climb over or go around it, I would find out if conditions are suitable for continued IFR flight (eg. Storms/winds/ice) and request IFR clearance to continue if so.

A few have left obtaining the clearance too late and killed themselves, where weather and controlled airspace is coming down and the ground is going up.

Others have also exceeded their capabilities (not IFR equipped and certified) and ended up losing control and killing themselves.

Last edited by soaringhigh650; 12th Jun 2012 at 21:58.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 14:59
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It's not possible to answer without knowing aircraft details, altitude, etc, and thus possibly get an idea of the pilot's capability and actual flight conditions.

If you posted an mp3 of the radio exchange, it might be revealing

The UK has a negligible history of ATC helping pilots with weather. It's just not a part of the system - unlike the USA where they have the established PIREP system.

Personally, I would obviously not disregard an ATCO's concern but I would also explain to him what my plan was to get back down. The least I would say is e.g. vis up here is 50-100nm, blue skies, etc.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:08
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Far too many assumptions.

While he was VFR at the time he may well have been IFR capable and ready and able to fly an IAP. Alternatively he might well have had another good and safe plan in mind. We just don't know.

On the other hand I would agree that it would have been polite to thank you for the information and indicate that he was IFR capable and able to "accept" the weather.

Whether or not its in the rule book I don't know but I guess if in doubt there was nothing to stop you pointing out that it was unlikely he would be able to continue VFR and that he would probably need to accept an IFR clearance in due course.

After that I guess its down to Darwin, there wasn't much more you could have done.

Thinking again. more subtly you could have asked him whether he wanted to you to try an arrange over the land line or via a hand over an IFR hand over assuming this was available to you. At the least it might have "shocked" him into relising that he was about to do something "illegal" if indeed that was the case.

Last edited by Fuji Abound; 11th Jun 2012 at 15:10.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:17
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If you don't listen, you won't hear what ATC is saying.

Many Pilots disregard ATC briefings and end up not having the opportunity to fly any more.

Lets get it right here. It is a common sense issue to always take things into consideration to avoid unusual flight envelope. 4 youths passed away 2 days ago because the pilot apparently became disoriented in low ceiling and bad visibility circumstances, losing control of the aircraft and impacting terrain.

I always consider my exchange with ATC very seriously and never disregard information giving to me. I consider that "good practice" for safe flying.

WP
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:19
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Don't think I would have plodded on IMC rating or not but as pointed out, we don't know the exact circumstances.

To put the boot on the other foot as it were I was flying in Yorkshire a couple of weeks ago when there was a big helicopter exercise on. I got up to Robin Hood's Bay and the infamous local 'Sea Fret' or thick sea fog rolled in. I told LARS I was going to climb to VMC on top and I had a variety of stations, including the LARS asking me about vis and cloud tops. Felt quite useful for once.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:26
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What aircraft was he flying?
Ultralight!!

While he was VFR at the time he may well have been IFR capable and ready and able to fly an IAP. Alternatively he might well have had another good and safe plan in mind. We just don't know.
I had a feeling in my water that his plan was to try to maintain VFR....with the weather reports I gave him I knew that would not be possible...but then I was not the pilot just the "Area FISO" trying to help him!

The reason I have posted this is to try and help people learn.......In this instance I handed the aircraft off to an aerodrome Radar unit as it started to become obvious to me that his planned route would take him through their class D airspace......in the end I am glad I did.!!
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:29
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Freely offered weather is always good to have. I've certainly requested local and slightly further away weather from a couple of LARS providers in recent years.

That has made getting a picture of things generally much easier. But what it usually allows is a lot more flexibility.

The last time I was in this position I could have carried out a 180 turn and retraced my route, or it meant diverting a long way inland a long way off route. The station I was working would have no idea where I was off to - because I was not sure and so could not tell them - just that the weather they had given effectively blocked the route.

I told them I was going to try and route inland and left the frequency. Given they have radar, they probably watched my meandering route - but without that it would have left them wondering I guess.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:32
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This wasn't the chap who made the Super Soaraway Daily Scum today, was it? Good picture of police 51 in formation with him if it was
 
Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:33
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Ultralight!!
That's an aircraft class that doesn't exist in the UK.

What type? [Or if you prefer not to say, I'd be happy for you to PM me the registration and I can offer an informed opinion of aircraft capability here without naming either type or registration.]

G
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:36
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If it was an ultralight, IFR cannot come into this tale? Or do you Brits have one more peculiarity to allow microlights going into IMC, in certain situations?
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:38
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That's an aircraft class that doesn't exist in the UK.
OK sorry it was an LAA type I believe.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:41
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FBW, given your location there wouldn't be any connection to a certain aircraft that was escorted in to Glasgow by the police heli, would there?

BB
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:52
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Originally Posted by fisbangwollop View Post
OK sorry it was an LAA type I believe.
I have some expertise in this area, and can see many complexities here, but almost certainly no LAA type is permitted to fly an IAP through cloud except in an emergency.

Knowing the exact type and variant, which I could get from the registration if you can let me know privately, would inform the debate significantly.

G
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 15:57
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FBW, given your location there wouldn't be any connection to a certain aircraft that was escorted in to Glasgow by the police heli, would there?
I believe it was the very one....I don't know the circumstances after I had transferred the aircraft to Edinburgh as he had indicated that he wished to transit their class D airspace at the time still VFR.....it was one of those situation that you just get a feeling in your water....gladly it all worked out well in the end....maybe next time a different story so lets all hope "Lesson's learnt" !!!!

Last edited by fisbangwollop; 11th Jun 2012 at 15:58.
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Old 11th Jun 2012, 16:12
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Then I think he was rather foolish not to listen and act upon the reports you were kindly giving him.

Hopefully a lesson has indeed been learnt.

BB

Last edited by BabyBear; 11th Jun 2012 at 16:12.
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