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Bit of a barney with ATC today, what would you have done?

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Bit of a barney with ATC today, what would you have done?

Old 26th Mar 2016, 21:18
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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But it's not how we're trained to fly in controlled airspace? And it's not a split second decision - it's a "in 2 or more minutes" decision. And hence, it's unsurprising that ATC got a bit unhappy - and moved the pilot to the same controller as their procedural IFR traffic to ensure best co-ordination.

G
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 23:45
  #22 (permalink)  
 
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"Normal" SID's are designed in such a way that a climb gradient of 3,3 % (201 ft climb per nautical mile of distance) will keep you clear of all obstacles in the departure path.

Sometimes, in mountainous areas or for ATC-reasons, a bigger climb is necessary. If the required climb gradient is bigger then 3,3 %, this will be said in the SID procedure itself. For instance: 5,4 % climb required until passing a certain point. In this case if you were climbing at a groundspeed of 160 knots you would need a climb ratio of about 864 ft/min. (160 *5,4 (rule of thumb))

It is up to the pilot to insure that the aircraft performance can confirm to the SID gradient requirements before accepting the SID

There were some accidents due to failure to fly climb gradients and this caused the FAA to highlight the requirements in recurrent training
And of course IFR always ask for a turn to avoid but the point is you should not have been in that situation in the first place ))

It wouldn't go down very well with ATC if you accepted a SID with an aircraft which was not capable of meeting the SID requirements and then made a turn off the SID without asking them.

I go with G on this one

But you were IFR, Just imagine you climbed into solid cloud at 200 feet and were not visual with the terrain? That shows how serious meeting those climb gradients are as without ATC intervention and a warning on your altitude readout and track you would not have made the turn and flown straight into the mountain

Anyway its all a learning curve and if I think of all my mistakes you won't make it again

Last edited by Pace; 27th Mar 2016 at 07:13.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 09:14
  #23 (permalink)  
 
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Presumably via W, it was a VFR departure?

G
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 09:15
  #24 (permalink)  
 
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I guess we start to chase an important point, which bothers me for quite some time. The mutual understanding of VFR and IFR.

If I read @piperboy84:
Was cleared for TO from 27 at Granada today departing via the W VRP ... a W departure I was given ...
I am assuming a VFR flight.

If I read the very important hint of @Genghis the Engineer:
Plus, at risk of stating the obvious, 15 degrees left of a straight track to point W from LEGR, takes him towards the holding pattern around GDA VOR and/or the outbound track for the ILS from GDA (there's only an ILS on 09, followed presumably by a circling approach, according to the Spanish AIP), which is probably where the chap "practicing ILSs" was, and will have degraded that pilot's IFR separation minima.
he is talking of risks related to IFR procedures.

An ordinary VFR pilot conducting a VFR flight seldom looks at the IFR procedures of the airport taken off. I have to admit, me too. Visual routes may be set by VRP and sometimes arrows on the plates, but the VFR charts won't give you ideas where the IFR routes and procedures are. If flying VFR in a control zone, I have to rely on tower to separate me from IFR and they have to rely on me to talk early as possible when doing something unexpected. The ordinary VFR pilot, most of the times, will have no clue what and where the SID climbout for IFR departure is.

Given the vast addiction to electronic moving map solutions, it may be wise to discuss adding an overlay of the IFR procedures also to electronic VFR solutions ?!

Last edited by Fly4Business; 27th Mar 2016 at 09:29.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 09:24
  #25 (permalink)  
 
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Apologies I posted late last night and thought you were in an IFR departure
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 09:34
  #26 (permalink)  
 
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You will not always please everybody, but that doesn't really matter. What matters is that you always fly in such a way that you can get a bollocking in one piece. From the story you told, only bit that you probably could have improved was the comment and possibly the explanation. Had you said you earlier that your performance was less than anticipated, request... If no solution was forthcoming, you then declare an emergency. Either way you do as you did. Saying you would fly into a mountain to please her almost certainly p!ssed her off. The next bit is calculating your performance. I can find out my aircraft's climb performance, but it's a lot of work. So the question is, do you actually have the numbers to work out your climb performance? If you don't, it doesn't really matter but make sure that you give ATC the heads up a little earlier to allow them to plan with you in mind. Either way, you did the right thing on this trip.

PM
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 10:59
  #27 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Piltdown Man View Post
Always fly in such a way that you can get a bollocking in one piece.

PM
Well put: I intend to steal that quite unashamedly!

As regards handling this situation, I'm with GTE on this.

The pilot must have had several minutes between realising he wasn't going to make the climb and a potential impact with terrain. IMO, assuming totally uncooperative ATC (which probably wouldn't have been the case anyway) the sequence of events should have been:

G-XXXX: G-XXXX request 15 degrees left for terrain avoidance

ATC: Negative, maintain standard departure

(Assuming there's time for this) G-XXXX: G-XXXX requires 15 left for terrain avoidance, will declare emergency if necessary

If time not available or if:

ATC: Negative, maintain standard departure

G-XXXX: G-XXXX declares emergency, squawking 7700 turning 15 degrees left.


I have to say that, despite having been trained to do that, in all the times I've ever asked for a deviation (albeit never on a SID or standard VFR departure) I've never even got to stage two of that process.

In reality, by the time you got to stage two, ATC would almost certainly give you a vector to stay clear of terrain and away from other traffic.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 12:17
  #28 (permalink)  
 
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PM: So the question is, do you actually have the numbers to work out your climb performance?
Yes, you may have a lot of work to calculate your climb performance and you may be lucky the aircraft decides to follow the number. But, you can not rely on it and that's why I appreciate this thread. Similar situation may happen to everybody and if I remember this, it'll help.

Just yesterday, I had all calculations done well, fed the iPad with all usual numbers and guess what, the aircraft decided to climb only about half calculated performance. It was on flat shoreland, so no problem at all and the flight was never in danger, but if it would have been in mountains, it would have been troublesome. After landing I checked everything I could guess, but found really not a single bit unusual, so lack of performance is a complete mystery to me.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 13:14
  #29 (permalink)  
 
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I once left my biennial review a bit late to book my usual aeros instructor in our Chippy for an hour, so took a PA38 and a flying-school instructor. No aeros of course (him or the PA38), so we did instrument flying. At one point I noticed that despite cruise power set, speed correct, and attitude as it should be, we were descending. The instructor could not explain it.

I had a look outside. Socking great Welsh hill a few miles upwind of us; lee side sink.

There's more to aeroplane performance than feeding numbers from the manual into an i thingy.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 13:44
  #30 (permalink)  
 
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I had a look outside. Socking great Welsh hill a few miles upwind of us; lee side sink.
I believe a more extreme form of this is what killed Steve Fosset.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 13:53
  #31 (permalink)  
 
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When you are flying in controlled airspace, well.... there's a clue in the name. We all rely on each other sticking to the rules, and when you make a contract with the controller, and with other aircraft, you need to keep to your side of the bargain or it all breaks down.

It's really not for you to decide that you know what other aircraft are or are not in the vicinity, that's the controller's job, and she might well be working more than one frequency.

I'm sure that none of us think you need to fly into the hillside, but as GtE points out, you had plenty of time to avoid this situation, probably about four hours.

Once you find yourself needing to deviate from what you have agreed with ATC, speaking up early is vital, but nobody wins if you have an argument on the R/T.
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Old 27th Mar 2016, 20:16
  #32 (permalink)  
 
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For what it's worth, I'm absolutely with Genghis on this one. Safety first, yes; in this situation, in controlled airspace, with time to sort out the course issue, the greater safety issue could easily have been related to separation, other traffic you were unaware of, stuff the controller was coordinating on the land-line etc. GIving them a quick call before changing heading would hardly have compromised you, IMHO, and certainly avoided irritating the controller.
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Old 28th Mar 2016, 17:11
  #33 (permalink)  
 
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Yeah! Come on piperboy, we're all with Genghis. You should know that paper beats rock.

and no water skiing on the way home either!

:-)
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 11:42
  #34 (permalink)  
 
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As the captain of the aircraft YOU are responsible for the safe conduct of a flight, and you are perfectly entitled to question or deviate from any clearance or instruction from ATC if you believe the safety of the flight is or potentially will be comprimised. In that sense ATC is only an "advisory" service, the buck stops with the PIC, however you must be able to reasonably justify your actions afterwards!
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 12:30
  #35 (permalink)  
 
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A few observations on the facts as reported by the OP:


The title refers to a “barney” with ATC - as has been previously highlighted, it takes two to tango, and it achieves nothing by being abrasive (pilots or ATC) but everything by knowing procedures and adhering to standard communications.



Turned left, apparently without informing ATC - moral, request or inform ATC (depending on the perceived urgency) before the event - e.g. “request turn left maximum 20 degrees for terrain clearance” - that would immediately keep ATC informed of the maximum required track deviation and give the explanation in the same transmission. Clearly, if that were still refused, it would then justify an urgency call.


ATC insisted turn back on track - would have been useful if ATC had specified a reason or passed relevant traffic information, BUT perhaps the reason was pressing at that particular moment, e.g. co-ordination of following departing traffic or other potential conflicting traffic on a different frequency.


“I wasn't happy with the clearance I would achieve” - perhaps this was misunderstood - did you specify terrain clearance; would a mention of rate of climb or anything including unable have been more emphatic? Remember that ATC was not operating in her first language; you, presumably were and also deviated from appropriate communications by making a remark about “flying into a mountain to keep her happy.” How would that sort of response sit with you if communications had to be in Spanish by both parties - even if understood, how does this contribute to a safe operation?


“She was pissed off...” - by your remark, quite possibly, BUT how do you know that? What might have been evident in her tone was concern about some urgent unexpected co-ordination that she needed to effect.


“Handed me off to a radar service early to get rid of me...” Should you not be grateful? It sounds as if the aerodrome controller (who would not necessarily be aware of all potential conflicting traffic on your new track) effected some swift co-ordination of your revised requirements and transferred you to the more appropriate frequency, i.e. for a potential radar service, in a very timely fashion.



“There was only one other aircraft in the area a guy practicing ILS approaches that was nowhere near me”. Situational awareness is one thing, but you cannot know that - or know what else might be nearby in a few miles’ time.


“I suppose I should have done my calcs prior to take off but didn't”. No comment.

2 s
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 13:09
  #36 (permalink)  
 
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Also remember especially in cloud on an IFR IMC Departure that in a twin the single engine performance has to be factored in.
Usually OK in a jet but not so in a light twin piston.

On a VFR departure especially in a light twin also consider an engine failure and the effect on a decision to force land.

Pace
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 15:52
  #37 (permalink)  
 
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Often Tower controllers have agreement to be able to give clearances in / out of an airport within certain parameters without having to coordinate with an approach controller. Typically that would include VFR entry / Exit lanes - or in your case, to a specific VRP. At my local, that means below 2000 feet via one of 4 VRPs.
Anything else requires coordination.
So your re-positioning means that you will be moving into airspace controlled by someone else and the controller will need to coordinate that, at short notice.
The person you are talking to likely wont be able to give you that clearance straight away, and you may be routing yourself into the path of other aircraft.

There was another frequency in use, so how did you know that there weren't other aircraft around?

Yep - I'm another with GtE on this. If it wasn't an emergency (and it sounds like it wasn't) then you could have handled this better.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 16:54
  #38 (permalink)  
 
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Bit of a barney with ATC today, what would you have done?
Was cleared for TO from 27 at Granada today departing via the W VRP( located on top of a mountain) it was hot and I was heavy ( at gross)realised during the climb that I didn't fancy continuing making straight for the mountain so turned about 15 degrees left ATC insisted I turn back on heading, I refused and explained that I wasn't happy with the clearance I would achieve and asked for an alternative departure route, she said it was a W departure I was given and it is W departure I shall fly, Told her "no can do and I ain't flying into a mountain to keep her happy" she was pissed off and handed me off to a radar service early to get rid of me. . There was only one other aircraft in the area a guy practicing ILS approaches that was nowhere near me.

I suppose I should have done my calcs prior to take off but didn't . What wild u have done ?

That was the original post:


PrivateJet wrote:
As the captain of the aircraft YOU are responsible for the safe conduct of a flight, and you are perfectly entitled to question or deviate from any clearance or instruction from ATC if you believe the safety of the flight is or potentially will be comprimised.
I think we would all agree with the sentiment (if not the spelling) there. What I can't figure out is how you can reconcile the safe conduct of the flight with a deliberate contradiction of an agreed service in controlled airspace involving sarcastic dialogue on the R/T.

Turning is certainly better than crashing, but communication, early on, is vital. If you had caused a loss of separation, how is that better than asking for an alternative? She might have been able to turn you in the opposite direction without any conflict. While you have the "best view" of the scenery, from the cockpit, the controller usually has a better "over view" of the situation.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 17:03
  #39 (permalink)  
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Yeah, in hindsight I should have given her a heads up sooner, in the end all's well that ends well, had a excellent flight to Cascais outside Lisbon, stuffed myself full of excellent food and got minced on their outstanding beer for a few days and learned a few things on the flight back to Malaga Velez. I wasn't aware that you had to have an IFR intersection on your flight plan as a FIR crossing point on a VFR flight.

Onward tomorrow back up the road from Velez direct Jersey with what looks like a 20 knot draft up my arse which should make the 100 knot IAS of the trusty old Maule slightly less intolerable. Scoring some cheap Jersey avgas will be a welcome break from the 3 euro a litre I've been jacked for in Southern Spain. Then the final leg of Jersey to Forfar and see if the port cops want to meet me on my arrival to inspect my 2 cartons of Marlboro.

Another great VFR flying adventure round Portugal, Spain and France with about 35 flying hours all in and a few lessons learned along the way. It's all good !

Oh and even seen 3 turbine prop Dornier sky servants in Portomao down from Hull for a big skydiving gig.
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Old 29th Mar 2016, 18:13
  #40 (permalink)  
 
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I wasn't aware that you had to have an IFR intersection on your flight plan as a FIR crossing point on a VFR flight.
I've done this a few times for administrative convenience, but I've never known it to be insisted upon. Where was that?

G
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