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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 24th Mar 2016, 22:09
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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 ?
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 22:27
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You are the captain. In a hot and heavy craft with a mountain in the way, avoiding action is certainly a good idea. I find three terms useful in dealing with ATC. Unable. Stand by. and Cancelling IFR!
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 22:32
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It is not "Granada tierra ensangretada ..." for nothing.
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 22:36
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In a situation like that you TELL them what you are doing; which you did!
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 22:37
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As Mary says, "unable" is good. As for the miscalculation, we mess up just as much as anyone, just say, "apologies sir/madam, temps are much higher than forecast" (we get that a lot in high level) etc. If you're polite then the person on the other end should be too. Then again we all have our bad days I guess. The safety of the aircraft is your responsibility, separation of traffic is ours. If you can't comply with a method of separation then it's a pain but get in early what you need and it's rarely an issue.
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Old 24th Mar 2016, 22:38
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The best thing to say, is the simple truth.

In your case, "we are too heavy to follow the SID climb profile, request heading xxx immediately in order to remain clear of the high ground" or words to that effect.

I find that arguments with ATC inevitably end with one wishing one hadn't.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 08:17
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I don't think you can argue with ATC. It takes two sides to argue.

And you are the captain. You don't argue with the captain.....

Although he may have some explaining to do afterwards!
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 08:59
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You accepted a clearance you couldn't fly then changed your route without first confirming this with ATC? I can see why they were a bit grumpy with you.

You should of course have done your climb performance calcs, but even having failed to do that a simple call of "climb performance limited request alternative routing to avoid rising ground " would have given them a chance to route you away from the mountain without your getting in anybody's way - which presumably was the issue.

The biggest offence against protocol was certainly changing route within controlled airspace without clearing it with ATC.

G
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 09:57
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piperboy84

Your actions absolutely correct.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 09:58
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First @piperboy84 my respect for posting your mistake!
It makes me feel better whenever I see mistakes still be discussed openly.
You did not do your math and that is something we all are able to learn from and alter.

Did you turn that 15 degrees before talking to Granada? Nothing wrong to radio "unable, turn heading x to keep clear of terrain", but your flight should be executed in a way to be able to get a clearance in controlled airspace first or in case of urgency, announce prior to, or at really latest at turning. Turn first and than radio sounds a little like urgency turned emergency to me. In that case fly the aircraft first is absolutely correct, but should be subject for critical self review, what you do by also posting here, fine!
What kind of aircraft did you fly? For BA or airliner it is sometimes not easy to get the weight correct and if on the edge, you are easily over calculated weight special when getting into hotter then expected air layers. So, even if you did your math according to company rules, you may encounter insufficient climb performance.

Trying not be be rude, if this was in a GA aircraft, you derived first from your flight path and than called, I see why they were upset. In that case I would conclude for the lessons to learn: do your math, think ahead in flight, request or call early and prior to action.

Last edited by Fly4Business; 25th Mar 2016 at 10:10.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 10:26
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'Pan Pan, turning left...'
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 21:46
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The word to use is "require" when asking/telling ATC in such circumstance.
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Old 25th Mar 2016, 21:56
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I did once turn before telling ATC what I was doing, in class D. (They did know I was running away from thunderstorms.)


When I told them what I'd decided they started saying "cleared to ..." and then interrupted themselves with "... ah, I see you've already started turning".
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 19:27
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Genghis, I beg to differ.
The Captain applied the much vaunted and worthy maxim of 'aviate, navigate and communicate'. He made a safety driven decision, took appropriate action and then communicated the fact.
I wouldn't dare to criticise him from the luxury of my armchair.
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 19:29
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Piperboy84 said...

" 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"


What a cow, eh. It would have ended in tears if you had listened to her you know.

:-)
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 19:30
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Originally Posted by AnglianAV8R View Post
The Captain applied the much vaunted and worthy maxim of 'aviate, navigate and communicate'. He made a safety driven decision, took appropriate action and then communicated the fact.
That's how I saw what I did. The controller didn't get upset.
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 19:40
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The biggest offence against protocol was certainly changing route within controlled airspace without clearing it with ATC.
Negative. First FLY THE AEROPLANE. That includes not hitting rising ground you can't out-climb.

TELL Air Traffic you are doing that. YOU are flying the aeroplane, not them. YOU will die when you hit the mountain while they go home to the wife and kids.

They are down on the ground in their safe little tower because YOU are up in the air in a potentially lethal flying machine; not the other way around. I detect a trend in PPLs these days that seems to have forgotten that. Some even seem to think the radio is a primary flying control.

Flying into a mountain because you didn't yet have clearance to turn is the act of a Darwin-dick-of-the-year candidate; if you are daft enough to do it you will improve the human gene pool by your act.
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 20:04
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Stupid not to have planned correctly, but when the performance limitation was recognised, the reason for an immediate need to change the clearance should have been stated clearly and without such puerile comments as "No can do and I ain't flying into a mountain to keep her happy...."

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Old 26th Mar 2016, 20:31
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'Wot Beagle said.

This is a VFR flight - so 3nm+ visibility (and in Spain, usually much better than that). Grenada point W is 9nm from the airport, and about, what, 2,0000ft above the airport elevation?

This is not a sudden avoid on a mid air collision we're talking about here, it's an event well ahead of time. At, say, 90kn or less climb speed, that's 6 minutes or longer and allowing 1000ft vertical separation, the aeroplane needs a climb rate of 500fpm or better. The pilot can see at-least 2 minutes ahead of themselves, probably rather further.

I can absolutely see why, seeing anything below 500fpm RoC the pilot needs to ask for an alternative routing. But there's all the time in the world to declare an inability to follow the previously accepted clearance, request an alternative routing, and accept it. There's nothing I'm reading here which justifies unilaterally changing routing without previously agreeing this with ATC.

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.

And maintaining safe separation of this erratic VFR flight from the IFR flight, is probably exactly why our man was handed over to the radar controller, who'll already be controlling and/or monitoring anything on the ILS or hold. That's not them being difficult, that's them ensuring safety.

G

Last edited by Genghis the Engineer; 26th Mar 2016 at 21:02.
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Old 26th Mar 2016, 21:14
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All fine and dandy on paper.
So, we have an aircraft climbing towards high ground without a reserve of power if mother nature starts chucking it about......
Pilot is concerned about likely clearance over the high ground. He makes a decision of taking a safer routing and explains why.
This reminds me of how a Police Officer can have to make a split second decision which a QC will have the luxury of dismantling at his leisure in Court, with volumes of legalese paperwork to back him up.
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