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R/T Discipline

Old 28th Jun 2001, 19:32
  #21 (permalink)  
BigJETS
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Hi DD. I cant really apply the idea to the job of pilots or controllers because Im not one. I just have been thinking of the idea as i read how directions get confused and readback wrong. Perhaps callsigns would be unecessary and the information would be very general(FL, Hdg, speed), and if it required readback at all, chances are it would be correct (not to say it isnt 99% of the time). The interface would have to be different than a PC to be faster. Positions could be R/T.
Just a thought considering accuracy and less congested R/T, youre the ones that can better say Yea or Nay. I guess if you can establish the link then whats to say the position of the A/C wont be tranmitted back and the ATC direction wont be interpretted and utilized by the autopilot. Then youre getting into unmanned cockpit which I reallly wouldnt like to see. Sorry I brought it up.
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 20:05
  #22 (permalink)  
GlueBall
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Is it necessary to be a parrot and to read back every syllable? Wouldn't it be enough to say "Airline 123, WILCO" ...unless an instruction is in doubt, or unless a new altitude is to be acknowledged?
--Controller: "Airline 123, turn right, heading two seven zero, maintain two five zero knots."
--Pilot: "Airline 123, Wilco."
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 20:15
  #23 (permalink)  
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Probably yes! What if the crew transpose the details in their minds...? "Right heading 250, speed 270 kts..." The readback is a safety check - but I grant you, it won't stop a correct readback & then incorrect action! And what about the US of A, where an ATC controller apparently is not legally obliged to amend an incorrect readback??
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 20:16
  #24 (permalink)  
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glue, executive instructions like the two you mentioned MUST be read back to,

a) check the pilot is really listening, and
b) check the controller really said the right thing!!

You pick a good example as it can often become - heading 250, speed 270kts, or even have a FL in there somewhere, even though you never gave one. On a busy frequency, lots of metal about, you have to be certain that you and them are all fully in the picture.
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 21:50
  #25 (permalink)  
Brakes...beer
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I certainly agree about reading back instructions. But do ATCOs want to hear when we check in with you what FL we are passing as well as the one we are climbing or descending to? It does seem unnecessary with Mode C, especially when things are busy.
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 22:54
  #26 (permalink)  
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Yes (if I remember correctly from Blipdriver's excellent LATCC famil visit) - a verification of your altitude (or altitude passing) is needed with each new controller/agency, primarily for a transponder check.
 
Old 28th Jun 2001, 23:10
  #27 (permalink)  
Bart Bandy
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hello JSHG & EXENG. I think, if memory serves,you're both half right.Hand held mikes can only be used in controlled airspace in UK registered aircraft above F150.
(I haven't been getting out much recently!)
 
Old 29th Jun 2001, 01:07
  #28 (permalink)  
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Can't be 100% sure without checking the books but I'd guess that TMA holding fixes probably constitute compulsory reporting points. The phrase 'joining the hold' is superfluous though as you will have already been instructed to do so either directly or implicitly (because you've been given an EAT). For brevity I'd suggest "callsign, fix".
RT standards do seem to be declining though and in the UK, I think one of the reasons is because of the 'continual assesment' method that many pilots would have gone through during their PPL. I thought bringing back the RT test prior to Licence issue was a great idea...after all, no-one complains about having to know the Highway Code before you pass your driving test! RT isn't rocket science and although it may seem pedantic, sticking to the standard words and phrases does work. It would have saved 577 lives in Tenerife...
 
Old 29th Jun 2001, 01:57
  #29 (permalink)  
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To be perfectly honest, there are times when an a/c checks in and I think, 'c'mon, get it over with', normally when its quiet and I can see everything going on. However, when its really busy, this can be both extremely useful, and totally destructive. The initial call including both passing and cleared level takes time, valuble time, sometimes we are short of time. Sometimes though, its really useful to enable a climb for another underneath, that may be garbling and the returns cannot really be seperated. Tough one to answer.
 
Old 11th Jul 2001, 01:11
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Hi to all Friends Romans Countrymen & Colleages....just a bit on the above threads if I may ....
Wilco = will co-operate ....if you have not read back what you thought you heard you might co-operate with the wrong thing ...hence the need for readbacks on direct instructions......use wilco for an acknowledgement of requests....cases where if you "mis-heard" the request no harm could come to body or plane ...
Interesting topic this RT thing ....take virtually any incident / accident in Aviation and invariably there is some communication breakdown somewhere along the line ...either crew to crew or crew to ATC or a mixture of both ....training captains & ATC Training managers don't pay half as much attention to this issue as they should ...especially the former mentioned ..
A lot of what ICAO recommends often seems senseless "why should we say all that jargon" ..but do remember that all the current day RT has been built up over the years from the time when General Motors was Corporal Motors and Pontious Pilot was still a student pilot ....we should NOT question it ...but adhere to it ...and know that out of some of the worlds worst aviation disasters (remember Tenerife)the current recommendtions were built up..
Some present day popular RT "slips" that could turn out very very nasty inculde:
ATC - "XYZ taxi via A , B and C holding point rwy XX"
Pilot - " via A , B , C to rwy xx" NO MENTION IS MADE OF THE HOLDING POINT !!! hence no clearance limit was acknowledged ...ATC does'nt correct the readback because he feels hey surely they will hold at the holding point as instructed ....therefore should crew XX inadvertantly line up or enter Rwy XX" and there is an incident ...guess who swings from the gallows ...hypothetical ..NO ...it's happened !!!
Bottom line is what sounds "cool RT" is not always safe RT ...and never ever ASSUME ..because if you will end up making an ASS out of U and ME. Next time you're out there listen ....and think of the "What if's" when transsions are been broadcast ...
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Old 11th Jul 2001, 19:02
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I would've thought that "safe RT" WAS "cool RT"
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Old 11th Jul 2001, 19:12
  #32 (permalink)  
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A few CAA leaflets which provide good advice to pilots and ATC alike......

General Aviation Safety Sense Leaflet 22 - Radiotelephony

RT Discipline for Pilots & ATC
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Old 12th Jul 2001, 08:14
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You guys seen my thread "R/T phraseology in the USA" in the North america forum?

It caused quite a stir - Americans don't seem to be happy with Limeys crticising them.
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Old 12th Jul 2001, 18:09
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From the other side of the world it is interesting to hear the many opinions that are in fact very similar to that elsewhere.

I believe that many of the R/T 'problems' that we have are the result that we are still hanging onto much of the R/T garbage that evolved from morse code and procedures of days gone by. Much of the ICAO procedures today are outdated and many countries use their own variation of those recommendations and in some cases make it worse.

Why on earth do we still read back the QNH?
Why should you report level passing on an enroute frequency change in a radar-identified environment? (does your transponder fail on changing frequencies?? )
Why should you repeat a heading (or any other instruction)on a frequency change if there has been no change to the instructions? (must be a UK'ism!) assigned level or altitude is fine, but that should be it - some pilots and controllers must be talking for the sake of it!
Why even do we read back as much as we presently do?
Entering the hold! Who else does that? (unless asked)

Many of the answers to these and other questions are lost in history and we only do it because that is the way it has always been done. Over the years, many words have been added but I doubt if many have been removed. Many controllers even contribute to the problem by giving instructions that need a read back when in fact the instruction may have already been given or it perhaps is not necessary at that time. And of course there are the pilots that don't know what to read back and when, so they blindly read everything back (gee I hate that). No point in reading it back unless you know what you are reading back and why?

When the traffic levels get high as they do in Europe and North America, the whole system is likely to fall apart because of the tradition of using outdated R/T calls and many unnecessary readbacks. Any wonder why many pilots in the US cut the words back.

Sure the bottom line is clear and concise communication and that should over-ride everything else, but I believe there is certainly a better way to do it. The whole package should be revised to reflect current practice and traffic levels in the 21 century.

Given that it takes ICAO around seven years to process any changes and nobody goes into bat for the greater good, it will only be fixed when we are all on data link. See what happens to your situational awareness then!
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Old 12th Jul 2001, 19:51
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Following on from Glue's comment - Following a frequency change where I have told the new sector the heading (I try - honest!) If instructed to '[callsign] Speed 250, keep the heading' then normally I will reply '[callsign] speed 250, wilco' as the understanding is already there. Correct?

I think more input on BOAC's issue of 'entering the hold' may be appropriate - Would like to know the consensus on this one.
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Old 12th Jul 2001, 20:26
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Triadic,

QNH is read back as a safety check so that you have got it right. NB. CFIT rules OK!

Passing level can be useful if I miss your callsign, on the phone or coordinating with a colleague, the cleared level is a clue where to look. Not a kosha means of identification, but itís a help.

Repeating a radar heading on frequency change tells the receiving controller there must be a reason for it ie. Conflicting traffic that he may not be working, and not to take you off it until he/she is sure it is safe to do so. Also saves him/she from telling you to do it again.

Entering the hold not really necessary but is a nice nudge at times.

Replies relate to UK, but I am sure itís not much different down-under.
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Old 13th Jul 2001, 22:21
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I must say I thought that the initial call confirming altitude passing was sufficient to confirm the accuracy of the transponder altitude encoding for the entire flight. Certainly for the agency concened ie NATS one confirmation is enough. Other calls of passing FLxxx for FLzzz area waste of controllers and other pilots time. As for when you pass on to another agency I don't know. Any comments appreciated.
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Old 13th Jul 2001, 22:42
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Certainly my understanding is that passing level is only required on first contact after departure to verify mode "c".
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Old 13th Jul 2001, 22:57
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QNH = ensures all a/c are at said / believed to be altitudes ...in other words if A & B are both on 1018 hpa ...and there altimeters are correct ...being verified on mode C then they should pass 1000feet if one is lets say maintaining 6000gt and the other 7000ft ALTITUDE ....altimeter setting procedures is there for two main reasons ie. everyone in a given area will/should be on the same setting ...therefore reported altitudes give the obvious results ....avoid unnecessary RA's and TA's avoiding action /grey hair etc etc
Second reason is correct QNH = missing terra firma ...
Report of altitude /level to a new radar sector on first contact is good , because ATC , unless it is a radar "handoff" of the label , is obliged by ICAO to verify mode C info for accuracy on a/c under it's control ...before the he/she uses that mode c derived info for separation ....so report the altitude and save ATC having to ask you ..for local frequently flown routes you could ask ATC which sectors are "radar hand off's and which are not"
And yes to the above thread ....safe /standard RT is cool RT .....not the Roger Roger ATC gets from some ....it's all there to cater for the weakest link + the human factor ...lot of jargon but it has saved many a butt ...
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Old 14th Jul 2001, 12:37
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Calling taking up the hold is ALWAYS a good idea - just so that other aircraft in the hold become fully aware of you . It all boils down to situational awareness, let's face it, there can be a lot of aeroplanes going round in very close proximity....

As for "stepping on" other transmissions - you can change freq. and wait for ages for a break in the talk, and when you finally think it's all clear you say your piece only to be lambasted by ATC telling you to listen out before you transmit
Take note you London sector controller on 133.17...Seriously though, I think that most people, both contollers and pilots do make the effort to get it right.
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