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Reaction to TCAS RA

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Reaction to TCAS RA

Old 2nd May 2009, 17:08
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I plead guilty to all the non-pilot traits but, would pushing Ident after calling TCAS RA help ATC to identify the problem area quicker?
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Old 2nd May 2009, 20:41
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Hasn't Spain filed an RT variation? I seem to recall that TCAS Climb/Desc is still in use rather than the TCAS RA call. I stand (sit) to be corrected. I haven't flown through spain for several months.
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Old 2nd May 2009, 23:50
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just to correct gone_fishing's point about it not being legal for the Spanish ATC to speak spanish, they are quite entitled to actually.


Spanish AIP

3.2 Mobile service
The aeronautical stations maintain a continuous watch on
the allocated frequencies during the published hours of service,
unless otherwise notified. Aircraft must communicate
with the radio stations on the ground which exercise control
in the area or sector in which they are flying. Aircraft must
maintain continuous watch on the appropriate frequency of
the control station and shall not abandon watch, except in
case of emergency, without informing the control radio station.
The languages normally used in the air/ground communications
in all the control centres and TWR/APP services of the
international aerodromes are Spanish and English.


Note the order of 1) Spanish and 2) English....
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Old 3rd May 2009, 00:39
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I stand corrected. Thankyou.
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Old 3rd May 2009, 02:06
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PAN PAN PAN vs PAN-PAN PAN-PAN PAN-PAN

PAN PAN PAN was the urgency signal prescribed in the 1959 Geneva ITU Radio convention. I heard it used for may years, even up to when I got my ppl in 1981 and for years after that. It must have subsequently been changed by an ITU convention to make it sound more urgent and recognisable. Anybody know what convention/year it was changed?
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Old 4th May 2009, 13:51
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TCAS RA twice: Moscow and ERCAN

I think the next big accident will be because of the ERCAN lack of control control, this is the most dangerous "controlled" airspace I have ever flown thru.

I have had two RA in my life, one on departure from VNO, with a very high rate of climb, in the TMA....another story.

But the most serious was with ERCAN.

As an aside why is the EIRCAN frequency, not published as a caution / danger box on the relevent charts. It is no use as a seperate text page hidden in the void of the manuals.

When the accident happens the chart publishers, will be equally responsable for the deaths as the Turks in EIRCAN will be.

But I forget a Turk can never be at fault.

glf
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Old 4th May 2009, 22:58
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As an ATC I have been taught to acknowledge the TCAS RA Call with 1) Update pertinent traffic information if necessary (types clock reference intentions if known on traffic involved or nearby that the RA may additionally effect and 2)to ask the pilot(s) to report when they receive clear of conflict advice.

I had an RA recently with an aircraft descending to 1000 feet above another (FL330 and FL320), both got the RA and when they had manoeuvred down and up I believe they didn't get clear of conflict until 3400 feet apart and still diverging vertically (FL342 and FL308).

I've also had a 5 way TCAS RA in a holding stack, the top one descending too hard, the next 4 got TCAS RA descend as the one above dived on top of it etc following their RAs.

Both times, I had separation.

TCAS is great security blanket, great for level busts, but very annoying when it happens just because of vertical speed approaching the cleared level.

Personally I think TCAS RA is sufficient, the PAN calls would IMHO be overkill and perhaps just delay getting the right advice.
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Old 5th May 2009, 01:23
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Let me be as specific as I dare on PPRuNe. just under 12 months ago I recieved an RA while descending in Manchester airspace medium level (about FL240). Of course, one of the most proffesional control centers on the planet. however, when I called the "TCAS RA" the controller started to tell me there was nothing to worry about, the other traffic was climbing to 1000 below my level. I didn't answer and followed the RA. ATCO's please comment on why I can still get a 'non-standard' reply after calling in an RA in one of our finest. With the quality of control i see at mach, I was disappointed. I would expect him to know that I had the a/p disconnected flying a relatively difficult manouver and that i was in no position to 'have a chat'. i would expect this from Deli control, but not the worlds finest. Any comments why this can still happen at our best control centers so relatively recently?
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Old 5th May 2009, 12:35
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Bomber Harris,

The ATCO might have been trying to reassure you - a TCAS RA is still something that is irregular enough that it could cause consternation to the receiving crew.

However, as you state, you still have to follow the RA so the call is pointless and could actually cause confusion or distract you. There is no excuse for it from an ATC (UK) pont of view.

One other point though, again possible mitigation. You have some quite busy airspace in the UK, the ATCOS are, on the whole, very good at what they do. It is their job to be in control and 2 or 3 steps ahead of the game... it's what we pride ourselves in being able to do.

Bearing this in mind, the call 'TCAS RA' can be very disconcerting and confusing to an ATCO who thought they had everything under control.

The reply you mentioned, although it should never happen, might just be the ATCO verbally affirming/assuring themselves as much as it is a call to you...

If you can imagine, the ATCO has several aircraft climbing and descending, but the ones that will come into proximity to each other all have been given levels that maintain 1000' seperation. Then out of the blue one of those aircraft calls a TCAS RA... the ATCO should only acknowledge, no traffic info to be given, but they are only human and they might inadvertantly transmit something they shouldn't have, especially if the traffic situation is fairly complex and they've worked really hard to solve all the conflicts.
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Old 5th May 2009, 17:06
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Bomber Harris
I would expect him to know that I had the a/p disconnected flying a relatively difficult manouver and that i was in no position to 'have a chat'.

Why would you expect him to know that? I have been in ATC for 30 years inc mil/ Manch and wouldn't have the faintest idea whether the a/p was connected or not. As for a chat, it was hardly that.As previously mentioned, it was probably to reassure you that the 'confliction' was climbing/des to a safe level. Not correct procedure, I agree, but trying to keep you in the picture.
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Old 5th May 2009, 17:29
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GunkyTom

To be fair, I would expect an ATCO, certainly a NATS ATCO, to know that pilots disconnect autopilot in anticipation of an RA and handfly the manoeuvre... it's part of the procedure... I can't remember exactly at what point they disconnect, but I do know that as part of NATS TRUCE training when they discuss TCAS, they should include the pilots actions. Certainly do at Swanwick.

Like you I was in the mil before joining and as a mil flyer (rotary) then an ATCO, I never knew about handflyng TCAS RA. But as a NATS ATCO I have had several presentations in the past 10 years and they all include the fact that the pilot handflies the RA.

Might just be that there is a bit missing from training as far as TCAS is concerned at MACC? Not having a go, just a very pertinent observation considering your remarks
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Old 5th May 2009, 17:49
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Anotherthing-

I am no longer in NATS but during my 10 years there we never discussed the A/P during TrUCE and neither do we now, however I am Twr/App and not speaking to a/c generally above FL140 if I can help it, so possibly we follow different curriculums .I stand by my comments re the poss reasons for the non standard reply though. It doesn't excuse it,but possibly explains the thinking behind it.


edited to add
Although it is obvious the A/P would need to be disconnected, it probably isn't the first thing to come to mind when you hear those dreaded words

Last edited by GunkyTom; 6th May 2009 at 08:01. Reason: benefit of hindsight !
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Old 5th May 2009, 17:50
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RA Criteria

Well I'm a lowly PPL/IR in the US.

Kind of curious as to the RA criteria in terminal airspace. Here it is pretty routine to have 500 foot separation between VFR piston and transports.
It is much nicer if transport is the one on the bottom!

I had an airbus do an RA a couple of years ago. I was at 9500 assigned and he was restricted at 10000, maybe a mile or two away on converging paths. We were both talking to the approach controller and obviously on discrete codes. He'd be at 250 kts and I was maybe at 150.

I'd reported him in sight, but I think the transport crew were fussing setting up for the approach so didn't scan until they got the RA. Impressive pull up!

Do you guys always have to execute on the RA even with the conflicting traffic in sight? I think the answer must be no .. at least in the US.
How do you know for sure it's the right traffic?
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Old 5th May 2009, 18:24
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Phil, you're last sentence answered your question. You should always follow the RA... to do otherwise could kill you (Uberlingen )
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Old 5th May 2009, 19:29
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While concurring with Bomber's praise for NATS controllers in the UK, I am still awestruck by the volume of traffic that New York Center keep apart during approaches to JFK/ La G/ Newark and Teterboro. Even with the TCAS on 6 mile scale, I still can't see a gap to fit through!
That said, I have had 3 RAs going in to TEB, all caused by the minimal separations that the SIDs/STARs require......often only 500 ft as mentioned by phil94028 in his post.
NATS and Eurocontrol have made several pleas to operators to ensure that they only approach their cleared alts/FLs at less than 1,000 fpm, in order to reduce nuisance RAs, but unfortunately the message is either being ignored or not sufficiently well promulgated to the rest of the world's aviators.
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Old 5th May 2009, 21:55
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You should always follow the RA... to do otherwise could kill you (Uberlingen )
Are you sure? I have put this question to an ATPL friend and he says not if the warning is a nuisance warning and both pilots are visual with it. I've also seen that ITVV video on the A330 and the crew get an RA, but because they're on final approach and are visual with him - they continue and ignore it.

I'm not currently a pilot, but I should be doing my PPL very shortly (in the Summer) and whilst this doesn't directly affect me yet - I intend to go on an do an ATPL and so am pretty interested in this.
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Old 5th May 2009, 22:41
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Gone_Fishing,

The procedure changed quite a while ago, so now we always follow the RA. Don't forget this is a last-ditch warning to prevent an accident - ATC have failed to maintain separation and the pilots have failed to visually aquire the other aircraft soon enough. If you choose to ignore an RA because you're visual with the offending a/c, how do you know that you are indeed looking at the correct offender? Similarly, how do you know that the warning is a 'nuisance' warning - you might not have seen the other aircraft.

In short, follow the RA.
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Old 6th May 2009, 08:21
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Boeing Bananas

I would have to agree with Gone Fishing as to how the situation is handled by pilots where I work.

Certainly in a our airspace (D surrounded by and below A) most of our a/c make vis apps and I have yet to hear a TA/RA comment when they have been given traffic info and descend through or pull ahead of another to be No1, sometimes being only a mile or so apart. I can only assume when they have the potential confliction visual, they ignore or deselect the system.Also a/c low and slow tucking in to follow visually when the one ahead probably doesn't have him, nor need to from an ATC perspective.On a slight thread drift though, we regularly get 'have him on TCAS' which from ATC's pov means nothing as we can't base sep on that. However I am talking about the Approach environment and can see how my situation wouldn't necessarily fit in with all flying environments
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Old 6th May 2009, 09:24
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Welcome to Spain! You could have said MAYDAY TCAS RA no one would have reacted any different. Unless of course you know how to say it in Spanish...
Seriously though, my experience in Spain (and quite a few other countries) is that as soon as you stop using standard and daily used phraseology you can unfortunately not expect ATC (most of them anyway) to come up with a proper reaction or answer.

CP
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Old 6th May 2009, 11:39
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Thank you very much for all the replies; it shows clearly that there is a system in place, including all the manifested procedures, and that it only works as good as the operator handles the issue.
Worrying is the fact that at both ends of the microphones and speakers are human beings with their own interpretations and reactions. It is clearly understandable that the adrenalin rush an ATCO experiences, after hearing the call, may lead to non-standard phraseology.....there is, however, also an adrenalin rush in the cockpit associated with the demand that any TCAS RA MUST be treated approriately.
Well, the situation I described did not affect my flight at all, but you put the coffee down and start scanning your system a bit closer.
 

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