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Standard of RT in USA

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Standard of RT in USA

Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:10
  #61 (permalink)  
 
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When a controller wishes a pilot to descend with the ILS glidepath from a level which is above the published level that intercepts the ILS/MLS glidepath at the Final Approach Fix, the controller may use the following alternative form of phraseology.

When established on localiser runway 28, descend on the glidepath QNH 1011, BIGJET 347

Or

or when the aircraft is already established on the localiser:

Descend on the glidepath, QNH 1011, BIGJET 347


BUT:

When a controller has issued a descent instruction to the level that coincides with the published level that intercepts the ILS/MLS glidepath at the Final Approach Fix, or to a lower level when allocated in accordance with the Surveillance Minimum Altitude Chart, the controller may clear the pilot for the ILS/MLS approach

Simple really. The change came in to useage last year. Source CAP 413

Last edited by beardy; 12th Jul 2013 at 12:13.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:24
  #62 (permalink)  
 
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Can only agree, the US has horrible RT. Canada's is just as bad. A little while back a Canadian ATC controller instructed pilots to go around using RT slang. Something like "sixteen twenty eight go around". The ATC missed the prefix of their callsign and the pilots didn't understand it was for them. They ended up landing.

I've heard the RT of both the SFO tower controller after the crash there, and the Heathrow tower controller after the BA crash a few years ago. The SFO controller sounded like he was trying trying to rap a song.

English is my natural language, I fly in busy airspace, yet I just about managed to make out what the SFO controller was saying. Those poor, poor foreign pilots have no hope. Even a United Airlines pilot in his witness report said the SFO tower controller was very rushed and it all sounded confusing (something along those lines).

The US' poor RT standards have lead onto a lot of incidents, it's only a matter of time before a crash.

Yes the UK isn't ICAO standard, but most differences are clearly mentioned in the CAP413. UK is not perfect. The US is horrendous (especially for ICAO level 4 English holders).

One last thing. What ever happend to mayday calls in the US? It's all "emergency" now.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:51
  #63 (permalink)  
 
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pudoc:

One last thing. What ever happend to mayday calls in the US? It's all "emergency" now.
Relegated to the dust bin. Domestic ATC is often busy, and not exactly a "ship to shore" environment.

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Old 12th Jul 2013, 12:55
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Data

Always ask clients for data before scoping out alternatives, let alone making any judgment calls (and rendering legal advice based thereon) about which one is most consistent with, or least risky under, applicable law and practice. That's the way I was taught (in Chicago English). And certainly no basing of legal advice on anecdotes (or message board word-volleys).

For background, the variables appear to be safety of the nation's ATC system overall, volume of air traffic (with data sub-sets for sched carriers, GA, corporate, other operators like broadcast/traffic, and military), and technological sophistication of the ATC system infrastructure. If these factors are going to be said to be pertinent to evaluation of RT usages and practices -- and particularly if the question is whether the US should undertake to entrain an ICAO process relative to typical and customary ATCO usages and practices -- let us see the data. Don't know if it exists, or if it does, where. But this is just (if you will) pre-flight.

The harder data question is what specific usages and practices are trouble-makers, so to speak. If it is typical to verbalize altitudes and frequencies by means of digital expression (American 446, climb to three zero thousand maintain Mach 1.5, vs climb to thirty thousand...), isn't the question whether one or the other is better? Or are both safe and efficacious? Or is one better in certain environments or under certain conditions? Give me the data; leave your false patriot act on the ramp, whether foreign or domestic.

Next question (and it bears only a shadow of relation to NextGen): what if major US ATC installations all were switched to the equivalent of a CVN flight deck in high sortie rate conditions, or a front-line F-15 and F-16 air base in "high and hot" conditions (with or without high sortie rate)? Better ATC usages and practices? Yes, of course not everyone would understand - that observation here misses the point. This mil standard, as I have at least tried to describe and/or articulate it, is quite standard in actual practice, is it not? And this thread was opened by a plaintive cry for standardization, or was it, standardisation, affirmative?
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 13:06
  #65 (permalink)  
 
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Relegated to the dust bin. Domestic ATC is often busy, and not exactly a "ship to shore" environment.
What an extraordinary statement, coming from someone who claims:

19,000 hours total time, 14,500 with TWA. Retired late 1990. TERPs Committee and accident investigatgor for ALPA National and to be an Aviation Consultant in U.S. terminal instrument procedures and airspace matters.

Perhaps you could enlighten us all where and when the USA notified an ICAO difference that they would no longer use MAYDAY. Or was it a personal opinion?

In my count "MAYDAY" 3 times is 6 syllables, "this is an emergency" is 7 and I have an emergency is also 7 never mind "I am declaring an emergency."
In my opinion "MAYDAY" gets everybody's attention in a way that the word emergency doesn't.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 13:29
  #66 (permalink)  
 
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I'm with beardy on this one. MAYDAY is good way to get people to start listening to what's about to be declared, isn't it?

The "Pan Pan" for a malfunction (invented before universal radar coverage) versus various discussions with controllers on issues short of an emergency, looks to have gone the way of the plains buffalo.

(See "minimum fuel" versus 'emergency fuel' reports for a similar issue ... )
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 13:40
  #67 (permalink)  
 
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I say, help!

Or do I say mayday? Or would I like to declare an emergency?

Delighted to see my post 1642 still standing on page 83 of the SF thread has sparked off such an entertaining and freewheeling slagging match on this less inhibited thread. I mentioned that foreign pilots entering US airspace may have difficulty with ATC...and are reluctant to use those useful words "say again...." or "unable".

On the same page 83, Captain Emad was quite rude to me on this subject, but the Heavy Heavy followed shortly after with a truly wonderful post, number 1657...."I'm meek, I'm meek, I'm meek!"

So there you go. I have as PPL IR in the US, found ATC always helpful. Can you bear another anecdote?

In a rented 172, over water (notice how the engine runs rough over water) while enjoying enroute flight following, the controller asked kindly if I was aware I had gone off track. "Well," I replied, having just noticed that the right hand (gravity fed) tank gauge was reading empty while the left said full, "I may be having a problem with fuel...."

The ATC came back immediately with the eager response "Would you like to declare an emergncy?"

I demurred, undecided what to do. "Would you like me to vector you to the nearest airport?" (nice plain concise English, that.)

"That might be a good idea." We agreed Tallahasse would be nearest. The controller then said "Descend to 4,000 feet"......(I was at 11,500, being over water.....)

"Negative," I replied. "If I am going to become a glider I want to start as high as possible!" "Yes Ma'am" he replied. "We have cleared your entire route from 12,000 feet to the ground!" and so held my hand all the way to Tallahassee where I was met by the fire brigade, etc etc....and of course it was only a gauge that was US after all.

I love those guys! I could, if you wanted to hear it, tell a different story about a Birmingham controller.....
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 14:57
  #68 (permalink)  
 
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beardy:

What an extraordinary statement, coming from someone who claims:

19,000 hours total time, 14,500 with TWA. Retired late 1990. TERPs Committee and accident investigatgor for ALPA National and to be an Aviation Consultant in U.S. terminal instrument procedures and airspace matters.

Perhaps you could enlighten us all where and when the USA notified an ICAO difference that they would no longer use MAYDAY. Or was it a personal opinion?

In my count "MAYDAY" 3 times is 6 syllables, "this is an emergency" is 7 and I have an emergency is also 7 never mind "I am declaring an emergency."
In my opinion "MAYDAY" gets everybody's attention in a way that the word emergency doesn't.
I'm not defending it, I am telling it the way it is.

Having said that I declared only once in my career. It was on a taxiway at ORD where a DAL had taken the wrong turn and was headed for us, getting closer and closer with each vain attempt to turn around a 727-200 on a taxiway. The tower wouldn't intercede. So, when it got too close for comfort I got on ground control and stated, "Mayday! Mayday! Mayday! XXX is declaring an emergency on Taxiway YYY."

That got him stopped....finally. My F/E was ready to leave the cockpit because the next wing swipe would have taken out the cockpit.

You can read about it in Dave Gwinn's book.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 15:28
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That's fine. As a current Captain I can tell you that it is not relegated to the dustbin, despite it no longer being just ship to shore communications.

Since it is just your opinion I can disagree with you that it is not "the way it is"

Yet!
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 16:04
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Bubbers44 wrote: Contact ground 21 8 eliminates two syllables so that should be the standard because everybody knows what it means.
That can be replaced with Contact Ground Point 8. That sure isn't ICAO standard, but is official FAA phraseology for contacting ground. In the absence of a frequency before the "point," it is assumed to be 121.xxx

It's just a method to make every single syllable count on congested tower frequencies.

Examples: http://www.faa.gov/regulations_polic...pendix%201.pdf

Last edited by Feathered; 12th Jul 2013 at 16:04.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 16:27
  #71 (permalink)  
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North America is a rather large continent and like, say, Europe, standards will vary over such a large area.

The New York accent may sound pushy or even aggressive, but then so do certain Eastern European ones and even the occasional Scottish accent.

Some parts of the US use local slang but that is hardly as bad as, say, the Spanish or French languages frequently used, which blatantly ignores ICAO and seriously reduces the situational awareness of other crews. Irish ATC tends to be clear and cautious, but the local procedures are often eccentric and unpredictable and they almost never give EATs or accurate track miles when asked. Italy is a law unto itself but even there ATC often varies from North to South.

The Swiss and parts of Germany like to try to climb aircraft at minimum rates of climb at high altitude, obviously without understanding the physics but they don't get upset when one says one is 'unable'. The Swiss also like to keep aircraft high with tailwinds on approach but then they have the excuse of terrain issues.

All of these are easily managed, usually, but are undesirable.

The issue I would have with, in particular, some ATC centres in the States, is the apparently envelope-pushing clearances some of them issue. I won't name airfields but for example the various speed, track miles, frequent late approach/runway changes that can be given are a more serious problem. This problem grows with the weight of the type and the length of the flights.

All that said, I do enjoy flying in the States and my positive experiences far, far outweigh negative ones there.

I do take issue with the following though:

Also, with my experience in international flying, which is considerable, the US still has the best ATC system and controllers. With London ATC a very close second.
London is well ahead of the rest.

If only they could get their ATC people to run their airport security!

Last edited by Faire d'income; 12th Jul 2013 at 16:38.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 16:37
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Actually, France and Spain DO follow ICAO. Communications must be done in the language of the country the ground station is in. If the air station is unable to understand, then English is to be used.
Check your ICAO Annex 10 at home.

Note that I do not like their use of local language in major airports or UAC, but they DO follow the Annex 10.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 16:48
  #73 (permalink)  
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You are correct.

I re-read this report: Ryanair B738 at Alicante and Valencia on May 14th 2010, fuel emergency | AeroInside

The CIAIAC thus annotated: "The fact that English was not used in the communications kept RYR 9ZC from understanding the more explicit and colloquial information that was being given to the other aircraft. That is why it would be convenient that, when aircraft converge at the same airport and whose crews speak different languages, English be used so that all have the same information and all benefit from the information provided to other crews."
The Spanish Authorities merely suggested English 'would be convenient' but didn't point to a regulation.

I stand corrected on the ICAO point.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 17:01
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You don't want our ATC people running security believe you me.....if by that you mean our management people.

I've enjoyed this debate.A bit less testosterone might aid some of the posters though.I've been lucky enough to spend a fair bit of time at close quarters with the US ATC system both as a ground level observer and as a jump seat rider.I've spent 30 years and counting as a London area ATCO and have nothing but admiration for the professionalism and competence of my colleagues stateside.My only criticism does chime with some of the earlier comments in that I have found the pace of r/t delivery on occasion very fast.I always make a conscious effort to slow mine down for non-native speakers and certain airlines in order to avoid confusion and/or having to transmit the whole thing over again.

As for the medal placings,not bothered...don't think they would be either.ATCOs of a feather....
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 17:26
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Data, cont'd

@Agaricus

Point of invoking CVN flight ops in high sortie rate conditions is not that it should be emulated as such. The point was instead to refer to an intensive flight ops environment (because - a number of defenders of the status quo of US ATC have cited its high traffic characteristic) where (presumably) there is a fairly high degree of uniformity, or of standardization, which was the gist of the opening post of this thread (at least as I understood it). If the military approach (no pun intended) to air traffic management, including but not limited to standardized or mostly standardized r/t, is a good model to try to follow, it might be useful and practical for the further reason that necessarily it works by virtue of people following their unit's chain of command. Somehow I do not have the sense that FAA facilities function quite the same way (yet). What about in the UK?? does atc tend to function as if a strong chain of command is in place, or is it more like a mere civil service workplace? [this is a mere interrogative - I intended no sarcasm or other aspersion, cast or otherwise conveyed or implied.]
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 18:21
  #76 (permalink)  
 
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Local language can be used

Every country can use their native language in radio transmissions. (Determined at the same meeting, in Chicago) Now, what is the official language of the USA? (Hint; Good Luck).

Lets call the official language of the USA non-ICAO english, and all the people that complain about R/T in the USA not following ICAO English just lost the argument. No need to file anything with ICAO, as we are communicating in the local language when you do not understand what is being said, much like when I fly in China or Spain.

I am not a native English speaker, but the US is the easiest and most efficient ATC environment I have operated in. (The only place I have not been yet is the Antarctic. Still want to go there as my Grandmothers cousin was the first guy to get to the South Pole and back).

Why not embrace and enjoy our differences? I operate world wide and it is part of what makes my job interesting.

Learn something. Every flight, every day.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 18:39
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<< the controller may use the following alternative form of phraseology.

When established on localiser runway 28, descend on the glidepath QNH 1011, BIGJET 347

Or

or when the aircraft is already established on the localiser:

Descend on the glidepath, QNH 1011, BIGJET 347>>

No controller would ever put the aircraft callsign at the end of the message, captain!!!
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 20:49
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Good point Mr Heathrow, would you like to propose the amendment to the CAP from whence the quote came?
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 21:10
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Good point Mr Heathrow, would you like to propose the amendment to the CAP from whence the quote came?
I think you are quoting the readback but not the instruction.
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Old 12th Jul 2013, 21:20
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Indeed he is, the clue is the little aircraft (as opposed to the tower) in the box
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