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Shamrock A330 and New York tracon run-in

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Shamrock A330 and New York tracon run-in

Old 27th Jul 2018, 14:59
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The controller was wrong END OF.
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Old 27th Jul 2018, 15:05
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Originally Posted by stilton
The Captain has the ultimate responsibility for the aircraft and passengers, he or she has total authority for its operation
Some posters seem to have forgotten that

A controller, no matter how busy he is doesnít have the option to overide that
Perhaps this flight didnít fit in with his plan, well, make a new one, the dynamics of convective activity demand flexibility
Ideally this should be a cooperative effort between Pilots and Controllers but if ATC wonít help but worse points you towards weather youíre not comfortable with you have to speak up and take action
Stilton, you are completely correct in everything you say - but you do not have the full picture. N90 gave you some of it.
The captain accepted his departure clearance which included the turn - a standard procedure. The aircraft was one of a stream that fitted into many streams almost all departures from NY metroplex airports were flying out through the same gap in the weather. The airspace was busy - not shown in the "only-aircraft-in-the-sky" video from the OP the controller was busy. He has worked out sector transit plans for all the stream and no doubt agreed with other controllers about what they are doing. Then one aircraft (not others) refuses to follow the SID as cleared. Yes Stilton he has every right to do that - just as you have every right to stand on your brakes on the interstate if you see something - it's just that now you are affecting a lot of other people - that you probably gave no thought about.
In the same way that the video only showed one aircraft the sound track only showed what the controller was saying on the R/T, In the background the controller is almost certainly more busy, especially with an aircraft that has to be vectored around in a very small area of sky, explaining to controllers in adjacent sectors what is happening. So a workload for the controller that was already busy has just become very busy - while the pilot grudgingly accepts simple vectors and considers that is 'overloading' him? Obviously ignorant that he had to be vectored inside the restricted airspace as it is too small for holds.
Ideally, instead of claiming who has most authority, flight crew and controllers should work as a team. For example pilots, never just refuse a heading. You knew what you would be given as it was your departure clearance, so if you can see that will not be acceptable, when you are expected to turn offer an alternative, ideally with knowledge of the airspace that you are allowed to fly through. Negotiate and collaborate to get the best you can.

Another thing that flight crew could do that would be instructive is actually visit New York TRACON (as I have) - or for that matter any TRACON or control room that manages the airspace they regularly use. You may discover how difficult some things can be for controllers and see how hard they are working when all you hear is the occasional R/T call. It also helps to put a face to the voice.
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Old 27th Jul 2018, 16:00
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Originally Posted by Smokey Lomcevak
Fascinating reading everyone's take on this, particularly N90-EWR's.

There's a lot of talk about Captain's authority etc, and in the clip I see no evidence of this being undermined. I agree that there were comments from both parties that were clumsy and unnecessary.

The point I would make, however, is that a lot of the conversation above revolves around what happened in the air; To use common TEM parlance - how the threat of weather (and mid-air cillision) were mitigated against. But this authority of the commander does not magically appear on rotation - it exists on the ground. So I wonder if maybe the whole thing could have been avoided. NY TRACON can't make the aircraft turn left, just as JFK TWR can't make the captain depart.

Was the left turn after departure what the crew were expecting? If not - was their mental model deficient?

I don't have the pleasure of visiting the NYC area, but my home base is also in a busy, although probably simpler TMA. As far as I have been told, if we feel we can't comply with our departure instructions due weather, the tower would rather know in advance and would be happy to coordinate a safe route with the departure controller. What they really seem to like is if you tell them what you want/need clearly, and concisely.

Just my two penneth.
Exactly my take on it. Seemed a bit amateur taking off without communicating his intentions.
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Old 27th Jul 2018, 16:38
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Originally Posted by Ian W
Stilton, you are completely correct in everything you say - but you do not have the full picture. N90 gave you some of it.
The captain accepted his departure clearance which included the turn - a standard procedure. The aircraft was one of a stream that fitted into many streams almost all departures from NY metroplex airports were flying out through the same gap in the weather. The airspace was busy - not shown in the "only-aircraft-in-the-sky" video from the OP the controller was busy. He has worked out sector transit plans for all the stream and no doubt agreed with other controllers about what they are doing. Then one aircraft (not others) refuses to follow the SID as cleared. Yes Stilton he has every right to do that - just as you have every right to stand on your brakes on the interstate if you see something - it's just that now you are affecting a lot of other people - that you probably gave no thought about.
In the same way that the video only showed one aircraft the sound track only showed what the controller was saying on the R/T, In the background the controller is almost certainly more busy, especially with an aircraft that has to be vectored around in a very small area of sky, explaining to controllers in adjacent sectors what is happening. So a workload for the controller that was already busy has just become very busy - while the pilot grudgingly accepts simple vectors and considers that is 'overloading' him? Obviously ignorant that he had to be vectored inside the restricted airspace as it is too small for holds.
Ideally, instead of claiming who has most authority, flight crew and controllers should work as a team. For example pilots, never just refuse a heading. You knew what you would be given as it was your departure clearance, so if you can see that will not be acceptable, when you are expected to turn offer an alternative, ideally with knowledge of the airspace that you are allowed to fly through. Negotiate and collaborate to get the best you can.

Another thing that flight crew could do that would be instructive is actually visit New York TRACON (as I have) - or for that matter any TRACON or control room that manages the airspace they regularly use. You may discover how difficult some things can be for controllers and see how hard they are working when all you hear is the occasional R/T call. It also helps to put a face to the voice.
This is pretty much spot on! Good post!

Flight crews are always welcome to come tour the NY Tracon. It's hard to describe with a few written words the level of complexity that we have to deal with. You have to see it in action to fully grasp how all the flows from in/out all our airports interact with each other.
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Old 27th Jul 2018, 20:34
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How much time exactly can I take as an pilot when cleared to line up (or is it into position and hold) at JFK to adjust my radar, read it, understand it and make up my mind (and that of my F/O as in CRM) wether I can accept the clearance given (and probably anyhow NOT see the relevant bit of the SID when large turns are involved) or not...?

Donīt know the A330, im "my" airplane I do have a wx rdr, period. I do see 120į 60 left and 60 right of the aircrafts centreline. Probably the controller has a better picture of it, how can I get hold of that picture before I get airborne ? Can I use gnd or tower to get me the picture ? I doubt it....given how busy these guys are.
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Old 28th Jul 2018, 16:12
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Originally Posted by ManaAdaSystem


The usual New Yohhk controller treatment?
How many times have you been flying in and out of the New York area?
The usual New Yohhk treatment for wanting something 'different'. (I should have been more precise and fair to US controllers who are very nice on a day to day basis.)
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 00:43
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Originally Posted by Farrell
The usual New Yohhk treatment for wanting something 'different'. (I should have been more precise and fair to US controllers who are very nice on a day to day basis.)
Yes, and how many times have you operated a jet into the US?
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 12:27
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Originally Posted by His dudeness
How much time exactly can I take as an pilot when cleared to line up (or is it into position and hold) at JFK to adjust my radar, read it, understand it and make up my mind (and that of my F/O as in CRM) wether I can accept the clearance given (and probably anyhow NOT see the relevant bit of the SID when large turns are involved) or not...?

Donīt know the A330, im "my" airplane I do have a wx rdr, period. I do see 120į 60 left and 60 right of the aircrafts centreline. Probably the controller has a better picture of it, how can I get hold of that picture before I get airborne ? Can I use gnd or tower to get me the picture ? I doubt it....given how busy these guys are.
Right on, they see 2 different pictures of the wx.
A route between cells might be good for a while but it is changing, if the gap is closing then somebody will be the first to say no i am not going the way the preceding 5 or 10 aircraft went...
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 16:14
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If you replay the tape, it's very clear the communication and cooperation broke down within the first few transmissions. Shamrock says he can't take 100 without offering an alternative, when ATC asks how long he needs runway heading, the apparently unreasonable "15 miles" is the response. Within 30 seconds flat Shamrock has decided the controller is questioning his authority over the weather decision; and in the same time, the controller has decided Shamrock is taking the pi$$ over the severity of the weather cell. After that initial contact, everything becomes a dick measuring contest. Everyone has a bad day, but these two decided to have theirs together. This should be a teaching aid to illustrate how unprofessional attitudes rapidly escalate into something far more serious. Being at a TRACON post or the controls of an airliner with a pi$$y attitude is an absolute flight safety risk. Both individuals should get some professional counseling in how to apply CRM across aviation boundaries.
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Old 29th Jul 2018, 19:34
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Both individuals should get some professional counseling in how to apply CRM across aviation boundaries.
Professional counseling? Shall we hold an inquiry as well?
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 02:20
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Originally Posted by Two's in
Iwhen ATC asks how long he needs runway heading, the apparently unreasonable "15 miles" is the response
What you don't seem to understand is that in those 15 miles he would go through LaGuardia departure airspace, and start heading into Newark's. We do NOT have 15 miles for you to deviate in that spot. Take a look at a map of where the 3 major international airports are, and then figure out the why its "apparently unreasonable".
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 02:30
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There's already one, or perhaps two, aircraft launching when Shamrock requests a 15 mile departure leg. The controller has to immediately figure out where to place Shamrock while the other departures, including behind Shamrock, keep turning left. Shamrock has to go somewhere and it's probably much easier to keep Shamrock circling overhead JFK while the controller sorts out the puzzle he's been given. Behind the scenes were JFK east departures shut down as the controller needed to create another gap to fit Shamrock into as Shamrock's gap went unused? So stop departures until the aircraft that launched behind Shamrock, and then Shamrock, are straightened out?

Had a similar event years ago. After departure requested a slight right turn. Parallel departures off our right. Needed slightly more to the right. Knew that the controller hated it but we needed it. TCAS and radar and the guy ahead of us is heading into the garbage. Controller (stressed) - "everyone's taken the turn. The guy ahead of you is in the turn." We're surprised that the preceding aircraft took the turn. It's VMC and the weather is visible to the naked eye.....and then the radio springs to life as the preceding aircraft calls (strained voice) "we need an immediate right turn!!" The controller wasn't irritated at us anymore.
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 07:17
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Originally Posted by N90-EWR
What you don't seem to understand is that in those 15 miles he would go through LaGuardia departure airspace, and start heading into Newark's. We do NOT have 15 miles for you to deviate in that spot. Take a look at a map of where the 3 major international airports are, and then figure out the why its "apparently unreasonable".
Unreasonable, reasonable - is completely missing the point; sure ATC have structural problems in NYC but any action in the Commander’s opinion that is for the safety of the aircraft overrrides your concerns about pushing tin. We all know the airspace restrictions in NYC so for the Shamrock to determine they could not take the avoidance is the overriding factor, any inconvenience of the controller and their requirements become entirely subordinate to the requirements of the aircraft needing deviation. If that means departures are slowed down, delayed or halted, then so be it. NYC airports are not unique, LHR in bad weather is a nightmare of delays due to weather avoidance but it’s always safety before “throughput”.

Last edited by Juan Tugoh; 30th Jul 2018 at 10:18.
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 07:52
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Aren’t they supposed to be providing a SERVICE.

End of story.

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Old 30th Jul 2018, 09:49
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I am a regular 'heavy' visitor to JFK from Europe and nothing about that R/T clip surprises me. JFK controllers are aggressive on the radio, both on the ground and in the air. Whether it is a cultural thing or just plain macho BS they are amongst the worst controllers I have come across worldwide.

Having said that.... when I line up and see weather impinging on the departure track.... you stay put until you negotiate a better clearance.... no matter how much pressure JFK tower is putting on you to get airborne. Aer Lingus is not entirely blame free in this episode.
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 11:23
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Originally Posted by Tommy Gavin
Off all the major airports in the developed world JFK has most probably the worst ATC followed closely by Chicago.
rude, non standard and chaotic. Other major airports like Atlanta, Houston and LAX are all very professional.
Let me fix this for you. Out of all the major airports in the world JFK/LGA/EWR/TER/HPN/SWF has the most traffic in a very confined airspace of any airports in the world. Itís good they also have the best ATC. Most European controllers heads would explode if they had to work in NYC.
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 11:27
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Originally Posted by N90-EWR
What you don't seem to understand is that in those 15 miles he would go through LaGuardia departure airspace, and start heading into Newark's. We do NOT have 15 miles for you to deviate in that spot. Take a look at a map of where the 3 major international airports are, and then figure out the why its "apparently unreasonable".
sorry I'm not familiar with NY airspace, but having a quick look at the charts of all mentioned airports I just can't seem to figure how exactly maintaining a runway heading of 220 deg for 15 miles would possibly get the shamrock anywhere near the EWR or LGA?
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 13:21
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Originally Posted by Salvi767
Let me fix this for you. Out of all the major airports in the world JFK/LGA/EWR/TER/HPN/SWF has the most traffic in a very confined airspace of any airports in the world. Itís good they also have the best ATC. Most European controllers heads would explode if they had to work in NYC.
Go and check out the stats.... London remains the busiest airspace in the world - ahead of New York by a significant margin. In fact the LHR, LGW, LTN, STN, CDG, ORY, RTM, AMS triangle is controlled by 3 different countries depite being a similar area size to New York ARTCC. Nobody gets shouted at, nobody gets angry and no controllers speak patronisingly to foreign aircraft as if they are idiots. Most importantly they remain professional with no macho BS.

I hope you get to read this before another of my posts gets taken down. I appear to have a knack of hitting the nail on the head.
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 13:24
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Originally Posted by ACMS
Arenít they supposed to be providing a SERVICE.

End of story.
Indeed - providing a service to all the aircraft in the airspace.
The number of aircraft a controller can handle is based on the expected workload/taskload for each aircraft. If an aircraft unexpectedly imposes more workload, then one or more other aircraft will be held until the controller has safe capacity to accept them. Entirely up to you if you want to cause that delay. But you are making the "story" a little longer for everyone else.
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Old 30th Jul 2018, 13:25
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767


Let me fix this for you. Out of all the major airports in the world JFK/LGA/EWR/TER/HPN/SWF has the most traffic in a very confined airspace of any airports in the world. It’s good they also have the best ATC. Most European controllers heads would explode if they had to work in NYC.
All the more reason for using standard phraseology and applying clear and concise clearances. Especially to NON native English speakers. Just take a look at LHR and see what is also possible!

London Area is even busier then NYC and adjacent to busy airspaces in France and the Netherlands.
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