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Lufty at SFO

Old 19th Nov 2023, 17:16
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767
SFO has about 1300 arrivals a day. LHR about 650. Thatís not about the same. Itís substantially different.
The info I had for LHR gave movements so, yes, that is like comparing chalk and cheeses. I asked "Is that correct?" and you answered. Thank you!

Originally Posted by Request Orbit
... Weíre going to declare the airspace Class B and publish instrument procedures, but donít dare actually ask us to provide the level of service that implies.
Seems to sum this situation up! And the Lufthansa SOPs simply demand "the level of service that implies".

How does SFO cope when the weather is down to Cat I (or lower!) conditions? (LHR 'stumbles' when it gets below Cat I and increased approach spacing is needed, but copes quite well in Cat I.)
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 17:17
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
Didn't miss the point. It just didn't matter and the result would have been the same. If it's saturated, SFO isn't going to shut down the stream to the parallel runway and slow his own down just so Lufthansa can have his ILS.

And how do we even know this established international carrier captain is even well-versed in his own Company's SOPs? After all and I may be wrong, but I doubt the Lufthansa Radiotelephony Phraseology Section of their RT SOPs has the note: "Don't say "F***" on the radio, except when outside EASA Airspace".

But hey, Lufthansa. I remember late one night in Riyadh Lufthansa holding short of a runway for at least 30 minutes blocking 5 or 6 other aircraft because the stop bar lights had malfunctioned and were stuck ON. No aircraft inbound for that runway and the excited controller tried telling, and eventually yelling, that he was cleared to cross the lights because they were broken. Yet still, being the captain of an established international air carrier, he refused, no doubt because despite the utter absence of inbound traffic and the controllers directives, it was in his SOPs. Not being able to taxi forward, turn around, or get out of the way, it was quite a mess for those stuck behind him who I'm sure were dropping some F-bombs themselves, just not on the radio. Happily, we avoided by launching off the other runway which, by necessity, they began using for departures. I don't know how long they all ended up sitting, but I suppose they stayed right where they were at until someone in a truck showed up to cut a wire or, more likely, smashed the lights to the OFF position with a hammer.
I would have gone crazy in your situation. Still, forever broken stop bars pilots didn’t care about any more were one of the reasons for the SAS SK 686 accident 2001 in Milano.
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 17:42
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Originally Posted by NoelEvans
How does SFO cope when the weather is down to Cat I (or lower!) conditions? (LHR 'stumbles' when it gets below Cat I and increased approach spacing is needed, but copes quite well in Cat I.)
When the weather goes down, there are delays. We start to get slot times, or weíre just held on the ground (seemingly) indefinitely.
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 20:40
  #204 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
Reminder noted, but I believe anyone who's flown in the US outside Class A -> STAR -> Class B/C -> SID -> Class A understands that there's a whole lotta aircraft out that aren't the merely ones ATC tells us about, or is even talking to, or even has a transponder or ADS-B that ATC or our TCAS can see. The concept is well-ingrained and why FAA regs require looking outside to try and visually acquire traffic anytime flight conditions permit.

I hope nothing I wrote implied that TCAS be used as a separation tool. That would be like running a canyon high speed, low-level, and blind using a weather radar in ground mapping mode. It won't end well. I don't know any pilot that isn't aware of TCAS's limitations and inaccuracies between display vs the visual reality outside; we use it every day and it's been around for 30 years.

Only RAs should result in maneuvering, and that's been the case since US carriers were equipped with them by 91/93. I'm not sure who you were lobbying hard against in the 90's. UK/Europe was a late TCAS adopter in 2000 after which, for awhile anyway, there was still debate and training differences as to whether RAs took precedence over conflicting ATC instructions as the 2002 midair exposed. Hopefully, everyone is on the same page now.

TCAS display as a substitute for visual acquisition...absolutely not, of course. I know my long post is eye-glazing, but that is exactly the point for much of it. TCAS was the first thing on the list I mentioned those things that aren't a substitutes to acquiring traffic visually, whether the aircraft has been pointed out by ATC or not.

What I did say was that it's an aid that assists visual acquisition by directing attention to sectors of sky for scanning. That is literally the stated purpose of having Proximate, Unidentified, and Traffic Advisory symbols with relative altitudes shown on the display, with the TA alert designed to reduce the startle factor and response time if an RA occurs. Mere mortals can't tirelessly focus on everything everywhere all at once and we must prioritize duties and attention according to the situation. In the case of SFO when they're conducting parallel visuals the traffic call from ATC will usually come between the vector for intercept and clearance to fly the published Visual approach and the before intercept. If that traffic call is the first time someone looks outside to attempt visual acquisition of the aircraft they'll pair up with...because you know you'll be pairing up with someone...he/she might want to reconsider his/her priorities.

The problem isn't that the other aircraft ATC wants you to see can't be seen (at that point on the SFO visual it easily can be). The problem is that ATC has called out 1 aircraft but there may be 3 or 4 aircraft easily in view from the cockpit window, and if the traffic is low perhaps some ground lights could also confuse. The process of the brain differentiating between things one sees and compensating begins when first looking outside, so maybe the best time to begin that process isn't at 180 kts converging with the other aircraft when someone also needs to be minding the store confirming that the intercept is happening when it should. Life gets a lot easier if one begins to get the SA picture beforehand and allow the brain more time to process and differentiate in order to avoid what could otherwise be an initially-confusing picture later.

Visually mis-identifying aircraft has always been an issue long before the advent of TCAS, which in my opinion has reduced the likelihood. Pilots are fine with azimuth but estimates vary greatly when it comes to judging altitude differences relative to one's own, especially over slant range distances. At night you're looking for aircraft lighting against what may be a background of lights with all sorts of brightness, colours, and flashiness. Or it could be a hazy day with low sun in your eyes and the vis from where one sits is far more restricted than anything being reported. So if ATC calls out 1 aircraft but TCAS is showing 3 in that sector in close proximity and minimum vertical spacing (perhaps just 500" if 1 is VFR) your brain already accepts that the first 1 you spot visually may not be the one ATC wants you to identify so you continue to scan.

Low aspect targets are more difficult to see until close-in and if they're hot there's less time to visually acquire. Constant bearing crossing traffic has little or no relative motion. When ATC gives a traffic position it's not BRA but rather a Clock Bearing relative to flight path, not relative to aircraft heading, so unless there's zero x-wind component the traffic can possibly be positioned 1 or 2 clock sectors off. In daily use, I doubt there's anyone who doesn't reference the no-conflict Proximate Traffic targets and try to spot them, and in this way through familiarity makes one better at visually judging relative altitudes and slant range distances air-to-air because you have something inside the cockpit displaying their altitude.

Until ADS-B w/CPDLC is universally adopted, all aircraft equipped, and always-working worldwide, the TCAS info displayed to the crew will always be used for situational awareness monitor proximate traffic and, as such, sometimes for positioning where surveillance and/or ATC is sketchy or non-existent; there's still wake turbulence at altitude that may need offsetting from, the occasional oncoming traffic that's uncomfortably at or near your altitude that should be monitored, or CBs that need deviating around along everyone else having the same idea.

While TCAS certainly has its limitations it's not your grandpa's Pong game either, and It's better to have a slightly imperfect picture of those around you than no picture at all. In those places where ATC does exist but adhere to a funny, aviation-variation of the "Less is More" philosophy that prevents them from advising you of overtaking and/or nearby traffic because "You won't be able to miss seeing it soon anyway" or perhaps the gov doesn't have the funds to go around replacing worn-out ATC PTT switches, this also applies.

"We have him on TCAS", yes, yes, absolutely agree. An entirely useless response to a traffic call that does nothing but create uncertainly with the Controller (and everyone else) as to whether the pilot is looking outside for the traffic or not. I'm glad you brought it up, and perhaps we can all agree now's the time to establish a worldwide system of fining any pilot $500 (or pro crew $500 per head) for uttering it on the radio, paid into a fund that will be used for a yearly Pilot/Controller bash somewhere on neutral ground; a chartered 250' Feadship party boat floating on the Caribbean, for instance.

In fact, since the Authorities everywhere aren't doing anything about it and in the interests of getting the biggest boat possible, there should be an entire list of useless, annoying, and offending transmissions and their associated fines, the amount for each commensurate to its annoyance level. Something like;

1) We have him on TCAS ($500)
2) F*** ($1)
3) You have a stuck Mic ($1500 If repeated, + $5000)
4) Fully ready ($480)
5) ____ on the meter ($975)
6) Charlie Charlie ($ 328)
7) You're on Guard!!! ($ 2,500 + 3 Anger Management classes + 5-year Party Boat ban)
8) Animal noises (Entire estate + Death)
9) etc.
10) etc.
The Lufty pilot knew your price list well before us. Since we Germans are cheap / like getting value for money he chose option 2) for $ 1 only. ďIíll squeeze myself in, have them all on TCASĒ would have been way to expensive!
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Old 19th Nov 2023, 21:34
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Originally Posted by PukinDog
I'm not sure who you were lobbying hard against in the 90's. UK/Europe was a late TCAS adopter in 2000 after which, for awhile anyway, there was still debate and training differences as to whether RAs took precedence over conflicting ATC instructions as the 2002 midair exposed. Hopefully, everyone is on the same page now.
.
First I must say ,spot on your replies, Would love to have a couple of beers with you if our lives meet one day Quick comments on the above : The "lobby" was ICAO FANS II meetings 1990-1993.defining ACAS and other niceties like ADS-B and CPDLC. which should all have been a global standard, but we failed miserably as each side of the Atlantic developed its own system . The TCAS "training differences" you mention were the direct result of the lawyers of the MITRE corporation ( who designed the TCAS software) which insisted on calling the avoiding instructions " Resolution Advisories" to avoid being sued in case it would not worked as planned. When you translate "advisory" in Russian you start to see where the problems started in Ueberlingen..

In fact, since the Authorities everywhere aren't doing anything about it and in the interests of getting the biggest boat possible, there should be an entire list of useless, annoying, and offending transmissions and their associated fines, the amount for each commensurate to its annoyance level. Something like; 1) We have him on TCAS ($500), 2) F*** ($1), etc..etc,.
Fantastic list ,We should lobby ICAO to get this enshrined in PANS OPS . I would add " Do we have to descend now ?" , 500$ at least .
But back to our case here, the LH just said " Fu**k up your sequence" that should have been 1 $ on your list but the diversion to OAK was a lot more that that I guess, not including the 600 Euros compensation per delayed pax for the Europeans on board.
​​​​​​​ Flying is expensive..
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 00:31
  #206 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767
SFO has about 1300 arrivals a day. LHR about 650. Thatís not about the same. Itís substantially different.
Wiki gives the following total movements for 2022:
LHR: 384,383 (1053 per day)
SFO: 355,306 (973 per day)

You're not even close.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 03:12
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For the last 12 months, LHR is now up to 447,400. And there is a curfew which applies to certain operations at the back of the clock.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 05:05
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Here are the two wiki entries, from my links above. The images are necessarily long so I can't be accused of polluting the data by cutting and pasting.

LHR:


SFO:


Obviously, "last year" is not 2021, and in any case, 2021 can't validly be used because of the disruption caused by the pandemic and the varying travel restrictions.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 06:54
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Originally Posted by Mustang
A rather heated discussion has occurred.
I'm simply stating what I believe to be the facts and I have provided my references for all to study, Mustang.

421Dog won't post his references (because they don't substantiate his claim). Case lost. LHR is busier than SFO. Sailvi767 is wrong.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 06:59
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Originally Posted by 70 Mustang
A rather heated discussion has occurred.
a sort of "wagging" of figurative body parts?
They're both busy.

Would be interesting to also compare the shift patterns of the controllers, the number of active controllers, supporting staff in the cabs or at the desks in approach and departure, the rate of turnover and burnout, adding in the runway configurations, directions of arrivals and departures, nearby airports and their traffic numbers and patterns.

I've flown into both and can say that LHR was a much more calmer, relaxed endeavour than SFO.
Have never flown into LHO except as SLF (way too many times,) and also out on Concorde a couple times (Way too few)
The last time I went across (supersonic) (on G-BOAG, I think) the captain informed us that the Service from Heathrow tower was ďOf their usual sterling quality, and that we should expect acceleration that might be a little more Ďsporting than normalí
upon our takeoff rollĒ
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 07:34
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For 2022:
LHR 380,305 Source UK CAA https://www.caa.co.uk/Documents/Down...e27ccfce4/5623
SFO 355,006 Source SFO airport https://www.flysfo.com/sites/default...%20Summary.pdf



.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 07:40
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Originally Posted by Mustang
In a word, let the others be wrong if they wish.
I don't have a problem with that.

What I do have a problem with is letting ignorant third parties be led astray by nonsense (and I don't use the term "ignorant" in a disparaging way):

Originally Posted by Sailvi767
SFO has about 1300 arrivals a day. LHR about 650. That’s not about the same. It’s substantially different.
Originally Posted by Noel Evans
​​​​​​​The info I had for LHR gave movements so, yes, that is like comparing chalk and cheeses. I asked "Is that correct?" and you answered. Thank you!
Based on the information I have provided, with references, Noel Evans has been misled with fiction and has now gone away to potentially spread that fiction that has been spouted on PPrune.

And despite post after post, neither Sailvi767 or 421Dog have posted anything that refutes what I have provided, which clearly shows LHR is busier than SFO, aircraft movements-wise, and kills SFO, pax movements-wise.

Added: Thanks Bidule.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 08:11
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Originally Posted by 421dog
I’m really sure any person interested in actual numbers can recover actual data from the respective National websites with a modicum of effort that will relieve me of the idiotically tiresome task of proving that SFO has more ops than LHR. I did it, and you are trying to refute it.
https://adip.faa.gov/agis/public/#/airportData/SFO scroll to the bottom, lists 299,744 for 2022 for KSFO

https://www.caa.co.uk/Documents/Down...e27ccfce4/5623 lists 380,305 for 2022, for EGLL

Now interestingly Wikipedia lists SFO at 355,006 for the year. A bit of further research on Google give the airport website (https://www.flysfo.com/about/media/f...fic-statistics) which publishes monthly data with a rolling total. I’ve gone through and added the monthly totals for 2022 for you. (25761+24503+28632+29092+30304+31612+32434+32315+30972+31448 +29022+28911=…355,006)

Now, given it’s rather an off-topic tangent and not really relevant it seems a waste to be-labour the point. However, what respective national website do you have have that says otherwise?

Heathrow seemingly has more movements per year (despite a night curfew) but at its busiest cannot move as many planes in a single hour.

edit: should have refreshed the thread before hitting post, but as we all found the same stats without too much bother it’s nice to be cross checked

Last edited by Request Orbit; 20th Nov 2023 at 08:23.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 11:42
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Originally Posted by Capn Bloggs
Wiki gives the following total movements for 2022:
LHR: 384,383 (1053 per day)
SFO: 355,306 (973 per day)

You're not even close.
Go to the airport sites. Make sure you are comparing the same things. I used arrivals. Some on here are comparing arrivals to operations. SFO handles twice the traffic of LHR. I have flown extensively out of both and it’s pretty obvious to anyone operating there that SFO has a far greater volume.
I did not even discuss actual aircraft operating in the area. OAK is 10 miles away and there is extensive light aircraft traffic being fed through the area. On top of all that there numerous noise sensitive areas restricting airspace.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 11:51
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Originally Posted by Request Orbit
My use of “sides” is far too black and white for something that is obviously a lot more nuanced so appreciate that sentiment. Separation is a pretty defining characteristic of air traffic, and when it comes to IFR traffic is very much an ATC responsibility inside controlled airspace. If you can delegate that to pilots to keep things moving at times, great. If the whole thing falls apart if a single pilot says no, not great. It is not the pilots responsibility. If saying no results in that situation, it’s bad airspace/sectorisation/training/procedure design. We’re going to declare the airspace Class B and publish instrument procedures, but don’t dare actually ask us to provide the level of service that implies.
If you listen carefully the controller was working on a solution. He wanted to clear them for the ILS and have them acknowledge the parallel traffic in sight. They declined that option. I can assure you they still would have landed at SFO if it were not for this. “We will declare an emergency and f**k up your pattern.” Once that was broadcast welcome to OAK!
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 12:03
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Originally Posted by NoelEvans
How does SFO cope when the weather is down to Cat I (or lower!) conditions? (LHR 'stumbles' when it gets below Cat I and increased approach spacing is needed, but copes quite well in Cat I.)
When visuals are not available in SFO they issue ground stops to the domestic US traffic planned into SFO. They then begin to cancel flights in addition to the ground stop. In general the regional jet flights are canceled first but airline op centers often make the call as they are given a number of operations that must be canceled and they decide which flights. City pairs like LAX-SFO also get hit hard as there are so many flights it makes rebooking easier. International operations are for obvious reasons not subject to any of this.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 12:40
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767
Go to the airport sites. Make sure you are comparing the same things. I used arrivals. Some on here are comparing arrivals to operations. SFO handles twice the traffic of LHR. I have flown extensively out of both and itís pretty obvious to anyone operating there that SFO has a far greater volume.
look at the post by Request Orbit 2 above your post. They have helpfully provided CAA and FAA figures for the two airports.

Do you have some verifiable figures that prove SFO has double the movements of LHR? A more accurate source than CAA/FAA?

Last edited by Del Prado; 20th Nov 2023 at 13:34.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 13:10
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Hereís a list of Heathrowís stats for 2023 so far. Aircraft movements taken from Heathrow Airport website.

January 2023 34,961
February 2023 32,503
March 2023 36,671
April 2023 37,249
May 2023 39,488
June 2023 38,117
July 2023 40,422
August 2023 39,905
September 2023 39,193
October 2023 40,201

heading for about 450,000 total movements this year.
2020 and 2021 stats are unrepresentative due covid.

SFO running total in the end of September report is 287,524 total movements, down about 20-25% on Heathrow.

Heathrow website

SFO report


Last edited by Del Prado; 20th Nov 2023 at 13:32.
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Old 20th Nov 2023, 14:00
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Originally Posted by Sailvi767
Go to the airport sites. Make sure you are comparing the same things. I used arrivals. Some on here are comparing arrivals to operations. SFO handles twice the traffic of LHR. I have flown extensively out of both and itís pretty obvious to anyone operating there that SFO has a far greater volume.

I did not even discuss actual aircraft operating in the area. OAK is 10 miles away and there is extensive light aircraft traffic being fed through the area. On top of all that there numerous noise sensitive areas restricting airspace.

If you listen carefully the controller was working on a solution. He wanted to clear them for the ILS and have them acknowledge the parallel traffic in sight. They declined that option. I can assure you they still would have landed at SFO if it were not for this. ďWe will declare an emergency and f**k up your pattern.Ē Once that was broadcast welcome to OAK!
https://www.flysfo.com/sites/default...%20Summary.pdf

The stats from the SFO website list total monthly tower operations in the first table. The next table down is then total monthly landings (aka arrivals). The total monthly ops, once youíve added the air taxi and military movements is about double the landings. Do you have any actual stats that say otherwise, or just a feeling that itís quite busy when youíre there? Iíll re-iterate what I said in my earlier post: at itís peak hours SFO moves a lot more planes an hour, but from the published figures, their peak hours do not last as long.

If you want to get into nearby airports, OAKs annual movements for 2022, 213,668 (https://www.oaklandairport.com/wp-co...22-Summary.pdf). Thatís 4,000 fewer than Gatwick alone, and doesnít bring Northolt, London City, Stansted, Luton or Biggin into it. They might be a couple more miles away in some case but itís very much hemmed in on every side.

The controller was not working on a solution (that we heard). In the example you use, he was offering them what they were going to get anyway in slightly different wording. What he offered was exactly what they were restricted from doing. Saying an emergency would ruin the sequence wasnít a threat, itís a statement of fact. It would have left the controller in the exact same position but with no choice but to come up with an actual solution. If you turned up at an airport and got delayed for an hour without the slightest hint of an EAT, would you be impressed?

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Old 20th Nov 2023, 14:31
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Originally Posted by ATC Watcher
First I must say ,spot on your replies, Would love to have a couple of beers with you if our lives meet one day Quick comments on the above : The "lobby" was ICAO FANS II meetings 1990-1993.defining ACAS and other niceties like ADS-B and CPDLC. which should all have been a global standard, but we failed miserably as each side of the Atlantic developed its own system . The TCAS "training differences" you mention were the direct result of the lawyers of the MITRE corporation ( who designed the TCAS software) which insisted on calling the avoiding instructions " Resolution Advisories" to avoid being sued in case it would not worked as planned. When you translate "advisory" in Russian you start to see where the problems started in Ueberlingen..


Fantastic list ,We should lobby ICAO to get this enshrined in PANS OPS . I would add " Do we have to descend now ?" , 500$ at least .
But back to our case here, the LH just said " Fu**k up your sequence" that should have been 1 $ on your list but the diversion to OAK was a lot more that that I guess, not including the 600 Euros compensation per delayed pax for the Europeans on board.
Flying is expensive..
Thank you for the insight. I'd still credit those working group meetings for pushing what we're enjoying today with respect to CPDLC and ADS-B plus refinements in the TCAS/ACAS tech past the original 6-series software versions.

It's probably inevitable each side of the Atlantic had their own priorities. The US had been working on the proto-TCAS since the 70s and testing TCAS 1 early 80's. The decision had been made to focus on a system that wasn't ground-dependent and utilized existing Transponder equipment. The 1986 Cerritos midair collision that killed an additional 15 on the ground in a residential area removed any doubt what they wanted, including Mode C requirements for GA and and a harder push to make TCAS mandatory.

MITRE...I'm not even sure if anyone could successfully sue them. They're practically a systems engineering arm of the US government. Their aviation research Center and branches are entrenched, integral to designing the US air defence and the FAA's civil air traffic systems with fancy, associated accoutrements for the Air Force and FAA since the late 50's. They trace their lineage back to WW2 wartime research projects plus private industry and universities brought together under an umbrella.

The MITRE developers would undoubtedly be aware of the limitations of the software. They'd realize that even when it worked perfectly with no malfunctions, the fact that an RA could still command you to fly into the ground or attempt to exceed the aircraft's climb performance would preclude them from designing anything that would work coupled to the autopilot. With the human element in the form of the pilot purposely inserted, perhaps the tech engineers reasoning behind calling it an "advisory" ( rather than a "command") made more sense since the rules as to whether one should, shall, or shall w/conditions follow them would be up to the regulators.

Interesting point about the Russian translation, I wasn't aware of that.

I'm all for ICAO PANS OPS enshrinement of The List. Good news, taking point on the lobbying effort is up for grabs, especially for anyone with ICAO working group experience. They'd just hang up on me.

"Do we have to descend now?"....Great addition! $500 minimum (applicable only to an Instrument Student, 1st offence) Otherwise, $1250 (to include the CFII who was sitting next to the aforementioned Student). Note: Rule applies to any variation e.g. "Is that at our discretion?".

I 2nd the motion for beers if we do ever cross paths, and hope that we might . No doubt we'd sort out most trans-Atlantic differences except how to spell...aluminuminiam? My shout for the first round, not necessarily because I'd admit to having ever befouled the airwaves with any of The List's transgressions and therefore already owe something to the fund, but rather in keeping with my old man's estimation that 'though I may not be of guilty something in particular, I'm most likely guilty of something.
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