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Author Topic: "...i've never had a controller talk to me like that!"  (Read 36141 times)
ed3004
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« on: September 12, 2008, 03:39:46 AM »

Hi, I'm pretty new to ATC communications and procedures but very interested in this sort of thing. I was wondering if you think this pilot was being inconsiderate and expecting too much in his request or if the controller was just having a bad day and venting some steam. I understand ATC is a very stressful job but was his reaction reasonable? I think I would be just as shocked as the pilot after being so polite. With all the traffic these days I guess pilots are expected to be extra mindful with what they ask for.
Thanks for your opinions.


I should have added this before.

*Added 10/26:  METAR KSNA 100453Z 23004KT 6SM BR BKN018 20/16 A2979 RMK AO2 SLP086 T02000161 , (around 10pm out here)
                                           

* KSNA-Sep-10-2008-0500Z.mp3 (1782.56 KB - downloaded 10968 times.)
« Last Edit: September 26, 2008, 07:45:39 AM by ed3004 » Logged
jdfmoc
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« Reply #1 on: September 12, 2008, 06:28:09 AM »

I am one thats not 100% in favor on controllers who decide to get smart over a question asked. What are we here to do, provide safety. I think the controller from the part i heard was out of line. Familiar or not Familiar doesnt matter you got to help ya, and he wasnt busy enough to give you a piece of his mind. Sry i would call the tower talk to him. It was not an out of line question.

For the pilots that read this forum:

Its better to ask for help then assume you already know!
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cessna157
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« Reply #2 on: September 12, 2008, 08:58:43 AM »

I think its funny that the controller complains that he's the only controller working all of the airspace and he's very busy and doesn't have the time to hold his hand, yadda yadda yadda, but he does find 60 seconds of radio time to complain about it.


I feel bad for the pilot.  He was being very polite and professional, and made a simple request for some advice.  Granted most controllers do not act this way.  And there is absolutely no reason to act this way, busy or not (he could have given a 3 second heading suggestion rather than a 60 second tongue lashing), but this is not how a majority of the controllers are.  To bring back the horribly old, but accurate adage, it only takes a few bad apples.......

Thats how most professions are.  At my airline, most of the crews are very cool.  We come in, do our jobs, fly the bus, get folks where they need to go, have lots of fun and don't stir up any trouble in the process.  It only takes 4 or 5 of our 1500 pilots to make us all look bad.
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cessna157
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« Reply #3 on: September 12, 2008, 09:08:40 AM »

Just an additional question, maybe targeted to the ATCers here on the forums.  I mean, in no way, any disrespect here.  But why do controllers complain, on the air, about them being short staffed, tired, busy, etc, and refuse some services, or complain constantly about giving some services.

Let me be the devil's advocate here:
Being an airline pilot isn't the dream job and doesn't have the glamour that many think.  There are some days that I start working at 6am and not finish until 845pm, having only been paid for 3 hours of the day, then being off duty for 8 hours (having only received 5 or 6 hours of sleep), then going back in for another 13 hour day (which may very well have been my day off when I had plans to see my family that I hadn't seen in over a week, and running on laundry that hasn't been done in a week, etc etc).  We don't complain about it on the radio.  We just do our jobs and, for the most part, let it be.  Because complaining to ATC that we don't want to hold just isn't going to do anyone any good.

Now, of course, let me reiterate that this isn't how most controllers are.  In fact there are many many controllers that keep their cool.  When a center controller has hundreds of square miles of airspace, and t-strms covering much of that, with aircraft deviating every which direction, it isn't fun for anyone.  And controllers do very well keeping calm and working with what they've got. 
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CRJ7/CRJ9 F/O, Travel Agent
NY Z Pilot
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« Reply #4 on: September 12, 2008, 10:18:24 AM »

Who else can we complain to? The FFA F*cked us. It doesnt happen often, but pilots complain too! Mainly the eagles.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #5 on: September 12, 2008, 12:23:10 PM »

Honestly, how much work would it have been for the controller to give the pilot the heading when first asked?  Sheesh.  Like Cessa157 pointed out, the controller spent way more time and energy avoiding the question than it would have taken to help the pilot with what was a very reasonable and polite request.

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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Robin Rebhan
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« Reply #6 on: September 12, 2008, 05:17:24 PM »

    Sad part is. How many Pilots won't ask for a little help in the future because of an incident like this? How many didn't and ended up with spatial disorientation and went down?
    As a student pilot I almost gave up flying because a controller went off on me. I was told to report 2 mile right base. I reported at 3 miles. I was in a C-152 with one VOR ( B/O ), different runway than I used before. I was Stage 2 at the time. When I got on the ground everyone who listened on scanner was laughing his butt off, which is all you really can do. Learn from it. Take it all in stride and move on with a sense of humor, smarter, stronger, hold no grudges and be a better pilot for it.  smiley

     Lesson Learned: Better to ask, than crash!  shocked

     Semper Fly'em
     Robin Rebhan
     Albany, NY
« Last Edit: September 12, 2008, 05:33:07 PM by Robin Rebhan » Logged

WILL WORK FOR FLIGHT TIME!
Yegger
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« Reply #7 on: September 12, 2008, 08:39:15 PM »

Wow. I saw the thread title expecting it to be an impatient airline pilot waiting in line at Kennedy or something, but this is surely not what I expected. An honest pilot lost in the clouds? And the controller responds like that? Unacceptable, in my humble opinion of course.
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Texas-Cat
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« Reply #8 on: September 16, 2008, 03:47:51 PM »

Yup - I'd be calling the tower once down.  An honest and polite request for minimal assistance. It took 3 seconds to answer the question and 35 seconds to rant about it. Glad I'm not flying in his airspace.
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kaktak1
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« Reply #9 on: September 16, 2008, 10:54:15 PM »

I say good for the pilot, we wasn't going to take any crap from a controller who was having a bad moment when he was just trying to safely navigate.

And I personally haven't heard a controller talk like that to a pilot (excluding JFK).
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If black boxes survive air crashes — why don't they make the whole plane out of that stuff?
xprtmarksman
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« Reply #10 on: September 17, 2008, 05:33:12 PM »

I wish we could see what kinda disciplinary actions the controller got.  He didn't sound that busy to me.  Unskilled controllers shouldn't bash a pilot for asking for a reasonable and definitely a safety of flight referenced question.  And as for NY Z Pilot, the FAA f&*#ed us, not pilots, so why would you complain to a pilot?  Let me know which chapter in the 7110.65 that covers when and how to complain to a pilot on the frequency about avoiding clouds?  Now I know there's at least one unskilled, pinging controller in New York!
« Last Edit: September 17, 2008, 05:36:14 PM by xprtmarksman » Logged
btnhtillidie
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« Reply #11 on: September 20, 2008, 04:35:14 PM »

I wish we could see what kinda disciplinary actions the controller got.  He didn't sound that busy to me.  Unskilled controllers shouldn't bash a pilot for asking for a reasonable and definitely a safety of flight referenced question.  And as for NY Z Pilot, the FAA f&*#ed us, not pilots, so why would you complain to a pilot?  Let me know which chapter in the 7110.65 that covers when and how to complain to a pilot on the frequency about avoiding clouds?  Now I know there's at least one unskilled, pinging controller in New York!

I hope he didnt get any action taken against him. Its not our job to hold pilots hands! Pick up a freaking chart. Pilots bitch at us all the time, we dont get offended. but you say saomethign to them, and they run away crying! 
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cessna157
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« Reply #12 on: September 20, 2008, 04:50:39 PM »

I hope he didnt get any action taken against him. Its not our job to hold pilots hands! Pick up a freaking chart. Pilots bitch at us all the time, we dont get offended. but you say saomethign to them, and they run away crying! 


Ding ding....game on!


[I'm staying out of this one.  I've made my point clear.  Any this may have just enforced my point too.  Thanks!   grin
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« Reply #13 on: September 20, 2008, 06:19:55 PM »

2 things..

Most controllers complain because we hold pilots to the same extreme standards we are held to.  So if you come in not being familiar at all, it makes our workload go way up. Example... grandpa the weekend pilot, doesn't check his notams or update his Garmin with current info and violates the class C.

We sometimes complain on freq because you happen to be the 14th pilot to make the same stupid error today. Flight schools are teaching students correctly.. here anyway.

TB  cool
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #14 on: September 20, 2008, 07:57:44 PM »

I hope he didnt get any action taken against him. Its not our job to hold pilots hands! Pick up a freaking chart. Pilots bitch at us all the time, we dont get offended. but you say saomethign to them, and they run away crying! 

Nice "us versus them" mentality.  As a real life pilot who actually has a lot of respect for skilled controllers I hope that is just the keyboard talking there.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
pilot2009
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« Reply #15 on: September 20, 2008, 10:33:24 PM »

Not to light any fires here, but if I were the pilot, I'd work on sounding a bit more competent.  He could've just said "N..05R requesting radar vectors direct Mile Square".  I fly this controller's airspace frequently and he's always been friendly as long as you sound professional.  Why is he asking for a "steer" to Mile Square if he is "familiar"?  Anyway, if you feel you're being used by a controller you can always ask for a time check and about 95% of the time the controller will get his/her act together in a hurry!
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SirIsaac787
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« Reply #16 on: September 20, 2008, 11:01:05 PM »

I hope he didnt get any action taken against him. Its not our job to hold pilots hands! Pick up a freaking chart. Pilots bitch at us all the time, we dont get offended. but you say saomethign to them, and they run away crying! 

Jeez.  Someone needs a nap and a "chill pill".  Clearly the pilot was a little disoriented and just wanted minimal help.  That is a controllers job...help the pilots when it is needed.  And crying...all he did was ask for the number...quite appropriate I think.
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davolijj
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« Reply #17 on: September 21, 2008, 11:31:37 AM »

It is the controller's job, you're absolutely right.  It's written in the 7110.65 plain as day:

Quote from: 7110.65S  Chapter 5, Section 6
5-6-1. APPLICATION

Vector aircraft:

a. In controlled airspace for separation, safety, noise abatement, operational advantage, or when a pilot requests. Allow aircraft operating on an RNAV route to remain on their own navigation to the extent possible.

Notice it doesn't say "vector IFR aircraft," and I realize that in this case it was an additional service but let's face it, if the controller wasn't too busy to chew out the pilot for his request, then he wasn't too busy to provide this additional service.  The controller here was way out of line.
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Regards
JD
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« Reply #18 on: September 21, 2008, 08:04:39 PM »

I had a pilot yesterday morning who was on a Class B clearance that he acknowledged. About one minute later, he elected to fly an airway that was about 4 miles south of where he was supposed to be. When I asked him about it, I got a pretty lackadaisical attitude. When I told him he almost ran into a B747 that was climbing into him, he still seemed a bit devil-may-care. This works both ways. Yes there are some controllers/supervisors who are a bit short-tempered but there are plenty of pilots who are careless/nasty. I think that is more a reflection of the human element than anything.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #19 on: September 22, 2008, 11:43:10 AM »

Yes there are some controllers/supervisors who are a bit short-tempered but there are plenty of pilots who are careless/nasty.

I would also agree that in the big picture pilots as a group contain a larger percentage of careless and nasty individuals than controllers as a group.  There are many examples of bonehead pilot moves that probably could be culled from the LiveATC archives every day.    

What I fear is that, as was displayed previously in this thread, a controller adopts an incorrect mentality that all pilots are boneheads because of the actions of some.  Consequently, these few controllers end up holding back "volunteer" services such as initial headings to a fix, VFR traffic calls, or thunderstorm avoidance calls because of some ill-conceived prejudice.

I cannot stop thinking about the Scott Crossfield fatal accident whereby he inadvertently flew his C210 into a level 6 thunderstorm cell with nary a warning from ATC.   Not at all implying that ATC was 100% at fault here but there is no doubt that an ATC call like the one I received this past summer from a very sharp controller ("Bonanza XXX, extreme weather showing in your route 50 miles ahead, deviation recommended.") may have broken the chain that led to this.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
NAplaya16-ATC
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« Reply #20 on: September 23, 2008, 01:49:04 AM »

"I hope he didnt get any action taken against him. Its not our job to hold pilots hands! Pick up a freaking chart. Pilots bitch at us all the time, we dont get offended. but you say saomethign to them, and they run away crying!"

dude, are you serious???  Thats an idiotic remark!

To quote from Southpark and from another post that involved our boy Boston John,
"Sounds like someone has got some sand up his vagina!"
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englishpilot
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« Reply #21 on: September 23, 2008, 09:06:58 AM »

You know I really didn't like that pilot's tone of voice from the beginning at all - thought he sounded a little too cockey and arrogant for my liking and also perhaps a little sarcastic. 

Also, I know that many of you have been saying "well the controller had 30 seconds to rant" but he quite clearly said "I don't ALWAYS have time to" not I don't have time to.

I'm with the controller on this one. 
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I don't proclaim to be the best pilot in the world but I'm safe.
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #22 on: September 23, 2008, 09:15:58 AM »

You know I really didn't like that pilot's tone of voice from the beginning at all - thought he sounded a little too cockey and arrogant for my liking and also perhaps a little sarcastic. 

Didn't get that impression at all.  It must be a cultural difference.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
EGLLATC
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« Reply #23 on: September 23, 2008, 02:56:30 PM »

New to this site and forum, but this is simply disgracefull from the controller. If he had a problem with the request or was having a bad day he should have kept it "off mike". Very unprofessional....he thinks he's busy!
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atav
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« Reply #24 on: September 24, 2008, 09:10:51 PM »

I hope he didnt get any action taken against him. Its not our job to hold pilots hands! Pick up a freaking chart. Pilots bitch at us all the time, we dont get offended. but you say saomethign to them, and they run away crying! 

Nice "us versus them" mentality.  As a real life pilot who actually has a lot of respect for skilled controllers I hope that is just the keyboard talking there.

I toally agree. This site/real life shouldn't be Pilots vs. ATCers, you're a team... In my opinion, the controller was way wrong.
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