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Author Topic: Air Transat panic in the cockpit  (Read 43838 times)
Scrapper
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« Reply #15 on: March 25, 2008, 04:36:35 PM »

Thanks... Besides, most important of all (which I failed to mention in my last post), is that as an IFR controller, you shouldn't be working in a centre where you have all sorts of VFR guys flying around talking in French, if you can't speak French. What if one of those VFR guys suddenly needs flight following or even more important assistance such as an emergency or whatever? There is NO comms requirement for a VFR guy flying in Class E airspace to speak to anyone at ALL, so it's very conceivable that he wouldn't speak English if he was some bush pilot flying from one uncontrolled airport to another through Class E low-level airways. However, once something goes wrong, or he gets lost, or wanders into IMC, or any other of a myriad of possibilities, he's going to call the Centre and ask for help, and therefore the IFR controller has to be able to help him, in his language of preference. Now if we concede that point and agree that a VFR guy is allowed to address the IFR controller in French, then how can we say that the IFR guy just because he's flying a business jet or an airliner, is not? If you let one guy talk french, you have to let ALL of them talk in their language of preference, and as much as pilot's may disagree with it, the onus is on the CONTROLLER to insure that you still maintain your situational awareness. It just means that the controller has slightly more work to do in passing on the important information from other conversations over to you. (Of course, what pilots feel is important information and what controllers feel is important information is two totally different things sometimes... pilots always want ALL information available, but unfortunately, sometimes due to how busy your controller is, you're only going to get the minimum info that is relevant at the time or in the near future... for sure you will still be kept safe and seperated though... so I think pilots make too big a deal about the other language issue...)
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cessna157
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« Reply #16 on: March 26, 2008, 09:24:55 AM »

Sorry for the delay in posting folks.  6 days on the road gets a bit tiring.

First of all, I am humbled and admit defeat in the ICAO language regulation.  My source was obviously incorrect and I concede to your reasoning.  It does make perfect sense.

Secondly, Scrapper thanks for your input.  I do agree with you on how the controller is responsible for seperation.  But I do have 2 counter-arguements to that.  First of all, there is just the comfort factor.  The more I know about the airspace within about 10 miles of my airplane, the better I feel.  Yes, I do recognize that the controller has the overall picture, and yes I do recognize that the controller in in control of hundreds, maybe a thousand lives at a time.  But it is just different when you personally are responsible for, and have the lives of 80 people quite literally at your fingertips.  As a crew we were talking just the other day that we all rely on each other and trust each other with our lives, even the flight attendants.  As for the pilots, as soon as that aircraft leaves the ground, you can call us dead, unless we do something in our power to bring the aircraft back down to the ground (hopefully with some grace).

Second counter-arguement is that controllers are human too.  Check out my comments on New York approach (N90) in the jetblue wants to play games thread.  I was once flying a single engine piper around doing approaches on an IFR flight plan.  On climbout on a missed approach, departure told me to level at 3500 and to watch out for traffic that would cross over me at 4000, a CRJ700.  I thought this is a bit odd, but the weather was perfectly clear and I saw the traffic approach when they were more that 10 miles away.  The flight continued then departure reported "radar service terminated, frequency change approved."  I called back and said that he cannot do that as I am on an active IFR flight plan.  You could just hear his heart drop when he replied, uh, okay, standby.  The controller had just given himself a deal.  Unfortunately there was nothing I could do for him.  What happened, happened.  Somehow he thought that I was just shooting VFR approaches.  So, we're all human, we all make mistakes.
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robyul1
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« Reply #17 on: March 26, 2008, 01:52:25 PM »

how about we talk about what happened in the cockpit since that's what the title suggests!! enough of this bullsh**t language garbage, it will never change, quebec will always be quebec, and the controllers will always speak french to those who request it.  As  a pilot in quebec, you should be able to be fluent in both languages, and in the cases where you're in the air, (speaking english) in uncontrolled airspace, and stumble upon a pilot speaking french, well, so be it, answer back in french so that everyone is happy and there won't be any problems with communicating.  It's a safety issue not a language issue.

a source of mine at the Trudeau CYUL (where i work at) told me that pilot was on his captain's training for the A310, after the incident, he was suspended.  One thing is for sure, there was no windshear in effect at 1930Z in YQB !! The reason on his suspension is unknown, i'm guessing it's all behind closed doors at Transat since they don't want any media getting into this or something.
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Scrapper
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« Reply #18 on: March 27, 2008, 10:17:59 PM »

Hey robyul, go easy on the attitude. The language "bulls**t" as you stated, seems pretty damn interesting a topic to some of the rest of us. But we'll lay off and take it to a different thread if you like, since the post IS about Air Transat after all.

One last coment though, and this one is for Cessna again. I'm really glad there's a pilot on here that I can have a non argumentative conversation with for a change. I totally see your point from the last post as well. Just for the record, I never said I was for OR against the dual language thing. Just that I don't think that it affects SA as much as some pilots say it does. I do concede your point though that as the actual guy on the pilot your responsibility for your passengers far outweighs anything else, and in a one language situation, your "warm and fuzzy" feeling would definately be higher. Good talking to you as usual...
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Flacid
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« Reply #19 on: March 30, 2008, 11:19:04 PM »

Bonjour to all ( this is my first post ever about ATC )

I do provide each day bilingual services in a Canadian TCU, and since there is only 3, guess where I work.... YOW, YUL, YQB.

I do want to comment on Cessna157 that says "The more I know about the airspace within about 10 miles of my airplane, the better I feel".   I am sorry, but this way of thinking that the pilot MUST know maximum, in my opinion if not a good way to go.  I am sure that you do not feel good at all flying into control airspace about everywhere in continental US.

“First of all, there is just the comfort factor. »……. Let’s check this one:  In YUL, there are 3 IFR frequencies: Departures, Terminal South and Low arrival.  Thinking that you arrive from PLB into CYUL, you will most likely arrive on Terminal South (118.9), over there; the controller will put you on a downwind south of the airport for one of the 2 major runways.  What do you know about a jet departure worked by Departure controller that is vectors a 1000’ below you opposite direction?Huh?  The fact that the jet pilot speaks French, English or German will not be important, because you will not know it…. He is not on your frequency.  Is the controller passing the traffic??? Most likely, is your comfort level will be higher if he speak English, I hope not, you cannot hear him, unless you monitor 2 freqs…..

If you ever go to YOW, arriving from MSS towards CYRIL, you will be changed on Ottawa Arrival (135.15), going for a straight in 32 and going towards TEXEN you receive traffic from the controller that a glider is reported 20Nm south of the airport, below 6000’, he speaks English but do not have a transponder… I do suggest that you get on the edge of your seat and start looking for him, your comfort level should not be high, since the radar DO NOT SEES HIM…. but at lease, you can understand him on the frequency when he calls.
This been said, I did get a few “English only” on my frequency, but I personally do not care, I do my job, and an English or French pilot do not get # 1 based on language.  After all, for your info, I do get more pay being a “bilingual controller”, about 1500$ a year for providing bilingual services.

Next time you do get into “Province de Québec” for a landing, say hi or “bonjour” to your arrival controller, he ( I ) will appreciate.











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robyul1
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« Reply #20 on: March 31, 2008, 02:57:45 AM »

Flacid, je suis 100% d'accord avec toi, et selon mon opinion et mon experience, je trouve que les controlleurs dans la province de quebec sont tous talentueux and tres professionel dans leur milieu de travail et leur metier.  Continuez la belle job que vous faisiez nous (les pilotes apprécions votre travil).

And now, in English.

Flacid, i am 100% with you on your post.  Through my experience and personal opinion, i find that all the controllers in the province of Quebec are talented and show great professionalism in the job that you all do and services you provide to us pilots.  Keep up the great job we all appreciate it.

Thank you , Merci !
Rob
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a300guy
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« Reply #21 on: September 01, 2008, 01:10:22 AM »

Could someone please re-post the link to this audio clip?  The one at the top of the thread doesn't work.

Thanks!
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erasmus
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« Reply #22 on: September 01, 2008, 05:17:38 AM »

Hi guys,

I'm an airline pilot and fly medium-haul all over Europe and North Africa. I speak Dutch (my mother tongue) as well as French, English, German and a little bit of Spanish.

Of course, and I'm sorry it is like that, it's allowed by ICAO that French controllers speak French to Air France pilots, greeks speak Greek, Italians speak Italian, and Spanish ATC use Spanish on the frequency.

Is it allowed? Yes? Is it smart? NO way!!!

It would be so much easier and safer for everybody if everybody would simply use the same language on the radio. It's not hard, you know!! In Holland and Belgium (and many other non-anglophone countries) all ATC is done in English. Using the local language is simply prohibited in controlled airspace!

As soon as you start training for a ppl in Holland, you will start to learn the English you need to fly in controlled airspace. And believe me, everybody learns it. Yes, even the french-speaking student pilot in Belgium will soon become proficient in English. In our Belgian airline about 50 % of the pilots have french as their mother tongue, but they will all agree that it would be better to use only ONE COMMON LANGUAGE on the frequency (And then English would be the obvious choice. Russian? OK! Give me  1 year transition period and I'll learn Russian!!) Our airline, as most airlines in Belgium, Germany, Holland, Scandinavia) only allows English to be used for conversation with ATC.

Why would it be easier (and safer) if everybody spoke one language? Well, for instance I would know when a conversation between Athens  ATC and a Greek aircraft has ended and I can start speaking without interfering with an ongoing conversation. It would be easier if I were able to understand the weather report that Rome ATC was giving to Alitalia's destination that happens to be my alternate destination.
It would be easier (and safer) if everybody would understand Air France position and associated turbulence report. Etc, etc,... Isn't that so obvious that it doesn't need further explanation?

Why would it be safer? Well, EVERYBODY'S situational problem would improve. Yes, it may be the controller's responsibility to keep us apart, but surely you will have to admit that controllers are human and therefore sometimes make mistakes. Using one common language increases the chance that someone might catch the mistake.

I understand enough French, Spanish and Italian to be able to understand transmissions that contain nice-to-know information, but were not available to the Greek Olympic flight in the same airspace!

It sure was nice to understand the 2 Iberia flights in front of me reporting Windshear on short final. This info was never passed on to me! When I confirmed the windshear after landing, I did advice the Tower that  this would have been nice info to have BEFORE we landed!

I am sure that the pilot who lost his live on may 25th 2000 in Charles De Gaulle would have appreciated one common language on the air! (check: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20000525-0 )

My experience on this subject is that everybody originating from a country that imposes the use of English agrees that that is such a good rule. Only people speaking other Big-Ego-Languages tend do disagree.

So if you ATCO's and pilots from Spain, Greece, Italy, France, Quebec or from any other other language with a bigger self-esteem then safety consciousness want to continue using your own language on the air, please do so. ICAO does indeed authorise it. But PLEASE stop arguing that using your own language is easier or just as safe as using one common language! That is BU...HIT!!


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aguadalte
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« Reply #23 on: September 01, 2008, 07:13:32 AM »

I completely agree with you erasmus!
I'm an airline pilot flying long-haul, for more than 20 years. And I find that only chauvinist countries or regions, put their "mother language" in front of flight safety.
I can't even understand how in the name of flight safety can a Pilot or a flight controller defend that safety is not at stake when you keep your fellows out of the loop!
That's pure chauvinism!
Regards,
Victor 
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aardvark2zz
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« Reply #24 on: September 01, 2008, 04:54:58 PM »


WOW, pretty erie, shocked

For a full transcription and translation see

http://www.airdisaster.info/forums/viewtopic.php?f=6&t=1281

.

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1958MM
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« Reply #25 on: September 01, 2008, 07:52:09 PM »

so you don't really NEED the situational awareness...

Absolute lunacy...

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pgarside
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« Reply #26 on: September 01, 2008, 10:05:30 PM »

i completely agree.  added situational awareness can always add that small bit of needed safety.  Its not that i dont fully believe that a controler will be there to keep me completely safe, but lets face it, we're all human and mistakes are made everyday.  giving the pilot the ability to see the 'big picture' could possibly tip the scales and make some sort of accident avoidable.
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CFVDI
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« Reply #27 on: September 02, 2008, 03:50:47 PM »

Also agree 100 percent with erasmus.  Having flown in Quebec the fun begins when you fly into an uncontrolled airport and cannot speak French.  You are fine if there is ATC or FSS services provided as they are bilingual but you still lose the SA as stated.  Try flying into airports such as Bromont, Valcourt, Trois Rivieres and many others with maybe a Unicom or no services.  A French pilot broadcasting intentions and an English pilot doing the same.  A real safe situation!!
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cmdtmarcelo
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« Reply #28 on: September 04, 2008, 12:29:27 AM »

It's easy to say "i completely agree" when the official language is your mother language. It's very comfortable to you guys. All the world speaking english. But only suppose that ICAO rules change and all of us need to talk in mandarim, the new official language. Maybe we change the profession. And what about the Continental pilot that said to "Boston Jon": here is America.We speak english here when Jon said hasta la vista (pure chauvinism???). Ok, now we are thinking about the question!. All of us (pilot's) want's high SA and we have high SA when we are using our language. So, we need to trust in the other guys (controllers and pilots) when we are in their countries. I prefer i have small SA in another country and the natives have high SA instead of all of us (i and the natives) having poor SA trying to speak in a third language with the controller. That's my opinion, and guy's, my apologise for my poor english. Thanks
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 12:34:22 AM by cmdtmarcelo » Logged
erasmus
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« Reply #29 on: September 04, 2008, 04:27:27 AM »

It's easy to say "i completely agree" when the official language is your mother language. It's very comfortable to you guys. All the world speaking english. But only suppose that ICAO rules change and all of us need to talk in mandarim, the new official language. Maybe we change the profession. And what about the Continental pilot that said to "Boston Jon": here is America.We speak english here when Jon said hasta la vista (pure chauvinism???). Ok, now we are thinking about the question!. All of us (pilot's) want's high SA and we have high SA when we are using our language. So, we need to trust in the other guys (controllers and pilots) when we are in their countries.

cmdtmarcelo has a very good point there! This argument is not about: "Hey, I only speak English, so everybody has to speak English" CFVDI appears to be complaining about others not speaking HIS language, rather than about the lack of a COMMON LANGUAGE. (That is pure chauvinism indeed!)

CFVDI, if you would not be willing to learn another language as a common aviation language, you don't have the right to complain!

If you look back at my reply #22 a little bit higher, you would see that my own language is Dutch and that I would be prepared to learn Russian for instance. (I will admit that Mandarin would be a more difficult choice  shocked )

I prefer i have small SA in another country and the natives have high SA instead of all of us (i and the natives) having poor SA trying to speak in a third language with the controller. That's my opinion, and guy's, my apologise for my poor english. Thanks

That's were I politely disagree with you, cmdtmarcelo! Your English is obviously quite good and controllers and pilots all over the world should (but sadly aren't always) be proficient in English. (Isn't that what the new ICAO English proficiency requirement is all about?)
It's simply a matter of a change of culture. As soon as a kid learns to fly or a student ATCO starts his training, it should be done in English (English does appear to be the obvious choice...) and from the start ATC communication should be done in this common language.
I can guarantee you that very soon everybody involved would become very proficient in English and EVERYBODY would have high situational awareness EVERYWHERE.

I'm convinced that some day we will speak ONE common language with ATC! Do you know when this will start to be enforced? Let me tell you: AFTER a major accident with A LOT of lives lost will have happened caused by language confusion!! (The CDG incident was not bad enough) Sadly enough major safety regulation changes only happen after catastrophes!

On the "positive" side, and for the reason mentioned, Mr Murphy has assured me that one day in the near or distant future everybody will speak English on the frequency.  undecided undecided

Best regards,
Erasmus
« Last Edit: September 04, 2008, 02:47:39 PM by erasmus » Logged
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