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Author Topic: ask a pilot/controller  (Read 16202 times)
KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #15 on: November 27, 2007, 07:55:15 AM »

KSYR- to your question ref IMC in sight...  I know it sounds stupid but we have regs (thanks to BL) that say we must continue to give you the traffic calls until you say in sight. 

I figured that was the case since there are really only two answers to your traffic call - "negative traffic" and "in sight." I will admit that I always have to fight to hold back the third common non-answer, which is "looking," since for some reason I still think answering "negative traffic" implies wrongly that after looking I stopped and returned to my other duties.  Smiley

If nothing else including "in IMC" gives my passengers piece of mind (as it starts the discussion).  To the uninitiated passenger, traffic calls while in IMC tend to raise their anxiety levels a bit more.   
« Last Edit: November 27, 2007, 08:51:36 AM by KSYR-pjr » Logged

Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
w0x0f
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« Reply #16 on: November 27, 2007, 12:00:30 PM »

For a pilot to say that he has the traffic on TCAS is a waste of time for the controller.  The only responses to a traffic call should be like PJ said, either "in sight," or "negative traffic." 

I'm a 121 regional FO, here's my take.  If I have a visual on the traffic, I will call it as such.  If I don't have him visually, but I do have him on the TCAS, I normally say just that to let you (ATC) know that while I don't have a visual, I do know where he is and am keeping an eye on the situation/am looking for him out the window. 

I know that you know where he is because I know that you have TCAS and I just told you where the traffic was.  I appreciate your reassurance in this call, but frankly, it's not necessary and serves no purpose.

If nothing else including "in IMC" gives my passengers piece of mind (as it starts the discussion).  To the uninitiated passenger, traffic calls while in IMC tend to raise their anxiety levels a bit more.  

I appreciate the peace of mind of your passengers too, that's why I try to keep them away from the other traffic.  But as JD's merging target reference states, I am required to give you the traffic call regardless of your flight conditions.  So if you tell me that you are IMC, it is really unnecessary.  I understand why you would say this.  It seems quite obvious to you that you can't see past the front of your nose, but what happens when you break into an open area, do you tell me that you are VMC?  Either way it doesn't matter.  I am required to give you the traffic call.

I am also a pilot and understand why someone without an ATC background would say "I have him on TCAS," or "we're IMC."  Hopefully this discussion helps other pilots understand some of the requirements of ATC.   

w0x0f
 
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #17 on: November 27, 2007, 12:16:55 PM »

So if you tell me that you are IMC, it is really unnecessary.

Fine, I'll drop it from my communication repertoire, but if someday ATC makes a snide comment like "How come you cannot see the traffic that is one mile at your twelve o'clock and 1,000 feet below you converging?" when I am IMC the entire five traffic calls I will simply reply with, "w0x0f - ask him."   Smiley
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Regards, Peter
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cessna157
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« Reply #18 on: November 27, 2007, 12:28:10 PM »

SYR, funny you should mention that.  Just last week I had a controller get snippy with me after we were just at the bases of IMC and I couldn't see traffic that we were to follow that was at our 1 o'clock and 2 miles.  He issued the traffic advisory, I replied that we were looking.  His reponse was "You can't see that big 737 just off your nose?"
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« Reply #19 on: November 27, 2007, 01:03:53 PM »

SYR, funny you should mention that.  Just last week I had a controller get snippy with me after we were just at the bases of IMC and I couldn't see traffic that we were to follow that was at our 1 o'clock and 2 miles.  He issued the traffic advisory, I replied that we were looking.  His reponse was "You can't see that big 737 just off your nose?"

hey sometimes we have "bad Airdays" and a (what we think is dumb) answer from a pilot puts us over the edge.  we are not all perfect.  Just don't tell any controllers I said that
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w0x0f
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« Reply #20 on: November 27, 2007, 02:55:03 PM »

Fine, I'll drop it from my communication repertoire, but if someday ATC makes a snide comment like "How come you cannot see the traffic that is one mile at your twelve o'clock and 1,000 feet below you converging?" when I am IMC the entire five traffic calls I will simply reply with, "w0x0f - ask him."   Smiley

I make one "merging target procedure" traffic call when it is required.  If you say "negative contact," my next transmission to you will be "traffic no factor," when appropriate.  I will not make multiple traffic calls, and certainly not 5 as you suggest, when applying this rule.  It is a waste of time.  I really don't care if you see the traffic in this example, the rules say that I have to tell you.  I made my comments in the earlier post based on the merging target procedure.

Now vectoring for a visual approach is a different traffic call.  I may make more than one traffic call when I am vectoring for a visual approach, but not usually.  I attempt to ascertain all pertinent weather information prior to vectoring for visual approaches, so unless conditions are changing rapidly, I will have a very good idea of when you are VMC.  I will vector the aircraft into a position so that when I call the traffic to follow they either see them or they are cleared for the advertised instrument approach on the next transmission.  I will only make multiple traffic calls in these circumstances when I am getting close on lateral separation.  I will still use vertical separation until the aircraft is in sight for the VA or vector them out if they do not see the traffic.  If a controller is attempting to vector you for a visual approach and he is calling traffic to follow and you are IMC then I would tell him and then give him an updated PIREP.

Don Brown used to write for AvWeb.  He does a great job explaining traffic calls and gets into the IMC and TCAS issues in this article called "Traffic Time."  You need to join up with AvWeb to view this.  It's free and highly recommended.

http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/186249-1.html

w0x0f       
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #21 on: November 27, 2007, 03:44:43 PM »

I really don't care if you see the traffic in this example, the rules say that I have to tell you.  I made my comments in the earlier post based on the merging target procedure.

In the highly likely case it was not apparent, I was joking - hence the smiley icon.  I sincerely appreciate your input, as having these kinds of dialogs only serves to make me a more professional, proficient, and ultimately a safer pilot.


Don Brown used to write for AvWeb.  He does a great job explaining traffic calls and gets into the IMC and TCAS issues in this article called "Traffic Time."  You need to join up with AvWeb to view this.  It's free and highly recommended.   

I used to read Don's articles on Avweb religiously but I lost touch after he retired from ATC and took a break from writing them.
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Regards, Peter
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Greg01
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« Reply #22 on: November 27, 2007, 03:49:19 PM »

Spawning another question...for the guys working clearance: is it a waste of your time to hear..."IFR to Boston..."? I've found myself sometimes saying it, and other times just saying, "Clearance, Nxxxxx, Boston with Papa."

I've always said, "looking" when traffic is called because, like Peter said, I'm afraid the controller will think I've gone back to my flight duties rather than continuing to look for the traffic.

Greg
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #23 on: November 27, 2007, 05:41:43 PM »

Spawning another question...for the guys working clearance: is it a waste of your time to hear..."IFR to Boston..."? I've found myself sometimes saying it, and other times just saying, "Clearance, Nxxxxx, Boston with Papa."

My take is that the "IFR" part tips off the controller to look for the strip/clearance.  In your example, it seems possible to me that there could be momentary confusion while the controller ascertains whether you are VFR or IFR.  Additionally, I cannot image that the words "IFR to" tie up the frequency any more than the controller asking for confirmation of the ATIS when you already stated you had it.  Smiley
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
Greg01
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« Reply #24 on: November 27, 2007, 06:00:29 PM »

That's a fair point, Peter. However, when I worked up in the local tower/TRACON, i was allowed to "help" out in the CD position with a trainer (which was pretty cool). Very rarely did I have an airliner say, "Clearance, EGF656 IFR to ORD with papa." Usually it was something like, "EGF656, O'Hare, uh...papa."

Anytime I heard someone call clearance, I had an idea right off the bat as to whether they were IFR or VFR mainly because you have to pull the strips out of the printer and put them in the strip holder. When doing that, one usually gets a look at who is on the strip. And yes, I did have quite a few GA guys in the lineup.

I guess I'm directing this to the guys who work the busy airports (not necessarily JFK, but those where you might find GA). Do you guys know that most are going to be operating IFR and can do without the "IFR to..." or "clearance to..."?

Thanks,
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #25 on: November 27, 2007, 06:17:09 PM »

That's a fair point, Peter. However, when I worked up in the local tower/TRACON, i was allowed to "help" out in the CD position with a trainer (which was pretty cool). Very rarely did I have an airliner say, "Clearance, EGF656 IFR to ORD with papa." Usually it was something like, "EGF656, O'Hare, uh...papa."

Two points while you await your answer from a controller: 

1)  Obviously airliners cannot fly VFR (at least in the US) so it seems to follow that hearing an airline name on initial call-up automatically indicates IFR.   For GA, anything goes.

2)  Airline pilots are not immune from incorrect communications procedures, as I am sure you can agree.  Smiley  Don Brown used an example of this whereby an airline pilot left off too much information and blended all numbers into one call-up, as in "Ninety eight eleven twenty three eighty nine."

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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
tyketto
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« Reply #26 on: November 27, 2007, 06:33:03 PM »

I guess I'm directing this to the guys who work the busy airports (not necessarily JFK, but those where you might find GA). Do you guys know that most are going to be operating IFR and can do without the "IFR to..." or "clearance to..."?

Thanks,


Well, as we all know, all commercial flights are IFR, so that eliminates a lot. Most of those pilots tend to make it short and sweet, like "Clearance, Cactus 456 going to Charlotte with November" to even shorter, like "Southwest 405, Omaha, Alpha", and that's it.

GA... it depends, and I'd say on location more than anything. When I went down to KLAS and listened in, they could have gone either way, but most of them being IFR. Those that were VFR just wanted clearance out of Class B Airspace, while the bulk of them avoided KLAS altogether, opting for flights into KVGT and KHND So it really all depends on what smaller fields their are that can feed off the main arrivals into the big fields. Example: KTEB and KCDW for the JFK/LGA/EWR in the New York area.

But in smaller places, like OKC or OMA or others in the Midwest USA, you may see a that ratio evened out, where half is IFR, and the other VFR.

BL.
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Greg01
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« Reply #27 on: November 27, 2007, 06:56:27 PM »

Thanks,

I know at BUF one could look through the entire stack of strips in the time it takes the airplane to identify himself. It's very rare that I would drop my transmission to the example I gave a couple posts up, but I do find them varying.

Peter, great article...thanks! I knew that someone was going to say something about my example only containing an airliner!  Wink

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w0x0f
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« Reply #28 on: November 27, 2007, 07:33:15 PM »

I used to read Don's articles on Avweb religiously but I lost touch after he retired from ATC and took a break from writing them.

Peter, you can catch up with Don at his blog http://gettheflick.blogspot.com/
He's not writing the same type of material, but he approaches other aspects of aviation and ATC that he was unable to discuss while employed by the FAA. 

w0x0f
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RV1
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« Reply #29 on: November 27, 2007, 07:51:30 PM »

Most controllers would prefer you to state whether IFR or not. I know of one deal assigned to a controller due to a pilot stating he was 'southbound' when he requested taxi. She didn't know he already had his clearance from CD. She gave the vfr strip to local, who departed the aircraft without a release.     
      Additionally, with the new and improved Lockmart FSS, many flightplans are NOT in the system, so CD wouldn't have seen them yet. If you add in the factor of a lot of GA aircraft, new person on position, strip printer running out of paper, etc., too much is left for guess work on whether or not you're IFR or VFR.
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