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Author Topic: Small Mistake on My Part  (Read 26748 times)
bcrosby
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« on: March 27, 2008, 01:58:47 PM »

Went on a x-country flight last night, on the way back I mistook runway 15 for 33..

I realized the mistake 0.5 seconds before tower called up asking if I had the airport in sight. I did, but was already on a right downwind for 15.. whoops.

* night-otc.mp3 (314 KB - downloaded 1508 times.)
« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 02:00:49 PM by bcrosby » Logged

WhatAirspace
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« Reply #1 on: March 27, 2008, 03:57:15 PM »

Eh, I've seen it happen to experienced pilots, even saw a PC-12 do it a month or so ago.

Not to nitpick, but one thing I noticed is that you never really readback clearences, just your callsign.  Reading back everyting is a good way to encourage situational awareness for you, the controllers, and other pilots.  Some controllers I deal with will reapeat the clearence until you read back everything.  Granted, if the airspace is busy enough I limit my time on the air, but I at least readback pattern entry instructions and landing clearences.

I can't quote the AIM or anything, but that's just my $.02
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bcrosby
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« Reply #2 on: March 27, 2008, 04:00:14 PM »

Technically, on VFR flights, you only need to readback hold short instructions and altitude restrictions.

Buttonville is a pretty busy airport, and there have been times when the controllers would announce to "all vfr aircraft" that full read backs are not required (when its busy).

I was taught (by all three of my instructors) to only acknowledge by using my call sign and to not read back everything.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #3 on: March 27, 2008, 09:55:41 PM »

Technically, on VFR flights, you only need to readback hold short instructions and altitude restrictions.

Sorry to add, but since this is coming up I have an opinion to share, too.  There's the right way and there's the safe way and sometimes the two aren't necessarily the same.

As you know, reading back headings, landing clearances with runway numbers, and altimeter settings often times reinforces what you just heard and allows your short term memory to retain the information better.   This also, as pointed out earlier, provides additional situational awareness to the other pilots and controller on the frequency and potentially could expose a mistake by the controller or pilot before it becomes a problem (and thus, breaking the accident chain).

Consider this:  There was an accident several years ago here in the States where two Cessnas were waiting at the approach end for departure when another taxied up to an intersection on the opposite side of the runway, about 1,000 feet down the from the approach end.   The controller cleared the Cessna at the end of the runway for takeoff.  Just then the Cessna pilot at the intersection called "ready in sequence, Cessna XXX."  No location, no runway number, nothing else in his call-up.  The controller, thinking this was the pilot at the approach end, instructed him into position and hold, which he did.  Seconds later, the Cessna 150 rolling for takeoff came up from behind and slammed into his aircraft, killing all four aboard both aircraft.  Actually I think the pilot in aircraft on the takeoff roll saw the Cessna in position and attempted to takeoff early, then stalled the aircraft right on top of the one holding.

The point here is that if the pilot at the intersection included the verbiage that he was at the intersection, it would have most likely broke the chain of events that caused this accident since the controller would have known immediately who made that call.

Edit:  Oh, and often the problem with instructors is that a lot of them tend to be time builders looking to get into a commercial airline right seat and have very little real weather, unfamiliar airport, cross country flying experience outside of instructing.  Additionally, sometimes the information they pass down to their students has no roots in this kind of valuable experience. 

« Last Edit: March 27, 2008, 10:02:10 PM by KSYR-pjr » Logged

Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
mk
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« Reply #4 on: March 27, 2008, 10:41:10 PM »

there is actually no requirement if you are IFR to read back any instructions if you want to cute and come up with excuses about not reading back clearences/instructions.  But what's your real excuse?  i hear an airline pilot do it now and again b/c it's gettin crazy on the freq, or b/c it's super slow.  the only clearence/instruction that is required to be read back that i'm aware of is hold short clearences, and i don't get to use that in the tracon.  KSYR-pjr is right, reading back all instructions is the BEST practice b/c it reaffirms to the controller that you might not just be one of those single engine bug smasher going for a sunday buzz to catch a glimpse and some big jets.

aviation is not the place to be taking short cuts, esp when it comes to your safety or mine.
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bcrosby
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« Reply #5 on: March 27, 2008, 10:56:24 PM »

I agree that reading back instructions/clearances will help with retaining items in short term memory.

FYI, for reference CAR 602.31 outlines requirements in Canada for read backs, specifically:

602.31 (1) Subject to subsection (3), the pilot-in command of an aircraft shall

(a) comply with and acknowledge, to the appropriate air traffic control unit, all of the air traffic control instructions directed to and received by the pilot-in-command; and

(b) comply with all of the air traffic control clearances received and accepted by the pilot-in-command and

(i) subject to subsection (2), in the case of an IFR flight, read back to the appropriate air traffic control unit the text of any air traffic control clearance received, and

(ii) in the case of a VFR flight, read back to the appropriate air traffic control unit the text of any air traffic control clearance received, when so requested by the air traffic control unit.

So yes, you must read back clearances in an IFR flight.
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jahulian
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« Reply #6 on: March 28, 2008, 11:20:23 PM »

It depends on the airport mostly, I think.  I know that at Montreal airport, there's a mandatory readback of the SIDs on clearance delivery.  There's a message on the ATIS and the clearance controllers are really strict about that.  I find it really annoying people who will just say : Alfa bravo charlie roger.  The controller doesn't know if you understood everything, you might be missing some stuff and other people on the frequency might not have caught what you said.  The only thing I don't read back is the wind and simple instructions on less busy frequencies.
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mk
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« Reply #7 on: March 29, 2008, 10:15:24 AM »

my mistake...not familiar with the CARs
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YWGTower
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« Reply #8 on: March 30, 2008, 11:32:23 PM »

That was a pretty dumb-assed mistake!
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Jason
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« Reply #9 on: March 30, 2008, 11:55:53 PM »

That was a pretty dumb-assed mistake!

Just like the one you made by hitting the "reply" and "post" buttons?  Please try to contribute something positive on these forums.  Negativity is key to losing members.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #10 on: March 31, 2008, 11:16:57 AM »

That was a pretty dumb-assed mistake!

Just about all pilots and controllers make mistakes throughout their career- just this morning I heard a jetBlue pilot on frequency make one, so no one is immune.

Most who DO don't laugh; instead we empathize and recall those times when we were less than perfect.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
bcrosby
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« Reply #11 on: March 31, 2008, 02:38:51 PM »

Ever since this post, I've been reading back instructions, even though they are not technically needed.

Just this past week on a short flight from YKZ to YSN I was sure to read back instructions from the terminal controller Cheesy

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Casper87
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« Reply #12 on: April 01, 2008, 05:40:54 AM »

Quote
"The point here is that if the pilot at the intersection included the verbiage that he was at the intersection, it would have most likely broke the chain of events that caused this accident since the controller would have known immediately who made that call."

I appreciate the opinion but I dont  think that is the point. Yes, it would have helped if the pilot had stated the intersection. Granted people make mistakes, but if the controller doesnt know where the aircraft under his/her responsibility are....is that person in the right job?
On an aerodrome with ATC it is the controllers responsibility to ensure safe seperation.
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #13 on: April 01, 2008, 07:31:42 AM »

Yes, it would have helped if the pilot had stated the intersection. Granted people make mistakes, but if the controller doesnt know where the aircraft under his/her responsibility are....is that person in the right job?
On an aerodrome with ATC it is the controllers responsibility to ensure safe seperation.

The point here is that a pilot should use every tactic in his/her arsenal, including reading back instructions, to break the chain of events that lead to an accident.  Reading back instructions could very well be that one moment that snaps either the pilot or controller back to the entire picture of the unfolding situation.

Whether a person is right for a controller's position is irrelevant in this discussion since controllers are human and, like pilots, do occasionally make mistakes.   Additionally, a pilot erring can lead to a controller erring.  However, when a controller makes a mistake managing traffic it is the pilot and his/her passengers who have a much higher probability of dying.  When the deck is stacked in that manner, you better believe that going beyond the FARs (US regulations) and AIM (US aviation information manual) is the prudent action to take.
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Regards, Peter
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mhawke
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« Reply #14 on: April 01, 2008, 08:22:11 AM »

I'm neither a pilot or controller, just someone who enjoys flying and does it quite often for business.

However, I am the operations manager for a large chemical company and have worked in the Nuclear Power Industry.  Industries, which similar to aviation have a dedication to safety and operational discipline including the use of procedures because the risks are too high.

Too that end, I have to agree with KSYR-pjr, read backs are imperative.  In the nuclear power industry (especially in the engine room of a Nuclear Powered Submarine), all orders are read back.  There are two reasons for that, which have already been touched on.  They verify the understanding of the order by the person who is going to perform it, and it allows the person giving the order a chance to hear it rather then say it.  that provides an opportunity for that person's brain to process the order rather then give it, allowing a chance to verify that it is really what they wanted to do.

In the operations of large chemical plants we follow the same mantra.  In fact, out automated control systems follow it in a way, because the control system will verify key changes by repeating back setpoint changes and asking for an okay.  The number of incidents prevented by that sequence cannot even be counted.
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WhatAirspace
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« Reply #15 on: April 05, 2008, 01:17:04 AM »


what, that i don't know the CARs??  So Sorry...an American controller didn't know the Canadian aviation regulations? 

I won't take you're opinion to heart though, nor would i from anyone who didn't know the callsign of Air Force One.

Haha that made me laugh.  Easy there though, I’m not familiar with the way that this particular board usually words (see my number of posts), but the guy may have been replying to the original clip, although I don’t agree that it was a dumb-assed mistake by any stretch.

Now I know though.  I made the original reply about readbacks almost in passing, not realizing it would create a little firestorm.  I guess questioning one’s procedure amongst a bunch of aviation nerds such of myself will do that. Anyway, guess I don’t really have anything of substance to add, just random thoughts.
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Casper87
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« Reply #16 on: April 05, 2008, 11:33:15 AM »

Quote
"Whether a person is right for a controller's position is irrelevant in this discussion since controllers are human and, like pilots, do occasionally make mistakes"

I think i already acknowledged that people make mistakes in my original post. But agreed, after reading my post again what I said about the person being in the right job wasnt relevant to the discussion.

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mk
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« Reply #17 on: April 06, 2008, 11:00:18 PM »

very true...in reading your comment i will delete the last post...i may have assumed it was directed towards the CAR post. 

anyway...back to point and to share...

i was working a GA plane to a busy satellite airport ( 3rd in sequence on a gps app) and sequencing arrival a/c into the main airport, and the pilot in the GA may have read back one of every 10 instructions.  very frustrating b/c sometimes he would read back just the callsign, and sometimes just the instruction. 

Bad weather here in the northeast...safe flying all
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #18 on: April 07, 2008, 11:52:29 AM »

I made the original reply about readbacks almost in passing, not realizing it would create a little firestorm.  I guess questioning one’s procedure amongst a bunch of aviation nerds such of myself will do that.

I didn't get the impression this was a firestorm.  Instead it was simply a discussion where the opportunity to learn something was there for all involved.
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Regards, Peter
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Casper87
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« Reply #19 on: June 02, 2008, 06:48:13 PM »

I apologise if this has already been discussed before.

Whats the read-back requirements in the US? Cos it seems like pilots are very lax about ensuring the controller they have heard and understood certain clearences and instructions. Obviously this might be FAA regulations..but just curious to know more about you guys n gals over the pond.

Casp
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #20 on: June 02, 2008, 07:04:38 PM »

Whats the read-back requirements in the US? Cos it seems like pilots are very lax about ensuring the controller they have heard and understood certain clearences and instructions.

As a general rule of thumb, US pilots are strongly encouraged to read back assigned headings, altitudes, clearance limits (if IFR), and hold short instructions (when on the ground). 

Pilots are actually discouraged from reading back every controller's word verbatim.  Roger and wilco do have their place in today's communication, but they shouldn't substitute for the above.

With respect, I am not sure how you reached the conclusion that US pilots are lax about reading back instructions because in my experience of flying into New York and Boston airspaces in the Northeast US (some of the busier airspaces in the US) I have the opinion that many pilots read back too much. which needlessly ties up the frequency.



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Casper87
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« Reply #21 on: June 02, 2008, 08:01:00 PM »

thanks for your reply.

Im not talking about reading back instructions verbatum as such, just for exampple squwak codes. When say a pilot get assigned a squawk and say "roger (callsign)." And then puts the wrong squawk in the transponder. It then requires the controller to reiterate the last transmission, which in turn, as youve stated, redueces available RT time. Where as if the pilot read back squawk 1234 then the controller can hear if this is correct and the short term memory of the pilot registers this number as he/she has said it out loud.

What I was looking for ( youve said xxxx is discouraged ), was if there is an official list of read-backable itemds. ( excuse the rubbish wording ). For example in the UK we have the CAP413 RT manual, Obviously you have something similar that dictates the exact items that are required to be read back.

Just for arguments sake, im not trying to suggest that pilots in the US are rubbish in any way. Every country does things differently so dont take the "lax" comment to heart. I was just pointing out that compared to Europe, the reading back of items doesnt seem to be as...critical...if thats the right word.

Ultimately im trying to learn more about the way things are done in the US. Not trying to debate who is better.

C
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aviator_06
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« Reply #22 on: June 02, 2008, 09:03:31 PM »

In my opinion I think it is a bad idea just to read back your tail number. I think it's a good habit to read  back all intstructions given by an air traffic controller. If you agress or disagree please respond back.
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Casper87
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« Reply #23 on: June 02, 2008, 09:41:52 PM »

it depends on the local (country) standard obviously but i thnk ( this is only me, and i dont want to start a row) that certain items should be read back and not just the callsign. Mainy so the controller can confirm things and the pilots short term memory registers the instruction

C
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #24 on: June 02, 2008, 10:41:24 PM »

Im not talking about reading back instructions verbatum as such, just for exampple squwak codes. When say a pilot get assigned a squawk and say "roger (callsign)." And then puts the wrong squawk in the transponder. It then requires the controller to reiterate the last transmission, which in turn, as youve stated, redueces available RT time. Where as if the pilot read back squawk 1234 then the controller can hear if this is correct and the short term memory of the pilot registers this number as he/she has said it out loud.

There is no such list that I am aware of in what is called Part 91 (US General Aviation regulations) flight.  There is an official US document called the Airman Information Manual, or AIM, which takes the regulations and weaves them into an aviation "best practices," or where theory and regulations meets reality.   However, the AIM is NOT regulatory so recommendations within this document not specifically having to do with regulations are just that, recommendations.  Note that any angry FAA official could use the "careless and reckless operation" rule to cite a pilot breaking an AIM recommendation, but that is for another thread.

The specific chapter on communication from the AIM is here:

http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/aim/Chap4/aim0402.html

The regulation that covers ATC communications for Part 91 flight is titled "Compliance with ATC clearances and instructions" and merely states that a pilot must comply with all ATC instructions, unless an emergency exists.  How the pilot acknowledges these instructions is not mandated, at least for Part 91 flight.  (Note that airline operation manuals often augment FAA rules for commercial, scheduled operations and the rules specified in these manuals become regulation by the fact that they are in operation manuals, but I defer discussion of Part 121/135 - scheduled flight - for a qualified pilot).

What I was looking for ( youve said xxxx is discouraged ), was if there is an official list of read-backable itemds. ( excuse the rubbish wording ). For example in the UK we have the CAP413 RT manual, Obviously you have something similar that dictates the exact items that are required to be read back.

You aren't going to find an official list.  Instead, you will find many authoritative articles written by controllers  providing what they want to hear read back.  Technically, a pilot could simply read back his/her tail ID to acknowledge a controller's instruction (in all cases but runway hold short instructions - a relatively recent requirement) but in cases of altitude, heading, or speed assignments this won't make the controller believe the instruction was completely understood. 

The AIM stresses brevity but doesn't list what is considered crucial.   From the many advanced safety articles I have read the theme is that any instruction that could potentially create a loss of separation if not properly executed should be read back.  Any "informative" comment by the controller, or any instruction that would not result in a loss of separation can be handled by Tail ID, or Wilco, Tail ID.  Fly in busy airspaces and believe me, this is appreciated by all on the frequency.

Consider this example:

Me:  "Syracuse Approach, Bonanza XXX, level five thousand, information bravo."

Controller, "Bonanza XXX, Syracuse Approach, altimeter 29.98, turn left 250, descend and maintain 3,000, expect ILS 28 approach.  You will be number three for the approach."

Me: "left 250, leaving five thousand descending three thousand, Bonanza XXX."   

Note that I did not read back altimeter (since most likely I was ready for it from the ATIS) and did not read back the "expect" part, since that is merely informational and I am already expecting that given the ATIS and weather conditions.

Note also that I have adopted the "do not read back squawk code - instead acknowledge with a tail id" recommendation offered by numerous aviation magazines since I have not yet had a short-term memory issue and know that the controller will see the code appear on the scope.  I do understand and agree that if the pilot finds repeating squawk codes or frequencies a memory aid, then by all means do it.   Again, though, this is not mandated by any regulation.

Just for arguments sake, im not trying to suggest that pilots in the US are rubbish in any way. Every country does things differently so dont take the "lax" comment to heart. I was just pointing out that compared to Europe, the reading back of items doesnt seem to be as...critical...if thats the right word.

Ultimately im trying to learn more about the way things are done in the US. Not trying to debate who is better.

Hence my use of the words, "with respect."  It is my impression that this is a civil discussion.
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Regards, Peter
ATC Feed:  Syracuse (KSYR), NY
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