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Author Topic: What's abeam mean?  (Read 30283 times)
IndyTower
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« on: September 27, 2005, 12:29:38 PM »

Felt kinda bad for both the pilot and the controller...but more the controller.  LAF was pretty busy and they don't have radar...doesn't make things easy.

* KLAF_9-27-05_abeam.mp3 (1155.56 KB - downloaded 2753 times.)
« Last Edit: May 20, 2006, 03:12:59 PM by IndyTower » Logged
davolijj
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« Reply #1 on: September 27, 2005, 02:55:53 PM »

Yikes...I hate being a participant in situations like that.
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nfredrich
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« Reply #2 on: September 29, 2005, 05:13:35 PM »

DERRRRRRRRRRRRR! pilot must have went to the "Helen Keller pilot training academy"
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Nick Fredrich
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« Reply #3 on: September 29, 2005, 11:33:46 PM »

Abeam?  **I don't have any beams in here, do I?**

It sure happens to the best of us  cheesy I think the pilot did a fantastic job by asking for clarifications.  Many aviation related accidents have been caused by miscommunication and obviously this pilot was concerned and asked for the clarification.  I commend this pilot for doing so, it is an action that should be taken by many more when in doubt.
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Neil
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« Reply #4 on: September 30, 2005, 01:20:58 PM »

Interesting...The pilots tone is one of "whatever you say, bud. Thats foreign to me..." haha. The controller doing a fine job here...
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digger
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« Reply #5 on: September 30, 2005, 02:28:49 PM »

The term is nautical in origin and I'm sure it was being used well before Wilbur and Orville's time. The pilot mustn't have a very broad vocabulary to begin with.

It's interesting that the controller kept using the word "abeam", even after it was apparent the pilot had no clue what it meant. The lack of understanding kinda serves to illustrate that controllers should be prepared to *temporarily* abandon standard ATC phraseology if that's what it takes to communicate. (Although, I guess, for a busy controller it would probably take a minute to sink in that the pilot you're talking to is not equipped to speak the language of air traffic control.)
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davolijj
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« Reply #6 on: September 30, 2005, 04:49:04 PM »

I'm not crazy about "abeam the airport" as a reporting point anyway.  The 7110.65 says to use prominent geographic fixes, preferably those depicted on sectional charts.  This does not preclude the use of the standard legs of a traffic pattern.

Personally I like to use range/bearing points if there are no landmarks available,  like "report 3 miles west, " or "report due north of the airport."
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JD
C172SP
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« Reply #7 on: September 30, 2005, 07:05:54 PM »

first time i heard this, i thought "whoa, this guy isn't so bright." After all, how many times do we say "Cessna 123 is abeam the numbers." No brainer right?

But this is the first time I've heard a controller say "north abeam, south abeam, west abeam," etc. Having put some thought into it, I think I know what the controller meant. Not sure I would've figured it out while trying to talk, fly and do photo work all at once.

Thanks for the clip... made us all think.
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digger
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« Reply #8 on: October 02, 2005, 09:04:44 AM »

Quote
...the pilot you're talking to is not equipped to speak the language of air traffic control...


I'll have to qualify my own statement, based on further resaerch. I asked my wife, and have been informed that "abeam", regardless of how often it's used, is not part of standard ATC phraseology.
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davolijj
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« Reply #9 on: October 02, 2005, 10:05:25 AM »

ABEAM- An aircraft is "abeam" a fix, point, or object when that fix, point, or object is approximately 90 degrees to the right or left of the aircraft track. Abeam indicates a general position rather than a precise point.

Pilot/Controller Glossary - A-1
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Jason
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« Reply #10 on: October 02, 2005, 10:17:37 AM »

Quote from: davolijj
ABEAM- An aircraft is "abeam" a fix, point, or object when that fix, point, or object is approximately 90 degrees to the right or left of the aircraft track. Abeam indicates a general position rather than a precise point.

Pilot/Controller Glossary - A-1


I'm surprised the controller did not the phrase, "perpendicular to" when clarifying to the pilot.
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digger
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« Reply #11 on: October 02, 2005, 12:44:26 PM »

So, to boil this down, the pilot should have known the meaning of the term, because it listed in the Pilot/Controller Glossary, but it's not part of the standard "phraseology" unless it's prescribed in 7110.65P. Would that be a fair summation?

Quote
I'm surprised they do not use the phrase, "perpendicular to"


I tnink I'd go with "off your wing tip".
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KSYR-pjr
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« Reply #12 on: October 04, 2005, 02:14:08 PM »

Quote from: C172SP
But this is the first time I've heard a controller say "north abeam, south abeam, west abeam," etc. Having put some thought into it, I think I know what the controller meant. Not sure I would've figured it out while trying to talk, fly and do photo work all at once.


This is also the first time I have heard a controller use "report N/S/E/W abeam the field."  

I assume this clip was from a class D airport and every controller at a class D airport I have ever flown in or near uses either a distance/position ("report 3 miles east of the airport/report over the river") or part of the traffic pattern ("report 2 mile left base for rwy XX").

Using the definition that abeam means "90 degrees off a point" and recall that the pilot was initially asked to report "abeam the field," then it is understandable that he replied as he did.  Technically his aircraft is always 90 degrees from the airport reference point, no matter what bearing the airport was in relation to his position.
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digger
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« Reply #13 on: October 04, 2005, 09:06:05 PM »

________> _______    aircraft A      


...............X..............


________> __* _____  aircraft B


................0......Y...........

Aircraft A is abeam point X. Aircraft B is not yet abeam point Y, but it will be when it reaches the *. It is now abeam point O.

Quote
Technically his aircraft is always 90 degrees from the airport reference point, no matter what bearing the airport was in relation to his position.


Quote
...90 degrees to the right or left of the aircraft track .


Having drawn the picture, I have to agree that the definition is somewhat ambiguous. Speaking in terms of geometry, all those points are 90 degrees off the track, because the "track" is a line, not a point. It would make better sense if they left "track" out of it (" 90 degrees to the right or left of the aircraft"), or made it even more wordy by saying something like "90 degrees to the right or left of the aircraft with reference to its track".

I'm glad I don't have to write the glossary.
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chalupa
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« Reply #14 on: October 06, 2005, 09:16:49 PM »

yikes, How did he get a ppl?
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C172SP
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« Reply #15 on: October 07, 2005, 08:52:12 AM »

He probably got his PPL the same way most of us do, by taking the required instruction and passing the required tests. I don't think it's out of the question to be a good pilot but to have somehow missed the definition of "abeam." I mean, look at us... we're all explaining it different ways, so it can't be that simple.

I remember watching John and Martha King tell me to always speak up if I don't understand an instruction. And that's just what this pilot did. I have no problems with him.
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bcrosby
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« Reply #16 on: October 07, 2005, 09:40:14 AM »

Although im not a pilot (yet)... only 1 of my text books ("From the Ground Up") mentions "abeam".

I didn't even know what that word meant, until I read it here... then looked it up.

The pilot did do the right thing though.. speak up if you dont understand. Sometimes though, it can be intimidating because the controllers are usually busy and get frustrated easily when they have to repeat or explain their instructions.
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Chairboy
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« Reply #17 on: October 13, 2005, 06:36:06 PM »

I'm with the pilot here, he spoke up.  Nobody knows everything, and I encountered 'report abeam the field' twice while training in the Los Angeles basin (where I flew in a lot of controlled airspace), and zero times since moving to Oregon.

Never fake it.

I'd actually commend him for it, the same way I would for a friend who chooses to do a go-around instead of 'forcing it down'.  Sure, the situation could have been avoided in the first place, but how you handle it is, in the end, more relevant.
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Tunaheart
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« Reply #18 on: October 23, 2005, 11:26:28 AM »

This was confusing to me also, had the pilot been on a NE or SW heading then he could report abeam the airfield when his (right or left) wingtip pointed at the airport, after listening and thinking about it.  But if I were flying and the controller asked me that  and I were not on those headings I wouldn't know what he wanted..  Would make more sense to say west, north, south ,east, northeast, southeast ... of the airport regardless of heading.  Southeast abeam??  Never heard it used like this before but in the pattern I've heard it used many times as I'm sure you all have, makes sense when you are reporting abeam the numbers. Of course I am assuming being on a track and reporting abeam when wing (assuming no wind) is pointing at the particular point.  This is what abeam means to me.  I can only assume that the controller knew that the aircrafts track was such that the pilot would eventually be abeam the airport (90 degrees perpendicular)
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