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Author Topic: ZOA testing the patience of Cathay 870 pilot  (Read 26668 times)
silagi
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« on: February 19, 2010, 04:16:25 PM »

First this controller did not seem to care that Cathay Pacific 870 had a TCAS RA.  Then when he wanted the altimeter setting, it was like she did not understand what he was asking for.  Sure the term QNH is more of a European thing but this controller should have known what he was requesting.

* Cathay870QNHPlease.mp3 (1173.06 KB - downloaded 5196 times.)
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midcon385
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« Reply #1 on: February 19, 2010, 07:45:30 PM »

Kind of irritating indeed...

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« Reply #2 on: February 19, 2010, 10:01:14 PM »

I heard the same earlier this morning too. Yes, CPA870 did sound a little bit irritated.
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sykocus
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« Reply #3 on: February 20, 2010, 11:33:02 PM »

First this controller did not seem to care that Cathay Pacific 870 had a TCAS RA.  Then when he wanted the altimeter setting, it was like she did not understand what he was asking for.  Sure the term QNH is more of a European thing but this controller should have known what he was requesting.

Well to be blunt when a pilot tells you he has a TCAS RA there is much to do or "care" about. It's already happening and there's nothing to do about it at that point.

From the traffic call on it sounded like the controller was flustered. I don't think she was ignoring the pilot as much as she was flustered, and probably not "hearing" what the pilot was saying. It's hard to get a good idea of what the controller was going though from a few minute clip not to mention all the stuff that is going on in background in the control room that doesn't come over the radio.
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fholbert
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« Reply #4 on: February 21, 2010, 10:21:53 AM »

There is proper phraseology for asking for an altimeter setting and QNH isn't it.  The pilot of CPA870 knew what the problem was and kept insisting on using QNH finally mixed with "altimeter".  

Aviation 101, use proper phraseology.
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Frank Holbert
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« Reply #5 on: February 21, 2010, 03:23:06 PM »

There is proper phraseology for asking for an altimeter setting and QNH isn't it.  The pilot of CPA870 knew what the problem was and kept insisting on using QNH finally mixed with "altimeter".  

Aviation 101, use proper phraseology.

but it's in the handbook?

http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg/Q.HTM
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silagi
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« Reply #6 on: February 21, 2010, 03:46:03 PM »

Yes QNH is ICAO approved phraseology and is used in many parts of the world.  While not common in the US, it is still approved and any controller or pilot should know what it means.
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fholbert
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« Reply #7 on: February 21, 2010, 04:22:32 PM »

Yes QNH is ICAO approved phraseology and is used in many parts of the world.  While not common in the US, it is still approved and any controller or pilot should know what it means.

In some parts of the world ICAO towers speak Russian. But this isn't Russia.
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Frank Holbert
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« Reply #8 on: February 21, 2010, 04:35:34 PM »

but it's in the handbook?

Not as phraseology.
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« Reply #9 on: February 22, 2010, 05:38:10 PM »

The one that used the wrong phraseology initially was the controller. Not the pilot. It's understandable that the CX pilot sounds irritated.
1) He gets an RA, which means that the CTR controller had a deal (Controller's operational error).
2) Then the controller issues a "descend and maintain FL100". Transition Level for the US is FL180. Anything below that should be expressed as altitude not Flight Level.
3) Even when the controller corrected the mistake by saying "descend and maintain 10,000" she HAS to give the altimeter (ATC 7110.65 2-7-2.e  
Quote
When issuing clearance to descend below the
lowest usable flight level, advise the pilot of the
altimeter setting of the weather reporting station
nearest the point the aircraft will descend below that
flight level.
She didn't give the altimeter, which was her 3d mistake in a row with the same aircraft, and led the pilot to ask for the "QNH".
Probably she lost her nerve with the deal which is understandable.

As for the QNH, it is included in the PCG which is a requirement for the controller to know, thus it's included in the .65. The pilot was speaking English fluently. If the controller heard the word QNH for the first time in her life, what can I say...

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silagi
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« Reply #10 on: February 22, 2010, 06:16:02 PM »

And she had that deal out over the ocean in uncongested airspace.  Right after where I cut the recording, a few minutes later they were cleared direct PIRAT which is about 25 miles offshore on the approach to SFO.  Not a lot of little guys flying around out there uncontrolled to get in the way.  They were probably 50 miles offshore when that happened and the only congestion is from inbound trans Pacific flights.   She also messed up calling the traffic for the United flight by telling him the wrong aircraft type. 
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sykocus
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« Reply #11 on: February 23, 2010, 01:45:41 AM »

The one that used the wrong phraseology initially was the controller. Not the pilot. It's understandable that the CX pilot sounds irritated.
1) He gets an RA, which means that the CTR controller had a deal (Controller's operational error).
2) Then the controller issues a "descend and maintain FL100". Transition Level for the US is FL180. Anything below that should be expressed as altitude not Flight Level.
3) Even when the controller corrected the mistake by saying "descend and maintain 10,000" she HAS to give the altimeter (ATC 7110.65 2-7-2.e  
Quote
When issuing clearance to descend below the
lowest usable flight level, advise the pilot of the
altimeter setting of the weather reporting station
nearest the point the aircraft will descend below that
flight level.
She didn't give the altimeter, which was her 3d mistake in a row with the same aircraft, and led the pilot to ask for the "QNH".
Probably she lost her nerve with the deal which is understandable.

As for the QNH, it is included in the PCG which is a requirement for the controller to know, thus it's included in the .65. The pilot was speaking English fluently. If the controller heard the word QNH for the first time in her life, what can I say...



She definitely made mistakes. If I could play devil's advocate for a little while though. Depending on how far out over the ocean the were the transition altitude can be as low as 055. Also with some exceptions 055 is also the start of Class A airspace in the Oakland FIR thus making FL100 technically correct in some instances.
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koutsou
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« Reply #12 on: February 23, 2010, 03:31:33 AM »

Good point. The controller though was a domestic controller (KZOA not KZAK). In the area of interest, the aircraft was inbound to SFO through Woodside VOR. They always issue the 8000-10000 crossing for OSI and I think that was exactly what the controller was trying to do. In the area of interest, the ARTCC (UIR for the ICAO fans) border extents to ~150nm from the coast. It's pretty obvious that it was not a case of a descent into the pacific offshore airspace. In any case, the pilot would definitely ask for the reason of such an early descent. Fuel is extremely valuable nowadays  smiley
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ryballz
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« Reply #13 on: February 23, 2010, 11:03:28 PM »

The one that used the wrong phraseology initially was the controller. Not the pilot. It's understandable that the CX pilot sounds irritated.
1) He gets an RA, which means that the CTR controller had a deal (Controller's operational error).
2) Then the controller issues a "descend and maintain FL100". Transition Level for the US is FL180. Anything below that should be expressed as altitude not Flight Level.
3) Even when the controller corrected the mistake by saying "descend and maintain 10,000" she HAS to give the altimeter (ATC 7110.65 2-7-2.e  
Quote
When issuing clearance to descend below the
lowest usable flight level, advise the pilot of the
altimeter setting of the weather reporting station
nearest the point the aircraft will descend below that
flight level.
She didn't give the altimeter, which was her 3d mistake in a row with the same aircraft, and led the pilot to ask for the "QNH".
Probably she lost her nerve with the deal which is understandable.

As for the QNH, it is included in the PCG which is a requirement for the controller to know, thus it's included in the .65. The pilot was speaking English fluently. If the controller heard the word QNH for the first time in her life, what can I say...



I've never heard QNH used, and to tell you the truth wouldn't have known what it meant until I saw this thread. Sorry to admit that I don't have the entire PCG memorized.

A TCAS RA doesn't necessarily mean a deal. In the case of a rapidly climbing ac under a level ac, TCAS doesn't know what the climber (or descender) will stop at and can give an RA. Part of the reason why it's a good idea to call traffic for merging targets, even if they're more than 1k apart.

Sounds like a trainee based on the traffic call and the flight level one zero zero, maybe even the dside.
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The Hoffspatcher
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« Reply #14 on: February 24, 2010, 05:24:24 AM »

I think technically QNH is reference to atmospheric pressure so the altimeter reads elevation when on the ground whereas QFE is set to read zero on the groud almost like a radio altemeter.

Russia used QFE wherease everybody else uses QNH so agian, technically I think QNH and altimeter are the same thing!

That is why Russian meter levels (QFE) are different than China who use QNH
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ogogog
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« Reply #15 on: February 24, 2010, 08:26:13 AM »

WOW, all you arm chair controllers are good. iam a recent retired air traffic controller 29 years, with 20 in ZAU and i didnt hear the controller haveing a deal.i heard an aircraft havening a RA.i also heard the controller make a small mistake that she corrected, as for QNH 95% of the controller that i worked with didnt know what QNH meant.man you people like to make mountains out of mole hills.heres a hint just because an aircraft has an RA dose not mean there was a deal, we get false RAs all the time,even in the FLs.but like ive always said ATC is an easy job untill you have to really do it.

OG
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speedotann
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« Reply #16 on: February 24, 2010, 11:20:07 AM »

Arm Chair Controllers!! I Love It!! I knew what QNH meant only because of some of the Europeans I have talked to when I was getting my PPL... At first I thought it was Q and H... So it was confusing, especially with the accent.... She might of thought he was hitting on her, you never know....

B
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« Reply #17 on: March 27, 2010, 01:21:18 PM »

QNH is for atmospheric pressure in millibars. Technically if I request QNH I would have to receive an answer like "QNH 1013".
Altimeter is for atmospheric pressure in inches. If I request altimeter I'd have to receive an answer like "Altimeter 2992".

Each country decides which measure to use, millibars or inches, but ATC should be able deal with both. For ex, in my country we officially use QNH, but we have a conversion charts next to the mike in case some pilot requests it.

Regards!
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djmodifyd
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« Reply #18 on: March 28, 2010, 02:43:09 PM »

The one that used the wrong phraseology initially was the controller. Not the pilot. It's understandable that the CX pilot sounds irritated.
1) He gets an RA, which means that the CTR controller had a deal (Controller's operational error).
2) Then the controller issues a "descend and maintain FL100". Transition Level for the US is FL180. Anything below that should be expressed as altitude not Flight Level.
3) Even when the controller corrected the mistake by saying "descend and maintain 10,000" she HAS to give the altimeter (ATC 7110.65 2-7-2.e  
Quote
When issuing clearance to descend below the
lowest usable flight level, advise the pilot of the
altimeter setting of the weather reporting station
nearest the point the aircraft will descend below that
flight level.
She didn't give the altimeter, which was her 3d mistake in a row with the same aircraft, and led the pilot to ask for the "QNH".
Probably she lost her nerve with the deal which is understandable.

As for the QNH, it is included in the PCG which is a requirement for the controller to know, thus it's included in the .65. The pilot was speaking English fluently. If the controller heard the word QNH for the first time in her life, what can I say...



I've never heard QNH used, and to tell you the truth wouldn't have known what it meant until I saw this thread. Sorry to admit that I don't have the entire PCG memorized.

A TCAS RA doesn't necessarily mean a deal. In the case of a rapidly climbing ac under a level ac, TCAS doesn't know what the climber (or descender) will stop at and can give an RA. Part of the reason why it's a good idea to call traffic for merging targets, even if they're more than 1k apart.

Sounds like a trainee based on the traffic call and the flight level one zero zero, maybe even the dside.

thank you, plus 1 to all parts.
i've never heard of QNH before, and for sure sounds like a developmental, and when she came back and corrected the FL100 mistake it was most likely the OJTI that corrected her and she came back and fixed it.

i love it when people who aren't controllers, or who havn't even set foot in an ATC facility rip controllers apart...
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aviator_06
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« Reply #19 on: March 31, 2010, 09:00:26 PM »

Sounds like a flustered controller to me.
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wweled
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« Reply #20 on: April 19, 2010, 12:37:54 PM »

There is proper phraseology for asking for an altimeter setting and QNH isn't it.  The pilot of CPA870 knew what the problem was and kept insisting on using QNH finally mixed with "altimeter".  

Aviation 101, use proper phraseology.

but it's in the handbook?

http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/atpubs/pcg/Q.HTM
The pilot used the proper phraseology, QNH is internationally known for the american term Altimeter setting.
If you heard line up and hold, would you be thinking that is not a proper phraseology for taxi into position and hold? please do not go to England.

I flew several houndred hours in the states, as a private, commercial and instructor pilot.
I have learned the American Phraseology and even though is plain simple, the international phraseology might be different some times
QNH and QFE are termns not tought in the states, but used worldwide.

I invite you to fly in South America,
I am now living in Argentina and you won't hear altimeter setting but QNH.

regards
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ect76
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« Reply #21 on: April 19, 2010, 01:35:41 PM »

If you heard line up and hold, would you be thinking that is not a proper phraseology for taxi into position and hold? please do not go to England.

Not to nitpick but the correct terminology in the UK is "Line up and Wait runway xx".
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englishpilot
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« Reply #22 on: April 22, 2010, 09:26:24 AM »

If you heard line up and hold, would you be thinking that is not a proper phraseology for taxi into position and hold? please do not go to England.

Not to nitpick but the correct terminology in the UK is "Line up and Wait runway xx".

Just to let you know 'Line up and wait' is soon to be the standard in the US and 'into position and hold' is being done away with -  The FAA is making this change (and probably some others) to harmonize the US system more with other international aviation protocols.

Source:  FAA Runway Safety Seminar about 2 months ago.
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« Reply #23 on: April 22, 2010, 11:33:57 AM »

To clarify (hopefully!) -

Standard (barometric) Air Pressure at Sea Level:

Metric system,
101.325 kPa (kiloPascals) =
1013.25 mb (millibars of Mercury, Hg) = QNH = (Altimeter setting)
760 mmHg (millimeters of Mercury)

English sysyem,
14.696 psi =
29.92 inHg (Altimeter setting).

(QFE refers to the physical height above an airport, NOT Sea Level)

Since the US uses the English system (foot, pounds, etc.) it uses Altimeter settings based on inHg for aircraft operations.
(e.g., altimeter 2978)
Most other countries use the Metric system, hence they use QNH based on millibars of Hg pressure.
(e.g. QNH 1008)



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khonmanrak
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« Reply #24 on: April 24, 2010, 10:21:46 AM »

Sounds like a flustered controller to me. .

 smiley smiley smiley smiley smiley
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