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Question for an ATL Controler

naglasair1

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If you are assigned to take off from 27R and you are given the clearance "cleared for takeoff 27R, turn left heading 200 degrees at the middle marker", I am assuming the "middle marker" is refering to the MM for the ILS 9L approach....or just off the far end of runway 27R. Is that correct?
 

satpak77

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If you are assigned to take off from 27R and you are given the clearance "cleared for takeoff 27R, turn left heading 200 degrees at the middle marker", I am assuming the "middle marker" is refering to the MM for the ILS 9L approach....or just off the far end of runway 27R. Is that correct?

did you actually get this instruction from the tower ?
 

Midnight Flyer

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every time i fly out of there, they give us the usual MM turn, but tower always says "turn to 200, contact departure"...usually before we even get to the MM.

If the takeoff clearance includes a turn at the MM, why do they contradict themselves by saying to make the turn as they hand us off to departure?
 

Headwind

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WHY- So it will happen, when you get to the marker, if they fail to tell you to turn before then.
 

thesource

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I had an Fo argue this point with me a year or so ago and I got so frustrated that I called the tower in front of him. He continued to turn prior to the marker even though I had corrected him several times during the three day. At the gate I explained that in ATL all turns are to be made at the middle marker ( just read the sign at the departure end of each runway). He says he diagrees. And continues to do his own thing. This kind of thing happens more frequently in the last couple of years but that a discussion for a different time.
Well the ATL tower supervisor told me that ALL turns are to be made at the middle marker unless specifically told to turn early ie. "start your turn now contact departure" or "at the departure end turn etc.." I did have one question about the tower signing off with "turn right 295 and contact departure" His response was that the intent of the controller was to reinforce the heading instruction and was not changing the original clearance to turn at the marker. I did tell him that it might be construed as a changed clearance and he somewhat agreed but said that since the RNAV sid was introduced they have had alot of pilots turn the wrong way for various reasons which is also why we don't do off the runway sids here anymore.
My FO then still disagreed with me and now the tower supervisor. I'm sure he will teach his Fo's his way and then I'll have to correct them as well.
 

atl pilot

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The only people who should turn to a heading that is not on the "noise track" for runway 27R/L (calm wind heading of 250 degrees) would be satellite turn-outs. We (ATL ATCT) had been turning out the ATRs and SF-34 as a test but that will stop effective this Sunday. Then hopefully restart soon pending the outcome of a local noise study that is just at the end of its process.

When you depart Runways off the North and Center complexes in a jet you wll always get "at the Middle Marker, Fly Heading ---, Runway --- Cleared for Takeoff." There are no MMs of Rwy 10/28 so, you will just get a turn (generally 120 or 250 dependent on the airport configuration - east or west -....in this case, we are expecting you to make your turn right at the departure end of the runway, which is usually synonomous with you reaching 400 Feet AGL+/-). This does not include go-arounds....they are handled differently than departures off all runways.

If you are flying a high perforamce turboprop (as defined but what we have listed in our IDS in the Tower...this includes both the ATR and SF-34), you may get that type of clearance and have to fly the noise track (in which case we'd like to see best foward speed out of you), or you may get a turn-out (160/200 heading off the Center or South complex, or 020/340 off the north complex). If you get a turn-out, you should also be looking for a satellite radar frequency to be assigned rather than North Departure (125.7), South Departure (135.7), or Departure-I (135.37 when Triple Departures are in effect).

For non-jet types, the satellite radar positions frequently combine into one another dependent on traffic volume and need. There are four total satellite sectors that could affect you. NE (020 heading) off ATL is 126.97, NW (340 heading) off ATL is 121.0, S of ATL is 119.8, and on very rare occassion (like when there is a NASCAR race) the SE quadrant becomes 132.55). These frequencies are dynamic depnding on what is open and closed at the time. You have no way of knowing without asking one of us, if you haven't already been given one of those frequencies and they give you a turn-out, you may want to ask the Tower controller for the correct frequency. These sectors are divided by V18 and V97 respectively.

As for the bit about getting the "at the MM, fly heading..." and then we come back and say "TR heading 340, contact Atlanta Departure." The comments made by "TheSource" are correct. Frequently we repeat the heading as a reinforcement (y'all would be surprised how frequently you guys and gals turn the wrong way, even after acknowledging the correct heading assignment. This was really bad when we weren't issuing headings off the ground at the inception of RNAV Departures at ATL. I watched some really scary turns made by some professional flight crews that would give you nightmares - thus the reason we are once again giving initial headings). Unless we say "start your turn (now)" do as instructed with your initial departure clearance.

The answer to the question about why we initially assign the MM-bit then let you turn-out early, is that we want to ensure the person landing your paralell runway is committed to actually landing and that it is safe for you to turn-out across that runways path.

Hope that answers you question. I am assuming that you are one of our new SF-34 drivers. If so, welcome to the big show and PM me - and I will explain it further to you as needed.
 
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atl pilot

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And as of today, I stand corrected, we are going to continue to turn-out the SF-34's. There will be no break in this activity over the weekend.
 

asayankee

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This is a big misconception in ATL. They will always tell you to turn at the MM. There is even a sign at the end of the runway specifying this! But then after takeoff tower will say "Acey 4789 heading 240 contact departure".....this IS NOT a clearance to turn to heading 240. You are supposed to fly to the marker and then turn left heading 240. Once you're on the 240 heading then you are supposed to contact departure control.

In order to turn before the marker You have to hear something like "Acey 4789 fly heading 240"...or "Acey 4789 turn left heading 240". Without using the words "turn" or "fly heading" they haven't changed your original clearance which was to fly heading 272 until the middle marker.

It drives me nuts when people do that!
 

Midnight Flyer

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This is a big misconception in ATL. They will always tell you to turn at the MM. There is even a sign at the end of the runway specifying this! But then after takeoff tower will say "Acey 4789 heading 240 contact departure".....this IS NOT a clearance to turn to heading 240. You are supposed to fly to the marker and then turn left heading 240. Once you're on the 240 heading then you are supposed to contact departure control.

In order to turn before the marker You have to hear something like "Acey 4789 fly heading 240"...or "Acey 4789 turn left heading 240". Without using the words "turn" or "fly heading" they haven't changed your original clearance which was to fly heading 272 until the middle marker.

It drives me nuts when people do that!


So, if there's a fed on my jumpseat, and I hear ATC tell us "Flight123, heading 240 contact departure" the correct action to take is to remain on my present heading and make the turn at the MM as previously cleared?
I've always intended to make the turn at the MM, but have always turned when ATC says 'heading 240'.
What if the fed happens to miss the little word "fly" or "turn" (which takes a millisecond to say), and he violates me for not following ATC instructions.

Oh well.
 

asayankee

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So, if there's a fed on my jumpseat, and I hear ATC tell us "Flight123, heading 240 contact departure" the correct action to take is to remain on my present heading and make the turn at the MM as previously cleared?
I've always intended to make the turn at the MM, but have always turned when ATC says 'heading 240'.
What if the fed happens to miss the little word "fly" or "turn" (which takes a millisecond to say), and he violates me for not following ATC instructions.

Oh well.

"heading 240 contact departure" is only an instruction for when to contact departure control. They've already told you when to turn....
 

sigler

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"heading 240 contact departure" is only an instruction for when to contact departure control. They've already told you when to turn....

Then why not say "when heading 240 contact departure..."???
 
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regionalcap

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So, if there's a fed on my jumpseat, and I hear ATC tell us "Flight123, heading 240 contact departure" the correct action to take is to remain on my present heading and make the turn at the MM as previously cleared?
I've always intended to make the turn at the MM, but have always turned when ATC says 'heading 240'.
What if the fed happens to miss the little word "fly" or "turn" (which takes a millisecond to say), and he violates me for not following ATC instructions.

Oh well.

You are doing it wrong then. Don't turn early unless he says to. They are only reinforcing the heading prior to the hand off.
 

atl pilot

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Y'all are overthinking this. The reason for the MM turn is to ensure that you follow a noise abatement track to a point about 5 miles out off the departure end of each runway. These points are almost exactly the same as the first RNAV waypoints, SNUFFY, FUTBL, etc. This is the reason, dependent on wind conditions, that you may get slightly different headings to turn to at each MM each day. We have calm wind headings that are prescribed in our Standard Operating Procedures (SOP), but the object is to hit a mark 5 miles off the departure end of the runway that is depicted on our radar maps. So, we correct the vector, based upon the wind conditions, to get you from point A (the MM) to that first waypoint. If you turn 100 yards too early - who cares! The MM simply gives us a constant to start from, and helps soothe the airport neighbors and local politicians.

There's also an ATC rule that says we may depart y'all with 15 degree divergence as long as you diverge immediately after departure. If you turn at or slightly inside the MM, this ensures that we have accomplished this separation standard (we use this a lot off runway 26L **SOP calm wind headings of 275/290** and runway 9L **calm wind headings of 090/105**).
 
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asayankee

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The only people who should turn to a heading that is not on the "noise track" for runway 27R/L (calm wind heading of 250 degrees) would be satellite turn-outs. We (ATL ATCT) had been turning out the ATRs and SF-34 as a test but that will stop effective this Sunday. Then hopefully restart soon pending the outcome of a local noise study that is just at the end of its process.

When you depart Runways off the North and Center complexes in a jet you wll always get "at the Middle Marker, Fly Heading ---, Runway --- Cleared for Takeoff." There are no MMs of Rwy 10/28 so, you will just get a turn (generally 120 or 250 dependent on the airport configuration - east or west -....in this case, we are expecting you to make your turn right at the departure end of the runway, which is usually synonomous with you reaching 400 Feet AGL+/-). This does not include go-arounds....they are handled differently than departures off all runways.

If you are flying a high perforamce turboprop (as defined but what we have listed in our IDS in the Tower...this includes both the ATR and SF-34), you may get that type of clearance and have to fly the noise track (in which case we'd like to see best foward speed out of you), or you may get a turn-out (160/200 heading off the Center or South complex, or 020/340 off the north complex). If you get a turn-out, you should also be looking for a satellite radar frequency to be assigned rather than North Departure (125.7), South Departure (135.7), or Departure-I (135.37 when Triple Departures are in effect).

For non-jet types, the satellite radar positions frequently combine into one another dependent on traffic volume and need. There are four total satellite sectors that could affect you. NE (020 heading) off ATL is 126.97, NW (340 heading) off ATL is 121.0, S of ATL is 119.8, and on very rare occassion (like when there is a NASCAR race) the SE quadrant becomes 132.55). These frequencies are dynamic depnding on what is open and closed at the time. You have no way of knowing without asking one of us, if you haven't already been given one of those frequencies and they give you a turn-out, you may want to ask the Tower controller for the correct frequency. These sectors are divided by V18 and V97 respectively.

As for the bit about getting the "at the MM, fly heading..." and then we come back and say "TR heading 340, contact Atlanta Departure." The comments made by "TheSource" are correct. Frequently we repeat the heading as a reinforcement (y'all would be surprised how frequently you guys and gals turn the wrong way, even after acknowledging the correct heading assignment. This was really bad when we weren't issuing headings off the ground at the inception of RNAV Departures at ATL. I watched some really scary turns made by some professional flight crews that would give you nightmares - thus the reason we are once again giving initial headings). Unless we say "start your turn (now)" do as instructed with your initial departure clearance.

The answer to the question about why we initially assign the MM-bit then let you turn-out early, is that we want to ensure the person landing your paralell runway is committed to actually landing and that it is safe for you to turn-out across that runways path.

Hope that answers you question. I am assuming that you are one of our new SF-34 drivers. If so, welcome to the big show and PM me - and I will explain it further to you as needed.

atlpilot...I have to disagree with you here on this one. As pilots if we hear "turn left heading 250"....that means to turn now.
 

Midnight Flyer

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atl pilot said:
As for the bit about getting the "at the MM, fly heading..." and then we come back and say "TR heading 340, contact Atlanta Departure." Frequently we repeat the heading as a reinforcement.

When you say the verb Turn, you're not just "repeating the heading" nor are you "reinforcing" the prior clearance. "Turn Right heading 340" means just that.....to turn right. By saying the word turn, you're requesting an immediate action. That voids the whole "at the MM, fly heading..." because it's a new clearance to turn now, before the MM.
Now, if you remove the verb "Turn" from the statement, then yes, I can see how it can be interpreted as just a reinforcement. asayankee brought that point up earlier.
Why can't the controller hand us off by saying something like "At the MM, turn right heading 340...contact Departure". That would make it 100% crystal clear, at least in my book.


atl pilot said:
Y'all are overthinking this.
Well maybe a little, but I'm lacking a straight answer...that's why. Remember, it's the pilot who gets the violation.
 

atl pilot

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Honestly, they'd (Tower Management) like us to repeat the TL or TR at the MM, but many of us are just really lazy. It's really not that huge a deal. Most of you guys won't turn until 400 feet anyway, which is usually fairly close to the MM.

When I work Rwy 26L with 2 headings, I actually like to see y'all start that NW turn before I switch you. Just a preference though.
 

~~~^~~~

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Most airlines' procedure is to not initiate a turn until 400 feet. But in the 757 were are usually at we are closer to 4,000 than 400 by the marker.

The marker receiver works when pointed right at the marker at < 500 feet AGL and but only maybe 50% of the time when the jet's nose is pointed 15 to 20 degrees above the horizon at several thousand feet. In reality, most guys fly until "that looks about right" and start the turn.

We figure the intent is to have our flight path on the assigned heading when we fly inbound the first fix.

We do appreciate the wavier of the speed restriction when possible on the climb out. It is smoother for the passengers to not have the throttles go to idle at 10,000 as it tries to level and hold 250 KIAS, then only to go to climb thrust as it accelerates to 305'ish and climbs.

Comments from the ATC folks? From what I've read, it sounds like the Controllers like to see an indication we are turning the correct direction sooner rather than later.

Of course if we lost comm, then it's a fly over waypoint .... :cartman:

Just go easy on me when we're reconfiguring the airplane, running the after takeoff check and are given a fly direct waypoint. Some airplane's FMCs are a lot faster than others. The ones that lag are the ones that I FAT FINGER and it updates as I'm updating it, so it jumps one fix ahead, then you execute because the screen lags (uurgh). Some of them's 1980's computers and are as fast as an Apple IIe with 128K and a 5 and 1/4 floppy drive.
 
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N1VIBS

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Atlpilot and others, help!!! I've been flying/based out of ATL for the last 21 years, flying both turboprops and jets. In 21 years, I've never had any problem, confusion or misunderstanding as to when I should turn. Until I read these posts I never knew it was so complicated!!! Obviously I've been doing something wrong (obvious sacarsm)!!

Talk about making a mountain out of a molehill!! Jeez!

Many, many years ago, I had a old retired USAF pilot as a instructor. His favorite saying was "when all else fails, just use common sense". Guess thats no longer in fashion.
 
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