Questions for ATC controllers

Mach 80

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Posts
468
Total Time
22,000
Unfortunately I haven't visited an ATC facility in years but just curious about a few things.

1.How do you know when an aircraft has "checked in" with you? I know sometimes things get busy and I have waited for things to slow down before "checking in" and if I haven't a controller will call and ask if I have. Do you mark a strip or do you make some sort of electronic mark on the radar ID? BTW, I wish normal procedure was for the A/C to change frequency and then wait for ATC to call them which is practically what I do in busy sectors.

2. Where do put a newly assigned altitude or heading or airspeed note for an aircraft? Again -- on a paper strip or somehow on by the radar ID?

3. Do you find it a nuisance when you have given an aircraft a descent at pilot's discretion, he acknowleges it, but then call you back a few minutes later to tell he's leaving the original altitude? Seems like an unnecessary transmission. ( For pilots -- I know what the very outdated AIM says).

4. Do you like getting a call from an aircraft when he enters his assigned holding? Seems redundant since you have radar. (For pilots--again, I know what's in the outdated AIM).

5. Do you find it a nuisance and unnecessary transmission, when, at flight levels, you call out traffic and after the initial response, sometime later the pilot makes a transmission that he has the traffic in sight? I understand the purpose of you calling out traffic at the flight levels is so pilots won't get startled or to re-enforce an altitude assignment if climbing or descending.
 

Mach 80

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Posts
468
Total Time
22,000
No. I was asking what ATC controllers thought about certain AIM mandated calls. The few I have heard from in another forum seem to think much in the AIM is very outdated and in need of a re-write.
 

Erlanger

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Posts
1,693
Total Time
13000+
does it annoy you when people follow the aim?


Mach 80 has asked some good questions that others like me would like to know, so shut the f up please!

Just look at the planes you fly and your experience and then look at his and mine. Apparently you don't fly in the airline business and know where he's coming from with his questions. I do!

Do you think you know everything at 1500 hours Wonder Boy? You're still wet behind the ears son.
 
Last edited:

callowayhd

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Posts
99
Total Time
23,000
now look at the planes i fly and your expeience vs mine!

You dont know anything at 10,000 hrs wonder boy!
 

Erlanger

Well-known member
Joined
Aug 4, 2002
Posts
1,693
Total Time
13000+
now look at the planes i fly and your expeience vs mine!

You dont know anything at 10,000 hrs wonder boy!
For those that don't know, Calloway's profile said he had 1500 hrs and flew acouple of light twins before he changed his profile today. Nice try!

So Mesaba didn't hire you I understand? Did you ever get hired by Pinnacle? I know that's you where you wanted to go.
 

callowayhd

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Posts
99
Total Time
23,000
For those that don't know, Calloway's profile said he had 1500 hrs and flew acouple of light twins before he changed his profile today. Nice try!

So Mesaba didn't hire you I understand? Did you ever get hired by Pinnacle? I know that's you where you wanted to go.

lmao

my point is that you can put anything in your status so to say i am just a light twin driver is simply not accurate

and thanks for researching all my posts, get a life!
 

BillJBrake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Posts
156
Total Time
17.3
great thread, guys :rolleyes: I'm sure the childish arguing really makes someone want to contribute.

In my opinion, you should always check in. If you don't check in and you wait to be called, how do you know you got a good (or the right) freq?

Starting a PD descent is a required call, why would a controller be annoyed? It helps him!

Entering holding is a required call, why would a controller not appreciate the help?

Traffic calls are traffic calls, pilots should respond to them when controllers issue them. If a pilot has the traffic in sight, he should tell the controller, regardless of altitude, there are separation rules the controller can use if a plane sees the other one, so it might be worth the pilots while to report it.
 

Mach 80

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Posts
468
Total Time
22,000
>>>Starting a PD descent is a required call, why would a controller be annoyed? It helps him!<<<<

Not really. When in very busy airspace with a controller sounding like an actioneer, I KNOW some of them get aggravated with a call out of altitute from a PD clearance. A controller in my jump seat (back when they could do that) told me all he needs or wants is a an acknowlegement of the initial PD clearance and didn't need nor want the later extra radio call which sometimes blocked some other transmission or interrupted a ground coordination call with another controller creating more time wasted and confusion. What help is it to him to tell him something he already knows which is that he has cleared the airspace for his discretionary descent?

>>>Entering holding is a required call, why would a controller not appreciate the help?<<<

Again, a controller told me it's essentially not help when he's busy with lots of other things, including coordinating with other controllers, and can plainly see on his radar that you have entered holding and your radio call simply adds to radio congestion and "clutter".

Both these controllers worked in very busy NE sectors. An approach controler in Wichita, KS might have another opinion.
 

Mach 80

Well-known member
Joined
May 25, 2004
Posts
468
Total Time
22,000
Sorry for the various misspellings in previous. Didn't have time to proof-read due to appointment.
 

SSDD

Well-known member
Joined
Mar 20, 2002
Posts
1,128
Total Time
17,000
Mach 80, you have made this point before. What a particular controller wants, and what annoys him is irrelevant! These are REQUIRED calls. And they should be made.

Having said that, use a little common sense. If the controller is talking non stop, then don't block the frequency. Wait until there is a break and then report...or not.
 

LJ45

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 2, 2005
Posts
1,081
Total Time
13,000
lots of pricks around these days.

Maybe, If we just ingnore the pricks with their little prick comments, then they will not get their jollys from us and go away and play with their little prick by them self.
 
Last edited:

BillJBrake

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 18, 2008
Posts
156
Total Time
17.3
Mach80,

A required report is a required report, if one controller claims he doesn't like it doesn't mean that is the consensus or that is a group opinion. You say these were controllers in the NE corridor, I invite you to share their names, odds are good that I know them.

As SSDD said, common sense and discretion is always advised, don't risk stepping on someone to advise vacating an altitude, but plenty of times guys will already be 1k ft into a 10k ft PD descent when they make the call, cuz they waited for an opportune time.
 

paulsalem

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Posts
1,234
Total Time
5,300
This is from Don Brown's column "SAY AGAIN" on avweb
http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/182638-1.html
His columns are full of intesting info on this and many other atc subjects.
---------------------------------------------------------------------




While I have you held captive in the holding pattern, let me give you another sermon on the rules. You know that silly rule that says you're supposed to state your altitude leaving when you're assigned a new altitude? You knew it was in there for a reason, didn't you?
AIM 5-3-3. Additional Reports



a. The following reports should be made to ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC request:
1. At all times.
(a) When vacating any previously assigned altitude or flight
level for a newly assigned altitude or flight level.



Now we plug in the controller side of the equation from the FAA 7110.65
5-5-5. VERTICAL APPLICATION



b. Assign an altitude to an aircraft after the aircraft previously at that altitude has been issued a climb/descent clearance and is observed (valid Mode C), or reports leaving the altitude.



There you are in a holding pattern at 12,000 with a dozen other airplanes stacked above you and Approach starts running them again.
ZTL: "Airliner 123 cleared over the SHINE intersection to CLT via the SHINE5 arrival descend and maintain one one thousand.
AIR123: Airliner 123 cleared to CLT down to one one thousand.
ZTL: (sigh). Airliner 123 say altitude leaving.
AIR123: Uh, we're out of twelve.
ZTL: Airliner 234 descend and maintain one two thousand.
AIR234: We're descending to one two thousand Airliner234
ZTL: (big sigh) Airliner 234 say altitude leaving.
AIR234: Airliner 234 is leaving one three thousand for one two thousand.
ZTL: Roger, Airliner345 descend and maintain one three thousand.



Have you ever seen a radar scope with a full holding pattern? All those targets dragging those big data blocks over the same spot? Ever tried to observe someone's Mode C when it's like that? We're lucky if we can find your data block, much less observe your Mode C. Getting the picture?
 
Last edited:

paulsalem

Well-known member
Joined
Dec 17, 2003
Posts
1,234
Total Time
5,300
http://www.avweb.com/news/sayagain/192912-1.html

The most common of phrases in the en route environment are the ones dealing with altitudes. Pilots somehow twist themselves into knots with these phrases and I'm not sure how it happens. There are four simple words I want you to remember:
  1. Level
  2. Leaving
  3. Climbing
  4. Descending
If you'll use your callsign and those four words, you're halfway home on using correct phraseology.
You can read about this is the AIM but it's kind-of like that communications exercise in class. You know, the one where you try to give the guy (who's playing the role of the real dumb robot/computer) precise instructions on how to strike a match. In other words, it's frustrating to put it all together.
I've already covered the first phrase but I'll do it again so you can string all this together:
"Atlanta Center, Cessna One Two Three Four Five, level six thousand."
Who you're calling (Atlanta Center), who you are (Cessna N12345) and what you are doing (level 6,000).
But what happens if you aren't level?
Atlanta Center, Cessna One Two Three Four Five, leaving four thousand six hundred, climbing to six thousand.
Gasp! I used the dreaded "to" word! Well, yes I did. So does the AIM:
AIM 5-3-1 (a) When operating in a radar environment: On initial contact, the pilot should inform the controller of the aircraft's assigned altitude preceded by the words "level," or "climbing to," or "descending to," as appropriate; and the aircraft's present vacating altitude, if applicable.
EXAMPLE-
1. (Name) CENTER, (aircraft identification), LEVEL (altitude or flight level).
2. (Name) CENTER, (aircraft identification), LEAVING (exact altitude or flight level), CLIMBING TO OR DESCENDING TO (altitude of flight level).

Now before somebody swoons, let's think about this thing. There is no such altitude as "two six thousand." That would be Flight Level two six zero.
"Atlanta Center, Air Force One, leaving Flight Level one eight five, climbing to Flight Level two six zero."
If you want to avoid something, avoid these phrases that really aren't in the book: "for", "out of", "at", "up to", "down to" and a dozen other ways people have found to confuse the issue.
"We're out of eight for ten."
"... with you at six."
"Airliner six forty six for fourteen." (Heard that one the other day.)
"Atlanta Center, Airliner Six Forty, leaving six thousand, climbing to one four thousand."
See the difference? There's another difference you should note: If you'll always say "climbing to" or "descending to" -- when you start flying in the higher altitudes -- you'll give the controller a chance to catch the error when you mistake a heading assignment for an altitude change. You see, the habits you're learning now will stick with you throughout your flying career. You may not ever become an airline pilot but you just might get rich and buy yourself one of those new VLJs one day.
"Eclipse One One Victor Juliet, fly heading two one zero."
"Two one zero eleven veejay"
It takes about 10 to 15 seconds for a turn to become noticeable on a Center controller's radarscope. The controller isn't going to sit there and watch your target until it turns; he'll go do something else -- work some other airplanes -- and then come back to see if the turn has taken effect. It's a really nasty surprise to find out that, instead of turning, the pilot has descended. Trust me. I've seen it happen. Using correct phraseology can prevent it.
"Eclipse One One Victor Juliet, fly heading two one zero."
"Eclipse One One Victor Juliet, leaving flight level two five zero, descending flight level two one zero."
"Eclipse One One Victor Juliet, negative, maintain flight level two five zero. Turn left heading two one zero.
 

Booker

The Ladies Man
Joined
Apr 5, 2002
Posts
693
Total Time
4100
Good stuff. Don is the reason I joined the forum whose name I dare not speak here. There's much better ATC scoop over there.
 

callowayhd

Well-known member
Joined
Apr 7, 2008
Posts
99
Total Time
23,000
For those that don't know, Calloway's profile said he had 1500 hrs and flew acouple of light twins before he changed his profile today. Nice try!

So Mesaba didn't hire you I understand? Did you ever get hired by Pinnacle? I know that's you where you wanted to go.
start trainging at compass soon btw
 

slapstick

Well-known member
Joined
May 16, 2002
Posts
173
Total Time
4500
Q: Do controllers get as irritated as I do when that certain JetBlue pilot checks in, "Washington, JetBlue 123, flight level 370, GREAAAT DAAAY"?

Probably not, since they don't have to listen to this guy all the way up or down the coast.
 

2ndGenPSA

Well-known member
Joined
Jan 12, 2005
Posts
75
Total Time
8000
Thanks for the post paulsalem.
I may have been one of those "airliners" on your frequency at SHINE. I do remember a few years back being in a stacked hold at SHINE. The controller was getting pretty irritated that no one was reading back the "vacating" part of the altitude change. But by the end of the event, all the airliners on his watch were getting those calls spot on!

It was on one hand quite amusing, on the other, a good educational experience. I always report vacating an altitude because of that day.

I do think that both pilots and controllers need to put themselves in the other's shoes more often. I fly with guys/gals who seem irritated with the controller; they mumble, they don't read back the call-sign (only the flight number), they don't check in on purpose, etc. And controllers sometimes bark at clarification questions, get impatient with missed calls, etc. I try to fly the way (I think) the controller is expecting me to fly. Their job isn't easy, and we as pilots should try to make it as easy as possible... it's in our best interests!
On the other hand, controllers need to put themselves in our shoes as well. When we touch down, the flight isn't over; it's hard to listen to complex taxi instructions with the reverse roaring and the high-speed nearing. We sometimes forget crossing restrictions. We sometimes miss a fix while programming the route. Etc.
I guess my point is this: let's watch each other's backs. It seems like the new mood of the ATC/FAA is to violate everything. We all make mistakes. And this job is becoming more difficult for pilots and controllers. So let's try to take care of each other.
Phew, that was a wast of time! haha
 
Top