Sponsor Message:
Civil Aviation Forum
My Starred Topics | Profile | New Topic | Forum Index | Help | Search 
Language Problems At CDG.  
User currently offlineGLAGAZ From UK - Scotland, joined Feb 2004, 1983 posts, RR: 11
Posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5850 times:

Did a quick search and couldn't find any past topics on this....

I saw a programme on Discovery Wings last night about air disasters caused by language problems. I always thought that English was the necessary language in all countries but on this programme there was a runway collision because ATC were speaking in French to the French pilots, this meant that the 2 English pilots could not understand the instructions given to other aircraft which resulted in the accident.

CDG apparently still use French to talk to the French pilots, I would think this to be incredibly dangerous. Any pilots that fly into CDG have any thoughts?


Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
59 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlineLeskova From Germany, joined Oct 2003, 6075 posts, RR: 70
Reply 1, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5770 times:

I'm no pilot, but I still think it's not really wise for countries to not use english as language for ATC communications - it is the standard, however much you might like (or prefer) your own language.

I'm not sure if it's still the case, but I know that in Spain pilots and controllers used to talk to each other in spanish not so long ago - so I wouldn't be surprised if there are a few more countries that do this as well...

Regards,
Frank



Smile - it confuses people!
User currently offlineThenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2638 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5729 times:

I'm an ATC in the Montreal Area Control Center, and we use both english and french here also, and let me tell you that in no way does this compromise the spacing between planes, whether it be at 30'000ft in the air or on short final for the rwy.

The english speaking pilots dont even need to understand the instructions given to the french speaking pilots. The ATC is the only one who has the picture of his airspace, and that is sufficient enough to provide the proper spacing.

Believe it or not, even in airspaces where the ATC is only in english (i.e all of North America, except the Montreal FIR), the pilots dont always have the picture of what is going on around them! and that is perfectly normal, they are busy enough flying their plane as it is!

Here is another example: Over the Atlantic, during the crossings, all pilots turn off their radios, because of the incessant background noise of the HF frequencies that are used as principle source of communication with the ATC!
If the ATC needs to talk to them, they use what is called a SELCAL device, with transmits certain tones of sound in reference to a single plane. This is how the pilots know that the ATC wants to talk to them. So wheter the pilot has the picture or not around him is completely irrelevant!

Hope this helps!

AK



us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineDC9 From Sweden, joined Feb 2000, 255 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5723 times:

My father used to be a DC9 pilot for SAS and he often commented on this problem even if his aviation french was more than adequate. I know NCE still uses english to communicate to francophones with.



User currently offlineAOMlover From Singapore, joined Jul 2001, 1306 posts, RR: 11
Reply 4, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 23 hours ago) and read 5675 times:

French is an official ICAO language, along with English and I believe Russian and Spanish. So they had the right to speak French.
Edit; there are 6 ICAO languages: English, Spanish, French, Russian, Arabic and Chinese.

[Edited 2004-03-09 18:52:07]

User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17777 posts, RR: 46
Reply 5, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5609 times:

"French is an official ICAO language, along with English and I believe Russian and Spanish. So they had the right to speak French.
"

Wonderful. Now one person is dead. Expect more. It is absolutely reprehensible that this is allowed at a major international airport like CDG, where those that speak French may very well be in the minority or slim majority. This is hubris and typical French union behavior at its worst and I place that man's death fully on the pilot's union.

[Edited 2004-03-09 19:19:06]


E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineB747Skipper From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 6, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5567 times:

Friends -
xxx
Although I am multilingual, speak Spanish and French fluently, I agree that English should be used in any communications, but it is NOT the way it is in many, and many, and many countries.
xxx
ICAO language or not is not the point. The point is that understanding all and everything being said is important. I often use Spanish in South America, and a mix of Spanish/Portuguese in Brazil airspace, but if I hear an airplane from North America, Europe or Asia on the frequency, I revert to English so they can get the benefit of our communications.
xxx
I avoided a potential accident in France, when an Air Inter was given holding instructions (in French) at 3,000 feet, while I was there at 3,000 feet as well. It was an ATC mistake. By chance I understood. Gave a warning in French to that plane and ATC.
xxx
Using the local language expedites communications, and is a problem for the "English only" pilots. I have flown in Russia, and Greece, where I have NO idea about what is being said... Parakalo... Dobry Dyen... not easy.
xxx
Pilots who are (normally) assigned to South America SHOULD learn some basics of Spanish (numbers and aviation wording), same for those who are assigned to Africa, with French... Is it THAT difficult...? Is your paycheck not good enough for that effort...? Do you fly for an INTERNATIONAL airline, or are you limited to Alabamy...?
xxx
I learned Spanish when I was age 50... took me 3 months to be proficient. I wish I knew more than 50 words of Russian and 20 words of Greek.
xxx
Happy contrails  Smile
(s) Skipper



User currently offlineB747-4U3 From United Kingdom, joined Jan 2002, 991 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 22 hours ago) and read 5508 times:

I don't see what the problem is. Accidents do happen and we just have to accept that and I believe that French should continue to be used.

I have had a limited experience in the cockpit and from that I have gathered that many pilots are oblivious to what is going on around them. Once at LHR we moved forward to enter the runway as a plane was on finals (!) without realising that we had not been given perminssion to do so. Clearly, the use of a foreign language was not an issue there.

Mind you, I have to say, I am biased toward France.

A plus tard, mes amis.


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17777 posts, RR: 46
Reply 8, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 21 hours ago) and read 5469 times:

"Accidents do happen and we just have to accept that and I believe that French should continue to be used. "

Yes, and Controlled Flight into Terrain (CFIT) continues to occur so we might as well just not train CFIT avoidance.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineGLAGAZ From UK - Scotland, joined Feb 2004, 1983 posts, RR: 11
Reply 9, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5372 times:

Just realised, i saw this on UKTV Docs. not Wings


Neutrality means that u don't really care cos the struggle goes on even when ur not there, blind and unaware
User currently offlineGLA MD11 From France, joined Mar 2000, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 10, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5324 times:

MaverickM11,
Please provide some info about your MD80 and Shorts accident. I'd be curious to learn more about it and see how French did cause the death of somebody. Then we can talk more about it...


User currently offlineSkywatcher From Canada, joined Sep 2002, 462 posts, RR: 4
Reply 11, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 5271 times:

Is it better to have a bunch of local, non-English speaking civil aviation pilots flying around who can't understand anything that ATC says to them in English?

Are you suggesting that only people who are fluent in English should be permitted to fly? What about the other 90% of the world?

I am English speaking but am worldly enough to realize that most of the world operates almost exclusively in many other languages.They have just as much right to fly as anybody else does.Why don't all pilots use Chinese, Hindi or Esparanto?

Seriously, we all have to share the sky as fairly as possible.Forcing a single language on everybody is impractical.Compromises must be made.


User currently offline5T6 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 12, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5226 times:

Why don't all pilots use Chinese, Hindi or Esparanto?

Because WE won the war!  Big thumbs up (just kidding)

Forcing a single language on everybody is impractical. Compromises must be made.

I respectfully disagree. Where safety is concerned, I really don't care if insisting on English is politically correct or not. English is and has been the accepted language for aviation. If a controller is working an airport where there is only local traffic that speaks something other than English...fine. But especially at something like CDG, yapping away in French is downright dangerous!

JMHO,

Mike




I see my Cats as Companions. My Cats see Me as Furniture!
User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17777 posts, RR: 46
Reply 13, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5188 times:

"MaverickM11,
Please provide some info about your MD80 and Shorts accident. I'd be curious to learn more about it and see how French did cause the death of somebody. Then we can talk more about it..."

With pleasure...

http://aviation-safety.net/database/2000/000525-0.htm
http://www.ainonline.com/issues/09_01/09_01_languageconfusionpg6.html
en francais:
http://www.radiocockpit.com/2000_05_21_arc.htm



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineMrniji From , joined Dec 1969, posts, RR:
Reply 14, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5160 times:

Really weird... I just can't imagine to control aviation with multiple languages...

on UA 777, they offer (still offered?) in the Audio section a channel, where one could listen to ATC - Aircraft communication. I remember that in my flight from FRA-SFO throughout, the discussion was solely in English (with some nice accents, esp. Scottland and Island  Wink/being sarcastic )


User currently offlineGLA MD11 From France, joined Mar 2000, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 15, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5123 times:

Thanks.
What I think: this incident could have happened without the 2 language problem. Look on the ntsb website to see the runway incursions in the US (no language problem). This is an ATC problem (give the Shorts authorization to enter after the MD is rolling).
The language problem is really secondary...


User currently onlineMaverickM11 From United States of America, joined Apr 2000, 17777 posts, RR: 46
Reply 16, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5094 times:

"The language problem is really secondary..."

I disagree; if everyone was speaking the same language then everyone would have had an additional assurance of their position, and the Shorts aircraft would have possibly decided not to taxi onto the active runway. Speaking two languages at a major international airport is not only uncessary, but absolutely dangerous.



E pur si muove -Galileo
User currently offlineGLA MD11 From France, joined Mar 2000, 277 posts, RR: 0
Reply 17, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 5073 times:

I have to disagree. How many pilots do listen to the conversations to other aircrafts when they taxi / enter a runway? They are so busy with their own stuff that they concentrate on getting their ship on the air and that's all.
My point is the following: if the order to the MD80 had been given in English, that would certainly not have changed the faith of the Shorts (and its co-pilot / RIP).
You see lots of runway incursion when there is no language problem. That's a fact. See what happened in Milan when the MD80 crashed avoiding a private jet crossing the runway. Check out the NTSB simuations and you will be amazed (like I was) of how fast (and often) such an accident happen. There is in particular a frightening simulation of a Korean B744 avoiding an Air China B744 by 80 feet.


User currently offlineMeister808 From United States of America, joined Jan 2000, 973 posts, RR: 1
Reply 18, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 5018 times:

I'm an ATC in the Montreal Area Control Center, and we use both english and french here also, and let me tell you that in no way does this compromise the spacing between planes, whether it be at 30'000ft in the air or on short final for the rwy.

The english speaking pilots dont even need to understand the instructions given to the french speaking pilots. The ATC is the only one who has the picture of his airspace, and that is sufficient enough to provide the proper spacing.


Thenoflyzone:

Your standoffish and infallible attidude is exactly the kind of thinking that is damaging to aviation as a whole. Those of us who have been around aviation and payed attention to the advice and teaching that was given us realize that people do make mistakes, even if those people are highly trained pilots/ATC. The truth is that pilots, as well as ATC, need to pay attention to what is going on around them... this is called situational awareness, and includes making a 'picture' of what is going on in the sky just like ATC does. I am fully aware that the way Center radio traffic is worked keeps the number of aircraft on frequency down, but the awareness of where and what the traffic that is on frequency is doing can be a great help. Also keep in mind that the situation at hand wasn't a center, but a tower. In a tower situation, most airplanes can, in fact, hear the others on frequency, and this is certainly used to help maintain traffic avoidance. Any impedance to this process can only impede flight safety.

-Meister



Twin Cessna 812 Victor, Minneapolis Center, we observe your operation in the immediate vicinity of extreme precipitation
User currently offlineGKirk From UK - Scotland, joined Jun 2000, 24960 posts, RR: 56
Reply 19, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4998 times:

IMHO, there should only be 1 language used throughout aviation - English.


When you hear the noise of the Tartan Army Boys, we'll be coming down the road!
User currently offline5T6 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 20, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 4972 times:

Meister808:

Well said, sir!

Even as a student pilot, one of the points that my instructor is always pressing home is situational awareness. As a pilot, I want to (and NEED to) know what is going on around me...not just in my own cockpit!

This is not an argument of "My language is better than Yours"!! Get a grip, people....the airways are no place for linguistic snobbery. English is the accepted standard. Use it. There must be ONE common language for Air Traffic Control.

Regards to all,

Mike



I see my Cats as Companions. My Cats see Me as Furniture!
User currently offlineS.p.a.s. From Liechtenstein, joined Mar 2001, 967 posts, RR: 2
Reply 21, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4947 times:

Here in Brazil most of the Brazilian pilots (airlines) speak in Portuguese (even when some English speaker is sharing the frequency) but in general the English proficiency level is low. Some pilots from the airline I worked nicknamed GRU airport as "say again sir airport" Big grin

Some airlines are trying to change this (at least on their side of the equation) and I have heard that the English test is becoming more important that the flight hours logged, at least two guys I know got a job (over other guys who had more flight hours) just because they were excellent on English.

Rgds

RS



"ad astra per aspera"
User currently offlineThenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2638 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4929 times:

Well said Skywatcher!

As for you Meister808, I have one thing to say to you about your situational awareness:

IT"S CALLED A TCAS!

The language IS a secondary problem to the issue, whether you americans believe it or not!

AK



us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineA330 From Belgium, joined May 1999, 649 posts, RR: 7
Reply 23, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4894 times:

ATCO's will always have a better situational awareness than the pilot, and it is FAR MORE IMPORTANT that a pilot FULLY understands HIS instructions than that he knows the instructions of others.
Only if ALL pilots flying to an airport are fluent in English comms., we can adopt an all English communications environment. At this time however, we are from this situation.

Another thing, If you read Annex10 "Communications " of ICAO, it states that you mus use the language normally spoken in that country during communications unless otherwise stated or if you don't know the language. Then, you must revert to English.
The official ICAO languages have nothing to do with air-ground communications.



Shiek!
User currently offline5T6 From United States of America, joined Dec 2003, 283 posts, RR: 0
Reply 24, posted (10 years 8 months 2 weeks 4 days 16 hours ago) and read 4874 times:

Nofly,

"I have one thing to say to you about your situational awareness:

IT"S CALLED A TCAS!
"

It's obvious that as a "trainee" at ATC, you've NEVER flown an airplane. It may be easy for you to think that way sitting there looking at a radar screen, but guess what? When REAL airplanes collide, they make a very loud noise and people get hurt!! It's much more than a computer telling you that two "blips" just converged!! I am right now very grateful that I will not be flying into YOUR airspace anytime in the near future.

BTW...If the only thing pilots needed was TCAS...YOU wouldn't have a career to look forward to!! Think about that, mon ami.

Bon chance,

Michel



I see my Cats as Companions. My Cats see Me as Furniture!
25 MaverickM11 : "The language IS a secondary problem to the issue, whether you americans believe it or not! " And the mountain was secondary to the fact that Cali's r
26 Thenoflyzone : 5T6, FYI I have flown a plane! The thing you cant seem to understand is that it is not about "when the airplanes collide", but why the airplanes colli
27 Post contains images 5T6 : P.S If I didn't have a career to be looking to, you'd be hearing a lot more "loud noise" at an airport near you! Which is why I (and all other student
28 Thenoflyzone : 5T6, Yes they can do it speaking different languages!! You want proof?....Paris, Montreal and all the other french and english speaking area control c
29 Santosdumont : Just a quick note. There used to be a live internet feed from the TWR at GRU and it was standard procedure for ATC to talk to the Brazilian acft in Po
30 Stefandotde : MaverickM11: "The French unions are (*#&$(*@# jerks and now they have blood on their hands because of the stupidity and stubborness. " You are talking
31 Sebolino : The fact that an accident can be caused by a language problem is the proof the system has to change. The ATC orders should for example be transmitted
32 Jcs17 : It is very dangerous for more than one language to be used by ATC and pilots. As a pilot (not speaking from experience), it is very important for one
33 Flykal : 1. Yes, there are controllers who have poor English, just like there are pilots. 2. Yes, ICAO does have 6 official languages. However, ICAO has mandat
34 MaverickM11 : "MaverickM11: "The French unions are (*#&$(*@# jerks and now they have blood on their hands because of the stupidity and stubborness. " You are talkin
35 FraT : LH pilots in FRA have their conversations with ATC in English. Please do not respond telling me that German is no official ICAO language. So if German
36 GLAGAZ : The incident over india involving the Saudi 747 and Ilyshuin 76 was also blamed on misinterpretation as the pilots didn't understand what ATC had said
37 Meister808 : The problem here is that the ATC shouldn't have given that instruction to the Shorts to taxi onto the active runway!..Whether he said it in english or
38 Post contains images B747Skipper : Friends who are pilots/future pilots... one advice... xxx If you are not born to the English language... well - it is the designated aviation language
39 LHcapt2007 : "The ATC orders should for example be transmitted to an on-board computer in a standardized way and not only by voice." any previous discussions or le
40 MaverickM11 : "For heaven's sake, I say again, if you fly internationally, learn some basics of the dominant language(s) for the areas you will fly to. Spanish, Fre
41 A330 : B747Skipper, You are so right! I flew for a while in Spain, and i'm now fluent in Spanish RT "Iberwold 123 Viento en cola pista 30" "Iberwold 321 Mant
42 MaverickM11 : "5.2.1.1.2 Recommendation: PENDING THE DEVELOPPEMENT AND ADOPTION OF A MORE SUITABLE FORM OF SPEECH FOR UNIVERSAL USE, the English language should be
43 LHcapt2007 : quick, get out the Annex10, he can't be speaking french! crash...
44 A330 : MaverickM11, I suggest you to read the recommendations again, becaus you don't seem to understand what is written. We must use the language used by AT
45 Wingnutmn : Just to add something to the situation. I feel that it is ok for a pilot and ATC to talk in their native language or language that they speak most flu
46 Hawkeye2 : It's not the case for all countries that they speak their native language. I've flown a lot within Asia, on UA, listening to their Channel 9. In Japan
47 Donder10 : Are you suggesting that only people who are fluent in English should be permitted to fly? What about the other 90% of the world? I think you are missi
48 N79969 : There is a compelling safety reason behind having a lingua franca for aviation. As B747Skipper pointed out so well, having a single language allows fo
49 MaverickM11 : "MaverickM11, I suggest you to read the recommendations again, becaus you don't seem to understand what is written. " I understand perfectly; I'm sayi
50 Flykal : Remember that ICAO has no power over countries in enacting law. However, each member state is bound by the ICAO convention which states that: Member S
51 Stefandotde : So what about the accents then? If you are talking about ICAO language "english", you include American, Australian accents or accents from pilots whos
52 Tavve : Just a few comments: Should English be used in all ATC communication: yes Should we ban all non English speaking pilots from flying: yes, at least any
53 Stefandotde : Tavee: "...listen to the French unions (or farmers): no, they ruin Europe's economy..." lol - so is the chat called "agriculture"?
54 Tavve : Stefandotde: so is the chat called "agriculture"? No, sorry, way out of topic and doesn't suitable for this chat. I agree.
55 Pkone : Didn't the SAS crash at Malpensa have something to do with a language problem with the other (smaller) jet?
56 Flykal : If we really want to talk about ATC language issues, then let's also cover the fact that many native speakers are the worst offenders at using non-sta
57 SailorOrion : A person using another language than English in communications risks other people's lives. PERIOD. SailorOrion
58 B747-4U3 : Let's think of this situation; An Air France pilot cannot speak good English and therefore gets his English and French numbers mixed up and follows th
59 Post contains images B747Skipper : Sad thing to mention... about U.S. pilots in, say South America. Many controllers cannot understand what is "a hair" away from being "slang", as spoke
Top Of Page
Forum Index

This topic is archived and can not be replied to any more.

Printer friendly format

Similar topics:More similar topics...
What Is An AA 757 Doing At CDG? posted Sat Nov 18 2006 15:17:12 by Albird87
Water Problems At YVR? posted Fri Nov 17 2006 10:01:47 by Ktachiya
Cathay Pacific At CDG posted Thu Nov 2 2006 21:56:42 by LY777
Problems At Arik Air? posted Mon Oct 30 2006 20:48:29 by Alibo5NGN
Spotters At CDG Cooperate With Security Services posted Mon Sep 18 2006 23:09:34 by Goldorak
Aerolinas Argentinas 737 At Cdg? (pic) posted Sat Sep 16 2006 10:00:05 by Marcus380
AF Concorde F-BVFF To Be Moved At CDG posted Wed Sep 6 2006 23:53:45 by FlySSC
Surprising Spotting Site At CDG-2 posted Fri Aug 4 2006 21:20:36 by NYCFlyer
ATTN: Surinam 747 At CDG 23/07 posted Sat Jul 22 2006 22:13:43 by LJ
Baggage Problems At MXP posted Wed Jul 19 2006 23:34:58 by ORDPIA