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Tcas RA Saves The Day Over Colombia  
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1987 posts, RR: 2
Posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 5 hours ago) and read 2017 times:

After an ATC controller cleared a B6 A320 to climb from FL 340 to FL 360 while an A340 of AR was head on at FL 350, TCAS Resolution advisories in both planes averted the disaster. The minimum vertical separation was 200 ft. ( No mention about horizontal separation, but at cruise speed and head on, it's not so relevant, 500 ft or 3 miles are just a few seconds away... ).

Looks like a Colombian controller really screwed up and both cockpit crews and the TCAS RA saved the day...

http://www.avherald.com/h?article=458921a5&opt=0


Rgds.
G.

[Edited 2012-11-05 18:12:24]


80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
18 replies: All unread, jump to last
 
User currently offlinetrent772 From Colombia, joined Oct 2012, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 3 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Thread starter):
Looks like a Colombian controller really screwed up

Not really a big surprise, Air Traffic Controllers in Colombia are the most Unprofessional, Unprepared, Untrained, Reckless, Dangerous group of people involved in aviation I have seen in my life, their level of English is so poor that I would't be surprised if the dumb-ass controller wanted to say something different to the JetBlue airplane but didn't know how, the fact that an accident of spectacular proportions with big loss of life involved hasn't happened yet, is proof that there is an aviation god somewhere looking out after this bunch of clowns who dare call themselves "Air Traffic Controllers".

[Edited 2012-11-05 20:38:17]


Pedaling Squares…
User currently offlinePassedV1 From United States of America, joined Oct 2012, 220 posts, RR: 0
Reply 2, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 6 days 1 hour ago) and read 2019 times:

These days, with all the fancy dual GPS navigation systems, if they were on the airways and barring any evasive action the pilots may have taken (TCAS does not command turns), I can assure you that the horizontal seperation between the airplanes was ZERO.

User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1987 posts, RR: 2
Reply 3, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 17 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting PassedV1 (Reply 2):
These days, with all the fancy dual GPS navigation systems, if they were on the airways and barring any evasive action the pilots may have taken (TCAS does not command turns), I can assure you that the horizontal separation between the airplanes was ZERO.

I agree. One of the conclusions after the GOL 1907 crash, was precisely that, the GPS are so precise today that the deviations are basically non existent....maintaining vertical separation is the key.

Quoting trent772 (Reply 1):
Not really a big surprise, Air Traffic Controllers in Colombia are the most Unprofessional, Unprepared, Untrained, Reckless, Dangerous group of people involved in aviation I have seen in my life, their level of English is so poor that I would't be surprised if the dumb-ass controller wanted to say something different to the JetBlue airplane but didn't know how, the fact that an accident of spectacular proportions with big loss of life involved hasn't happened yet, is proof that there is an aviation god somewhere looking out after this bunch of clowns who dare call themselves "Air Traffic Controllers".

WOW.......is that bad ??

G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlinetrent772 From Colombia, joined Oct 2012, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 4, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 16 hours ago) and read 2021 times:

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 3):
WOW.......is that bad ??

Yeah, It's that Bad, It gets worse as days go by, I feel sorry for the crews that don't speak Spanish and have to fly through our airspace and use our "ATC" system.

It would be nice if any pilot on here who's had the chance to come to Colombia could speak about it.



Pedaling Squares…
User currently offlineLostmoon744 From United States of America, joined Aug 2006, 172 posts, RR: 3
Reply 5, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2022 times:

I wanted to go to Medellin for vacation one day, however, I don't think I'll be going anytime soon.

User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 6, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days 9 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

I am always surprised how little English is spoken in some countries ATC facilities, even major international airports. I find this particularly true in South America. I guess Colombia is no different. I have heard this through liveatc.net not a pilot or anything.


"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlineMATURRO727 From Colombia, joined Apr 2004, 304 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 5 days ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting trent772 (Reply 1):
Not really a big surprise, Air Traffic Controllers in Colombia are the most Unprofessional, Unprepared, Untrained, Reckless, Dangerous group of people involved in aviation I have seen in my life, their level of English is so poor that I would't be surprised if the dumb-ass controller wanted to say something different to the JetBlue airplane but didn't know how, the fact that an accident of spectacular proportions with big loss of life involved hasn't happened yet, is proof that there is an aviation god somewhere looking out after this bunch of clowns who dare call themselves "Air Traffic Controllers".

Wow, calm down. I think you are over reacting, sure they are not the best air traffic controllers of the world, but they are for sure not the worst I have seen. They might not be efficient nor super well trained but they are not dangerous. Talk about Venezuela, now THAT’S bad. But anyway I think you are being I little bit unfair. The people behind those radar screens work with what they have at hand. I personally don’t blame them; I blame the whole entity called aerocivil. Colombian ATS is stuck in the 70’s. We don’t have good navigational aids, we have no good radars, we don’t know what a weather radar is. There’s a bunch of modern procedures that Air Traffic Controllers in Colombia doesn’t even know they exists because they are not trained with more modern, efficient and safer procedures. Not to mention they earn a misery compared to the fellow controllers from other countries.

Point is: this is not the first time a RA is triggered in Colombia and it would for sure not be the last, especially with the exponential growth in the industry, but let me tell you something, this things happen not only in south america but in the US, Europe and even Panama, that in my humble opinion are THE MOST professional and efficient air traffic controllers I have worked with.

Anyway thank god nothing major happened and the automation pitched in when it had to.

Quoting Gonzalo (Reply 3):
WOW.......is that bad ??

It’s not. As I said, there’s allot of room for improvement but to call them reckless clowns is a little to much.

Quoting trent772 (Reply 4):
Yeah, It's that Bad, It gets worse as days go by, I feel sorry for the crews that don't speak Spanish and have to fly through our airspace and use our "ATC" system.

It would be nice if any pilot on here who's had the chance to come to Colombia could speak about it.


Well don’t be. It doesn't get worse as days go by, i think the opposite, the level of English of the air traffic controllers have improved allot compared to say 5 years ago, sure sometimes its not easy for a Lufthansa crew to understand particularly some of the people working the shift in a particular night (I’ve herd a couple of guys and girls working ground and tower with very decent English) but a “can you repeat please” will do it without trouble.

Again it could be better, don’t get me wrong; I just think that you are exaggerating a bit.

Quoting flymia (Reply 6):
I am always surprised how little English is spoken in some countries ATC facilities, even major international airports. I find this particularly true in South America. I guess Colombia is no different. I have heard this through liveatc.net not a pilot or anything.

Indeed, is the phenomenon in the South American countries with very few exceptions, maybe Chile and that’s that cause even Brazilian controllers are very limited in the language.


User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 819 posts, RR: 1
Reply 8, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 19 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Although it is true that English needs to improve when communicating with non - Spanish speaking aircraft, I can´t see why people complain about two native Spanish speaking people trying to communicate as safely as possible in their own language. Plus the Spanish speaking world spans for thousands of kilometers so I personally do not see the need of crew communications in English between native Spanish speakers which are the vast majority of those planes flying.

User currently offlinespeedbird128 From Pitcairn Islands, joined Oct 2003, 1648 posts, RR: 2
Reply 9, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 18 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting trent772 (Reply 1):
are the most Unprofessional, Unprepared, Untrained, Reckless, Dangerous group of people involved in aviation I have seen in my life, their level of English is so poor that I would't be surprised if the dumb-ass controller

Wow. That sounds a little personal. Do you know these guys? Do you know their training system?

Some perspective for you...:

Once upon a time, I was stuck in an ATC system that did not allow for development or improvement on any front. We did our absolute best, and yet our centre got called "the pinnacle of stupidity" on the internet by pilots like yourself. Pilots that are totally unaware of us busting our balls to do the impossible with what we had (next to nothing. I look back and see how it was then and I shake my head). It was an undesirable situation, but the powers that be dictate to us what it is we can achieve by giving us the *correct* equipment and training, (for instance, selecting an en-route atc system for an approach centre).

Without that crucial facet called training, its a little unfair for you to call them "dumb-asses". Yes there are idiots in all jobs, I speak to some every day when they give me attitude for making them number 2/3/4/5/6/7/8/9/.... in the sequence. But I don't group all pilots as "dumb-asses".

Should I?

Quoting bogota (Reply 8):
I can´t see why people complain about two native Spanish speaking people trying to communicate as safely as possible in their own language.

It comes down to situational awareness for everybody on the frequency... There have been incidents/accidents where the use of a common language would have prevented happening...



A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7
User currently offlineflymia From United States of America, joined Jun 2001, 7146 posts, RR: 9
Reply 10, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 17 hours ago) and read 2021 times:

Quoting bogota (Reply 8):
see why people complain about two native Spanish speaking people trying to communicate as safely as possible in their own language.

Because it ruins the situational awareness of the other non-Spanish speaking pilots. There are certain areas of the country where there really will be no non-spanish speaking pilots. But there are also major international airports where there are plenty of English only pilots. It is only safer for everyone to have one language so everyone knows what is going on.



"It was just four of us on the flight deck, trying to do our job" (Captain Al Haynes)
User currently offlinetrent772 From Colombia, joined Oct 2012, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2020 times:

Quoting MATURRO727 (Reply 7):

Hello Dani, first of all, Congratulations on your check-ride. Welcome to the Jungle.   

Quoting MATURRO727 (Reply 7):
Wow, calm down. I think you are over reacting

I'm calm and not overreacting, I'm surprised you would even come out and say that, you use the system everyday, you've flown to other countries, you've seen how it is, I know that there are countries that are far worse, like Venezuela, but why must we look down to whomever is below us to find comfort in our own failures? We have to look up to realize how far behind we are on the world's standard for ATC, our other neighboring countries aren't bad at all, Panama and Ecuador have great Air Traffic Controllers, Chile too, the ones in Mexico may have a bit of an attitude but they are good and most importantly they get the job done.

Quoting MATURRO727 (Reply 7):
The people behind those radar screens work with what they have at hand

I strongly disagree. About two years ago France donated a state of the art ATIS system along with a Surface Movement Guidance and Control System (SMGCS), the ATIS was used for about two months and was quickly discarded in favor of the previous system which is of the voice recorded type dating back to the early 80's, the SMGCS is rotting away in a warehouse somewhere.
Some years ago when the current radar center was opened, new radar systems were purchased from Spain, radar antennas were donated also, these have weather display capability yet this feature was either never installed or is just simply not used by the controllers, so basically what we have is the same radar system of fifteen years ago but with nicer colors and an LCD screen.
By the time this radar center opened, Aerocivil took notice of a shortage of Air Traffic Controllers in Bogota and began the process of bringing in more people, the Controllers when notified of the strengthening of the workforce lobbied heavily with Aerocivil saying that they would rather pick up the slack and work the extra hours. Aerocivil agreed to their terms and the number of controllers in Bogota was unchanged, about six months ago when the system was in the verge of collapse, the controllers went out on strike demanding a payraise and accused the Government of having them overworked to the point where they were doing double shifts and were well underpaid, they also accused Aerocivil of not training enough people to fill the spots at the control center.

See where I'm going with this?

Quoting MATURRO727 (Reply 7):
There’s a bunch of modern procedures that Air Traffic Controllers in Colombia doesn’t even know they exists because they are not trained with more modern, efficient and safer procedures

Agreed, as I said before, Undertrained

Quoting MATURRO727 (Reply 7):
Not to mention they earn a misery compared to the fellow controllers from other countries.

If we're going to compare ourselves with other Countries then most other jobs or occupations besides ATC are being paid a misery in Colombia, pilots included, but we're not in other Countries and their payscale is somewhat within limits for the Colombian Economy and way of life, I'm sure a payraise won't hurt them.
An Air Traffic Controller like the ones you find in the control center in Bogota makes a decent living, or so I've heard from reputable sources, maybe the ones out on a small airport may not have a great salary but that is what happens when you're at the bottom of the ranks, one day they will be at the top.

Quoting MATURRO727 (Reply 7):
the level of English of the air traffic controllers have improved allot compared to say 5 years ago

No, it hasn't, did you know that between 2007 and 2009 when Aerocivil required all of its controllers to take the English Language Proficiency test to be compliant with ICAO standards, out of 87 air traffic controllers only 5 got a level 3 or above result, yeah that's right 5 out of 87, so how do you like those odds?
English hasn't improved a bit, I was here 5 years ago.…

Quoting speedbird128 (Reply 9):
That sounds a little personal. Do you know these guys? Do you know their training system?

I know none of those guys, its not personal, their training system I've seen and it leaves a lot to be desired.

Quoting speedbird128 (Reply 9):
Some perspective for you

Thanks for the perspective, but clearly things work a lot different in your Country than mine, please understand that an Air Traffic Controller in Colombia and one in Germany share nothing in common just as things are very different in Europe and South America.

Jc.

[Edited 2012-11-07 08:51:26]


Pedaling Squares…
User currently offlinespeedbird128 From Pitcairn Islands, joined Oct 2003, 1648 posts, RR: 2
Reply 12, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 15 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting trent772 (Reply 11):
Thanks for the perspective, but clearly things work a lot different in your Country than mine and my apologies to you as an Air Traffic Controller, please understand that an Air Traffic Controller in Colombia and one in Germany share nothing in common just as things are very different in Europe and South America.

Hi, I wasn't referring to Germany. I was referring to other places in the world. I have been all over the world in different places. I've worked more places than I care to admit - and some have stark differences, and some have stark similarities, and this is independent of their location.

Just out of interest - where did you see their training system?



A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7
User currently offlinetrent772 From Colombia, joined Oct 2012, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 13, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 14 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting speedbird128 (Reply 12):
where did you see their training system?

Their training facilities are located right by the airport, along with the offices Aerocivil's Safety Inspectors and other things, I have had the chance to pay them various visits with an ex radar center director who is now a first officer at the company I work for, he has shown me around and we have come to the conclusion that it is not only outdated, it also needs to be taken a good look at and rewrite the things that need to be changed in order for things to work.
I think the ATC system and its users need to be on the same page for things to work like clockwork, its a shame to see a system get beat up by the people who run it.



Pedaling Squares…
User currently offlinespeedbird128 From Pitcairn Islands, joined Oct 2003, 1648 posts, RR: 2
Reply 14, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 13 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting trent772 (Reply 13):
its a shame to see a system get beat up by the people who run it.

There is the problem that every malfunctioning ATC unit i have worked at has been suffering from.

Management. Damagement. Or absolutely no management. Whichever way you look at it, its the same.

I know the guys on the radio must seem a little behind the times, but I would be tempted to assure you its not from their desire to be that way. I have worked with a great many ATC's from all over the world, and one thing 99% of us share in common is the desire to be the best we can.

Unfortunately, like I said earlier, we have to play the cards in the hand we are dealt.

Perhaps canvass for an overhaul of the system. Is there a pilots union that can be involved to get the gears turning? ICAO? IATA? I know full well that these government departments have wheels that turn incredibly slowly. But at least, document your attempts. It can only help the ATC's in the long run to get the sytem working correctly... Or is that too much wishful thinking?



A306, A313, A319, A320, A321, A332, A343, A345, A346 A388, AC90, B06, B722, B732, B733, B735, B738, B744, B762, B772, B7
User currently offlineGonzalo From Chile, joined Aug 2005, 1987 posts, RR: 2
Reply 15, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 2019 times:

Quoting trent772 (Reply 11):
Some years ago when the current radar center was opened, new radar systems were purchased from Spain, radar antennas were donated also, these have weather display capability yet this feature was either never installed or is just simply not used by the controllers, so basically what we have is the same radar system of fifteen years ago but with nicer colors and an LCD screen.

A common practice in some of the countries in this part of the world. There are filmed files of a very high authority in one country close to mine ( at the other side of the mountains    ) saying two opposite things in a short period of time, and with a tragic accident in between :

Before the Accident : " We are in total control of the airlines and regulations, and we have all the necessary to provide an adequate safety for the flying public "

After the Accident : "We do what we can with the little we have"

And the worst part is, 7 years after that sudden change in the diagnose ( done by the same person!! ) , the things hasn't improved in that country, and I pray every time I use their airspace.

Rgds.
G.



80 Knots...V1...Rotate...Gear Up...DC-3 / EMB-110 / Fairchild-227 / Ab318-19-20 / B732 / B763
User currently offlinetrent772 From Colombia, joined Oct 2012, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 16, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 3 days ago) and read 2013 times:

Quoting speedbird128 (Reply 14):
Perhaps canvass for an overhaul of the system. Is there a pilots union that can be involved to get the gears turning? ICAO? IATA?

An overhaul is sorely needed, this was done in Mexico some years back when things got out of hand, that would never happen in Colombia though, pilot unions in this Country have no strength.
Just today I was given a two and half hour ground delay due to Tstorms in the BOG terminal area, remember these guys don't have WX on their radars so they were holding everybody on the ground according to what other planes had told them about the weather, is that a common practice in other Countries, if it is, I've yet to see it.
When we had our chance to take-off of course all the alleged weather had cleared up and they still put us on a hold for close to twenty minutes, these guys have a very strong union, they're making sure they're not going anywhere.

Quoting speedbird128 (Reply 14):
Or is that too much wishful thinking?

Yeah, unfortunately Colombia is a very corrupt Country, in fact some time ago newspapers here reported on a study about worldwide corruption in the World, Colombia was in the top 5 along with Mexico and three other African Countries.  



Pedaling Squares…
User currently offlinebogota From Colombia, joined Sep 2004, 819 posts, RR: 1
Reply 17, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 20 hours ago) and read 2013 times:

Quoting trent772 (Reply 16):
Just today I was given a two and half hour ground delay due to Tstorms in the BOG terminal area,

That is very interesting that the airport got thunderstorms, especially with the beautiful sunny day the rest of the city enjoyed yesterday.

Quoting trent772 (Reply 16):
Yeah, unfortunately Colombia is a very corrupt Country, in fact some time ago newspapers here reported on a study about worldwide corruption in the World, Colombia was in the top 5 along with Mexico and three other African Countries.

It must be the same study that says that our National Anthem is the second prettiest after the Marseillaise. Yet Transparency International rates us around the middle with an index of 3.4 which is nothing to be proud of, but that does not mean that you can just simply complain for the sake of it. http://cpi.transparency.org/cpi2011/results/

Quoting speedbird128 (Reply 14):
I know the guys on the radio must seem a little behind the times, but I would be tempted to assure you its not from their desire to be that way. I have worked with a great many ATC's from all over the world, and one thing 99% of us share in common is the desire to be the best we can.

I can agree with you 100%, the largest problem in Colombia has to be with the permanent complaining attitude by a sizable part of the population who will always and only see the half empty part of the glass. Lots of room to improve, for sure, but it all usually begins with the respect each and every person deserves in their own profession, sadly many still believe their opinion has more validity just because they belong to a certain "elite" of professionals.


User currently offlinetrent772 From Colombia, joined Oct 2012, 121 posts, RR: 0
Reply 18, posted (1 year 9 months 3 weeks 2 days 16 hours ago) and read 2013 times:

Quoting bogota (Reply 17):
That is very interesting that the airport got thunderstorms, especially with the beautiful sunny day the rest of the city enjoyed yesterday.

The terminal area isn't the airport, did I say the airport? the city may have enjoyed a beautiful day with temps on the low 20's and clear skies yet the weather around the BOG VOR and around the Magdalena valley was bad, at least that's what they claimed, again the airport may lie in the terminal area but I never said weather over the airport, on the other hand the weather on the approach path, between the initial approach and final approach fixes, which for BOG is roughly a box like shape formed between Mariquita, Ambalema, Utica and Facatativa, is what I'm talking about, this is where the alleged weather was and that's the reason ATC decided to cut the airports operational capacity by more than half, from 60 operations an hour to just 25.

Quoting bogota (Reply 17):
Transparency International rates us around the middle with an index of 3.4 which is nothing to be proud of

You've made my point, top 5 spot or not, corruption is the countries biggest problem right now, and that is the truth, corruption has brought a wide range of other problems but they all lead back to one thing, corruption, and is running our country to the ground, tell it like it is.

Quoting bogota (Reply 17):
that does not mean that you can just simply complain for the sake of it.

I'm not complaining for the sake of complaining, I'm complaining because things are not working the way they should and things should either be improved or changed altogether, on this you can go two different ways, say something about it or keep quiet and let things go by, regardless, nothing will change weather I say things or don't.



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