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Incidents/Accidents Due Non-English ATC Exchanges?  
User currently offlinefaro From Egypt, joined Aug 2007, 1545 posts, RR: 0
Posted (2 years 5 months 4 days 10 hours ago) and read 3818 times:

Sometimes in non-English speaking airports, ATC exchanges are in the local language and not English.

Just wondering if there have been any incidents/accidents caused by anglophone flight crews not understanding what is going on with non-anglophone aircraft around them?

Faro


The chalice not my son
48 replies: All unread, showing first 25:
 
User currently offlinebj87 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 1, posted (2 years 5 months 4 days 8 hours ago) and read 3798 times:

There have been several incidents worldwide where the use of non-english ATC communications attributed to an accident or near miss.

This link shows one example: http://aviation-safety.net/database/record.php?id=20000525-0

I think (not sure about this) that at one point the French ATC system went all English but due to protests they returned to a bi-lingual system. I really don't understand why, especially at busy airports, English isn't the sole ATC language. Being able to listen in on instructions that other aircraft get is an additional safety feature and probably also causes less confusion. For this reason ATC conversations should in my opinion always take place in English so that other pilots can understand what is happening around them.

That said. I don't wouldn't mind if the pilots and ATC have a friendly word in their own language as long as the clearances and directions remain in English. For example: it is not uncommon for controllers to speak a little of the local lingo to each other such as at Amsterdam. A lot of times a landing KLM plane will to say good morning, or make a funny comment to the tower in Dutch and then switch to English for the business end of the transmission such as clearances.


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 2, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 18 hours ago) and read 3664 times:

Quoting bj87 (Reply 1):
For this reason ATC conversations should in my opinion always take place in English so that other pilots can understand what is happening around them.


Example.

You're inbound to a busy airport (somewhere like CDG or AMS). The terminal controller has 10 planes on the frequency and is transmitting every few seconds. You mean to tell me that you, one of those 10 planes on the freq, will have spacial awareness as to where all those other aircraft are, simply because they are all talking to the controller in the same language?

Come on. Let's not kid ourselves. Just because you have a fishfinder onboard doesnt mean you have the slightest clue what the controller is attempting to do, english only, or bilingual.

It's called DCPC for a reason (direct controller to pilot communication), not DPP ! If we left you guys to fend for yourselves in a busy environment like CDG or AMS, you'd probably kill yourselves anyways, in english comms, french or Dutch !

Quoting bj87 (Reply 1):
This link shows one example: http://aviation-safety.net/database/...525-0

The use of two languages was only one of many contributing factors in that incident. The main and probable cause of the incident was still poor ATC procedures at that facility.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-18 21:40:21]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 3, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 14 hours ago) and read 3606 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):

You would be surprised how much situational awareness there is on a two crew flight deck. Hearing ATC instructions meant for other aircraft is only one piece of the big puzzle. Just as we are tuned into listening up for our call sign we are also tuned into any other clearances given for our runway and filter out the rest.


User currently offlineCosmicCruiser From United States of America, joined Feb 2005, 2255 posts, RR: 15
Reply 4, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 10 hours ago) and read 3554 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):
Come on. Let's not kid ourselves. Just because you have a fishfinder onboard doesnt mean you have the slightest clue what the controller is attempting to do, english only, or bilingual.

Sorry but I'm not quite as carried away with as you seem to be and here's why. First I can't keep up with 10 other jets and what they're doing or supposed to be doing anyway. If I did I wouldn't be flying my jet anymore. Second, that's why we do have TCAS and in our case terrain depiction on the ND. To be honest the biggest and most dangerous challenge I see on a regular basis is a controller speaking heavily accented and unclear English. That's where most of the mistakes and errors we see happen. I thought that was where this post was going when I first read it and was ready to reply but not in the other case.


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 5, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3545 times:

Quoting CosmicCruiser (Reply 4):
To be honest the biggest and most dangerous challenge I see on a regular basis is a controller speaking heavily accented and unclear English

That i agree with.

A controller speaking to aircraft in two languages, and in both cases, clear, concise and in a proper manner, is in no means a threat to safety.

A controller speaking in borken english, with poor language skills, without respecting proper phraseology, now that is something that is clearly a threat to safety.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-19 06:06:40]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 6, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 9 hours ago) and read 3542 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 3):
You would be surprised how much situational awareness there is on a two crew flight deck

Are we talking about the same situational awareness where numerous times, flight crews are assigned an uninterrupted descent and still end up 10 nm final, 5000 ft above the glideslope... Is that the situational awareness you're talking about?

Then they ask for a quick 360, but the controller refuses, because he has 5 planes lined up behind him. And yet, the high flyer, who was on the same frequency all this time, failed to notice the other aircraft's positions.

Does that describe the situational awareness you're talking about?

Please, pilots are busy enough handling one aircraft, much less figuring out where the other 9 are on the frequency.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 3):
we are also tuned into any other clearances given for our runway and filter out the rest.

So by "filtering out the rest", you mean to say that none of those aircraft part of "the rest" have any direct impact on your safety?

That's a pretty bold statement to make, and exactly the point i was making. You can try and get the picture of the airspace the controller is working, but you'd be surprised to know how far that still is from the reality.

Considering pilots fly to hundreds of airports throughout their career, it is impossible to know what kind of procedures are applied at each airport.

Edit: Just food for thought.....

You do realize that 1000 ft above you, that could be another controllers airspace, and they might have an aircraft right above you, coming right at you at 500 kts, yet on another frequency !

Something to think about.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-19 06:28:46]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offline26point2 From United States of America, joined Mar 2010, 825 posts, RR: 0
Reply 7, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3512 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):

Why do you watch a guy get so far behind he ends up 5000' above the GS? Surely this then makes your job more dificult to sort it out later. Wouldn't it be better for you and him if you suggested a descent?

As in life there are always a few exceptions. A few pilots are challenged by situational awareness more than the rest....just as the occasional controller struggles with his Superman Complex.


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 8, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 8 hours ago) and read 3504 times:

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):

Why do you watch a guy get so far behind he ends up 5000' above the GS? Surely this then makes your job more dificult to sort it out later. Wouldn't it be better for you and him if you suggested a descent?

Obviously. I was merely illustrating a point about situational awareness. Often we ask the pilot "sir, you're a bit high, are you gonna be alright?", and they still answer "yes", right down to when they need the 360 ! Pilot pride, i guess.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):
As in life there are always a few exceptions. A few pilots are challenged by situational awareness more than the rest....just as the occasional controller struggles with his Superman Complex.

I hate to say it, but piloting skills are becoming more and more weak as the years go by. Aircraft automations, Lack of proper training, not enough time actually flying the plane, you name it ! Just look at AF447, or Colgan 3407.

Lack of proper readbacks by pilots is now also a factor at play, and is 10 times more likely to kill someone than simply a controller talking in two languages. Yes, it is ATC's job to catch the bad readbacks, but there is one of me, and 10 of you on my frequency (actually double that, 20 !). You do the math.

All this to say that your situational awareness point is marginal at best. Plenty of other fish in the sea to sort out first that will make the skies much safer.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):
just as the occasional controller struggles with his Superman Complex.

What are you talking about.....ALL controllers have a superman complex !  Smile

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-19 07:05:41]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently onlinebueb0g From United Kingdom, joined Jul 2010, 643 posts, RR: 0
Reply 9, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 7 hours ago) and read 3448 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Just look at AF447, or Colgan 3407.

Can name plenty of examples in recent years where flight crews have acted diligently, thought outside the box and saved their aircraft... Pulling out random examples of pilot error doesn't prove that piloting skills have got worse. Even 20 years ago there were many more accidents, both due to pilot error and other factors, so saying skills have got worse simply isn't true. The TYPE of pilot error has changed with the current level of automation however, you're right on that point, and certainly more training is required as far as human/computer interfacing in cockpits goes.



Roger roger, what's our vector, victor?
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 34
Reply 10, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 6 hours ago) and read 3423 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):
You're inbound to a busy airport (somewhere like CDG or AMS). The terminal controller has 10 planes on the frequency and is transmitting every few seconds. You mean to tell me that you, one of those 10 planes on the freq, will have spacial awareness as to where all those other aircraft are, simply because they are all talking to the controller in the same language?

Don't be ridiculous, that wasn't the point that the poster you quoted was making. Your opinion is based on a massive assumption that you and other Air Traffic Controllers are infallible, which incredibly you are not. As a result, it is always useful for us pilots to have access to any tools we can to maintain our situational awareness. The vast majority of the time everyone does a great job, but every once in a while and in particularly aggrevating circumstances (busy day with plenty of delays, bad weather, diversions?) there is a mistake and if that mistakes affects the safety of your own flight, you'll want to know about it. If I was on an approach in LVP's and I heard a controller accidentally clear an aircraft to line up and wait on the runway I'm about to land on, I am sure between myself and the Pilot Monitoring we would hear that instruction and take suitable steps to avoid it. Had the instruction been given in French, or any other languages (approved and not approved) would I pick it up? Less likely.

It isn't just safety critical situations where it makes sense to use one language, if an aircraft is receiving operational information (runway in use, winds, visibility) then it is not of much use to anyone else listening to the frequency if it is in a language some may not understand. Therefore, that information may need to be repeated many times more than necessary, or omitted altogether. There are many, many situations where it is useful to hear other transmissions on a frequency.

Interestingly, this thread was just posted on pprune. Whilst their initial questions are regarding the TCAS system, you can see how the use of a different language in communication does not help situations, especially when combined with what was most likely non-standard communication (chat..).

http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/483090-tcas-ra-during-ils-approach.html

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):
The use of two languages was only one of many contributing factors in that incident. The main and probable cause of the incident was still poor ATC procedures at that facility.

It was still a factor, why take the risk?

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):
So by "filtering out the rest", you mean to say that none of those aircraft part of "the rest" have any direct impact on your safety?

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? They aren't a factor, you can use the 'cocktail party effect' to pick out communications that may directly influence you, especially during times of low workload.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Lack of proper readbacks by pilots is now also a factor at play, and is 10 times more likely to kill someone than simply a controller talking in two languages. Yes, it is ATC's job to catch the bad readbacks, but there is one of me, and 10 of you on my frequency (actually double that, 20 !). You do the math.

Yes, that is an issue as well. It need's to be sorted, just like the use of standard phraseology and one single aviation language. Do you have a link to the study that showed it was exactly 10 times more likely?


User currently offlinebj87 From Netherlands, joined Jun 2009, 448 posts, RR: 0
Reply 11, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 5 hours ago) and read 3391 times:

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Yes, that is an issue as well. It need's to be sorted, just like the use of standard phraseology and one single aviation language.

I think standardized phraseology could actually be even more important than the single language issue. People with bad English skills might have trouble understanding an air traffic controller with an atrocious accent. If you have standardized phrases it would not prevent confusion but would make it less likely to happen. Btw wasn't standardized phraseology already introduced or is that only in the USA per FAA? I remember reading something about the "position and hold" vs " line up and wait" instructions.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):
The use of two languages was only one of many contributing factors in that incident.

If you had actually taken the time to carefully read what I wrote you would have seen that I said it ATTRIBUTED to the accident NOT CAUSED IT!!!! So I don't know why you are trying to point out something I clearly had already read and understood!!!

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):

Example.

You're inbound to a busy airport (somewhere like CDG or AMS). The terminal controller has 10 planes on the frequency and is transmitting every few seconds. You mean to tell me that you, one of those 10 planes on the freq, will have spacial awareness as to where all those other aircraft are, simply because they are all talking to the controller in the same language?

Come on. Let's not kid ourselves. Just because you have a fishfinder onboard doesnt mean you have the slightest clue what the controller is attempting to do, english only, or bilingual.

Obviously not. but let's not kid ourselves it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if pilots can understand what is going on around them it adds to the general safety! I am not stating that there will an enormous amount of accidents if atc uses two languages but it does make it safer if only one language is used. And no I obviously do not expect pilots to get out a whiteboard and plot other planes positions while in the air, they have TCAS for that! However on the ground in thick fogg it might not be a bad idea to keep an ear out for what planes around you are doing.

Example: If an aircraft is cleared for take off and another aircraft accidentally gets permission to cross the same runway the pilots in the plane taking off can understand that transmission and take appropriate action. (this has actually happened. If you want a specific example google one!)


User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 34
Reply 12, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 4 hours ago) and read 3354 times:

Quoting bj87 (Reply 11):
I think standardized phraseology could actually be even more important than the single language issue. People with bad English skills might have trouble understanding an air traffic controller with an atrocious accent. If you have standardized phrases it would not prevent confusion but would make it less likely to happen.

Of course, I think predominately this is a training issue rather than a regulatory one.

I have a note in my initial line training file for one flight that simply says 'No excuses for lazy R/T'. At the time I considered my r/t to be very good, but why do trainers not insist on such a high standard? There is no reason why they shouldn't and it is not a difficult solution to a potentially hazardous problem.


User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 13, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3326 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):
You're inbound to a busy airport (somewhere like CDG or AMS). The terminal controller has 10 planes on the frequency and is transmitting every few seconds. You mean to tell me that you, one of those 10 planes on the freq, will have spacial awareness as to where all those other aircraft are, simply because they are all talking to the controller in the same language?

Come on. Let's not kid ourselves. Just because you have a fishfinder onboard doesnt mean you have the slightest clue what the controller is attempting to do, english only, or bilingual.

Hey, here's a question: how much time do you have flying airliners? In my 25+ years of doing it, I've learned an AMAZING amount about what to expect from ATC in any phase of flight, particularly at airports I visit frequently. I don't know where all the planes on the frequency are, but I don't have to. I normally CAN, however, figure out the arrival sequence and figure out where the traffic I am following is turning, and in general how to plan for the arrival. The comment "Let's not kid ourselves. Just because you have a fishfinder onboard doesnt mean you have the slightest clue what the controller is attempting to do" is perhaps the most misinformed statement I have ever seen on airliners.net. We don't know where all the targets are going: we don't have to; we normally DO have excellent awareness about where surrounding and preceding traffic is. Get on a jumpseat and take a few rides if you get the opportunity: you might learn a thing or two.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 3):
You would be surprised how much situational awareness there is on a two crew flight deck. Hearing ATC instructions meant for other aircraft is only one piece of the big puzzle. Just as we are tuned into listening up for our call sign we are also tuned into any other clearances given for our runway and filter out the rest.

Correct. If I am going to LAX and given the south complex, I care about others going to the south complex. I know the names of the fixes for the 24's and for the 25's; if I hear guys being given instructions and clearances for the opposite side then I filter that out. If I'm given a runway change I have to rebuild my SA by mentally discarding the aircraft going to the old runway, and now pay closer attention for the aircraft going to my newly assigned runway. More than one language makes this MUCH more difficult, if not impossible. I don't know of any professional pilots who DON'T attempt to build a mental picture of the traffic by listening up.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 3):
You would be surprised how much situational awareness there is on a two crew flight deck

Are we talking about the same situational awareness where numerous times, flight crews are assigned an uninterrupted descent and still end up 10 nm final, 5000 ft above the glideslope... Is that the situational awareness you're talking about?

Then they ask for a quick 360, but the controller refuses, because he has 5 planes lined up behind him. And yet, the high flyer, who was on the same frequency all this time, failed to notice the other aircraft's positions.

Does that describe the situational awareness you're talking about?

Please, pilots are busy enough handling one aircraft, much less figuring out where the other 9 are on the frequency.

Are we talking about the same controllers that forget to turn us prior to crossing through the LOC? Why if you saw we were high didn't you say something earlier? Nobody is perfect,and most of the time everyone is up to speed and the system works well; to assume pilots are the only one who make mistakes is fallacious.

The point stands: our SA is not as good as yours relative to our proximity to other traffic: that's the reason you have a job. If you honestly believe that professional pilots in general have no inkling about what's going on around them, you are sorely mistaken.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 3):
we are also tuned into any other clearances given for our runway and filter out the rest.

So by "filtering out the rest", you mean to say that none of those aircraft part of "the rest" have any direct impact on your safety?

That's a pretty bold statement to make, and exactly the point i was making. You can try and get the picture of the airspace the controller is working, but you'd be surprised to know how far that still is from the reality.

Considering pilots fly to hundreds of airports throughout their career, it is impossible to know what kind of procedures are applied at each airport.

Edit: Just food for thought.....

You do realize that 1000 ft above you, that could be another controllers airspace, and they might have an aircraft right above you, coming right at you at 500 kts, yet on another frequency !

Yes, of COURSE we realize there are vertical boundaries on airspace and they are on another frequency frequently. And your point is?

It is true that pilots fly to hundreds of airports in their careers, and sometimes in a year, but especially when flying in and out of hubs or to frequent destinations, we are far more familiar than you apparently realize about what to expect.

Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):
Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):


Why do you watch a guy get so far behind he ends up 5000' above the GS? Surely this then makes your job more dificult to sort it out later. Wouldn't it be better for you and him if you suggested a descent?

As in life there are always a few exceptions. A few pilots are challenged by situational awareness more than the rest....just as the occasional controller struggles with his Superman Complex.

Good point. There are also last minute runway changes, sectors opening and closing, operating to unfamiliar airports, etc, that can dramatically decrease a pilot's SA. That's when it's even MORE important to be speaking one language.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):

Why do you watch a guy get so far behind he ends up 5000' above the GS? Surely this then makes your job more dificult to sort it out later. Wouldn't it be better for you and him if you suggested a descent?

Obviously. I was merely illustrating a point about situational awareness. Often we ask the pilot "sir, you're a bit high, are you gonna be alright?", and they still answer "yes", right down to when they need the 360 ! Pilot pride, i guess.

I wouldn't talk too much about pilot pride. The vast majority of times I have needed a 360 is because a controller kept me too high and fast and got me way too tight on the airport. If we need a 360 to get down we will ask. If you don't approve it, that's fine too; we'll just get vectors back around for another approach.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Quoting 26point2 (Reply 7):
As in life there are always a few exceptions. A few pilots are challenged by situational awareness more than the rest....just as the occasional controller struggles with his Superman Complex.

I hate to say it, but piloting skills are becoming more and more weak as the years go by. Aircraft automations, Lack of proper training, not enough time actually flying the plane, you name it ! Just look at AF447, or Colgan 3407.

Lack of proper readbacks by pilots is now also a factor at play, and is 10 times more likely to kill someone than simply a controller talking in two languages. Yes, it is ATC's job to catch the bad readbacks, but there is one of me, and 10 of you on my frequency (actually double that, 20 !). You do the math.

All this to say that your situational awareness point is marginal at best. Plenty of other fish in the sea to sort out first that will make the skies much safer.

Really? Please cite a source documenting your assertion that "lack of proper readbacks by pilots is now also a factor at play, and is 10 times more likely to kill someone than simply a controller talking in two languages." Go ahead, we're waiting.... If we read it back wrong why didn't you catch it? That's YOUR job. And while there may be 20 of us on the frequency, you are sitting at a console in a comfy chair, while we are moving at high speed, dealing with weather, dealing with Flight Attendants, talking to the company, getting the ATIS, loading the FMC, briefing the approach, doing checklists, oh, and flying this complex piece of machinery by the way. There's no question your job has a high workload, nobody said otherwise; it's folly to believe that with the automated aircraft of today that we aren't busy flying the plane and that are skills are lax. We frequently have MUCH more going on than you know about too.

Quoting bueb0g (Reply 9):
Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Just look at AF447, or Colgan 3407.

Can name plenty of examples in recent years where flight crews have acted diligently, thought outside the box and saved their aircraft... Pulling out random examples of pilot error doesn't prove that piloting skills have got worse. Even 20 years ago there were many more accidents, both due to pilot error and other factors, so saying skills have got worse simply isn't true. The TYPE of pilot error has changed with the current level of automation however, you're right on that point, and certainly more training is required as far as human/computer interfacing in cockpits goes.

Those are all excellent points; thank you bueb0g.

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 2):
You're inbound to a busy airport (somewhere like CDG or AMS). The terminal controller has 10 planes on the frequency and is transmitting every few seconds. You mean to tell me that you, one of those 10 planes on the freq, will have spacial awareness as to where all those other aircraft are, simply because they are all talking to the controller in the same language?

Don't be ridiculous, that wasn't the point that the poster you quoted was making. Your opinion is based on a massive assumption that you and other Air Traffic Controllers are infallible, which incredibly you are not. As a result, it is always useful for us pilots to have access to any tools we can to maintain our situational awareness. The vast majority of the time everyone does a great job, but every once in a while and in particularly aggrevating circumstances (busy day with plenty of delays, bad weather, diversions?) there is a mistake and if that mistakes affects the safety of your own flight, you'll want to know about it. If I was on an approach in LVP's and I heard a controller accidentally clear an aircraft to line up and wait on the runway I'm about to land on, I am sure between myself and the Pilot Monitoring we would hear that instruction and take suitable steps to avoid it. Had the instruction been given in French, or any other languages (approved and not approved) would I pick it up? Less likely.

Exactly the relevant point. Well put, EGGD.

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):
So by "filtering out the rest", you mean to say that none of those aircraft part of "the rest" have any direct impact on your safety?

Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? They aren't a factor, you can use the 'cocktail party effect' to pick out communications that may directly influence you, especially during times of low workload.

Again, exactly correct EGGD. I care more about the aircraft immediately surrounding me and heading for my same arrival runway than I do about aircraft checking on 40 miles away 20,000 feet above me. Seems pretty obvious to me.

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 8):
Lack of proper readbacks by pilots is now also a factor at play, and is 10 times more likely to kill someone than simply a controller talking in two languages. Yes, it is ATC's job to catch the bad readbacks, but there is one of me, and 10 of you on my frequency (actually double that, 20 !). You do the math.

Yes, that is an issue as well. It need's to be sorted, just like the use of standard phraseology and one single aviation language. Do you have a link to the study that showed it was exactly 10 times more likely?

My point (and question,) exactly!

Quoting bj87 (Reply 11):
Obviously not. but let's not kid ourselves it doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure out that if pilots can understand what is going on around them it adds to the general safety! I am not stating that there will an enormous amount of accidents if atc uses two languages but it does make it safer if only one language is used. And no I obviously do not expect pilots to get out a whiteboard and plot other planes positions while in the air, they have TCAS for that! However on the ground in thick fogg it might not be a bad idea to keep an ear out for what planes around you are doing.

Your last line is you best in a very good post, bj87. The point is that when using a single language, proximal aircraft have a much higher chance to grasp potential threats than if speaking in multiple languages. Thank you.


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 14, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3324 times:

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
It was still a factor, why take the risk?

I take that risk every day at work, and i'm pretty comfortable with it. So are the pilots on my frequency.

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? They aren't a factor, you can use the 'cocktail party effect' to pick out communications that may directly influence you, especially during times of low workload.

Again, you seem pretty sure of yourself. It gives you an illusion you know what is happening. If it's comfrot you're talking about, yes, it can make you feel comfortable.

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
If I was on an approach in LVP's and I heard a controller accidentally clear an aircraft to line up and wait on the runway I'm about to land on, I am sure between myself and the Pilot Monitoring we would hear that instruction and take suitable steps to avoid it.
Quoting bj87 (Reply 11):
Example: If an aircraft is cleared for take off and another aircraft accidentally gets permission to cross the same runway the pilots in the plane taking off can understand that transmission and take appropriate action

Due to these type of incidents, that's why stop bars were created.

Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Do you have a link to the study that showed it was exactly 10 times more likely?

Yes, but it is an internal SMS document at our company, highlighting the fact that bad readbacks are moving up the ladder and are becoming one of the main causes of incidents. Besides, can you prove the contrary !

Quoting bj87 (Reply 11):
If you had actually taken the time to carefully read what I wrote you would have seen that I said it ATTRIBUTED to the accident NOT CAUSED IT!!!! So I don't know why you are trying to point out something I clearly had already read and understood!!!

I did read what you said. what's wrong with saying it in a different manner, one that is more precise, i might add!

Thenoflyzone



us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineALTF4 From United States of America, joined Jul 2010, 1212 posts, RR: 4
Reply 15, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 3 hours ago) and read 3323 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 6):
Are we talking about the same situational awareness where numerous times, flight crews are assigned an uninterrupted descent and still end up 10 nm final, 5000 ft above the glideslope... Is that the situational awareness you're talking about?

Then they ask for a quick 360, but the controller refuses, because he has 5 planes lined up behind him. And yet, the high flyer, who was on the same frequency all this time, failed to notice the other aircraft's positions.

Does that describe the situational awareness you're talking about?

Please, pilots are busy enough handling one aircraft, much less figuring out where the other 9 are on the frequency.

Shall we pull out more anecdotal evidence? I was flying at my local airport the other day, and pulled up to hold short at the runway. Gulfstream was cleared to land, and I saw him, but I just let the tower know I was ready so he could clear me when everything was good. This was probably the 15th time around the pattern that day, every other time I announced holding short and ready, he cleared me right away. So, with the gulfstream on final, he said "NxxxxP cleared for takeoff, runway 27, left traffic". I immediately said "unable, gulfstream on final" and he immediately got back on and said not to move.

Would he have caught that? yes. But the point is, had it been a low ceiling and I had not been able to see the gulfstream and the controller was using a different language, I probably would have had half my plane onto the runway by that time and the gulfstream would be going around.

But I'm sure its my fault for having been immediately cleared 14 times prior and then not waiting on the 15th time around, eh?



The above post is my opinion. Don't like it? Don't read it.
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 34
Reply 16, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3318 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
I take that risk every day at work, and i'm pretty comfortable with it. So are the pilots on my frequency.

Maybe they are, maybe they are not. Regardless, it makes sense in the aviation world to reduce risk as much as practicable. Eventually, through taking small risks we end up with the possibility of a big accident.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Again, you seem pretty sure of yourself. It gives you an illusion you know what is happening. If it's comfrot you're talking about, yes, it can make you feel comfortable.

No, not sure of ourselves, or anyone else. That is why we need as many tools at our disposal as we can so we can make the right decisions.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Due to these type of incidents, that's why stop bars were created.

It is one example and if you read the example again they aren't even relevant. If a controller mistakenly issues an incorrect clearance there is a reasonable chance that (s)he may also incorrectly extinguish the stop bars? My understanding is that stop bars are there to stop aircraft accidentally entering an active runway inadvertantly, which has nothing to do with communication anyway.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Yes, but it is an internal SMS document at our company, highlighting the fact that bad readbacks are moving up the ladder and are becoming one of the main causes of incidents. Besides, can you prove the contrary !


I'm well aware of the problems, I would just prefer an argument presented with reasonable facts rather than figures that have more than a whiff of artistic licence about them..

(edited for typo)

[Edited 2012-04-19 12:53:05]

User currently offlinePGNCS From United States of America, joined Apr 2007, 2825 posts, RR: 45
Reply 17, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3310 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
It was still a factor, why take the risk?

I take that risk every day at work, and i'm pretty comfortable with it. So are the pilots on my frequency.

And you know the pilots on your frequency are comfortable, how exactly? Do you routinely survey them? It is a risk that is not necessary.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Sounds pretty obvious, doesn't it? They aren't a factor, you can use the 'cocktail party effect' to pick out communications that may directly influence you, especially during times of low workload.

Again, you seem pretty sure of yourself. It gives you an illusion you know what is happening. If it's comfrot you're talking about, yes, it can make you feel comfortable.

It's pretty arrogant to believe that you know what our SA picture is. Have you even BEEN in an airline cockpit during flight? The reason we have TCAS is first to avoid collisions, and second to provide SA. While we don't have as much data available in the cockpit as you do (yet) that in no way means we have can't correlate our position with other aircraft observed on the TCAS (or out the window) while listening to ATC instructions and looking for reactions. It is far less illusion than you believe. We are pretty sure of ourselves most of the time; we've been doing this a while. If we aren't sure of what's going on, we listen more intently and ask ATC if necessary (which it normally isn't.)

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
If I was on an approach in LVP's and I heard a controller accidentally clear an aircraft to line up and wait on the runway I'm about to land on, I am sure between myself and the Pilot Monitoring we would hear that instruction and take suitable steps to avoid it.
Quoting bj87 (Reply 11):
Example: If an aircraft is cleared for take off and another aircraft accidentally gets permission to cross the same runway the pilots in the plane taking off can understand that transmission and take appropriate action

Due to these type of incidents, that's why stop bars were created.

Here's a question: Do all airports have stop bars? I'll spoil the surprise: No they don't.

I'm all in favor of stop bars, but the lower tech and more easily implemented solution is to be able to understand what other traffic is doing, which means speaking one language on frequency.

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 14):
Quoting EGGD (Reply 10):
Do you have a link to the study that showed it was exactly 10 times more likely?

Yes, but it is an internal SMS document at our company, highlighting the fact that bad readbacks are moving up the ladder and are becoming one of the main causes of incidents. Besides, can you prove the contrary !

He doesn't have to prove the contrary: it was not his undocumented assertion. I am not questioning that readback errors are significant safety problems, but don't make a quantified claim you can't support. Otherwise identify it as your opinion. Feel free to cite your source for the "10 times more likely" assertion at any time.

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 15):
But I'm sure its my fault for having been immediately cleared 14 times prior and then not waiting on the 15th time around, eh?

I'm sure it is, ALTF4.  


User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 18, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 2 hours ago) and read 3289 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 13):
Get on a jumpseat and take a few rides if you get the opportunity: you might learn a thing or two.

Have plenty of times. Seems to me you need to spend more time in an ATC facility. you would then realize what we have to deal with. Dual languages is never a problem. What is a problem nowadays is bad readbacks by pilots.

Quoting ALTF4 (Reply 15):
I was flying at my local airport the other day, and pulled up to hold short at the runway. Gulfstream was cleared to land, and I saw him, but I just let the tower know I was ready so he could clear me when everything was good. This was probably the 15th time around the pattern that day, every other time I announced holding short and ready, he cleared me right away. So, with the gulfstream on final, he said "NxxxxP cleared for takeoff, runway 27, left traffic". I immediately said "unable, gulfstream on final" and he immediately got back on and said not to move.

Agreed. and good catch.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 17):
And you know the pilots on your frequency are comfortable, how exactly? Do you routinely survey them? It is a risk that is not necessary.

Because i've never had a pilot question my instructions or repeat an instruction i gave to another aircraft in another language. That's how.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 17):
t's pretty arrogant to believe that you know what our SA picture is. Have you even BEEN in an airline cockpit during flight?

It's not arrogant, unfortunately its the reality, and yes, i've been in a cockpit several times, with several different airlines, long haul and short haul, in flight, on final approach and in the sim. I know very well what goes on in the cockpit. We get annual refreshers that emphasize the priorites a pilot has ref. cockpit management and so on. Still doesn't change the fact that situational awareness is only as good as you think it is ! It's all a question of comfort. A pilot can be behind the ball due to several reasons (weather deviations, left too high by ATC, etc) and have zero situational awareness, and still be 100 % safe. Why, because a controller is there to make sure he gets on the ground safely, and this is done in one language or two, just as the regulations today permit.

If you don't like it, next time you're assigned a flight to dual language facilities, simply refuse the flight !

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 17):
Here's a question: Do all airports have stop bars? I'll spoil the surprise: No they don't.

The ones that need stop bars have them in place.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-19 13:39:26]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlinePihero From France, joined Jan 2005, 4445 posts, RR: 76
Reply 19, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3267 times:
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Exactly the sort of thread tha could go all over the place, as it already does.
In this , I'm both party and totally outside the scope of the subject
There is , though a very important mistake made by all English speakers here : that there is only one English.
Compare ATC in London with ATC in New York and you could be, for all intents and purposes in two different worlds.
That means that before we talk about the Japan Air pilot announcing him being at "frright rrlevelr trlree seven zerlro", we could ask ourselves what the ideal communication could be.
IMO, it should be :
- Clear and concise
- unambiguous
- following standard ICAO procedure
- Totally free of jingoisms, local slang, reference to local geographical features or VMC reporting points in an IFR control...
- taking into account that foreigners could require a slower rythm of talking instructions.

Then, and only then could we talk of an international language.
A few pilots have talked about SA and I agree that it is a great part of my job. Problem is I don't have it any more at JFK than at any place in China. As for the Europeans, it doesn't -take a lot to learn in Spanish or Portuguese the digits one to nine, key words like cleared flight level, heading, maintain... final... that's what ? Thirty words ?

In my experience, communication problems are very rare : those with a limited English would tend to stick to strict procedural ICAO English...What happens when the need is for more advanced vocabulary is beyond the scope of this thread.
Reminds me of that very young trainee at Kinshasa :
She'ds been giving us with the instructions the wind which was below three knots, and the QNH...
and then we called on final, and she came back with " XXX you're clear to land, the wind is 240 degrees... oh! my God ! there is no knot at all !"



Contrail designer
User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 20, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days 1 hour ago) and read 3262 times:

Quoting Pihero (Reply 19):
A few pilots have talked about SA and I agree that it is a great part of my job. Problem is I don't have it any more at JFK than at any place in China. As for the Europeans, it doesn't -take a lot to learn in Spanish or Portuguese the digits one to nine, key words like cleared flight level, heading, maintain... final... that's what ? Thirty words ?

What are you talking about, PGNCS always has the picture at such busy airports ! Maybe he can give you a quick course on how to maintain SA in a hub airport  scared 

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 13):
It is true that pilots fly to hundreds of airports in their careers, and sometimes in a year, but especially when flying in and out of hubs or to frequent destinations, we are far more familiar than you apparently realize about what to expect.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-19 13:45:02]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineFabo From Slovakia, joined Aug 2005, 1219 posts, RR: 1
Reply 21, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days ago) and read 3236 times:

The freakin feck.

Thenoflyzone, I really hope you are not a representative of general personality of ATCs in Canada, or elsewhere.

Quoting bj87 (Reply 11):
Btw wasn't standardized phraseology already introduced or is that only in the USA per FAA? I remember reading something about the "position and hold" vs " line up and wait" instructions.

It is introduced, and is in fact more thorough and stringent within ICAO/JAA rules area, compared to FAA rules.

The problems discussed phraseology wise are, more often than not, differencies between two systems. Like your example, position and hold is FAA, line up and wait is ICAO. The big problem in this regard used to be the term "holding position" used to describe position used by aircraft to wait before entering the runway. It was apparently just too similar to FAAs "position and hold", and American pilots sometimes mistakenly entered the runway. It has since been modified to "holding point" by ICAO. FAA equivalent is "hold short of" IIRC.

(I am not 100% sure on this, more like 97%. Small regional differences might also apply - not all countries apply ICAO rules and recommendations the same way and in same speed)



The light at the end of tunnel turn out to be a lighted sing saying NO EXIT
User currently offlinethenoflyzone From Canada, joined Jan 2001, 2491 posts, RR: 11
Reply 22, posted (2 years 5 months 3 days ago) and read 3221 times:

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 13):
Correct. If I am going to LAX and given the south complex, I care about others going to the south complex. I know the names of the fixes for the 24's and for the 25's;

You do realize that pilots headed for the 24's are only a mile or two away from pilots headed to the 25's, whereas other aircraft headed for the 25's will be vectored 3 nm (maybe even more for wake) behind you. You thus have less separation with guys going on the 24's then guys going on the 25s as you are.

But hey, as long as you're happy with your SA !

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 13):
Yes, of COURSE we realize there are vertical boundaries on airspace and they are on another frequency frequently. And your point is?

If you cant understand the point i'm making, then there is no use continuing this discussion !

Quoting Fabo (Reply 21):
The freakin feck.

Thenoflyzone, I really hope you are not a representative of general personality of ATCs in Canada, or elsewhere.

I cant speak for anybody else, but i can guarantee you that at my facility, most controllers will share my opinion, since they provide ATC service in both english and french.

BTW, you do realize that we PROVIDE the service in a secondary language, we do not INITIATE it. Meaning if a pilot decides to have the service in french, we provide it. To this day, in my 10 years of ATC experience, i have yet to hear an english speaking pilot complain or feel uneasy about the french on the frequency.

Quite the contrary, some anglo's check in on the freq with a "bonjour" or "bonsoir", even though you can hear the heavy english accent in their voice and know that they cannot speak french fluently. It's quite nice to see pilots make the effort with the local language.

Thenoflyzone

[Edited 2012-04-19 15:11:21]


us Air Traffic Controllers have a good record, we haven't left one up there yet !!
User currently offlineEGGD From United Kingdom, joined Feb 2001, 12443 posts, RR: 34
Reply 23, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3206 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 22):
BTW, you do realize that we PROVIDE the service in a secondary language, we do not INITIATE it. Meaning if a pilot decides to have the service in french, we provide it. To this day, in my 10 years of ATC experience, i have yet to hear an english speaking pilot complain or feel uneasy about the french on the frequency.

Quite the contrary, some anglo's check in on the freq with a "bonjour" or "bonsoir", even though you can hear the heavy english accent in their voice and know that they cannot speak french fluently. It's quite nice to see pilots make the effort with the local language.

I agree with your second point, I do it regularly but when it comes to important details such as instructions and clearances I think they need to be clear, concise, and in the same language. The point is that although there is no harm in you providing a service to those who request it, it is the other pilots using your service that may not appreciate being 'kept out of the loop' and believe me, enough Captains I've flown with have something to say about it. They just never voice their concerns over the radio. In some cases I expect that doing so will have a negative effect anyway.


User currently offlineJRadier From Netherlands, joined Sep 2004, 4695 posts, RR: 50
Reply 24, posted (2 years 5 months 2 days 23 hours ago) and read 3193 times:

Quoting thenoflyzone (Reply 18):
Dual languages is never a problem.

You do know that your argument here was refuted already with the CDG accident? While I see why in a lot of cases dual languages might be ok (I don't have enough experience to claim otherwise), your claim that it 'never' is a problem is obviously false!



For once you have tasted flight you will walk the earth with your eyes turned skywards, for there you have been and ther
25 Pihero : People have different experiences and different ways to cope with them. Some pilots complain that they do not have SA at CDG because of the French...
26 Post contains images HaveBlue : Me too Fabo, me too. One of my best freinds is a air traffic controller for Miami Center and while he has his pet peeves just as anyone at any job do
27 thenoflyzone : You are correct. I meant to say that "dual languages has never been a problem for me or for the pilots on my frequency." And hopefully it will stay t
28 Pihero : That center is not among my favourites and I'll never take it as a reference for good, strict procedures. The locals like it fine... but I'm not a lo
29 Post contains images bj87 : Okay, that made me chuckle But it would be another great safety feature for all airports to have. Thanks for the info and the short recap. And I'll t
30 Post contains links thenoflyzone : Let me google that for you ! http://letmegooglethat.com/?q=how+airport+stop+bars+work Redundancy is a pilot's and ATC's best friend ! Thenoflyzone[Ed
31 26point2 : People....Thenoflyzone is a fraud. Why would a legit ATCer have to spend so much time defending himself? Sure hope I never get into "his airspace".
32 NBGSkyGod : First of all it's not a complex...we are superman. Second, there is enough blame to go around as far as poor communications and poor situational awar
33 dogbreath : Don't worry bf87, he just doesn't get it. Though I'm not surprised reading the ramblings from post number 2. You may be right. Surely anyone involved
34 thenoflyzone : Said by people who have 0 RR (respect rating) ! But then again, i'm a fraud right. Maybe I manipulated people into giving me some form of credibility
35 thenoflyzone : btw, EGGD, posted a reply to that thread. Seems to me in that incident as well, poor ATC procedures is mostly to blame, and had it been english only
36 Pihero : 1/- I read the prune thread and I certazinly do not agree with the poster. - The traffic was on TCAS. There certainly isn't a requirement to be visual
37 Post contains links Aircellist : The Aviation Safety Network's database shows a list of accidents attributed to ATC "wrong or misinterpreted instructions" http://aviation-safety.net/d
38 thenoflyzone : LOL.....Love the ILS 18 at your airport btw. HAMMM BURGR FRYYS..... Thenoflyzone
39 thenoflyzone : And yet, when i said that stuff like this is 10 times more likely to kill someone compared to dual languages, i got flamed, when in reality the figur
40 NBGSkyGod : depending on the weather its between 3500 and 4500.
41 DiamondFlyer : Nope, but ATC never pays the price. Pilot makes a mistake, pilot dies. ATC makes a mistake, pilot dies. Until you have as much skin in the game as we
42 thenoflyzone : wow that low ! That's pretty good. You guys should get a radar feed in the tower. It would give you guys a good idea where the inbounds are just befo
43 HaveBlue : Let me get this straight.. a professional air traffic controller is basing their real life respect on the respect rating of people on an internet avi
44 HaveBlue : That sentence shows your total ignorance, and also betrays you. In reality you are not capable of flying that airplane at all, much less to a success
45 DiamondFlyer : Yup, proves my point exactly. Arrogant ATC personnel who think that because they can memorize one little section of air in the world, and memorize ho
46 thenoflyzone : hmmm.....ATS...Air Traffic Suggestor......or is it suggestioner.......either way, i'm pretty sure that's not what my company pays me to do, to sugges
47 Post contains images HaveBlue : You can't fly an airplane, so you are neither. You just suffer from wishing you could.
48 Post contains images thenoflyzone : really...i could have sworn....LOL I mean, if more than one person on here thinks so, it must be true. All true, (although that Swiss controller who
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