lufthansi
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Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 9:25 pm

Hi there!

A few days ago I've been told that a Germanwings A320 once got engine problems after take-off. So the pilots had to cut one engine and requested an emergency landing at CDG. That should have given them priority on landing. But the ATC just said: "We got traffic in to land for the next 20 minutes. So you have to wait." So I guess the ATC wanted them to enter a holding pattern or something like that. Flying a holding pattern with only one of two engines running is maybe nice for training but not the safest way for passengers on board. And I think the auto pilot will automatically turn off if one engine is cut. Or is it just on Boeing planes? Anyway the pilot got angry about it and found another way to make it into CDG NOW! He just said "Mayday! Mayday!" and got a clearance to land immediately because this is law. He made a good landing on only one engine WITH NO FIRE BRIGADE AT ALL... That's CDG. So dear pilots: Never choose CDG for an emergency landing. You just cannot count on them. I had to call the fire brigade myself one time. The phone agent couldn't speak English... So I tried my best in French language. It worked. But I don't think that everyone else can speak French. Especially in those situations. Back on ground the police went to the plane and, according to a colleague of mine, wanted to arrest a pilot or technician.

I don't know when it happened. I just heard of it a few days ago. Maybe someone knows more details of it? Just share them with us.

Thanks,

Stephan
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diesel1
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:05 pm

Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
Crazy ATC In France?

Only that reason?

Aren't they also crazy because they speak to French airlines in French ignoring the internationally recognised language of aviation which is English....?

A known safety hazard that iirc was a reason behind the accident between an MD80 and Shorts360 at CDG(?) a few years ago.
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BDKLEZ
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:10 pm

Engine failure on take-off is the predominant factor taken into consideration when caluculating aircraft performance data, in that the aircraft will still climb with an engine out to a safe minimum altitude and subsequently perform normally. If there were no other technical faults or problems associated with the second engine, then there is no reason why the aircraft could not have taken up the hold to await further approach clearance.

As with all reports of such a nature, it's more how the facts are actually and factually reported which will determine how safe or otherwise the situation will be perceived to be.

Were there associated fuel shut-off problems? Did the second engine continue to operate normally? etc etc etc...

When you say....


Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
Anyway the pilot got angry about it and found another way to make it into CDG NOW!

...I have to ask myself a few questions.

Was the pilot an inexperienced commander?
Why was he so impatient?
Were there other unreported facts that need consideration by the pilot?
Was he frightened?

Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
He just said "Mayday! Mayday!" and got a clearance to land immediately because this is law.

Again, without knowing all of the facts the justification for this is very hard to determine, however if a mayday call was not necessary then it should not have been made, and as such was a very irresponsible action of the commander to make that call.

Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
He made a good landing on only one engine WITH NO FIRE BRIGADE AT ALL... That's CDG

No, that's because the aircarft will perform normally with an engine out. If the fire department did not attend the scene, it will be because the commander will have advised ATC that it was not necessary for them to attend.
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lufthansi
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:37 pm

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 1):

You're right. But that sadly is normal here and in some other countries too. I remembered the accident. There has been a TV report about it.

Quoting BDKLEZ (Reply 2):

You're right too! I don't know all the facts. But imagine you're a pilot and have this failure. Wouldn't you like to land very soon too? No matter if you are very experienced or not you won't have much fun flying this way. And thinking of 4 parallel runways there should be a way to make it in. I'm sure the pilot could fly with this failure of course. That's what they're trained for. But flying on one engine longer as required isn't ok too. But if the pilot reported this Mayday call there's no question of if he wanted the fire brigade along the runway. If I call Mayday to the ATC (if french or not...) I don't want to have to call again for the fire brigade. If you ask for a coke at MC Donald's you don't have to ask for the cup...
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tu204
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 10:43 pm

BDKLEZ, with all due respect, and aircraft that has lost one of two engines will be very screwed when it looses the last one. Yes, it is designed to stay in the air under those circumstances, but that does not mean that it should not be given priority unless ofcourse there is another aircraft that has declared an emergency. I do not know about france, but here ATC will automatically give you priotity on landing but will provide emergency vehicles ONLY if you have declared an emergency (mayday, mayday, mayday) regardless of your emergency.
I completely agree with the captain unless there is something that we do not know. He figured that keeping an aircraft with 120 passengers up on one engine was a senseless risk and decided that it was better to be safe than sorry.
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ManuCH
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:01 pm

I'm only a private pilot, but there are rules for everything. If company procedures (or Airbus checklists) say that a single engine failure with no other consequences should be dealt with by issuing an urgency call (pan pan, pan pan, pan pan) and no emergency (mayday), then the pilot should do just that. He will be given priority, but not the same kind of priority as if it was an emergency like when you have an engine fire or other similar, more critical trouble.

Please note that I don't know Airbus checklists or Germanwings company procedures, so I'm only supposing what it might be here.

The plane is designed to be able to fly on a single engine. What if the failure happened 1 hour from the nearest airport?

I mean, I'm pretty sure there must be something not entirely complete/accurate in the OP's story. Probably the plane started having some other trouble if the pilot went "mayday". And again, a mayday call is the only official way to get absolute priority at an airport. If you need to land *now*, you make a mayday call. Simplifying somewhat, if you don't make a mayday call, ATC (correctly) assumes that it's not *that* urgent after all.

-Manuel
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echster
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:15 pm

Let me play the bad guy and support the French ATCers. See, what commonly occurs is folks think just because they declare an emergency we (ATCers) are going to part the skies for them. It's not nearly as easy as it sounds, especially when you have a lot of traffic.

Even though the pilot reported an engine out, as a controller, I'm thinking it is still a multi-engine aircraft. When declaring an emergency, usually an ATCer will state, "say intentions" unless the pilot says, "we lost an engine and need to land ASAP." We're not mind-readers. The pilot needs to express his desire to land immediately or in with the flow they go.

Don't forget the emergency aircraft still needs to be manuevered back to the runway. During this time other aircraft can land. As you start breaking aircraft out of the arrival flow for a hole to put this guy, you still have to maintain separation requirements between aircraft. Yep, no free pass here.

It's not as easy as it sounds, or even in hindsight. Controllers do the best they can with the information they have. If a pilot doesn't state what they want to do, we do the best we can while still maintaining separation standards.
 
FlySSC
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:22 pm

Quoting Lufthansi (Thread starter):
I've been told that

Who told you that ... ? sources ? Reliability ? accuracy ?

Quoting Diesel1 (Reply 1):
Aren't they also crazy because they speak to French airlines in French ignoring the internationally recognised language of aviation which is English....?

Just like Italian ATC speaks Italian to Italian airlines
Spanish ATC speaks Spanish to Spanish airlines ...
Canadian ATC speaks French to AF planes arriving in YUL

etc ...  sarcastic 
 
lufthansi
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Wed Mar 22, 2006 11:29 pm

The source has been a colleague of mine who is technician too.
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rdwootty
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 12:51 am

I was shut out from a comment about the french last time I wrote but I still feel that if the aircraft was an Air France one there would have been a runway immediatment!In addition the fire brigadewould have been there still it is CDG!!!!
 
lufthansi
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:07 am

Quoting Rdwootty (Reply 9):
still it is CDG!!!!

 yes 
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diesel1
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:20 am

Quoting FlySSC (Reply 7):
Just like Italian ATC speaks Italian to Italian airlines
Spanish ATC speaks Spanish to Spanish airlines ...
Canadian ATC speaks French to AF planes arriving in YUL

Yes.

Yet this practice has been given as a factor in a number of accidents

Dan Air's 727 crash in Tenerife being another example.
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SCEagle
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:31 am

I bet LHR ATC insists on speaking English to BA flights... The gall... or, lack of Gaul...
 
jdwfloyd
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 1:38 am

Quoting BDKLEZ (Reply 2):
then there is no reason why the aircraft could not have taken up the hold to await further approach clearance.

Yeah, lets just have an A/C with 120 people in it hold for a bit. What if the other engine had an issue? What if for so reason the engine that was shut down caught on fire due to the problem it was shut down for? Lets just wait for the abnormal situation that is all ready in effect to get worse. I am a air traffic controller and from day one we were taught that an A/C in distress takes priority over all other A/C. They should have been given priority handling, no questions ask.
 
Pihero
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:53 am

Typical flame thread.
Although I have not a lot of sympathy for CDG ATC, I'm quite amazed at the rant level here.

Thread starter, please, we need sources, date.....
If you can't provide anything but a hearsay from one of your fellow technicians, I suggest you open another thread on frankfurter sausages (I like them but I can't find good ones here, probably another conspiracy from Toulouse... ).
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BDKLEZ
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:05 am

Quoting Jdwfloyd (Reply 13):
I am a air traffic controller and from day one we were taught that an A/C in distress

I agree, but can we establish from the above "hearsay" that the a/c was indeed in distress?

In addition; I don't think you really read my post which you have quoted.


Quoting Jdwfloyd (Reply 13):
What if the other engine had an issue? What if for so reason the engine that was shut down caught on fire due to the problem it was shut down for?

I have already asked these questions...

Quoting BDKLEZ (Reply 2):
Were there other unreported facts that need consideration by the pilot?

These extra considerations, if any, have not been reported in the original story. Therefore, taking such an upright stance in favour of the Captain/Operating Airline cannot be justified.

Quoting Echster (Reply 6):
If a pilot doesn't state what they want to do, we do the best we can while still maintaining separation standards

I'm with ATC on this one until we can establish what the other factors were, if any.

Quoting Lufthansi (Reply 8):
The source has been a colleague of mine who is technician too.

And where did he hear the story from? We should all be aware of "Chinese Whispers".

Quoting SCEagle (Reply 12):
I bet LHR ATC insists on speaking English to BA flights... The gall... or, lack of Gaul...

 rotfl  Very witty; I like!
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lufthansi
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 4:36 am

Quoting BDKLEZ (Reply 15):
And where did he hear the story from? We should all be aware of "Chinese Whispers".

No my colleague was on this aircraft after arrvial and hat some discussion with the Gendarmerie. Sadly I'll not meet him the next days due to our shift. That's why I wanted to ask you guys. As we also have many users from France maybe someone knows all the details.
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777jaah
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 5:17 am

Quoting ManuCH (Reply 5):
mayday call is the only official way to get absolute priority at an airport. If you need to land *now*, you make a mayday call. Simplifying somewhat, if you don't make a mayday call, ATC (correctly) assumes that it's not *that* urgent after all.

This in a little bit out of the topic I know, but still related.

AV's 707 accident in Long Island some years ago, which the FAA ruled that one of the reasons, was the lack of fluent english speaking crew, and lack of declaring a mayday at the right time (iirc, the crew never did). Resulted in fuel starvation over Long Island, no good results for the pilots and some pax that didn't make it.

A few years after, during the civil trial, the judge split hte "blame" 60% for AV 40% for the ATC. Why?? He said to both attourneys: "If i said to a kid that I'm low on gas, what do he'll understand for that?? I hope that I'm low on gas". Wasn't much room left for discussions after that. Lifes were lost on a technical detail, much needed on aviation, but still was a critical situation, never well explained by the crew, never well understood by the ATC.


Good luck.
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atcrick
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 9:57 am

Quoting Echster (Reply 6):
Even though the pilot reported an engine out, as a controller, I'm thinking it is still a multi-engine aircraft.

Being a retired ATC-er, I have a question. It would appear that this aircraft is no longer "multi engine if it has shut one down. And without knowing why one was shut down(for sure), why wouldnt this aircraft be given priority? Telling them that its busy and would be another 20 minutes seems like it indicates that the aircraft would be resequenced in the normal flow of traffic. If that was the case then I must disagree. Aircraft that declare an emergency receive priority. Should the declaration of an emergency prove to be fruitless, then the pilot and the airline should suffer penalties. Controllers don't have time to determine on their own who is a real emergency or not.
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ManuCH
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RE: Crazy ATC In France?

Thu Mar 23, 2006 3:39 pm

Quoting ATCRick (Reply 18):
Aircraft that declare an emergency receive priority.

According to the OP, the aircraft didn't declare an emergency at first, but only (so I assume) an urgency. Which, if I remember correctly, is quite a difference.

Quoting 777jaah (Reply 17):
"If i said to a kid that I'm low on gas, what do he'll understand for that?? I hope that I'm low on gas".

This is obviously also true. But formally and legally, "I've lost an engine" is not the same as "mayday". Should be changed maybe... but then again, the controller would receive an additional burden: what if it's a 747 or an A340 saying "I've lost an engine"? He would then have to keep in mind if it's a 2, 3 or 4-engine aircraft, and depending on that, decide if it deserves a mayday-equivalent treatment or not. Sounds too complex for me. They invented the magic "mayday" word for a reason I guess: have the controller understand that it's *really* urgent.

-Manuel
Never trust a statistic you didn't fake yourself

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