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RobK
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AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:04 am

Just been listening to an unbelievable conversation between NY OAC on 3455KHz and flight AAL1196.

The story started with AAL1196 (A300 N70074) at FL340 and requesting higher. NY came back some minutes later and replied unable due to traffic.

AAL1196: NY that's not acceptable. We're getting continuous light chop here. Get me Centre on the line.
NY: Stand by.

NY: AAL1196 go ahead.
AAL1196: NY AAL1196, we're right on the edge of the chop here and need a higher level or something. We need you to do something for us. Can you get us direct AZEZU and BERGH to NY?

NY (Centre now talking) gave him a clearance to another point via R511 and then AZEZU A300 BERGH to JFK but the flight declined as "that's no better". NY then said he could route direct ETOCA.

AAL1196: No, that's not acceptable. We're getting continuous light chop here and if you can't route us away from it then we're descending to 280.

NY Centre: I'm sorry sir but that's the best I can do at this time. Unable descent as I have opposite direction traffic at 330.

AAL1196 (raised voice): No, you need to do something for us. If you don't get us out of this chop then we WILL declare an emergency if that's what we have to do to get a lower altitude.

NY Centre: AAL1196 you're cleared direct to ETOCA at F340.

AAL1196 (shouting): Direct ECHO TANGO OSCAR CHARLIE ALPHA, out. We'll stay at 340 for a little while longer, but you need to do something for us NY.

NY Centre: New York. Out

--


Is this guy for real? That attitude will certainly NOT get him what he wants.  Wow!

Comments?

R

[Edited 2006-12-20 00:11:00]

[Edited 2006-12-20 00:18:57]
 
deltagator
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:10 am

Quoting RobK (Thread starter):
AAL1196 (raised voice): No, you need to do something for us. If you don't get us out of this chop then we WILL declare an emergency if that's what we have to do to get a lower altitude.

To paraphrase the great KROC...this guy's pussy must hurt.

Quoting RobK (Thread starter):
Is this guy for real? That attitude will certainly NOT get him what he wants.

At the surface he sounds like a whiny pilot. Perhaps he has a reason but "continuous light chop" is pretty lame. Maybe there is something else underlying?
"If you can't delight in the misery of others then you don't deserve to be a college football fan."
 
EFHK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:12 am

Unbelievable.

Maybe he was getting sick from the "light chop".  Wink
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:16 am

I've been listening to the freq for the best part of an hour beforehand and no underlying problems have been mentioned to ATC.

I find it unbelievable that a professional airliner pilot literally threatened NY ATC if they didn't give him what he wanted. I heard one of the US Air flights earlier in the week literally plead with NY to do something as he was in continuous moderate, occasionally severe chop and NY couldn't do anything because of traffic above and below. US Air just said "okay NY, I appreciate you trying, guess we'll just have to ride it out" and got on with it.

R
 
jamesbuk
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:28 am

At the end of the day the pilot is in charge of the safety and welfare of his aircraft, not air traffic control, if he feels he's in any danger then he's got to do something about it, He felt in danger so he requested a higher altitude, ATC didnt give him that so he used everything in his power to acquire that.

You guys might not have liked what this pilot done but i say Well done mate.

Rgds --James--
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stylo777
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:38 am

just to be sure that I understand it 100% what exactly does "light chop" means?
 
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:40 am

Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 6):
just to be sure that I understand it 100% what exactly does "light chop" means?

Light turbulence.

R
 
OPNLguy
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:47 am

Quoting RobK (Reply 3):
I find it unbelievable that a professional airliner pilot literally threatened NY ATC if they didn't give him what he wanted.

Declaring an emergency allows one to deviate from an ATC clearance (versus getting violated for not adhering to one), so it sounds as if he was perhaps letting the controller know how far he was willing to take the situation.

That he was apparently willing to "go to the mat" because of "continuous light chop" seems a little odd, since one would think this to be less of a problem than had they been experiencing something worse like "continuous moderate occasional severe turbulence."

Who knows....?
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D L X
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 8:48 am

Did "light chop" down AA587?
 
osiris30
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:01 am

@dlx:

Wake turbulence/pilot reaction to it/rudder limiting systems on the 300 downed it, but I'm guessing that's part of what's on the pilot's mind.
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halls120
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:04 am

Quoting RobK (Reply 3):
I find it unbelievable that a professional airliner pilot literally threatened NY ATC if they didn't give him what he wanted. I heard one of the US Air flights earlier in the week literally plead with NY to do something as he was in continuous moderate, occasionally severe chop and NY couldn't do anything because of traffic above and below. US Air just said "okay NY, I appreciate you trying, guess we'll just have to ride it out" and got on with it.

I fly UA frequently, and listen to CH 9 all the time. What I hear from ATC when pilots request another FL, is that they try hard to accomodate them. What is described above is not what I usually hear. When ATC can't give a pilot a new altitude when requested, they usually tell the pilot they will do their best to accomodate them. Perhaps what ticked this pilot off is the lack of interest on the part of the ATC controller to help him out.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
isitsafenow
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:11 am

AA1196 is an A300 from Santiago. Its running a little late tonight.
safe
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EMBQA
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:13 am

Quoting D L X (Reply 9):
Did "light chop" down AA587?

No... over correcting with the rudder did.
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redngold
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:16 am

Flytecomm shows him in safely.

I'd like to hear the CVR and look at the FDR before determining whether the pilot had reason to be such a snot.
Up, up and away!
 
Arcrftlvr
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:18 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 11):
lack of interest on the part of the ATC controller to help him out.

What is ATC supposed to do? If there is traffic, there is traffic. Its not the controllers fault. It is what it is...
 
ikramerica
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:26 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 11):
Perhaps what ticked this pilot off is the lack of interest on the part of the ATC controller to help him out.

That may be the crux of it. This part of the account leads me to believe so...

Quoting RobK (Thread starter):
NY came back some minutes later and replied unable due to traffic.

He asks for assistance, gets put on hold for a while, and then is told no. And being from New Jersey, it's not unlikely there was a bit of attitude going on from the ATC end.

The pilot is the one who knows what's happening, and the A300 may not have been handling the turbulence well and he has a responsibility to his pax to do the best he can for them.
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Curmudgeon
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:28 am

"Light chop" is the term to describe a condition one notch worse than baby-bum smooth air. It is typical to not even put the seat belt signs on in light chop.

The next condition is moderate chop, then light turbulence, then moderate turbulence, severe turbulence, extreme turbulence.

This guy either is incorrectly describing the condition or has some other agenda. Light chop is hardly a threatening condition...it is just the odd whitecap in the coffee cup.
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ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:39 am

Quoting EFHK (Reply 2):
Maybe he was getting sick from the "light chop".

Regardless, if this were the case he needs to unbuckle and get to the bathroom. I'll bet ATC didn't take kindly to this threat.

Quoting RobK (Reply 3):
I find it unbelievable that a professional airliner pilot literally threatened NY ATC if they didn't give him what he wanted.

This pilot's actions are very suspect. As an ATC, I'd have done the same thing. If it's so important that he needs to get to a certain point to get out of some chop then he needs to declare an emergency. He's no more important than any other aircraft until he does that. The controller did everything just right. Accomodate if able but don't break your back or compromise safety over something like this.

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 5):
You guys might not have liked what this pilot done but i say Well done mate.

No, if I were this controller and the aircraft didn't declare an emergency I'd have filed a HATR (Hazardous Air Traffic Report). That'd keep this pilot out of the skies and from making threats.

Quoting Jamesbuk (Reply 5):
He felt in danger so he requested a higher altitude, ATC didnt give him that so he used everything in his power to acquire that.

The threat to descend to 280 creates a very dangerous situation. Many pilots don't understand that controllers have the whole picture in front of them. Like I said, accomodate if able and if you can't it's in the pilot's hands to request priority.

Quoting OPNLguy (Reply 8):
Declaring an emergency allows one to deviate from an ATC clearance (versus getting violated for not adhering to one), so it sounds as if he was perhaps letting the controller know how far he was willing to take the situation.

As a controller, I would have waited for him to declare an emergency. Call his bluff and if he descended on his own that's a HATR, and he'll lose his ticket for it.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 16):
What is ATC supposed to do? If there is traffic, there is traffic. Its not the controllers fault. It is what it is...

 checkmark 
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:41 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 17):
He asks for assistance, gets put on hold for a while, and then is told no. And being from New Jersey, it's not unlikely there was a bit of attitude going on from the ATC end.

Completely irrelevant.
 
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:41 am

"Light chop" is the term to describe a condition one notch worse than baby-bum smooth air. It is typical to not even put the seat belt signs on in light chop.

The next condition is moderate chop, then light turbulence, then moderate turbulence, severe turbulence, extreme turbulence.

This guy either is incorrectly describing the condition or has some other agenda. Light chop is hardly a threatening condition...it is just the odd whitecap in the coffee cup.
Jets are for kids
 
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:42 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 17):
He asks for assistance, gets put on hold for a while, and then is told no. And being from New Jersey, it's not unlikely there was a bit of attitude going on from the ATC end.

This is the norm though. It isn't NY Centre who you are directly dealing with, it's NY ARINC who run the HF comms and all they do is act as a go between from the flight to NY Centre and vv. which is why any requests for a change in altitude or direction take a minimum of a few minutes before you get relayed the response from Centre. The guy driving AAL1196 should know this only too well being an AAL A300 pilot as virtually all the AAL A300s fly the Caribbean milk runs which means you're talking to ARINC for the best part of your flight.

Re the attitude, well yeah I hear it a lot and there are some guys and gals on the ARINC end that seriously need to take a chill pill and buy some patience. The Russian, Spanish and Cuban pilots in particular get a real rough ride from them, especially when reading back the oceanic clearances. On the other hand though, there are a couple of females working ARINC who are extremely polite, patient and friendly who are a pleasure to listen to.  spin 

R
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:49 am

Quoting Baron95 (Reply 23):
If 5000 ft is in ice you are stuck, unless you threaten to declare an emergency

I've had aircraft threaten an emergency on me, so I decided to save them the trouble. ATC is authorized to declare an emergency for the pilot.
 
ikramerica
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:05 am

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 18):
This guy either is incorrectly describing the condition

I thought that too.

Quoting ATCGOD (Reply 20):
Completely irrelevant.

Not at all. I'm a sceenwriter, and seeing dialogue paraphrased strips all the 'tone' from it.

I'm not saying the pilot was right, but I am saying it sounds like he was pissed off about something, and since I'm from the area, I know how abrassive some people can be.

You can ask a cop for help, and some will be like: "what you want me to do about it pal? call the fire depahtment..."  Wink

Quoting RobK (Reply 22):
Re the attitude, well yeah I hear it a lot and there are some guys and gals on the ARINC end that seriously need to take a chill pill and buy some patience.

That's all I'm saying. And it might not even be intentional, just a conflict of personalities. I never take offense at treatment when I return to the area because I grew up with it and know it's not malicious. But I know plenty of people who can't deal with it...
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:06 am

That's as bizarre a conversation as I have heard or read. In fact, in over 20 years of talking to ATC I have never heard anything even close. Declaring an emergency for light chop? What a moron.
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:09 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 24):
Not at all. I'm a sceenwriter, and seeing dialogue paraphrased strips all the 'tone' from it.

I'm not saying the pilot was right, but I am saying it sounds like he was pissed off about something, and since I'm from the area, I know how abrassive some people can be.

First off, I don't care what tone the controller had, the pilot has no right to scream at ATC unless he's doing something very dangerous and obvious to the pilot. For the pilot to get pissed off like that over some light chop (or even if it were severe) is not right. You want extra service, you gotta pay for it, ie., declare an emergency..
 
MD88Captain
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:13 am

I would "declare the emergency"in order to deviate around weather. It relieves ATC of the normal seperation requirements and it is totally within the scope of my authority and responsiblity. Yelling and threatening over light chop makes me doubt the pilots sanity.
 
halls120
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:16 am

Quoting WildcatYXU (Reply 15):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 11):and listen to CH 9 all the time
What's Ch9?

Most - lately all, in my experience - UA flights feature ATC communications on channel 9 on the audio system.

Quoting ArcrftLvr (Reply 16):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 11):lack of interest on the part of the ATC controller to help him out.
What is ATC supposed to do? If there is traffic, there is traffic. Its not the controllers fault. It is what it is...

Every time I've heard a controller say no to a request for a different altitude, he or she has always told the pilot when he or she could expect the requested altitude.

It's all in the attitude. All the controller had to do was explain when the requested altitude would have been available.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:23 am

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 28):
It's all in the attitude. All the controller had to do was explain when the requested altitude would have been available.

It amazes me how many pilots think that they are owed an in depth response to denial of a request. Don't you guys know that we're talking to several aircraft and that you're not our only priority? He told him it wasn't available because of traffic...above and beyond right there. He could have just said "unable" and left it at that.
 
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:26 am

Quoting MD88Captain (Reply 25):
That's as bizarre a conversation as I have heard or read. In fact, in over 20 years of talking to ATC I have never heard anything even close. Declaring an emergency for light chop? What a moron.

There was a JetBlue flight waiting in turn to speak whilst this was happening. When it was his turn to speak he laughed and make some quick remark about it but I didn't catch what he said unfortunately.

To use one of the favourite American sayings I keep seeing on here - the AA pilot really did seem to get his "panties in a wad" over it!!  rotfl   rotfl 

R
 
ikramerica
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:28 am

Quoting ATCGOD (Reply 26):
First off, I don't care what tone the controller had, the pilot has no right to scream at ATC unless he's doing something very dangerous and obvious to the pilot.

Again, you don't know how it went down and neither do I beyond the third party words typed on this screen, but as an ATC, you are defensive on the side of your profession.

Fine. I get it. Most people stick up for their own no matter who's right. I see it all around the world, and it's one of the leading causes of gang murders and ethnic violence.

I'm not a pilot or an ATC, I'm just a guy from North Jersey who's seen people not from the area take things the wrong way when dealing with New Yorkers.

I'm more objective than you here because I have no horse in this race, and I'm not talking about who was right or wrong, only about WHY it MAY have happened the way it did. The pilot sounds like a baby, but it doesn't mean he wasn't provoked into his rant by an attitude he "aint yoo-stah."

I don't know, but it sounds like you are convinced that you do know.
Of all the things to worry about... the Wookie has no pants.
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:33 am

Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 31):
Again, you don't know how it went down and neither do I beyond the third party words typed on this screen, but as an ATC, you are defensive on the side of your profession.



Quoting Ikramerica (Reply 31):
I don't know, but it sounds like you are convinced that you do know.

I guess you have to see it from my perspective. This isn't an isolated incident...it happens all the time and I get fed up with it. The reason this is a unique situation is because it's over light chop. I don't mean to get all up in your Kool-Aid but as an objective observer you must take this into account.
 
Bicoastal
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:37 am

Why are we assuming the pilot is male? Just wondering. Not that it makes a difference. It's nice that the pilot is concerned about his/her passengers' comfort and a smooth flight, but light chop is nothing about which to be panicked. Take a chill pill
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 10:38 am

Quoting Bicoastal (Reply 33):
Why are we assuming the pilot is male?

For the record, the pilot speaking was male and so were both the ARINC operator and NY Centre.

R

[Edited 2006-12-20 02:39:19]
 
airfinair
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:06 am

RobK - Were you able to record this conversation? I'd love to hear it. I do occasionally visit LiveATC.net and download audio clips - JFK tower is always fun. I always wonder if most pilots/ ATC have any idea that at any given time their communications can be heard half way around the world by some random person. Amazing.
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:14 am

Quoting Airfinair (Reply 35):
RobK - Were you able to record this conversation?

Sadly no. It wasn't heard on liveatc.net I'm afraid.

R
 
halls120
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 11:57 am

Quoting ATCGOD (Reply 29):
Quoting Halls120 (Reply 28):It's all in the attitude. All the controller had to do was explain when the requested altitude would have been available.
It amazes me how many pilots think that they are owed an in depth response to denial of a request. Don't you guys know that we're talking to several aircraft and that you're not our only priority? He told him it wasn't available because of traffic...above and beyond right there. He could have just said "unable" and left it at that.

A response doesn't have to be "in depth." How hard is it to say "I will get you your requested altitude as soon as I can" or "I've got ___ aircraft to clear out before I can grant your request?"
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:05 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 37):
A response doesn't have to be "in depth." How hard is it to say "I will get you your requested altitude as soon as I can" or "I've got ___ aircraft to clear out before I can grant your request?"

The fact that he said he was "unable due to traffic" should have sufficed. Controllers look to shorten their phraseology as much as possible because they are often so busy that it is required. How hard is it to understand that the controller heard his request and couldn't comply? He even told him he couldn't comply so why compound the situation?
 
Curmudgeon
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:05 pm

Just as another thought...If you anticipate entering an area handled by AIRINC on HF, and you expect to cross an area of forecast turbulence, it is often worthwhile to try for a level you think will be smooth BEFORE you leave VHF coverage. This information is available preflight, and inflight by soliciting pireps*

Is anyone senior enough for an AA A-300 command** in the target age group for hormone replacement therapy?

*ATC traffic volume permitting

**(because that sure as hell wasn't the F/O talking)
Jets are for kids
 
halls120
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:22 pm

Quoting ATCGOD (Reply 38):
The fact that he said he was "unable due to traffic" should have sufficed. Controllers look to shorten their phraseology as much as possible because they are often so busy that it is required.

Well, I flew two R/T's from IAD to the west coast last month, listening to ATC on all four flights. And when a pilot requested an altitude or route change, when the controller couldn't deliver, he/she always explained why they couldn't.
"Suppose you were an idiot. And suppose you were a member of Congress. But I repeat myself." Mark Twain, a Biography
 
777fan
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:25 pm

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 21):
This guy either is incorrectly describing the condition or has some other agenda. Light chop is hardly a threatening condition...it is just the odd whitecap in the coffee cup.

Hardly! Seriously, what a beotch! Maybe he had to use the loo and either couldn't stand the bouncing and considering declaring an emergency just to get priority arrival!

Overall, this is nothing when compared to this PIREP that popped up near IAH a couple of hours ago:

CLL UUA /OV IDU360010/TM 0123/FLUNKN/TP E145/TB SEV 180-230/RM NO DAMAGE OR INJURIES / COR FOR TIME


Edit: there were actually numerous reports of continuous moderate, moderate to severe and severe turbulence in an area from Virginia to New Jersey; still don't know what prompted this pilot to consider such drastic measures unless he had been shaken up (literally) by an earlier rough patch. FWIW, I haven't come across an A300 PIREP yet. It must've been pretty bad, since this PIREP also popped up around JFK:

JFK UUA /OV JFK 090030/TM 0125/FL350/TP B777/TB MOD-SEV



777fan

[Edited 2006-12-20 04:38:37]
DC-8 61/63/71 DC-9-30/50 MD-80/82/83 DC-10-10/30 MD-11 717 721/2 732/3/4/5/G/8/9 741/2/4 752 762/3 777 A306/319/20/33 AT
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 12:44 pm

Quoting Halls120 (Reply 40):
Well, I flew two R/T's from IAD to the west coast last month, listening to ATC on all four flights. And when a pilot requested an altitude or route change, when the controller couldn't deliver, he/she always explained why they couldn't.

I'm not saying it couldn't or shouldn't be done, I'm just saying maybe the controller was busy (as it sounds like he was) and didn't have time to explain it to him. Also, every controller is different. Me, personally, I like to give them the extra reason...I see myself as providing a service but if I get busy then my level of service declines because of my increased workload.

I'd like to explain to this pilot why I couldn't get him FL300 but I've got to clear this guy up to FL370 and re-route this guy and where's my clearance for this guy, and crap, is that a VFR pop-up that just called, who's that guy that called on UHF, ughh this planes just keyed over each other. You see? It's quite a bit more than most pilots realize.
 
Curmudgeon
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:12 pm

You'd get a kick out of things down here, ATCGOD. The controllers here never give an explanation for anything. If the words aren't in the official phraseology book, they don't get spoken, and sometimes its like pulling teeth trying to get the big picture from these guys.
Jets are for kids
 
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RobK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:15 pm

Quoting 777fan (Reply 41):
Edit: there were actually numerous reports of continuous moderate, moderate to severe and severe turbulence in an area from Virginia to New Jersey; still don't know what prompted this pilot to consider such drastic measures unless he had been shaken up (literally) by an earlier rough patch.

But if you're in - or have just come through - a really rough patch then you don't report "light chop" do you! The pilot was clear on that and it was only in later transmission that he changed it to "light to moderate" chop which imho still doesn't warrant threats to ATC of descending to 280 without clearance. I'm sure if the opposite direction traffic at a thousand below him had heard the transmission he would have had something to say about it in being worried that the lunatic driving the AA A300 might just carry out his threat.  Wow!

R
 
ATCGOD
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 1:17 pm

Quoting Curmudgeon (Reply 43):
You'd get a kick out of things down here, ATCGOD. The controllers here never give an explanation for anything. If the words aren't in the official phraseology book, they don't get spoken, and sometimes its like pulling teeth trying to get the big picture from these guys.

I'd be in heaven! Just kidding. I've known a few Aussie military ATC'ers and they're good blokes...good controllers too.
 
UAL777UK
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 5:51 pm

I fly UA regularly and listen to Ch 9 when its on and in all my years I have never experienced a conversation between a pilot and ATC described about. The guys got to be on another planet..........does he expect ATC to just magic some space up for him in the busy skies.......I am amazed!!
 
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chrisnh
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:08 pm

Isn't this a little like calling 9-1-1 to get your cat out of a tree?

Chris in NH
 
Jerald01
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Wed Dec 20, 2006 9:37 pm

There are always two sides to every story, and there are always reasons people do and say what they do and say. None of us were sitting in the pilot's seat, none of us know what kind of day the crew had had up until the point of transmission, and none of us know how the "light chop" was affecting the pilot and/or anyone else on the flight.

No, it was not "professional" for the pilot to "threaten" to call an emergency, and, no, it was not "professional" for the pilot to scream at ATC. He did it and I'm quite sure he will be invited into the boss' office for a kindly chat about his behavior.

Nonetheless, the pilot IS in command of the aircraft while it is in the air, and, for whatever reason, THIS pilot felt some imminent need to get out of the "light chop", even to go so far as to threaten to declare an emergency in order to do so.

I am a former ATC and in my experience I would have to consider this as I try to find a way to accomodate the pilot BECAUSE it indicates one of two things:

(1) either the pilot has a VALID SAFETY OF FLIGHT REASON to make such a threatening demand, or

(2) the pilot is on the verge of losing control of himself.

If the former case is true then I will get him the altitude he wants just as soon as I can, and if the latter is true I will get him the altitude he wants pronto even if it means I have to scatter airplanes all over the sky to do so. We can always sort the pieces out after the round rubber things under the aircraft stop rolling and the chocks are installed.

I have worked with NYC-area ATC specialists and I find they are no better nor any worse than anyone else overall. Yes, some may have a "vocal attitude" that put's people off if the latter are not from the local area, but you get that in any part of the world and you just learn to "ride with the tide" most of the time. I had NYC yell at me over the landline and I yelled back at them, yet they are the first to offer to take you out for a tall cool one when you meet them face-to-face.

JM $ .002 worth....
"There may be old pilots, and there may be bold pilots, but there are darn few green cows"
 
JBirdAV8r
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:11 am

Quoting RobK (Reply 7):
Quoting Stylo777 (Reply 6):just to be sure that I understand it 100% what exactly does "light chop" means?
Light turbulence.

To expound on that, "chop" is generally considered to be intermittent. "Turbulence" is usually defined as continuous.

Either way, lots of pilots tend to fly with bugs up their butt. Sometimes, ATC acts the same--granted it definitely appears that the former was responsible for this particular hissy fit.

I try to take a "happy to be here" mentality with my limited experience.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
 
lincoln
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:23 am

I could be completely off here but as a layman reading between the lines I kind of get the sense that the pilot was trying to get into a DSW with the controller and/or has a bit of "Only Child Syndrome" going on (Hey, I'm an only child, I know how we can be when we aren't watching ourselves).

The other suspicion I have is that it may be a pride/credibility thing. For example, he may have made a PA announcement to the passengers appologizing for the "chop" and saying something along the lines of "and we're going to get ATC to give us a different altitude so we can avoid this..." At this point, at least to some personality types, they have made a promise to the passengers and by ATC not "cooperating", their credibility is damaged.

This is, of course, 100% pure speculation, but that's my impression "at first rub".

Lincoln
CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
 
coa747
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RE: AA1196 "we Will Declare An Emergency"

Thu Dec 21, 2006 12:31 am

I read an article in Airways Magazine a couple months ago called Circle of Jerks, about a pilot who became an air traffic controller. He thought his colleagues were a bunch of jerks because they wouldn't help out pilots and he took the opposite stand trying to do whatever they requested to make their lives easier. He found that no matter what he did he was getting poor scores during his training. Then finally one day he got it. Helping pilots is great but if you help everyone all the time soon the word gets out and you will be bombarded with requests because people know you are a pushover. He discovered that taking a position somewhere in the middle was the way to go. You can't make everyone happy and this AA pilot has to understand that sometimes you can't get everything you want. The New York terminal airspace is one of the busiest in the world and conflicting traffic often is a restricing factor. But throwing a fit like a 2 year old is not going to get you what you want in my experience.