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alberchico
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How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:37 pm

this is from a film that was made in Argentina that talks about a near incident with an Air France plane

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VvrbMjDvcX8

please post any comments......
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LAXspotter
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:55 pm

Holy Shit, dude that controller has a serious english language deficiency. Great video, and besides that AF pilot sounded like he was English. Unbelievable that this could happen at a major international airport like ezeiza, and the plane was low on fuel, luckily diaster was averted. I dont even think that the controller knew that he was going to be investigated when the AF pilot said, "I am going to report this, what has happened tonigh is truly, truly, amazing".
"Patriotism is the last refuge of the scoundrel" Samuel Johnson
 
KLM685
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:55 pm

WOW, I just saw the video and I can't believe how stupid this controller was.

It's really clear how the ATC was:

1. NOT PAYING ATTENTION

2. BARELY understands English.


It's just shocking to think that some A$$ ATC could do something like that, specially to an European flight. I hope they fired him, little mistakes can get some serious results.

Is there any second part for it?

Also I'm impressed at how at the beginning of the video the "ATC" is arguing as if the stupid one is the AF pilot.


Cheers

[Edited 2007-03-11 09:01:05]
KLM- The Best Airline in the World!
 
SUPRAZACHAIR
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 3:59 pm

Unbelievable... I was totally stunned listening to that. Wow...
 
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alberchico
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:03 pm

the film is called air force but its spanish name is

fuerza aeria

this is a link to all the vids on youtube pertaining to this documentary
http://www.youtube.com/results?searc...a+-+Sociedad+Anonima&search=Search
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alberchico
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:07 pm

this is the link to an earlier air safety film he made :

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Whisky_Romeo_Zulu

and this link is about the documentary whose clip is shown:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fuerza_a%C3%A9rea_sociedad_an%C3%B3nima
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alberchico
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:13 pm

short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
Pu752
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 4:26 pm

After that Air France landed, the captain said he was going to demand argentine gov.
I've actually heard the ATC on Baires when I was flying between MVD and AEP, the French pilot asked TWICE if ILS on rwy 17 was available! it was not and the AF captain was nearly min fuel and made an EMERGENCY landing , incredible but true!
 
PHKLM
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:40 pm

This arises some serious doubt with me.
First, AF417 is the flight number attached to the 5th freedom leg SCL-EZE, and then on as AF417 EZE-CDG.
This route is operated by a 772ER; I find it highly unlikely the captains did not allow for a significant amount of fuel for this short leg. The plane was nowhere near MTOW, so they could have easily added some extra fuel, as the plane wouldn't be near the max landing weight either. The alternate for EZE would have likely been COR, 350nm away, so in the worst case, the plane would be on finals at EZE, then needing to go back to COR, they should have the extra fuel on board for that.

Now if they would refer to AF418, this would be a whole different thing, I imagine the 772 leaves CDG near MTOW with its tanks filled up, starting it's long journey to EZE. Still, when approaching EZE it should be able to make it to an alternative, COR. It must have the required amount of fuel left to do so. If the plane would have encountered very strong head winds along the route, I wonder whether the captains did not realize their fuel reserves would become critical and make a fuelling-stop in GRU or GIG, two regular AF outstations.

Now this is all far fetched, as I do not think (or hope, see my signature) that AF would compromise safety by running low on fuel. A much more likely explanation is that the conversation in the movie is not real, and the director mixed up the flight numbers AF417 and AF418.

I do not claim the movie is based on nothing, I am willing to believe the Argentinean ATC is a mess, but boy those Argentineans do like big scandals...

On a side note to the OP: you have any clue how big "Latin America" is? I would prefer you change Latin America to Argentina because there's a whole lot more to LatAm than Argentina (despite my impression Argentineans might tend to ignore that Big grin )
 
PHKLM
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 6:45 pm

Quoting PU752 (Reply 7):
've actually heard the ATC on Baires when I was flying between MVD and AEP,

Either, you are a pilot and I may HOPE you listened to the ATC of Bue; or you where flying United Airlines and listening to Channel 9 (shouldn't it be disabled outside the US and boasting some classical music instead?) or you annoyed your fellow passengers by listening to a radio scanner in mid-flight, and I'm not so sure that is very legal either.
Please help me out.
 
md80fanatic
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 7:53 pm

So the controller is not a native english speaker.....that is not a requirement. Personally, I had no problem understanding the controller. The first mistake was the controller issuing an ILS clearance where no ILS equipment is functional. The pilots then radiod back for confirmation asking whether the ILS on 35 was "serviceable". A few seconds pass as the controller tries to discern was was intended by the term "serviceable".

I am a native English speaker, and I would have to think twice before answering that question. Does serviceable mean "is the unit in service" or does it mean "is it able to be fixed in time for the approach". I think it's ( <<<< normal contraction) not a wise idea to use terms like "serviceable" ( <<< not really a normal contraction) when communicating with foreign ATCs. A few second delay in the response is not all that unusual, if terminolgy is used the controller is not entirely familiar with.

ATC made the mistake of clearing for ILS 35 where no ILS was functional. The AF pilot made the mistake of using possibly confusing terminology, coupled with a very audible agitation level. The pilot also used unusual breaks in his speech....sometimes mid-sentence....which can tend to be confusing.

Recommendations:

EZE ATC, get a grip on what nav equipment is in operation at the airport.
AF pilot, speak more slowly if possible....and try to use wording that is more common, like "does it work?" rather than "is it serviceable?"
 
PHKLM
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:14 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 9):
or you where flying United Airlines and listening to Channel 9 (shouldn't it be disabled outside the US and boasting some classical music instead?)

I can cross this one off because you clearly said MVD-AEP and I know this then has to be Aerolineas or Pluna, as UA flies MVD-EZE.
 
legacy135
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Sun Mar 11, 2007 8:32 pm

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 10):
Does serviceable mean "is the unit in service" or does it mean "is it able to be fixed in time for the approach

I do see your point. But ATC English isn't English as you speak it. It's a kind of simplified language, set up that everybody should understand it. This makes it particularly difficult for us Europeans, flying into the US, as those guys normally just talk. So we have to pay special attention.

The term "serviceable" in ATC English means "functional" or "on service". So by receiving the clearance as given by the controller, a pilot can expect the ILS to work.

I personally can not see, how the ATC controller could clear the AF for an ILS that was out of service. They do have status indication, as all those NAV aids are constantly monitored. Furthermore, as it's off for a long time now, everybody there must have known.

If there is critics about the AF crew, I do see it in the relatively complex way of talking in English to the controller. It was obvious to realize, that the controller had difficulties in understanding. Anyhow, I also would expect controllers on Argentines biggest international airport to handle such a situation without problems.

Cheers
Legacy135 Wink
 
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alberchico
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:22 am

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 8):
On a side note to the OP: you have any clue how big "Latin America" is? I would prefer you change Latin America to Argentina because there's a whole lot more to LatAm than Argentina (despite my impression Argentineans might tend to ignore that

even though this focuses on argentina many latin countries because of lack of funds and mismanagement have similar probles with their aviation infrastructure....
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ebs757
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:06 am

Thats just sickening...
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captaink
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 11:42 am

That is crazy, and very unprofessional on the part of the ATC... But I am going on a limb here by saying that is situation may not be the case with all of Latin America, nor even Argentina. Saying it is, may be somewhat a predjudiced generalization.

P.S. Cool accent that Argentine reporter had though.
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JBirdAV8r
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 12:30 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 8):
This route is operated by a 772ER; I find it highly unlikely the captains did not allow for a significant amount of fuel for this short leg. The plane was nowhere near MTOW, so they could have easily added some extra fuel, as the plane wouldn't be near the max landing weight either. The alternate for EZE would have likely been COR, 350nm away, so in the worst case, the plane would be on finals at EZE, then needing to go back to COR, they should have the extra fuel on board for that.

Now if they would refer to AF418, this would be a whole different thing, I imagine the 772 leaves CDG near MTOW with its tanks filled up, starting it's long journey to EZE. Still, when approaching EZE it should be able to make it to an alternative, COR. It must have the required amount of fuel left to do so. If the plane would have encountered very strong head winds along the route, I wonder whether the captains did not realize their fuel reserves would become critical and make a fuelling-stop in GRU or GIG, two regular AF outstations.

Thanks, armchair observer, but you're making a fair amount of assumptions here, and I doubt their accuracy.

Declaring "low fuel" (in the US, "minimum fuel") doesn't necessarily mean the flight doesn't have enough fuel to continue to the destination or an alternate. It means, basically, that any undue delay could result in an emergency. Likely the AF pilot was trying to get some semblance of worthwhile handling from ATC, and that if he kept futzing around at low altitude on the missed approach, things could get hairy. Declaring minimum fuel is more of an advisory, kind of a "hey, pay attention to me, you might want to give me a little more priority before I declare an emergency and make me your priority." I think it was a worthwhile attempt to get the controller's attention (which he obviously wasn't getting) and salvage a bad situation.

I am not familiar with the JAA rules pertaining to low fuel (many here are/would be) but I am familiar with the FAA's outlook on it.
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:35 pm

For what it is worth, my experience with controllers in Mexico and in Belize has been complete professionalism and excellent service.
...three miles from BRONS, clear for the ILS one five approach...
 
luisde8cd
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 1:44 pm

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 8):
On a side note to the OP: you have any clue how big "Latin America" is? I would prefer you change Latin America to Argentina because there's a whole lot more to LatAm than Argentina (despite my impression Argentineans might tend to ignore that Big grin )

This is a typical thread coming from an Argentinian a.netter. If things in Argentina go bad then it's all of LatinAmerica which is sinking, if things in Argentina go well then it's the almighty Argentina which is the country in the region with best development index.

Now back to the original thread... if this is true then action must be taken against that controller. I can't believe how ATC Management could put a non-english speaker in Ezeiza Approach. Here in Venezuela our airports' ILS systems are a good thing to remember from the past (most of them have broken down in recent years and nobody has cared enough to fix them), but airport charts and ATC DO tell pilots about that and guide them for visual approaches.

ATC in Mexico is great, especially handling all that traffic around Mexico City.

ATC is Panama is very very scary. Planes takeoff from whatever runway direction they choose.

Saludos desde Caracas,
Luis
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:10 pm

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):
ATC in Mexico is great, especially handling all that traffic around Mexico City

Yeah. I've monitored ATC with my scanner when I'm in Mexico and I've always been impressed, a few heavy accents here and there, but otherwise excellent.
 
CRFLY
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 2:25 pm

Very interesting! Before I graduated from Embry-Riddle, I wrote a report about the misscommunication problem between pilots and ATC, and the problem of the poor English proficency that ATC and pilots have. Here is a summary of my research, hope you enjoy it.



Communication Errors and Language Issues in Air Traffic Control


Some important accidents in the history of aviation happened because of language barriers between pilots and the ATC. The accidents of Tenerife, New York, Cali, India, and Guam, were an example of poor English proficiency from both air traffic controllers and airmen. These misunderstandings led to major disasters in the aviation industry.
The International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) agreed to set English language standards by March 2008, in order to have safer skies, especially in foreign countries. Maybe until then no major airline accidents will be blamed on language issues.

Over the years, English has been established as the worldwide official language for air traffic control (ATC) communications. Pilots from the United States and other English-speaking countries learn to fly and communicate in English with the ATC. However, that is not the case in other parts of the world, where pilots communicate with the ATC in their native languages. Only pilots who fly internationally are “required” to be proficient in English and establish two-way communication with the ATC in English. This might be the cause of some major accidents in the history of aviation.

In some regions of the world, pilots communicate with each other, and with the ATC, in the native language of the area. Only major foreign carriers that fly into those international airports speak English with the ATC, causing difficulties to the controllers because the other language and English are spoken randomly at the same time. Also, foreign pilots do not understand what is spoken on the radio, and therefore they have no idea of the positions of the other aircrafts in the pattern, especially dangerous during take-offs and landings.

Nordwall emphasizes the problem that pilots face when they are in countries where the ATC is conducted in another language. This is a major danger because the airmen have no situational awareness, something very common in Latin America when the foreign pilots “suddenly find they have no idea what’s going on around them” (46).
Those affected by this language problem can be divided into two groups: The first group is the English-speaking pilots who fly to another country where English is not the official language, where the ATC and the local pilots talk in their native language. The other group is the foreign pilots who fly into an English-speaking country, and whose English is so poor that they can hardly communicate with the ATC. They can not understand what the ATC is talking about and also the ATC can not understand what the pilots are trying to say. Asians, Europeans, Latin Americans and Middle Eastern pilots and controllers often have been in this situation.


1. Pan American and KLM – Tenerife, 1977

As stated by Flight International, “the worst accident in aviation history was caused by a crew thinking they had take-off clearance when they did not” (5). That happened on March 27, 1977 when two Boeings 747s collided and crashed on the runway at Santa Cruz de Tenerife, on one of the Spanish Canary Islands. According to Air Disaster, a total of 583 people died, 335 aboard the Pan American World Airways (Pan Am) 747 and all the 248 passengers on the KLM Jumbo Jet (03271977).

Gero explains that a bomb had exploded at Las Palmas Airport on The Gran Canaria Island. That main terminal was closed, forcing all traffic to fly to nearby airports. The KLM and the Pan Am flights also had to divert to Los Rodeos Airport in Santa Cruz de Tenerife (140).

When the main airport at Las Palmas reopened, both KLM and Pan Am flights decided to fly back. Gero also mentions that the ground traffic of airplanes was so congested that the 747s were required to taxi over the main runway in order to reach the very end of it, turn around and then take off. The KLM flight was taxiing first, followed by the Pan Am 747. The weather was deteriorating and the airport was covered with a dense fog (140).

Flight International reports that the KLM 747 was at the very end of runway 12 ready to turn 180° for its departure. Meanwhile, the Pan Am 747 was still taxiing on the same runway, and although they were told by the ATC to exit on the third exit, the Pan Am jet continued taxiing towards the next exit (5). In the meantime, the KLM 747 had turned and called the tower “we are now at take off,” released the brakes and applied full power. The Tenerife Tower replied “OK, stand by for take- off, I will call you,” but this message was broken up by the Pan Am simultaneous transmission “no, we’re still taxing down the runway”. The KLM 747 hurtled down the foggy runway and crashed against the Pan Am 747 (5).

Multiple circumstances were involved in the crash of the two 747s, and it was the first time a communication error between two pilots of different jetliners and the ATC led to such a deadly accident. The terms used by the Dutch captain (“we are now at take off”) were misunderstood by the Spanish controller, who gave the KLM aircraft the departure clearance but told them to take position and hold on runway 12. After that KLM transmission, the ATC responded “OK, stand by for take-off, I will call you,” a clear statement that the controller did not understand that the 747 was starting the take-off roll.

But the Pan Am pilot heard the KLM transmission and replied quickly, breaking up the ATC transmission, because the American pilot knew they had misunderstood each other and that the KLM 747 was on its take-off roll while they were still taxiing towards the next exit.


2. Avianca – New York, 1990

According to Gero, on January 25th, 1990 a Boeing 707 from the Colombian carrier Avianca was flying between the Capital Bogota, and New York’s Kennedy International Airport (JFK). Flight 52 did an intermediate stop in Medellin, the second largest city of Colombia. The flight was routine for the Boeing 707 crew. The flight departed Medellin with 158 passengers and crew onboard. The pilots reported no incidents on the way from Medellin to New York (218).
As reported in the NSTB Accident Report, “because of poor weather conditions in the northeastern United States, the flight crew was placed in hold three times by air traffic control for a total amount of 1 hour and 17 minutes” (1).
Gero affirms that during the holding patter of more than an hour, the 707 consumed its fuel reserve load, which was to have been used to divert to its alternative destination, Boston Logan Airport (218).

The author also makes reference to the fact that when the ATC at JFK asked the Avianca flight crew how much longer the aircraft could hold, the first officer replied “about five minutes” (218). Because of the wind shear conditions and strong head wind, the crew missed the first approach and had to go around for a second attempt, but the plane did not have enough fuel to fly the pattern again and complete a second approach, a situation that Gero called “the stage for the disaster” (219). After the go-around procedure, the controllers asked the Avianca crew to ascend to a higher altitude but the first offer replied “negative Sir, we just running [sic] out of fuel” (219), and after that, the jet engines failed from fuel exhaustion, causing the Boeing 707 to crash on a wooden hillside of Cove Neck, on the northern side of Long Island.

The main issue of this accident was the poor English proficiency of the pilots for maintaining a communication with the ATC, and informing them that they were having a fuel emergency. Also, they should have informed the ATC that because the holding pattern was longer than expected, the aircraft would not even make the alternate airport at Boston. Another issue of this accident discussed in the NTSB report, was the poor ATC flow control which included the responsibilities to accommodate an aircraft with low fuel (1).


3. American Airlines – Cali, Colombia, 1995

On December 20, 1995 an American Airlines Boeing 757 crashed into mountain terrain close to Cali, Colombia, killing all but four of the 163 passengers and crew (Gero, 255). The accident revealed that many mistakes were made by the crew of the 757, but also a language barrier between them and the Colombian traffic controller. According to Gero, American flight 965 was cleared for landing to runway 19 at Cali International Airport. “Over the next few minutes, a period marked by confusion on its flight deck, the jetliner strayed from the proper course, descended below the minimum altitude and ultimately crashed in the Andes some 40 miles north-north-east of its destination” (255).

According to the author, the flight plan had runway 1 as the designated runway for landing, but the pilots decided to use runway 19 and approach from the opposite direction in order to expedite the landing, because the flight was coming two hours late from Miami (256).

Although the accident was blamed on the pilots, Nordwall reports that even though the controller was aware that the crew had passed an important waypoint, he could not communicate that message to the crew in English (46). Gero also states that the controller was limited in the English language and not trained to solicit information from the pilots to determine the extent of the difficulty they were experiencing (257). The author also relates that “although the controller said there were no language difficulties between him and the crew, he later admitted that he would have asked the pilots detailed questions regarding the routering [sic] and approach had they spoken in his native Spanish” (257).


4. Saudi Arabian and Kazakhstan Airlines – India 1996

According to Gero, the worst mid-air collision in the history of commercial aviation occurred on November 12, 1996 fifty miles west of New Delhi, India (268). Air Disaster reports that a Boeing 747-100 of Saudi Arabian Airlines and cargo Ilyushin IL-76 of Kazakhstan Airlines collided in mid-air after the Kazakhstan crew failed to maintain their assigned altitude (11121996). According to Gero, “the failure of the Kazakhstan transport to maintain its assigned altitude height was attributed to poor command of the English language used by its pilots, which caused a misunderstanding between them and the controller” (269). The author also cites that the accident report concluded that the “lack of professionalism and their poor cockpit discipline caused the collision” (269). A total of 349 passengers from both airplanes perished in the collision.

According to Gero, a contributing factor to the accident was the absence of a secondary radar system covering the area, which would have provided the controller with the height of both aircrafts, and the use of the same airway for arriving and departing flights. Neither the 747 nor the Ilyushin were equipped with a collision-avoidance system (269).


5. Korean Air – Guam, 1997

On August 7, 1997 a Boeing 747-300 of Korean Air crashed on a hill closed to Agana International Airport, serving Guam. “The aircraft had been cleared for a ‘localizer-only’ non-precision approach to runway 06-Left. The clearance included the advisory that the glide slope portion of the Instrument Landing System (ILS) was unusable” (Gero, 271).
An analysis of the voice recorder transcript indicated that prior to the crash the “not-in-sight” and missed approach calls had been made, and the ground proximity warning system had previously sounded “minimums” and “sink rate”, but the 747 continued its descent until it struck a tree and then slammed into the uneven terrain, broke apart and burst into flames (Gero, 270).

The author attributed the accident to the inadequate briefing and execution of the approach by the captain, the improper monitoring of the first and second officers’ actions by the captain, and to the poor English knowledge of the entire crew, who ignored the warning of the controller that the glide slope of the ILS was unusable (271). Air disaster reports that 228 out of the 254 passengers and crew died in Korean Air flight 801 that night (08061997).


The language factor has caused many accidents since the Tenerife crash, and too many of the passenger fatalities have been attributed to language factors. According to The Port Authority of NY and NJ, at New York’s JFK Airport alone, controllers must communicate with pilots from more than 75 different nationalities, and for most of them, English is a second or third language.

As stated by Elizabeth Mathews, “the English language-speaking industry is a huge robust market with 500-600 companies, but for aviation-specific language, the market is not so robust, and although the airlines have developed in-house training programs and materials, none are entirely appropriate.”

Language factors caused seven of the most deadly airline accidents, six of them during the decade of the 90’s. Maybe after the ICAO standards that will be mandatory after 2008, language will not be an issue anymore for the safe execution of the airlines’ operations.
With Age comes Wisdom...
 
Summa767
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 3:18 pm

There have been serious questions raised about Argentinian ATC before. For what I have read this thread should be called "lousy ATC in Argentina", as South America is a pretty big continent and problems shown on this documentary should not be generalised.

The author of "Air Force plc" was a LAPA pilot, and had before made another documentary about a LAPA 737 crash, and the systemic failings that contributed.
 
coa747
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Mon Mar 12, 2007 4:06 pm

I would have to agree that it isn't fair to make a blanket statement about South America. This issue seems to be localized to Argentina.

As part of my job I have to check flight tracks against ATC tapes to determine if departure and arrival procedures are followed and sometimes the controllers speak so fast I have to play back the recording to understand so I can just imagine what European pilots and others deal with when flying within the USA. That being said the controllers when not understood are almost always nice and will repeat the transmission at a slower pace when they realize the pilot is not from the US.

The other thing to consider is phraseology, even though english is spoken in both the US and Great Britain for example there are rather large differences between the queens english and the US english.

As for the Avianca flight the biggest problem was the crews use of the word priority which did not mean the same thing to the controller as it did to the Avianca crew, that and the fact that the controllers were slammed dealing with the bad weather and just didn't pick up the urgency of the situation until it was too late.
 
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alberchico
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Tue Mar 13, 2007 8:30 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 15):
P.S. Cool accent that Argentine reporter had though.

all argentines have that native accent
 Smile
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Electech6299
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:03 am

Quoting KLM685 (Reply 2):
Also I'm impressed at how at the beginning of the video the "ATC" is arguing as if the stupid one is the AF pilot.

I am curious, and perhaps it will take a pilot with charts of EZE to answer this. Do the current charts reflect the ILS inop and circle-to-land procedure for approach to 35? Is it possible that the AF pilot was expected to know the approach procedure- and the ATC just failed to recognize that the pilot didn't know the procedure?

Clearly the language barrier was bad, and clearly the controller made serious- even terminable- errors. But before we lay blame, shouldn't we also know what each of the parties was responsible for?

If I go to the McDonald's drive through, I am supposed to read the menu and order from there. I am supposed to know that McDonalds does not sell hot dogs. So if I go to the drive through and order in fluent, rapid english, "I-want-a-large-drink-and-a-hot-dog-and-small-fries", the teller is probably going to go on about what kind of drink I want and so on, and not understand that I want a hot dog, and when he/she finally does, she will tell me that I can't get one at McDonalds.

So, when the AF pilot asked for ILS 35, was he supposed to know the circle-and-land procedure? Was the AF pilot asking for a hot dog at McDonalds? It's situations like that when language barriers become intense- when they are predicated by cultural, geographic, or technical barriers. Perhaps if the AF pilot had prepared for the flight and read his charts, this might not have happened.

(Again, I'm not trying to excuse the ATC, just trying to see the big picture)
Send not to know for whom the bell tolls...it tolls for thee
 
fly727
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Tue Mar 13, 2007 9:39 am

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):
This is a typical thread coming from an Argentinian a.netter. If things in Argentina go bad then it's all of LatinAmerica which is sinking, if things in Argentina go well then it's the almighty Argentina which is the country in the region with best development index.

So very truth. I deal every single day with ATC in Mexico and I always find it professional and reliable. It can surely improve as some places lack of Radar APP (TRACON), but in general it is very very good.

ICAO is already working on a common language for civil air operations (English). I am getting my proficiency check and tests next month, hopefully I'll be able to get a Level 6 and just see how others suffer in 2008 when it will be mandatory.

RM  Smile
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
PPVRA
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:09 am

Of course I think every ATCer should speak english, and do so well, but to a certain extent I can see why maybe the guy got confused. There's some miscommunication in there, perhaps a misuse of proper terminology (not a pilot, just going with other posts above) and the AF pilot being a "smartass" ("...how can it now be working?" or something along those lines) when inquiring about the actual status of the ILS for RWY 35 seem to have thrown the ATCer off. People who are not native speakers will have this kind of difficulty.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
juventus
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Tue Mar 13, 2007 10:10 am

Quoting Alberchico (Thread starter):

You topic is misleading, you should specify the country. United launching flights from Washington to Beijing is not the same as United launching flights from Washington to Asia.

As far as the topic, ATC is mostly to blame, but the AF pilot didn't help the situation by threating the controller. All that did was make the controller even more nervous. Get the airplane safely on the ground, then say or do whatever you think you need to do.
 
atct
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:17 am

Quoting Legacy135 (Reply 12):
They do have status indication, as all those NAV aids are constantly monitored.

We do in the states, I cant say that statement about every country though.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):
ATC in Mexico is great,

You got to be smoking something. We have delays all the time due to equipment outages and "seasonal volume" I believe they call it. Aka they cant handle the planes. Advice, get some Radar mexico, get out of the berlin airlift era with non-radar procedures.

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 26):
and the AF pilot being a "smartass"

Well thats pretty typical. (No offense to any frenchies, but AF pilots are known to be pretty stuck up and have the god attitude...only airline thats ever asked me "Why" when I gave an instruction).


Anywho Latin American ATC is hit or miss. Some countries are good, some are darn well scary.

Regarding the english language, it is an ICAO requirement that ATC communication be in english. Any ICAO participating nation or carrier should speak in understandable english.



ATCT
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LipeGIG
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 12:57 am

Well i have to say that Brazil face the same problem. In a recent pool by our authorities only 29% of the ATC staff speaks english fluently. They are training the others as quick as they can in order to be prepared for further in-sight future visits and inspection from US and European Authorities.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
MD11junkie
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 1:57 am

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):
This is a typical thread coming from an Argentinian a.netter. If things in Argentina go bad then it's all of LatinAmerica which is sinking, if things in Argentina go well then it's the almighty Argentina which is the country in the region with best development index.

Where's all this bullshit coming from? I know, it's Chavez's fault!  Yeah sure Get a grip. I find your first paragraph insulting, and generalization. If you knew better, Alberchico is not Argentine - or think he's not, so it'd be better if you thought before typing.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):
I can't believe how ATC Management could put a non-english speaker in Ezeiza Approach.

"ATC management" as you call it, is a bunch of inept bastards designated by another inept idiot in the Air Force. Yes, the Air Force in this country controls Air Traffic Control. Well, we are in the middle of transition between military to civil control. This will take years. And this has to do with the lack of english training in the CIPE. (Centro de Instrucción y Perfeccionamiento of Fuerza Aerea Argentina). HOWEVER, this has not stopped ICAO from granting CIPE it's level of Regional Instruction Center.

Quoting Electech6299 (Reply 24):
I am curious, and perhaps it will take a pilot with charts of EZE to answer this. Do the current charts reflect the ILS inop and circle-to-land procedure for approach to 35? Is it possible that the AF pilot was expected to know the approach procedure- and the ATC just failed to recognize that the pilot didn't know the procedure?

I do not know that, because charts are not available to public if not bought. Ever since installed ILS for RWY17/35 has been INOP.

Quoting MD80fanatic (Reply 10):
that is not a requirement

But it should be!

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 9):
or you where flying United Airlines and listening to Channel 9 (shouldn't it be disabled outside the US and boasting some classical music instead?)

Channel 9 works outside the US, or at least in the flight I took on Dec 2005 to MVD.

Quoting KLM685 (Reply 2):
2. BARELY understands English.

This is the right one.

Quoting Alberchico (Reply 4):
the film is called air force but its spanish name is

fuerza aeria

You should improve your Spanish skills, the name is: Fuerza Aérea Sociedad Anónima.

ATC in this country (international mainly) has SERIOUS defficiencies. But this is because the lack of investment in a corrupt organization like the Air Force. However, the government after watching this film (it was released mid 2006 - so this is no big deal in Argentina now) took the Air Force out and started the transition towards a Civil Organization controlling it. The lack of investment, caused to have only ONE radar that covers 150nm out of EZE. Now, the government has bought 11 radars that should be delivered this year.

I suggest that people READ and LEARN before talking and blaming EVERYTHING on one country.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):
ATC in Mexico is great, especially handling all that traffic around Mexico City.

ATC is Panama is very very scary. Planes takeoff from whatever runway direction they choose.

And you know this how?

Gastón - The MD11junkie
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Pu752
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:48 am

Quoting PHKLM (Reply 9):
Either, you are a pilot and I may HOPE you listened to the ATC of Bue; or you where flying United Airlines and listening to Channel 9 (shouldn't it be disabled outside the US and boasting some classical music instead?) or you annoyed your fellow passengers by listening to a radio scanner in mid-flight, and I'm not so sure that is very legal either.
Please help me out.

Not to be offensive but im not going to explain you something that you couldnt understand if you're not familiar with operations over baires airspace, and believe me there are many reasons why you could end up with eze app and then to parque app even though you're headed to AEP.

Rgs!
 
BMIFlyer
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 2:53 am

Scary!  eek 

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 30):
Channel 9 works outside the US

Correct.

Last year when I flew UA back in 2005, I was listening to Ch9 over the atlantic. I heard plenty of aircraft communicating with the USAF AWACS that were on patrol in the area.

Mentioned it in my report 6 Days, 8 Flights & 16000 Miles On UA (Long/Pics) (by BMIFlyer Oct 13 2005 in Trip Reports)  Wink

Quote:
After the meal I listened to the VHF chatter on Channel 9. There were a few pilots talking to each other about various subjects - ball games, current winds, airline management and of course there were many DL and NW bankruptcy jokes. I also heard a few USAF tankers and also awacs aircraft too, relaying information back and forth from Gander control for various pilots in the area. I looked up from my book (Losing My Virginity - Richard Branson) and glanced at the airshow screen again. It was showing 2998 miles from destination, 513mph speed, 49mph headwind.

Lee
Sometimes You Can't Make It On Your Own
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:16 am

Quoting ATCT (Reply 28):
Advice, get some Radar mexico, get out of the berlin airlift era with non-radar procedures.

*Ahem*, Mexico has enroute radar coverage all over, and TRACON in almost all the major airports.



http://www.seneam.gob.mx/ <--- a bit outdated, but a good resource
 
PPVRA
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 3:43 am

I've only listened to GRU ATC once on a UA flight (Channel 9). The ATCer spoke English pretty well (apparantly, although there wasn't that much being said, only short exchanges). However that was my only exposure to GRU ATC so I do not know how things really are.

ATC will likely be going civilian here. A lot of people talking about it and the airforce commander agreed to it as well.
"If goods do not cross borders, soldiers will" - Frederic Bastiat
 
Pu752
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:01 am

Quoting PPVRA (Reply 34):
ATC will likely be going civilian here. A lot of people talking about it and the airforce commander agreed to it as well

Are brazilian controllers militars or civilians ? how does it work on GRU ?
 
atct
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 6:49 am

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 33):
*Ahem*, Mexico has enroute radar coverage all over, and TRACON in almost all the major airports.

As a riddled with debt person I see you work in the industry and deal with their delays everyday. (Wow, due to Non-Radar spacing along with other delays). I rest my case.


ATCT
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fly727
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 7:51 am

Quoting ATCT (Reply 36):
As a riddled with debt person I see you work in the industry and deal with their delays everyday. (Wow, due to Non-Radar spacing along with other delays). I rest my case.

Non-radar spacing? Affecting inbound traffic from MX to the US? Both MMZT MMTY cover the area 100%... Besides, the most important Terminal Aereas have radar service while the entire territory has ARTCC radar coverage.

I'd love to have you onboard one day to show you how efficient is ATC here. Being a Private Pilot; Single-Engine-Land, Tailwheel, High Performance, Complex, Air Traffic Control Tower Operator, Certified Surface Aviation Weather Observer, Flight Attendant (from your profile) I am sure you would enjoy the ride!

Keep the blue side up,

RM  Smile
FAA + DGAC PPL ASEL, High Performance, Complex, IR, CPL, ME, ATP, AGI, CRM Instructor, B727-100/200, B737-200, CL-601, SF-340B. Aviation Lawyer. Capt. with a Regional airline flying both countries (MX & US) (from my CV).
There are no stupid questions... just stupid people!
 
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:29 am

Quoting MD11junkie (Reply 30):
Quoting Alberchico (Reply 4):
the film is called air force but its spanish name is

fuerza aeria


You should improve your Spanish skills, the name is: Fuerza Aérea Sociedad Anónima.

When the movie came out in Argentina what was the general reaction from people ???
short summary of every jewish holiday: they tried to kill us ,we won , lets eat !
 
FelixSJU
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:32 am

Quoting Captaink (Reply 15):
But I am going on a limb here by saying that is situation may not be the case with all of Latin America, nor even Argentina. Saying it is, may be somewhat a predjudiced generalization

I agree with you, many of the ATC's and also the Aproach controlers of SJU don't speak english as a 1st lenguage and they have no problems like these. So not all Latinamerica have this problem, I think only Argentina is the problem.....
 
Marambio
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:50 am

The situation in Argentina is sick. Since the 1960s, the Air Force controls civil aviation and all they have done is practically nothing. We are still working with radars older than 30 years and the famous plan for getting newers apparently has been iddly sitting on a desk for the last months. The Government signed a contract for new radars with INVAP (a state-owned technology company, http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/INVAP) last year, but no news have been heard since that happened. Right now only Ezeiza has got a decent radar (although it broke down because of a storm some weeks ago), while the rest of the FIRs work with what we call in Spanish estimas, i.e. radio communications but no real radar contact.

According to the ICAO, speaking English is mandatory on positions such as Centre and Approach at international airports. ATCs at Ezeiza, Córdoba and Mendoza should all speak English, and in fact some do very well, but others have no knowledge of any language but Spanish. It is permitted to communicate to the ATC in a country's national tongue, which is the case accross Latin America, but English is the only language when foreign airliners enter our airspace.

This documentary was directed by Enrique Piñeyro, a former MJ captain who became famous after his first movie, Whisky Romeo Zulu, on which he dennounced the situation at the airline that caused Argentina's bloodiest airplane accident in 1999 - the plane's registration was LV-WRZ, thus the film's name. While I do agree with Mr Piñeyro on the fact that the Air Force is responsible for what has been happening on Argentine aviation for the last 40 years, I don't see they are the only bad guys - several administrations and even airlines managed to get along with terrible measures for civil aviation, in order to "cut costs" by sending some money to some Commodores and Brigadiers. That is what you get on countries where corruption is spread accross the whole society.

Quoting Alberchico (Reply 38):
When the movie came out in Argentina what was the general reaction from people ???

The day after the movie came out, the Ministry of Defence announced they would create a special Civil Aviation Unit within the framework of the Ministry of Federal Planning, thus ending the Air Force's reign over it. Rumours state this sould be ready before the end of this year, but nothing is confirmed. No matter how big the reaction was the first months after "Fuerza Aérea Sociedad Anónima" came out, people have since then focused their attention in other things.

Quoting Luisde8cd (Reply 18):

This is a typical thread coming from an Argentinian a.netter. If things in Argentina go bad then it's all of LatinAmerica which is sinking, if things in Argentina go well then it's the almighty Argentina which is the country in the region with best development index.

Estaría bueno que la cortaras una vez con los estereotipos absurdos y la boludez, ¿dale?  Smile

Saludos,
Marambio
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
LH526
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:16 am

I totally second that pilots emotions and would have acted the same!!

I flew pletny of times in and out of EZE on various equipment and airlines and know about all that Rwy 17 issue within the last decade. I remember a significant piece of the 35 threshold being closed due to constuction making the remaining part available to 17 quite short ... jumpseating a full LH B744 nonstop service from FRA landing on that little strip is scary, bizare and unbelievable! The construction site was ot anounced in the NOTAMS for quite some time, and it's just a wow moment having the full 120% blast of deceleration impounded on you while the beast heads straight for the red white construction site tape.

All in all, despite a rather fancy and design savvy Terminal checkin hall ... once airside, Argentinas aim for the aeropuertos 2000 leave a lot to be desired ... sure they have improved from the sweaty 3rd world like bunker Ezeiza was in the 90s ... but it still is far from a level of top notch airports.

I experienced the young Argentinians being the most european-like .. excellent english, open minded, worldly .... so I wonder why a controller has such big lacks in both english and knowledge of what his everyday job is.

Don't get me wrong, I love Argentina, I love the people, the european lifestyle, I adore Buenos Aires and the Patagonian plains .... but that whole infrastructure both of Ezeiza and Buenos Aires itself needs heavy improvement (Roads, trains(!), ...). I know about Argentinas situation, especially financial ... and I wish them all the best for a quick relief!

Mario
LH526
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Pu752
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:24 am

Quoting Lh526 (Reply 41):
I remember a significant piece of the 35 threshold being closed due to constuction making the remaining part available to 17 quite short

now that sounds very odd, why would they land in there ? if they have rwy 11/28 , and I guess a little of crosswing wouldnt have matter that much to the pilots either i guess.
 
LVZXV
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:36 am

Indeed, it is very convenient to blame the Argentine Air Force for everything. It is also very Argentine not just to deflect the blame but at only one source, after which the flock mentality sets in and most people will blame nothing else. Piñeyro knows a lot more than me on the subject, but he didn't shed much light on the fact that the most statistically dangerous airline in Argentina is in fact fully civilian (Austral), that LADE's safety record is in fact better than the dramatic images of an F27 and a B707 smashed to pieces suggest, and that the safety culture in all the Argentine airlines until the major accidents in the '90s was actually quite poor. Why? Because a lot of pilots took their complacent "máh sí..." attitudes on board their aircraft. Go to www.aviation-safety.net and read up on none other than AR's accidents in the '60s and '70s--most of which mercfiully resulted in few if any casualties, but were still pretty reckless nonetheless. Only the incidents in '86 and '88 in the old airport at Ushuaia (EAU) can be directly attributed to the Air Force (because, for a change, AR was on strike).

Aguante Quique!!

Saludos,

ZXV
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Marambio
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:46 am

Quoting Lh526 (Reply 41):
I remember a significant piece of the 35 threshold being closed due to constuction making the remaining part available to 17 quite short ... jumpseating a full LH B744 nonstop service from FRA landing on that little strip is scary, bizare and unbelievable! The construction site was ot anounced in the NOTAMS for quite some time, and it's just a wow moment having the full 120% blast of deceleration impounded on you while the beast heads straight for the red white construction site tape.

When did that happen? First time I hear it, and while our aviation authorities are a pain in the ass, they usually do issue NOTAMs when these things happen. Besides, as Mr PU752 said, it sounds weird they went for runway 17 (hardly used anyway) instead of 11/29.

Quoting Lh526 (Reply 41):
once airside, Argentinas aim for the aeropuertos 2000 leave a lot to be desired ... sure they have improved from the sweaty 3rd world like bunker Ezeiza was in the 90s ... but it still is far from a level of top notch airports.

Aeropuertos Argentina 2000 does not control the airspace, they just build and manage the air terminals. Even though I am one of the biggest critics of AA2000 and that joke of international gateway we have at Ezeiza, I don't see what it has to do with the topic being discussed.

Quoting Lh526 (Reply 41):

I experienced the young Argentinians being the most european-like .. excellent english, open minded, worldly .... so I wonder why a controller has such big lacks in both english and knowledge of what his everyday job is.

Nobody sees a controller working. Nobody pays attention to them, because they have no real contact with pax and VIPs. So, if nobody sees them there's no need for them to be good. Sadly, it should be this country's motto, and it is part of the "mah sí" attitude Mr LVZXV described.

Saludos,
Marambio

[Edited 2007-03-14 02:54:51]
Aerolíneas Argentinas - La Argentina que levanta vuelo
 
LH526
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 9:59 am

Quoting PU752 (Reply 42):

now that sounds very odd, why would they land in there ? if they have rwy 11/28 , and I guess a little of crosswing wouldnt have matter that much to the pilots either i guess.



Quoting Marambio (Reply 44):
When did that happen? First time I hear it, and while our aviation authorities are a pain in the ass, they usually do issue NOTAMs when these things happen. Besides, as Mr PU752 said, it sounds weird they went for runway 17 (hardly used anyway) instead of 11/28.

Must have been around 1994 or 1997. The construction was very fresh and there was no NOTAM issued about that (not untill a few days later). and the LH pilots along with other really were pissed off! They were only aware of the situation by a note of the outbound LH crew the day before.

And yes, I confused things here ... I just checked the slides I took during that ride and the situation was as follows: Apprach was on the usual 11, the construction site was little west of the 11/28 with 17/35 intersection. So it was a very early 11 touchdown followed by a trackback and taxi on the ex 05.

Mario
LH526
Trittst im Morgenrot daher, seh ich dich im Strahlenmeer ...
 
PHKLM
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 4:34 pm

Quoting Lh526 (Reply 41):
Argentinas situation, especially financial ... and I wish them all the best for a quick relief!

With inflation hitting 10% in 2006, higher than Chile and Brazil (~2-3%) but even Bolivia (4%) it is very tough to recover.
The ARS (Peso Argentino) is going down hill for quite a while, making Argentina cheap for exports, but the Soy industry is very much helped by a strong Peso. Inflation is a beast to tackle when you don't want to slow down economic growth, government expenditures need to be high to keep infrastructure at reasonable levels, and inequality of wealth between the citizens is increasing.

There is a big psychological problem playing a role as well, it's hard to keep the ego's of the Argentines down, corruption is widespread and naturally a huge distrust towards authorities.

The Government really must get its act together and keep inflation down, price-fixing, wage-fixing, raising interest rates, I know these are all very hard measures and difficult to explain to the Argentines but the economy needs to grow in a sustainable way.

The country's international debt is still a major headache, Argentina heavily relies on Venezuela for attracting debt; it is never smart to put all your eggs in one basket.

I do wish Argentina a quick recovery, but frankly the future is very uncertain and I know this is very sensitive but Chile and Brazil are doing quite well; there is always a lesson to learn from your neighbours, no matter how much you despise them.
 
VEEREF
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Wed Mar 14, 2007 8:48 pm

Quoting Electech6299 (Reply 24):
I am curious, and perhaps it will take a pilot with charts of EZE to answer this. Do the current charts reflect the ILS inop and circle-to-land procedure for approach to 35? Is it possible that the AF pilot was expected to know the approach procedure- and the ATC just failed to recognize that the pilot didn't know the procedure?

Most of the time the actual chart itself will not indicate wether an approach is operative at any given moment. That kind of information is normally found in the NOTAMS section of a dispatch release. Things like inoperative navaids, approach lighting systems, changes in approach minimums due to temporary obstacles such as construction cranes, etc.
The one thing to remember is that these NOTAMS are generated by humans, and as such ommissions do occur. Quite often when going to certain places we will not find out about runway closures or inoperative approaches until we arrive at the destination.
It can make for an extremely busy cockpit during the arrival phase as new landing briefings must be accomplished for a different runway. Add a language barrier and fuel concerns and you can see what happens.
Airplanes are cool. Aviation sucks.
 
LipeGIG
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:39 am

Quoting PU752 (Reply 35):
Are brazilian controllers militars or civilians ? how does it work on GRU ?

There are two different controllers. The four main centers, Brasilia, Recife, Manaus and Curitiba, are controlled by military. The airport towers (approximation) are controlled by Infraero workers, civil ones. For GRU and GIG i can say to you that ATC staff is fluently in english.

Felipe
New York + Rio de Janeiro = One of the best combinations !
 
atct
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RE: How Lousy ATC Is In Latin America (video)

Thu Mar 15, 2007 12:41 am

Quoting Fly727 (Reply 37):
I'd love to have you onboard one day to show you how efficient is ATC here

As I would love to ride along anywhere. (Hey, what pilot wouldnt!).

If i came across wrong I apologize. At work I get delays almost every day of "Aircraft landing mexico going over Nuevo Laredo ## in trail". (Anywhere from 15 miles to 30 minutes, just depends on the day). When I inquired as to the reason, I got "Non-Radar separation and Seasonal Volume". (Just what I get from the people who tell me there are delays!).

Anywho keep the blue side up (you stealing my line?)

ATCT
Trikes are for kids!