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readytotaxi
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Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 10, 2008 5:53 pm

Around the globe is there one country,more than any other, that you really feel most comfortable in flying through their air space?
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YWG
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 10, 2008 6:31 pm

I'd have to say the USA. When I was time building and flying over there, you could get flight following from center. This not only ensures traffic avoidance, but also emergency assistance as well. Where as if you were on a traffic advisory freq, you could be talking to the air.

Another thing about the States, which really doesn't relate to ATC is that there seems to be a paved airport every 10-20miles or so. A lot of them even have an instrument approach!

I've also heard the Germans are amazing at pushing tin too!
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wing
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 10, 2008 9:45 pm

When I was a student at ERAU ATC at DAB was really a big helper for a non native tranee pilot like me.

After I started my airline carreer I never flew in US airspace but excluding them my vote goes equally to British and German controllers.Well %51 to %49 on the German side if I have to make a choice.

Most European countries has good AT services but to feeling the comfort I can complain about French airspace.Not their ability or services but too much French speaking between themselves, sometimes you can really have difficulty to understand whats happening around you.
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ZBBYLW
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:25 am

From a Canadian's stand point, I have to say the USA has the best ATC. When you need it they can really hold your hand to get you from point a to b. They really do a nice job with the flight following as well as CYWG has mentioned. YWG is also right in the USA having much more numourous instrument approaches and many more airfields, which is always great when you run into trouble.

Do not get my wrong, Canada really does have a fantastic ATC service, it is just that the USA is more capable.

On another note for a specific airport, the guys at ZBB really are amazing, they have to work with Indians, and Asian students (who hardly speak english) as well as everyone else. It is a training airport and is always in the top 5 airports in Canada for aircraft movements.
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SlamClick
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 1:34 am

I like it the best: Home. The USA. I have to confess familiarity and low-grade jingoism may be a factor but I feel quite comfortable with it all.

Other than my home skies: Cuba Those commie controllers are very nice, quite accomodating, and their English is as good as mine and better than Jamaica where English is actually the official language.

Worst: Vietnam They let people shoot at me!! Of course this was a long time ago.

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pilotpip
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 3:17 am



Quoting ZBBYLW (Reply 3):
From a Canadian's stand point, I have to say the USA has the best ATC. When you need it they can really hold your hand to get you from point a to b. They really do a nice job with the flight following as well as CYWG has mentioned. YWG is also right in the USA having much more numourous instrument approaches and many more airfields, which is always great when you run into trouble.

Do not get my wrong, Canada really does have a fantastic ATC service, it is just that the USA is more capable.

On another note for a specific airport, the guys at ZBB really are amazing, they have to work with Indians, and Asian students (who hardly speak english) as well as everyone else. It is a training airport and is always in the top 5 airports in Canada for aircraft movements.

Agree, however I think our friends to the north take the prize for being the most friendly. I also appreciate that they say "roger" to confirm your readback.

I think KC center is some of the friendliest in the US. Chicago Approach and New York Approach impress me with how automatic they are and how well they deal with the traffic. Potomac Approach seems like they can't handle more than two aircraft on final to IAD at a time.
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 4:01 am



Quoting Pilotpip (Reply 5):
Potomac Approach seems like they can't handle more than two aircraft on final to IAD at a time.

Don't forget the 10 F-16s and 22 Predators and 5 Black Helicopters flying formation with each aircraft.  Wink
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kleinsim
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:28 am

Kinda sorta related...

I was flying with Atlantic City Approach yesterday and one of the air traffic controllers working that day was from Sweden - never had anyone that was as clear as she was. Also made for interesting times on the radio with her accent.

ATC: Learjet 123 contact Philadelphia approach on 123.45
Learjet: Going to 123.45 and can we ask you a question?
ATC (annoyed): Yes, go ahead.
Learjet: Are you from France or something. Your accent is funny.
ATC: No, actually it's Sweden, sir.
Learjet: Oh, well... Sounds nice anyway. Good day/

My flight instructor and I laughed our heads off...  Smile

Kleinsim
 
prok
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:00 am

I'd say the USA as well, very straight forward, much info on possible turbulence/CB's en route and good direct routes.
Worst ATC: All countries where ATC doesn't talk english to native carriers!
Just curious: What do non-Dutch pilots think of ATC at EHAM?
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:21 am



Quoting Prok (Reply 8):
What do non-Dutch pilots think of ATC at EHAM?

Have never had any problems with ATC at EHAM. Very good, lots of runway changes, but they try to get everyone in very quickly.

Quoting Readytotaxi (Thread starter):
Around the globe is there one country,more than any other, that you really feel most comfortable in flying through their air space?

That is a very difficult question to answer. For me, The US, Canada, OZ, NZ, Western Europe, UAE, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore all do a great job. They all have their quirks, but for me, it's very difficult to differentiate. I guess, from my perspective, I would really lump the ATC providers into 3 distinct groups. Groups that excel, satisfactory and other.
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Dufo
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 10:28 am

From my experience I would say U.K. ATC.
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Pihero
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 11:16 am



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 9):
That is a very difficult question to answer. For me, The US, Canada, OZ, NZ, Western Europe, UAE, South Africa, Hong Kong, Japan and Singapore all do a great job.

1/- The US : Too many non-standard instructions, local Point identifications are not published though used by ATCOs. Not very accomodating for foreign aircrews.
2/- Canada. OK, except if you fly a French-registered a/c into Montreal...Then it becomes quite difficult : accent and local French-translated americanisms...and being polite, you'd try not to antagonise them by reverting to English procs.
3/- Japan : Safe and predictable -what we really need, anyway. Accent has to be getting used to.

I agree with the rest... But...

Quoting Dufo (Reply 10):
From my experience I would say U.K. ATC.

 checkmark   checkmark   checkmark 
After all, they had the lingo. Their professionalism is to be credited.
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SQ325
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 11, 2008 6:42 pm

London FIR is the best I think.
LHR,FRA+AMS Approach are also among the best and and most professional
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 2:07 am

Quoting Kleinsim (Reply 7):
Your accent is funny.

I would've said something more tactful than "funny" but I guess she wasn't that annoyed...


I haven't actually flown in Mexico but I've used my ATC scanner a lot down there and I know the phraseology well enough in Spanish to actually fly there. Now in English they are 95% of the time very clear (or with a bearable accent) and they use the exact same phraseology as in the U.S. They also seem to be just as accommodating as ATC in the U.S. They all sound very relaxed but very professional. I can only recall one or two occasions where their english was ghastly but granted it was at a secondary airport with no significant foreign service. All the major airports and all centers seem to be fine.

[Edited 2008-11-11 18:08:51]
 
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Starlionblue
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:31 am



Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 13):
Quoting Kleinsim (Reply 7):
Your accent is funny.

I would've said something more tactful than "funny" but I guess she wasn't that annoyed...

She's Swedish. We don't get annoyed over trivialities.  Wink Jokes aside I have noticed that on average Americans, especially women, have a way of "seeking offense" over minor things like that. But I digress.
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sccutler
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Wed Nov 12, 2008 5:35 am

I would say the USA, if for no other reason than the service is provided on an essentially non-discriminatory basis to all aircraft, and there is no fee for service, so no incentive to avoid service and thus reduce safety.

Re: Mexico: I have heard many controllers in the US whose accents were more difficult to understand than any I have heard in Mexico - especially, in Philly.
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luv2cattlecall
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sat Nov 15, 2008 4:06 am



Quoting SCCutler (Reply 15):
I would say the USA, if for no other reason than the service is provided on an essentially non-discriminatory basis to all aircraft, and there is no fee for service, so no incentive to avoid service and thus reduce safety.

No kidding...if it was privatized, I could just imagine the ATC guys giving you their paypal address to send tips to! ...if Starbucks employees can demand a tip for doing their job, why wouldn't these guys?
.
 
ajd1992
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:59 am

The UK. They understand if you're a student and accommodate you accordingly.

The worst i've personally flown with is the US ATC, at least VFR. Uncontrolled airfields, UNICOM etc is not my cup of tea, especially when in the UK you are treated basically as IFR when your around an airfield.
 
SB
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sat Nov 15, 2008 11:45 pm

Canadians then Brits then Germans. US ATC is good but a little too colloquial at times - and I just can't get used to being cleared to land with 4 aircraft ahead of me.

The Dutch and Irish are very nice, but they seem to stray from standard R/T quite frequently or aren't terribly precise ("start slowing to about 180kts" for example)

S.
"Confirm leave the hold and maintain 320kts?!"
 
PGNCS
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 12:03 am

I think most countries have controllers that vary from marginal to nigh-perfect. I think the US is probably one of the leaders, though there are certainly some areas that are inferior to others (Indy Center comes to mind). Besides the US, I am also quite happy in the UK (though accents can be a bit of an issue occasionally). I have never had particular problems with most western countries, though I find some French controllers to be difficult to understand, even when using the phonetic alphabet.

My least favorite region as a whole would be Latin America I guess, as sometimes the controllers seem not to be able to understand even minimum aviation English (Mexico is generally OK). I hate asking a specific question and having ATC reply simply "Roger", which seems to happen there more than most places. Of course some places in the region don't have the greatest systems for the controllers to work with, and handoffs are sometimes either not accomplished or not accomplished properly. I also agree with SlamClick that Cuba has always been very pleasant and professional to deal with. I have never once had any issues in Cuban airspace.
 
P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:27 am



Quoting SB (Reply 18):
US ATC is good but a little too colloquial at times - and I just can't get used to being cleared to land with 4 aircraft ahead of me.

Why do European pilots have diificulty with this? This seems to be their main complaint with US controlers. From my perspective, it reduces freq. congestion. As soon as you check in, I can issue your landing clearance and not have to go back to you two minutes later. Also, why do European carriers take so long to roll? It doesn't matter if you prep the pilots or not ("Speedbird one twenty four heavy, hold in position and come up on the power, be ready"). With a tight gap, the European carriers seem to have no urgency. Why? Does ATC in Europe not place demands on the crews? Or, is it a different "culture" or what?
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PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:22 am



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 20):
Does ATC in Europe not place demands on the crews? Or, is it a different "culture" or what?

Have you ever been into LHR? I would suggest the terminal controllers at most US locations could take lessons from them. In all my times of living and flying in the US, I've never heard a clearance such as you have referred to. What I have heard is "into position and hold. Be ready for an immediate.".
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P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:31 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 21):
Have you ever been into LHR?

No, but ORD is a different animal. Saying that, I am not being arrogant but intersecting RWYS have different requirements than parallels.

Quoting P3Orion (Reply 20):
("Speedbird one twenty four heavy, hold in position and come up on the power, be ready").

My mistake, I neglected to type "...for an immediate."

That is my question, having prepped the pilots they still don't roll like I/we need them to. Some do, Lufthansa does what ever is asked of them but other carriers act like they are the only aircraft in the sky/at the airport.
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Aaron747
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 3:40 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 21):
In all my times of living and flying in the US, I've never heard a clearance such as you have referred to. What I have heard is "into position and hold. Be ready for an immediate.".

Actually I couldn't help but notice recently when streaming ATC from KSAN that it's fairly common for the Lindbergh tower to give very specific instructions regarding power on the runway. I've heard several times now something along the lines of "Delta 482, start spooling now and be ready to go on my next call, landing traffic is Citation on a 3-mile final"
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SPREE34
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:01 pm



Quoting Ajd1992 (Reply 17):
The worst i've personally flown with is the US ATC, at least VFR. Uncontrolled airfields, UNICOM etc

VFR, uncontrolled fields, and unicom. Non of this involves ATC whatsoever. You could fly from one uncontrolled (non-towered?) field to another 1000 miles away, and never have to use ATC.
I don't understand everything I don't know about this.
 
PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:19 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 22):
No, but ORD is a different animal. Saying that, I am not being arrogant but intersecting RWYS have different requirements than parallels.

Not really. I have operated in and out of both places and at least with LHR there is some measure of coordination between the arrivals and local controller. While going into ORD it's not uncommon to get "best forward speed" for a while; then get handed over to the local controller who gives you a 180KIAS speed restriction. Completely mind blowing!!! I have lost count of the number of times we had notified everyone we needed Runway 10 only to get vectored into 9R. Then you have to say "unable" and get broken off and driven around again.

LAX is ok, you know what's coming there. Especially coming from Asia or the North. As long as you cross abeam of SMO at 220KIAS you can pretty much do anything and the controllers there are quite good at merging similar aircraft types to provide minimum spacing.
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SB
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:29 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 20):
Why do European pilots have diificulty with this?

I personally like knowing that the runway is mine when I get landing clearance, I can assume I won't have to go around for traffic reasons - in theory anyway. Being cleared to land behind another aircraft gives no such guarantee as preceding traffic could still be on the runway when I need it, almost defeats the purpose of the landing clearance to me anyway.

S.
"Confirm leave the hold and maintain 320kts?!"
 
P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:36 pm



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 25):
have lost count of the number of times we had notified everyone we needed Runway 10 only to get vectored into 9R. Then you have to say "unable" and get broken off and driven around again.

If you are flying a heavy you will never be assigned 9R for arrival (Plan X) due to your wake turbulence affecting the T10 departures. The one exception is when we are on "the Nines" (lndg 9R/10) and that is only when ORD is solid IFR.
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P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:39 pm



Quoting SB (Reply 26):
I personally like knowing that the runway is mine when I get landing clearance, I can assume I won't have to go around for traffic reasons - in theory anyway.

So you'd rather receive your clearance on short final? Rather than when your at the marker/FAF?
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PhilSquares
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 4:52 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 27):
If you are flying a heavy you will never be assigned 9R for arrival (Plan X) due to your wake turbulence affecting the T10 departures. The one exception is when we are on "the Nines" (lndg 9R/10) and that is only when ORD is solid IFR.

It has happened more times than I can count! The last time we were broken off and handed off to the controller who was as surprised as we were. Everytime ORD has been IFR and on the 9s. But at 300tons and a wet runway, 9R isn't the best option. Kind of tough to explain why you're in the weeds when there was a more suitable runway available!!!

Quoting P3Orion (Reply 28):
So you'd rather receive your clearance on short final? Rather than when your at the marker/FAF?

Personally, I'd rather have it on short final. That way you don't get complacent. At LHR, when it's busy you will always get your landing clearance on short final. Not a big deal.
Fly fast, live slow
 
Pihero
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:40 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 20):
Quoting SB (Reply 18):
US ATC is good but a little too colloquial at times - and I just can't get used to being cleared to land with 4 aircraft ahead of me.

Why do European pilots have diificulty with this? This seems to be their main complaint with US controlers.

Because most of us are not native English speakers and even for native English speakers U.S colloquialisms could be alien...

Quoting P3Orion (Reply 20):
Also, why do European carriers take so long to roll? It doesn't matter if you prep the pilots or not ("Speedbird one twenty four heavy, hold in position and come up on the power, be ready"). With a tight gap, the European carriers seem to have no urgency. Why? Does ATC in Europe not place demands on the crews? Or, is it a different "culture" or what?

That's a very good example : That instruction does not convey any sense of urgency and "come up on the power" contadicts the "hold in position" instruction, which, being non standard ICAO doen't mean anything. Does it say " Maintain your present position" or does the ATC guy mean "into position and wait" ? "and what did the guy say about the power ?"
So the sense of urgency you wanted to express is lost into trying to interpret a very vague and unclear radio trransmission.
Just about anywhere else, the instruction would have come up as "Speedbird one two for heavy, into position and wait. Be ready for an immediate" as PhilSquares said.
Please take note that the transmission is also shorter.
AS a matter of fact, we, non U.S pilots would ask : "What is wrong with ICAO standard phraseology for U.S ATCOs to disregard them in most circumstnces ? That question applies also to U.S aircrews at non U.S airports...
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P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 7:59 pm



Quoting Pihero (Reply 30):
That's a very good example : That instruction does not convey any sense of urgency and "come up on the power" contadicts the "hold in position" instruction, which, being non standard ICAO doen't mean anything. Does it say " Maintain your present position" or does the ATC guy mean "into position and wait" ? "and what did the guy say about the power ?"
So the sense of urgency you wanted to express is lost into trying to interpret a very vague and unclear radio trransmission.

The heavy was already in position and hold. With the FAA, if I talk to an aircraft that is in position and hold, if I don't issue a clearance I must say "hold in position." What I am telling the pilot is: I need you rolling as soon as I clear you for an immediate take off. You'd be surprised to see how different airlines/crews interpret "Cleared for immediate takeoff."
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Pihero
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 9:54 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 31):
What I am telling the pilot is: I need you rolling as soon as I clear you for an immediate take off.

Hi, P3 Orion !
In this case, what is wrong with :" Be ready for an immediate " instead of " Come up on the power, be ready "?
I understand that - as you don't want anything to do with ICAO standards - we should adapt to your jargon...Problem is we are not taught your jargon, we have to discover it as we go along getting experience on your different airfields (your jargon is different from the JFK one, which in turn is not the one in use at MIA or DFW.....)
...and then suddenly you come up with "Cleared for an immediate takeoff", which is standard clearance. No wonder the aliens are a bit confused.
I am sure that you've had quite a few misunderstandings with foreign aircrews.
The other day, I overheard this exchange :
"American budgie, descend to flight level one hundred, two-fifty knots and fly heading one two zero".
"Down to ten and steering one two oh. Two fifty. American budgie."
American Budgie, I said flight level one hundred. Standard altimeter setting."
"One hundred. Roger."
We hear that sort of exchange everyday.
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P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:07 pm



Quoting Pihero (Reply 32):
American budgie, descend to flight level one hundred, two-fifty knots and fly heading one two zero".
"Down to ten and steering one two oh. Two fifty. American budgie."
American Budgie, I said flight level one hundred. Standard altimeter setting

What is "flight level one hundred", would that be "one zero thousand?" And, can I assume "standard altimetre setting" would be "altimeter two niner niner two?"

And hello to you.  Smile
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Pihero
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:31 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 33):
What is "flight level one hundred", would that be "one zero thousand?"

In this particular case, there is a transition level at FL 50. Above it, we're still using Flight levels, beneath it, it's QNH.

Quoting P3Orion (Reply 33):
And, can I assume "standard altimetre setting" would be "altimeter two niner niner two?"

Yes, you can. That's what "standard" is.
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bond007
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Sun Nov 16, 2008 10:33 pm



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 20):
Why do European pilots have diificulty with this? This seems to be their main complaint with US controlers.

Then perhaps, ... just perhaps, they have a valid point.

The concept of 'cleared to land' in Europe, usually means that the runway is vacant ... that's why being 'cleared to land' when you're #4 might sound a little strange.

Quoting SB (Reply 26):
Being cleared to land behind another aircraft gives no such guarantee as preceding traffic could still be on the runway when I need it, almost defeats the purpose of the landing clearance to me anyway.

Yes, that's always been my opinion also.

The whole idea of standards is so that you can fly between ICAO countries, and 'expect' a standard phraseology. It just so happens that the USA is, IMO, the worst offender of either not using standards when they should (casual phrases), or changing them to be FAA specific ones (often for seemingly no reason except to be different).

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
SB
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:31 am



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 28):
So you'd rather receive your clearance on short final? Rather than when your at the marker/FAF?

Absolutely, because I know the runway is clear and I can assume I'm landing upon receiving the clearance. I don't know I'm landing if I get cleared to land while the runway isn't "mine" yet.

AFAIK the USA (and some large Canadian airports lately) are the only places where a landing clearance can be issued in advance of it actually being valid.

S.
"Confirm leave the hold and maintain 320kts?!"
 
SB
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 1:38 am

I would be interested to know what pilots who are used to the landing clearance at the FAF think of the way the rest of us do it.
Do you like knowing the runway is yours with the clearance, or is ATC talking at 1-3 miles (sometimes even less at LHR or LGW) an annoyance, or do you just not care?

S.
"Confirm leave the hold and maintain 320kts?!"
 
PGNCS
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 3:15 am



Quoting PhilSquares (Reply 29):
Quoting P3Orion (Reply 28):
So you'd rather receive your clearance on short final? Rather than when your at the marker/FAF?

Personally, I'd rather have it on short final. That way you don't get complacent. At LHR, when it's busy you will always get your landing clearance on short final. Not a big deal.



Quoting SB (Reply 37):
I would be interested to know what pilots who are used to the landing clearance at the FAF think of the way the rest of us do it.

I don't agree with Phil on this one and the basic reason is that at very busy airports receiving a clearance to land on very short final has the potential to result in an inadvertent go around that fouls up traffic even worse, if someone else checks on frequency with a longwinded radio call at the moment I should be receiving my landing clearance.

I would like the clearance ideally at or slightly inside the FAF or GS intercept. I almost had to go around last week in TPA for this very reason (in our case a very longwinded and unsure GA pilot checked in and couldn't curb his diarrhea of the mouth). Mind you a go around is by no means the end of the world, but ATC doesn't want to deal with it if they're busy (provided, of course, that it WAS safe for us to have a landing clearance), and we don't want to burn the gas and take the time to do it. Also most passengers (exclusive of some on this board) don't want to go through it either.

I do agree with Pihero 100% that phraseology needs to be more standardized. ATC in the US is VERY good (my hat is off to you), but especially when working non-US carriers (or even US carriers who don't frequent your airport), PLEASE focus on using approved verbiage.
 
bond007
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 4:18 am

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 38):
I don't agree with Phil on this one and the basic reason is that at very busy airports receiving a clearance to land on very short final has the potential to result in an inadvertent go around that fouls up traffic even worse, if someone else checks on frequency with a longwinded radio call at the moment I should be receiving my landing clearance.

It's never happened to me ... conversely, in the US, I wonder how many times you hear "Tower, Alpha Charlie, confirm cleared to land" on short final?? Same problems can occur. If you're not getting a landing clearance in Europe until very short final, presumably it isn't safe to land and the runway is not vacant... in the US in this sceanrio, you'd already be cleared to land and IMO be less aware of the situation. If you get a late landing clearance, you are usually warned "to expect late landing clearance". I don't mind being informed to be prepared in advance.

BTW, as for the issue of being distracted during short final, it's not unusual to get a "cleared to land, no need to acknowledge" call, and a couple of clicks being sufficient reply (non-standard perhaps).

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 38):
a very longwinded and unsure GA pilot checked in and couldn't curb his diarrhea of the mouth

Well, this happens less commonly in Europe anyway, where most pilots are trained in a fairly busy ATC environment ... unlike many of the GA pilots here that rarely fly into controlled fields.

Jimbo

[Edited 2008-11-16 20:30:50]
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
mpdpilot
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 5:40 am



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 38):
I don't agree with Phil on this one and the basic reason is that at very busy airports receiving a clearance to land on very short final has the potential to result in an inadvertent go around that fouls up traffic even worse, if someone else checks on frequency with a longwinded radio call at the moment I should be receiving my landing clearance.

I have to agree with PGNCS on this one as well. When I am on final I want to be concerned with the traffic in front of me or my landing, and not with getting my clearance to land. I am capable of seeing the runway and seeing that it is in-fact clear. Where as if I am on short final without a clearance it is one more thing that is worrying me.

Quoting Pihero (Reply 30):
Just about anywhere else, the instruction would have come up as "Speedbird one two for heavy, into position and wait. Be ready for an immediate" as PhilSquares said.

In the US standard FAA phraseology would be "taxi into position and hold". this is not the exact same as other places but then again there are a number of things that are different from country to country, and airspace to airspace. It is the responsibility of the pilot to understand where they are going.

On another note, just something I have noticed from reading here. It seems that there is more control in Europe and more freedom in the US. Not to say that one is better than the other. Now I have never flown in Europe so please correct me if this is not the case. It also seems like there is more of a burden on the pilot in the US to operate the aircraft safely where as in Europe the burden is more spread out amongst the two parties.

Quoting SCCutler (Reply 15):
I would say the USA, if for no other reason than the service is provided on an essentially non-discriminatory basis to all aircraft, and there is no fee for service, so no incentive to avoid service and thus reduce safety.

This is another thing that I really take to heart and even some pilots in the US don't take it this way. I have friends that will fly into the LA Basin and not talk to anyone and simply dodge the various airspace. I personally fly talking to a controller and never have to worry busting airspace (save Class B Airspace). I also find this to be safer in that controllers are very good about giving traffic alerts for other traffic.

I want to just add that I don't see any airspace as inferior just different. Also I would love the opportunity to fly in Europe if for no other reason than to understand the difference.
One mile of highway gets you one mile, one mile of runway gets you anywhere.
 
PGNCS
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 6:09 am



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 39):
Same problems can occur. If you're not getting a landing clearance in Europe until very short final, presumably it isn't safe to land and the runway is not vacant... in the US in this sceanrio, you'd already be cleared to land and IMO be less aware of the situation.

I understand you point, I just don't agree with you. If there is an aircraft with a late turnoff in the US and ATC wants to send me around they will. I'm looking out the window and can generally see the runway OR have ILS signal protection ensuring the runway is clear, though it is possible to come up with scenarios where I might not be able to see the entire runway even in the flare without signal protection.

I'm just giving my preference here, others have other opinions.
 
chrisMUC
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 11:08 am



Quoting PGNCS (Reply 41):
I understand you point, I just don't agree with you. If there is an aircraft with a late turnoff in the US and ATC wants to send me around they will.

Hi PGNCS,

I see your point and also at Paris CDG you get clearances like that, but I personally prefer clearances which are "safe" when they are issued - you never know what happens, maybe the controller is distracted, falls down his chair, is blocked out (better he/she is blocked out on giving a landing clearance and an aircraft is unnecesserily going around than the other way around), radio failure....

I never flew in the US as an airline pilot but during training, and ATC was great. Very patient, friendly and always accepting training approaches.

ATC in the UK does IMO the best job in Europe, except for the many enroute radar vectors  Wink

Chris
 
bond007
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Mon Nov 17, 2008 12:35 pm



Quoting ChrisMUC (Reply 42):
(better he/she is blocked out on giving a landing clearance and an aircraft is unnecesserily going around than the other way around),

I guess the main difference is... in the US, it's really 'assumed runway will be clear unless I tell you otherwise', and in Europe it's 'don't assume runway is clear until I tell you'.

Of course, I assume both procedures work OK in their own countries, and are as 'safe' as each other. We are probably talking more about personal preferences, than which is truly 'safer'.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:07 am



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 43):
Of course, I assume both procedures work OK in their own countries, and are as 'safe' as each other. We are probably talking more about personal preferences, than which is truly 'safer'.

From a controller's point of view, I want to make the fewest transmissions posible. That is why as soon as you check in, I am clearing you to land, number one, two or three. Especially If I am working North Local on Plan Weird where I am landing RWY22R to hold short of 27L, Landing RWY27L and departing RWY32R. That position would be unworkable if I had to wait until the RWY was clear before giving a landing (LAHSO?) clearance. Having said that, if I have a vehicle on the RWY, I will say "continue" on initial contact until the vehicle exits the RWY.
I will have a Manhattan.
 
bond007
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:42 am



Quoting P3Orion (Reply 44):
That is why as soon as you check in, I am clearing you to land, number one, two or three.

Well, only because your regs say you can. There is no point in waiting until the runway is vacant if you aren't required to do so .... unlike most of the rest of the world. If UK controllers could clear me to land at #3, you bet they would.

Quoting P3Orion (Reply 44):
That position would be unworkable if I had to wait until the RWY was clear before giving a landing (LAHSO?) clearance.

Again, only because you work according the FAA regs. If you had to work according to EU regs, you would make it workable .... LHR does not appear to have an issue.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
P3Orion
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 18, 2008 3:47 am



Quoting Bond007 (Reply 45):
LHR does not appear to have an issue

LHR does not have the volume or complexity of ORD.
I will have a Manhattan.
 
buckfifty
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Tue Nov 18, 2008 4:05 am

LHR and AMS have the best ATC I find anywhere in the world. The instruction is standard, precise, and spoken at a normal pace. The word I use to describe it is 'competent', because they give you that impression that they can do it.

Stateside, I can say that the controllers for the most part are also competent folk. However, like many other pilots, I really disapprove of the use of 'local lingo' in their transmissions (instead of saying 'no you can't', aren't you supposed to say 'negative'?). JFK is the big one for me, it's always a hurdle trying to understand the Brooklyn accent, and then having them get on your case because you didn't get what they were trying to tell you the first time.
 
Airbus_A340
Posts: 1439
Joined: Sat Mar 11, 2000 8:41 pm

RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Wed Nov 19, 2008 7:36 pm

As many people have stated, LHR are by far the best I have ever seen, along with AMS, FRA and HKG.
The US is considered high threat on our network for non-standard phraseology and local jargon and we usually include it in our arrival briefing because of this.

Quoting PGNCS (Reply 38):
if someone else checks on frequency with a longwinded radio call at the moment I should be receiving my landing clearance.

I understand where you are coming from and would most certainly apply to quite a few airports. There has been a solution to this problem in some busy places by being handed by Director to check in with Tower with "Call-sign only" which minimizes transmissions on the tower frequency.

I'll give you an example of what happens in LHR and HKG when handed over to Tower from Director:
"Cathay 253"
"Cathay 253, continue approach"
"Continue approach, Cathay 253"
---
"Cathay 253, wind 090/10kts, runway 09R cleared to land"
"Cleared to land Cathay 253"

At LHR, it is common to get landing clearance on very short final, and you will occasionally get:
"Cathay 253, no need to acknowledge, wind 090/10kts, 09R cleared to land"

Cheers
People. They make an airline. www.cathaypacific.com
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: Pilots Your Vote Pls, Best ATC Country?

Thu Nov 20, 2008 6:42 am

Well I just got back from a 14hr tour of Socal and Norcal approach in a PA-44. Norcal seems ok for the most part except that most controllers would say "over" when ending their transmission. I've never heard anybody do that anywhere else. It wasn't necessarily wrong but unnecessary IMO. This was in oakland center and the lady at the OAK tower said that too.

BFL had the WORST controllers. They kept calling us SENECA instead of SEMINOLE (ya barely any difference but still!) we corrected him like 10 times and even after apologizing he still called us as a Seneca! Not to mention we did a 360 on an ILS approach when there was only ONE other departing aircraft in the area. They screwed up a ton of other things but I don't recall them.

They all sounded like they were drunk in BFL. It was pretty bad.

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