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ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 2:45 pm

Hey everyone,

I was thinking about this after answering another thread. Our little airport here STS has a good ATC crew but they are pretty impatient, almost every time I go up I hear them tell someone off. Most cases they were really busy and someone made a dumb mistake which is understandable. I am curious has anyone else had experiences with controllers or heard interesting things while on frequency. My IP told me there used to be a lady controller at STS who was fired for being quite behind the ball. Once she was talking/arguing with her boyfriend on her cellphone while directing air traffic. I know most controllers are great people but like any proffession there are always a few bad apples.

God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:06 pm

telling off a pilot is something that is not only unprofessional, but very much inapropriate on the radio. i've only heard this sort of thing once, and that was due to the pilot being an idiot and totally screwing things up for a few other a/c on an ILS approach. the guy got scolded on the radio, told to taxi back to his ramp and then given a set of seven numbers. i can only imagine what was said during that phone call.
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:12 pm

Last September at HOU I heard a controller scold a WN plane. It seemed like he was just taxiing along when the controller told him

"Southwest, don't you EVER, EVER do that again or I'll have your ticket!"

Unfortunately, I didn't see what he did to get such an admonishment.

You hear things like this now and then.
Fly North Central Airlines..The route of the Northliners!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:19 pm

Picture ORD backed up with about 5 hours delay across the board. I know - pretty easy to do these days. But this was about 10-12 years ago if I remember right. I was on UA from ANC-SEA-ORD-SDF (lousy routing). Some schmuck called in a bomb threat or some such thing to UA, and the airside concourse was cleared out for hours. Needless to say things are a mess. PLus there was WX in the area screwing things up for everyone else. Finally we board the flight. I'm listening to Channel 9, and the poor ATC working ground at ORD is having a miserable time.

She sends an AA DC-10 on it's merry way to ry34 via the Outer Scenic. Well, this poor pilot makes a goof - turns wrong somewhere. Man oh man did she give him what for. Told him, "AA XXX Heavy, you just sit there for a while until I figure out this mess you got us in to - I'll get back to you sooner or later".

My flight spent 45 minutes in line for departure (also off of ry34, enter at T-10, blaa blaa) and I never did hear her move that AA DC-10 before we got airborne and switched to departure freq. Ain't that a pisser!

I had to sorta laugh later when we got near SDF and contacted approach. In his best southern drawl, the controller at SDF asked quite casually, "G'evenin' UAXXX, which approach and runway would y'all like t'night". Man what a difference.

I don't envy the controllers at all - tough job. Pilots too of course, especially places like ORD, DFW, JFK, etc . . . and many others (don't want to leave anyone out, someone might take offense).

[Edited 2004-11-30 07:23:41]
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:37 pm

I hear someone get told off just about every time I go to ORD! Happens all the time, really. The controllers at ORD are the best in the world - do what they tell you when they tell you to do it, and everything works out fine. Miss a radio call, don't descend fast enough, whatever... you are going to HEAR about it. When you have traffic sooooo close together, they are counting on everyone being perfect the first time. For the most part, we are, but every now and then mistakes get made, and they let you know about it in a BIG hurry. I've been bit#h slapped a few times up there; It's no big deal.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 3:53 pm

My uncle is in ATC and has worked at both airports that are mostly professional pilots and others that are weekend flyers and students. Currently he works at SBA, which means mixing high performance RJs with Cessna 152s, compounded by the fact that 2 of the 3 runways intersect. Someone screwing up there can create some serious havoc, so controllers need to do just that, control
Mangeons les French fries, mais surtout pratiquons avec fierte le French kiss
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 4:15 pm

I was going thru flight training when 9/11 happened. Shortly after the airspace was opened weeks later I did a solo X Country from DAB to Melbourne with a stop at Merritt Island, which involved going thru NASA's airspace at Cape Canaveral. Special clearances had to be requested and issued, discreet transpoder codes, etc. Upon leaving Merritt Island I immediately went to radio FSS to open my flight plan... but had to wait a few minutes while they chewed someone's ass out royally for entering the airspace without proper clearance/codes/flight plan etc. Part of what was said was "I'm surprised you don't have a pair of F-16's on your wing right now". It was humbling, and I was glad my instructor had me doing things right.

At Ft. Lauderdale Intl a couple of years ago, I was listening to the scanner and waiting for the Blue Angels to do their practice routine, during which the airport is shut down. Well, one airliner was taxiing out after 2pm when the field was closed, and was told it would be an hour or more til he would be allowed to take off. He asked for a different runway and contested his case ad nauseum, to which the controllers response got shorter and more impatient. Don't remember it verbatim, but you can tell a verbal brawl was going on, and of course, the pilot had to return to the gate until the field opened.

I've heard other, less interesting exchanges, but I would say it is not uncommon for controllers to get upset with flight crews that aren't doing what they are supposed to or following procedures. In their defense, with the enourmous amount of flight training done at DAB with Embry Riddle, Phoenix East, Falcon, Cloud Dancers all sharing a busy feild in Class C airspace, I think our controllers are extremely patient and forgiving. I doubt many airports have the sheer volume of flight training, and they handle it beautifully.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:27 pm

I had mentioned an incident in one of your topics Pilottj,

But to expand, we were on the VFR approach into LVK on runway 25R. We were warned of traffic doing touch and go's on 25L but were in no danger due to the fact that they were downwind and we were on final. We were told to report final at 2 miles out. We called 2 miles to the controller and she cleared us right in, again warning us of the traffic. At the same time an a/c some how managed to taxi to 25L and not R causing some havoc. We were at the threshold of the runway when she comes over the radio "01W GO AROUND, GO AROUND" Powered up, retracted flaps, pulled up so tight to miss the a/c that the mix of pitch up, moving flaps, and running up the engine that we almost stalled out (stall indicator sounded for about a second before I corrected). We leveled out at 500 and man oh man did she rip us a new one. She said that if she ever found us doing such "rubbish" that she would make sure that our certificates (or my CFI for that matter) would be taken into consideration.

The issue was that we didn't know what was what. I couldn't tell weather the Piper had been cleared onto our runway and I guess the Piper couldn't tell if we were cleared to land. The Piper was smart and held short of 25R and clicked in and corrected the ATC. We switched out for a few and a new ATC was put in her place for a while. When we taxied out after lunch she was again on the radio and was nice, we did apologize for the "mix up" and departed back to CCR.

Even if it's not your fault say your sorry, really breaks the ice which helps when this person is your eyes. Did UA have Ch.9 10 years ago?

Thanks again Pilottj! I feel a new strong member who posts some great topics.....! Thanks for the great topics lately.

"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 5:57 pm

Jeddah ctl: Speedbird xxx turn right 310 descend and maintain fl 200
Speedbird xxx: say again please and slowly
Jeddah ctl : Speedbird xxx if you dont understand english please dont come to saudi airspace. HAHAHAHAHAH
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:20 pm

UA777222: "Did UA have Ch.9 10 years ago?"

UA has had channel 9 for at least 10 years . . . I'm going to guess more like 15, maybe longer. Some of you UA types out there can give exact info - but I know I flew ORD-ANC in 1988 and I'm pretty sure it was on that DC-10 back then. Regardless, for sure, positively since 1990 when I started flying every other day.

[Edited 2004-11-30 10:22:17]
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:32 pm

After a Piper landed at Maastricht-Aachen Airport and back-tracked over the runway towards the apron: "Piper Papa Golf Bravo, you were not cleared for backtrack... lul" (lul=asshole)
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 6:55 pm

There's a bloke in Hong Kong I have heard who does it and is very impatient, most of the time to the Asian carriers, that struggle a little with their english. Quite often, a pilot does not reply because the ATC have muttered the wrong callsign and after a few calls, the ATC finally gets it right and when the pilot replied, they are scolded for not listening out.

If you in HKG ATC with a raspy voice is reading this, you know who you did it today!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 7:57 pm

Yes, ATC's in English speaking countries can't blame non-English speakers. In YVR, I constantly hear the North Ground 127.15 control get impatient with Air China or sometimes Dynasty, EVA, Japanair, etc......... But most of the time, they put in humor.

"Mexicana xxx, next time you come, bring us the sun!!!" that's humor. But sometimes, I guess ATC's are in a bad mood.

Sometimes they get irritated with irresponsible pilots once in a while.

ATC: "Speedbird xx, Mike and Papa to the gate."

Speedbird: "What gate are we going to sir?"

ATC: "It is your responsibility!!! Call in and Ask"

What was scary one time is that when JL took off the runway, the pilot mistaked "heading 170 with heading 107." Boy that was a steep turn. But I guess ATC's getting short tempered happen more in busy busy airports?

At least that's what I think

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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 10:33 pm

Listen to JFK tower and ground around 6-7 pm , those ground guys are brutal ! 'Mexicana 1 LISTEN,LISTEN,LISTEN!!'

Funny stuff!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:06 pm

oohhhhh i LOVE this topic  Smile here are some of my personal experiences with ATC, i have included good and bad to give them a fair name.

Training for multi in DAB at Riddle: I was under the hood doing my first single engine back course approach into 25R in daytona...and my instructor was giving it to me  Smile so i could be a good pilot. We missed the vector to final turn 2 times, in the end the controller said : RiddleXXX, if you're not going to listen, Squawk 1200... I was quite embarrassed.

Commercial long x/c flying from DAB to Marathon, extremely bad weather being vectored by opa locka tower around CBs for VFR. Got Vectored right towards Miami international and handed off without a turn, i thought it was coordinated between the two radars, but i guess they were busy. When handed to miami : N445ER, if you don't turn East NOW, you're going to cause a huge metal shower... my heart was thumping, apparently i was heading for a 757! sheesh!

Mind you, some incidents it was our fault! Notice im not blamming anyone, just conveying the required talks that were said on the radio!

Positive stuff:

I lost com overhead Daytona and was approaching into DAB at night from the
North. I did up the 7600, and used supreme caution as there was a delta jet arriving, and 10s of GA aircraft always in the daytona sky. I got my light gun signals and made it to the ramp. I called the tower to say thank you because apparently they were working left and right making everyone split away from me, and my friends told me that it was crazy on the radio while they decongested the area for me!

One time on the ILS they cleared me for the approach, and then told me to climb to 3000 about 6 miles from the a/p, i was like? confirm that's for me? they said yes please, like oook...i went up there, then 3 miles from the field i was told to contact tower:

the tower controller quite jokingly and friendly asked if i could make it...i was like ill try! and then i landed, then he gave me a phone number to call while taxi back to ramp...i was like...ohhh crap!!

I called the number, it was the appraoch controller that made me climb, he said he was sorry about that and that there was a fast approaching jet behind me that didnt slow down in time and he thought i could still make the field after he passed below me....i was like oh ok, no worries man! thanks for not letting him rip through me  Smile

DAb controllers are excellent, because they know most ppl there are in training, so they key the mike just at the right times, to keep the workload down on students learning...
The only time there is too much fuel onboard, is when you're on fire!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:22 pm

First thing first.Pilots know and do your job well and don't let anyone to criticise you.If they still criticise you other than your fault don't argue them on the radio but kick their a** after landing.

During a very bad weather CAT III approach to one of the very busy European airports few years ago,we noticed that the aircraft behind us is closer than it is supposed to be but we were under radar control so we concentrated more on the flying the airplane and executed an autoland,we were about 80 kts and decelareting the ATC called out for a go around for the traffic behind us and told us in the channel "xxx123 for your information because of you not vacating the runway on time,***123 had to go around"

He did this because he failed to provide necassary seperation between aircraft during CAT III approach,caused an airplane to go around on a very bad weather.He wanted to record to the tape that it was not his fault but the previous airplane's.We were both very angry about it,what was he expecting to vacate runway at 80 kts on a foggy condition?

Captain went to the dispatch office gave a call to the AT center requested that the recordings of the time should be saved and we will file a report of incompetency and endangering.The captain filed a complaint report about the incident.The supervisor apologised numerous times after that.

Young pilots,
Always do and know your job very well.Being scolded on the radio channel on an airport is really en embaressing thing to happen.And do not forget pilot is a lonely man envied by all,a simple mistake what hey are all are waiting to jump over you.Do better and know better and never let them get over you.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Tue Nov 30, 2004 11:47 pm

I was flying out of Palwaukee (north suburban chicago airport) on my way back to dubuque, and it was pretty freakin busy as it was around 5pm on a saturday and o'hare was starting to fill up. The dep controller was all over the place and he said something like "Cessna qsheesdfisdifstrot turn left 250" which was sort of my call-sign...I was like.......huh? So i waited a few seconds and came back and i called back "umm was that for 9379F turn left 250?" and i may have stepped on him but i couldn't tell for we wait another 10 seconds and he comes back "9379F turn LEFT 250!!" so i made the turn and acknowledged and he comes back "9379F when i talk to you answer me!" and i was just about to key the mike and some awesome pilot out there came back "Umm i think you stepped on him when he acknowledged you the first time".....

haha. The controller was just like "oh". we pilots gotta stick up for each other.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:10 am

While there's no excuse for being rude or offensive on the radio, the fact remains that ATC is still in charge of air traffic - not the crew.

A swift and stern correction is, in my opinion, the best way to deal with certain circumstances. ATC is, after all, responsible for safety.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:47 am

It's all good out there! Controllers are human beings. They get tired, they get stressed, they have bad days, and their job is on the line every day, just like ours. If they issue an instruction and it doesn't get followed, resulting in a loss of separation, they have a problem. I don't blame them for getting annoyed on the radio from time to time. To all you controllers out there - thanks for what you do. Several times you have saved my tush, forgiven my mistakes, and made me laugh! You do a great job... except Mr. Grumpy here in SFO. Dude, you GOTTA lighten up! Off to go fly SFO-IAD.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:58 am

An exchange between a FRA ground controller and a BA aircraft that had just landed made the rounds of the internet some years ago. Quite funny actually:

Apparantly FRA controllers expect you to know the layout of the airport perfectly and have near zero tolerance for mistakes. The exchange, I believe, went something like this:

Ground: Speedbird XXX taxi to the ramp via taxiway Alpha

Speedbird XXX: Roger

The flight crew was unsure where they were going and so stopped as they consulted the map.

Ground: Speedbird XXX, why are you stopping?

Speedbird XXX: Stand-by a moment ground, we're just getting our bearings here.

Ground: Speedbird XXX, have you never been to Frankfurt before?

Speedbird XXX (coldly): Yes. Only once during the war. We didn't stop.


Charles, SJ
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:14 am

We've been told the same thing here, don't argue over the radio, very unprofessional, call on a land line if you want to speak your mind.
A few weeks ago someone (male) called for clearance through Trenton area on a VFR flight plan to Peterborough I think. ATC called back with the altimeter & asked for aircraft type & departure point & was answered by a female. The clearance was issued & "be advised, your voice just changed". So, I've heard something funny, but not something nasty.
Can you hear me now?
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:32 am

My dad and I were flying back from Oakland last year, and the controllers were great two times when we got a little confused. They were never rude...just maybe sounded a little anoyed which I can understand. We were just about to fly over MFR at 10,500, and at the same time a Skywest Brasillia was departing. We were given the traffic advisory, and couldn't find him at first. I called back with "226N looking", but couldn't find him until he passed through about 9,000 feet. the center controller sounded a little anoyed when I finally called in with him in sight. The Brasillia pilot found us faster.

Then a little bit later there was traffic which looked like it was near our flight level manouvering. We simply mis-judged the approximate distance between him and us. When I called in to ask if he would be a factor for us, he didn't sound happy. "Seattle Center, 7226N has some traffic about 2 o'clock about 6 miles manouvering, just want to make sure he won't be a factor for us." His response was "226N, the Piper is 10 miles BELOW you. If he was to be a factor, I would tell you...." Guess I deserved it. We were recieving flight following, should have had a little more faith.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:37 am

Back when I was going for my Private Pilot's license, my instructor set me up on a roundtrip flight from ILE (Killeen, TX) to SAT to fullfill some of my X-country requirements. When I landed in SAT, I needed to go to the FBO for a refuel. In normal fashion, ATC spouted their directions to me very quickly. This was my first time there and was not familiar with the taxiways so I called ATC for "Progressive Taxi Instructions." The controller (male) came over and said "N6536P, this is an International Airport, if you don't have a clue what to do, you shouldn't be here!" My mouth dropped! I never felt so small, in a small Cessna, amongst all the airliners. About a min went by and he came back and said follow his directions and he lead me to the terminal. I'm not making excuses for him, but I guess something else set him off and took it out on me. Needless to say, I did all my other X-country flights to different airports.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 8:51 am

On the inverted side of things, I remember a case where an AlItalia 747 was comming into ORD behind us when I hear in my headphones:

AI XXX heavy, reduce speed to 150

Ok, but the people in those houses down there aint gonna like it when we touch down.

Sometimes the controllers make a mistake themselves and the pilots (IMO) are a little nicer at letting them know it.

I appreciate UA providing channel 9 to all of us!!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:09 am

Ctbarnes, I've heard that one too. I had to laugh. Sounds like they are pretty uptight at FRA. I think there are several others I have heard from FRA, but I can't remember any right now. I had quite a few printed off and took them to my father-in-law so he could read them and I don't think I ever got them back.

There is one I remember parts from ORD. I think it was a UA heavy coming in when ATC said UA heavy you have a Fokker at 1 o'clock 6 miles. UA's response was Thank you tower, I have always wanted to say this, I have the little Fokker in sight. I am not exactly sure on all the details but that's how I remember it.
These are really great threads. I really liked the one that was going yesterday. Don't remember what it was called but it was really funny
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:52 am

I know it is a stressful job and a very important job where you quite franly cannot make mistakes. Make mistakes, people die. I also know ATC workers are only human. It is just funny that a lot of you seem to be mentioning ORD, because that is the place while listening to channel 9 on UA, I have heard the most instances of seemingly angry ATC staff. I can recall quite a few times I have heard the ATC snap at pilots. May not be a mistake, just a few quetions too many, and the ATC persons voice would get louder. I also remember this one time a pliot for LH kept asking (politely though) when he could taxi. They were seriously behind schedule and ATC yelled, "You go when I tell you, now sit there and don't ask again." I guess that is what happens you are one of the busiest airports in the country.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 10:54 am

It happens from time to time. In all fairness, I think ATC has a lot more on their shoulders than a flight crew at any given time, and is quite a bit more high-strung.

I actually requested a tower controller's number once after he cleared me to land, and when I was less than 1 mile out, had a jet taxi into position and hold. No point in a verbal assualt via radio, but he sure knew I was not happy after I talked to him.
I got my head checked--by a jumbo jet
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:36 am

I have told a few pilots off in my time. One time I had a helicopter doing auto rotations and a plane landing, I told the helicopter to follow the plane. The helicopter then turned in front of the plane, I told the helicopter to maintain his present altitude and turn downwind to follow the plane now on about a mile final. At that time the helicopter commenced his auto rotation right in front of the plane landing. I sent the plane around and gave the helicopter a scolding about not listening to ATC instructions. Thankfully no one ran together, and all ended well. Never a dull moment in the tower.
Pilots are idiots, who at any given moment will attempt to kill themselves or others.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:58 am

Anytime ATC opens their mouth at North Vegas (VGT). Ha!
I fly boxes. Boxes don't bitch. Boxes don't barf. Boxes don't get drunk and do a number 2 on the beverage cart.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:01 pm

One I heard a while back:

US Airways just arrives in a busy LHR and taxis off the runway. The ground controller is a female who has been stressing to manage the amount of traffic on her taxiways. She gives US taxi instructions to the gate and the aircraft starts on it's way. After a few minutes, apparently the US bird made a wrong turn and was nose to nose with another jet. The ground controller came on and said

"US Air xxx what the hell are you doing?!? You were supposed to turn LEFT at xx! You have screwed everything up! It's gonna take me forever to straighten this out!! Don't do anything! Don't move, don't talk, don't do ANYTHING until I say you can! You can expect further taxi clearance in A WHILE!."

The ground frequency went eerie quiet. No one said a word. After a few seconds, an anonymous male voice came on and said, "Wasn't I married to you once?"
We got planes! We got gates! What the hell!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:16 pm

My buddy and I were flying at 3,500 through Dallas Love Field airspace in his single engine plane, he asked for clearance to fly over the city of Dallas. The controller said "You've gotta be kidding me! I've got planes taking off through that airspace." A few seconds later though he cleared us around downtown.

I was listening to my scanner on a relatively quiet afternoon at DFW and a Cessna was obviously having trouble finding 36R, the runway he was cleared to land on. He lined up with 31, the exasperated controller said "Listen, I don't know what the hell you are doing. You better not land on 31 though. You better be able to make it over to 36." Thirty seconds later, I saw a small Cessna banking hard over the American hangers to land on 36. I've also heard DFW controllers irate over traffic helicopters encroaching on their airspace without clearance.
America's chickens are coming home to rooooost!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:33 pm

I've heard that one before as well but different airline and different airport. US doesn't fly to LHR and I can't see a British controller using that particular lingo...
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 12:51 pm

We flew United R/T ORD-RSW over the Thanksgiving weekend on consecutive Sundays. Man, what a difference in the controller action. One plane at RSW every five minutes or so for TO or landing, at the most, while four or five planes TO and landing every two minutes or so at ORD. Just looking out at the night sky above the low clouds Sunday night and seeing a dozen or so planes in the air flying around Chicago in different directions, on the parallel approach, taking off from MDW and ORD, etc, plus knowing all of the planes following us. And if anything the ORD ground controllers have got more to handle than anyone else. Can't imagine what it will be like after ORD adds runways.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:17 pm

Many years back when I was still a student, in a 152, and with the instructor in the right seat....

HRL Twr: Navy Golf 49, cleared for the ILS back course 35L, what approach will you want next?
NG49: Golf 49, cleared back course 35L, we'd like VOR/DME 13 next.
HRL: Navy Golf 49, roger, on missed approach climb to 3000, direct the HRL VOR and hold.
NG49: Golf 49, roger.
Me: Harlingen Tower, Cessna xxxxx, ready to go 17R, straight out departure.
HRL Twr: Cessna xxxxx, runway 17R, cleared for takeoff.
Me: Cleared for takeoff, 17R, Cessna xxxxx.

Obviously I didn't know enough at the time to realize the pending error, and I dunno why the instructor didn't catch it, but you can imagine the pucker factor when I see this Navy King Air C90 coming head-on at me, just passing below and left of me with less than 50ft of separation. I could see the rivets on the wings of the King Air.

The Proud Bird with the Golden Tail
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:19 pm

I once heard a verbal brawl between a VS pilot and a IAD controller. I forget what it was about exactly, i believe it was something about " reporting weights" and "pushback" Im not exactly sure what the weights part means, but the VS pilot was basically yelling. I was surprised that these things actually happen!

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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:33 pm

Ha ha omg wasn't I married to u once

Someone special in the air
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 1:47 pm

There was once a story where a KLM 744 (I THINK) pushed back and began start-up procedures without clearance from the tower... Man was that guy biting his tongue.

There's an NTSB video out there where a UA757 got lost in BOS (I THINK) and turned onto the wrong taxiway and ended up on an active runway. The controller lost her mind and tried to tell the UA pilots that they were wrong and for all other traffic to continue. They were indeed on an active runway and thanks to the other smart pilots who disobeyed the controllers commands they didn't taxi onto the runway. Let's just say that when she told the US airways jet to taxi to the runway and proceed with take-off and he said something like "no mam I think we're all going to sit here until we get this figured out." The controller was wrong in the end and if the a/c that took off over their heads didn't kill them the USairways jet that held short sure as hell would have.

I'll look for that tape if I can.

Thanks again!

"It wasn't raining when Noah built the ark."
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:00 pm

GoAllegheny isn't it fun being in Chicago on a clear night. Wow. I was there one night and I counted 6 to 8 planes coming in from one direction and about the same amount from the other and that's not counting departures and MDW traffic. If your bored with your job become an ATC.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:09 pm

I can only imagine what it might be like for non native english speakers to try to learn ATC lingo as a pilot when learning the rest of the language is hard enough. Imagine if the official aviation language was German or somthing most of us Gringo pilots would be up sh*t creek. JAL has a training center over at APC-Napa and they come over here to practice approaches, I know they are trying their damnest to understand ATC's instructions but it must be difficult. Actually I think they understand it far better than ATC understands their readbacks.

God was my copilot, but we crashed in the mountains and I had to eat him...
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:14 pm

I listen to various oceanic controllers around the world and without a doubt the guys and gals at New York OAC on HF are the worst for short fuses.

The Caribbean frequencies of 6577/6586/8846/8918Khz are usually used for giving Atlantic eastbound traffic their oceanic clearances. The clearance's themselves are pretty long as they comprise a large number of way points and longitude and latitude co-ordinates and the fireworks don't half fly if you dare read one back wrong!

Can't think of any operator in particular but I remember a while ago one clearance which must have held up the frequency for nearly 20 minutes. It was an Uzbek 757 on delivery.

The flight had not long called up the NYC female controller on 8906 : (thick Uzbekistan accent)

UZB: New York uniform zulu bravo 3520 on 8906.
NY: [pages selcal code]
NY: [pages selcal code again]
NY: Uniform zulu bravo 3520 does the selcal check?
NY: Uzbek 3520 New York, how do you read?
NY: Uniform zulu bravo 3520 New York?
NY: No response, New York clear.
UZB: New York New York, Uniform zulu bravo - Uzbek 3520 how do you read?
NY: Uzbek 3520 New York... how do you read sir?
UZB: New York Uzbek 3520, I read you 4.
NY: Roger roger, stand by for your selcal check. I am going to check your selcal, stand-by. [pages selcal code]. Does the selcal check?
UZB: New York Uzbek 3520 affirmative, selcal is okay. Waiting for oceanic clearance.
NY: Roger Uzbek 3520, I have your oceanic clearance. Advise when you are ready to copy.
UZB: Good ahead New York.
NY: New York clears Uniform zulu bravo 3520 to the LIRF airport via BOBTU, 44 north 50 west, 45 north 40 west, 47 north 30 west, 48 north 20 west, 48 north 15 west, ETIKI, REGHI, uniform november 480, airways to destination. Maintain flight level 370, mach decimal 80 [or whatever FL and MACH it was]. Send met reports. Good ahead with the read back.
NY: Uzbek 3520 New York?
NY: Uzbek 3520 New York, do you read?
UZB: Affirmative, go ahead ma'am.
NY: Did you copy your oceanic clearance?
UZB: Negative ma'am, go ahead with the oceanic clearance please.
NY: [sighs and repeats the clearance in a slow, patronising voice]. GOOOO AHEAD WITH THE READ BACK.
UZB: Cleared to 45N50W, 45N40W, 45 north.... er.. er..
NY: Uzbek 3520.. NEGATIVE. Please read back the FULL clearance word for word as I gave it to you.
NY: Uzbek 3520 New York, do you read?
NY: [pages selcal 4 times in a row]
UZB: Go ahead New York, Uzbek 3520.
UZB: Affirm New York, go ahead.
NY: [repeats once again, very slowly].
UZB: Uzbek 3520, flight level 370 to Roma, via er, 45N50W to 48N15W, airways to destination, Uzbek 3520.
UZB: [read back].
UZB: [undecipherable]
NY: BOBBBBBBBBBTU. Bravo oscar bravo tango uniform. Read that back.
UZB: [read back]
NY: then, 44 north 50 west, read that back.
UZB: [read back]
.... then basically piece by piece until he'd got the lot!

Like I say, this went on for nearly 20 minutes! Poor lass at NYC!

Other ones I remember have been the US Marines P3 Orion's and Herc's with Iceland and Santa Maria OAC's. They guys and gals that fly those are just so ignorant. The controllers can be calling them for ages and they just ignore them. They regularly 'wonder' off on their own too. Plenty of raised voices between the controllers and them.


Rob K  Smile
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:16 pm

Over the years I've had many a laugh at some of the amusing remarks I've heard made over the RT, some of the funniest made by ATC at my own expense.

Funny or amusing is fine, it often gets the point across in a pleasant way.

However, if anyone thinks that derogatory or abusive remarks over the RT, in either direction, pilot to ATC or ATC to pilot, are a professional and responsible way to deal with a perceived problem, they are sadly mistaken.

On the contrary, sarcasm or abuse over the RT almost invariably indicates a lack of professionalism on the part of the user and also, quite possibly, that they are working at too high a stress level.

If a quick humorous remark won't get the message across, far more professional to ask the other party to ring a land line after landing, or if more serious, advise them that a report of the incident will be filed, and then quietly get on with business as usual.

Nearly all RT is recorded, and you better be really sure, before you start becoming rude or sarcastic, that you've got all your facts correct. Get them wrong, or become overly offensive, and you may end up listening to the ATC tapes at a formal enquiry.

There have been some abject apologies, and really red faces, when people have realised that what they actually said was not what they thought they had said, or that they had used or replied to the wrong call sign, or that they had completely misunderstood the situation!

Let's keep it professional, this is ATC RT, not CB radio.


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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:45 pm

> UA777222: "Did UA have Ch.9 10 years ago?"

> ANCFlyer: UA has had channel 9 for at least 10 years . . .

I first listened to Channel 9 in 1975 on UA164 DEN-JFK (DC10). Not sure how old it was then...
7 hours aint long-haul
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Buzz In ATL?

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:49 pm

A few years back in ATL, there was a controller named "Buzz" whom all the DL and ASA pilots knew at once. He had a very distinctive, very guttural voice with a sharp Southern accent. Real likeable guy. I wonder if any of the DL folks around here know if Buzz is still around? I remember hearing a couple of other ATL personalities on the Approach and Local Control frequencies back in the mid-90s, as well. All had a great deal of local flavor.

If you don't have a scanner handy, or if you want to listen to ATC in Perth, Lexington or Trondheim, point your browser to (For some reason, even with the proper HTML code, I can't get the link to appear. Sorry.)

I hook up to BOS and PHL every now and then on the site. At BOS, surprisingly, many of the local controllers seem fairly congenial. There are about two controllers whom most Colgan and US pilots seem to know by name. There's one who ends every hand-off with, "Have a nice evening and a safe flight."

At PHL, it's quite the opposite. An example the other day:

US xxx: "Tower, do you have a sequence for US xxx?"
Twr: "Whenever I say 'position and hold,' you'll know you're number one."

(US xxx departed some 30 minutes later.)

In contrast, I got my PPL flying out of BNA, where controllers were almost always patient, relaxed, and accommodating -- true Southern virtues.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:53 pm

One time while heading into O'hare I had channel 9 on. We were still w/ Chicago center and had just been handed off as we were passing through 230 to the teen altitudes. At this point things were insane. The controller sounded like a total auctioneer just going nonstop. Somewhere in this a Turkish airways flight checks in. Controller tells him to descent to 160. Controller proceeds to give orders to the other a/c. The Turkish pilot comes back and is unreadable but not because of radio but because you could not understand him. Chicago Center repeats to descened down to 160 and, proceeds to hand off, accept, vector and descend another group of a/c. Well in this the Turkish plane is still muttering and is understood. Chicago Center returns to him and becomes a little more stern, "Turkish ### HEAVY DESCEND TO 160!" And then goes on to other a/c. Finally all of a sudden the Turkyish flight says, "UHhh, Chicago Center, Turkish ### is w/ you at 230 you want us to 160" and Chicago Center says, "TURKISH ### WELCOME TO THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA! YES DESCEND TO 160 THANK YOU!" Upon landing I also saw the Turkish AIrbus taxing and cracked up.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 2:58 pm

I'd add that I once observed an outbound Aeromexico MD-88 enter Twy F from Ramp 6 at ATL without clearance. For those who aren't familiar with ATL, F is the inner taxiway on the north complex, and the primary taxiway for departures to 26L/08R.

The flight checked in when they were well down Twy F toward 26L. The controller dressed him down for that one -- one of the few times I've heard an ATL controller lose his temper.

Online the other day, I heard BOS Ground tell DL xxx it had a new wheels-up time of some 50 minutes hence.

The original voice, obviously the deflated FO, replied, "Delta xxx, roger."

Then, almost immediately, another, older voice howled: "You'd think y'all could've told us that before we pushed back from the gate!"

Ground controller: "That's a Washington Center flow control program, sir. It's been like that since Day One."

Capt, DL xxx: "Well, I've been here since Day One!"

Maybe the pay cut was getting to him...
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:18 pm

Two things:

- A few months ago while listening to ATC at SAN:

A (I'm pretty sure it was) US jet comes in and clears the active with no problems. Neither my coworker nor myself remembered hearing anything about an inbound US (or whatever airline it was). A few seconds later, while we're trying to figure out how we missed it...

TWR: (sounding confused) US xxx, uh, did I clear you to land?
US: Um, one sec. Yeah, we're pretty sure you gave us clearance, US Air xxx.
TWR: Ok, good, because I really wasn't sure if I had talked to you today.
US: Ummm... uh.... yeah, you cleared us, didn't you?
TWR: Sounds good. Have a good one, US Air XXX.

- While listening to ORD while something was coming back in after declaring an emergency, the controller was moving some aircraft already lined up on one runway to another (sorry I don't remember the #s) after accepting the new runway, the American that was #1 was told to go on to the runway and flip a U-turn. Then...

TWR: United xxx, are you #2 for ___?
UA: That's affirm.
TWR: Can you accept ___? It'll get you out of here a little quicker.
UA: Sure, we can accept ___.
TWR: Ok, go ahead and follow the American in front of you over to ___
UA: Uh, which American would that be, sir?
TWR: If you're #2, that would be the _ONLY_ American that's in _FRONT_ of you.
UA: Oh, sorry about that, we're on our way over to __ behind the American.

ORD is always fun to listen to  Smile

CO Is My Airline of Choice || Baggage Claim is an airline's last chance to disappoint a customer || Next flts in profile
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 4:33 pm

If a controller really needs to tell the pilot off you won't hear it on frequency. Odds are you'll hear the controller invite the offending pilot for a "tour" of the cab.
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 5:01 pm

Here in the MSP class B airspace, several reliever airports fall into the class B veil. For some reason, aircraft have difficulties at Minneapolis Crystal Airport (KMIC) with their transponders (XPDR) being detected by the radar site at MSP, possibly because of the downtown buildings. One day I was moving about the surface following an active runway change as a huge heated argument between a pilot (not me) and the local controller ensued. I was cleared to taxi to rwy 5L and hold short... Due to this endless banter on the frequency between the controller and pilot, i committed a pilot deviation, by taxiing into position on rwy 5L. The controller freaked big time since he was already explosive from dealing with the XPDR problem. CESSNA EIGHT FIVE HOTEL, TAXI TO RUNWAY 5L AND HOLD SHORT DOESN'T MEAN TAXI INTO POSITION. Bottom line, my deviation was a result of being seriously distracted by this heated argument in my ear that i couldn't turn down. Controllers: Take your arguments off the frequency !  Nuts
Go yakkin !!!!!!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 7:17 pm

This isn't an air traffic controller thing and it isn't a pilot thing. It's a human being thing.

We have a controller in our area who is very rude to the pilots and will berate them at the slightest provocation. I am quite often embarrassed while listening to the attitude he displays on frequency. However, this guy is also a private pilot and I've heard numerous tales from people who have flown with him about how he berates the approach controllers when he goes flying.
I'm not joking! This is my job!
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RE: ATC Telling Off Pilots

Wed Dec 01, 2004 11:13 pm

Peoplleeeeeeeee. if you're gonna tell a 'well known atc story" read the other damn posts to make sure that no one else has already told it. I swear in the past few days i've heard about 5 versions of that "wasn't i married to you once" story.
Do you like movies about gladiators?

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