A hypothetical for ATC (or anyone knowledgeable)

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by Dmitri Scheidel, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. Dmitri Scheidel

    Dmitri Scheidel Pre-Flight

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    Hello,
    This is a thing I have been curious about since I started flight training-
    Let's say a student pilot (or someone who needs work on the radios) calls a ground controller and says "ground, N1234A with J (the weather) looking to taxi to runway 12, we are in front of the hangars". Obviously it's all over the place and not very informative, but somehow the controller instructs him to taxi with no questions.

    Pretty much, how can controllers figure out what exactly an aircraft wants when they make a call out of the blue with scrambled information.

    Thanks.
     
  2. bobmrg

    bobmrg Pattern Altitude

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    From the AIM: "Since concise phraseology may not always be adequate, use whatever words are necessary to get your message across."

    The transmission you suggest is perfectly legal (there are no regulations governing phraseology). It might ruffle the feathers of some purists, but is just fine.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  3. Rykymus

    Rykymus Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I suspect controllers have heard it all, and are far more adept at discerning what someone is trying to say than the rest of us are. They also don't feel guilty about asking us to clarify.
     
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  4. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    It's because controllers are superhuman.

    There aren't a lot of reasons an aircraft requests to taxi to a runway, the biggest one, by far, is for takeoff. Given that "scrambled information", the controller will likely have one question, direction of flight.
     
  5. Dana

    Dana Pre-Flight

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    When calling ATC, you tell them who you are, where you are, and what you want. The phraseology in your example is a bit off, but the only inappropriate thing is saying you want to taxi to runway 12; they will tell you which runway to taxi to.

    More correct would be "Ground, Cessna 1234A at the hangars, ready to taxi with Juliet, south depature" (or whatever direction you want).
     
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  6. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    I thought the example was concise and clear, so the controller taxied the plane. As Bob mentioned,

    "Since concise phraseology may not always be adequate, use whatever words are necessary to get your message across."
     
  7. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 En-Route

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    I have frequently asked for a particular runway and received it. Many airports with more than one strip of concrete will be utilizing more than one runway at a time and you will even here that on ATIS. If one of the runways being utilized at the time is preferable to me over the other(s), I will ask for that runway. I do not recall ever being told no.
     
  8. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    No reason not to honor a pilot's request. If it not feasible the controller will advise you (should) of the reason why.
     
  9. Dmitri Scheidel

    Dmitri Scheidel Pre-Flight

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    Controllers are superhuman, agreed. And I guess my example was acceptable. I know if I were a controller and someone came out of no where and asked for flight following off the bat along with other things I'd have to take a step back.
     
  10. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    Controllers are not superhuman. I was when I did it, but I digress. :D
    If you were a controller as mentioned above, you would not have to take a step back because you would know your job and procedures.
     
  11. Shawn

    Shawn Pattern Altitude

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    At least you are not this guy!

     
  12. JCranford

    JCranford Cleared for Takeoff

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    Because when you call ground, you're not calling to order a burger. You're calling to taxi or maybe get FF. The controller is listening for the info he needs in the mess of words you give him: who, where, that.

    Plus, they're superhuman
     
  13. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    The only things I'd be more precise on is the name of the ground facility, most likely there's more than one "hangars" and like Steven said, direction of flight. If there's no specific departure instructions for noise abatement, the pilot isn't requesting FF and they have absolutely nothing going on, they might not even care about direction of flight.
     
  14. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Pattern Altitude

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    A lot of it depends upon location. If the "hangars" are the only hangers on the airfield, then its obvious where the student is taxiing from. Students usually have a standard direction they fly to the practice area/s. So the more they see and hear it, controllers can figure it out without asking too many questions. Also if it isn't a big airport, controllers remember call signs and where they are parked, at least I do.
     
  15. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Sometimes they don't.

    New CAP guys often land at Oakland and request a taxi to "CAP." That's two different sites at opposite ends of the field -- the hangar and the HQ building. And Ground really only knows about the hangar, which is not what the new guys usually mean.
     
  16. waketurbulence

    waketurbulence Filing Flight Plan

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    Hi guys. New to the forum. I work at a larger airport but we do get our fair share of GA pilots and occasional students. I think when an aircraft calls, I want to hear the call sign, the ATIS, location, and the request. Preferably in that order. Unless you have a VFR or IFR flight plan on file, then I also need to know what you plan on doing. "SOUTHBOUND DEPARTURE, CLOSED TRAFFIC, ETC..." As mentioned, the departure RWYS are advertised and will be assigned, if you have a request, then say "request RWY 19L" etc. No big deal. Just my 2 cents.
     
  17. luvflyin

    luvflyin Pattern Altitude

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    No big deal depending on the airport. If there's just one cluster of hangers there, that's all the info that's needed. Now if it's at an airport that has hangars all over the place, like on both sides of parallel runways then yeah, more info is needed
     
  18. hawk25u

    hawk25u Pre-Flight

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    If you are at a flight school ATC will recognize the call sign and know where you are. If you own your plane and are based there they will have a good idea where you are. A student pilot on a cross country is probably at the fuel pumps (in this case say which FBO you are at). All a controller really wants to know is Where you are and What do you want to do.
     
  19. danhagan

    danhagan Line Up and Wait

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    I'm like Chuck Norris around here ... I don't call tower THEY call me:D:eek:

    Actually happened at the local Class C ... extremely dead ... Maybe they were bored? They called up right after engine start. My buddy joked that they wanted to get me out of there in a hurry so the airport fire department didn't have to be on high alert:confused:
     
  20. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They look to see who moves after they given the clearance and that's a good clue as to which one they just cleared.
     
  21. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pre-Flight

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    A lot depends on the make up of the airport. Maybe the controller taxied him to parking and remembers, maybe they can see his tail number with or without binoc's, or possibly it's the only group of hangars at the airport?

    I personally like it. Other than maybe needing a slightly better position report depending on the airport, it's perfect. Clear intentions, concise, and most importantly included the atis.

    The controller knows he wants to depart VFR because he never requested a clearance and they can see there is no flight plan filed. If there is no traffic precluding a departure turn in 360 degrees the controller probably doesn't care what direction he is going. Just my .02
     
  22. Croomrider

    Croomrider Pre-Flight

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    I recently got my plane out of the hanger, started and called ground "?????? Ground, N12345" and was given complete RWY and taxi instructions with no questions. It helps that it's a somewhat lazy airport and the controllers know and have info on my plane and where the hanger is. I also know from visiting the tower that they have info strips for each local plane they have regular contact with. It did catch me a little off guard though, because they usually respond to the call up and wait for my request.
     
  23. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    One for each local? That's very cool. I doubt it would work at my home airport, as it's got nearly 200 based aircraft, but I wonder if the FAA would approve an electronic solution to the problem that would allow based aircraft to have shorter radio calls. Pound the N-number, instantly have parking and type.
     
  24. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was in one of the local fuel truck offices recently, and they keep a chart of parking for every based aircraft on the wall. It takes much less space than one might think. I'd imagine Ground could do something similar.

    Even at this fairly busy airport, ATC hears the same tail numbers all the time. I've gotten "taxi Z H to parking monitor ground" a number of times after landing, with no request.

    According to Airnav, we have 190 based aircraft.
     
  25. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    I know that as a pilot, I don't have to talk to move in the non-movement area. And, of course, I'm taught that outside that line, it's all my responsibility.

    On the other hand, the rules for controllers and the rules for pilots often overlap. Curious how much responsibility ground has when you are talking. If they give a taxi instruction, do they have to track you all the way to parking? Or is it just a courtesy they almost always do?
     
  26. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I don't know the official rules, but at one of my regular airports, Ground very often issues "hold" and "give way" instructions outside the movement area. The airport is organized as a non-movement "loop" around 2/3 of the parking rows, and most of the traffic uses it to get in and out; it also includes the self-service fuel pump, transient parking, and the terminal building. At the other one, there isn't much non-movement area anyone cares about (or that Tower can see). Outside the movement area, you don't have to talk to Ground, but they seem to want to manage it when they can.
     
  27. Zeldman

    Zeldman En-Route

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    I used to fly into Albuquerque class C a lot. One time around 3am I was going to ABQ. Not on flight following. As soon as I passed over Mt. Taylor I heard the controller call my tail number, squawk XXXX, direct to the runway, altitude my discretion. I repeated the instructions than asked the controller, Shouldn't I call you first? :lol::lol:
     
  28. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    Technically no once you're out of the movement area. And, as you know, GC is not responsible for nonmovement areas. GC may have you hold for example if there is another plane taxing out from, say the T hangars, and there's not enough room for 2 planes on the taxiway. Or if you're the plane wanting to taxi out but there's another plane taxing in GC may tell you to hold position. Can you tell ATC to go pound sand if you're only in a nonmovement area? I guess you could but not smart.
     
  29. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    I was actually thinking about the opposite situation. If I do exactly what ground says to do in a non-movement area and things go badly, are there repercussions for the controller? Not necessarily liability, that's a pretty high standard, but in terms of anything negative for the fellow?
     
  30. mscard88

    mscard88 Final Approach

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    Hard to say. If he/she told you to do something and it ended up bad, I would think so, a contributing factor anyway. Controllers have specific phraseology that they'd use for any instruction in a nonmovement area which implies it's at your own risk.
     
  31. ejensen

    ejensen Pattern Altitude

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    Sometime back Centennial KAPA controllers at a pilots meeting said they didn't want to hear from you until you were ready to enter a movement area.
     
  32. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Correct. Ground doesn't care about operations on the ramp. That's pilot / vehicle operator responsibility.

    Important to know where movement areas start as well. Most are obvious but I've seen a few taxiways that are considered movement areas but yet appear as being part of the ramp.
     
  33. arnoha

    arnoha Line Up and Wait

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    I've got to believe that depends on the field. At my home base, KPAO, it's expected that you'll talk to ground before moving around the ramp. "Reposition fuel pumps" or "reposition wash rack" are common requests and you'll hear irritation in the controller's voices if they have to route you around someone not talking to them. It's also extremely common for them to take a very active role in guiding traffic around the entire ramp. KPAO's weird layout and high traffic level, admittedly, lead to confusion and congestion if not controlled.

    This is true to a lesser extent at KRHV, where I used to be based. The non-movement "inside ramp" was commonly used by ground and control of the primary taxiway out of all the commercial area (FBOs, schools, clubs) was tight, but the hangars and private ramps are ignored. Did you have to talk to them? No, but they expected it.

    There are definitely other airports I've flown out of where ground could care less what you did outside the movement area. KMER, for example. Huge ramp, no traffic, wide open sight lines. Go do what you like!
     
  34. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Part of that is because, to get to the wash rack, you have to enter the movement area at Z and then exit at I, from almost anywhere on the field. If you try to squeeze through otherwise, it's VERY tight. The tower itself blocks access otherwise. At Reid, the tower is on the far side of the field and can't see most of the nonmovement areas, excepting transient parking (inside ramp).
     
  35. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Still, there's no requirement to contact PAO GD for taxi instructions within the non movement area. If PAO is trying to require it, it would be in conflict of the definition of non movement area and also against the directives in the .65. Not sure why they would even want you all to call. Opens them up to all kind of liability by issuing taxi instructions with maint personnel, PAX, vehicles, etc. all moving around with no contact with ATC.
     
    Last edited: Dec 25, 2016
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  36. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Pre-Flight

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    Reference what ATC is required to do with ground operations:

    3−1−7. POSITION DETERMINATION
    Determine the position of an aircraft before issuing
    taxi instructions or takeoff clearance.
    NOTE−
    The aircraft’s position may be determined visually by the
    controller, by pilots, or through the use of the ASDE.

    It then goes on to note:

    2. Movement of aircraft or vehicles on non−movement
    areas is the responsibility of the pilot, the aircraft operator,
    or the airport management.

    So what I've done in the past (in my tower life) is determine your position when taxiing you and then maintain awareness/compliance until you reach the non-movement area and then you're on your own. Obviously if you are transient and I think I can help you with the non-movement part I will give you a suggestion to help.
     
  37. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    People do, but with their semi-permanent (on the ATIS) special procedure of needing to notify if you need a run-up or not, we usually decide if we want to run up down near the hangar, at C1, or get a mandatory taxi instruction to either the north or south run-up areas long before we start moving.

    Can save a lot of time and effort by not bothering to talk to them until you're either coming up on C1 and planning to taxi on by it (run up complete, or looking for one of the other two run up areas) or stopping there, finishing the run up, and then first contact is run-up complete to taxi for takeoff.

    I won't taxi down the new taxiway to the end of 28 before calling though, since they sometimes won't approve a 28 departure. Better to run up on the ramp there and then call.

    Best for us east hangar folks if we have a run up complete for departure is to call right at that big gap in the hangars where the tower can see you tootling along westbound and ask for a 10 departure. It'll be "Hold short of Runway 10 at Charlie 1, monitor Tower." That's the fastest way out for us down there. Won't do it in the twin though, so that becomes a "taxi us to a mandatory run up area" type of scenario, though.

    For those unaware, our run up areas are non-movement areas and two of them you can't get to without going via a movement area, so you're stuck there once you're in it, and need a new taxi clearance to get out.

    That's so @Everskyward has room to bring the jet by on the taxiway and leave sooner, while us bugsmashers are doing run ups, and we don't block the taxiway for the "important-er" jets. Hehe.
     
  38. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They are trying to help, nothing more. Most of the parking is accessed through a loop that isn't wide enough for two way traffic. It's busy enough that having self directed traffic would cause jams. There is no requirement to call them, but everyone does. Most of us don't have reverse on our planes, and would rather make a ground call than shut down and turn the plane around. All the ground vehicles get out of the way; it's really not a problem.

    The loop can't be a movement area or more than half the based aircraft become inaccessible.

    They also assign individual run up spots when it gets busy. Last time, they had me do it in the middle of the parallel taxiway to avoid going nose to nose with a Pilatus passing through the run up area.

    Take a peek at the taxiway diagram. There are several unusual features.
     
    Last edited: Dec 26, 2016