Controller Idiosyncracies

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by SbestCFII, Dec 5, 2018 at 10:08 PM.

  1. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    First, I love ATC and the controllers are, by and large have been great. Occasionally though, you'll some quirky stuff from ATC. I have been training a student this week and we were sitting on the ramp at a small class D on the Carolina coast trying to call ground/clearance and even tower for our IFR clearance x (a bunch) with no answer. Finally, I called the number and spoke with a man that said the controller may be "resetting" the radios (???). In any case, we got the controller on the next call and collected out IFR and Taxi clearances. When we reached the take-off taxiway entry, we did the run up and told the controller we were ready for take-off. The controller just said "Roger" and that was it. Now generally, I'll get a "hold for release," or a release and take-off clearance, not just "Roger." My student keyed up and asked (over the air), "are we cleared for take-off." The controller then said, "I was acknowledging your transmission, however you are currently cleared to do absolutely nothing." No exactly standard phraseology, but amusing none-the-less. Any other ATC stories on the lighter side?
     
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  2. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    I have called Class D airports and not received a response, asked Tracon if the tower was in operation and Tracon call the tower by telephone and not get an answer.
     
  3. Jmcmanna

    Jmcmanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I know what the controller was trying to do....avoid the back-and-forth that comes with a “hold short” instruction. When I worked in a tower, I had a 50% success rate with that. Whenever they tell you to “hold short”, the pilot is required to read back the hold short instruction. Inevitably, the pilot would say “roger” and I would have to say “read back the hold short instruction”. By him just saying “roger”, in his mind that was going to be the end of the interaction until he was able to clear you for takeoff. Obviously it didn’t work :)

    I once had an IFR doing practice approaches say “we are going to do this approach, and hold at this fix, and then go do this approach....” I said “I have your request for all of that, but you’re not going to do anything until I work it all out with the other traffic around you”. I didn’t intend to come across as a jerk, and I was able to work it all out for him, but I didn’t like the “we are calling the shots” attitude that he portrayed (even if it was not intended that way).
     
  4. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    I thought "ready for take off" is discouraged now? I guess it depends on what you said when checking in, I usually say "XXX tower, Cirrus xxx holding short, rwy xx, number 1, ready to depart." Most of the time I will get a "continue to hold short" or a take off clearance. That said, I think controllers have a tough job so I cut them some slack.
     
  5. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    I find it a bit inconvenient when I get non-standard phraseology or just something I didn’t expect from a controller, but often it seems to come from someone in training or who is new to the position or just new to the facility.

    Generally I find individual controllers maintain an outstanding level of consistency and professionalism across the board. But some airport tower teams have some site-specific habits that are interesting.

    The few times I’ve gone into the normally very quiet KINT (Winston Salem NC), I’ve been at first surprised, then entertained, by the length of time it takes ground control to pick up the mic for a clearance or taxi for takeoff request. I tell passengers to note how long it takes for the initial response and then that response will typically be something like, “Aircraft requesting taxi, please say again”. I always imagine a card game going on in the next room.

    Or KAGC (Pittsburgh) never gives you the departure frequency when providing an IFR clearance. Fortunately I go in there enough to never need a reminder but I can’t recall another airport where that is normally done.




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  6. Dr. O

    Dr. O Pattern Altitude

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    Maybe, he just doesn't like you (coff coff)
    I suspect that he may be giving you a SID and the departure frequency is called out on the plate. I just delved into my bag for KDTW and the BARII RNAV has departure for the relevant rwys listed. Or maybe not, since I cannot read his mind from here :)
     
  7. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    That was a bit cryptic but I think that was in response to my thing about the departure freq. And I think you answered it, the SID has a single departure frequency.


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  8. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    She, but I have a wife and am immune to that these days.
     
  9. IK04

    IK04 Pre-Flight

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    Kinda off topic, but:
    When I was a full-time instructor at RHV in the '80s, I got to know the controllers very well and we all recognized each other's voices. My favorite controller, Len, used to watch my spot landings and would give me a score over the radio- cool dude.
    When his voice disappeared from the radio, I asked the tower chief where he went. He told me Len was near retirement and went to SJC to run the ground control there. Bummer.
    About a year later, I was 40 miles West of GCN, Grand Canyon National Park Airport and was hoping to contact the tower before they closed, and through the scratchy reception, I immediately recognized Len's voice!
    In addition to keeping the tower open for me and closing my flight plan, My controller friend whom I had only met once filled me in on how he was bored and wanted to do something different, rather than retire.
    I never had issues with communication errors when I learned to fly and later because "my" controllers took care of me and were real people who among other things, would gladly accept a free beer after work...
     
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  10. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Now offering reverse discounts.
    "Denton Tower, Cirrus 25MV, inbound to land with numbers, request 20 mile straight in VFR approach"

    And that has been documented on a video.
     
  11. Unit74

    Unit74 En-Route

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    I was coming back through Fl and any time the guy handed off a plane, he was like.... Ahhhlohaaaa. Thought it was a bit odd.
     
  12. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    I was working once and someone says something about are you really supposed to say things like 'good day' when you ship planes. An actual discussion started about it. Not an argument but there were opinions. Next plane I shipped I said Sayonara, then Ciao, then something else, don't remember exactly. Then the pilots started playing along and coming up with ones. Hasta la luego, hasta la vista, arriverdeci etc
     
  13. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    The card game is not in the next room.
     
  14. AKBill

    AKBill Pattern Altitude

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    I recently finished my annual inspection and was doing a test flight to check everything out. I called ground for taxi instructions. I waited and waited for a response. Started to check headset connections, radio selected and frequency, volume and squelch.

    About 2 min later tower replied," aircraft calling ground, please repeat". I gave ATIS, position on field and departure direction. He gave me taxi instructions and said, "sorry I took so long to respond to you, I was on a line getting IFR clearance for AK Airlines"

    There is normally only 1 person in the tower in the morning and that person does it all, ground, tower and handles IFR clearances. The folks in the Juneau tower are very accommodating and professional. I don't mind the wait, but it sometimes has me wondering if my radios are working. Sometimes I call FSS and ask for a radio check before contacting ground.
     
  15. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips Line Up and Wait

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    Florida? Sure it wasn't hola?
     
  16. kath

    kath Line Up and Wait

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    A few weeks ago, when talking to Approach, I kept hearing what sounded like young women giggling in the background.
    I dunno. Coulda been any number of things... :)
     
  17. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    FSS is on the field in Kotzebue. One specialist had a habit of belching really big ones on frequency. So of course we pilots were not going to be out done.

    The things we did for entertainment north of the Arctic Circle....
     
  18. IK04

    IK04 Pre-Flight

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    Holy Cow! The stuff we did in Shismaref to stave off boredom was pretty crazy... It's no wonder alcohol was not permitted at all in some of those remote villages.
     
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  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    most likely exactly that, giggling in the background. Now what they was gigglin about................