LAX controller vs AA pilot

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by rk911, Jan 14, 2022.

  1. rk911

    rk911 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    I found this on a non-aviation forum and while it was posted as an argument between an LAX tower controller and a pilot IMO it's not quite that bad. Without spoiling it there is a moment that will bring either a smile or a cringe to your face.

     
  2. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Nothing like doubling down when you're wrong.
     
  3. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    So controller said, "Hold short of Q," and pilot heard, "Hold short at Q." And then everyone got ****y. :dunno:
     
  4. jordane93

    jordane93 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    @kayoh190 Why you getting all mad at the controller?:D
     
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  5. Lois

    Lois Pre-Flight

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    Don't write so that you can be understood, write so that you can't be misunderstood.
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  6. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Ha! I'm very quick to own my screwups!
     
  7. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Listening to it, I can see how it happened - while the controller does indeed say hold short of Q, the pilot is probably conditioned to expect holding short of 7L for departing traffic. Confirmation bias is real.

    Sounds like controller wanted him to go all the way to the end of H to cross which seems like an odd place to do that.

    For anyone who flies into LAX, why would they want them to cross over at B17??? Isn't that where all the departures would be holding short?
     
  8. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    I will venture a guess that LAX operates like ORD. The inboard parallels are departure runways, outboard are arrivals. They have the arrivals taxi back and cross the departure runway at the threshold, while departures are occuring up the runway at the next intersection. This allows arrivals to cross without conflicting with departing aircraft.
     
  9. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    He may have heard hold short at Q, but he read back hood short of Q, and verified that when asked later.

    Expectation bias is real, but it also needs to be acknowledged rather than denied.
     
  10. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    So opposite of how they do it at ATL?
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yep. Plus, “hold short at Q” would make no sense because they were never given 25R in that transmission. If ATC actually wanted them to hold short of 25R, they’d also use “on” and not “at” as well.
     
  12. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    No, they don't do that at LAX. You cross downfield of the line-up point of the departures.

    The reasons they'll take you down further before you cross include to distributes the arrivals at multiple intersections so they can all cross at once, to get you to the back of the line of aircraft traveling back eastbound on the other side of the runway, or, as in this case, to put you someplace where you can hold and wait for your occupied gate to open.

    At ORD they don't typically tell you to hold short of the runway, either, when landing 10C/28C. They tell you to hold short of CC or GG. I think they do that because if a pilot misses the correct readback they don't have to immediately correct him, as they would if it were an instruction to hold short of a runway. While the readback of all holding instructions is recommended and customary, only runway holding instructions are required to be read back.

    The pilot clearly read back hold short "OF quebec". He forgot what he read back.
     
  13. midwestpa24

    midwestpa24 En-Route

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    Unless I misstated something, that is how they do it at ATL too, at least on the south side. The north side has the end around taxiway.
     
  14. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    At ATL I’ve always departed from the end, never like you describe
     
  15. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The latter, even if it is what he thought he heard, isn't a proper clearance. His readback was verbatim the controller's instruction.

    It sounds like he was crossing 25L to his gate. The proper instruction for what the pilot did would be.. Taxi via Hotel, Quebec, Hold Short of Runway 25L. The controller never gave him a instruction that would imply turning on QUEBEC at all regardless of where he was to hold short.

    These things are formalized to avoid mistakes of that sort. The FAA went through a lot of effort (and drilled it into the pilots) over a decade ago to stop these taxi miscues. It was seemed sort of silly at the time to give patently obvious taxi routings, but it is for situations like this they exist.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  16. Lindberg

    Lindberg Final Approach

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    I don't talk to ATC a lot. Nevertheless, I've noticed they don't always use property phraseology. Neither do pilots.

    And maybe my ears or speaker aren't good enough to discern between of and at from the tape, but it doesn't matter. Regardless of what was said, the pilot's brain heard hold short at Q and that's what he did. The fact that it wouldn't be a proper instruction is irrelevant; that's not how auditory processing and cognition work.

    My point being, he made a mistake and then everyone got ****y. "I didn't want--I wanted you . . . " isn't proper phraseology either. The whole thing was unproductive.
     
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  17. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    While you are technically correct, I have noticed that controllers in recent years have gotten really lax (no pun intended) in giving hold short instructions. At least 70 percent of the hold short instructions I've heard in the last few years have been given exactly like the pilot thought he heard with no mention of the actual runway holding short. And this is trickles down to pilots as well. Pilots are just repeating the verbatim instructions they hear and not including the runway.
     
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  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well the controller used correct phraseology and the pilot repeated it back correctly. He either forgot what he was doing or he is ignorant of the rules for taxi clearances.
     
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  19. KSCessnaDriver

    KSCessnaDriver Pattern Altitude

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    Really? The typical departure point for 9L is 9L at M2, allowing them to use the full length of 9L at L to cross planes who have landed on 9R/10
     
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  20. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In all honesty, I cannot think of the last time I departed from 9L. Every eastbound departure I've done in the last several years has been from 8R where arrivals are returning via V. Every west departure on 26L has been from E and 27R from LA.
     
  21. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I have listened to it several times without looking at the captions and I cannot conclusively say the pilot read it back correctly.

    The real issue here, however is that regardless of what the controller said or what the pilot thought he heard, there is no reason for the pilot to get nasty with the controller in response. It never ends well.
     
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  22. s35pilot

    s35pilot Pre-Flight

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    Yea…if I do something wrong and the controller issues another instruction I just do it. No sense in highlighting my mistake. Even if I don’t think I made a mistake it doesn’t make sense to tie up the freq with a bunch of chatter about it.
     
  23. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    Controllers use proper phraseology far more often than pilots; even us professional pilots. That is because they are regularly evaluated on their phraseology just as I am evaluated on my ability to hold an altitude or airspeed. If a controller is in the habit of using non-standard phraseology, it will show up soon on his evaluations or when there is an incident that requires the tapes to be reviewed.

    If he heard hold short AT Q then why did he read back OF Q? In any case, "hold short at Q" is both an improper instruction and an improper readback.

    As a professional pilot, I am aware of the controller's phraseology because, when I hear improper phraseology it is a red flag that someone, him or me, has made a mistake. Very simply, the controller will always state the name of whatever it is we are supposed to hold short of and he will insist that I read back any runway that I am told to hold short of as well.

    If the controller said, "hold short of 25R at Q" and I read back "hold short at Q" he is required to get me to repeat the readback with the runway included. A professional pilot should know this.

    In any case, arguing on the frequency is the wrong approach. Call the facility on the phone or, if it's a safety issue, file an ASAP report, the airline and ATC version of a NASA report, as that will get any problems, if they exist, forwarded to the facility.
     
  24. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The controller said "Taxi hotel, hold short of quebec", the pilot read it back, "Hotel, hold short of quebec". Then the pilot taxied on to quebec and held short of the runway. Not sure how the controller could have made is instruction any clearer, the pilot F'd up. I think the controller was very gracious through this. The pilot, actually 2 pilots, screwed this up.
     
  25. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Agreed. There's no point in either pilots or controllers sniping at each other. I won't stand for it from a controller and won't do so to them.
     
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  26. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

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    Landing 25L at LAX, there is an expectation that you will be told to hold short of 25R at a particular intersection. Doesn't happen every time, but it happens often. Although the F/O read back the instruction correctly, expectation bias took over and they proceeded as though it was "hold short of 25R on Q".

    Taxiing clear of the runway is a very busy time. Here's what the F/O was doing (737).

    Clock, start (time engine cool down)
    Transponder, from TA/RA to ON
    Nav radios, deselect ILS frequency
    Flaps, up
    Stab Trim, set 5°
    Autobrakes, Off
    Flight directors, both off
    Engine start switches, off
    Exterior lights, set
    Engine/wing anti-ice, off
    Pitot heat, Auto
    Trim Air, off
    APU, start (or remember to start later, depending on the

    It's a flow and it is always interrupted by radio calls, switching frequencies, and monitoring the taxi route and clearing for obstacles and traffic on the right side of the airplane. This creates a significant threat of error. This threat can be mitigated by careful attention to phraseology and the specified holding instructions. Additionally, VVM (Verbalize, Verify, Monitor) is used to ensure both pilots heard the same instructions, agree on what they mean, and that the Captain follows through in executing them.

    There's a lot going on which presents threats for errors being made but the mitigating procedures broke down in this case. This is a good example of why the use, and understanding, of proper phraseology is important.
     
  27. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Line Up and Wait

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    I agree - the pilot’s snarkiness was a totally unnecessary unforced error. What’s so hard about being like “sorry I misunderstood,” even if you’re pretty sure you were right.

    For a guy (the pilot) whose livelihood depends on not tangling with the FAA, being a jerk to a controller seems like a really stupid move.
     
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  28. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    This is probably a bigger part…the PM read it back correctly, but there was a breakdown in CRM somehow that allowed the PF to miss the holding point.

    how much you want to bet that the initial response of “if you had told us to do that” was just parroting what the PF said?
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  29. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Not only did the pilot start arguing about it, he initially ignored the revised clearance in order to do so.
     
    Last edited: Jan 15, 2022
  30. Llewtrah381

    Llewtrah381 Line Up and Wait PoA Supporter

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    That. There seems to be absolutely no added value to the AA pilot to broadcast to the greater LA basin his feefees, even if he was right (and he wasn’t in this case).
     
  31. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you have an issue with a controller, note the frequency and time and call the facility during the next business day. They will have a QA person (or supervisor in small facilities). There's no need to escalate the situation with inane asking for initials.

    I had an issue at IAD one night. Called the office the next day and the QA guy went and pulled the tapes and we got an apology.
     
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  32. RudyP

    RudyP Cleared for Takeoff

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    +2

    Especially now that this stuff is likely to end up on the internet forever (as happened in this case). Good chance some of his buddies have heard it by now too and probably giving him crap about it. Dumb move.

    I am always polite and contrite with controllers even when I’m 100% certain they screwed up.
     
  33. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Crap happens. This guy is a tool. He has lots of company. Most airline pilots are just pricks.
     
  34. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Probably get a nickname out of it. Maybe just "Q". Or The Mighty Quinn
     
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  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I dunno about 'gracious.' His wit had a somewhat 'rapier' quality.
     
  36. FlyingTexasTiger

    FlyingTexasTiger Filing Flight Plan

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    LAX is pretty congested and there's not a lot of room to hold on the taxiways once you cross 25R, especially because the AA gates are located right there where you roll out when you land on 25L and cross on 25R.

    In the initial comms, the controller advised the pilots that their gate was occupied. Their expectation bias was to be told to hold short of 25R at Q in anticipation of being cleared to cross there. The controller was stalling for time by trying to get them to hold short there for a moment while deciding if he could cross them or needed them to continue down H to the end where he has room to hold them or cross them there and get them heading back towards their planned gate and hold them facing back to the east until their gate opens or he has room for them to hold ivo the gate. 100% on the crew here. No snippiness required, I can understand the controller getting his back up a little when it was 100% the pilots fault.

    We have gone to "threat forward" approach/arrival briefs where the possibility of occupied gates/alternate taxi/cross/holding possibilities should probably be discussed.
     
  37. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 Final Approach

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    Care to elaborate on the bolded? Demographic or cultural reasons this is the case in your opinion? :D
     
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  38. Tarheelpilot

    Tarheelpilot Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It was a joke. But you can read my post history to see if I fit the assertion.

    :cheers:
     
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  39. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    [​IMG]


    :p
     
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  40. Rich Holt

    Rich Holt Line Up and Wait

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    FIFY :stirpot: