Odd controller: trainee?

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by whereisrandall, Nov 3, 2017.

  1. whereisrandall

    whereisrandall Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Mmkay, ATC question for the controllers in the group. (Tl;dr: what was the controller thinking?) -paging @Timbeck2 !

    I've been talking to Corpus Approach for about ten minutes. I'm at about 1,000 ft, slowly climbing to 2k, headed 210. I can see the conflict coming, with the TFR to the east, and the approach corridor right under me.

    *Just* before I get into the Charlie, the controller (who I've been talking to already for a while) asks my intentions. I say that I'd like to climb to 2k, and overfly the field until I clear the TFR then turn 180 on course.

    He responds with a "remain clear" while I'm on the edge of the airspace, and I immediately (and pretty abruptly) turn 90 degrees right.

    I call him back after a minute with my new plan, descending below 1200' to underfly the outer ring of the Charlie. He responds with an immediate "approved as requested," and clears me into the Charlie. At this point, I'm confused because he has already told me to remain clear, and my new plan involves not coming into the Charlie at all, because he told me not to.

    I confirm with him that I'm cleared into the Charlie, and after he replies affirmative, I tell him exactly what I told him before, that I would like to climb to 2000, overfly the field, then turn on course. He approves me, and passes me to the next Corpus approach controller.

    The next Corpus controller climbs me to 2500, and gives me a heading of 170. I was pretty sure that he was going to send me into the TFR, which is why I took the screenshot.

    But my question is, what's the deal with the first controller? It sounds like a trainee, who didn't deconflict me early enough, and had me remain clear because he wasn't quite sure what he should do. Does that sound right?
     

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  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It happens. May have been a trainee, who knows. I've let trainees go a bit too far at times (just like flight instruction) and then had to scramble to clean it up. There's a lot of Navy training in that area and there may have been a potential conflict ion or other deal but then perhaps it didn't happen. You could always call the facility and request an explanation
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    "Remain clear" could've applied to the TFR and not the C. Controller should have been more clear on that.

    No way of telling what the controller's traffic situation was if he was referring to the C. Directly over the field is usually fine but it also depends on altitude. I try and give 2000 agl in the local C to decinflict with the jet 1500 pattern. Even with 500 ft sep, sometimes they'll try and send traffic around me. :confused:
     
  4. EppyGA

    EppyGA Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When he first responded did he use your tail number? If so, is that not all the clearance one needs into a "C"
     
    Ryanb and TRocket like this.
  5. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    My thoughts exactly.
     
  6. Croomrider

    Croomrider Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Not if he told you to remain clear.
     
  7. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Sounds like a misunderstanding of what to remain clear of. You said your intentions were to climb to 2000' to clear the TFR...well since I do not know of any Charlie with a ceiling of 2000' my guess is that the controller was instructing you to remain clear of the TFR, not Charlie airspace since it was the TFR that you were talking about with him.

    When in question...query ATC.
     
  8. whereisrandall

    whereisrandall Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, it was definitely a "remain clear of the Charlie." I was still 8 miles from the TFR when he gave it to me. He sounded fairly young, and the next controller sounded pretty experienced, so I'm guessing that may have been the issue. Corpus isn't on live ATC, or I would've gone back to listen to it. Doesn't quite feel like it merits a phone call.

    Thanks everybody for your thoughts.
     
  9. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Line Up and Wait

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    It's pretty tough to give you much to go with without the ATC tapes. It could have been a training issue. Also, keep in mind not all TFR's are displayed and "policed" by ATC. So while you may think he should have done a better job of "de-conflicting" you from the TFR, maybe not. What was the TFR for? Did the controller know what altitude you were climbing to and what your destination was prior to asking your intentions?
     
  10. Norman

    Norman En-Route

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    Remain clear of what? My understanding of communications is that all instructions have to be specific. Controllers should have been taught that in basic training. Ambiguous responses are useless.

    I've never been PIC but have had to deal with less than specific instructions from time to time. Clarity of wording is imperative.
     
  11. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    They don't have to go to basic training Norm. Well, military controllers do.....