Wording Is Important

flyingpreacher

Pre-takeoff checklist
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flyingpreacher
Flying into Bradley International (KBDL) last night, JetBlue was coming in to the same runway, so the controller advised that I'd have to do a little maneuvering because of the JB's descent rate/airspeed being significantly greater than my measly 172. No problem, not the first time. So he says, "You'll be number two behind the Airbus." I (mistakenly) replied, "Number 2 following the Airbus." He graciously corrected me, but I learned that behind just means sequencing, following means that if you have visual contact, you can proceed inbound behind them. In this case, he did NOT want me to follow visual contact for obvious reasons (namely wake turbulence). Nobody got bent out of shape, and we successfully executed the remainder of the approach and went on our merry way, but I learned an important lesson: wording matters!

Wasn't sure whether to post this in here or Lessons Learned, but I was with an instructor, so here you go!

Edit to add, this was on an IFR flight plan, and we were receiving vectors for an approach different than the one we initially planned with ATC due to additional separation issues on the intersecting runway.
 
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Well it’s kind of semantics but it sounds like ATC was just giving you a heads up vs an instruction. If you were VFR in the pattern they could very well have you visually follow the Airbus, putting wake turbulence sep responsibility on you. “Skyhawk 345, number two, follow the Airbus 320 one mile final, caution wake turbulence.”
 
Well it’s kind of semantics but it sounds like ATC was just giving you a heads up vs an instruction. If you were VFR in the pattern they could very well have you visually follow the Airbus, putting wake turbulence sep responsibility on you. “Skyhawk 345, number two, follow the Airbus 320 one mile final, caution wake turbulence.”
I started on the RNAV Y RWY 6, but got broken off due to commercial traffic on the approach to 24. They gave me vectors for the RNAV 33, but had to give me an outbound course (basically a downwind) for the JB, then turned me back for the intercept. I should note, these were IFR flight plan approaches, but it was a severe clear night, so I could have taken the visual, but I'll shoot an approach about any time I can right now. I'm sure a couple hundred instrument approaches down the road, I'll be just as excited for the visual.
 
I started on the RNAV Y RWY 6, but got broken off due to commercial traffic on the approach to 24. They gave me vectors for the RNAV 33, but had to give me an outbound course (basically a downwind) for the JB, then turned me back for the intercept. I should note, these were IFR flight plan approaches, but it was a severe clear night, so I could have taken the visual, but I'll shoot an approach about any time I can right now. I'm sure a couple hundred instrument approaches down the road, I'll be just as excited for the visual.

Ok, IFR doing IAPs makes sense then. Whole different ball game than if you were VFR or doing a VA. Although I have maintained visual behind another aircraft while conducting an IAP, that’s not the norm.
 
I started on the RNAV Y RWY 6, but got broken off due to commercial traffic on the approach to 24. They gave me vectors for the RNAV 33, but had to give me an outbound course (basically a downwind) for the JB, then turned me back for the intercept. I should note, these were IFR flight plan approaches, but it was a severe clear night, so I could have taken the visual, but I'll shoot an approach about any time I can right now. I'm sure a couple hundred instrument approaches down the road, I'll be just as excited for the visual.
Ah. IFR. That was making no sense to me. I'd recommend you edit the op.
 
I disagree that the mistake was being off by one word. You read back an advisory as if it were an instruction or clearance. My response would have been "roger".
 
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