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ATC Question Thread

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Why can't we have STAR's that terminate at the runway threshold in Sydney? And why can't departing aircraft have unlimited climb at capital city airports? A climbing aircraft will always out climb an aircraft on a three degree profile!022_wink.gif.2137519eeebfc3acb3315da062b6b1c1.gif

I'm not approach rated but I believe the radar vectoring used at Sydney allow for a tighter sequence thus more movements. Brisbane may be going to same way when the new runway and airspace changes come in.

 

As for the stop gap on climb, that's for separation assurance with other aircraft operating within the terminal area, same as you don't get given unrestricted decent either.

 

 

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I'm not approach rated but I believe the radar vectoring used at Sydney allow for a tighter sequence thus more movements. Brisbane may be going to same way when the new runway and airspace changes come in.

The radar vectoring is for nothing but 'noise sharing'. If we are to have different downwinds just have an A, B & C version of the same STAR with downwinds 3-5 miles apart. There is no way that manually sequencing aircraft is more efficient than working off a fix time. All arriving aircraft across the same fix and then 250 knots below 10, mix the turboprops with the jets rather than separate arrival routes.

 

As for the stop gap on climb, that's for separation assurance with other aircraft operating within the terminal area, same as you don't get given unrestricted decent either.

That's my point there is no need for this to happen, climbing aircraft will be always above the descending aircraft, this is what we do when self separating at CTAF's. If we are to have this level segment (up to 60 miles for descending aircraft in Sydney), let's at least raise it higher than 5 & 6000 feet and get it out of the turbulence.

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Do you maintain the level?

 

I know at places I've worked (not Sydney) it wouldn't work as outbound and inbound tracks cross and as ATC we can't use "profile" as a standard, so we use levels until a radar standard can be assured. I can't recall seeing a jet actually be kept at the stop level.

 

The whole idea behind vectoring to final is to tighten up the sequence, aircraft can hit their fix time but very rarely does the fix time sequence reflect the landing time sequence (space between aircraft). With vectoring you can run downwind for extra space (for a departure) or close downwind if the gap is opening up too much.

 

 

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Unfortunately while in 95% cases I would agree that the climbing aircraft would outclimb, its the other 5% of the time that stops that being an acceptable standard. As has been said, we need to provide 'seperation assurance', which at its most basic level is if we were to all of a sudden drop dead (clearly the rarest worst case scenario!), or we had a system failure, then our further inaction would not cause an breakdown of seperation, as we have assigned stop gap levels/differing routes etc. Obviously it is a bit more complex in some scenarios but thats the basic premise.

 

That 5% can include a pilot just deciding to take his time after being issued climb (I've seen jets obviously assume I couldn't tell/ want to flaunt the rules and climb at less than 100ft per minute just because they can. I watched to see how long a learjet was going to take on their climb one day as it was quiet, and half an hour later I had to issue a requirement to get them to hurry up as they still had not reached their cruising level and were going to conflict with an aircraft that on 'profile' they should never have been an issue with), right through to if an aircraft is climbing out of somewhere and has an engine failure/other emergency situation and can not continue the climb, all of a sudden they are now no longer going to clear the inbounds on profile. Thats just some example of why we cant just let aircraft climb on profile assuming they will be fine.

 

 

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From my observations Airservices Australia need focus more on delivering "services" and less on "control". I cannot help but think the vectoring practices around capital city airports is about job security and the ATS belief that pilots are idiots trying to run into each other.

 

Surely arriving / departing aircraft can be separated laterally via correctly designed SIDs and STARs?

 

Sydney airspace will be interesting in about 9 years time, when Badgey's Creek is operational.

 

 

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Controlled airspace IS where you can expect to be separated from other aircraft, if the controller network is designed properly and you comply in the required time frame and at the specified rate. You don't have to look outside the window, unless you are in a "visual" situation. Nev

 

 

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From my observations Airservices Australia need focus more on delivering "services" and less on "control". I cannot help but think the vectoring practices around capital city airports is about job security and the ATS belief that pilots are idiots trying to run into each other.Surely arriving / departing aircraft can be separated laterally via correctly designed SIDs and STARs?

 

Sydney airspace will be interesting in about 9 years time, when Badgey's Creek is operational.

Please leave option out of this thread, its intended to be a learning thread and a place to ask ATC's questions. It would be nice if it did not become the standard shitfight that every other thread seems to degenerate into.

 

 

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From my observations Airservices Australia need focus more on delivering "services" and less on "control". I cannot help but think the vectoring practices around capital city airports is about job security and the ATS belief that pilots are idiots trying to run into each other.Surely arriving / departing aircraft can be separated laterally via correctly designed SIDs and STARs?

 

Sydney airspace will be interesting in about 9 years time, when Badgey's Creek is operational.

I think you'll find it's more about trying to make the best use of the airspace and runway to maximize use.

 

SIDS and STARS are designed with separation in mind, but it's not set and forget. At some point the tracks need to cross as aircraft travel in all directions. May I suggest talking to your airline if there is a segment your not happy with, industry are heavily involved these days in the redesign of airspace procedures.

 

 

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Here is another question that I get many and varied answers to, but first an anecdote:

 

I was on a dual navigation exercise whilst the Amberley airspace was active and we needed to transit from the west to Goodna. So first step was to contact delivery and I knew that after telling the controller who I was, I needed to say where I was. We had departed YWCK and my first thought was to use that point to describe our position, but then I thought that we may actually be closer to YCFN and the student study guide does use it as an example. But my instructor said to use Maryvale and that worked fine. But when we got back I saw that this wasn't actually a listed point on the map.

 

So my question is when reporting your position, what is an acceptable point of reference and what is not? Or perhaps more precisely, what points are clearest and most readily available to a controller? Should one aim to use airports and reporting points? Or are random towns on the VNC OK?

 

 

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Here is another question that I get many and varied answers to, but first an anecdote:

I was on a dual navigation exercise whilst the Amberley airspace was active and we needed to transit from the west to Goodna. So first step was to contact delivery and I knew that after telling the controller who I was, I needed to say where I was. We had departed YWCK and my first thought was to use that point to describe our position, but then I thought that we may actually be closer to YCFN and the student study guide does use it as an example. But my instructor said to use Maryvale and that worked fine. But when we got back I saw that this wasn't actually a listed point on the map.

 

So my question is when reporting your position, what is an acceptable point of reference and what is not? Or perhaps more precisely, what points are clearest and most readily available to a controller? Should one aim to use airports and reporting points? Or are random towns on the VNC OK?

Thats pretty sector/area/controller dependant. I cant speak for Amberley (though I assume they would have a fairly good idea of whats under their airspace, and being a smaller piece of airspace they are likely to know the smaller towns or hotspots that aircraft track via), however if you were to call me up for example, I control an area that is at times pretty much from Goondoowindi up to north of Mornington Island, out to Birdsville and so forth, so thats a pretty huge area and I dont know every small little town that is likely to be out there. If you were to give us a location off an aerodrome we are much more likely to know where that is, or it is at least easier for us to look up as have a database we can search. Some of the other guys have smaller airspaces so they may be able to comment on whether they would know more of the little ones.

 

By all means though if you don't have any other point of reference we will do our best to find whatever town you are referencing, but it could take us a lot longer if we dont have a listing for it

 

 

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An ad or a navaid and you can't go wrong. My airspace is smaller than cornwalls but i still don't know all the Tony little towns out west.

 

 

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Second what Jason says. Luckily my sector is near where I grew up, so I know a lot of the small towns etc, but that's pretty uncommon really. If you give us something relative to a significant aerodrome or a navaid (which may be about to become much more difficult), we can work with that, especially if we have radar. While we can access most of the visual charts, it can be time consuming and our chances of finding some tiny town on a WAC aren't that high. In an emergency, give us exactly where you are, we want to be able to find you quickly.

 

 

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Just to be clear, VFR reporting points are OK too, right? My examples are TVT, PKR, GON and TAR. These are on the VTC and used in the ERSA for YBAF. I guess you'd need some local knowledge to make the link between "Park Ridge water tower" as spoken on the radio and PKR.

 

 

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When traversing busy VFR routes, such as Kilmore, how do you report your location and intentions? Do you do it and is it basically an broadcast area frequency as you would in Class G?

 

I live pretty much below the Kilmore Gap VFR route and (with radio on area), I've never heard anyone broadcast intentions although CASA video suggests you do. I've flown it a couple of times and each time am a little nervous because there's not much room for incursion and terrain.

 

 

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AKRO: probably need to defer this to someone who deals in VFR routes etc. I have no experience with them at all.

 

 

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image.jpeg.e0cd0911ef2666a72523a8670f1b46c5.jpeg

 

When traversing busy VFR routes, such as Kilmore, how do you report your location and intentions? ... I've flown it a couple of times and each time am a little nervous because there's not much room for incursion and terrain.

Interesting that the new ontrack guide suggests a radio call outbound but not inbound. I use words something like traffic eastern lane then as per that guide. If cloud base is low there may be opposite traffic at the same altitude so I like to keep to the right of the pretty purple dots and avoid nice round numbers on the altimeter - scary to see others as they pass close by.Personally I prefer the Glenburn gap if the weather is good enough.

 

 

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I haven't used any of the Moorabbin entry lanes, so I don't know for sure what would be the best procedure, however I'm a firm believer that lanes of entry concentrate aircraft of varying speeds into a confined area, and for all its brilliance see and avoid is quite flawed. As such, if I'm using a busy VFR route, I will call up ATC and get a traffic statement both inbound and outbound, you never know when it may save your life. Also, after getting a traffic statement, continue monitoring the area frequency if possible, if conflicting traffic does come up, you can expect a safety alert which will give you the chance for avoiding action.

 

For Archerfield, I generally just do something like PKA overhead Petrie 1500 for Archerfield via tv towers request traffic. If there is no one else in the area, they won't even bother identifying me, I will just get the traffic statement. Remember, as soon as you are clear of the zone outbound, get on the area frequency of you can. I have received a safety alert almost as soon as I finished dialling up the frequency once. All the metro class D aerodromes have good radar coverage, so you can expect radar traffic. Our job is largely conflict recognition, (resolution is easy once you have spotted the conflict), and you would be surprised how far out we can detect even two VFR aircraft as possible conflicts. If ATC tell you someone is at the same level in conflict, remember level changes tend to resolve conflicts quicker and give you a better chance of spotting the other guy. In the aircraft we generally fly, 100ft vertical separation means you won't hit, although it will scare you.

 

And the final thing I say a lot but want to emphasise, is call us! I ultimately don't care if your radio talk isn't AIP perfect, I want you to have a good flight and get back home safely and I will do all I can to make that happen. If you call us, we will get the information we need out of you even if you don't know what we need. I know you don't fly every day like the commercial guys, and I don't expect the same standard when it comes to talking with ATC. What I do expect is to see sound airmanship whether your in a flying car or a 747.

 

 

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Whilst not really an ask ATC question, but more of an encouragement not to be afraid of ATC because they might well save your life. I had a fuel issue today which I thought was a blockage in one tank. I was pretty keen to land, so I called up BNE centre to ask them where a skydiving plane was because I could not contact them on CTAF. I think BNE centre then withheld approval for the drop until I was clear plus gave me traffic alerts as well as asking me if I needed emergency services. Whilst it was far from an emergency, it was still nervous time (I was into the red on the left tank when I landed at YRED). so the help provided was a welcome relief.

 

I did miss a couple of calls today from BNE centre because I was broadcasting intentions and position on the CTAF. Its hard to know where to be in this type of situation given that caboolture/bribie airspace is busy. I just wonder if I were better off staying with BNE centre just in case.

 

BTW: For the record it was not a fuel blockage, but I suspect probably an issue with the seal or breather on the tank cap. The fuel had actually been sucked from the left tank to the right. Fuel burn for the time I was in the air was within 10l of what I calculated.

 

 

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Interesting story, Pearo.

 

Makes one wish for a radio with dual channel receive.

 

(Although you've got to be doubly alert with those types to avoid transmitting on the wrong frequency.

 

ATC must be fed up with getting CTAF reports.)

 

 

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Interesting story, Pearo.

Makes one wish for a radio with dual channel receive.

 

(Although you've got to be doubly alert with those types to avoid transmitting on the wrong frequency.

 

ATC must be fed up with getting CTAF reports.)

I have been guilty of doing taxi calls on BNE Centre a few times in my early days of solo flight. We all make mistakes. I have heard others do it too. Important part is that after a few mistakes doing it you tend to teach yourself a little check method to ensure you dont do it again. For me its to look at the TX light on the comm and make sure its next to the correct frequency as I start to transmit.

 

I have been spoiled, always had 2 comms in all the aircraft I fly, and to be honest I dont know how people with single comms manage the radio's when flying a mixture of controlled and uncontrolled airspace. I also always listen in on centre when I am flying as I find the services they offer far to valuable. To be honest, the more I fly the more paranoid I become about having the correct centre frequency tuned in. If centre goes silent, you will find me double checking that I am dialed into the sector! I find that ongoing radio chatter reassuring!

 

 

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Oh, now I get it. You only missed those calls from BNE because you were actually transmitting at the time.

 

I thought it was because you had to change frequencies.

 

Anyway, you're right, 2 channel (receive, at least) is highly desirable in busy environments.

 

But even for not so busy places. How about the time you need to tune to local CTAFs as you pass by on a cross country. That can be a long time away from Area as your 10 mile circle hops from airfield to airfield.

 

 

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