Nasty argument between pilot and tower.

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I’ve had my disagreements with ATC. A polite “we will be unable” or “please say again” gets the relationship back to where it needs to be without being a jerk (as this pilot was) or getting violated (as this pilot deserved).

Yup. . . his phraseology needs some improvement, but being rude isn't an FAR violation. It does put him in an awkward position when negotiating his fate with FSDO, as attitude plays a big part in the outcome in my experience.

With regard to his expectations after initial call-up and controller response. . . "expectation bias" is strong within the piloting community--We're taught to do certain actions at certain times, with visual, audio cues. . . to respond to ATC directions with certain reactions and responses, etc., because that's the "way it always happens". . . until it doesn't happen that way, when things fall through the cracks. I've experienced expectation bias, and it's hard to not be surprised by it, even when you're aware of it. The missions I do are almost always two-pilot and we practice CRM and use checklists--most GA pilots don't have the benefit of a copilot. . .I'm glad that I do, as it makes us undeniably safer than single-pilot ops.

So, throw in some cockpit chaos. . . a crying child, barfing all over the place. . . a wife / mother already upset about the rough flight for the last three hours, demanding you "get this thing on the ground, NOW", all the while you're planning a space-shuttle descent profile over the ridges surrounding your destination without shock-cooling your engine, while dealing with the turbulence, running your checklists etc. etc. Single pilot GA ops are extremely busy if you do it right, even when things are going smoothly.

I've gotten soft in my old age I guess. . . . I wouldn't be ready to throw him to the lions. . . just yet anyway.

Astro, you'd be an interesting guy to share a beverage with someday--love your stories. If you're ever stuck in PA, let me know and maybe we can make it happen. --Rob
 

Astro14

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While it's true that those supposed pressures - turbulence, crying kid, nagging passenger, steep descent - all add to the stress level, if you're not able to manage those stresses and maintain your composure, then, perhaps, flying isn't for you. If your composure is starting to crumble, your judgement and decision-making can't be far behind, and perhaps, are just as susceptible to those stressors. Managing those stressors is an everyday part of the job.

Single pilot ops are always busy - particularly in a complex airplane with no autopilot.

But, make that single piloted airplane a twin-engine, afterburning, variable geometry machine in a far more dynamic, stressful environment, with a mission beyond mere flying, make it low on gas, and do it at night, where the runway is moving in three dimensions, that requires dramatically greater precision, and with no alternative landing fields, then, you have my empathy and understanding.

Short of that, I would say that this pilot was gaining experience.

And experience, as the old saying goes, is the result of bad judgement.

Clearly on display here.

I'm in Pa often. We meet up for that beer - I'm buyin'!

Cheers,
Astro
 
Joined
May 12, 2004
Messages
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Location
Cumberland County, Pennsylvania
But, make that single piloted airplane a twin-engine, afterburning, variable geometry machine in a far more dynamic, stressful environment, with a mission beyond mere flying, make it low on gas, and do it at night, where the runway is moving in three dimensions, that requires dramatically greater precision, and with no alternative landing fields, then, you have my empathy and understanding.

Please. . . the dreaded two-engine approach in a high-performance aircraft to a carrier. . .. cry me a river! . . . heheheheheh. . .. I'll raise you a non-precision RNAV approach in a single-engine Cessna, recip engine, filled with special ops guys and machine guns, at night, with no moon, in icing conditions, to a northern Maine airport at minimums with moderate snow swirling around--I had gray hair when I was 35! Of course, I jest. . . . . sort of.
 

Astro14

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No one shooting at you. No SAMs, air defense, other fighters, weapon employment, airplanes in formation, in flight refueling, or tactics to worry about.

All you had to do was fly a simple airplane and land it on a runway that wasn't moving.

Piece of cake.

;)
 
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Years ago I used to listen to ATC. I remember an a pilot being told to descend to some altitude and he replied unable. He was asked why, and another airplane came on and said this is flight Bla Bla Bla I was instructed to occupy that altitude. ATC replied thank you. All calm and professional like it was a every day occurrence. Which of course is why I remembered it. I hope that is NOT an everyday occurrence. This was right after Reagan broke the union.

Rod
 
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Class B or Bravo Clearances: ATC ( Air Traffic Control ) must specifically use your tail number i.e. N55512 in the clearance. You must hear the words, "N22212 you are cleared to enter the Class Bravo."
 
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