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ATC arguing with pilot re a request to turn to avoid

What surprised me was that Innsbruck claimed there was no weather, but I can’t see what magical sources they can have access to – short of a rotatable webcam on top of every mountain in the Alps.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

The airway is ten miles wide and that is sufficient most of the time for weather avoidance. Of course i ask for a heading change first, but if they don’t answer or refuse i will turn and inform them.

I don’t think that UK ATC can make you fly into a CB or even TCU.

Peter wrote:

Innsbruck claimed there was no weather

Weather that their usual customers care about (i.e. TCUs and CBs), I guess. Based on icing limitations it was perfectly reasonable for you to want to avoid, and frankly even if you’re somewhat unsure about how bad a cloud will be, why wouldn’t you ask for a turn?

EGTF, LFTF

Not sure airway width is relevant to radar based traffic management.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

why wouldn’t you ask for a turn?

Exactly.

Every approach or enroute controller must know that there are clouds which, despite not showing anything in terms of sferics or echos, can be quite bad in terms of turbulence and / or icing. The controller saying “there is no weather!” was a serious fauxpas. Depending on how exactly the exchange went, what the conditions were and what the implication were, I would possibly file a complaint in this case. It is unacceptable behaviour. I have never received such arrogant / and or ignorant reply.
Usual caveat: he might have been a novice. But even then, he should have received the above weather lessons well before being given access to a microphone.

Not sure airway width is relevant to radar based traffic management.

Correct. That “airway width argument” doesn’t work here. See “Separation minima based on ATS surveillance systems” here. Additionally, there are other factors at play.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 23 Sep 07:56
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Still you can’t ignore him and claim that the required precision allows for turns. If you want to disobey an ATC instruction, you have to declare an emergency which is your right. If the other side really is ignorant I would say (in the local language if I speak it) “I’m not going to fly through this cloud, if you don’t clear a deviation, I will declare an emergency”. After that you get your deviation for sure.

You have to follow protocol.

PS: I have declared an emergency because an idiot ATC refused a clearance before and put me in grave danger. I got what I wanted and there was never any word about it. I would do it at any time again. Although not in every country.

Last Edited by achimha at 23 Sep 07:43

Please show me a rule that says you have to fly in the center of an airway.

So what would YOU do if your heading would lead you directly into the CB/TCU and ATC refused?

@achimha

I have used this method min. 15 times and never were there any complaints. As i said : I will ask, and if it is refused i will act.

Declaring an emergency will create more paperwork than circumnavigating a TCU within the airway.

Last Edited by at 23 Sep 07:48

From the FAA/AIM:

2.For obvious reasons of safety, an IFR pilot must not deviate from the course or altitude or flight level without a proper ATC clearance. When weather conditions encountered are so severe that an immediate deviation is determined to be necessary and time will not permit approval by ATC, the pilot’s emergency authority may be exercised

This does not say that you have to officially declare an emergency. I bet this is the same in Europe, but I have not found it yet.

Alexis wrote:

the pilot’s emergency authority may be exercised

Alexis wrote:

This does not say that you have to officially declare an emergency.

Yeah right. Very convincing.

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