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ATC arguing with pilot re a request to turn to avoid

While the exchange was not professional,

It seems to me it was mostly that neither party was able to understand the other’s constraints and none expressed them clearly even though one of them was a native English speaker.

Last Edited by Aviathor at 24 Sep 15:53

Aviathor wrote:

It seems to me it was mostly that neither party was able to understand the other’s constraint and none expressed them clearly even though one of them was a native English speaker.

Yes but she should have said that she is not showing any weather in the vicinity. If she didn’t believe Peter, she should have kept that to herself or asked him for more info.

EGTK Oxford

The Eurocontrol documents I read made it pretty clear: You do not have to declare an emergency to avoid dangerous weather. If you tel them an they don’t react you tell them what you do and just do it: “Turning ten degrees to the right to avoid”. They can sort it out.

The one thing you should not have made was to tell her you need “50 miles” on the offtrack heading. She clearly got information from Padova that they would not accept you on the offtrack heading at FL160, and she way only relaying that information. She would have let you fly wherever you wanted, that much is clear.

In the beginning of the exchange she said “you may proceed on the avoidance heading and report when you are read to turn inbound xyz”. I would have confirmed that with “thank you” and waited … She just could not confirm that you can stay on this heading for 50 miles. You could have negotiated the rest with the italians later on.

Of course it was stupid of her to tell you “you’re an IFR flight”.

Last Edited by at 24 Sep 16:19

Your Eurocontrol documents are for tourists

Last Edited by airways at 24 Sep 16:18
EBST, Belgium

Are you sure you know what you are talking about? Or is it only an attempt to sound arrogant?

I the meantime I have called a friend who is a Eurocontrol Radar Controller. They will always try to give you the clearance, but there are no consequences if you act on your own after telling them that you will turn “to avoid”.

Last Edited by at 24 Sep 16:22

An accurate translation, and the chronological order, illuminates this matter differently to how some see it.

Everyone can listen to the sound track for themselves.

My comment about ELP (a big issue in both ATC and pilots) was a general one. One should not use conversational language unless it is completely obvious that both sides speak it fully. This is why the standard phrases exist. And the standard phrases for wx avoidance are… exactly what??

I am out of this now.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

My German isn’t perfect, so I’m missing a few words but I’ll try to translate.
First, in my hack-German (not HochDeutsch) and then translated into English.
No promises about being accurate.


P1: Frau Rolle
C: Yes please?
P1: Von was Wetter redet er?
C: Er hatte das habe jetzt kurz Wetterradar aufgeschoben. Da Dominik und die (Wunder wand?) er fordert. <— likely wrong… couldn’t quite tell!
P1: Mir sieht von da bis den Mittelmeer - klar. Ist schon in Höhe Schichte -- kann ja, aber trotzdem…
C: Ja, nehm da Kollege, sagt er auf Deutsch - “es ist unakzeptibilität.”
P1: Ich verstehe. Alles klar.


P1: Mrs. Rolle
C: Yes please?
P1: What weather is he talking about?
C: He wanted that I should refer to the Weather Radar. Which Dominik and the (Wonder wall?) he demands. <— again, couldn’t catch it, very likely wrong.
P1: It’s clear for me from here to there and all the way to the Mediterranean. Yeah, it can be that it is in height layers, but despite that…
C: Yeah, I grabbed a colleague and he said in German, “It is merit-less”
P1: I get it. Everything’s clear.

Sounded to me like he is a voice of experience for her, and when he asked, he is trying to be helpful, but also is clearly superior to her.
She sounds like she is kind of new and he’s trying to be helpful…
Then he basically tells her that the weather is great. There’s a few cloud layers, but “trotzdem” which I’d really translate (based on his tone) as, “He’s an IFR pilot, what does he expect? VFR weather?”
After which she confirms that the other colleague said basically the same thing…

My opinion is that you didn’t really explain your real concern (danger) very well.
You provided brevity, but she sounded new and then you got picked on by some other local guy in the sky (haha!).
At that point I’d have done as suggested above, just described your concerns in plain English and dropped the formal pilot-speak…

Last Edited by AF at 24 Sep 17:15

The problem isn’t language, it is care.
Neither side took care of the other, nor did either side properly communicate.
Both just gave the requisite number of words, and were well within bounds.

I’d ponder that this kind of thing happens 80 billion times a day around the world (at least).
Just not as often in aviation (by design).

Thread cleaned up to keep it on topic. Brexit, Africa, French pumps etc etc are all irrelevant.

Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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