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Pilot Argues with Vegas ATC After Busting Bravo Airspace

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I’ve heard some tense ATC-Pilot exchanges before but this one is really out there.  The pilot seems over the top childish...I wonder what would happen after something like this?  Note there is one swear word in the video.

 

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Dave

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He'll be calling some numbers.... and Henderson didn't get the full picture, else why would he apologise to the cocky Centurion pilot?

Last time I looked, a Centurion is a tiny little GA plane. When GA goes playing with the big boys who happen to be far less manoeuvrable, then GA should be more... cautious? Helpful?? I was going to say acquiescent, but that's a bit strong as GA has every right to be flying... with APPROPRIATE PERMISSIONS, just like any other class of aviation out there, correct?

Please help this layman out: If one doesn't receive a clear permission/instruction to enter/cross a particular airspace, then one should hold outside until permission is obtained, yes? Seems like Centurion boy didn't get that..

 

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2 minutes ago, HighBypass said:

He'll be calling some numbers.... and Henderson didn't get the full picture, else why would he apologise to the cocky Centurion pilot?

Last time I looked, a Centurion is a tiny little GA plane. When GA goes playing with the big boys who happen to be far less manoeuvrable, then GA should be more... cautious? Helpful?? I was going to say acquiescent, but that's a bit strong as GA has every right to be flying... with APPROPRIATE PERMISSIONS, just like any other class of aviation out there, correct?

Please help this layman out: If one doesn't receive a clear permission/instruction to enter/cross a particular airspace, then one should hold outside until permission is obtained, yes? Seems like Centurion boy didn't get that..

 

Exactly. Frequently one does NOT get clearance through B airspace, at least its my experience in the KBOS airspace. One is not 'cleared' just because of a request, but this pilot seems to think otherwise.  

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Posted (edited)

He really should not be arguing with ATC.

Edited by Christopher Low
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Christopher Low

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Can someone elaborate why he got an excuse eventually? Anything we may miss in the story? A private aircraft owner with better connections than the guys at ATC, albeit the plane was small 🙂 ? Just wondering about the sudden change in tone at the end. The pilot seemed to be very cocky to me too before. 


Hans Schmitz

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Gents,

I'm afraid that we are too quick on judging this guy.

Just from the video at time 0:32 it's an instruction to stay outside Bravo airspace.

At time 1:17 there is a statement on this video that he had contact with ATC about 7 minutes prior to this issue, that conversation is not on this tape to know what happened.

So none of us know all the details.

What is really disturbing (for me as a RW heavy equipment pilot) are statements like " is a tiny little GA plane" or " then GA should be more... cautious" or "He really should not be arguing with ATC".

I think that we should understand that this ATC service is for everybody, GA or not. I heard many times when the GA pilots were denied entry in different airspaces for good or unjustifiable reasons.

I know that there is a problem on a busy airport  under IFR conditions to get a good sequence between a C172 and a B748 and there is lots of work for the controller.

This nonsense not arguing with the controller it's outrageous, as we do mistakes they also do, nobody is perfect.

ATC is there to work for us and us to work with them, unfortunately in US somehow there is a misunderstanding about this. Sometimes I'm ashamed about JFK, ORD, LAX or SFO controller's behavior  and attitude.

As you fly international ATC is a pleasure to deal with, everybody is trying to help each other, it's not a contest. 

Unfortunately in States there are not too many places left where it's a pleasure to deal with  ATC.  

 

 

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17 minutes ago, killthespam said:

So none of us know all the details.

That's what I wanted to say. Don't judge the story without the details. Happening too often. 

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Hans Schmitz

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2 hours ago, killthespam said:

. Sometimes I'm ashamed about JFK, ORD, LAX or SFO controller's behavior  and attitude.

As you fly international ATC is a pleasure to deal with, everybody is trying to help each other, it's not a contest. 

Unfortunately in States there are not too many places left where it's a pleasure to deal with  ATC.  

 

 

Yep, I’d agree with your list.

KMIA and KMCO surprisingly given their weather are usually very good.

Flying over Mongolia ATC is extremely well spoken and polite.

KLAX ? grrrr .no comment 


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Technical advisor on PMDG 747 legacy versions QOTS 1 , FS9 and Aerowinx PS1. 

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1 hour ago, killthespam said:

Gents,

I'm afraid that we are too quick on judging this guy.

Just from the video at time 0:32 it's an instruction to stay outside Bravo airspace.

At time 1:17 there is a statement on this video that he had contact with ATC about 7 minutes prior to this issue, that conversation is not on this tape to know what happened.

So none of us know all the details.

What is really disturbing (for me as a RW heavy equipment pilot) are statements like " is a tiny little GA plane" or " then GA should be more... cautious" or "He really should not be arguing with ATC".

I think that we should understand that this ATC service is for everybody, GA or not. I heard many times when the GA pilots were denied entry in different airspaces for good or unjustifiable reasons.

I know that there is a problem on a busy airport  under IFR conditions to get a good sequence between a C172 and a B748 and there is lots of work for the controller.

This nonsense not arguing with the controller it's outrageous, as we do mistakes they also do, nobody is perfect.

ATC is there to work for us and us to work with them, unfortunately in US somehow there is a misunderstanding about this. Sometimes I'm ashamed about JFK, ORD, LAX or SFO controller's behavior  and attitude.

As you fly international ATC is a pleasure to deal with, everybody is trying to help each other, it's not a contest. 

Unfortunately in States there are not too many places left where it's a pleasure to deal with  ATC.  

 

 

While it’s true that we don’t know everything that led up to the incident in the recording, the part we do hear is pretty unambiguous. The controller informed the pilot that he was in class bravo airspace without a clearance, and when he was instructed to leave the class bravo he adamantly refused to do so. That kind of argument with ATC is not acceptable. It’s the sort of thing that will make one’s license go away - either temporarily or permanently.

If he had, in fact, already been given clearance to enter the bravo he should have said so immediately, but he did not.

 He did say that he had contacted ATC several minutes previously, but merely being acknowledged by ATC does not constitute clearance. In class charlie airspace ATC contact alone is sufficient, but not in class bravo. His initial contact with ATC is heard later in the recording, and it appears to be the very same controller.

As a R/W pilot, surely you are aware that when flying VFR within class bravo, compliance with ATC instructions regarding headings and altitudes is mandatory - no different than when flying IFR.

We don’t know if he was flying on a VFR flight plan, or just “showed up” (which is perfectly legal). His ultimate destination was Henderson Executive, and on initial contact with the controller, she seemed to be aware of that, so he may have filed a flight plan, or was using flight following, and was handed off by a center controller.

The argument could be made that she should have issued a bravo clearance before he penetrated the airspace, or requested him to hold somewhere outside of bravo before he actually entered the boundary. Ironically, until a VFR aircraft is actually within bravo airspace, ATC cannot issue mandatory heading vectors or altitudes, but will do so if the pilot specifically requests vectoring.

But ultimately, it is the pilot’s responsibility to specifically request clearance into the bravo - not ATC’s responsibility to automatically give such clearance.

Although the FARs permit a pilot in command to deviate from an ATC clearance or instruction if doing so is necessary for reasons of safety, or in an emergency, he may very well have to justify that action after the fact if an investigation ensues. In this case, his only “reason” for refusing the ATC request to exit the Bravo was “I’ve been talking to you for the last 15 minutes”.

That wouldn’t cut it with the FAA if it came down to an enforcement action. 

When I was actively flying, I didn’t have many occasions to fly into airports located in (or under) class bravo airspace, but when I did, I always filed IFR to my destination even if the weather was perfect VFR, as that is a guaranteed way to insure that there will be no accidental airspace violations, as well as insuring higher priority handling by ATC.

Obviously, if the pilot in this recording was not instrument rated, that option might not have been available to him.

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Jim Barrett

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Jim,

Not to be misunderstood, I agree with some of your statements but again you speculate scenarios and you don't have all the details available to us from this video clip.

We can talk and speculate for ever, that's actually my problem, jumping to conclusions and having hypothetical scenarios.  I find this video like many others trying to put a spin in one direction without all the correct info.

I would adventure myself to say that it was an unfortunate situation and it was handled poorly from both sides.

All I can say is that at least after 2 weeks of flying per month internationally and when I fly back home, I touch down once in ANC where ATC is very nice and good to the GA or other time going direct to JFK where ATC ( 80%) it is a nightmare for everybody with unbelievable attitudes and try to intimidate people on frequency that puts all of us to shame.

Me personally as a professional pilot I find this video offensive and unproductive for both parties ATC and PILOTS. 

 

 

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Posted (edited)
9 hours ago, killthespam said:

Gents,

I'm afraid that we are too quick on judging this guy.

Just from the video at time 0:32 it's an instruction to stay outside Bravo airspace.

At time 1:17 there is a statement on this video that he had contact with ATC about 7 minutes prior to this issue, that conversation is not on this tape to know what happened.

So none of us know all the details.

What is really disturbing (for me as a RW heavy equipment pilot) are statements like " is a tiny little GA plane" or " then GA should be more... cautious" or "He really should not be arguing with ATC".

I think that we should understand that this ATC service is for everybody, GA or not. I heard many times when the GA pilots were denied entry in different airspaces for good or unjustifiable reasons.

I know that there is a problem on a busy airport  under IFR conditions to get a good sequence between a C172 and a B748 and there is lots of work for the controller.

This nonsense not arguing with the controller it's outrageous, as we do mistakes they also do, nobody is perfect.

ATC is there to work for us and us to work with them, unfortunately in US somehow there is a misunderstanding about this. Sometimes I'm ashamed about JFK, ORD, LAX or SFO controller's behavior  and attitude.

As you fly international ATC is a pleasure to deal with, everybody is trying to help each other, it's not a contest. 

Unfortunately in States there are not too many places left where it's a pleasure to deal with  ATC.  

 

 

The lady in ATC sounded very calm and professional. The pilot seemed to have a "couldn't care less attitude". For me, it's the cocky attitude of the pilot that is disturbing, whether he is correct or not. The lady in ATC deserved a bit more respect.....in my opinion. After all, she is doing a difficult job.

Edited by Christopher Low
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Christopher Low

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It sounds to me like the centurion was being flown by Napoleon Dynamite 


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Technical advisor on PMDG 747 legacy versions QOTS 1 , FS9 and Aerowinx PS1. 

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A pilot friend of mine who flew all over the world with a major carrier often said he could write a book on the "casual R/T phraseology" he heard in the USA, to the point he found himself constantly on edge at certain airfields.  Hearing ATC clear a flight for takeoff only to hear the clearance be read back as "okay, away we go" was appalling, with no indication of which runway or which aircraft was about to launch...

One thing we seem to be reasonable at in the UK is the use of standard phraseology over R/T and I believe it does make things clearer - if this pilot had this attitude in the UK I have a feeling he'd be sent on a FRTOL course.....!! ATC seems calm and ordered, if slightly mumbling and fast in speech terms, and the only thing she maybe could have done to diffuse the situation would have been to give a brief reason as to why he wasn't cleared into the class bravo: "unable due traffic" would mean the pilot couldn't argue.  Now, he could then have declared a pan or a mayday but without good reason would have been in trouble (I hope) later. 

The pilot clearly got out of the wrong side of bed that day, and even though we don't know what went on earlier, and we know ATC should be trying to help, his communications were unprofessional in tone at best, rude at worst. 

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1 hour ago, trumpetfrazz1 said:

1 ) A pilot friend of mine who flew all over the world with a major carrier often said he could write a book on the "casual R/T phraseology" he heard in the USA, to the point he found himself constantly on edge at certain airfields.  Hearing ATC clear a flight for takeoff only to hear the clearance be read back as "okay, away we go" was appalling, with no indication of which runway or which aircraft was about to launch...

 

2) The pilot clearly got out of the wrong side of bed that day, and even though we don't know what went on earlier, and we know ATC should be trying to help, his communications were unprofessional in tone at best, rude at worst. 

Interesting enough that you pointed out item 1), we the pilots have to be stamped on our license that we're "English proficient" otherwise we can't do your job.

I think that might be also an ATC requirement. Yet, as you mentioned in US very few controllers/pilots use standard phraseology while others not at all and that leads to so many problems and confusion.

On item 2) you should hear ATC going nuts on frequency and using foul language, what this guy sounded unprofessional is nothing compared to other encounters coming from ATC/PILOTS.

I'm afraid that this luck of education, manners and discipline needs lots of work.


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