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iainsmith

Crazy controller

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I've done an out and return flight (Birmingham, UK EGBB to Amsterdam Schipol EHAM) and on each leg the same thing happened. After flying at cruise on nearing the destination I was instructed by the centre to descend through various levels and the last one given by the centre was 12000 feet.I use ActiveSky and it was windy and turbulent and my altitude was varying by +/- 20 feet at times. The centre controller kept telling me to maintain altitude of FL120, even when the altitude was rock steady. That was all he seemed to want to say, over and over.Eventually I'd had enough when I saw that we were getting too close to be able to descend in time, so I started descending and made a turn that would enable me to vector myself in. This seemed to trigger a response and the "crazy controller" then handed me off to approach and from then on I got sensible vectors and flight levels.When I listened to the flight critique I was slammed for "continually busting my altitude"! Most unfair, when my action as PIC resulted in a safe landing. Heaven knows where I'd have ended up if left to old crazy!Anyone else had this?Iain

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Iain,You're not the first to suggest certain controllers should be in line for professional help :-), though that's not the case here.I'll leave detailed explaination of TA/TL to the manual and our experts Ray and Pete but in quick summary it sounds like you're switching from standard altimeter setting to local before you're supposed to.You might try the flight again, this time waiting until you hear your RC co-pilot voice "altimeter check" before changing to local.Hope this helps!

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if you were told to maintain FL120, what was your altimeter set to?jd

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Anyone else had this? Yes, Iain, if you look back through the forum posts, you'll see that quite a few users have had this and it's nothing to do with "crazy controllers". It's always the same reason - an incorrectly set altimeter, often caused by use of the 'B' key. Although you don't say what the QNH was, I'd guess that it was less than 1013mB/hPa which would put 12,000ft above FL120. If this is the case, it's not too difficult to work out what happened. When you were descending to FL120, you probably set the QNH either by pressing the 'B' key or directly so that when you levelled, it was at altitude 12,000ft and not FL120. When you reached your crossing restriction point, the controller noted that you were still above FL120 (i.e. at 12,000ft) and turned you 90 degrees to keep away from approach's airspace until you reached FL120. However, as you had levelled off at 12,000ft, you were never going to get there. It was only when you decided to take matters into your own hands and began to descend that you eventually got to FL120 and it was this much-belated compliance with your clearance that triggered the controller to resume activity and transfer you to approach for final vectoring. So, it was nothing whatsoever to do with poor controlling and, I'm afraid, you thoroughly deserved your rollicking in the critique for failing to comply with a clearance through incorrect altimeter setting procedures - something which, as PIC, you are entirely responsible for. :-)Please read this post which may help clear things up for you: http://forums.avsim.net/dcboard.php?az=sho...id=16233&page=3BestPete

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I'll leave detailed explaination of TA/TL to the manual and our experts Ray and...Ho, ho, Doug, that'll make Ray's day! :-):-):-)PP

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>if you were told to maintain FL120, what was your altimeter>set to?>>jdIt was set correctly Jon - that was the first thing I checked.Iain

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>>if you were told to maintain FL120, what was your altimeter>>set to?>>>>jd>>It was set correctly Jon - that was the first thing I>checked.>>IainAlthough, having read the other posts, probably not! I clearly do not understand enough and should never be let loose at the controls again. However, nice to know that it was me and not RC! :+ Iain

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>Anyone else had this?> >Yes, Iain, if you look back through the forum posts, you'll>see that quite a few users have had this and it's nothing to>do with "crazy controllers". It's always the same reason - an>incorrectly set altimeter, often caused by use of the 'B' key.Absolutely right Pete and thanks for the link. That was a very clear and helpful reply!Iain

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<>I know my place :-lol Pete still reigns supreme as far as I'm concerned. :-waveCheers,

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You're welcome, Iain. I keep meaning to ask jd to pin it at the top of the forum or use it as the basis for an FAQ entry - you're far from the only one to be caught out with this 'B' key issue when flying outside the US.All the bestPP

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