|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ugn.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 1500|
|Controlling Facilities||tower : ugn.tower|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Skyhawk 172/Cutlass 172|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 2200
flight time type : 1600
|Function||instruction : trainee|
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Problem Areas||ATC Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
I am a flight instructor at waukegan (ugn) airport. We operate a fleet of aircraft and do a lot of primary flight instruction. We also get a lot of training aircraft from neighboring airports practicing lndgs at our location. On aug/sat/03 at about XA00, I was in the pattern with a student doing closed traffic takeoffs and lndgs. On our 6TH landing we were doing a power off approach. There were no other airplanes in front of us in the pattern at the time. When my student started to turn on a fairly close in base turn, in the interest of safety, I keyed the microphone and asked the controller for a short approach. The controller cleared us for a short approach and after a few moments, he called us back and said that what I had done was unsafe. I am not sure why he approved it if he thought it was unsafe. After landing I called the control tower on the telephone. I tried to explain to him that I did not appreciate him broadcasting on the tower frequency that I was doing something unsafe, which I was not. At this point, he became verbally abusive including the use of vulgar language. He then threatened to write me up for what I had done, and he was also going to write me up for tailgating on the next landing. After several attempts to cool him off and tell him that I was interested in improving communications, it was obvious he was not interested in improving pilot controller relations. This controller, who I only know as mr X, is well known for his history of constantly reprimanding and belittling pilots and students for things that he doesn't like. Some of his comments are: 'you are supposed to be flying 230 degrees on downwind,' 'why did you do a go around,' 'why do you turn left before you turn right' (we were in a high wing aircraft), 'I already cleared you to land,' 'why does your student always sound like she's screaming on the radio' (the student was in the aircraft at the time), 'why are you stopping on my runway,' and in response to a pilot requesting to hold short due to wake turbulence after being cleared to take off behind a departing jet, the controller's response was 'it is only a small jet.' I am thankful that most controllers have better communication skills. In my opinion, and that of the other instructors at our club, this controller has created a very tense, hostile, and unsafe training environment. A student should not be afraid to do a go around because he may have to explain why to the controller, or be afraid to confirm a clear to land because he doesn't want to be embarrassed by a sarcastic comment from the controller.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: C172 INSTRUCTOR PLT AT UGN COMPLAINS ABOUT CTLR PERFORMANCE AND ATTITUDE.
Narrative: I AM A FLT INSTRUCTOR AT WAUKEGAN (UGN) ARPT. WE OPERATE A FLEET OF ACFT AND DO A LOT OF PRIMARY FLT INSTRUCTION. WE ALSO GET A LOT OF TRAINING ACFT FROM NEIGHBORING ARPTS PRACTICING LNDGS AT OUR LOCATION. ON AUG/SAT/03 AT ABOUT XA00, I WAS IN THE PATTERN WITH A STUDENT DOING CLOSED TFC TKOFS AND LNDGS. ON OUR 6TH LNDG WE WERE DOING A PWR OFF APCH. THERE WERE NO OTHER AIRPLANES IN FRONT OF US IN THE PATTERN AT THE TIME. WHEN MY STUDENT STARTED TO TURN ON A FAIRLY CLOSE IN BASE TURN, IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY, I KEYED THE MIKE AND ASKED THE CTLR FOR A SHORT APCH. THE CTLR CLRED US FOR A SHORT APCH AND AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, HE CALLED US BACK AND SAID THAT WHAT I HAD DONE WAS UNSAFE. I AM NOT SURE WHY HE APPROVED IT IF HE THOUGHT IT WAS UNSAFE. AFTER LNDG I CALLED THE CTL TWR ON THE TELEPHONE. I TRIED TO EXPLAIN TO HIM THAT I DID NOT APPRECIATE HIM BROADCASTING ON THE TWR FREQ THAT I WAS DOING SOMETHING UNSAFE, WHICH I WAS NOT. AT THIS POINT, HE BECAME VERBALLY ABUSIVE INCLUDING THE USE OF VULGAR LANGUAGE. HE THEN THREATENED TO WRITE ME UP FOR WHAT I HAD DONE, AND HE WAS ALSO GOING TO WRITE ME UP FOR TAILGATING ON THE NEXT LNDG. AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO COOL HIM OFF AND TELL HIM THAT I WAS INTERESTED IN IMPROVING COMS, IT WAS OBVIOUS HE WAS NOT INTERESTED IN IMPROVING PLT CTLR RELATIONS. THIS CTLR, WHO I ONLY KNOW AS MR X, IS WELL KNOWN FOR HIS HISTORY OF CONSTANTLY REPRIMANDING AND BELITTLING PLTS AND STUDENTS FOR THINGS THAT HE DOESN'T LIKE. SOME OF HIS COMMENTS ARE: 'YOU ARE SUPPOSED TO BE FLYING 230 DEGS ON DOWNWIND,' 'WHY DID YOU DO A GAR,' 'WHY DO YOU TURN L BEFORE YOU TURN R' (WE WERE IN A HIGH WING ACFT), 'I ALREADY CLRED YOU TO LAND,' 'WHY DOES YOUR STUDENT ALWAYS SOUND LIKE SHE'S SCREAMING ON THE RADIO' (THE STUDENT WAS IN THE ACFT AT THE TIME), 'WHY ARE YOU STOPPING ON MY RWY,' AND IN RESPONSE TO A PLT REQUESTING TO HOLD SHORT DUE TO WAKE TURB AFTER BEING CLRED TO TAKE OFF BEHIND A DEPARTING JET, THE CTLR'S RESPONSE WAS 'IT IS ONLY A SMALL JET.' I AM THANKFUL THAT MOST CTLRS HAVE BETTER COM SKILLS. IN MY OPINION, AND THAT OF THE OTHER INSTRUCTORS AT OUR CLUB, THIS CTLR HAS CREATED A VERY TENSE, HOSTILE, AND UNSAFE TRAINING ENVIRONMENT. A STUDENT SHOULD NOT BE AFRAID TO DO A GAR BECAUSE HE MAY HAVE TO EXPLAIN WHY TO THE CTLR, OR BE AFRAID TO CONFIRM A CLR TO LAND BECAUSE HE DOESN'T WANT TO BE EMBARRASSED BY A SARCASTIC COMMENT FROM THE CTLR.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.