|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||navaid : emi.vortac|
|Altitude||msl single value : 4000|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : pct.tracon|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||PA-28 Cherokee/Archer II/Dakota/Pillan/Warrior|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||arrival : on vectors|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 10|
flight time total : 428
flight time type : 256
|Function||controller : approach|
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||atc equipment other atc equipment : radar/mode c|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Problem Areas||ATC Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
The controller seemed to believe that I had ignored his instruction to proceed direct to gai. The en route controller told me to fly a heading of 230 degrees after EMI, and handed me off to the approach controller before EMI. The 230 degree heading was a set-up for the expected VOR runway 14 approach into gai. Soon after EMI, the approach controller asked me to state my heading and if I was going direct gai. I stated that I was proceeding on the 230 degree heading as assigned by the previous controller but that I could go direct to gai if he wanted me to. The WX conditions did not seem to require a full instrument approach. I heard no response from the controller and continued on my assigned course. Soon afterwards another airplane in trail over EMI and apparently holding the same 'fly 230 degree heading' instruction came on frequency and asked if he should go direct to gai. Controller told him to stand by. Controller then asked what heading I was on and whether I was going direct to gai. I repeated that I was on 230 degree heading as assigned. He replied something like 'why aren't you going direct like I told you 10 mi ago?' I replied that I would now go direct and clarified that he had not in fact issued that instruction. I was then treated to a lecture on how it was not important how we got to this situation, only that I should now go direct. The basic operational problem seemed to be that the en route controller was setting up inbound airplanes for a VOR approach that the approach controller was not in fact using. Everyone makes mistakes and the controller's vocabulary contains phraseology designed to solve problems quickly and dispassionately. In this case it seemed to me that the controller passed judgement real time over the air waves seeking to xfer blame to the pilot. Next time I'll press for a response if there's any chance of ambiguity.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PA28 PLT ON HDOF TO PCT APCH CTL RECEIVES AN UNCLR INSTRUCTION FROM THE CTLR CONCERNING HIS DIRECTION OF FLT.
Narrative: THE CTLR SEEMED TO BELIEVE THAT I HAD IGNORED HIS INSTRUCTION TO PROCEED DIRECT TO GAI. THE ENRTE CTLR TOLD ME TO FLY A HDG OF 230 DEGS AFTER EMI, AND HANDED ME OFF TO THE APCH CTLR BEFORE EMI. THE 230 DEG HDG WAS A SET-UP FOR THE EXPECTED VOR RWY 14 APCH INTO GAI. SOON AFTER EMI, THE APCH CTLR ASKED ME TO STATE MY HDG AND IF I WAS GOING DIRECT GAI. I STATED THAT I WAS PROCEEDING ON THE 230 DEG HDG AS ASSIGNED BY THE PREVIOUS CTLR BUT THAT I COULD GO DIRECT TO GAI IF HE WANTED ME TO. THE WX CONDITIONS DID NOT SEEM TO REQUIRE A FULL INST APCH. I HEARD NO RESPONSE FROM THE CTLR AND CONTINUED ON MY ASSIGNED COURSE. SOON AFTERWARDS ANOTHER AIRPLANE IN TRAIL OVER EMI AND APPARENTLY HOLDING THE SAME 'FLY 230 DEG HDG' INSTRUCTION CAME ON FREQ AND ASKED IF HE SHOULD GO DIRECT TO GAI. CTLR TOLD HIM TO STAND BY. CTLR THEN ASKED WHAT HDG I WAS ON AND WHETHER I WAS GOING DIRECT TO GAI. I REPEATED THAT I WAS ON 230 DEG HDG AS ASSIGNED. HE REPLIED SOMETHING LIKE 'WHY AREN'T YOU GOING DIRECT LIKE I TOLD YOU 10 MI AGO?' I REPLIED THAT I WOULD NOW GO DIRECT AND CLARIFIED THAT HE HAD NOT IN FACT ISSUED THAT INSTRUCTION. I WAS THEN TREATED TO A LECTURE ON HOW IT WAS NOT IMPORTANT HOW WE GOT TO THIS SIT, ONLY THAT I SHOULD NOW GO DIRECT. THE BASIC OPERATIONAL PROB SEEMED TO BE THAT THE ENRTE CTLR WAS SETTING UP INBOUND AIRPLANES FOR A VOR APCH THAT THE APCH CTLR WAS NOT IN FACT USING. EVERYONE MAKES MISTAKES AND THE CTLR'S VOCABULARY CONTAINS PHRASEOLOGY DESIGNED TO SOLVE PROBS QUICKLY AND DISPASSIONATELY. IN THIS CASE IT SEEMED TO ME THAT THE CTLR PASSED JUDGEMENT REAL TIME OVER THE AIR WAVES SEEKING TO XFER BLAME TO THE PLT. NEXT TIME I'LL PRESS FOR A RESPONSE IF THERE'S ANY CHANCE OF AMBIGUITY.
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.