|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : rhv.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Skyhawk 172/Cutlass 172|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||ground : taxi|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 2300
flight time type : 500
|Function||instruction : trainee|
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
ATC Human Performance
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
I am an instructor at rhv. The tarmac consists of two txwys and a large 'non-movement area.' by definition; the non-movement areas are not under the control of ATC. However; there is one part of the non-movement area (nicknamed the 'inside ramp') that is close to one of the txwys (taxiway Z) and is often used by ATC to help separate ground traffic. Sometimes it is necessary to tow planes onto the inside of the ramp and then preflight them there. This action blocks the inside ramp from use by ground control; even though it is not officially part of their domain. Therefore they have asked that when aircraft are towed to the inside ramp; they would appreciate a courtesy call and let them know that this area will be blocked for a short while. On the day in question; I was with a student and we were about to tow a plane to the inside ramp where it would be blocking traffic. As a courtesy; I instructed my student to call ground control and let them know that we would be blocking the inside ramp for a short while. However; the words my student used were; 'request permission to block the inside ramp for 5 minutes.' the ground controller's response was; 'I can not grant you permission. You will have to walk over to the county offices and talk to the folks in there for permission to use the inside ramp. It's the building on your left.' a more polite controller would have said; 'thank you very much.' a neutral controller would have said; 'I appreciate your call; but this is a non-movement area and no permission is needed.' instead this particular controller chose to address my student in a confrontational manner. If this had been a one-time affair; I would ignore it. However; this particular controller always is in the habitat of baiting pilots. He is well known at rhv. His antics have led to many on-the-air confrontations that were completely unnecessary and wasted valuable air time. If requested; I can provide many such examples. However; as in the example above; he is always technically correct. But technically correct or not; he decreases air safety rather than increases it. Something needs to be done to let him know that his antics are to the detriment of all.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN RHV CTLR RESPONDS CONFRONTATIONALLY TO A STUDENT PLT'S REQUEST FOR A TOWING OPERATION IN A NON-MOVEMENT AREA.
Narrative: I AM AN INSTRUCTOR AT RHV. THE TARMAC CONSISTS OF TWO TXWYS AND A LARGE 'NON-MOVEMENT AREA.' BY DEFINITION; THE NON-MOVEMENT AREAS ARE NOT UNDER THE CTL OF ATC. HOWEVER; THERE IS ONE PART OF THE NON-MOVEMENT AREA (NICKNAMED THE 'INSIDE RAMP') THAT IS CLOSE TO ONE OF THE TXWYS (TXWY Z) AND IS OFTEN USED BY ATC TO HELP SEPARATE GND TFC. SOMETIMES IT IS NECESSARY TO TOW PLANES ONTO THE INSIDE OF THE RAMP AND THEN PREFLT THEM THERE. THIS ACTION BLOCKS THE INSIDE RAMP FROM USE BY GND CTL; EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT OFFICIALLY PART OF THEIR DOMAIN. THEREFORE THEY HAVE ASKED THAT WHEN ACFT ARE TOWED TO THE INSIDE RAMP; THEY WOULD APPRECIATE A COURTESY CALL AND LET THEM KNOW THAT THIS AREA WILL BE BLOCKED FOR A SHORT WHILE. ON THE DAY IN QUESTION; I WAS WITH A STUDENT AND WE WERE ABOUT TO TOW A PLANE TO THE INSIDE RAMP WHERE IT WOULD BE BLOCKING TFC. AS A COURTESY; I INSTRUCTED MY STUDENT TO CALL GND CTL AND LET THEM KNOW THAT WE WOULD BE BLOCKING THE INSIDE RAMP FOR A SHORT WHILE. HOWEVER; THE WORDS MY STUDENT USED WERE; 'REQUEST PERMISSION TO BLOCK THE INSIDE RAMP FOR 5 MINUTES.' THE GND CTLR'S RESPONSE WAS; 'I CAN NOT GRANT YOU PERMISSION. YOU WILL HAVE TO WALK OVER TO THE COUNTY OFFICES AND TALK TO THE FOLKS IN THERE FOR PERMISSION TO USE THE INSIDE RAMP. IT'S THE BUILDING ON YOUR LEFT.' A MORE POLITE CTLR WOULD HAVE SAID; 'THANK YOU VERY MUCH.' A NEUTRAL CTLR WOULD HAVE SAID; 'I APPRECIATE YOUR CALL; BUT THIS IS A NON-MOVEMENT AREA AND NO PERMISSION IS NEEDED.' INSTEAD THIS PARTICULAR CTLR CHOSE TO ADDRESS MY STUDENT IN A CONFRONTATIONAL MANNER. IF THIS HAD BEEN A ONE-TIME AFFAIR; I WOULD IGNORE IT. HOWEVER; THIS PARTICULAR CTLR ALWAYS IS IN THE HABITAT OF BAITING PLTS. HE IS WELL KNOWN AT RHV. HIS ANTICS HAVE LED TO MANY ON-THE-AIR CONFRONTATIONS THAT WERE COMPLETELY UNNECESSARY AND WASTED VALUABLE AIR TIME. IF REQUESTED; I CAN PROVIDE MANY SUCH EXAMPLES. HOWEVER; AS IN THE EXAMPLE ABOVE; HE IS ALWAYS TECHNICALLY CORRECT. BUT TECHNICALLY CORRECT OR NOT; HE DECREASES AIR SAFETY RATHER THAN INCREASES IT. SOMETHING NEEDS TO BE DONE TO LET HIM KNOW THAT HIS ANTICS ARE TO THE DETRIMENT OF ALL.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.