|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||airport : sbkp.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 7000|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B767-300 and 300 ER|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||climbout : initial|
|Route In Use||departure sid : aglo|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||non adherence other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Problem Areas||ATC Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
While on the ground in campinas; we were cleared for the filed (and normal) aglo departure betel transition maintain FL070 call sao paulo departure leaving 6000 ft (transition altitude 6000 ft). Out of 6000 ft the copilot called sao paulo (frequency 120.25) and requested higher altitude. Sao paulo responded; 'cleared to published altitude.' not sure of the meaning of this response; a response I had never heard before; I asked the copilot to again ask for a higher altitude. Again the departure controller said; 'cleared to published altitude.' I leveled the airplane at FL070 and asked the copilot if he knew what the controller was talking about. He said he had no idea and that he had never heard such a thing before. Two more requests left us with the same problem and still at FL070 as this was the last altitude we had been cleared to and understood. We engaged the autopilot and I assumed the PNF role of talking on the radio. I asked the controller for a clearance to a higher altitude. He again said; 'cleared to published altitude'. I advised him we don't know what that means; and he responded; 'you don't know what altitude you are filed for?' such snide remarks have no business in air traffic control. After several attempts to receive a proper clearance I now demanded he clear us to a numerical altitude. Reluctantly; he cleared us to FL320; our planned altitude. I felt it extremely irresponsible for the controller to play games with a flight crew that obviously did not understand the clearance; stated such; and repeatedly requested an understandable clearance be given. Furthermore; it would have been more irresponsible for me as the captain of this flight to accept a clearance that was not in any form I could easily recognize. I have flown international flts for 17 years and this is the first encounter I have had with an air traffic controller that displayed such arrogance. The level of disrespect for not only his duty of separating aircraft; but that of a flight crew clearly asking for clarification of a clearance; the basic tenet of IFR flight; is something I have never encountered anywhere in the world! There have been and there always will be the problem with language differences but that was not the case here. The controller spoke very clear and understandable english. If nothing can be done to educate the controller in brazil how ATC works in the rest of the world; could you at least make this information available to other crews flying into brazil? I feel the potential for problems exist beyond what we are willing to accept will be forthcoming; if this attitude is either allowed to continue or not exposed to those who use the system.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: B767 FLT CREW RECEIVES CLRNC TO CLB FROM SBGR CTLR; USING NONSTANDARD TERMINOLOGY THAT THE CREW DOESN'T UNDERSTAND.
Narrative: WHILE ON THE GROUND IN CAMPINAS; WE WERE CLRED FOR THE FILED (AND NORMAL) AGLO DEP BETEL TRANSITION MAINTAIN FL070 CALL SAO PAULO DEP LEAVING 6000 FT (TRANSITION ALTITUDE 6000 FT). OUT OF 6000 FT THE COPILOT CALLED SAO PAULO (FREQUENCY 120.25) AND REQUESTED HIGHER ALT. SAO PAULO RESPONDED; 'CLEARED TO PUBLISHED ALT.' NOT SURE OF THE MEANING OF THIS RESPONSE; A RESPONSE I HAD NEVER HEARD BEFORE; I ASKED THE COPILOT TO AGAIN ASK FOR A HIGHER ALT. AGAIN THE DEP CTLR SAID; 'CLEARED TO PUBLISHED ALTITUDE.' I LEVELED THE AIRPLANE AT FL070 AND ASKED THE COPILOT IF HE KNEW WHAT THE CTLR WAS TALKING ABOUT. HE SAID HE HAD NO IDEA AND THAT HE HAD NEVER HEARD SUCH A THING BEFORE. TWO MORE REQUESTS LEFT US WITH THE SAME PROBLEM AND STILL AT FL070 AS THIS WAS THE LAST ALT WE HAD BEEN CLRED TO AND UNDERSTOOD. WE ENGAGED THE AUTOPILOT AND I ASSUMED THE PNF ROLE OF TALKING ON THE RADIO. I ASKED THE CTLR FOR A CLRNC TO A HIGHER ALT. HE AGAIN SAID; 'CLEARED TO PUBLISHED ALT'. I ADVISED HIM WE DON'T KNOW WHAT THAT MEANS; AND HE RESPONDED; 'YOU DON'T KNOW WHAT ALTITUDE YOU ARE FILED FOR?' SUCH SNIDE REMARKS HAVE NO BUSINESS IN AIR TRAFFIC CONTROL. AFTER SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO RECEIVE A PROPER CLRNC I NOW DEMANDED HE CLR US TO A NUMERICAL ALT. RELUCTANTLY; HE CLRED US TO FL320; OUR PLANNED ALT. I FELT IT EXTREMELY IRRESPONSIBLE FOR THE CTLR TO PLAY GAMES WITH A FLIGHT CREW THAT OBVIOUSLY DID NOT UNDERSTAND THE CLRNC; STATED SUCH; AND REPEATEDLY REQUESTED AN UNDERSTANDABLE CLRNC BE GIVEN. FURTHERMORE; IT WOULD HAVE BEEN MORE IRRESPONSIBLE FOR ME AS THE CAPT OF THIS FLT TO ACCEPT A CLRNC THAT WAS NOT IN ANY FORM I COULD EASILY RECOGNIZE. I HAVE FLOWN INTERNATIONAL FLTS FOR 17 YEARS AND THIS IS THE FIRST ENCOUNTER I HAVE HAD WITH AN AIR TRAFFIC CTLR THAT DISPLAYED SUCH ARROGANCE. THE LEVEL OF DISRESPECT FOR NOT ONLY HIS DUTY OF SEPARATING ACFT; BUT THAT OF A FLIGHT CREW CLEARLY ASKING FOR CLARIFICATION OF A CLRNC; THE BASIC TENET OF IFR FLT; IS SOMETHING I HAVE NEVER ENCOUNTERED ANYWHERE IN THE WORLD! THERE HAVE BEEN AND THERE ALWAYS WILL BE THE PROBLEM WITH LANGUAGE DIFFERENCES BUT THAT WAS NOT THE CASE HERE. THE CTLR SPOKE VERY CLR AND UNDERSTANDABLE ENGLISH. IF NOTHING CAN BE DONE TO EDUCATE THE CTLR IN BRAZIL HOW ATC WORKS IN THE REST OF THE WORLD; COULD YOU AT LEAST MAKE THIS INFORMATION AVAILABLE TO OTHER CREWS FLYING INTO BRAZIL? I FEEL THE POTENTIAL FOR PROBLEMS EXIST BEYOND WHAT WE ARE WILLING TO ACCEPT WILL BE FORTHCOMING; IF THIS ATTITUDE IS EITHER ALLOWED TO CONTINUE OR NOT EXPOSED TO THOSE WHO USE THE SYSTEM.
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.