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James Yuen

atc-training Gatwick Delivery, please watch out for:....

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James Yuen

I am not complaining about the training, because there's always going to be areas of improvement. I think if we're training controllers to perfect before releasing them on the network, then we are doing something wrong - there's no way we have that many resources, especially in certain areas.

What everyone else can do though, and I'm doing, is (trying to) help them between 'training cycles' whilst they're in their waiting list. I controlled yesterday, and had somebody message me asking if LAM was okay for a departure to KSFO, which I'd much preferred (given it was quiet) since they were probably unsure. It is more of an issue at Heathrow and Gatwick because of the airspace around it - it can't be helped and therefore, we need to treat it differently than smaller/quieter airports.

If a pilot wants to fly a specific, and hence: non-standard routing, as long it's coordinated then it will be fine. The list of mistakes controllers made can be much an endless list, but I've picked a few out that I've seen recently and can easily be corrected.

Edited by James Yuen

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Fraser Cooper

Unfortunately there is only so much you can do as a mentor. A lot of responsibility is on the student to understand local procedures. For example, when I was training for my S1 and controlling Gatwick, I made my own crib sheets and route diagrams.   

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Robert Ispas

I got my Gatwick endorsement less than 2 weeks ago. In the meantime, I did KK almost every day, both GMP and GMC and I've learned so much by doing it by myself along with AIR or INT compared to the actual training, just because I was asking questions every time I was unsure about something - ESPECIALLY the departures.

As someone said above, as a new controller you can use the NATS SRD or vau.aero and many more. I have also made notes, a custom SID table where I have the direction people should go, what holding point they can go to depending on the runway, etc. Most of these things are covered in the training, but what is not covered in the training is different runway operations (08L/26R), as Director wanted to use that runway one night and I was absolutely confused.

So I believe most issues such as wrong departures can be fixed if people ask the right question to the right person or do a bit of research of that route, but some controllers are not used to doing that, and I think it should be something to be focused more on during the initial S1 training.

3 hours ago, James Yuen said:

I controlled yesterday, and had somebody message me asking if LAM was okay for a departure to KSFO, which I'd much preferred (given it was quiet) since they were probably unsure

That was me ^ 😄

Edited by Robert Ispas

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Louie Lister
On 26/11/2019 at 09:01, James Yuen said:
  • Scratchpads left in after departure

Just to clarify, it's TWRs job to clear scratchpads, not GNDs. They're left in for departure sequencing.

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James Yuen
14 minutes ago, Louie Lister said:

departure sequencing.

This doesn't make sense, surely it's obvious that the first aircraft at J4 has priority over the second aircraft at J4? How does having '/J4' in the scratchpad help the TWR controller?

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Lenny Colton
Just now, James Yuen said:

This doesn't make sense, surely it's obvious that the first aircraft at J4 has priority over the second aircraft at J4? How does having '/J4' in the scratchpad help the TWR controller?

No, most of us prefer that scratchpads be cleared. I also tend to ask that the aircraft is set to DEPA in the departure list, meaning that it jumps to the top when I sort by ground status. Leaving taxi instructions in the scratchpad tends to slow stuff down, and I personally prefer not to think about the departure list at all, except when checking the SID direction.

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Louie Lister
1 minute ago, James Yuen said:

This doesn't make sense, surely it's obvious that the first aircraft at J4 has priority over the second aircraft at J4? How does having '/J4' in the scratchpad help the TWR controller?

There's more than one holding point at Gatwick, James. 

i.e J4, H1, G1 and J7, all different commonly used holds at Gatwick. This has been a thing all the time I've been training and that goes back to 2016, if not longer. There was also a large discussion in the atc_mentors_obs channel a few months back where the majority agreed this is the correct procedure for scratchpads. 

2 minutes ago, Lenny Colton said:

No, most of us prefer that scratchpads be cleared. I also tend to ask that the aircraft is set to DEPA in the departure list, meaning that it jumps to the top when I sort by ground status. Leaving taxi instructions in the scratchpad tends to slow stuff down, and I personally prefer not to think about the departure list at all, except when checking the SID direction.

That is a preference, not procedure and a preference should be coordinated with your GMC controller. 

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James Yuen
Just now, Louie Lister said:

There's more than one holding point at Gatwick, James. 

i.e J4, H1, G1 and J7, all different commonly used holds at Gatwick. This has been a thing all the time I've been training and that goes back to 2016, if not longer. There was also a large discussion in the atc_mentors_obs channel a few months back where the majority agreed this is the correct procedure for scratchpads. 

However, if I log on to Gatwick TWR/APP/London, by default, I expect FRANE/LAM/ADMAG to A3 and BOGNA/IMVUR/KENET/SAM to A2, right? This is the same when I log-on to Heathrow and expect arrivals at MSL+1 - it's just a given, except ES doesn't kick off a million warnings for GND stuff?

If someone goes to a non-standard holding point, then by all means, but it's pretty obvious when someone is going to LOMAN/LOKKI/J4/A3/A1 at CC/A1 at MC etc. Isn't it just a tedious process? Besides, it still doesn't help with sequencing. For all that I know, that aircraft at G1 could've pushed 10 mins after the aircraft at J4 and will still go first.

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Louie Lister

It's procedure and always has been. This was even confirmed by DIs in a previous debate and right now, I haven't got the energy to engage in another 😄. I'll let someone from the TD shed some light. 

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Lenny Colton
25 minutes ago, James Yuen said:

However, if I log on to Gatwick TWR/APP/London, by default, I expect FRANE/LAM/ADMAG to A3 and BOGNA/IMVUR/KENET/SAM to A2, right? This is the same when I log-on to Heathrow and expect arrivals at MSL+1 - it's just a given, except ES doesn't kick off a million warnings for GND stuff?

If someone goes to a non-standard holding point, then by all means, but it's pretty obvious when someone is going to LOMAN/LOKKI/J4/A3/A1 at CC/A1 at MC etc. Isn't it just a tedious process? Besides, it still doesn't help with sequencing. For all that I know, that aircraft at G1 could've pushed 10 mins after the aircraft at J4 and will still go first.

If you've got an IMVUR at A2 I'd be worried about more than the ground controller's scratchpad-clearing prowess!

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Trevor Hannant
1 hour ago, Louie Lister said:

Just to clarify, it's TWRs job to clear scratchpads, not GNDs. They're left in for departure sequencing.

And if there's no TWR or APP online?  

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Louie Lister
34 minutes ago, Trevor Hannant said:

And if there's no TWR or APP online?  

London is doing the role of TWR, who should be removing the scratchpads. If another agreement is made between the two then fair enough. 

The only time GND should be clearing the SPADs is when they're handing to unicom.

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Lenny Colton
3 minutes ago, Louie Lister said:

London is doing the role of TWR, who should be removing the scratchpads. If another agreement is made between the two then fair enough. 

The only time GND should be clearing the SPADs is when they're handing to unicom.

In my OBS sessions (with Tom Szczypinski), I was always taught to clear scratchpads on handoff to TWR, since the taxi clearance is irrelevant when the aircraft is already at the holding point and won't be moving over it before contacting TWR.

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Louie Lister
12 hours ago, Lenny Colton said:

when the aircraft is already at the holding point and won't be moving over it before contacting TWR.

Technically speaking, if you’re an efficient controller, then your handoffs should be done before they get to the hold for a timely departure 😛.

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Russ Wragg

Yeah, hitting INS to clear and untagging while handing off is part of my process, the issue is when the pilot is instructed to go to A2 at KK, you clear the pad and hand them off then they hold at B1/A3.. I then have to "save face" with TWR and say "I didn't tell him to go there, honest"

I won't set DEPA if tower is on, I leave it for them, but I do if LON is on as it helps identify the departures on the datablock.  I would have thought leaving the hold point in for LON would help with take off clearance in the absence of TWR/APP.. ie. "via A3, Runway 26L..." but perhaps not. Dunno what your process is on LON.

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Richard Keen
On 02/12/2019 at 10:39, Louie Lister said:

Technically speaking, if you’re an efficient controller, then your handoffs should be done before they get to the hold for a timely departure 😛.

Glad you brought that up, ... There's been a few times when flights have missed the departure gap due to being handed off late....but again this could be that maybe the pilot tuned in once stopped at the hold.

Edited by Richard Keen

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