I need you to write down this number...

dc3flyer

Well-Known Member
So as I was flying along today I hear those dreaded words over Center frequency. The controller told the pilot it was for a "possible pilot deviation." It was not for us, but it made me wonder anyway.

The Cleveland Center controller that was passing on the number didn't even now who was at the other end (He told the pilot "Call Cleveland Center at, well, I am not sure who you are calling, just call this number...."). How could the person passing along the number not even know who he was passing along the message for? This makes the second time in the past month or two I have heard a conversation of this nature. Is there a number we as pilots could give to controllers to call in the event of a "possible controller deviation"????

I guess hearing the conversation just irritated me and I wanted to share. The whole rest of the flight I was just ticked at every controller I talked to, and I usually am not that way.

End of my rant for the day.
 

skydog

New Member
You know, this made me think about something. ATC guys job, their sole job, is to separate airplanes. They are not law enforcement officials. The second you park your airplane, you are no longer "air traffic" and they have no authority over you. So why are they assuming the role of law enforcement, and why are they placing the burden on you to help make it easier for them to enforce laws. If the FAA wants to pursue an enforcement action, then they can go out and do old fashioned police work, and not rely on the pilot to do it for them.
 

SpiraMirabilis

Possible Subversive
You are not required to call this number if you get it. Nor if you do call it out of courtesy (or stupidity if you know you did something bad) are you required to say anything.

I've never been told to call a number, but I definitely would not call it if I was asked to do so. The only number I'd call would be to an aviation attorney.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
You are not required to call this number if you get it. Nor if you do call it out of courtesy (or stupidity if you know you did something bad) are you required to say anything.

I've never been told to call a number, but I definitely would not call it if I was asked to do so. The only number I'd call would be to an aviation attorney.

I got the dreaded number a long time ago, called it because I knew I was in the wrong just so I'd know what I was up against. I found out and then the guy wanted me to make a statement over the phone (don't ever do this) and I politely had to point out that "I'm not ready to make a statement at this time". Pissed the guy off but I only look out for numba 1. Never make a statement!
 

sky7

Well-Known Member
Don't be afraid to ask for their number if they tried to kill you or you need to clear up something. I have done this several times- it really helps to clear up misunderstandings. infact, I called MKE approach today to clear up something. It's not just a one way street.
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
Thats so true. I don't think people understand that the voice in their ears are not gods, they make mistakes too and sometimes need help.
 

RICHARD5

Well-Known Member
Several times I was given a number to call. On one call Center tried to make something of what had happened and got irate at me. Then a new voice comes on the line and asks several questions which I answered directly. I had elec failure while approaching my aprt under Bravo airspace and landed under a low ceiling. Nothing came of it although I can understand a tense moment would cause the controller to be irate.

Another call was Center wanting to know if I got the N number of that guy flying in the clouds without a plan. I saw him only briefly as the cloud parted and I had called Center to ask WTF?

Another call was to ask why I dropped off their screen -- mtn terrain issues....

AFA making a statement I have heard that's not a good idea, yet in each case I cautiously went forward and answered all their questions. I've also heard that the pilot's attitude can make or break how it's gonna' go. I think ATC are generally a bunch of good guys trying to do what is sometimes incredibly difficult. I just play like we're on the same team.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
AFA making a statement I have heard that's not a good idea, yet in each case I cautiously went forward and answered all their questions. I've also heard that the pilot's attitude can make or break how it's gonna' go. I think ATC are generally a bunch of good guys trying to do what is sometimes incredibly difficult. I just play like we're on the same team.
True, except that the voice at the other end, although part of ATC, is part of the enforcement process, not the control process.

The pilot's attitude does play a role (no one gives breaks to #######s), but "coopertaive" does not require admission. Most times, a "cooperative attitude" that includes admitting the violation does =not= make the violation go away.

Not calling is something that a lot of folks have a hard time doing. We seem to be geared to making some kind of response to authority. With that reality in mind, I generally recommend calling the number (compliant attitude), identifying the tail number (not yourself), asking why you were asked to call, and then politely declining to make a statement over the phone.
 

wildfreightess

Well-Known Member
Usually when I get "call ________ facility at..." it's because the controller wants a date. :nana2:

I'm not kidding.
 
So as I was flying along today I hear those dreaded words over Center frequency. The controller told the pilot it was for a "possible pilot deviation." It was not for us, but it made me wonder anyway.

The Cleveland Center controller that was passing on the number didn't even now who was at the other end (He told the pilot "Call Cleveland Center at, well, I am not sure who you are calling, just call this number...."). How could the person passing along the number not even know who he was passing along the message for? This makes the second time in the past month or two I have heard a conversation of this nature. Is there a number we as pilots could give to controllers to call in the event of a "possible controller deviation"????

I guess hearing the conversation just irritated me and I wanted to share. The whole rest of the flight I was just ticked at every controller I talked to, and I usually am not that way.

End of my rant for the day.
Why would you be ticked off ? Do you know the facts involved ? Often something happens on the ground or in another facility, by the time they realize who they want to talk to the A/C is well down the line and they call with a request and a contact # to be broadcast to the pilot. We are the ones talking on the frequency, if a manager wants to talk to a pilot we get a message to pass to the pilot... what's so complicated about that ? They (management) do not give us details nor do we need them, there is no reason to tie up a public frequency explaining details, that is for a land line.
 

dc3flyer

Well-Known Member
Why would you be ticked off ? Do you know the facts involved ? Often something happens on the ground or in another facility, by the time they realize who they want to talk to the A/C is well down the line and they call with a request and a contact # to be broadcast to the pilot. We are the ones talking on the frequency, if a manager wants to talk to a pilot we get a message to pass to the pilot... what's so complicated about that ? They (management) do not give us details nor do we need them, there is no reason to tie up a public frequency explaining details, that is for a land line.
No, I don't know the facts involved. I do know, that when I hear this a pilot's butt is possibly on the line, not just his butt, but also his certs and livelyhood. Perhaps it was nothing more than as described above, "Did you see this plane ..." but maybe it was something worse, I don't know. Maybe it was nothing but the guy (being like us pilots) acts like a smart A on the phone and the manager turns it into something. Maybe the guy deserves it, who knows. Just watching out and thinking about my fellow pilots.

On a side note, what if this guy picked up the sat-phone and called the number enroute, would that be considered careless and reckless? I was just thinking that if it were me, and I didn't know why the number was being given, I would want to know what was going on before I landed in 2.3 hours.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
On a side note, what if this guy picked up the sat-phone and called the number enroute, would that be considered careless and reckless? I was just thinking that if it were me, and I didn't know why the number was being given, I would want to know what was going on before I landed in 2.3 hours.
It can wait. If it couldn't, someone would have told you to land as soon as practical.

Besides, typically you know why you have been given a number. That "possible pilot deviation. Advise you contact XXX at xxx-xxx-xxxx" is usually preceded by something like "You were cleared to 10,000 not 9,000. Climb and maintain 10,000"

It's standard terminology. NTSB caselaw suggests that it's required and ATC's failure to give it results in a waiver of the sanction.

I don't know if it would be careless and reckless to call, but dealing with a potentially stressful telephone call that has nothing to do with "aviate - navigate - communicate" when you probably already had a failure of one of those doesn't sound like the best of ideas.
 

upup89

Well-Known Member
My Aviation Law class teacher (who is actually an aviation attorney) said to never call. Just take back off and go someplace else. I didn't see how that was legal but reading it here makes me fairly confident he was correct.
 

dc3flyer

Well-Known Member
Advise you contact XXX at xxx-xxx-xxxx" is usually preceded by something like "You were cleared to 10,000 not 9,000. Climb and maintain 10,000"

It's standard terminology. NTSB caselaw suggests that it's required and ATC's failure to give it results in a waiver of the sanction.

There was nothing that preceded the "giving the number" on the frequency the other night when I heard this conversation. Maybe something was said earlier, but if so why wasn't the number given earlier???

Oh well, I am just going to try to never be given the number, I like controllers and all, but let's keep it over the frequency!
 
My Aviation Law class teacher (who is actually an aviation attorney) said to never call. Just take back off and go someplace else. I didn't see how that was legal but reading it here makes me fairly confident he was correct.
I think that is bad advice... not illegal, just bad advice.

Often the situation involves an event where no loss of separation occurred, just a deviation from the clearance issued by ATC. In these cases management will not report the violation if the pilot calls, they consider the case closed. If the pilot does not call they will follow up on reporting the violation, even the slightest thing.

In my experience the odds are in the pilots favor of not having enforcement pursued against them if they call.
 

EDUC8-or

Well-Known Member
There's nothing wrong with calling, but they're DEFINITELY looking for you to self incriminate and will use what you say in certificate action.

If you decide to call, just call and say "Hi I'm the pilot of N12345 and I was asked to call this number." They will probably put you on hold and then the supervisor will explain why you were asked to call, a good "Thank you, good day." is about all of the information you should give. Knowing why you were asked to call can be helpful when you're getting the ball rolling with the legal process.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
My Aviation Law class teacher (who is actually an aviation attorney) said to never call. Just take back off and go someplace else. I didn't see how that was legal but reading it here makes me fairly confident he was correct.
That's the official line that aviation attorneys will usually take when addressing a group. It's a CYA for the attorney - the chances of the pilot getting into trouble for taking that advice is virtually non-existent. OTOH, the "play it by ear" answer requires an understanding of the rules and the process that most pilots (fortunately) don't get exposed to.

I like EDUC8-or's explanation.
 
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