Landing priority

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  • #16

    Chatted with one of the QC managers in Rockford this morning. Explained what I thought happened and asked him what I could have done to work with them better. He absolutely agreed arriving traffic should be sequenced in as quickly as possible and should be given priority over those doing practice approaches within reason. He's going to look back at the scenerio and call back. I also asked him to let me know if there was anything I could have done better. He said they have a lot of new folks, they were a bit short staffed on Saturday and he can look at this to coach some of the newer folks. Their standing policy is to get arriving and departing traffic in and out and work in practice approaches as they can.
    we'll see what he says when he calls back. Maybe I could have done more.

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    • #17
      Dave, if all the incoming and departing traffic is enroute, the controller applies the published rules and his acquired skills.

      If all the traffic is practice, the controller again applies the rules and his skills.

      If there is a mixture of enroute and practice traffic, why should the controller now sort it out and assign a higher priority to some, and a lower priority to other? For each I'm sure some pilots can argue a higher or lower priority. Otherwise, some controllers would sort them different from the next and certainly all QC managers would not provide a common solution.

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      • #18
        Basically Ward, the airport is to come and go. Practice approach traffic can be managed to allow for that. I’m frequently asked to modify or break off a practice approach to allow for arriving or departing traffic.
        Around here, controllers use a lot of techniques to manage flow. Approach knew I was arriving 30 miles out. They should be able to manage practing traffic to allow for an arrival. The manager at Rockford I spoke with was in complete agreement with that.

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        • #19
          Some airports here prohibit practice approaches at busy times. Others have procedures where practice approaches are done on procedures that minimumly affect actual operations. We have one that asks that practice approaches be done 1,000 feet higher than shown. It’s all about expediting traffic flow and working practice approaches in when reasonable. Folks practicing approaches have choices as to where they go, an arrival and departure doesn’t. When an IFR aircraft comes in and must execute a miss, they can be routed pretty far out before being able to execute another approach. Some operators can’t cancel IFR.

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          • #20
            Originally posted by Dave Siciliano View Post
            Basically Ward, the airport is to come and go. Practice approach traffic can be managed to allow for that. I’m frequently asked to modify or break off a practice approach to allow for arriving or departing traffic.
            Around here, controllers use a lot of techniques to manage flow. Approach knew I was arriving 30 miles out. They should be able to manage practing traffic to allow for an arrival. The manager at Rockford I spoke with was in complete agreement with that.
            Hi Dave -- Been watching the traffic here. I guess I'd be exercised about the RFD handling if there would have been an anticipated material delay in the arrival, something more than a few minutes anyway while the existing traffic got done with the approaches. I get the concern over TRWs down in Texas, but also am not sure that's a RFD approach/tower controller's problem. Again, when doing practice approaches in either IMC or VMC I'm fine with being vectored around while itinerant faster aircraft are brought into the field and 99% of the time it all works out fine. I don't volunteer as such but happily do what I'm told by the person with the view of all the traffic and making the sequence plan. Who knows, it may be that after these three practice approaches ATC declined further practice due to anticipated incoming traffic and so he wanted to get them their last licks. (Not jumping on you, just another perspective, an offering alternative runways and a visual is a good shot at working things out quicker.)

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            • #21
              I always try to work into existing traffic Scott, and usually approach does that pretty effectively. In this case, they never even attempted to work me in, offer a visual, alternative runway or any other flow solution even after I suggested. Just asked me how slow my King Air could fly and that tower had cleared three Cessna 172s for approaches. It will be interesting to see what the manager at Rockford says. He did say priority is supposed to be given to arrivals and departures over instrument approaches. Had the controller said on Cessna was on final and I could work in after that, you wouldn't hear a peep. Two runways here. I offered to come in on the other which would have had me on the runway they were using for a very short time. One other time at this airport, there was a Diamond doing 90 knots they put me behind that was between the IAF and FAF. Visual conditions where I could have easily been cleared in for a visual and been out of his way without disrupting his approach. Instead, I was vectored all over because I couldn't stay directly behind him at that speed. Most times, this is handled very effectively. In this case, not so much.

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              • #22
                Got a very nice, coordial call back from the folks at Rockford and it seems to be more of a communications issue than anything. Seems the tower operator was pretty busy and approach wasn't able to coordinate well.
                What was communicated to me didn't give much information. I was told I had a 70 knot over-take, was asked how slow my plane could go, to turn 90 degrees for spacing and three Cessnas were doing practice approaches, at least best I can recall. ATC live wasn't working, so, I couldn't go back a listen to it again.
                The senior guy that called back today said there were three planes doing practice approaches, but two weren't an issue and a Cirrus on approach was doing 140 knots.
                It seems Approach and Tower weren't communicating much. I wouldn't have had any issue with following a Cirrus in with a 140 knot ground speed if that had been communicated to me which is what the controller today described.
                So, sometimes it's more about communications. He also explained they had some inexperienced folks and were short handed. I infer that the lady on tower felt a bit overwhelmed and could have worked better with the Approach controller (but am speculating).
                Last edited by Dave Siciliano; 03-27-2019, 14:49.

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                • #23
                  Originally posted by Dave Siciliano View Post
                  I always try to work into existing traffic
                  Dave, mismo and sure glad you got that "callback".

                  best, randy

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