April 16, 2008

Willy Nilly

I don't use this term in real life, but it perfectly describes what was going on today.

I will admit, I was feeling a little weird today. My clearances weren't crisp and smooth as I'd hoped. I was a little mumbley, if that's a word. I had a lot of incorrect read backs on any frequency ending in 'two'. I don't know why. I even started slowing them down and making sure they were clear and concise. Nothing. No one was listening today.

To top it off, I had a few instances where a pilot would actually read the whole thing back correct...and then either forget to do it, or not do it at all, or do something completely different. I don't get it.

1 - "Cross one one zero miles west, a hundred and ten on this side of Gardner, at and maintain FL290." "Roger, cross one hundred ten on this side of Gardner at two nine oh." Whoo hooo, he got it. I hand the plane off to the next sector, and lo and behold, 110 miles west of GDM, they're still out of FL314. Not even close. Stuff like that really isn't my fault.

2 - Routed direct MaSSena, then the CYRIL8 arrival to Ottawa. "Due to military airspace, cleared to Ottawa via direct BUGSY (I spell it phonetically), direct MSS, rest of route unchanged" "Roger, cleared direct BUGSY, MSS rest unchanged" Excellent. He turns a little to the right as planned. Ten minutes later, he's paralleling his new on-course heading and not quite heading to BUGSY. "Verify direct to BUGSY at this time?" "Affirmative, Center". "Roger, contact Boston Center on 135.7". "Roger, good night". A few minutes later, that next sector calls me back asking why that pilot was flying direct Saranac Lake. "Uh, he confirmed twice he was direct BUGSY" "Rgr".

Thats all we need: A bunch of pilots just flying around Willy Nilly, doing what they please. Did someone say "Pilot deviation!?"