YYZ pilot questions

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URC
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by URC »

Married a Canadian,
1 Descent clearance at LINNG? You get descent depending on where you fit into the arrival sequence. You will not be given lower (8000ft) if you are number 5 plus..with aircraft ahead of you in the sequence. Pilots probably notice that they get vectors, speed control, constraints deleted and descent as part of the arrival. Terminal is using these tools to get you into the downwind in an order and altitude sequence that works for us. We won't remove the restraints permanently because we need you to slow at certain points (especially the 200kts in the downwind) and we also need to know what speed you are doing at certain points.
The problem on the LINNG STAR is with the published altitude constraints at MAROD (4300-3100 feet, runway 24L/R) and DARPU (4300 feet and below, runway 06L/R). Because of these altitude constraints and the point you are usually handed off to approach from Center you will usually be high on a standard VNAV profile by the time approach control gives you clearance to descend from 12000 feet. Then as you point out aircraft are often held at 8000 feet, which makes it impossible to meet these altitude constraints a lot of the time. This sets the pilot up for violating the published altitude restriction, requiring the pilot to confirm with the controller that the altitude restriction is not required. It's always waived by the controller when asked, but it adds unnecessary chatter/workload on a busy frequency. Pilots have been violated at other Nav canada airports for not making these same type of altitude restrictions, while YYZ sets you up for it.

The solution as I see it, and the OP, would be to just remove these altitude restrictions at MAROD and DARPU. I don't understand why they are there when most of the time they are in direct conflict with what the controller wants anyway ? Any explanation appreciated.
3 Using the ATIS to determine your arrival runway...I would suggest that you don't.
Our company SOP's mandate the determination of the "planned" runway to be used be based on the published ATIS. This is the result of a STAR violation incident that happened at another Nav Canada airport.
6 Descent via the STAR. Not always possible when you are in a sequence. Plus we don't trust certain airlines to actually comply with this
Does the FAA know about this ? Almost all their major airports use them now. One point, while I agree with the concept, the way the information is presented on approach plates for "descent via stars" needs to be improved. It is an accident waiting to happen IMO.
I know that it sounds redundant to remind you to hold it to the FAF...but unfortunately for pilots...a few of your brethren have made it difficult for us by slowing to final before the FAF...or not doing 170 as asked.
Most airline standard company operating procedures require you to be in a stabilized approach landing configuration at 1000 feet AGL. (Some might still use 500 feet in some conditions, which might explain the difference you are seeing ?) With the 1000 foot restriction the problem is at certain weights on some aircraft types this would be impossible to make without slowing down below 170 KIAS a mile or so before the FAF. The solution here would be to move the FAF back to a realistic distance from the threshold so as to be able to meet the 1000 foot requirement at all weights for all the aircraft types that use the approach. Some airlines take a very punitive approach towards pilots that violate this 1000 foot limit, up to including getting fired. Here again Nav Canada is setting the pilot up for failure.
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Dockjock
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Dockjock »

There are noise complaints on the LINNG
http://www.theglobeandmail.com/news/tor ... e28090042/
Related I believe to the -4500 and 3000 downwind constraints that are not strictly necessary, especially when terminal is busy. The suggestion in the article of controller-managed descents seems a good one. Just delete (permanently) those downwind constraints.

As for ATIS and the suggestion to not use it for runway selection, this interpretation is so far off base it beggars belief. The entire purpose of ATIS is communicating to pilots what the active runways are. Starting from the bottom of the 'worlds longest and least useful ATIS' (YYZ).

-we always have our transponder on, if we don't it's a mistake, please let us know
-there are birds, migratory and otherwise, literally everywhere
-when more than one parallel runway is active, it is redundant to state that simultaneous parallel approaches are in use
-offline approach or navaids, closed runways and taxiways, construction, are all in NOTAM which we are legally required to review prior to every flight
-runway condition is in CRFI
-weather is in METAR/TAF
-literally the single piece of information in an ATIS that isn't also available from another source is the active runways

That's not to say the ATIS isn't a super-convenient presentation of multiple relevant data, and also acknowledge that many of those statements appear to be there for 'legal' reasons, but merely to point out that there is only one thing in it that isn't also available elsewhere- runways.

Most jets have software for a primary and secondary flight plan. If two active runways are posted on the ATIS, we program (and brief) those- chart dates, frequencies, tracks, minimums, missed approach, runway exit point, hotspots etc. This descent and arrival planning begins about 250NM from landing. We check and recheck ATIS before arriving in the terminal airspace. We know the TAF, are cognizant of wind shifts, traffic, etc. We are mostly agnostic about what runway we get, sure we have preferences based on parking, but understand that's not always possible to accommodate. So give us whatever you want, whatever you need to give us, but please for the love of...something!...just list what you're using on ATIS. List 3 runways if you're using 3. List 4, we understand this doesn't mean 'pilots choice' it means controllers choice. We'll guess, or rather infer, the 2 most likely possibilities based on experience. But please stop assigning something that isn't on the current ATIS, because that's the entire purpose of ATIS.

Back to the original post, I apologize if I've come off too strongly. I'm not cranky, or at least not overly I don't think. There are many voices at YYZ that I've come to recognize and respect, and I hope my comments are received as ones primarily about procedure, not about individual performance. For the record I feel that the performance of YYZ controllers within the confines of the system is terrific. Thanks all.
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Married a Canadian
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Married a Canadian »

1 Descent via LINNG STAR.

Even though it says on the approach plate "All altitudes assigned by ATC", there have been instances in the past were pilots have descended to the altitude shown on the plate rather than the altitude given by the controller. This causes problems on the 24s if an aircraft is at 3000ft over Buttonville when the airspace is not designated to the terminal.
I understand that there will be a change coming to our procedures shortly so will be interested to see how we match up to what they are doing in the US.

2 Altitude restraints on the STAR.

The way I view it (my opinion only) is the STAR is the blueprint when it is a straightforward sequence and is not busy. I don't know how the STAR or the FMS can take into account an arrival sequence when traffic is arriving from different directions and has to be "funneled" into the downwind with either lateral or altitude separation.
I can't comment on other airports, but no YYZ terminal controller will violate you for not meeting downwind restrictions especially if we have sequenced you.
The solution as I see it, and the OP, would be to just remove these altitude restrictions at MAROD and DARPU. I don't understand why they are there when most of the time they are in direct conflict with what the controller wants anyway ? Any explanation appreciated.
The STAR will probably continue to evolve over time.
From a personal perspective, when you get within 20 miles of a busy airport, some of the niceties go out the window. We want you sequenced for a stable approach, and joining final with appropriate spacing from other aircraft. You probably hear aircraft being given short cuts, slam dunked down, cut in on visuals, told to ignore the speeds etc etc.....which is all done in the name of expedition. I (and others)don't care what altitude the plate says you should be at MAROD when both you and I want you in number 1, as there is a long haul heavy coming straight in that you will have to follow otherwise.
The controller/pilot element should not be lost in YYZ TCU as we are always incredibly grateful when you guys just "fly the plane". The STAR will always be there in some shape or form as a "blueprint" but at times it is no substitute for letting a controller be a controller and a pilot be a pilot.

3 170 kts to the FAF

We are OK with you slowing a mile back from the FAF and are aware of the stable approach criteria (WJ in particular). We sort of turn a blind eye to it anyway as we "should" have given enough space behind for it not to be a problem. We are also aware now of the SOPs regarding the Q400s on short final and hopefully we will make the adjustment there as well.
However the circumstances I am talking about are pilots slowing to 150 or slower at 15-20 mile final OR slowing to 170kts on the base leg when they should still be doing 200kts.
You would be surprised/disappointed at how frequently it happens. You are being penalised for the misdeeds of others, but having said that....I won't query if you are slowing a mile before the FAF....I doubt I would notice anyway...especially on the 06s.

4 The ATIS

Regarding what it transmits.....That would be one to take up with your company and the GTAA. I cannot comment on whether there is too much information.

Runway assignment. From what I can gather, the frustration is occurring most when we are doing the Land 05/23 Depart 06L/24R config, and pilots are being given 06L or 24R when the arrival runway is being broadcast as 23/05.
The ATIS broadcasts the runways in use and their designation (arrival/departure). As I mentioned before, it won't list the "offload" runway as an arrival runway as technically speaking this is not correct and too many pilots ask for it when broadcast and are surprised when told "no". Tower allows us to offload onto the departure runway at certain times to smooth out the arrival flow but not to the extent that departures will be badly delayed.
All I can suggest is that if you want to program an arrival runway before being assigned one (based on the ATIS and the above operation) then program the arrival and "departure" runway as that would be the most likely one used for offloads. The ATIS will tell you when we are dualling or tripling (ie arrival runways), but it won't tell you when we are going to change.
When you mentioned 15R earlier, I was working that day and it WAS the arrival runway for part of the day shift. The ATIS will update when that is no longer the case, but I can't advocate that they try to predetermine when we are going to change the operation.

I will still say though that it has been agreed upon by NAV Canada and the airlines, that we will assign you a runway no later than 60 miles...and in some cases (from the North and South) it will be earlier, usually on first contact.
There is a slight controller/pilot disconnect here because you mentioned 250 miles as a number for descent/arrival planning, and yet from the terminal perspective that is a LONG way out to start figuring out the traffic balance and who fits where and on what runway.
I would suggest bringing it to the attention of your company because those things can change (where the runway is assigned), but I don't know how successful it would be to have the ATIS broadcast all runways that are being used as "arrival" runways, which is the crux of the above problem.
Back to the original post, I apologize if I've come off too strongly. I'm not cranky, or at least not overly I don't think. There are many voices at YYZ that I've come to recognize and respect, and I hope my comments are received as ones primarily about procedure, not about individual performance. For the record I feel that the performance of YYZ controllers within the confines of the system is terrific. Thanks all.
I never have a problem with debate, discussion or even when things get heated or "cranky". It is the nature of the job at times...I know it is nothing personal and I also know that both sides are trying to work within their parameters without always understanding what is going on with the other guy. I appreciate these threads on avcanada and I appreciate the posters who put up interesting and sensible discussion points...of which I count yours. It is good to know what type of things we can improve upon, but also there will be the odd time when ATC will tell you "sorry not possible within those confines". In the case of this thread there is a bit of both. I appreciate the discourse.

Regards MAC
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Braun
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Braun »

Just to add that the ATIS information Dockjock stated as ''useless'' is actually required information for us to broadcast. Especially the parallel approach stuff, MATS requires us to inform pilots and if we don't do it via ATIS it will have to be done on the frequency which would block up precious airtime.
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skypirate88
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by skypirate88 »

This past Monday morning, it was very foggy in YYZ. The wx at the time was something like 1/2 mile, VV002, advertised approach was the ILS05. Since the reported wx was at charted minimums, we asked if if the CATII was available. Eventually we were told that with the RVR at 4000, that it was not, and we were to expect the CATI ILS. While on approach, we heard aircraft being told they would see the lights at minimums. We had also heard of at least 1 aircraft that had missed.

At what point does the decision get made to switch to CATII operations? Does it impact the operation that significantly if an aircraft requests such an approach?

We did manage to get in, because as advertised we had the lights at mins, so I guess it all worked out. I am just curious why the CATII wasn't being offered given the reports.

On another note, whoever was working arrivals around 1800Z on Thanksgiving Sunday did an excellent job. He worked arrivals onto 05 from the north and south side, basically zipper merging us all onto the approach with minimal delay.
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OscarKilo
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by OscarKilo »

skypirate88 wrote:
At what point does the decision get made to switch to CATII operations? Does it impact the operation that significantly if an aircraft requests such an approach?
We change when the ceiling drops below 200 or we get numerous missed approaches because of the weather

CAT1 ILS vectored spacing is 2.5-3miles in a dedicated land and 5-6 miles in a mixed mode

CAT2 ILS is 8-10 miles dedicated or 14-16 miles mixed mode

The reason being in dedicated the arrival must have exited the runway and be established on the parallel taxiway by the time the next arrival is at 4NM final, in mixed mode the departure has to have overflown the localizer by the time the arrival is 4NM final

Where a CAT1 approach the arrival needs to be off the runway pavement by the time the next arrival is at the threshold and in mixed mode the departure needs to be rolling when the arrival crosses 2Nm final
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Married a Canadian
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Married a Canadian »

I am just curious why the CATII wasn't being offered given the reports
The switch from CAT I to II/III is ALWAYS tough...and usually always ends up as confusing till an operation is established.
Not only does the cloud base get taken into account..but also the RVRs and whether they are trending lower or not. I was working the day in question, and at the time of the overshoots ALL of our minima were still above CAT II.

The minute we start advertising either CAT II or CAT III it will start restricting traffic, and there are also certain carriers that have different limits/minima who may or may not be able to conduct the approach. You can understand that if the weather limits aren't yet at our minima, we are reluctant to advertise...as we are then delaying...perhaps unnecessarily.
What happened on this day in question is that it took a few missed approaches for the weather and RVR to update, by this point we had aircraft in the arrival area who were unable to do the CAT II approach, or were able but needed the RVR to be above a certain level that was not being indicated at the time.

It is never straightforward to start with, we have our set minima for CAT II/III operations. We are aware that different aircraft and flight crew have their own minima in what they need to conduct an approach. It is best for us to set what we can and can't accept, then it is one size fits all....you can or you can't.
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skypirate88
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by skypirate88 »

Thanks Oscarkilo and Married a Canadian. It is always nice to learn more about the job the folks on the other side of the radio do.

I was only looking at the fact that we nearly missed, and didn't even consider that there would be operators that potentially could not conduct the approach. I hope the tone of my question wasn't taken the wrong way.

Cheers. I appreciate the time you took to answer it for me.
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ZBBYLW
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by ZBBYLW »

Just curious what the purpose of "final approach" is. Yesterday arriving we were assigned final approach after already cleared the approach and all the controller did was hand us off to tower at The FAF. Seemed we were one of the few. Who went to final approach. We were relatively tight behind a DH8 but there was enough spacing for a DEP.
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cossack
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by cossack »

Final approach is the ILS monitor position and their main job is to monitor the traffic alongside you rather than in front or behind. When visuals aren't possible then the monitor is required otherwise the approacbes need to be staggered. A Terminal specialist might be along with a fuller answer.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Married a Canadian »

Just curious what the purpose of "final approach" is
Cossack is correct, basically making sure the traffic on the adjacent approach does not wander off the their ILS or experience a false capture. "Monitor" is pretty much what we do.

Personally speaking I am not a fan when aircraft get switched to monitor within a couple of miles of the FAF (as it means you get two frequency changes in short order). Aircraft are supposed to be on ILS monitor (in IFR) within 15 miles of the airport and both aircraft are established on their respective ILS's.
Not much more to it really.
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plausiblyannonymous
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by plausiblyannonymous »

wordstwice wrote: Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:36 am06R/24L can only be used when traffic demands it and there are enough personnel available (see above)
As a pilot myself, I was surprised to find out that it takes one controller to handle the runway and another controller to handle the aircraft taxiing between the 24L and 24R.
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cossack
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by cossack »

plausiblyannonymous wrote: Tue Jun 04, 2019 6:54 pm As a pilot myself, I was surprised to find out that it takes one controller to handle the runway and another controller to handle the aircraft taxiing between the 24L and 24R.
Not correct. One controller is controlling all the traffic on and between both runways. The second controller is monitoring the frequency to ensure correct readbacks, compliance with instructions and operating the stopbars.
Never leave 118.35 until told to do so as tower will give routing instructions prior to the frequency change.
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NovaBoy
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by NovaBoy »

For the most part I have had very little issues going in and out of YYZ over the last 20 plus years. Is it perfect, no, but what airport is. Controllers have been great to deal with. Thanks folks.
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