I am finding a more frequent occurence of Controllers issuing instructions in French to English speaking Crews. While this in itself is not my issue, as the mistake can be readily identified. What concerns me is
French First Officers flying with an English Captain, (or visa versa), acknowledging your clearance in French and then looking at the non French speaking a Pilot for confirmation.
I am in no way placing this responsibility on the Controllers, or want to begin a language debate as this is the climate we live and we have to accept and deal with it.
I am introducing this topic in an attempt to point out a fairly large hole in the two crew concept with regards to Confirmation of cleared altitudes, headings, etc etc that will most likely lead to a loss of separation.
I have filed an SMS report to see if my company can trap this threat, but wanted to kingly inform my controller friends of what is happening on the other side of the mic.
If a controller gives you a clearance in a language that your not operating in, state it, and get proper clearance. It should boil down to common sense, if one crew member doesn't speak the language, then it should defer to a language that all (pilots and controllers) are common with.
Side note; although my Company primarily speaks English, we do have bilingual pilots. It isn't against our SOP that both pilots speak French when dealing with French controllers.
I totally agree with your statement.
Maybe my initial post may have been a bit confusing as it had been a long day...but yes...you are correct..if the Pilot(s) in question responded to ATC that they require the instructions in English, then the Controller would of course accommodate. This may not happen inside the cockpit unless the English Pilot speaks up and demands the other call ATC back for a clarification in English.
I for one have demanded clarification however, in speaking with other Pilots, they have just accepted what the other Pilot has read back, in essence eliminating the crosscheck and turning the flight deck into a single pilot operation.
My issue is not with the Controller(s) per say, but rather specific Pilot behaviours that circumnavigate company protocol and SOPs by accepting a clearance in French when they know very well the other Pilot sitting next to them does not speak the language. These Pilots feel that they are moving the ball forward in a busy terminal environment, when in actuality they are creating a break in the chain of safety.
My 2 cents anyway.
This is what will get you violated or potentially killed (TA/RA). I understand that some pilots will get antsy with terminal and read back whatever in an effort to keep the ball rolling. Simply put, be professional! Don't cut corners in an attempt to be more expeditious. Safety should alway come first. So what if it took an extra 30 seconds to get a proper clearance.Pilots, they have just accepted what the other Pilot has read back, in essence eliminating the crosscheck and turning the flight deck into a single pilot operation.
With the current level of experience in the regional sector, it's even more imperative that crews work together running the ship in a safe and efficient manner.
Be safe out there!
I see this a crew problem, if you want to confirm in the correct language, ask and we will comply.