YYZ pilot questions

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Dockjock
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YYZ pilot questions

Post by Dockjock » Wed Oct 05, 2016 5:27 pm

In no particular order.

-Why isn't 06R/24L being used? It's been a month, it feels like. It just sits there gathering dust.
-Why is descent clearance on LINNG arrival almost always late ie. Impossible to meet downwind constraints? We ask for constraints deleted, answer is always yes. Shouldn't they just be removed (permanently?)
-Why am I sometimes (frequently) assigned a runway not listed on ATIS ie. Info A, Landing 05 departing 06L..."hi Toronto we have info A" "A is current, expect ILS 06L" um ok bud
-why doe ATIS not publish until :10 (or more) after the hour. Why is ATIS so rarely representative of what controllers are using for airport config? Swap ends, runways in use etc
-if a constraint is published, else being equal, we plan to meet it ie. 250kts speed. You don't need to say "slow to 250" when we're 8 NM from it. We got it!

On a positive note, visual departures are great. Keep it up! Thanks
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cdnpilot77
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by cdnpilot77 » Wed Oct 05, 2016 6:38 pm

That's a whole lot of negativity. The boogeyman is just out to get you I guess?

On the flip side, listened to an Air Canada pilot unnecessarily condescending to an arrivals controller on Monday.

I find the YYZ controllers quite good at helping us out as best they can. We always try to get the North runway to be closer to parking but sometimes it just can't happen. Unlike our AC friend the other day, we don't flex our muscles and bang our chests to get what we want, it's just not worth it.

All controllers have their comforts just like we do, does it really hurt your day for a reminder to slow to 250 at LINNG? It might if you forget or don't quite get slowed in time. Chances are they're telling you because it will really F things up if you are faster (or slower) and I'm betting a lot of airplanes "forget"
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by PostmasterGeneral » Wed Oct 05, 2016 9:23 pm

Not YYZ specific, but I wish Canada in general would adopt the US procedure of "descend via the STAR." We have everything published, the altitudes and speeds make sense, and the FMS has it all onboard already.

Not only does it keep radio chatter down, it keeps everyone on the same page whether you fly a Q400 or a 747.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by wordstwice » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:36 am

Dockjock....you come off sounded like you have a chip on your shoulder against YYZ controllers.

YYZ Controllers (both in tower and in Terminal) work under rules given to them by the employer and regulator while being constantly understaffed.

06R/24L can only be used when traffic demands it and there are enough personnel available (see above)

The ATIS is posted 10 minutes after the hour because it has to include the newest METAR which doesn't come until after the hour anyways.

The runways in use are being changed to meet demand, construction/repairs, and staffing throughout the day. The ATIS is updated as quickly as possible but you will find yourself given a runway not advertised if you arrive during a time when the configuration is being changed. If you program and then brief a runway based on the ATIS then be prepared to do it again.

All the altitude and speed restrictions were created by Nav Canada with enormous input from the users-they quite often don't work exactly as the situation demands but quite often do. It is would impossible to create restrictions on a STAR that would be perfect for all scenarios and someone somewhere will always complain about it.

I suggest you be a little more patient with the guys and gals at YYZ, they do the best they can under their work environment with little to no thanks for what they put up with in a day.

Finally, if it wasn't your intent to come off so negative than I apologize for getting the wrong impression.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by ZBBYLW » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:19 am

Just curious, is there anything being done to try and fix some of the rules in place? It does seem that in the US very often the controllers do get to run a bit looser with the rules. It definitely quickens everything up when VMC is present.

In Canada it seems that ATC and pilots alike do not/hesitate to even call the field in sight because IFR seperation will still be issued. Where in the US as soon as you have the field in sight and your traffic you have the green light to carve it in tighter as traffic separation is now your issue. From my uninformed pilot chair, it seems that visual approaches in YYZ only help ATC with altitudes with planes intercepting different locs and not allowing you to reduce the seperation (even when no departing traffic is ready to go).

One of my biggest pet peeves is the 170 to the FAF ATC call. Why can this not be printed on the approach plates. It wastes a lot of air time when you think of it being said for every plane. Have it a normal procedure that is the default, if something else is required say "speed your discretion" or "hold 200 until advised" or "slow to final approach speed now". It seems like an easy way to clear the airwaves and perhaps when Air China or Hainan Airlines comes in they can be reminded.

What is the status of 05R/23L? Will Nav Canada staff the tower cab enough to have it be any benefit? I find the operation with all 3 running is good, with enough staffing you could almost have 06R/24L the default runway if you are landing on the south side and an offer to side step if there are no departures, which is pretty common down in the states.

I know it's not the individual controllers that are responsible but it does seem YYZ is one of the most conservative airports around (even more so than other (albeit quieter) Canadian airports such as YVR/YUL/YYC(though YYC terminal and ZEG centre probably should coordinate a bit better)) and I hope there is some pressure to allow the YYZ controllers to "do some more controlling" as it would speed things up and unbound them from some of the rules they are currently bound by.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by ZBBYLW » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:23 am

Dockjock wrote:In no particular order.

-Why isn't 06R/24L being used? It's been a month, it feels like. It just sits there gathering dust.
-Why is descent clearance on LINNG arrival almost always late ie. Impossible to meet downwind constraints? We ask for constraints deleted, answer is always yes. Shouldn't they just be removed (permanently?)
-Why am I sometimes (frequently) assigned a runway not listed on ATIS ie. Info A, Landing 05 departing 06L..."hi Toronto we have info A" "A is current, expect ILS 06L" um ok bud
-why doe ATIS not publish until :10 (or more) after the hour. Why is ATIS so rarely representative of what controllers are using for airport config? Swap ends, runways in use etc
-if a constraint is published, else being equal, we plan to meet it ie. 250kts speed. You don't need to say "slow to 250" when we're 8 NM from it. We got it!

On a positive note, visual departures are great. Keep it up! Thanks
From a fellow pilot perspective.

Descent via LINNG question, but your TCAS on below I am sure you'll see the reason. The STARS and SIDS intersect there - departures are held at 7, arrivals held at 8. Also if you don't do it, slow your VS down, some guys rocket up or down to the assigned altitudes triggering TCAS TAs. Airmanship sometimes gets forgotten.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Dockjock » Thu Oct 06, 2016 10:27 am

Agreed on the STARS postmaster, and agreed on the reasons they don't do this at YYZ, ZBBYLW. Now the question is, why is the entire thing even structured this way, putting arrivals and departures in conflict unless the controller intervenes and cancels the published restrictions? Brutal. I've heard the excuse that NavCanada consulted with airlines on the procedures but did they ever run a simulation? Clearly, the airspace doesn't work.

A major runway isn't being used at the largest and busiest airport in Canada because...staffing? That's crazy. Hire some people, it's been like that for far too long. Airlines are wasting money waiting for takeoff, getting vectored, and increasing taxi times.

The YYZ ATIS is basically a joke now. When it's out, it's stale because YYZ changes their configuration so frequently. I'm sure NavCanada management think they are being flexible and responsive, based on as someone above stated, demand, staffing and so forth. But the result to pilots is lots of heads-down programming and briefing in the terminal area. We like to play the guessing game as to which runway we will be assigned, and you're not allowed to pick one on the ATIS. Ha! Once recently it advertised 15R! Admiral Akbar knows, ITS A TRAP. Light wind, 3pm, you could literally be assigned anything. No point in preparing a plan because you're going to have to delete it 30NM from landing and start over.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by kevenv » Thu Oct 06, 2016 11:36 am

Dockjock wrote:Agreed on the STARS postmaster, and agreed on the reasons they don't do this at YYZ, ZBBYLW. Now the question is, why is the entire thing even structured this way, putting arrivals and departures in conflict unless the controller intervenes and cancels the published restrictions? Brutal. I've heard the excuse that NavCanada consulted with airlines on the procedures but did they ever run a simulation? Clearly, the airspace doesn't work.

A major runway isn't being used at the largest and busiest airport in Canada because...staffing? That's crazy. Hire some people, it's been like that for far too long. Airlines are wasting money waiting for takeoff, getting vectored, and increasing taxi times.

The YYZ ATIS is basically a joke now. When it's out, it's stale because YYZ changes their configuration so frequently. I'm sure NavCanada management think they are being flexible and responsive, based on as someone above stated, demand, staffing and so forth. But the result to pilots is lots of heads-down programming and briefing in the terminal area. We like to play the guessing game as to which runway we will be assigned, and you're not allowed to pick one on the ATIS. Ha! Once recently it advertised 15R! Admiral Akbar knows, ITS A TRAP. Light wind, 3pm, you could literally be assigned anything. No point in preparing a plan because you're going to have to delete it 30NM from landing and start over.
Without commenting on your observations, I have to ask; Have you ever picked up the phone and called the shift manager with your complaints? You will not change a thing complaining here. Trust me, when a pilot takes the time to phone the shift manager, they are out of the office as soon as they hang up to find out what is going on.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by TheSteamingPile » Thu Oct 06, 2016 3:41 pm

Not knowing much about the arrival over LINNG nor being a terminal controller; we're doing the best we can with the rules set out as they are. As an above poster mentioned, put the pressure on Nav Can management.

The tower staffing issues are a whole other kettle of fish. Not a day goes by where those in my specialty are saying "Tower better check out more controllers quickly. This is getting insane." The frustration isn't with the pilots alone.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by gustind » Thu Oct 06, 2016 5:04 pm

Took a photo of this ATIS the other morning. Probably the funniest ATIS I've seen in a while at YYZ. <Slow Clap>
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:

Side note, great job to the controllers for moving as much as they do within the boundaries they've been given.
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Landing runway 7L
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Departing 23
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by A V I A T O » Thu Oct 06, 2016 8:46 pm

Thats some "airplane!" Level shit right there. Leslie Nielsen is running the show.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Lotro » Fri Oct 07, 2016 6:34 am

Dockjock wrote: A major runway isn't being used at the largest and busiest airport in Canada because...staffing? That's crazy. Hire some people, it's been like that for far too long. Airlines are wasting money waiting for takeoff, getting vectored, and increasing taxi times.
To the best of my knowledge the last YYZ Tower qualification was nearly 2 years ago. In that time, I believe nearly 10 candidates have been cease trained. I believe that place has the worst qualification record in the country. It is chronically understaffed and there is no end in sight.

In it's defense, it's also the busiest tower in the country.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by NotDirty! » Fri Oct 07, 2016 7:18 am

gustind wrote:Took a photo of this ATIS the other morning. Probably the funniest ATIS I've seen in a while at YYZ. <Slow Clap>
:lol: :lol: :lol: :lol:
ImageImage
Side note, great job to the controllers for moving as much as they do within the boundaries they've been given.
New question: Why do they not use Runway 07 Left (and Right I assume) more frequently? Where have they been hiding those extra runways all these years?

On another note, having primary arrivals on 05 and departures on 23 could be interesting to watch... :axe:
Do you guys have a popcorn maker in the tower cab?
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Dockjock » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:39 am

Well it sure feels like something fishy is going on, because an alleged training success rate over a two year period should not be 0%. Looks like tower in the weak link. Who are they accountable to, if anybody?
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by wordstwice » Fri Oct 07, 2016 12:27 pm

Lotro wrote:
Dockjock wrote: A major runway isn't being used at the largest and busiest airport in Canada because...staffing? That's crazy. Hire some people, it's been like that for far too long. Airlines are wasting money waiting for takeoff, getting vectored, and increasing taxi times.
To the best of my knowledge the last YYZ Tower qualification was nearly 2 years ago. In that time, I believe nearly 10 candidates have been cease trained. I believe that place has the worst qualification record in the country. It is chronically understaffed and there is no end in sight.

In it's defense, it's also the busiest tower in the country.
That figure is simply not true. What is true is that every time someone qualifies, someones else retires or gets a promotion...its a revolving door.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Married a Canadian » Fri Oct 07, 2016 5:41 pm

Late to the thread...sorry....been working evenings this week.

I will add the terminal perspective here. Although I am just one opinion...It would be fair to say that most of that I say or think on Avcanada is pretty much what most of YYZ terminal would say, give or take a few procedural interpretations. I am surprised at a couple of the comments on this thread. I will try to address the questions brought up

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. Nothing p***s terminal off more than a pilot slowing without telling us...and it happens more than once a day. The constraints give the pilots and ATC something to work with...if you can't make them...tell us. We do our best to get you descent at an appropriate juncture. We don't want you high on the approach either!

2 Runway assignment given not listed on the ATIS? Landing 05....Departing 06L is the example given. When arrival peaks are high, tower will allow a few "offloads" onto the departure runway. This helps smooth out the arrival rate....it is always appreciated by the terminal. We don't "advertise" 06L as an arrival runway on the ATIS because technically it isn't in this case, if we did most of the Air Canada US arrivals would ask for it as an arrival runway and soon you end up with too many arrivals on the departure runway.
This leads to the next point

3 Using the ATIS to determine your arrival runway...I would suggest that you don't. ATC assigns the arrival runway....the ATIS will tell you what the operation is, but as in the above case, will not tell you when we are trying to make the operation more expeditious. We assign the runways by 60 miles from YYZ. This range has been agreed upon by the users (ie the airlines)....if you are programming in a runway before this (before ATC has confirmed) then you might end up being given a change. There are certain bedpost fixes that you can almost always guarantee your runway (ie from BOXUM 05/23)...but we are trying to balance the arrival load and sometimes that might mean a change. If you get given a runway before 60 miles...then you can have no complaints as that is what our procedures say......I don't know if you listen out to when we actually try to accommodate "requests"...ie North End parking, Air Canada US arrivals....quite afew pilots have NO problems changing close in if it means a shorter taxi.
If you get a change within 60 miles..then apologies...usually we have the balance wrong or there has been an overshoot, or flow has dropped the ball. We try to avoid it as much as possible.

4 ATIS not giving a correct indication of what we are doing. The tower and Terminal and the GTAA operate a fluid environment. Variables such as the winds, weather, work in progress, flight checks, equipment unserviceability's, staffing, shift handover, traffic peaks and dips...all go towards determining what we are doing in both specialties. 15R was mentioned as a landing runway earlier in the thread with "suspicion". It was actually the landing runway at the time due to work on the field.
Again I would suggest that if pilots are dialing up the ATIS an hour before landing and then being "surprised" when something might have changed when they get to YYZ.....have a bit more understanding of what is going on at a busy airport. We also can't forecast when the winds go round...so if we do an end for end..you are hardly likely to hear about it on the ATIS...it is usually a NOW thing.
We have pilots checking in complaining that they have had TWO runway changes.....when we work it out we find out they program a runway after departure from whatever airport, find the winds have changed...program another runway BEFORE ATC confirms it, then complains to us when ATC assigns the runway they are to land on as though we are responsible for them making their own plans.
We will help as much as possible...but you are part of a sequence of planes...and you go where you fit.

5 Speed control...don't say "slow to 250 kts". You might do it...some guys don't. Our radar is pretty accurate when it comes to seeing what speed you are doing...we can see when you are "cheating". It is the biggest bugbear of TCU controllers. A lot of controllers give guys the option of descent first then speed.....or other way round. I am not a fan of hearing controllers say descend and slow down (not easy I know). However we will reiterate speeds to you at times...because from our chairs..it doesn't always look like you are complying.

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, and we have seen one too many aircraft descend into departure airspace OR, as has been mentioned, descend at the speed of sound and set off TCAS RAs with all traffic in the vicinity.
We sometimes do it when there are no departures around, but when it is busy and we need to vector, speed control etc etc..it is not as easy.
On midnight shifts a lot of controllers will use the points to have you close up the STAR. I am one, we like it for the reduced workload on our end. Can't do it when busy. We know the FMS can do it...but the FMS is not aware of what number in the sequence it is....yet!

7 170kts to FAF. I don't think it would be a good idea to put it on the approach plate as pilots would slow to it BEFORE we need them to (and it has been done a LOT recently by a carrier that should know better). Our aim is to get you on final spaced at the appropriate distance, be it 5 miles, 3 miles, 2.5miles or Wake separation. Once we have you correctly spaced we will slow you back.
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.
We wouldn't have to do some of the "annoying things" if we could trust EVERY carrier to follow the instruction. The guys who do it properly are being penalised by the ones who aren't. I have chewed out a fair few pilots recently that decide that they know the space to the aircraft in front better than I do.

8 Controlling Visual approaches. Again...we have to do it for 1 Departures and 2 We have been burnt by poor airmanship in the past. You would think in a parallel runway environment that taking a run at the other side would not be a good idea...but that is what some guys do. We also see pilots who must be ex military because they seem to think that Tower can land guys two at a time..or with someone already on the runway.
There have been too many occasions at YYZ of an "uncontrolled visual" not working out properly....therefore it is now mandated that we maintain control till on the localiser.

9 [quote]Agreed on the STARS postmaster, and agreed on the reasons they don't do this at YYZ, ZBBYLW. Now the question is, why is the entire thing even structured this way, putting arrivals and departures in conflict unless the controller intervenes and cancels the published restrictions? Brutal. I've heard the excuse that NavCanada consulted with airlines on the procedures but did they ever run a simulation? Clearly, the airspace doesn't work.
[/quote

Have to take you up on this comment. Comes across as rather arrogant, and also rather insulting.
Why are arrivals and departures in "conflict"? Because it is a busy international airport with planes arriving and departing to all four points of the compass. They are going to be in "conflict" at some point along the line...it is my job to make sure that you are separated. You are part of a sequence...you will be controlled to fit in with that sequence...and if that means we have to take you off the SID or STAR or cancel your restrictions, or have you slightly high/low...then so be it. The controller "intervenes" because it is our job to. If we just let you run..then it would be an almighty clusterf***! As I have mentioned earlier....some of your fellow pilots don't make OUR jobs easier by showing a lack of airmanship and lack of understanding of what we are doing.

Saying that NAV Canada uses airline consultation as an "excuse" is an insult to both yours and my profession. They did consult. Whether you like it or not both our respective colleagues were involved PLUS high levels of managements. Whether you respect that or not is up to you...but to say that it doesn't work is not only wrong....but implies that you think you are the only aircraft in the sky.
Why would you even ask if we ran simulations?? Again because YOU think it doesn't work?

YYZ is not perfect...we are aware of that. We also accept criticism and accept the evolving of procedures and airspace (the new airspace and restrictions has been tweaked numerous times since 2012). However we are also in the top 15 busiest airports in the world..and in airspace that, in your opinion, does not work, are able to run over 120 movements (arrivals and departures) an hour. We would not be able to do this if the system was that poorly designed.

I don't mind criticism....I don't mind comparisons to other airports...there is another thread about that exact thing. What I do mind is when some users don't seem to take into account what makes each airport unique and why certain things they do elsewhere aren't applicable to what happens in YYZ.

10 Tower staffing. Cossack answers the tower questions, and does so in detail and usually with patience. He has answered these queries on other threads and it is not my place to comment on their situation.
I will say though...remember that the tower deals with the same constraints we do..and also deals directly with the GTAA which adds an extra layer.
They also have had numerous checkouts in the last couple of years...but also people do retire and move elsewhere.
Plus as has been mentioned..they ARE the busiest tower unit in the country...it is not easy.


I welcome discourse with pilot community....I do think it helps understanding on both ends. Please be aware though that you are busy...we are busy. You have rules, we have rules. You want to be safe...it is my JOB to make sure you are.
Most importantly for me.....while I fully understand that you are "in command".....remember that I am trying to fit you in with all the other "in commands'"...there has to be some give and take. Just because you don't like something and think you are getting a raw deal does not always make it so....we have the pretty much the full picture.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by PostmasterGeneral » Fri Oct 07, 2016 9:34 pm

Nothing constructive to add, but wanted to thank you "married" for the insight into your end of things!
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by fish4life » Sat Oct 08, 2016 7:27 am

Is there any other place other than avcanada where pilots can ask ATC questions and vice versa? It would be kinda nice if Nav Canada had a small open forum section for Q & A's where we could have these why is it like this or what do you like better questions with different airports.

In the meantime I appreciate the dialogue here it is one if the more productive threads.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Braun » Mon Oct 10, 2016 12:40 pm

fish4life wrote:Is there any other place other than avcanada where pilots can ask ATC questions and vice versa? It would be kinda nice if Nav Canada had a small open forum section for Q & A's where we could have these why is it like this or what do you like better questions with different airports.

In the meantime I appreciate the dialogue here it is one if the more productive threads.
You can always give a call right to the supervisor of a certain airspace/unit. You can get the number through the shift manager. It happens all the time that people have questions on a procedure/best practice etc...don't be shy we aren't mean (in general haha). this place is indeed pretty good but there is always the anonymity factor to deal with but in the sub section things seem to be a bit more ''normal''.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by cyeg66 » Tue Oct 11, 2016 3:02 pm

ZBBYLW wrote: ....(even more so than other (albeit quieter) Canadian airports such as YVR/YUL/YYC(though YYC terminal and ZEG centre probably should coordinate a bit better))....

:lol:
I like to think YYC terminal has little say on what actually goes on. We're (mostly) just along for the ride.

#thecookiejarwithmanyhands
#trenchpigs


Carry on.
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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by URC » Wed Oct 12, 2016 4:34 pm

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 » Sat Oct 15, 2016 6:48 am

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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Re: YYZ pilot questions

Post by Married a Canadian » Tue Oct 18, 2016 1:28 pm

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 » Tue Oct 18, 2016 2:00 pm

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 » Thu Oct 20, 2016 8:54 am

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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