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Unwanted ATC at unicom fly-ins

Posted By:
Bob Seevers
#1 Posted: 3/2/2010 09:02:59

Has anyone gone to a fly-in where an ersatz "controller" posed a real danger to arrivals and departures ?  This has happened at a few fly-ins in Ohio over the years, same guy.  One in particular last summer. Short of just not attending, what can we do to convince the daft lad that he is a hindrance, not a help, without getting physical as had been suggested by a few ?  Any suggestions ?  

Joanne Palmer
Young Eagles Pilot or VolunteerHomebuilder or Craftsman
#2 Posted: 3/2/2010 10:49:08

If he is a pilot,... get the FSDO involved.  I know, I would hate to "drop a dime" on anybody, but if he really doesn't know what he is doing.  Get him off the air in any way necessary.

Paul Dowgewicz
Young Eagles Pilot or Volunteer
#3 Posted: 3/2/2010 10:50:02

If safety is being compromised, the FSDO covering that area should be notified so they address the problem prior to the event.. There's no reason to be PC if you feel there is a danger to life and and property. Obviously, the event has no authority to be controlling air traffic. Only the FAA can do that. You should let them know about specific instances where you feel there were problems.

Using the word "Negative" to a command is always an option, no matter who is on the other side of the radio. In this case, you don't even have to declare an emergency. Since it's such a high traffic situation, the mess from other planes would probably get worse though.

I wouldn't think the events would want the liability of an unofficial controller on the field. We have small events, but we don't even tell pilots what runway to land on. We just tell them what runway the wind is favoring.

Bob Seevers
#4 Posted: 3/4/2010 08:00:28

Thanks Joanne and Paul, the FSDO did cross the mind at the time.  The solution I suggested at the fly-in, confiscate the radio, would have prolly worked if I had any backing.  If it happens this year, I'll do it myself.  The jail in that town can't be too bad.
wink  I did'nt acknowledge him at all, in fact I did'nt tx at all on departure.  The big problem was too many pilots were doing exactly as he directed. 

Bob Meder
NAFI MemberAirVenture Volunteer
#5 Posted: 3/4/2010 11:59:32

I agree with Paul's post.  However, instead of going to the FSDO right away, how about going to a FAASTeam rep and asking them to counsel the person.  FAASTeam reps can't enforce regulation, but they can counsel pilots.  If it ends there, all's well.  If the person appears to be adament that he's going to do this anyway, then the rep can report it up to the FSDO for further action.

One thing that someone may want to point out to the person playing "ATC" is that if there's a mid-air, then everyone in the world, from the FAA to litigation attorneys are going to point their fingers right at him.  Along with any possible hazard he's introducing to the event, he's potentially bringing huge liability upon himself.

Bob Meder "Anxiety is nature's way of telling you that you already goofed up."
Richard Warner
Homebuilder or CraftsmanAirVenture Volunteer
#6 Posted: 3/4/2010 20:06:43

I agree with your post, Bob.  Let the FAASTeam "coucil" him and if that does no good, get the FSDO involved.  If that does no good, take a hammer to his radio.  This guy is a hazard.