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American Airlines Pilot Gets Petty Over Radio Phraseology Reprimand

After being reprimanded by an air traffic controller over bad phraseology, an American Airlines pilot became very bitter and petty on frequency. ( More...

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Rick D 37
For a lesson on proper aviation terminology, watch the cockpit scene from "Airplane!". And don't call me Shirley.
Dave Mathes 21
...Roger, roger...
btweston 4
Silent Bob 3
Steven Palmer 2
Give me vectors Victor
stratofan 32
Point to ponder, Doctors bury their mistakes. Pilots are buried with their mistakes. When procedures are in place, they must be followed, otherwise innocent people might possibly die.
joe milazzo 43
This pisses me off!
Everyone, from time to time, becomes a little too relaxed with the use of proper procedures and it’s up to the other Pilot and/or the controller to bring us back! There’s no need to act like an ass when it happens!
I’ve noticed over the last decade a divergence from proper radio, phraseology and discipline! If it takes a dozen pilot deviations to get us back on track… be it.
Duane Mader 9
Yeah, I’ve gotten slack, usually when I’m the only plane tower is controlling. If I get corrected to read my tail number or runway assignment I’m the one who is sheepish and stands corrected.
Jones Aderhold 4
Yeah I listen in to ATL pilot chatter and here stuff being said without call signs on the tag, but they are mainly short replies. This Pilot needed to swallow his pride and just read it back with call sign and not get all condescending with "American 1-4-7-9", but then again at least ATC knew he understood the assignment.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Tony Lawrence 4
From as far back as 1972, as a 15 year old, I learned and understood the meaning of ‘Petty Cash’ on a small Pacific island when being taught the basics of accounting, one of the subjects on the school syllabus. I didn’t understand what ‘petty’ meant, standing alone as an adjective, until much later in life. That in today’s world, many decades later, any new employee dares, on their first day especially, to change anything is just plain ludicrous. It’s a less safe world that we will be living in when changing, unnecessarily, long understood words, phrases and terminologies, especially those specific to different organisations and moreover, particularly those that are under pressure to perform at a high level all day; every day e.g. airlines, ICU units in hospitals, schools and universities etc.
Karen Chaney 14
What does that have to do with this article about phraseology ?
b4jones2 11
What does "woke" have to do with anything? What does that even mean? That they were a minority?

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

btweston 18
I don’t believe you own a company. Your head is way too far up your ass.
John D 2
I was thinking the same thing. If he does own a company, he's the only one working there.
Andy Pasternak 12
As a family medicine physician, I gotta disagree with your. Also, for reference, the AMA would agree with your ex-employee and not with you.
Dave Mathes 3
....uh, ok...
drummist814 3
"Angry, confused and delusional" describes your attitude.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Mike G 10
Maybe not confused. But definitely a snowflake. So easily triggered.
Dave Mathes 3
...yea, that last comment REALLY impressed everyone...
C J -3
You're a lunatic.
Pete Lehmann -1
Nope, woke is misused by the right pretty much universally. All it means is being aware of your own privilege, that's it. Are you aware that black people have vastly different experiences when pulled over but police? It has nothing to do with you trying to do something about it, liking it, or anything beyond being aware that there is a pretty distinct difference. Guess what, you're woke. Congratulations!
linbb -2
Really what is the difference between there response and other people? I see using the word Privilege on here that speaks to an item which only exists in minds of some. Sorry to see you doing so.
Pete Lehmann 3
No, whether or not you see it or not, it exists in many ways, most being pretty obscure. A lot of times it's not easy to see it if you belong to a privileged class or category of people. Don't get me wrong, even if you do see it and you acknowledge it, there's absolutely nothing anyone can do about any of it by themselves. That's not realistic in any way. The reason people who are part of a privileged class cannot see it is because they cannot experience these scenarios through the eyes of somebody that they are not. No one is asking anybody to do anything about it no one is asking anybody to change their behavior or ask a cop to either give them a ticket, or pull them out of the car and accuse them of something that is common amongst a specific disenfranchised category of people. That would be the epitome of ludicrous. But if you don't think that there is male privilege, white privilege, wealth privilege, etc, etc you just need to look harder, that's it. You'll never understand what it's like for a woman to simply want to get through The process of purchasing an automobile without being subjected to a separate set of variables from the men. That is absolutely unequivocally a real thing. There's a phenomenon in the African American community which most white people are not aware of. Most young black children males are given what is often called the talk from their father figure. This is where the older father figure explains to the young black male child that he cannot behave in the same way that his white friends can during police engagements. This is not something that came out of nowhere, it is statistically and empirically proven, and in my eyes something that we should be all ashamed of. But again, there's nothing I can do about it myself other than just acknowledge it because no one expects me to tell a cop who just pulled me over to treat me like he would treat a black person driving this car. It's uncomfortable, because there's no solution to it not an easy one anyway. It's very likely rooted in human nature where we are wired to have a positive bias to people who look like us, and or are from our culture, but nevertheless it's no less frustrating or socially toxic to those who are subjected to it.

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John D -1
I am pretty sure you have the FOS comment pointed the wrong way.
John D 0
Exactly. And anyone thinking they are mocking someone by being woke, is revealing that at a minimum you don't care about vastly different and mostly discriminating experiences others have and at worst you are okay with it.
Robert Jensen -2
I'm aware that you BELIEVE that is true. There's absolutely zero statistical evidence to prove it.
Dave Mathes 1
...textbook example of 'Dunning Kruger'..."most current youth are" are you for real...honestly man, where do you get off being this judgmental???
Jim Mitchell 5
well done for the manager who let her go
Dave Mathes 3
...dude, what is your problem...?
N204TA 20
I was a controller for almost 30 years and was a “victim” of something very similar to this. I was running the final approach sector at a major airport and had a Southwest Airlines 737 established on the localizer and level at 3000 feet. I cleared the aircraft for the ILS approach, the pilots acknowledged, and then I switched them to the tower.

A couple of days later, I was called to the supervisors’ office and told that I was decertified and would have to complete remedial training because I violated the minimum vectoring altitude with that flight. Apparently, a random audit caught the operation and the quality assurance office pointed out that the pilot didn’t use their call sign when they read back the clearance and I didn’t do anything when the aircraft started to descend on the approach. They claimed that a “clearance not acknowledged is a clearance not received” and that I failed to ensure the safety of the flight. I successfully argued that it should be a pilot deviation, if anything, because the last clearance read back with the call sign was to intercept the localizer and maintain 3000.

Long story short, I’m sure that the controller didn’t want to be disciplined because the pilot was too lax with his phraseology and, if it were me, I would have told the pilot that. “Our QA department doesn’t have anything better to do than try to catch us not getting complete read backs with full call signs.”
Richard Bowman 7
Approaching the airport, I called Tower and reported entering the Zone for Landing. The Controller said "I'll get back to you." A minute goes by and I again reported in. The controller literally yelled,
"I told you! I would get back to you!"
I'm getting antsy, and again called in after about another minute, and again She yelled "I told you! I would get back to you! Where are you?"
It was now my turn "Damn near over the bloody airport!"
So now she vectors me to a right base instead of the usual left base.
I'm all shook up by what's occurring and I continued on into the usual right base as I was already set up for it by my position relative to the downwind leg, and missing her right base.
Then she went really ballistic.
At no time did she say hold position, orbit or anything else, she just let me dangle in my slipstream.
I had to report that incompetent in the tower, she called my FBO, and reamed us both out.
The one thing that makes me feel really good about that controller, was that a few months later she was given a promotion to CYYZ. Canada's busiest airport. She was there less than one month, and they sent her back to the airport from whence she came.
Russell Thornton 18
I would rather have someone try to enforce proper communications protocols - then go lax and diminish effectiveness. Practice - practice.
Leander Williams 12
American 1-4-7-9 must have thought he was the only aircraft in the sky. If they want to act silly on their own time, that's one thing, but gambling the safety of passengers is a no-go in my book.
gilgraham 12
Arrogance and laziness has no place in a cockpit. Get with the program or get out. We all know you're a hotshot pilot, we all are...
Robert Burdick 11
Phraseology intends to provide proper communication and understanding quickly and in a disaster preventing way.
Communication=Message Sender-Message Receiver-Receiver “reads back” -sender understands the message that was sent was received
I suspect (but cannot prove) I have been "reading back" IFR clearances over the years, longer than most, if not all, of the participants in this "thread". I suspect (but cannot prove) I have served as defense counsel for air-crew before FAA/NTSB "Administrative Law" judges longer than most, if not all, of the participants in this "thread". I base my conclusion on the "last straw" of the individual's behavior, who stated " "I HAVN'T THE TIME" when asked to dicuss an aviation safety issue. At this point I must disagree with the fellow poster, who suggested the individual should be handed a job application for HOME DEPOT. NO NO NO! When I am in HOME DEPOT I sure as hell do not want to run across someone I need for service, with a psychiatric make-up like that.
Pete Lehmann 7
Touche sir, but it's like some of our politicians, I really don't care where they go or what they do just go away!
ORDUnited 7
Finally a controller who is holding a pilot responsible for using his callsign and flight number. Kudos to the controller!!! I can't believe the number of "professional" pilots who don't use their callsign and/or flight number on every transmission. Could you imagine being a controller trying to keep over 50 airplanes straight and no one used their call sign or flight number? Or what about having two different airlines with the same flight number? Asinine that this pilot cops an attitude for being held accountable to his bad behavior. I know we can all get busy during our flights, but proper phraseology is basic piloting 101. Be professional and use your call sign and flight number on every radio transmission......and stop playing games on guard frequency with sounds and unnecessary comments.....guard frequency is for emergencies....not for playing childish unprofessional games.
David Waite 8
45 years in aviation, and I firmly believe in procedure and doing things right. Of course, I am a mechanic not a pilot.

There's a lot of 8 year old kids wanting to grow up and be a pilot, some just forget the first part of that equation.

Not a lot of 8 year olds want to grow up and be a mechanic, we usually have to grow up first and then it dawns on us that this is a worthwhile job.

To us, a pilot is just another aircraft part, and usually the one that fails. "Removed and replaced pilot, ops check good".
David Waite 4
that being said, I have had the pleasure of working with many pilots who did grow up.
Dave Mathes 2
...I like your 'ops check'...
carste10 7
It sounds as if the controller wants to insure that there is a clear record on the tape in case there is a review for whatever reason. And in this day and age who can blame him?
The PIC and SIC were wrong. If it was the SIC Talking the PIC should have instructed to include their call sign and vice versa.

The largest failure in aviation is communication. ATC has a handbook (FAA ORDER 7110,65 as amended) what the ACTer MUST say in all communications. No such document exists for pilots and that's why you have runway incursions and airplanes takeoff/landing in the wrong place. And for those of you who will note the phraseology in the Aeronautical Information Manual - the AIM is not regulatory - it's a suggestion. The 7110.65 must ne followed or the controller is on the carpet.

From the Order: 1−1−1. PURPOSE OF THIS ORDER
This order prescribes air traffic control procedures and phraseology for use by persons providing air traffic control services
George Lane 7
"Flight crew arguing with ATC" is one of my favorite Youtube sub-genres, along with "Tourists getting yelled at by the guardians at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier"
RECOR10 -6
Well, my long-lost brother's name is Neil....not you....but, I feel as if we are family ;-)

The 747 bald guy has a good channel as well. What ever the 74Gear?????
ScottCurtis777 2
Nathan Cox 11
What a rotten attitude from the AA pilots. Try that in European airspace and see where that gets you…
chiefaviator 5
My FO and I said that same thing. As we do a lot of Europe. Lol and we were inbound to PHX.
Sam Hobbs 5
There is an abundance of room for improvement in the way that people communicate yet if someone attempts to help them communicate better then they get really upset.
Pete Lehmann 15
With the volume of traffic and similarities in call signs and runway headings, the fact that Captain Ego McTenderFeelers couldn't allow the controller, who was absolutely in the right, to "win", because don't you know that we should all perceive airline pilots upon the same pedestal which lawyers and doctors prance upon above us common folk?

As a commercial pilot and A&P, this attitude reminds me of the bass-akwards cultural hierarchy that these guys do everything to perpetuate, because they know more than anyone, deep down, that an untrained octogenarian has a pretty good chance of landing an airplane in one piece if the pilot takes an unannounced nap during a flight. If that same octogenarian was in a maintenance hangar and the A&P has a grabber, what do you think the odds are of that same untrained elderly person stepping in to solve a #2 engine EGT fluctuation anomaly only observed at full power below 67 KIAS?

It's irrefutable, trained monkeys are capable of wiggling the sticks in order to keep an aircraft level, as well as for a laundry list of performance maneuvers that I'd venture to guess most airline pilots (aka FMS Managers) are no longer capable of completing to standards without a couple hours of refresher training. I know the culture is a result of the US Military's officer pilot corps and enlisted maintainers, but there are some nations which realized decades ago that the individuals who have been educated and demonstrated a higher level of critical thinking and problem solving skills should be the ones troubleshooting and maintaining, while the lesser gifted, let's just call them monkeys, should be out in the cockpit to wiggle sticks, push buttons, and not have a pissy pants mantrum if they decide that they are too cool to follow the rules that keep everyone safe and get called out for being not as cool as they think they are.

I know, this is a broad brush I'm painting with, but this type of asinine, narcissistic, self serving BS always triggers me because I've dealt with it for the entirety of my 30+ year career in this industry. It's idiots like this who should have been easily identified and either permanently corrected or handed a Home Depot employment application on their way out the door (no offense to Home Depot or their staff, I WILL work for you someday!). Imagine if this idiot was in the left seat instead of Sully the day that Airbus went from an airliner to a rotisserie oven to a water park ride within a span of 3 minutes! Do you think he wasn't railing against that controller to his FO between calls? I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say that's pretty much the opposite of a sterile cockpit environment. He would have been so distracted with the details of his sophomoric radio calls to make sure the controller knew who was higher on the totem pole in his head, he wouldn't have realized that both engines lost power before he would have been forced down into a far less accomodating area of the city.

"It's not worth my time"... Obviously, nor would it be a useful use of the controller's time because he's one of those guys that have made the conscious decision that they are no longer learning, they know everything, so what could anyone ever teach him that he doesn't already know? Luckily the more cognitively capable maintainers will make sure he never faces a real world in-flight emergency that there's no section in the Emergency Checklist to follow. Otherwise, this static adolescent would end up killing himself, his crew, and anyone unlucky enough to be booked on the flight that the dispatcher planned and loaded into the FMS for him to trace the line with the little airplane with....

Please.... Pleeeaaase read this and respond! Come on Capt. Ego McTenderFeelers, tell me how great you are and how everyone else is the problem!!
btweston 2
Could you rephrase that?
Pete Lehmann 2
Don't tempt me, I had to get it all out. Seen too many stupid mistakes because of ass hats like that guy to not have a lot to say. Plus, chicks dig dudes who shirk brevity! 🤣🤣
Dave Mathes 0 they now...
Pete Lehmann 3
They absolutely don't, but it's my world let me build it!
Greg S 3
Sir, this is a Wendy's.
Bob Moseley 0
Based on your general, all inclusive, comments I think you just called Sully, and many other highly trained and qualified pilots, whose job it is to safely transport an untold number of people, MONKEY’s. I hope your future flights don’t have your described ‘lesser gifted, let's just call them monkeys, in the cockpit to wiggle sticks, push buttons, and have pissy pants mantrums , and are too cool to follow the rules that keep everyone safe and get called out for being not as cool as they think they are.’
I have been involved in both ends of your rant and let me say that there are to many monkey’s at both ends of the spectrum. Mistakes and bad attitudes from any of them can kill. This American Airline pilot should be, at a minimum grounded and re-evaluated.
With what appears to be anger issues, maybe you should check yourself out before fixing another aircraft?
Dave Mathes 0
...I think you have anger issues...
Pete Lehmann 3
Well not anymore, hell that was like a few hours of therapy with my emotional feelings counselor, Gary. He lets me call him Gare-bear and we both giggle!! 😁😁😁
William Bell 0
Could your hypothetical octogenarian safely ditch in the Hudson.
Bill Ross 11
............. (as most of the current US youth are." That's a petty and sloppy generalization of our youth. Unwarranted.

[This comment has been downvoted. Show anyway.]

Dave Mathes 6
...I think you're on the wrong forum....
C J 3
Maybe the reality is that people don't want to hold an "intelligent" conversation with you? Maybe you are the problem.
Pete Lehmann 1
Cool story bro
clayton dcruz 6
Obviously bored with his job, he needs to be sacked!
CharlesRamsey 3
Appears to be a clear case of gross lack of professionalism... Inexcusable and unacceptable from any pilot let alone one in the left seat of a commercial airline like American.
Victor Engel 3
I'm surprised there are no comments about the pilot ignoring the "suggestion" to get a phone call. I doubt that is going to help his case.
terry gersdorf 3
Wouldve loved to hear what his Chief Pilot had to say about this
Greg S 5
I'm not going to make an excuse for the pilots, but I suspect this has less to do with the content and more to do with the tone. The controller sounded pissed off right from the start, and shortly thereafter had good cause to be pissed off. However, I'm glad to see a controller insisting on proper calls no matter if it upsets pilots or not. I'm not glad to see pilots acting like brats having temper tantrums.
Carl Staib 2
It's interesting to me ... I'm a commercial rated pilot ... not IFR ... but I do get paid to fly people from here to there now and then. (Just a little background) I've read the majority of this post and even after 50 plus years of flying I've never had a problem with the tower or ATC but I have learned a valuable lesson reading this article. I've often replied without using my "ID" without a problem ... It won't happen again.
considering the number of near misses in and around airports with push back,tarmac instructions,take off and landngs,it seems keeping in accordance with known proper communications between the atc and the pilot is should not be a joking matter,nor a matter of someone having a bad day..even the ground personnel who keep in touch with pilots use certain universal..the pilot should apologize and the atc person should as well for the misunderstanding..those little "misunderstandings" can and do cause serious accidents..proper procedures matter and are there for a reason..
Don Whyte 1
Oh boy, no capitalization or spaces after punctuation makes it difficult to read. Speaking of proper communication...
brownbearwolf 2
To my earlier script. having heard the Audio of the event. I feel it is also returning to the thinking. Are we (ATC) here because you are up there or are you (Pilots) because we are down here. ATC own the airspace they control. Departures own more than Approach who by their title, have more headaches then other controllers. The Phoenix APP was under work load stress and going by voice tones, felt he was losing the authority of the job title. Also I wouldn't be surprised if he was under supervision by the STAC in an attempt to add the APP rating to his licence. Mind set and regressive behaviour wanting to hear what he's learned in study for his position and therefore, wanted A B C D in that order, any change like F before A, upsets one's thought control generating a sense of not being in CONTROL at the workstation and that leads to aggression. Being a Controller on the high end of the promotions chain, brings about a lot of inner doubt at to; am I really able to do this job? When those thoughts enter, then no. Go back to being an area controller for a bit, more study then step up to the APP Cell. Approach Controllers have a thin volume of airspace to work with. The area to terminal hand-off point to the MAP or five miles from eh runway threshold, where ADC 1 takes control of the arriving Aero. I've hear approach get into mind set working envenomate where A comes before B and so on. Any upset to the thinking process is a sense of losing the mindset of the job. Like an instructor going off at student because they are not holding 4500', being 70 off that level in level flight. ILS +?? -0' on the LOC. But when an ATS employee gets upset at believing the control aspect isn't being respected, then Controller has to be flexible, asking the Pilot is that was from AA1749 then when confirmed, sating please state your Flight number with every reply. Often here at a training airport, ADC 1 will advise. Caution I have two aircraft with similar calling's. ANN and AAN, listen out. This entire event with AA 1749 one can learn how ATS personal work and are easily upset. This trend is not only happening Aviation, but is other employment fields, it must be something in the water we drink!
Don Whyte 2
What about the often used phrase "copy that"? Is this proper terminology in aviation or police communication? Or is it something that Hollywood uses. Copy that? What have you copied? Read back what was said to you so it is clear what you have heard.
Pete Lehmann 5
Who keeps down voting all the critical comments about this total winner of a guy!? Hmmmmmm We may may just have gotten through!!
aurodoc 3
Interesting reading everyones comments. I am a surgeon and in medicine we have taken our safety improvements from the airline industry with the goal of reducing errors and improving patient safety. Before making the incision and before the patient goes to sleep we have very specific "time outs" to make sure we all understand the variables to ensure patient safety and reduce errors. We don't write abbreviations which may be confusing especially in dosing medications. We do this because we believe the aviation industry is the leader in safety and any deviation from whats required is unacceptable. Batting 0.400 in baseball is great, not so much in medicine and aviation.
flyinokie 3
This is another example of the extreme workload of controllers. Not only do they have assign runways, flight levels, spacing, headings and properly communicate TO the pilots they have to verify that their communication was correctly received FROM the pilots. For controllers, every day is a bad day to quit sniffing glue.
William Bell 2
How about everyone stick to aviation and leave the politics, woke or not, out of the discussion.
Jeannine Seyfried 1
I am not a pilot and my experience on aircraft is limited to my time as a passenger. My response to any pilot shortcutting phraseology is one word: Tenerife.
Buster Chappell 1
The controller should have advised the pilot to call them on the ground. Reprimanding the pilot over the air was just another power trip by the controller to show that he was 'the boss'. Both parties f***ed up in this case!
Charles Abdouch 1
There are certain radio calls that need to meet a "legal area" and in those, the full call sign MUST be said. ATC let's us get away with a lot, but when they ask for the callsign, realize that you are probably in the "legal area" and they need it not only to make sure the correct aircraft is responding but to meet the legal requirements being recorded.
In this case, a professional pilot being non-professional.
Joel Bishop 1
All pilots deviate from standard phraseology at times. Such as dropping the ATC facility name after initial check in for expediency or saying your call sign at the end of a read back of a list of instructions instead of at the beginning. However, dropping the call sign or runway assignment is never acceptable.
sweeper239 1
Did you notice that EVERY comment in this thread received a negative thumbs down? What does that say about the professionalism exhibited here ....
brownbearwolf 1
I think it is an ACIO directive. In Australia, ATP's operating in the AMMM FIR have changed their wording with ATC. Like "Contact Brisbane on 33.35 has gone back to; on 133.dacimal 35. Other relaxed replies have changed too, more inline with the Countries FAR versions phraseology. Many years ago, like 1975? FLYING's Dick Collins wrote an article on how pilots were making up their own reply's, one pilot used the term Good Buddy. Besides the use of Ahaaa, for almost an hour! One pilot spent three minutes of reply and meant very little with something that could have been said in 50 seconds. I think ATS units world wide have complained to ICAO who have issued a directive to the member's Air Transport Units to step on the changes creeping into use by pilots.
1mooneymite -2
Pilot-controller datalink avoids this sort of situation.

ATC voice communication has always been problematic and error-prone due to either human, or technology issues.

Technology to the rescue.
sparkie624 2
I would not say avoids, but I would say minimizes... personally, I never want to fly into a Computer Controlled tower controller.. that would be worse than and "Automatic Pilot" in Airplane!... But keep in mind, that "Automatic Pilot", No one died, and the plane flew again in the End! :)
David Stroupe 5
Otto Pilot :)
RECOR10 -4
If I am not mistaken the doll's name was Monica.
Rick D 1
Right. Because an M-18 is loaded with technology.
Pete Lehmann 1
Dude, did you take away radio communications from 3 to 4 hours of boring droning, I'm going to lose my mind. It's literally the only fun part of these flights.
RECOR10 -4
I dunno. It is only good until the day it is not good...for instance. At our facilities, our network security was provided by a company (big vendor) that also had network security devices in Ukraine. Right after the Russia/Ukraine deboggle hackers (state-funded by Russia) broke the security systems (the entire brands) and took out the security of thousands of Internet Firewalls (brands affected were Meraki and WatchGuard). So, yes - tech can be great. But, if I were a terrorist and wanted to wreak havoc on air travel....take out that one piece of tech.

To that, and as a war time example. ATC and the pointy end of airplanes did an amazing job with voice communications on 9/11.
1mooneymite 4
There will always be a time and placc for ATC voice communications. However the more data link comm is used for routine instructions, in a routine "cleared to land", the less stress there will be on voice communications. I think we have all been in situations where one cannot communicate in a timely manner because there's no pause in the stream of voice comm.
linbb 4
Fully just like the ATC wanted is the only way to have it done. There have been not one but many accidents caused by not using the AC full numbers by both ends. and yes I have flown in very congested airspace under ACT control. And got caught by them not using my full numbers and letters.
William Bell 0
Most planes are like submarines. The pointy end is at the back.
jhakunti -1
He was probably mad about DEI and was like I'm not using woke phraseology.


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