Wednesday, March 4, 2015

An air traffic controller lied to me today,which  was rude, and I had thought better of him because of my husband.  I guess you can no more tar all ATCs with the same brush than you can with pilots.

He lied by omission, by the way.  In that, the weather broadcast told us there were a few clouds at 3500' and 10km visibility, and on the approach we had to go around due to cloud below our minima (550' above ground level).

On the go around, the tower controller, somewhat sheepishly explained that the 'fog bank just rolled back in' (we could see it from 30 miles out, obscuring the aerodrome) and the 'visibility has reduced to 2000m'.


So we spent the next 30 minutes getting dizzy turning in circles.  (This was after delaying our departure from Brisbane for 30 minutes due to the fog.). A different company's aircraft circled above us, shadowing our every movement.  When asked by tower if we wanted to make an approach ('the weather is exactly the same') we said no.  The tower asked the other aircraft, who in a surprised tone suggested that if we didn't want to, they didn't have much interest either.

And so it went on.

Interestingly, we had asked at 30 miles out (when I commented that the aerodrome appeared obscured) whether any other aircraft had got in that morning.  The answer was no, with no further information on the weather (the ATIS merrily playing its story of FEW030 9999 - I explained that above, you only get one explanation, scroll up) so we shrugged and said 'the cloud must be higher than it appears'.

It wasn't.

Anyway, second time round, 30 minutes later, we landed with 200' to spare.  Interesting, the second time in as many days to spend 30 minutes holding over my destination - for completely different reasons.  Not exactly the norm for Australia!

Yesterday it was due to only 2 bays being available, both being occupied, and no where to go once on the ground - the only option being to stay in the air.


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