Adding to the "Unable" response?

I don’t necessarily want this to be a feature request yet. I just wanted to discuss this a little bit first. So I feel like there’s sort of a negative connotation that comes with the use of the “unable” response to ATC commands but there are situations when this can actually be needed. I know Advanced controllers should never tell you to do you thats wrong but mistakes can and will happen just because thats how the world works. I think theres a simple phrase that could be added to make it easier to clearly express why the pilot thinks he is unable to follow the instruction. For example simply making two phrases “Unable, terrain” and “Unable, traffic”. I believe these are the only two reasons a pilot wouldn’t be able to follow commands and would also make it clear to a controller who may have slipped up for a moment what the issue is. Again this is not a feature request, lets just discuss it.


I like this idea. If somehow it could be adapted to every situation automatically, it would be a resounding success.


Great idea. I agree that pilots need to explain there unable calls. Good call


It just needs to be done in away that is quick and to the point to avoid it being abused/inefficient


Great idea!

When I hear a pilot respond with ‘unable’ I always check my instruction to make sure I haven’t made a mistake. Unfortunately more often that not a pilot does not want to follow instructions and I ghost him.

Understandable. In a busy session about how many would you say you get?

Today I had a short session at EHAM doing approach. 3 didn’t follow instructions at first and 1 continued to ignore which resulted in a ghost.

Did they give you any unables or just were doing their own thing?

A few were doing there own thing and interfering with other aircraft they did eventually follow instructions but one was just defiant.

So would you say that at least on the Expert server getting an unable response from a pilot is so rare that it immediately makes you overlook the situation or would you say you’re just doing your “due diligence” as an advanced controller.

You could add those commands to it but the bottom line is I’ve had maybe 1 person use it correctly in the year I’ve been an IFATC.

I see. Well maybe the reason it is used incorrectly/abused in because the response is just so vague. Maybe adding to it might give it an actual purpose and discourage people who use it do to their own thing. I think those two responses are more concise.


If you have to say Unable due to traffic or terrain. I would pm the controller or if the situation is serious an ATC Mod

But an immediate response cannot be secured. It would be better to have this command with options to justify the unable.

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I understand it shouldn’t happen on the expert server but I think a more steady and clear line of communication would be beneficial to both the controller and pilot. I definitely get it if you think it should remain unchanged though.

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Maybe your right.

I’m just trying to think of ways that it could possibly be detrimental to you controllers but I think its simple enough that it couldn’t really do too much harm

I’ve never used the unable command.

I haven’t either but if you ever get into a situation when you need it, I’d definitely want to have it.

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