ATC into Mountain

ATC made me turn 130 after I contacted approach at scel, and I am heading dangerously close to the Andes. I’m almost going to crash what do I do?


Hey there!

IFATC prepares their approaches to take terrain into account and studies all the terrain surrounding the area giving you at least 1000 feet speration. However sometimes things can happen. First things first fly the plane and avoid the mountain if you need to. You can also request an altitude change to the controller.

You can also send the controller a PM here on the IFC to give feedback or if you have any other questions regarding the flight!


ATC just disconnected so I am climbing and turning out of the way right now.

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PM your controller to solve the issue

If you are actually and totally about seconds to crash, you may say unable but is not recommended


Why is it not recommended?


The fact of “seconds to crash” is quite subjective for some users…


If a controller gives you an altitude or heading that will cause you to collide with another aircraft or terrain, please do not hesitate to say “unable”. That’s why it’s there. Oftentimes, the controller will recognize the situation and thank you for being proactive. :)

@Pilot_Felix Aaron is correct, radar controllers are taught to go over all significant terrain features prior to opening. However, SCEL has quite a bit of mountains, so please allow for a little margin of error as it’s almost guaranteed that your approach will bring you close to some peaks.

If you’re certain that you’ll hit a mountain, though, feel free to request an altitude change. The controller should recognize the conflict and issue you an altitude that allows you to stay clear of any obstacles. Thanks for asking, and happy flying!


Because currently controllers have to design intricate approaches as we don’t have SIDs or STARs yet. (we will in the next update). If the pilot responds with ‘Unable’, the controller’s approach pattern is likely to become messed up, and you or other pilots will be out of sequence.

You are in control of your aircraft. If you are headed towards a collision you can adjust your altitude or turn. Make sure you are not turning into the path of other planes.

If this happened on Expert you may want to PM the controller to let them know.


Happened to me once in Hawaii. I responded “unable” and changed my callsign to TERRAIN.


Have a look here, the IFATC made a mistake and he has admitted that and if sorry. Don’t panic :)

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@ZippyAirplane… MaxSez: “”The Pilot in Command is the “Decision Maker”, Controllers provide a “Service”, they are not infallible! (If time permits use “Unable” and vector to avoid an obstacle, then Fly the #### Plane.
(Until the IF Chart is revised with Terrain Shading (a previous capability), Spot Elevations ect , and controllers do a Terrain Stufy prior to assuming responsibility we will all remain happy campers)