ATC response

Hey guys. Is there any other polite way to tell an IFATC that you cannot do the altitude change that he/she requested. The only thing we can really say is “Unable”, but this leads to more complicated scenarios. For example, the IFATC said to descent and maintain 7,000 feet but there were mountains in my area and I knew I would collide with them.

With terrain it is OK to say unable - IFATC are supposed to brief surrounding terrain before they open up - so if you are about to collide with terrain - say Unable or send the controller a PM explaining the situation.

Hope this helped - if you have any other issues - feel free to PM me.


To add on to what @BennyBoy_Alpha said, you can vote for this here
“Unable” button Terrain option


Ok yeah I waited until the mountains passed but then got a message saying “please check forum for assistance using ATC instructions.” I was like I CAN’T descend right now what do you want me to do


There is no other command apart from unable.
Remember, ATC might vector you near mountains as close as 1000ft AGL.
As Benny said, we do check the surroundings for terrain and prepare accordingly.
If you ever happen to break separation and reply with “unable”, we will react quickly to deconflict the situation.


Sounds good. So if we are ever in that situation, “unable” is okay to say. I was going to reply with that but I didn’t want a ghosting notification to appear.

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Absolutely! As long as you use it to worn the ATC, you’re fine.
What’s not okay is repeatedly reply with unable to speed commands, because you don’t like flying below 200kts.


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