MaxFledglingFacts: “UNABLE” Response; 10 Priorities/Reasons Why!

MaxSez: PILOTS, Never Forget the Pilot in Command (PIC) is the “Decision Maker” when Aircraft performance / capabilities and Safety of Flight are at issue;
The “UNABLE” response in the Comm Menu like “Read/Check Tutorials” are incomplete, both need a rational extension. (Eg: “UNABLE, Unstable” and “ Read/Check the Tutorials, ATC Procedure etc). Until these modification are effective just go with the flow.

Now here’s today’s Fledgling Fact: A Boldmethod Primer with 10
rationales when the “UNABLE” retort to an ATC direction is appropriate:
Regards All, MaxSends


Agreed, In my opinion, for the sake of realism, IFATC needs a rule emphasizing that the PIC has command of his aircraft, if the pilot feels that whatever the ATC is telling him to do is unsafe or can cause safety issues with the aircraft and/or passengers, he has full right to void it, but with this, common sense must be large aswell.


I don’t know why - but if you reply ‘UNABLE’ to IFATC - they seem to think they can ghost you for saying ‘UNABLE’ - there have been numerous issues with this.

I think IFATC should actually visualise the issue if the pilot says ‘UNABLE’ rather than just straight up ghosting people for not following their instructions


The reason being is because, often times, the pilot is actually able to do so. For example, (and I’ve heard this countless times from departure controllers), a plane takes off heading north but their destination is south. They call in to departure and ask for flight following, meaning they can proceed on course but are still subject to vectors up to FL180. Now, say they begin to turn towards another aircraft, but the controller vectors them straight out to avoid this. If they say unable and crash into another plane, that’s a ghost.

The unable option should only be used when the pilot cannot execute the action that they are being instructed to perform. For example, descending into a mountain. It should never be used to ignore a simple vector because you don’t feel like it, which seems to be the case on a plethora of occasions.


This has resulted in ghosts before but happens very rarely - and one of the main reasons the terrain map needs to return

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Well yes, because we make mistakes sometimes. But ghosts like that are always reversed.

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@BennyBoy. MaxSez: I tend to agree with your comment. In discussion with a few Fledglings I’ve personally mentored,the “Fear”
of the “ Ghost” is indelibly fixed in their psyche. That fear is not an urban legend and cannot be wavered thru discussion or exclamation only by leadership action. Of late there has been a notable increase in Ghosting noted on the public forum which sends a subliminal suggestion that reinforces the Legon unfortunately.
Corrective action and monitoring//closer Supervison by staff is the only recourse

Most of which are ghosts that are justified. The ones that are not are reversed. Always.

I do agree that people tend to fly around expert server fearing that they may be ghosted by the mean old IFATC controllers. However, they’re not intended to punish, but rather to teach.

As controllers, we have a strict process to follow before hitting the report button. It is always a last resort.

That being said, pilots don’t have to be afraid of expert. If they follow controller instructions, don’t act like trolls, and maybe watch a few tutorials, they’ll be just fine in the expert environment.

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  1. [quote=“DiamondGaming4, post:4, topic:381814”]
    The unable option should only be used when the pilot cannot execute the action that they are being instructed

  2. [quote=“DiamondGaming4, post:4, topic:381814”]
    The reason being is because, often times, the pilot is actually able to do so


MaxSez: On (1). Sound like mind reading to me. You have the ability to send a “Traffic Warning” if conflict is evident, a vector in most cases is the last option. (Following for Airliners is an IF construct and flys in the face of the FAR.). Additional once “Following” is approved the “See be Seen” Rules apply zen-route plus IF Airliners are TCAS equipped… Actions and procedures noted are Ghost Set ups.

(2). More mind reading, How do you know a Pilots mind set or capabilities! It’s a negative conclusion and an apparent IFATC I know best human condition…


Regarding number 2, I think the pilot should be able to follow a simple vector. I’ve also read posts where pilots complain that they were ghosted because they said unable for being directed away from their flight plan.

I agree, it’s not always the case, but a lot of the time it is.

Admittedly, I’m not radar certified. I have g controlled a departure station before, but I know people who do, and these are the things they’ve told me.

Also, as I said earlier, we try to avoid ghosting as much as possible, but if they’re directly interfering with another aircraft by not following instructions, it’s a ghost.

Hope this sheds some light :)

@DiamondGaming4. MaxSez: Thanks you for the respond. I saw the light long ago and far away. No disrespect intended, I “Lov” IFATC
and there exceptional Service on the most part. There are those few who have their finger on the trigger thru overload/frustration during high tempo OP’s. My no Ghost solution; “Vector them to infinity” I’ve done that WW, Now that’s a lesson Learned!
Warm Regards “Expert Controller”, MaxSends

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@Josh_Tomaz… MaxSez: You’ll Get no argument from me on your “Opinion. I view it as a definitive statement.
Regards, Max

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