Near miss at EHAM with Live ATC (Expert Server)

Expert Server Near Miss story:

I was flying on the 17th of April from 13:30UTC until 14:00UTC in active Schiphol airpace (GND, TWR, APP, DEP). During ground operations I was instructed to hold position during pushback. 4min later still no follow up from ATC. These things occur and I definitely don’t mind it, happens in real life as well!

After the ‘pushback approved’ I was assigned (after requesting 36C) runway 36L, during parallel departure (36L and 36C) operations. I was heading south (KUDAD1V SID = right turn from 36L towards Belgium) to GCXO. In real life aircraft departing towards the east (001 until 179 degrees) will be assigned to runway 36C and aircraft heading west (180 until 360 degrees) will be assigned to runway 36L. In that way you create to required ICAO separation in the airspace and prevention of potential near misses.
Tower gave me a ‘cleared for take off’ from 36L departing south and gave another aircraft a ‘cleared for take off’ departing west towards the USA (Delta A339) from 36C. Due to incorrect clearance and handover from TWR to DEP we flew within 100ft of each other. The reaction from DEP was correct (assigned diverging headings and 1000ft difference in altitudes). Honestly DEP couldn’t prevented this near miss, he acted as soon as he/she knew there was a near miss/collision about to happen. TWR is fully responsible for giving me or the other aircraft ‘cleared for take off’ with converging SID’s.

Let me know your thoughts and ways to prevent this in the future? :)
Maybe implement a lesson during Expert Server ATC training dedicated to parallel operations? Because EHAM isn’t the only airport with parallel runways.

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Hello!
I’m sorry to hear that you had this incident happen.

Tower gave me a ‘cleared for take off’

Did any of you get a clearance for a departure straight out, or was it just a cleared for takeoff?

Maybe implement a lesson during Expert Server ATC training dedicated to parallel operations?

We already get trained and most times tested on airports with parallel runways for upwind conflict btw:). This was most likely a communication issue.
You should also try to get into contact with the active controller at that time.

Greetings,
Mats

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Hi!
Sorry to hear that You had this experiment in ES! Tower controller Must check the FPL before issuing parallel departures! I checked the timing and I Think Radar Controller Already Noticed that incident and discussed with Tower. Mistakes Happen!
For future reference, It’s better to share these kind of issues in private with the controller. All IFATC controllers Have IFC Account and will clarify the situation for you! Thanks in Advance.

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Hi there,

I’m pretty sure that I was the TWR controlling at this time. I’ll try to explain what happened from my POV.

This was my first time controlling an airport that had an App and Dep freq open and this was also my busiest controlling session yet. Therefore, I had quite a lot of aircraft that I had to take care of which can cause some moments here and there.

Originally, I wanted to use 36L as the only departure runway (which would’ve prevented this situation) but after discussion with the AD controller, we decided to use 36C for departures aswell.

Due to a flow of inbound aircraft, I tried to start sending more aircraft to 36L for departure, lowering the traffic at 36C which was starting to get a bit much. For me, it is impossible to plan which runway someone goes to based on their direction. As much as I’d love to do that as an AMS local, it’s not possible as I simply don’t have the time to look at everyones FPL when they request pushback. I hope you can agree that would be awful and you’d have to wait even longer for push. This is what also caused you to come close with the Delta A339. I’d love to see a feature where I could either see your destination airport quickly or where you could announce your direction together with the pushback, that would make parallel operations a lot easier.

I’m taking full responsibility and I hope you can forgive me 🙂

Again, I’m still in the process of becoming a professional controller like a lot of other people in IFATC and I’m very much willing to learn. I can learn a lot from situations like these when people explain them like you did, thanks for that.

Kind regards,

Serein

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Also adding to this, pilots don’t make it easy for me. You want to follow IRL procedures, but not all pilots know/want these procedures. As an example: I had quite a couple of aircraft who requested 36C whilst going to EGLL, which I tried to give 36L (as I could tell their direction based on aircraft and callsign). But some of these people will genuinely just not pushback until they get clearance for the runway they want. Doesn’t make it any easier.

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Maybe you’re a better person than me, but I’d just let them sit there if they want to do that. They’ll learn eventually.

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Hi Serein,

Thanks for explaining the situation from your POV, this explains a lot. I fully understand that a controller cannot see everyone’s FPL due to the high demand and needs to take certain measures to get everyone wheels up as soon possible.

I also understand that not every user is familiar with local procedures and doesn’t like the long taxi time to the 36L and therefore keep on requesting the 36C. On the other hand, a user is flying on the expert server and should comply with ATC instructions. If the 36L is the assigned departure runway, then 36L it is. If a user doesn’t want a certain departure runway, maybe expert server is not suitable for you…

If you already filed a FPL with the wrong SID, it is annoying to change the departure runway and SID. The developers should make this easier for the controllers and users; adding ‘delivery’ as a frequency (or part of GND) that users can enter destination airport and the controllers can assign a runway before pushback is commenced.

I definitely forgive you! These things can happen and I think these incidents are valuable for all users controllers! I wrote this story just to spread awareness and hopefully make IF better in the next update.
The developers should make a feature for controllers to keep a better overview of the traffic. For example adding the initial direction of the SID; (N) North, E, S and W and the IATA or ICAO code for the destination airport.

I hope to have you as a controller next time I am flying! :))

KR,

FlyingAtlantic

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As somewhat of a newbie, I just can’t 😭 I’ve reported some users but I’ll just let most of them go off with a warning. Maybe that is something I should change tho

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Good to hear that you can understand my POV.

I’ve had the same request for some time now. A delivery frequency would not only be realistic, but also very useful! (Please developers please)

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We have clearance delivery for quite a long time already ;)

We simply do not use it as we do not have the manpower (or womanpower) in the IFATC group to facilitate it just yet :)

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Yeah I noticed that on the site, but it’s not implemented/accessible to any controllers apart from the testers right? Tbh, if it would be opened to all controllers, I’d love to do some delivery work.

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If I give a pushback clearance and you don’t push back in 30 seconds, I will give a hold position command and pushback the next plane in my queue. And try again when they are cleared. During busy times, not the time to cater to stubborn players

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No that was not true, u can give them follow instructions or report instead of giving them HPs, during busy time just give them a violation for not following instructions👍🏼

Violations are last resorts
You can give them at least a couple attempts to follow instructions

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I experienced different myself. Controller also report instantly without any warnings and without a conflict in place. Hence : ‚last resort‘ is just an empty phrase for me since then.

Nevertheless I did a feature request that may solve this issue if you want to check it out:
Warning option for ATC

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Yea but some of them just disgusts me, 4warnings and still not follow🤣

Depends on the circumstances. In an empty field/airport most IFATC members will be lenient.

I thought that was a great idea that both have warning and straight forward report, VOTED

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As mentioned: I experienced different.

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Thats trigger happy reporting, reporting is the last resort. I only give violations for blatant disregard of the rules, for someone not pushing back, giving a violation doesn’t make sense

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