I have just been on TS1 flying into KPSP, I made Left traffic from the north for runway 31L.
Before I start, let me explain something about myself - I am a weapons controller onboard the E3D, in real basic terminology a military ATC within the battle space so you can be assured this comes with knowledge and experience. I just wanted to bring some learning to IFC and hopefully improve the response I regularly receive when I reply “unable” to a command from ATC.
I was directed to turn right 150 while at 3,500ft ready to enter the Palm Springs pattern, the unfortunate thing here is - if I turned hdg 150, I would have crashed into the mountain to the west of KPSP, obviously I replied “Unable” to be told to “follow instructions” and “see the tutorials…”.
Controllers should question why an aircraft (already off flightplan), is using unable - aircraft can only disregard a command from ATC in the interest of flight safety, try to raise your Situation Awareness of the airfield or area you are controlling so you can understand why an aircraft cannot follow an instruction. Understanding an airspace is even more important when you are a terminal (tower) controller, due to the terrain you operate in. So take a few minutes to understand the airspace prior to controlling, and take a few seconds to assess why an aircraft is “unable”.
If anyone ever has any questions, please just DM me 👍🏼, apologies if this seems like a rant - it is just annoying me as it’s happened a few times in the same location over the last few weeks.