Monday, June 15, 2020

What If Scenario

As many of my readers know I frequent multiple flying forums, and from time to time I stumble across a what if scenario I like to share.
Here is a recent post that I thought was a good what if to share. 

This is a flight and approach situation the original poster (OP) was involved in.  What is your take and how would you have handled it?
This flight is from KCON to KMHT. Departed KCON, cleared to climb to 4,000’ with vectors to intercept KMHT ILS 17 localizer and track inbound. About 12 miles out (5 miles outside of BLUUM):

ATC: NXXX, confirm you are established on the      localizer.
ME:  Affimative, NXXX established on the           localizer.
ATC: NXXX cleared ILS 17 approach.
ME:  Cleared ILS 17, NXXX.

1 minute later:

ATC: NXXX, you haven’t descended. You do understand that you are cleared for the approach?

There is an obvious conflict here between what the OP was doing and what the controller expected. 

My response was as follows. First, its easy to be a Monday morning QB from the comfort of my office chair. Second, I didn't sleep at a Holiday Inn. Ok, let's get serious.

Noting the IAF CON VOR feeder is 2500 and crossing BLUMM is at or above 2500 I would have asked ATC for clarification instead of dealing with a dive and drive/slam dunk from four thousand feet.

It sounds like the controller dropped the ball, unfortunately crap happens, they are human too. We need to be ahead of ATC at all times, and I'm not saying the pilot that posted wasn't. It's a short hop with a lot going on in a short amount of time.

I appreciate the pilot sharing the scenario for all of us to think about, and hopefully learn something from their experience.

What are your thoughts?  How would you have handled this situation?

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