I love listening to air traffic control audio, either just “live,” or recordings of interesting interactions. I live under the approach and departure path to MIA, so I constantly have ATC audio playing in the background.
Anyway, a video has just been uploaded of an interaction between an air traffic controller and a pilot over the skies of Las Vegas on June 20, 2020. This guy might just be the most negligent pilot ever in terms of how he ignores instructions.
Even if you don’t have a good understanding of ATC terminology, the situation should be easy enough to make sense of. For a bit of background “Bravo airspace” or “Class B airspace” is the term for the airspace around the busiest airports in the country. You need special clearance to enter this airspace.
In this case, a plane with the registration code N1NR enters Bravo airspace without clearance to do so, and that’s where the situation starts:
ATC: “N1NR, I need you outside of the Bravo.”
ATC: “Negative what?”
Pilot: “I’m inside.”
ATC: “You were not given a clearance through the Bravo. 1NR, exit the Bravo immediately.”
Pilot: “I’ve been talking to you the whole time. That’s the whole point of talking to you.”
ATC: “You have to have a Bravo clearance. You have to request Bravo clearance.”
Pilot: “I requested Bravo clearance about 15 miles ago.”
ATC: “Nobody cleared you through the Bravo but me.”
Pilot: “Then clear me through.”
At this point another pilot chimes in and says “you’re an a@@hole,” and the pilot responds “you’re being that, this is not appropriate language.” The video then goes back to the previous communication, which makes it clear that the pilot had never received clearance.
Then it continues:
Pilot: “I’ve asked for clearance multiple times.”
ATC: “N1NR, I told you to remain outside the Bravo.”
ATC: “N1NR, possible pilot deviation, advise to contact Las Vegas approach. I’ll give you the number when you’re ready to copy.”
Pilot: “I’m not ready to copy. I’m flying.”
The craziest part in all of this is that when the pilot later talks to Henderson Tower after landing, the controller says “I don’t know what happened but from what you say, sorry for the service.” I guess he was trying to be professional, but this is one of those cases where he was being too nice, given that the pilot was just about 100% in the wrong, while the controller was just about 100% in the right.
Here’s the full ATC audio, should you want to listen to it (when you listen to it you’ll appreciate just how angry this guy’s tone is):
I’ve never heard ATC audio where a pilot is so disobedient to instructions. He refuses to leave airspace even though he never had clearance to fly through it, and he refuses to take down a number because he’s “flying.”
Hopefully an investigation is done and this guy loses his license…