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Snarky Exhange Between BA Pilot and Air Traffic Controller Goes Viral

The strained conversation between the frustrated pilot of a London-bound plane stuck on the tarmac at Dublin Airport and an air traffic controller has gone public.

A snide exchange between a British Airways pilot and an air traffic controller at Dublin Airport (DUB) has been shared on social media after having been overheard on the airport’s radio frequency. The spat took place on Sunday, as grounded aircraft were delayed by an incoming transatlantic flight that needed to make an emergency landing.

While most of the pilots were happy to wait until directed by DUB’s air traffic control, the pilot of British Airways Flight BAW-837 was less than accommodating.

The plane had initially received clearance to push back from its stand, but it appears that ground crew had been advised by DUB’s air traffic control to halt this process. When the pilot questioned air traffic control over the decision, the controller explained that she had attempted to contact him regarding the situation but that he had not responded.

According to Dublin Live, the controller told the pilot, “I was trying to call you sir.”

Further explaining the reason behind the delay, she told the pilot that there was an Aer Lingus flight pushing back ahead of him. His flight, she said, would receive clearance after the first plane was clear.

In the recording, the annoyed pilot can be heard to say, “You should have told us that before really.”

Undeterred, the controller replied, “I was trying to call you sir, you weren’t listening out but they [Aer Lingus] were also cautioned reference you, they were supposed to give way.”

The pilot hit back, adding, “I wasn’t listening out because we were talking to the ground crew and they’re telling us the same thing, so you’re a bit late.”

The controller then attempted to bring the matter to a close, saying, “I’m just too busy to continue any further conversation about this on frequency.”

The strained conversation was overheard by other pilots tuned into the frequency, many of whom were quick to show support for the controller. One pilot can be heard to say, “You’re doing a great job, thanks very much.”

The London-bound BA flight eventually took off after a delay of approximately 40 minutes.

[Photo: British Airways]

Comments are Closed.
jonsg June 23, 2016

I was waiting for "Speedbird eight one delta, clear taxi, turn left onto delta, join peri track, at gate niner depart right onto romeo one three two, at which point you're on the public road system and no longer my problem. Contact Dublin City FM on one oh three decimal two, g'day."

Allan38103 June 23, 2016

THIS deserves reporting?????

FlyingWithers June 23, 2016

Seems this BA pilot needs some retraining. I don't want to be on a flight piloted by a dunderhead BA pilot like this one.

RedwoodA320 June 23, 2016


HarryHolden68 June 23, 2016

I do not hear the controller trying to contact the BA pilots so the recording is edited... again. Without the full context, it is impossible to make a true assertion as to what really happened. There is history in Dublin between ATC and BA and this is creating operational problems for the airline with needless delays created by ATC. From the recording as played, ATC approved pushback to BA and only the alertness of the ground crew prevented conflict with the Aer Lingus which was alerted to the BA plane pushing back and should have been the one to give way. ATC placed two aircraft in the same space and then became defensive when the pilot who cannot see behind him asks why? This does not fill you with confidence with ATC abilities to keep you safe in Dublin. As for the behaviour of the other pilots. Childish is the word that springs to mind and they should be more professional than to get involved, clogging up the frequency with pathetic comments.