Short Final: Unable


On a bumpy day near New York City, we heard the following exchange:

Diamond 8DS: “New York Approach, Diamond Eight Delta Sierra. I’m getting continuous moderate turbulence at 5000. Request 6000. It looks like I’ll be on top at six.”

New York Approach: “Diamond Eight Delta Sierra. Unable 6000. Maintain 5000.”

Diamond 8DS: “Maintain 5000, Eight Delta Sierra.”

A few minutes later:

New York Approach: “Diamond Eight Delta Sierra. Change to my frequency 133.75.”

Diamond 8DS: “New York Approach: Diamond Eight Delta Sierra. Unable to change frequencies right now. I can’t keep my hand on the radio knob in this turbulence.”

New York Approach: “Diamond Eight Delta Sierra. Climb and maintain 6000.”

Diamond 8DS: “6000. Change to 133.75. Eight Delta Sierra.”

Oliver Aetna

Wickford, Rhode Island

Other AVwebflash Articles


  1. Likely, the Diamond was now going to be 12,000 feet from empty airspace that might be used by a jet instead of 13,000.

    As soon as this inconveniences the bureaucracy, they actually looked at the situation and made a bold decision.

    Great story

  2. Could it be that they were combining or de-combining sectors and the new frequency “owned” or would own the airspace at 6000? Or maybe you think the controller was just f*%#_>@ with 8DS ’cause they could!

  3. Set departure or arrival corridors with set altitudes causes this frequently. I’ve been in this situation bouncing through the clouds when I knew only a thousand above or a few thousand below was much smoother. However much faster jets were there, and I needed to be out of their way.