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Old 01-21-2018, 08:45 AM   #5  
rickair7777
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In US domestic ops, RJ drivers get used to quickly dancing to arbitrary and constantly changing ATC instructions in large terminal areas. If you fail to respond instantly, you'll likely create a conflict.

This leads to the mindset of comply now, think about it later. In this case the crew should have at least double checked what they were doing after they initiated the descent.

But these guys have been trained by the system to react quickly... foreign aircraft are handled with kid gloves, and the locals are assumed to be familiar with the area, experienced, with a good command of english so they get used and abused when ATC needs buffers and adjustments.

They are also very accustomed to getting vectored in below published altitudes... even on complex non-precision approaches in the mountains. Most of them are probably not aware that a "cross at or above" clearance could legally be issued with an altitude below safe altitudes on the approach. Most would tell you (based on common practice) that you can immediately descend to the at or above altitude.

What the controller did may or may not have been legal, but it sure wasn't consistent with what his buddies do in practice
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