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The pilot of a jet transport aeroplane is in cruise flight at FL350 when he/she receives the TCAS RA “Descend, descend”. He/she immediately starts his/her descent. At the same time, ATC detects the conflict on his/her radar screen and instructs the pilot to “Climb immediately”. The correct pilot response is...
  • A
    The pilot shall maintain the rate of descent and inform ATC using the phrase “Unable, TCAS RA.”
  • B
    The pilot shall adjust the vertical rate to climb and confirm using the phrase “climb immediately.”
  • C
    The pilot shall level off and seek clarification using the phrase “TCAS RA. Confirm climb.”
  • D
    The pilot shall continue the descent and reply “Standby, TCAS descent.”

The Traffic Alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), also known as the Airborne Collision Avoidance System (ACAS) is an airborne system designed to increase cockpit awareness of nearby aircraft and service as a last defense against mid-air collisions. The system monitors airspace around an aircraft for other transponder equipped aircraft that may present a collision threat and when it detects a collision threat, TCAS issues different resolution advisories in the vertical plane.

Pilots are required to comply immediately with all RAs, even if the RAs are contrary to ATC clearances or instructions. If a pilot receives an RA, he/she is obliged to follow it, unless doing so would endanger the aircraft. The pilot should inform ATC using the phrase “TCAS RA” and ATC will only reply “ROGER”.

When returning to the assigned clearance or when the assigned clearance has been resumed, the pilot should report it to the controller using the phrase “clear of conflict, returning to (assigned clearance)” or “clear of conflict, (assigned clearance) resumed”. TCAS RA takes priority over ATC instructions, pilots should report that they are unable to comply with a clearance as a result of a TCAS alert using the phrase “unable TCAS RA”.

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