|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : gum|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 0|
msl bound upper : 37000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : gum|
artcc : zoa
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Large Transport, Low Wing, 3 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Route In Use||enroute : other oceanic|
enroute : pacific
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 240|
flight time total : 12000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was captain of large transport that departed ror with a cruise clearance to yap. That day lots of confusion was created by ATC in ZOA on the yap-ror leg as we were unable to get a descent clearance to ror from FL310. After the third call to commercial radio, I urgently requested immediate descent clearance as we were 50 mi from ror and the field in sight, in VMC. Clearance came a minute later! The second officer requested a through clearance to gum with her departure report from ror over 1 hour from our EDT from yap. First officer reported on the ground yap. When the checklist came to clearance and void time, I checked the altitude alert and saw 37000', which indicated that we had received a clearance. Standard practice was to put the altitude in the altitude alert window when clearance was received. I assume the clearance void time was well within tolerance was we were running early. We were under the assumption that the second officer had gotten the through clearance earlier. We took off and the second officer made her position report 4 mins after takeoff to comrcial radio. They told her to 'maintain FL370, and contact gum center 200 mi out on 118.7 squawking 2100 normal.' no SELCAL was ever received from commercial radio that we did not have a clearance. The first time we were confronted with the problem was on initial contact with gum center, when I reported 200 mi out. The controller asked me if I was VFR!! I told him I was VMC, but IFR. After several mins, he came back and told us that ZOA had no record of our clearance, but issued us a clearance to keep maintaining FL370. We then tried to find a copy of our clearance but could not, as no record was made on the flight envelope, as it is standard practice but no written company policy. We asked the second officer if she had the clearance. She could not recall receiving it, but just requested it. We ponder as to why, if we did not have a clearance to gum from yap, ZOA, when they received our departure report several mins after our takeoff from yap, through commercial radio, that we were airborne yap, climbing to FL370, this should have alerted the controller working our sector if he did not have a strip for our flight with an issued clearance. It seems logical to think that he would have gotten immediately on the land line with commercial radio, in view of the conflict and asked them to SELCAL us to find out why we were climbing to FL370 west/O a clearance. At this time we would still have been within 100 mi of yap and below FL200, legally VFR, and could have taken appropriate action to avert a possibly dangerous situation. Although we might have gone into controled airspace west/O a clearance, this was not done in a meaningful manner and we all were under the assumption that we had a clearance. The failure of writing down the clearance was part of the problem as well as the failure from ZOA to issue timely clearance and catch the error until it was too late to do anything about it. In this day and age, better means of communication are needed in remote parts of the world (satcom) to ensure timely and efficient control of aircraft. Assumptions in the cockpit should not take place. A lesson well learned.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACR LGT ON PACIFIC OCEANIC FLT DEPARTED REMOTE STATION WITHOUT IFR CLRNC AND CLIMBED INTO CONTROLLED AIRSPACE.
Narrative: I WAS CAPT OF LGT THAT DEPARTED ROR WITH A CRUISE CLRNC TO YAP. THAT DAY LOTS OF CONFUSION WAS CREATED BY ATC IN ZOA ON THE YAP-ROR LEG AS WE WERE UNABLE TO GET A DSCNT CLRNC TO ROR FROM FL310. AFTER THE THIRD CALL TO COMMERCIAL RADIO, I URGENTLY REQUESTED IMMEDIATE DSCNT CLRNC AS WE WERE 50 MI FROM ROR AND THE FIELD IN SIGHT, IN VMC. CLRNC CAME A MINUTE LATER! THE S/O REQUESTED A THROUGH CLRNC TO GUM WITH HER DEP RPT FROM ROR OVER 1 HR FROM OUR EDT FROM YAP. F/O RPTED ON THE GND YAP. WHEN THE CHKLIST CAME TO CLRNC AND VOID TIME, I CHKED THE ALT ALERT AND SAW 37000', WHICH INDICATED THAT WE HAD RECEIVED A CLRNC. STANDARD PRACTICE WAS TO PUT THE ALT IN THE ALT ALERT WINDOW WHEN CLRNC WAS RECEIVED. I ASSUME THE CLRNC VOID TIME WAS WELL WITHIN TOLERANCE WAS WE WERE RUNNING EARLY. WE WERE UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT THE S/O HAD GOTTEN THE THROUGH CLRNC EARLIER. WE TOOK OFF AND THE S/O MADE HER POS RPT 4 MINS AFTER TKOF TO COMRCIAL RADIO. THEY TOLD HER TO 'MAINTAIN FL370, AND CONTACT GUM CENTER 200 MI OUT ON 118.7 SQUAWKING 2100 NORMAL.' NO SELCAL WAS EVER RECEIVED FROM COMMERCIAL RADIO THAT WE DID NOT HAVE A CLRNC. THE FIRST TIME WE WERE CONFRONTED WITH THE PROB WAS ON INITIAL CONTACT WITH GUM CENTER, WHEN I RPTED 200 MI OUT. THE CTLR ASKED ME IF I WAS VFR!! I TOLD HIM I WAS VMC, BUT IFR. AFTER SEVERAL MINS, HE CAME BACK AND TOLD US THAT ZOA HAD NO RECORD OF OUR CLRNC, BUT ISSUED US A CLRNC TO KEEP MAINTAINING FL370. WE THEN TRIED TO FIND A COPY OF OUR CLRNC BUT COULD NOT, AS NO RECORD WAS MADE ON THE FLT ENVELOPE, AS IT IS STANDARD PRACTICE BUT NO WRITTEN COMPANY POLICY. WE ASKED THE S/O IF SHE HAD THE CLRNC. SHE COULD NOT RECALL RECEIVING IT, BUT JUST REQUESTED IT. WE PONDER AS TO WHY, IF WE DID NOT HAVE A CLRNC TO GUM FROM YAP, ZOA, WHEN THEY RECEIVED OUR DEP RPT SEVERAL MINS AFTER OUR TKOF FROM YAP, THROUGH COMMERCIAL RADIO, THAT WE WERE AIRBORNE YAP, CLBING TO FL370, THIS SHOULD HAVE ALERTED THE CTLR WORKING OUR SECTOR IF HE DID NOT HAVE A STRIP FOR OUR FLT WITH AN ISSUED CLRNC. IT SEEMS LOGICAL TO THINK THAT HE WOULD HAVE GOTTEN IMMEDIATELY ON THE LAND LINE WITH COMMERCIAL RADIO, IN VIEW OF THE CONFLICT AND ASKED THEM TO SELCAL US TO FIND OUT WHY WE WERE CLBING TO FL370 W/O A CLRNC. AT THIS TIME WE WOULD STILL HAVE BEEN WITHIN 100 MI OF YAP AND BELOW FL200, LEGALLY VFR, AND COULD HAVE TAKEN APPROPRIATE ACTION TO AVERT A POSSIBLY DANGEROUS SITUATION. ALTHOUGH WE MIGHT HAVE GONE INTO CTLED AIRSPACE W/O A CLRNC, THIS WAS NOT DONE IN A MEANINGFUL MANNER AND WE ALL WERE UNDER THE ASSUMPTION THAT WE HAD A CLRNC. THE FAILURE OF WRITING DOWN THE CLRNC WAS PART OF THE PROB AS WELL AS THE FAILURE FROM ZOA TO ISSUE TIMELY CLRNC AND CATCH THE ERROR UNTIL IT WAS TOO LATE TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT. IN THIS DAY AND AGE, BETTER MEANS OF COM ARE NEEDED IN REMOTE PARTS OF THE WORLD (SATCOM) TO ENSURE TIMELY AND EFFICIENT CTL OF ACFT. ASSUMPTIONS IN THE COCKPIT SHOULD NOT TAKE PLACE. A LESSON WELL LEARNED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.