|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : vih|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 23000|
msl bound upper : 23000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zkc|
|Navigation In Use||other vortac|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 7|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||Navigational Facility|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : unspecified|
On 3/tue/89 I was working the radar position at the vichy, mo, low altitude sector. At the time shown above I was controling a MOA, handling stl departure traffic (including multiple reroutes around the MOA), and attempting to handle a flight of fgt's which was returning to stl direct due to an onboard emergency in one of the fgt's. (The fgt's were flying in a direction almost directly opp my stl departure traffic. In the middle of all this, someone in maintenance (or possibly flight check) called the first line supervisor and asked to decommission the vichy VORTAC, my only departure NAVAID within the sector. She asked if I could approve the shutdown, and I told her, 'no not now, but we can in about an hour.' (this VORTAC at vichy also helps define the MOA for user aircraft.) a few moments later my supervisor tells me that vichy will be shutdown because the maintenance man on-site (I assume at vichy) doesn't want to wait. I spent the next 20-30 mins scrambling to control the aircraft in my sector because a technician somewhere was impatient. Shouldn't a controller, particularly when attempting to handle a difficult situation, be the ultimate authority as to what goes on (in this case, 'off') in his/her sector? Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: this incident occurred in a low altitude sector handling traffic in the vicinity of vih VORTAC at FL230 and below. This airspace includes several MOA's. The controller was working the sector alone with traffic vol considered moderate and complexity heavy. The controller has 6 1/2 yrs ATC experience. Most of the aircraft were turbojets. No spill outs/INS occurred nor did ca activate.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A PRIMARY NAVIGATIONAL AID USED FOR DEPS WAS SHUT DOWN FOR MAINT DURING BUSY PERIOD WITHOUT NOTIFYING CTLR.
Narrative: ON 3/TUE/89 I WAS WORKING THE RADAR POS AT THE VICHY, MO, LOW ALT SECTOR. AT THE TIME SHOWN ABOVE I WAS CTLING A MOA, HANDLING STL DEP TFC (INCLUDING MULTIPLE REROUTES AROUND THE MOA), AND ATTEMPTING TO HANDLE A FLT OF FGT'S WHICH WAS RETURNING TO STL DIRECT DUE TO AN ONBOARD EMER IN ONE OF THE FGT'S. (THE FGT'S WERE FLYING IN A DIRECTION ALMOST DIRECTLY OPP MY STL DEP TFC. IN THE MIDDLE OF ALL THIS, SOMEONE IN MAINT (OR POSSIBLY FLT CHK) CALLED THE FIRST LINE SUPVR AND ASKED TO DECOMMISSION THE VICHY VORTAC, MY ONLY DEP NAVAID WITHIN THE SECTOR. SHE ASKED IF I COULD APPROVE THE SHUTDOWN, AND I TOLD HER, 'NO NOT NOW, BUT WE CAN IN ABOUT AN HR.' (THIS VORTAC AT VICHY ALSO HELPS DEFINE THE MOA FOR USER ACFT.) A FEW MOMENTS LATER MY SUPVR TELLS ME THAT VICHY WILL BE SHUTDOWN BECAUSE THE MAINT MAN ON-SITE (I ASSUME AT VICHY) DOESN'T WANT TO WAIT. I SPENT THE NEXT 20-30 MINS SCRAMBLING TO CTL THE ACFT IN MY SECTOR BECAUSE A TECHNICIAN SOMEWHERE WAS IMPATIENT. SHOULDN'T A CTLR, PARTICULARLY WHEN ATTEMPTING TO HANDLE A DIFFICULT SITUATION, BE THE ULTIMATE AUTHORITY AS TO WHAT GOES ON (IN THIS CASE, 'OFF') IN HIS/HER SECTOR? CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THIS INCIDENT OCCURRED IN A LOW ALT SECTOR HANDLING TFC IN THE VICINITY OF VIH VORTAC AT FL230 AND BELOW. THIS AIRSPACE INCLUDES SEVERAL MOA'S. THE CTLR WAS WORKING THE SECTOR ALONE WITH TFC VOL CONSIDERED MODERATE AND COMPLEXITY HVY. THE CTLR HAS 6 1/2 YRS ATC EXPERIENCE. MOST OF THE ACFT WERE TURBOJETS. NO SPILL OUTS/INS OCCURRED NOR DID CA ACTIVATE.
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.