|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : sna|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 9000|
msl bound upper : 10000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : sna|
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 87|
flight time total : 6000
flight time type : 368
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||non adherence : clearance|
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Cpr X clearance and departure from sna was musel 5 departure (SID) to musel, then radar vectors to the sxc 084 degree right, then sxc, then lax, then J5 on course. Initial altitude clearance was 3000'. Note that this was considerably different than the published SID route, attached. However, it was easily programmed into the FMC. Departure from sna runway 19R requires a high workload deep thrust cutback starting at 800'. While engaged in flying the noise abatement maneuver and turning left to a heading of 175 degrees per the SID, we were cleared for a right turn to a heading to intercept the 084 degree right. We read back the heading to ATC and started the turn, meanwhile still flying the noise abatement profile and transitioning from the programmed FMC route to raw data. It became immediately apparent that the given heading would not intercept the course and I was about to challenge it when coast approach gave us an immediate left turn, then (in rapid fire) heading 210 degrees to intercept the radial, climb to 13000', then direct to sxc, then (as we were climbing through 9800' in excess of 3000 FPM) maintain 10000' (which we complied with using a very uncomfortable pushover), then descend to 9000'. It is possible that the first heading change was given to us in error and could have been intended to be given to another aircraft departing from sna. However, we believe that the rest of this, at least was due to an ATC induced conflict with a widebody transport climbing in our direction from lax which we saw on our right. There was never any danger of collision. I doubt if we got any closer than 5MI horizontal, although I suspect that the abrupt level off instruction was to maintain altitude sep. However, this whole situation is not in the interest of safety. Within the space of about 3 mins, complicated with a critical noise abatement maneuver, we were given clrncs amounting to, 'turn right, no, turn left, now intercept, no, go direct, climb, no stop climbing, no, descend...'. This makes proper crew coordination and vigilance for VFR traffic in 1 of the highest density traffic areas in the world nearly impossible. When at least 1 pilot should be heads up, and could be quite easily by simply flying the pre-programmed SID, it forces both pilots to be heads down and wildly busy just flying noise abatement and clrncs. If the SID will not prevent traffic conflicts so that a pilot can let the expensive automated system fly it and get on with other tasks, including looking out the window, let's revise it so it will. In the kind of ATC environment that existed in this incident, all it would take is 1 stuck microphone or 1 person to decide to filibuster on the frequency for the situation to get completely out of hand.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CPR X FAILED TO COMPLY WITH ATC CLRNC. PLT DEVIATION.
Narrative: CPR X CLRNC AND DEP FROM SNA WAS MUSEL 5 DEP (SID) TO MUSEL, THEN RADAR VECTORS TO THE SXC 084 DEG R, THEN SXC, THEN LAX, THEN J5 ON COURSE. INITIAL ALT CLRNC WAS 3000'. NOTE THAT THIS WAS CONSIDERABLY DIFFERENT THAN THE PUBLISHED SID RTE, ATTACHED. HOWEVER, IT WAS EASILY PROGRAMMED INTO THE FMC. DEP FROM SNA RWY 19R REQUIRES A HIGH WORKLOAD DEEP THRUST CUTBACK STARTING AT 800'. WHILE ENGAGED IN FLYING THE NOISE ABATEMENT MANEUVER AND TURNING LEFT TO A HDG OF 175 DEGS PER THE SID, WE WERE CLRED FOR A RIGHT TURN TO A HDG TO INTERCEPT THE 084 DEG R. WE READ BACK THE HDG TO ATC AND STARTED THE TURN, MEANWHILE STILL FLYING THE NOISE ABATEMENT PROFILE AND TRANSITIONING FROM THE PROGRAMMED FMC RTE TO RAW DATA. IT BECAME IMMEDIATELY APPARENT THAT THE GIVEN HDG WOULD NOT INTERCEPT THE COURSE AND I WAS ABOUT TO CHALLENGE IT WHEN COAST APCH GAVE US AN IMMEDIATE LEFT TURN, THEN (IN RAPID FIRE) HDG 210 DEGS TO INTERCEPT THE RADIAL, CLB TO 13000', THEN DIRECT TO SXC, THEN (AS WE WERE CLBING THROUGH 9800' IN EXCESS OF 3000 FPM) MAINTAIN 10000' (WHICH WE COMPLIED WITH USING A VERY UNCOMFORTABLE PUSHOVER), THEN DSND TO 9000'. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT THE FIRST HDG CHANGE WAS GIVEN TO US IN ERROR AND COULD HAVE BEEN INTENDED TO BE GIVEN TO ANOTHER ACFT DEPARTING FROM SNA. HOWEVER, WE BELIEVE THAT THE REST OF THIS, AT LEAST WAS DUE TO AN ATC INDUCED CONFLICT WITH A WDB CLBING IN OUR DIRECTION FROM LAX WHICH WE SAW ON OUR RIGHT. THERE WAS NEVER ANY DANGER OF COLLISION. I DOUBT IF WE GOT ANY CLOSER THAN 5MI HORIZ, ALTHOUGH I SUSPECT THAT THE ABRUPT LEVEL OFF INSTRUCTION WAS TO MAINTAIN ALT SEP. HOWEVER, THIS WHOLE SITUATION IS NOT IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY. WITHIN THE SPACE OF ABOUT 3 MINS, COMPLICATED WITH A CRITICAL NOISE ABATEMENT MANEUVER, WE WERE GIVEN CLRNCS AMOUNTING TO, 'TURN RIGHT, NO, TURN LEFT, NOW INTERCEPT, NO, GO DIRECT, CLB, NO STOP CLBING, NO, DSND...'. THIS MAKES PROPER CREW COORD AND VIGILANCE FOR VFR TFC IN 1 OF THE HIGHEST DENSITY TFC AREAS IN THE WORLD NEARLY IMPOSSIBLE. WHEN AT LEAST 1 PLT SHOULD BE HEADS UP, AND COULD BE QUITE EASILY BY SIMPLY FLYING THE PRE-PROGRAMMED SID, IT FORCES BOTH PLTS TO BE HEADS DOWN AND WILDLY BUSY JUST FLYING NOISE ABATEMENT AND CLRNCS. IF THE SID WILL NOT PREVENT TFC CONFLICTS SO THAT A PLT CAN LET THE EXPENSIVE AUTOMATED SYS FLY IT AND GET ON WITH OTHER TASKS, INCLUDING LOOKING OUT THE WINDOW, LET'S REVISE IT SO IT WILL. IN THE KIND OF ATC ENVIRONMENT THAT EXISTED IN THIS INCIDENT, ALL IT WOULD TAKE IS 1 STUCK MIC OR 1 PERSON TO DECIDE TO FILIBUSTER ON THE FREQ FOR THE SITUATION TO GET COMPLETELY OUT OF HAND.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 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.