|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : sns|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3000|
msl bound upper : 3500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : mry|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : undershoot|
non adherence : clearance
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Small aircraft X pilot requested hold at sns VOR after hold VOR 13 approach to sns. Clearance was to direct sns climb maintain 6000' and to advise ATC when we wanted to make the approach. We advised approach after 2 circuits on the hold we were advised to descend to 5000' and after a min to descend and maintain 4000'. We complied with this while in the hold. ATC then advised us to continue with the approach. We continued with the approach as indicated using the published outbnd altitudes. While in our descent ATC asked us to verify altitude. ATC advised we were not at or assigned altitude and to climb to 3500'. Immediately after saying climb to 3500' ATC said maintain 3000'. I asked to clarify 3500' or 3000', ATC advised 3000'. While inbound from procedure turn ATC advised to slow to approach speed. We were already at 90 KTS because of other traffic on the approach ahead of us. We were then told to contact the tower (sns) and never cleared for the approach. This happened while we were still 10 mi out just intercepting the approach course. All during this flight the controller sounded very confused and uncertain of his instructions and used very non-standard phraseology. His instructions were not clear and easily misunderstood.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA X EXCURSION FROM ASSIGNED ALT. PLTDEV.
Narrative: SMA X PLT REQUESTED HOLD AT SNS VOR AFTER HOLD VOR 13 APCH TO SNS. CLRNC WAS TO DIRECT SNS CLB MAINTAIN 6000' AND TO ADVISE ATC WHEN WE WANTED TO MAKE THE APCH. WE ADVISED APCH AFTER 2 CIRCUITS ON THE HOLD WE WERE ADVISED TO DSND TO 5000' AND AFTER A MIN TO DSND AND MAINTAIN 4000'. WE COMPLIED WITH THIS WHILE IN THE HOLD. ATC THEN ADVISED US TO CONTINUE WITH THE APCH. WE CONTINUED WITH THE APCH AS INDICATED USING THE PUBLISHED OUTBND ALTS. WHILE IN OUR DSNT ATC ASKED US TO VERIFY ALT. ATC ADVISED WE WERE NOT AT OR ASSIGNED ALT AND TO CLB TO 3500'. IMMEDIATELY AFTER SAYING CLB TO 3500' ATC SAID MAINTAIN 3000'. I ASKED TO CLARIFY 3500' OR 3000', ATC ADVISED 3000'. WHILE INBND FROM PROC TURN ATC ADVISED TO SLOW TO APCH SPD. WE WERE ALREADY AT 90 KTS BECAUSE OF OTHER TFC ON THE APCH AHEAD OF US. WE WERE THEN TOLD TO CONTACT THE TWR (SNS) AND NEVER CLRED FOR THE APCH. THIS HAPPENED WHILE WE WERE STILL 10 MI OUT JUST INTERCEPTING THE APCH COURSE. ALL DURING THIS FLT THE CTLR SOUNDED VERY CONFUSED AND UNCERTAIN OF HIS INSTRUCTIONS AND USED VERY NON-STANDARD PHRASEOLOGY. HIS INSTRUCTIONS WERE NOT CLR AND EASILY MISUNDERSTOOD.
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.