|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : slc|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 14000|
msl bound upper : 17000
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Gulfstream II|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 6200
flight time type : 1000
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : overshoot|
altitude deviation : crossing restriction not met
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
While on an IFR flight plan from phx to slc (VMC, smooth air), ZLC cleared us from FL390 to FL330. At this time, the autoplt was engaged and flying the aircraft via our FMS's for area navigation. The PNF selected FL330 into our altitude encoder (used for autoplt capture and alerting) and rearmed the system to automatic (it consists of automatic/off/manual). I confirmed the new altitude with him and proceeded to descend by manually selecting the vertical descent wheel on the autoplt system to a 1500 FPM descent, while simultaneously reducing power. During our descent, ZLC reclred us off our original flight plan and STAR and to cross 45 mi south of slc VOR at 17000 ft. I used the vertical navigation guidance on the FMS to select those parameters to determine my descent rate. We needed about 2000 FPM to make that restr. Again, the PNF selected the altitude encoder to 17000 ft, and also adjusted aircraft altimeter to local setting and armed system, which I confirmed. I increased the rate of descent to 2000 FPM in which the autoplt responded. While passing FL220, the aircraft went into an uncommanded descent of 6000+ FPM. I immediately responded by disconnecting the autoplt (which also clicked off altitude encoder -- went from automatic to off) and reducing power. During this period the PNF was off communicating with the FBO at our destination (slc) and was not aware of what had happened. There was also a passenger in the jump seat -- non pilot. As I regained control of the aircraft I inadvertently descended through my altitude of 17000 ft to 14000 ft. The controller never said a word. I was so distraction by the uncommanded descent of the approach and regaining control, I never reset the altitude encoder to manual, so I would receive a warning (visual only, no aural alert). I was distraction by the fact of the passenger in the jump seat, to whom I explained what was going on with the aircraft. The PNF did not realize it either due to communicating with other frequency. When we did notice our altitude, ZLC had handed us off to slc approach who cleared us to 13000 ft. They never said anything about our assigned altitude. The flight proceeded and we completed the rest of our mission safely and normally. I attribute this incident to the fact of being distraction by the uncommanded descent of the autoplt, in which the altitude encoder was inadvertently turned off. I was also distraction by the passenger in the jump seat. As one correction to this incident, I feel that when I disconnected the autoplt, the altitude encoder should go to the manual mode, not the off mode, thereby I would have had some form of a warning system. Selecting it to off should be an input we do ourselves. After the flight, I discussed the incident with the other pilot so sits like this in the future don't arise.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: FO OF A GULFSTREAM II G2 MOMENTARILY LOST CTL OF THE ACFT DURING DSCNT DUE TO AN AUTOPLT INCORRECT MODE SETTING CAUSING THE ACFT TO OVERSHOOT XING ALT. ARTCC CTLR SAID NOTHING ABOUT OVERSHOOT AND SUBSEQUENTLY CLRED RPTR TO A LOWER ALT.
Narrative: WHILE ON AN IFR FLT PLAN FROM PHX TO SLC (VMC, SMOOTH AIR), ZLC CLRED US FROM FL390 TO FL330. AT THIS TIME, THE AUTOPLT WAS ENGAGED AND FLYING THE ACFT VIA OUR FMS'S FOR AREA NAV. THE PNF SELECTED FL330 INTO OUR ALT ENCODER (USED FOR AUTOPLT CAPTURE AND ALERTING) AND REARMED THE SYS TO AUTO (IT CONSISTS OF AUTO/OFF/MANUAL). I CONFIRMED THE NEW ALT WITH HIM AND PROCEEDED TO DSND BY MANUALLY SELECTING THE VERT DSCNT WHEEL ON THE AUTOPLT SYS TO A 1500 FPM DSCNT, WHILE SIMULTANEOUSLY REDUCING PWR. DURING OUR DSCNT, ZLC RECLRED US OFF OUR ORIGINAL FLT PLAN AND STAR AND TO CROSS 45 MI S OF SLC VOR AT 17000 FT. I USED THE VERT NAV GUIDANCE ON THE FMS TO SELECT THOSE PARAMETERS TO DETERMINE MY DSCNT RATE. WE NEEDED ABOUT 2000 FPM TO MAKE THAT RESTR. AGAIN, THE PNF SELECTED THE ALT ENCODER TO 17000 FT, AND ALSO ADJUSTED ACFT ALTIMETER TO LCL SETTING AND ARMED SYS, WHICH I CONFIRMED. I INCREASED THE RATE OF DSCNT TO 2000 FPM IN WHICH THE AUTOPLT RESPONDED. WHILE PASSING FL220, THE ACFT WENT INTO AN UNCOMMANDED DSCNT OF 6000+ FPM. I IMMEDIATELY RESPONDED BY DISCONNECTING THE AUTOPLT (WHICH ALSO CLICKED OFF ALT ENCODER -- WENT FROM AUTO TO OFF) AND REDUCING PWR. DURING THIS PERIOD THE PNF WAS OFF COMMUNICATING WITH THE FBO AT OUR DEST (SLC) AND WAS NOT AWARE OF WHAT HAD HAPPENED. THERE WAS ALSO A PAX IN THE JUMP SEAT -- NON PLT. AS I REGAINED CTL OF THE ACFT I INADVERTENTLY DSNDED THROUGH MY ALT OF 17000 FT TO 14000 FT. THE CTLR NEVER SAID A WORD. I WAS SO DISTR BY THE UNCOMMANDED DSCNT OF THE APCH AND REGAINING CTL, I NEVER RESET THE ALT ENCODER TO MANUAL, SO I WOULD RECEIVE A WARNING (VISUAL ONLY, NO AURAL ALERT). I WAS DISTR BY THE FACT OF THE PAX IN THE JUMP SEAT, TO WHOM I EXPLAINED WHAT WAS GOING ON WITH THE ACFT. THE PNF DID NOT REALIZE IT EITHER DUE TO COMMUNICATING WITH OTHER FREQ. WHEN WE DID NOTICE OUR ALT, ZLC HAD HANDED US OFF TO SLC APCH WHO CLRED US TO 13000 FT. THEY NEVER SAID ANYTHING ABOUT OUR ASSIGNED ALT. THE FLT PROCEEDED AND WE COMPLETED THE REST OF OUR MISSION SAFELY AND NORMALLY. I ATTRIBUTE THIS INCIDENT TO THE FACT OF BEING DISTR BY THE UNCOMMANDED DSCNT OF THE AUTOPLT, IN WHICH THE ALT ENCODER WAS INADVERTENTLY TURNED OFF. I WAS ALSO DISTR BY THE PAX IN THE JUMP SEAT. AS ONE CORRECTION TO THIS INCIDENT, I FEEL THAT WHEN I DISCONNECTED THE AUTOPLT, THE ALT ENCODER SHOULD GO TO THE MANUAL MODE, NOT THE OFF MODE, THEREBY I WOULD HAVE HAD SOME FORM OF A WARNING SYS. SELECTING IT TO OFF SHOULD BE AN INPUT WE DO OURSELVES. AFTER THE FLT, I DISCUSSED THE INCIDENT WITH THE OTHER PLT SO SITS LIKE THIS IN THE FUTURE DON'T ARISE.
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.