|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zlc.artcc|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 25200|
msl bound upper : 26000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : saf.tower|
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Rockwell North American Civil Twin Jet|
|Flight Phase||cruise : enroute altitude change|
descent : vacating altitude
|Affiliation||company : corporate|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 90|
flight time total : 12000
flight time type : 1000
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
altitude deviation : overshoot
non adherence : clearance
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued advisory|
flight crew : returned to assigned altitude
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Cleared from FL290 to FL260. Altitude preselector set FL260. Selected 'descend' on flight director MCP, which selects vertical speed mode at 2000 FPM and arms altitude hold. At FL270, 1000 ft alert sounded. PF called 'FL270 for FL260.' PF did not confirm altitude hold armed. FL260 alert sounded, but both pilots were focused on new WX graphics now displayed on FMS in the pedestal. At some point, the altitude hold was inadvertently disarmed. At FL254, ATC called 'say altitude.' descent arrested at FL252, climbed back to FL260, and reported altitude to ATC climbing through FL255. No other aircraft on TCASII and no traffic conflict reported by ATC. PF decided to fly with little sleep 2 nights prior to flight due head cold. Neither pilot noticed whether altitude arm was engaged. Pilots were looking into a low sun. White 'altitude' hold prompt is on a cyan EFIS backgnd and hard to see in this sunlight. The 'altitude' arm can be disengaged by touching the autoplt pitch wheel when 'altitude' capture is active. Both pilots were active in the pedestal area where the pitch wheel is located. 35 yrs of attention to altitude yielded a few minor altdevs (200 ft). Perhaps the adage 'there's those who have and those who are going to' finally caught up with this pilot. Fortunately, this lesson learned ended well, especially since no conflicting traffic or terrain were factors.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN ALT OVERSHOOT DURING DSCNT WHEN THE ALT HOLD FUNCTION OF THE FMS BECOMES DISARMED AND IS NOT NOTICED BY THE CREW.
Narrative: CLRED FROM FL290 TO FL260. ALT PRESELECTOR SET FL260. SELECTED 'DSND' ON FLT DIRECTOR MCP, WHICH SELECTS VERT SPD MODE AT 2000 FPM AND ARMS ALT HOLD. AT FL270, 1000 FT ALERT SOUNDED. PF CALLED 'FL270 FOR FL260.' PF DID NOT CONFIRM ALT HOLD ARMED. FL260 ALERT SOUNDED, BUT BOTH PLTS WERE FOCUSED ON NEW WX GRAPHICS NOW DISPLAYED ON FMS IN THE PEDESTAL. AT SOME POINT, THE ALT HOLD WAS INADVERTENTLY DISARMED. AT FL254, ATC CALLED 'SAY ALT.' DSCNT ARRESTED AT FL252, CLBED BACK TO FL260, AND RPTED ALT TO ATC CLBING THROUGH FL255. NO OTHER ACFT ON TCASII AND NO TFC CONFLICT RPTED BY ATC. PF DECIDED TO FLY WITH LITTLE SLEEP 2 NIGHTS PRIOR TO FLT DUE HEAD COLD. NEITHER PLT NOTICED WHETHER ALT ARM WAS ENGAGED. PLTS WERE LOOKING INTO A LOW SUN. WHITE 'ALT' HOLD PROMPT IS ON A CYAN EFIS BACKGND AND HARD TO SEE IN THIS SUNLIGHT. THE 'ALT' ARM CAN BE DISENGAGED BY TOUCHING THE AUTOPLT PITCH WHEEL WHEN 'ALT' CAPTURE IS ACTIVE. BOTH PLTS WERE ACTIVE IN THE PEDESTAL AREA WHERE THE PITCH WHEEL IS LOCATED. 35 YRS OF ATTN TO ALT YIELDED A FEW MINOR ALTDEVS (200 FT). PERHAPS THE ADAGE 'THERE'S THOSE WHO HAVE AND THOSE WHO ARE GOING TO' FINALLY CAUGHT UP WITH THIS PLT. FORTUNATELY, THIS LESSON LEARNED ENDED WELL, ESPECIALLY SINCE NO CONFLICTING TFC OR TERRAIN WERE FACTORS.
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.