|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||intersection : keokk|
|Altitude||msl single value : 33000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zzz.artcc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||A320|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||descent : intermediate altitude|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : crossing restriction not met|
altitude deviation : overshoot
non adherence : far
non adherence : company policies
non adherence : clearance
non adherence : published procedure
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||atc equipment other atc equipment : radar|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : returned to assigned altitude|
Flight Crew Human Performance
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
This is the most recent incident of 6 in the last 1 1/2 yrs where the first officer has a problem crossing a fix at a designated altitude. In the previous cases the first officer would accept 300-500 ft high unless I intervened. I believe the problem has to do with the airbus system but also the first officer's perception of the restr as being a cross if you can but otherwise don't worry about it. I briefed en route about the problem at the beginning of this trip and he said he never used the computer but calculated the descent manually. I said that I am conservative but I only ask that we be at, not above or below, an altitude at a crossing fix. ZAU directed that we cross keokk at FL330. The first officer said he would begin the descent from FL370 15 mi prior. His calculation was inside the computer generated top of descent and I asked his input then I mentioned the 100 KT tailwind. The first officer began the descent initiating the maneuver very slowly. The wind increased as we descended, so he progressively increased the rate of descent to about 5000 FPM. As we passed FL345 I said 'don't forget to level off.' shortly thereafter, I said 'here come FL330' 1/2 NM from the fix. He pulled back slightly and certainly less than I had anticipated. We went through FL330 to FL327. I reported the deviation to ZAU and was told there was no conflict. I asked the first officer how he felt about what had happened. He said he didn't want to pull harder to level off because of concern for the passenger. He continued to explain that he had spoken personally to ATC controllers. They said that their equipment was not that accurate, along with the transponder altitude error, they would not be concerned about an altitude deviation unless it approached 1000 ft. He felt a scoop out and recovery, as he put it, was not a problem. I reminded him of the example that I gave him at the beginning of the trip where a crew was violated because of a combination of altitude and navigation errors, not to mention the safety aspects of the discussion. I believe that many of these first officer's look at the crossing restrs as a target, not an absolute limit similar to the mind set that has led to our stabilized approach problem.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A320 CAPT HAS HAD A NUMBER OF FO'S THAT DO NOT KNOW HOW TO SUCCESSFULLY PLAN A MANUAL DSCNT TO MAKE A XING RESTR.
Narrative: THIS IS THE MOST RECENT INCIDENT OF 6 IN THE LAST 1 1/2 YRS WHERE THE FO HAS A PROB XING A FIX AT A DESIGNATED ALT. IN THE PREVIOUS CASES THE FO WOULD ACCEPT 300-500 FT HIGH UNLESS I INTERVENED. I BELIEVE THE PROB HAS TO DO WITH THE AIRBUS SYS BUT ALSO THE FO'S PERCEPTION OF THE RESTR AS BEING A CROSS IF YOU CAN BUT OTHERWISE DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT. I BRIEFED ENRTE ABOUT THE PROB AT THE BEGINNING OF THIS TRIP AND HE SAID HE NEVER USED THE COMPUTER BUT CALCULATED THE DSCNT MANUALLY. I SAID THAT I AM CONSERVATIVE BUT I ONLY ASK THAT WE BE AT, NOT ABOVE OR BELOW, AN ALT AT A XING FIX. ZAU DIRECTED THAT WE CROSS KEOKK AT FL330. THE FO SAID HE WOULD BEGIN THE DSCNT FROM FL370 15 MI PRIOR. HIS CALCULATION WAS INSIDE THE COMPUTER GENERATED TOP OF DSCNT AND I ASKED HIS INPUT THEN I MENTIONED THE 100 KT TAILWIND. THE FO BEGAN THE DSCNT INITIATING THE MANEUVER VERY SLOWLY. THE WIND INCREASED AS WE DSNDED, SO HE PROGRESSIVELY INCREASED THE RATE OF DSCNT TO ABOUT 5000 FPM. AS WE PASSED FL345 I SAID 'DON'T FORGET TO LEVEL OFF.' SHORTLY THEREAFTER, I SAID 'HERE COME FL330' 1/2 NM FROM THE FIX. HE PULLED BACK SLIGHTLY AND CERTAINLY LESS THAN I HAD ANTICIPATED. WE WENT THROUGH FL330 TO FL327. I RPTED THE DEV TO ZAU AND WAS TOLD THERE WAS NO CONFLICT. I ASKED THE FO HOW HE FELT ABOUT WHAT HAD HAPPENED. HE SAID HE DIDN'T WANT TO PULL HARDER TO LEVEL OFF BECAUSE OF CONCERN FOR THE PAX. HE CONTINUED TO EXPLAIN THAT HE HAD SPOKEN PERSONALLY TO ATC CTLRS. THEY SAID THAT THEIR EQUIP WAS NOT THAT ACCURATE, ALONG WITH THE XPONDER ALT ERROR, THEY WOULD NOT BE CONCERNED ABOUT AN ALTDEV UNLESS IT APCHED 1000 FT. HE FELT A SCOOP OUT AND RECOVERY, AS HE PUT IT, WAS NOT A PROB. I REMINDED HIM OF THE EXAMPLE THAT I GAVE HIM AT THE BEGINNING OF THE TRIP WHERE A CREW WAS VIOLATED BECAUSE OF A COMBINATION OF ALT AND NAV ERRORS, NOT TO MENTION THE SAFETY ASPECTS OF THE DISCUSSION. I BELIEVE THAT MANY OF THESE FO'S LOOK AT THE XING RESTRS AS A TARGET, NOT AN ABSOLUTE LIMIT SIMILAR TO THE MIND SET THAT HAS LED TO OUR STABILIZED APCH PROB.
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.