|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||navaid : mem.vortac|
|Altitude||msl single value : 3000|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : mem.tracon|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||DC-9 Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Route In Use||approach : instrument precision|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 8000
flight time type : 2000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : excursion from assigned altitude|
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : dme|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
On vectors for a low approach, we were instructed 'maintain 4000 ft until established, cleared for the approach.' we were established inbound on the localizer at 19 DME. The first DME fix is at 15 DME. The minimum altitude at that fix is 3000 ft. Since established, the captain saw minimum altitude 3000 ft and dialed in 3000 ft and stated cleared to 3000 ft. I started down to 3000 ft about 2 mi outside the fix. We completed the approach and landing uneventfully. I again reviewed the approach on the ground, and have concluded that even though we were inbound on the localizer, we were outside the first DME fix, thus, not on a 'published portion' of the approach. I should have requested 3000 ft with ATC or waited until I crossed the initial DME fix before descending. (Thought we would be high.) the approach had no transition, procedure turn, or timed hold, just the initial DME fix. The controller gave a higher altitude than the initial approach altitude, and the many times we look at that initial altitude inbound (which is normally correct, ie, within 10 mi) all led to the selection of the descent to 3000 ft prior to the fix.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DC9 FO BELIEVES THAT HE DSNDED TOO EARLY AFTER BEING CLRED FOR THE APCH SINCE HE WAS OUTSIDE OF THE PUBLISHED APCH FIX AND THEREFORE, NOT ESTABLISHED ON THE APCH BEFORE DSNDING AS CLRED.
Narrative: ON VECTORS FOR A LOW APCH, WE WERE INSTRUCTED 'MAINTAIN 4000 FT UNTIL ESTABLISHED, CLRED FOR THE APCH.' WE WERE ESTABLISHED INBOUND ON THE LOC AT 19 DME. THE FIRST DME FIX IS AT 15 DME. THE MINIMUM ALT AT THAT FIX IS 3000 FT. SINCE ESTABLISHED, THE CAPT SAW MINIMUM ALT 3000 FT AND DIALED IN 3000 FT AND STATED CLRED TO 3000 FT. I STARTED DOWN TO 3000 FT ABOUT 2 MI OUTSIDE THE FIX. WE COMPLETED THE APCH AND LNDG UNEVENTFULLY. I AGAIN REVIEWED THE APCH ON THE GND, AND HAVE CONCLUDED THAT EVEN THOUGH WE WERE INBOUND ON THE LOC, WE WERE OUTSIDE THE FIRST DME FIX, THUS, NOT ON A 'PUBLISHED PORTION' OF THE APCH. I SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED 3000 FT WITH ATC OR WAITED UNTIL I CROSSED THE INITIAL DME FIX BEFORE DSNDING. (THOUGHT WE WOULD BE HIGH.) THE APCH HAD NO TRANSITION, PROC TURN, OR TIMED HOLD, JUST THE INITIAL DME FIX. THE CTLR GAVE A HIGHER ALT THAN THE INITIAL APCH ALT, AND THE MANY TIMES WE LOOK AT THAT INITIAL ALT INBOUND (WHICH IS NORMALLY CORRECT, IE, WITHIN 10 MI) ALL LED TO THE SELECTION OF THE DSCNT TO 3000 FT PRIOR TO THE FIX.
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.