|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : san.airport|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : sct.tracon|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B737-300|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
non adherence : company policies
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : person 1|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : diverted to alternate|
A flight I was working sent me an ACARS message in which the crew pointed out the current san WX at overcast 007 2-1/2 broken and only non precision approachs available. Our crews are currently limited to cdap minima, 800 ft 2 mi for non precision approachs. I told them (something like) if san tower could not confirm ceiling at 800 ft by the time they were ready for an approach then they would have to divert to lax, which they ended up doing. Immediately after entering the 'us' diversion code the phone rang, operations wanted to know why the flight had diverted because a san station agent told her that the 'WX is VFR' and the 'other airlines' were 'landing just fine.' I told her the WX minimums were too low for a legal approach so the flight had no choice. She insisted repeatedly that I explain it to her satisfaction. Finally, I told her I was too busy to explain it to her and hung up. Meanwhile, I had my hands full with 10 other flts requiring multiple flight plans for numerous ATC re-rtes, severe WX and tornado warnings en route, payload increases, maintenance deferrals/approvals/amendments, phone calls from load planners, pilots, mechanics et al, and ACARS updates/briefings/amendments to the other flts trying to depart. The workload was very high. This is a recurring issue: just when I am the most busy trying to handle diversions safely and quickly is when system operations calls me and demands explanations. They are not only interfering with my more important duties and responsibilities, they are also questioning the decisions the captain and I have made about the safety and legality of each flight. It is not my responsibility to educate clerks and agents about FARS, WX, or approach minimums, nor do they need to understand every detail. They are so quick to phone me that I have no opportunity to notify them myself, and it happens, every time, I have a diversion. I have severe WX warnings to issue to my flts and yet there I was tied up on a non-essential telephone call.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DISPATCHER AT MAJOR ACR COMPLAINS THAT NON OPERATIONAL DEPTS COMPLICATE HER JOB BY DEMANDING JUSTIFICATION FOR OPERATIONAL DECISIONS ABOUT WHICH THEY HAVE NO EXPERTISE AND THAT, BY DEFINITION, THEY DO SO AT TIMES WHEN HER WORKLOAD AND PRIORITIES ARE HIGHEST. FEELS THAT THEIR INTERFERENCE ERODES HER ABILITY TO PERFORM HER DUTIES IN A SAFE MANNER.
Narrative: A FLT I WAS WORKING SENT ME AN ACARS MESSAGE IN WHICH THE CREW POINTED OUT THE CURRENT SAN WX AT OVCST 007 2-1/2 BROKEN AND ONLY NON PRECISION APCHS AVAILABLE. OUR CREWS ARE CURRENTLY LIMITED TO CDAP MINIMA, 800 FT 2 MI FOR NON PRECISION APCHS. I TOLD THEM (SOMETHING LIKE) IF SAN TWR COULD NOT CONFIRM CEILING AT 800 FT BY THE TIME THEY WERE READY FOR AN APCH THEN THEY WOULD HAVE TO DIVERT TO LAX, WHICH THEY ENDED UP DOING. IMMEDIATELY AFTER ENTERING THE 'US' DIVERSION CODE THE PHONE RANG, OPS WANTED TO KNOW WHY THE FLT HAD DIVERTED BECAUSE A SAN STATION AGENT TOLD HER THAT THE 'WX IS VFR' AND THE 'OTHER AIRLINES' WERE 'LNDG JUST FINE.' I TOLD HER THE WX MINIMUMS WERE TOO LOW FOR A LEGAL APCH SO THE FLT HAD NO CHOICE. SHE INSISTED REPEATEDLY THAT I EXPLAIN IT TO HER SATISFACTION. FINALLY, I TOLD HER I WAS TOO BUSY TO EXPLAIN IT TO HER AND HUNG UP. MEANWHILE, I HAD MY HANDS FULL WITH 10 OTHER FLTS REQUIRING MULTIPLE FLT PLANS FOR NUMEROUS ATC RE-RTES, SEVERE WX AND TORNADO WARNINGS ENRTE, PAYLOAD INCREASES, MAINT DEFERRALS/APPROVALS/AMENDMENTS, PHONE CALLS FROM LOAD PLANNERS, PLTS, MECHS ET AL, AND ACARS UPDATES/BRIEFINGS/AMENDMENTS TO THE OTHER FLTS TRYING TO DEPART. THE WORKLOAD WAS VERY HIGH. THIS IS A RECURRING ISSUE: JUST WHEN I AM THE MOST BUSY TRYING TO HANDLE DIVERSIONS SAFELY AND QUICKLY IS WHEN SYS OPS CALLS ME AND DEMANDS EXPLANATIONS. THEY ARE NOT ONLY INTERFERING WITH MY MORE IMPORTANT DUTIES AND RESPONSIBILITIES, THEY ARE ALSO QUESTIONING THE DECISIONS THE CAPT AND I HAVE MADE ABOUT THE SAFETY AND LEGALITY OF EACH FLT. IT IS NOT MY RESPONSIBILITY TO EDUCATE CLERKS AND AGENTS ABOUT FARS, WX, OR APCH MINIMUMS, NOR DO THEY NEED TO UNDERSTAND EVERY DETAIL. THEY ARE SO QUICK TO PHONE ME THAT I HAVE NO OPPORTUNITY TO NOTIFY THEM MYSELF, AND IT HAPPENS, EVERY TIME, I HAVE A DIVERSION. I HAVE SEVERE WX WARNINGS TO ISSUE TO MY FLTS AND YET THERE I WAS TIED UP ON A NON-ESSENTIAL TELEPHONE CALL.
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.