|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : dca.airport|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 7000|
msl bound upper : 15000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : pct.tracon|
tower : opkc.tower
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||MD-88|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Navigation In Use||other|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : flight engineer
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 200|
flight time total : 11500
flight time type : 6000
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
|Independent Detector||other controllerb|
other flight crewa
other flight crewb
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : executed missed approach|
Upon arrival to potomac approach control (frequency 119.85), we encountered a strong line of level 3-4 thunderstorms, 3-5 mi wide nearly solid red line at least 20 mi across, with lightning cloud to cloud (as a minimum), which had just passed over dca to the southeast. Our arrival was from the south. The initial briefed approach was the ILS runway 1. South flow then occurred for winds and we briefed the river visual runway 19. We were being vectored into this line for an intentional penetration of the line of storms, which now grew into a double line at one area. We asked for a more westerly heading of 340 degrees and were granted that with controller trepidation. Much radio chatter was present and we needed a further westerly vector (about 300 degrees) to clear the WX. The approach was now again changed to the rosylin lda to runway 19. The controller advised us we were leaving his airspace and an immediate turn to 360 degrees was necessary. This turn would have flown us through a level 3-4 cell and we advised unable. He again demanded a turn to 360 degrees saying he could not guarantee separation. We asked for a handoff as we would not turn to 360 degrees. Ultimately I advised him that I would declare an emergency if I had to, to avoid the WX. He seemed relieved and told me he acknowledged my emergency status. Note: I as the captain never said I am an emergency aircraft or that I required special handling. I didn't know a controller could unilaterally label you an emergency aircraft. Literally moments after this event, we found a break in the clouds allowing us to turn to 360 degrees which we did, and it was at that point we were able to follow all subsequent directions from approach control. He descended us to 7000 ft but then left us at 180 KIAS, 7000 ft 15 NM from dca. We attempted to make the approach, but quickly decided it would be well outside air carrier's parameters for a stabilized approach and told the controller we needed to break it off and reattempt. He seemed very upset with us and vectored us for a left reentry of the localizer final. The remainder of the flight was uneventful.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AN MD88 CAPT WAS CONCERNED THAT TSTMS PREVENTED HIM FROM FOLLOWING PCT'S INSTRUCTIONS, INITIALLY, BUT THAT HE WAS ABLE TO FOLLOW THEM AFTER DISCOVERING A BREAK IN THE CLOUDS ONLY TO PERFORM A MISSED APCH DUE TO AN UNSTABILIZED APCH TO DCA.
Narrative: UPON ARR TO POTOMAC APCH CTL (FREQ 119.85), WE ENCOUNTERED A STRONG LINE OF LEVEL 3-4 TSTMS, 3-5 MI WIDE NEARLY SOLID RED LINE AT LEAST 20 MI ACROSS, WITH LIGHTNING CLOUD TO CLOUD (AS A MINIMUM), WHICH HAD JUST PASSED OVER DCA TO THE SE. OUR ARR WAS FROM THE S. THE INITIAL BRIEFED APCH WAS THE ILS RWY 1. S FLOW THEN OCCURRED FOR WINDS AND WE BRIEFED THE RIVER VISUAL RWY 19. WE WERE BEING VECTORED INTO THIS LINE FOR AN INTENTIONAL PENETRATION OF THE LINE OF STORMS, WHICH NOW GREW INTO A DOUBLE LINE AT ONE AREA. WE ASKED FOR A MORE WESTERLY HDG OF 340 DEGS AND WERE GRANTED THAT WITH CTLR TREPIDATION. MUCH RADIO CHATTER WAS PRESENT AND WE NEEDED A FURTHER WESTERLY VECTOR (ABOUT 300 DEGS) TO CLR THE WX. THE APCH WAS NOW AGAIN CHANGED TO THE ROSYLIN LDA TO RWY 19. THE CTLR ADVISED US WE WERE LEAVING HIS AIRSPACE AND AN IMMEDIATE TURN TO 360 DEGS WAS NECESSARY. THIS TURN WOULD HAVE FLOWN US THROUGH A LEVEL 3-4 CELL AND WE ADVISED UNABLE. HE AGAIN DEMANDED A TURN TO 360 DEGS SAYING HE COULD NOT GUARANTEE SEPARATION. WE ASKED FOR A HDOF AS WE WOULD NOT TURN TO 360 DEGS. ULTIMATELY I ADVISED HIM THAT I WOULD DECLARE AN EMER IF I HAD TO, TO AVOID THE WX. HE SEEMED RELIEVED AND TOLD ME HE ACKNOWLEDGED MY EMER STATUS. NOTE: I AS THE CAPT NEVER SAID I AM AN EMER ACFT OR THAT I REQUIRED SPECIAL HANDLING. I DIDN'T KNOW A CTLR COULD UNILATERALLY LABEL YOU AN EMER ACFT. LITERALLY MOMENTS AFTER THIS EVENT, WE FOUND A BREAK IN THE CLOUDS ALLOWING US TO TURN TO 360 DEGS WHICH WE DID, AND IT WAS AT THAT POINT WE WERE ABLE TO FOLLOW ALL SUBSEQUENT DIRECTIONS FROM APCH CTL. HE DSNDED US TO 7000 FT BUT THEN LEFT US AT 180 KIAS, 7000 FT 15 NM FROM DCA. WE ATTEMPTED TO MAKE THE APCH, BUT QUICKLY DECIDED IT WOULD BE WELL OUTSIDE ACR'S PARAMETERS FOR A STABILIZED APCH AND TOLD THE CTLR WE NEEDED TO BREAK IT OFF AND REATTEMPT. HE SEEMED VERY UPSET WITH US AND VECTORED US FOR A L REENTRY OF THE LOC FINAL. THE REMAINDER OF THE FLT WAS UNEVENTFUL.
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.