|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ord.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 5000|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : c90.tracon|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B757-200|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : overcame equipment problem|
flight crew : overrode automation
flight crew : regained aircraft control
Flight Crew Human Performance
The captain had flown only 2 times in last 3 months; last flight about 30 days ago. First leg; a little rusty; but really doing fine. New procedures; we are all still adapting to. Out of our comfort zone; he probably should have seen that the autothrottles didn't capture the speed bug; but complacency is a human factor. I have been flying this plane almost 8 yrs and it was the first time I had seen the autothrottles not capture the bug on approach; so I might not have caught it either especially when trying to figure out why we had 'no land 3' annunciation. I think there is something wrong with the autothrottles on this aircraft; I think that may be the cause of the 'no land 3' annunciation which disappeared after throttles were fire-walled; maybe something triggered by approach mode simultaneously? Maybe it was something else altogether that the fdr (flight director recorder) could point out. I was pilot monitoring. We had several changes in crossing restrs; last left us high and fast by approach; captain got it on profile using speed brakes; normal. Intercepted the localizer; cleared for approach; captain selected app paddle on MCP. Simultaneously noticed 'no land 3' annunciation. I was looking for which efi (electronic flight instrument) switch to hit to see center RA; normally what causes 'no land 3.' my eyes were not directly on the instruments as trying to read efi switch labeling; kinda dark; messing with lighting. I got this 'seat of my pants feeling' that something was not right. I looked at ADI (attitude direction indicator); was yellow; flashing slow; airspeed indicating 120 KTS. I fire-walled the throttles; guarded yoke; did not disconnect anything. Initially I thought autothrottles were not engaged; I looked at MCP and speed bar was lit. I do not remember confirming on ADI; but I believe the autothrottles were engaged; orange speed bug was still on 170. Recovered; there was a burning smell in flight deck after fire-walling throttles. Initially thought maybe fire problem; hence no go around; when smell went away; everything was stable; no point in going around. Landed uneventfully. Captain used autothrottles which operated normally until about 1500 ft. Firewall thrust for airspeed recovery is a pretty good indication of an 'event;' along with my shaking hands and dry mouth. My simulator training paid off; lots of credit to instructors and training program. Also N2 was exceeded; 103.7 for :03. As I stated; firewall thrust; guarded yoke; did not disconnect anything. No altitude loss or gain. I think that when maintenance checks the autothrottles they will perform normally; as they did for us after event. I think there is a more insidious mechanical problem; that needs to be found. I would like the fdr pulled; because I think it may help solve the mystery. Also; the fdr is the only thing that could confirm if what I thought was going on; was actually what was happening. If there was more crew error than just not catching the airspeed when it was just starting to show a deviation; then I want to know that. If I need training; then I need to know that. Maybe if the captain did have the throttles turned off (although he thought they were turned on too); and our recall is totally faulty; then maybe there needs to be a better way of oral communication between PF and pm that part of the automatic system has been manually turned off; so everyone is paying closer attention. My personal habit is to turn off both autothrottles and autoplt; or have both on. I am an all or nothing pilot; to avoid a problem; but as I said; I think the autothrottles were engaged and malfunctioning. Regardless; I think the fdr should be pulled.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A B757-200 PILOT REPORTS THE AUTOTHROTTLES FAILED TO CAPTURE THE SELECTED MCP SPD ON A AUTOLAND APCH REQUIRING GAR THRUST TO RECOVER FROM A SLOW SPD.
Narrative: THE CAPT HAD FLOWN ONLY 2 TIMES IN LAST 3 MONTHS; LAST FLT ABOUT 30 DAYS AGO. FIRST LEG; A LITTLE RUSTY; BUT REALLY DOING FINE. NEW PROCS; WE ARE ALL STILL ADAPTING TO. OUT OF OUR COMFORT ZONE; HE PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE SEEN THAT THE AUTOTHROTTLES DIDN'T CAPTURE THE SPD BUG; BUT COMPLACENCY IS A HUMAN FACTOR. I HAVE BEEN FLYING THIS PLANE ALMOST 8 YRS AND IT WAS THE FIRST TIME I HAD SEEN THE AUTOTHROTTLES NOT CAPTURE THE BUG ON APCH; SO I MIGHT NOT HAVE CAUGHT IT EITHER ESPECIALLY WHEN TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY WE HAD 'NO LAND 3' ANNUNCIATION. I THINK THERE IS SOMETHING WRONG WITH THE AUTOTHROTTLES ON THIS ACFT; I THINK THAT MAY BE THE CAUSE OF THE 'NO LAND 3' ANNUNCIATION WHICH DISAPPEARED AFTER THROTTLES WERE FIRE-WALLED; MAYBE SOMETHING TRIGGERED BY APCH MODE SIMULTANEOUSLY? MAYBE IT WAS SOMETHING ELSE ALTOGETHER THAT THE FDR (FLT DIRECTOR RECORDER) COULD POINT OUT. I WAS PLT MONITORING. WE HAD SEVERAL CHANGES IN XING RESTRS; LAST LEFT US HIGH AND FAST BY APCH; CAPT GOT IT ON PROFILE USING SPD BRAKES; NORMAL. INTERCEPTED THE LOC; CLRED FOR APCH; CAPT SELECTED APP PADDLE ON MCP. SIMULTANEOUSLY NOTICED 'NO LAND 3' ANNUNCIATION. I WAS LOOKING FOR WHICH EFI (ELECTRONIC FLT INST) SWITCH TO HIT TO SEE CTR RA; NORMALLY WHAT CAUSES 'NO LAND 3.' MY EYES WERE NOT DIRECTLY ON THE INSTS AS TRYING TO READ EFI SWITCH LABELING; KINDA DARK; MESSING WITH LIGHTING. I GOT THIS 'SEAT OF MY PANTS FEELING' THAT SOMETHING WAS NOT RIGHT. I LOOKED AT ADI (ATTITUDE DIRECTION INDICATOR); WAS YELLOW; FLASHING SLOW; AIRSPD INDICATING 120 KTS. I FIRE-WALLED THE THROTTLES; GUARDED YOKE; DID NOT DISCONNECT ANYTHING. INITIALLY I THOUGHT AUTOTHROTTLES WERE NOT ENGAGED; I LOOKED AT MCP AND SPD BAR WAS LIT. I DO NOT REMEMBER CONFIRMING ON ADI; BUT I BELIEVE THE AUTOTHROTTLES WERE ENGAGED; ORANGE SPD BUG WAS STILL ON 170. RECOVERED; THERE WAS A BURNING SMELL IN FLT DECK AFTER FIRE-WALLING THROTTLES. INITIALLY THOUGHT MAYBE FIRE PROB; HENCE NO GAR; WHEN SMELL WENT AWAY; EVERYTHING WAS STABLE; NO POINT IN GOING AROUND. LANDED UNEVENTFULLY. CAPT USED AUTOTHROTTLES WHICH OPERATED NORMALLY UNTIL ABOUT 1500 FT. FIREWALL THRUST FOR AIRSPD RECOVERY IS A PRETTY GOOD INDICATION OF AN 'EVENT;' ALONG WITH MY SHAKING HANDS AND DRY MOUTH. MY SIMULATOR TRAINING PAID OFF; LOTS OF CREDIT TO INSTRUCTORS AND TRAINING PROGRAM. ALSO N2 WAS EXCEEDED; 103.7 FOR :03. AS I STATED; FIREWALL THRUST; GUARDED YOKE; DID NOT DISCONNECT ANYTHING. NO ALT LOSS OR GAIN. I THINK THAT WHEN MAINT CHKS THE AUTOTHROTTLES THEY WILL PERFORM NORMALLY; AS THEY DID FOR US AFTER EVENT. I THINK THERE IS A MORE INSIDIOUS MECHANICAL PROB; THAT NEEDS TO BE FOUND. I WOULD LIKE THE FDR PULLED; BECAUSE I THINK IT MAY HELP SOLVE THE MYSTERY. ALSO; THE FDR IS THE ONLY THING THAT COULD CONFIRM IF WHAT I THOUGHT WAS GOING ON; WAS ACTUALLY WHAT WAS HAPPENING. IF THERE WAS MORE CREW ERROR THAN JUST NOT CATCHING THE AIRSPD WHEN IT WAS JUST STARTING TO SHOW A DEV; THEN I WANT TO KNOW THAT. IF I NEED TRAINING; THEN I NEED TO KNOW THAT. MAYBE IF THE CAPT DID HAVE THE THROTTLES TURNED OFF (ALTHOUGH HE THOUGHT THEY WERE TURNED ON TOO); AND OUR RECALL IS TOTALLY FAULTY; THEN MAYBE THERE NEEDS TO BE A BETTER WAY OF ORAL COM BTWN PF AND PM THAT PART OF THE AUTO SYS HAS BEEN MANUALLY TURNED OFF; SO EVERYONE IS PAYING CLOSER ATTN. MY PERSONAL HABIT IS TO TURN OFF BOTH AUTOTHROTTLES AND AUTOPLT; OR HAVE BOTH ON. I AM AN ALL OR NOTHING PLT; TO AVOID A PROB; BUT AS I SAID; I THINK THE AUTOTHROTTLES WERE ENGAGED AND MALFUNCTIONING. REGARDLESS; I THINK THE FDR SHOULD BE PULLED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.