|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : adm.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 3000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zfw.artcc|
tower : fwa.tower
|Make Model Name||Beechcraft Twin Turboprop Jet Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Navigation In Use||other|
|Flight Phase||descent : intermediate altitude|
|Route In Use||approach : instrument non precision|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : handoff position|
controller : radar
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller limited radar : 16|
controller non radar : 17
controller radar : 15
controller time certified in position1 : 4
controller time certified in position2 : 6
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : zfw.artcc|
staffing : zfw.artcc
The pilot of aircraft X had requested direct to nixhe for the RNAV (GPS) runway 31 approach to ardmore municipal airport (adm) with the intent of 2 turns in the hold before shooting the approach; then a touch-and-go and on to addison (ads). When I assumed the sector; the aircraft was already direct nixhe and descending to 8000 ft. In the chart book for the adm-lo sector; the ILS 31 and the GPS 31 plates face each other and both use addmo as part of the approach (on the ILS it is the IAF and OM; on the GPS it is the point after the IAF of nixhe). The MDA in the sector as a whole is 3000 ft; with scattered areas higher due to antennas. One such higher area is located southeast of adm; just beyond nixhe; with a MDA of 3600 ft. After a quick glance at the chart (where I might have viewed the ILS's plane view by mistake) I cleared the flight to maintain 3000 ft until nixhe since I knew his current route avoided the 3600 ft MDA area. As the flight progressed toward nixhe; the little voice in the back of my head started getting louder -- just how can the holding pattern at nixhe (which is to the southeast) be at 3000 ft with that antenna? The ILS's holding pattern is lower; but at the VOR...? I picked up the approach plates and immediately idented my error. The aircraft was climbed to 3600 ft with an apology and an explanation; and the pilot admitted they had missed the altitude mismatch as well. The aircraft climbed in time to fly the nixhe pattern at published altitude; but it was much closer than I would have liked. Lessons: since the imposition of work rules on sep/xa/06; the FAA has been hell bent on making controllers 'more productive.' their sole metric for this is 'time on position.' this is a false measure; as we have other duties to perform; and making us reach 6 or 8 hours on position is akin to telling firefighters to stand on street corners looking for a fire when they are not actually fighting a fire. We are constantly assigned make-work position like d-sides that would never have been staffed 'pre-imposition of work rules;' the opening of an r-side that was seldom open before; etc. This is resulting in a drained workforce with low morale and sloppy work habits. Constantly trying to find enough work for 2 people when the sector demands just 1; means people start expecting the other person to 'do that.' we are losing our edge and our ability to work traffic solo. Additionally; the imposition of work rules changed the rules on sick leave; with specific direction that sick leave will not be allowed for minor inconveniences such as lack of sleep. The night before this; I was asleep just 30 mins before my 1 yr old daughter awoke me with a temperature and discomfort. Just over 2 1/2 hours later; I finally got back to sleep; for about 1 1/2 hours; before getting up to report to work. 2 hours of broken sleep would have certainly caused me to call in before sep/xa/06; but now it isn't an option. The new focus on sick leave usage is making more and more controllers work when sick; tired; or just degraded in ability. In summary; I was tired from little sleep and assignment to mind-numbing position during the direct 7 hours 25 mins of my shift; leading up to this slip. My overall health is slipping and my mental state is frazzled. The whole work force is being driven toward a cliff by an uncaring FAA; and the system is in real trouble. I'm still proud of my job and the service I provide; but I'm ashamed of our employer.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ZFW CTLR DESCRIBED NEAR OPDEV; EXPRESSING CONCERNS REGARDING STAFFING AND FAC OPERATIONAL CHANGES SINCE IWR WERE INITIATED BY THE FAA.
Narrative: THE PLT OF ACFT X HAD REQUESTED DIRECT TO NIXHE FOR THE RNAV (GPS) RWY 31 APCH TO ARDMORE MUNICIPAL ARPT (ADM) WITH THE INTENT OF 2 TURNS IN THE HOLD BEFORE SHOOTING THE APCH; THEN A TOUCH-AND-GO AND ON TO ADDISON (ADS). WHEN I ASSUMED THE SECTOR; THE ACFT WAS ALREADY DIRECT NIXHE AND DSNDING TO 8000 FT. IN THE CHART BOOK FOR THE ADM-LO SECTOR; THE ILS 31 AND THE GPS 31 PLATES FACE EACH OTHER AND BOTH USE ADDMO AS PART OF THE APCH (ON THE ILS IT IS THE IAF AND OM; ON THE GPS IT IS THE POINT AFTER THE IAF OF NIXHE). THE MDA IN THE SECTOR AS A WHOLE IS 3000 FT; WITH SCATTERED AREAS HIGHER DUE TO ANTENNAS. ONE SUCH HIGHER AREA IS LOCATED SE OF ADM; JUST BEYOND NIXHE; WITH A MDA OF 3600 FT. AFTER A QUICK GLANCE AT THE CHART (WHERE I MIGHT HAVE VIEWED THE ILS'S PLANE VIEW BY MISTAKE) I CLRED THE FLT TO MAINTAIN 3000 FT UNTIL NIXHE SINCE I KNEW HIS CURRENT RTE AVOIDED THE 3600 FT MDA AREA. AS THE FLT PROGRESSED TOWARD NIXHE; THE LITTLE VOICE IN THE BACK OF MY HEAD STARTED GETTING LOUDER -- JUST HOW CAN THE HOLDING PATTERN AT NIXHE (WHICH IS TO THE SE) BE AT 3000 FT WITH THAT ANTENNA? THE ILS'S HOLDING PATTERN IS LOWER; BUT AT THE VOR...? I PICKED UP THE APCH PLATES AND IMMEDIATELY IDENTED MY ERROR. THE ACFT WAS CLBED TO 3600 FT WITH AN APOLOGY AND AN EXPLANATION; AND THE PLT ADMITTED THEY HAD MISSED THE ALT MISMATCH AS WELL. THE ACFT CLBED IN TIME TO FLY THE NIXHE PATTERN AT PUBLISHED ALT; BUT IT WAS MUCH CLOSER THAN I WOULD HAVE LIKED. LESSONS: SINCE THE IMPOSITION OF WORK RULES ON SEP/XA/06; THE FAA HAS BEEN HELL BENT ON MAKING CTLRS 'MORE PRODUCTIVE.' THEIR SOLE METRIC FOR THIS IS 'TIME ON POS.' THIS IS A FALSE MEASURE; AS WE HAVE OTHER DUTIES TO PERFORM; AND MAKING US REACH 6 OR 8 HRS ON POS IS AKIN TO TELLING FIREFIGHTERS TO STAND ON STREET CORNERS LOOKING FOR A FIRE WHEN THEY ARE NOT ACTUALLY FIGHTING A FIRE. WE ARE CONSTANTLY ASSIGNED MAKE-WORK POS LIKE D-SIDES THAT WOULD NEVER HAVE BEEN STAFFED 'PRE-IMPOSITION OF WORK RULES;' THE OPENING OF AN R-SIDE THAT WAS SELDOM OPEN BEFORE; ETC. THIS IS RESULTING IN A DRAINED WORKFORCE WITH LOW MORALE AND SLOPPY WORK HABITS. CONSTANTLY TRYING TO FIND ENOUGH WORK FOR 2 PEOPLE WHEN THE SECTOR DEMANDS JUST 1; MEANS PEOPLE START EXPECTING THE OTHER PERSON TO 'DO THAT.' WE ARE LOSING OUR EDGE AND OUR ABILITY TO WORK TFC SOLO. ADDITIONALLY; THE IMPOSITION OF WORK RULES CHANGED THE RULES ON SICK LEAVE; WITH SPECIFIC DIRECTION THAT SICK LEAVE WILL NOT BE ALLOWED FOR MINOR INCONVENIENCES SUCH AS LACK OF SLEEP. THE NIGHT BEFORE THIS; I WAS ASLEEP JUST 30 MINS BEFORE MY 1 YR OLD DAUGHTER AWOKE ME WITH A TEMP AND DISCOMFORT. JUST OVER 2 1/2 HRS LATER; I FINALLY GOT BACK TO SLEEP; FOR ABOUT 1 1/2 HRS; BEFORE GETTING UP TO RPT TO WORK. 2 HRS OF BROKEN SLEEP WOULD HAVE CERTAINLY CAUSED ME TO CALL IN BEFORE SEP/XA/06; BUT NOW IT ISN'T AN OPTION. THE NEW FOCUS ON SICK LEAVE USAGE IS MAKING MORE AND MORE CTLRS WORK WHEN SICK; TIRED; OR JUST DEGRADED IN ABILITY. IN SUMMARY; I WAS TIRED FROM LITTLE SLEEP AND ASSIGNMENT TO MIND-NUMBING POS DURING THE DIRECT 7 HRS 25 MINS OF MY SHIFT; LEADING UP TO THIS SLIP. MY OVERALL HEALTH IS SLIPPING AND MY MENTAL STATE IS FRAZZLED. THE WHOLE WORK FORCE IS BEING DRIVEN TOWARD A CLIFF BY AN UNCARING FAA; AND THE SYS IS IN REAL TROUBLE. I'M STILL PROUD OF MY JOB AND THE SVC I PROVIDE; BUT I'M ASHAMED OF OUR EMPLOYER.
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.