|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zau.artcc|
|Altitude||msl single value : 11000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zau.artcc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||B737-700|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 253|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : turbulence|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : clearance
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
flight crew : diverted to another airport
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
ATC Human Performance
On flight to ZZZ1; we were told to begin descent and hold as published over VOR. While we entered the hold; we encountered severe turbulence and a thunderstorm cell. We told ATC that we were unable to maintain altitude and that we were going to have to deviate to the north to hold out of the cell. They then assigned us to hold 15 mi east of the VOR on the same radial. We started to fly the outbound leg of that; away from the storm. Then; ATC told us that they had changed landing runways in ZZZ1 and told us to make a left turn direct to intersection. When we turned toward intersection; we saw that it was going to take us right back into that cell. We told ATC that we would need to deviate to the north for WX. They said deviate north as necessary then direct driver when able. We began to deviate to the north as authority/authorized. Then ATC told us they needed us to turn to a heading toward the southwest (I don't remember the heading). We turned to the heading as instructed and once again it became apparent that center was sending us right back to the severe cell that we had just encountered. We told them we would only be able to fly that heading for a few mi; and then we would have to deviate back to the north. At this point the ATC controller told us that was not authority/authorized and that we had to stay on that heading. We felt the WX and ATC's unwillingness to work with us was a safety threat so at that point we declared an emergency so that we could use PIC emergency authority/authorized to deviate from ATC's unsafe instructions. We then told them that we were going to divert to ZZZ because it appeared the area was going to be impassable at the time. We then landed in ZZZ uneventfully and had the aircraft inspected by maintenance for the severe turbulence. We could have been more proactive in making sure we avoided the cell to begin with. Also; I don't think ATC was intentionally putting us at risk; however; we were responsible for the souls of 115 people on that flight and we felt that ATC was putting us in an unsafe situation and we were not willing to put our flight at risk. So we felt the only option that we were left with was to declare an emergency to maintain the safety of the flight and stay out of the severe WX.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: B737-700 FLT CREW DECLARES EMERGENCY AND DIVERTS TO ANOTHER ARPT WHEN APCH CTL IS UNABLE TO PROVIDE ARRIVAL ROUTES THAT AVOIDED CONVECTIVE TERMINAL AREA WEATHER.
Narrative: ON FLT TO ZZZ1; WE WERE TOLD TO BEGIN DSCNT AND HOLD AS PUBLISHED OVER VOR. WHILE WE ENTERED THE HOLD; WE ENCOUNTERED SEVERE TURB AND A TSTM CELL. WE TOLD ATC THAT WE WERE UNABLE TO MAINTAIN ALT AND THAT WE WERE GOING TO HAVE TO DEVIATE TO THE N TO HOLD OUT OF THE CELL. THEY THEN ASSIGNED US TO HOLD 15 MI E OF THE VOR ON THE SAME RADIAL. WE STARTED TO FLY THE OUTBOUND LEG OF THAT; AWAY FROM THE STORM. THEN; ATC TOLD US THAT THEY HAD CHANGED LNDG RWYS IN ZZZ1 AND TOLD US TO MAKE A L TURN DIRECT TO INTXN. WHEN WE TURNED TOWARD INTXN; WE SAW THAT IT WAS GOING TO TAKE US RIGHT BACK INTO THAT CELL. WE TOLD ATC THAT WE WOULD NEED TO DEVIATE TO THE N FOR WX. THEY SAID DEVIATE N AS NECESSARY THEN DIRECT DRIVER WHEN ABLE. WE BEGAN TO DEVIATE TO THE N AS AUTH. THEN ATC TOLD US THEY NEEDED US TO TURN TO A HEADING TOWARD THE SW (I DON'T REMEMBER THE HEADING). WE TURNED TO THE HEADING AS INSTRUCTED AND ONCE AGAIN IT BECAME APPARENT THAT CTR WAS SENDING US RIGHT BACK TO THE SEVERE CELL THAT WE HAD JUST ENCOUNTERED. WE TOLD THEM WE WOULD ONLY BE ABLE TO FLY THAT HEADING FOR A FEW MI; AND THEN WE WOULD HAVE TO DEVIATE BACK TO THE N. AT THIS POINT THE ATC CTLR TOLD US THAT WAS NOT AUTH AND THAT WE HAD TO STAY ON THAT HDG. WE FELT THE WX AND ATC'S UNWILLINGNESS TO WORK WITH US WAS A SAFETY THREAT SO AT THAT POINT WE DECLARED AN EMER SO THAT WE COULD USE PIC EMER AUTH TO DEVIATE FROM ATC'S UNSAFE INSTRUCTIONS. WE THEN TOLD THEM THAT WE WERE GOING TO DIVERT TO ZZZ BECAUSE IT APPEARED THE AREA WAS GOING TO BE IMPASSABLE AT THE TIME. WE THEN LANDED IN ZZZ UNEVENTFULLY AND HAD THE ACFT INSPECTED BY MAINT FOR THE SEVERE TURB. WE COULD HAVE BEEN MORE PROACTIVE IN MAKING SURE WE AVOIDED THE CELL TO BEGIN WITH. ALSO; I DON'T THINK ATC WAS INTENTIONALLY PUTTING US AT RISK; HOWEVER; WE WERE RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SOULS OF 115 PEOPLE ON THAT FLT AND WE FELT THAT ATC WAS PUTTING US IN AN UNSAFE SITUATION AND WE WERE NOT WILLING TO PUT OUR FLT AT RISK. SO WE FELT THE ONLY OPTION THAT WE WERE LEFT WITH WAS TO DECLARE AN EMER TO MAINTAIN THE SAFETY OF THE FLT AND STAY OUT OF THE SEVERE WX.
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.