|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zjx.artcc|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Experience||controller radar : 1.1|
controller time certified in position1 : 1.1
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : zjx.artcc|
I was working R57/R58 combined with heavy traffic and significant WX deviations; as my sector was heavily impacted by severe thunderstorms. I was mainly working mco arrs and departures; but I was also working several overflts. I was also responsible for the malet area; an area of airspace that we are not used to working as it usually belongs to ZMA. The mco departures were only able to get out of mco through 1 small break in the WX to the northeast of the airport. For this reason; I was working all departures that would normally come out on the caman; jag; and mcoy departures; through 1 hole that was situated in the area of the mco arrival fix; lamma. Mco was providing 10 mi in trail on departures. Because the departures were exiting approach airspace northbound over the sbound inbound fix; I was forced to vector mco arrs east; descend them early; and rerte them over apolo intersection. This operation became very complex very quickly; and my workload and frequency congestion increased as well. I then informed my supervisor that I was too busy to issue WX information as per the 7110.65 2-6-4; and suggested they slow the traffic down. My supervisor then assigned a tracker to my position. This would in no way allow me to call the WX; as I am required to do; and I again informed my supervisor of that fact. I was becoming very busy; and was dealing with several complex traffic sits; on top of the vectoring and rerouting of the arrs. My supervisor then informed me that I; as per the area manager; could discontinue calling WX to airliners but must continue to do so to GA aircraft. Again; no action was taken by management or flow control to actually make the situation safer. Several mins later; still too busy to issue WX information; I was working am EMB135 departure off of mco. The aircraft asked to deviation right of course. Without issuing WX information; I cleared the aircraft to deviation 25 degrees right; direct sav when able. About 1 min later; I noticed the aircraft had turned due north; directly toward an area of extreme precipitation. At that time; I made a quick WX call to the aircraft; and the pilot responded with 'roger.' about 30 seconds later; the aircraft informed me that they were coming hard to the left. I told them to fly heading 270 degrees and that it looked like they'd be clear of the WX in about 10 mi. The pilot stated 'unable; we are coming all the way around to the south; and want to go east.' I instructed the pilot to fly heading 180 degrees when able. I could hear tension and concern in this professional pilot's voice; and I could also hear in his voice and backgnd noise that they were in constant significant turbulence. Once the aircraft was clear of the cell to the south; I vectored the aircraft east around the storm and eventually back to the north and on course. It was only after this incident that departures off of mco were stopped; and an alternate plan sought. This is a chronic problem at ZJX that will eventually lead to a serious accident. I repeatedly asked for traffic to be slowed into my sector; so I would have the ability to issue WX information to the aircraft on my frequency and keep them clear of the WX. This request was refused because of management's unwillingness to delay air traffic. There is a culture at ZJX to move traffic no matter what. I understand that delays are undesirable; but they are sometimes unavoidable; especially when safety is on the line. It is clear from management's order to call WX only to GA aircraft; that they don't really care about safety. If it were about safety; we would be given the tools necessary to do our jobs. WX can and will affect airliners just as much as a GA aircraft. Safety related procedures need to apply equally to all aircraft; regardless of the perceived ability of the aircraft and flight crew. We got lucky in this case; as the crew was able to get out of the storm. I hope the culture at ZJX changes before this situation occurs again; because someday the flight crew may not be able to escape a severe thunderstorm!
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ZJX CTLR DESCRIBED BUSY/COMPLEX TFC PERIOD; ALLEGING THAT THE TMU FAILED TO REGULATE THE TFC FLOW/VOLUME GIVEN THE CIRCUMSTANCES.
Narrative: I WAS WORKING R57/R58 COMBINED WITH HVY TFC AND SIGNIFICANT WX DEVS; AS MY SECTOR WAS HEAVILY IMPACTED BY SEVERE TSTMS. I WAS MAINLY WORKING MCO ARRS AND DEPS; BUT I WAS ALSO WORKING SEVERAL OVERFLTS. I WAS ALSO RESPONSIBLE FOR THE MALET AREA; AN AREA OF AIRSPACE THAT WE ARE NOT USED TO WORKING AS IT USUALLY BELONGS TO ZMA. THE MCO DEPS WERE ONLY ABLE TO GET OUT OF MCO THROUGH 1 SMALL BREAK IN THE WX TO THE NE OF THE ARPT. FOR THIS REASON; I WAS WORKING ALL DEPS THAT WOULD NORMALLY COME OUT ON THE CAMAN; JAG; AND MCOY DEPS; THROUGH 1 HOLE THAT WAS SITUATED IN THE AREA OF THE MCO ARR FIX; LAMMA. MCO WAS PROVIDING 10 MI IN TRAIL ON DEPS. BECAUSE THE DEPS WERE EXITING APCH AIRSPACE NBOUND OVER THE SBOUND INBOUND FIX; I WAS FORCED TO VECTOR MCO ARRS E; DSND THEM EARLY; AND RERTE THEM OVER APOLO INTXN. THIS OP BECAME VERY COMPLEX VERY QUICKLY; AND MY WORKLOAD AND FREQ CONGESTION INCREASED AS WELL. I THEN INFORMED MY SUPVR THAT I WAS TOO BUSY TO ISSUE WX INFO AS PER THE 7110.65 2-6-4; AND SUGGESTED THEY SLOW THE TFC DOWN. MY SUPVR THEN ASSIGNED A TRACKER TO MY POS. THIS WOULD IN NO WAY ALLOW ME TO CALL THE WX; AS I AM REQUIRED TO DO; AND I AGAIN INFORMED MY SUPVR OF THAT FACT. I WAS BECOMING VERY BUSY; AND WAS DEALING WITH SEVERAL COMPLEX TFC SITS; ON TOP OF THE VECTORING AND REROUTING OF THE ARRS. MY SUPVR THEN INFORMED ME THAT I; AS PER THE AREA MGR; COULD DISCONTINUE CALLING WX TO AIRLINERS BUT MUST CONTINUE TO DO SO TO GA ACFT. AGAIN; NO ACTION WAS TAKEN BY MGMNT OR FLOW CTL TO ACTUALLY MAKE THE SIT SAFER. SEVERAL MINS LATER; STILL TOO BUSY TO ISSUE WX INFO; I WAS WORKING AM EMB135 DEP OFF OF MCO. THE ACFT ASKED TO DEV R OF COURSE. WITHOUT ISSUING WX INFO; I CLRED THE ACFT TO DEV 25 DEGS R; DIRECT SAV WHEN ABLE. ABOUT 1 MIN LATER; I NOTICED THE ACFT HAD TURNED DUE N; DIRECTLY TOWARD AN AREA OF EXTREME PRECIP. AT THAT TIME; I MADE A QUICK WX CALL TO THE ACFT; AND THE PLT RESPONDED WITH 'ROGER.' ABOUT 30 SECONDS LATER; THE ACFT INFORMED ME THAT THEY WERE COMING HARD TO THE L. I TOLD THEM TO FLY HDG 270 DEGS AND THAT IT LOOKED LIKE THEY'D BE CLR OF THE WX IN ABOUT 10 MI. THE PLT STATED 'UNABLE; WE ARE COMING ALL THE WAY AROUND TO THE S; AND WANT TO GO E.' I INSTRUCTED THE PLT TO FLY HDG 180 DEGS WHEN ABLE. I COULD HEAR TENSION AND CONCERN IN THIS PROFESSIONAL PLT'S VOICE; AND I COULD ALSO HEAR IN HIS VOICE AND BACKGND NOISE THAT THEY WERE IN CONSTANT SIGNIFICANT TURB. ONCE THE ACFT WAS CLR OF THE CELL TO THE S; I VECTORED THE ACFT E AROUND THE STORM AND EVENTUALLY BACK TO THE N AND ON COURSE. IT WAS ONLY AFTER THIS INCIDENT THAT DEPS OFF OF MCO WERE STOPPED; AND AN ALTERNATE PLAN SOUGHT. THIS IS A CHRONIC PROB AT ZJX THAT WILL EVENTUALLY LEAD TO A SERIOUS ACCIDENT. I REPEATEDLY ASKED FOR TFC TO BE SLOWED INTO MY SECTOR; SO I WOULD HAVE THE ABILITY TO ISSUE WX INFO TO THE ACFT ON MY FREQ AND KEEP THEM CLR OF THE WX. THIS REQUEST WAS REFUSED BECAUSE OF MGMNT'S UNWILLINGNESS TO DELAY AIR TFC. THERE IS A CULTURE AT ZJX TO MOVE TFC NO MATTER WHAT. I UNDERSTAND THAT DELAYS ARE UNDESIRABLE; BUT THEY ARE SOMETIMES UNAVOIDABLE; ESPECIALLY WHEN SAFETY IS ON THE LINE. IT IS CLR FROM MGMNT'S ORDER TO CALL WX ONLY TO GA ACFT; THAT THEY DON'T REALLY CARE ABOUT SAFETY. IF IT WERE ABOUT SAFETY; WE WOULD BE GIVEN THE TOOLS NECESSARY TO DO OUR JOBS. WX CAN AND WILL AFFECT AIRLINERS JUST AS MUCH AS A GA ACFT. SAFETY RELATED PROCS NEED TO APPLY EQUALLY TO ALL ACFT; REGARDLESS OF THE PERCEIVED ABILITY OF THE ACFT AND FLT CREW. WE GOT LUCKY IN THIS CASE; AS THE CREW WAS ABLE TO GET OUT OF THE STORM. I HOPE THE CULTURE AT ZJX CHANGES BEFORE THIS SIT OCCURS AGAIN; BECAUSE SOMEDAY THE FLT CREW MAY NOT BE ABLE TO ESCAPE A SEVERE TSTM!
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.