|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Transport|
2 Turboprop Eng
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 121|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
non adherence : company policies
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : took precautionary avoidance action|
After I signed in; I went and reviewed the WX radar loop. I noted severe WX and heavy to severe precipitation from ZZZ1 to ZZZ2. The tops were up to FL450. I also noted that the massive system was moving northeast at 15-20 KTS. I then read on my release that the taf for ZZZ was showing wind at 170 degrees at 18 KTS gusting to 30 KTS (severe xwinds and out of limits for a wet runway for our aircraft. This was right at our ETA. Our alternates were ZZZ3 which was embedded in thunderstorms and ZZZ4 which was on the other side of the massive WX system with no way of getting to it. I then called my dispatcher and discussed with him what I saw and read. He said air carrier X flts have been getting in there. He did not disclose to me any PIREPS or any other information other than what I was looking at on the WX radar and what was in my release. Therefore; based on the current information and the fact that the ZZZ terminal area was blanketed by thunderstorms with no thunderstorm free areas; and the fact that the current WX radar showed that there was no way to avoid this severe WX by 20 mi because it was so widespread; I elected to defer the flight. I told the dispatcher that I would call him back in 1 hour. At approximately XA30 I called my dispatcher back and elected to continue to defer the flight. I had not received any additional information from dispatch regarding the flight other than people are getting in there. At approximately XB00 I was walking back in from the aircraft to review the WX radar again and was intercepted by the gate agent. She abruptly and loudly stated in front of the passenger in the gate area that 'I was going to ZZZ.' she said she just got off the phone with dispatch and that they said the WX was fine and that they did not understand what my problem was. The gate agent deliberately interfered with me attempting to perform my safety duties (as the PIC and crew member). As embarrassed as that made me and regardless of the fact that the gate agent was undermining my decision to defer the flight; I took her to a computer behind the gate and showed her the WX issues that I was confronted with. I then took 5-10 mins to help educate her on radar data interpretation. It was to no avail. She said that dispatch would never make you do something unsafe. I disagreed and went to call dispatch again for an update. Then at approximately XB10 my cell phone rings and it was crew scheduling. The person idented themselves as the crew scheduling supervisor and asked me what the problem was and why I was not in ZZZ yet. I could not figure out what they had to do with this. I stated that the flight was deferred. The supervisor responded with 'are you refusing to fly captain?' that response was very confrontational. I responded back by stating that in the interest of safety because of the severe WX I am deferring the flight (delta; echo; foxtrot; echo romeo). Then they immediately hung up on me. I called dispatch after reviewing the WX radar loop again and continued the deferral. At approximately XB30 I received a phone call from the chief pilot on my cell phone. He seemed confused and asked me what was going on. Dispatch had called him at home while he was asleep and apparently had issues with my deferring of the flight. He listened to the facts and he told me to tell dispatch that he spoke with me and that the flight deferral stands until you are convinced that the WX is suitable for safe operation of the flight. I then called dispatch again at approximately XB30 and spoke with the dispatch as directed by my chief pilot. He stated 'we are trying to figure out why we're not trying to get to ZZZ.' he stated that 'he did not want to wait around all night.' I told him that in the interest of safety because of the severe WX blanketing the entire region that I was electing to continue to defer the flight. He then stated that flts had been getting in and out of ZZZ for the last 8 hours. He continued to say that he was watching them on computer and following them very closely and guys are getting in and out. I tried to convince him otherwise but it seemed he had his mind made up that the WX had been suitable for safe flight. He was unwilling to accept my deferral. To further provoke me he said had I left 2 hours ago that I would have probably been there by now. I went back to the aircraft and my first officer handed me an ATIS and it showed right near our ETA that the WX was at +TRSA br broken 014 overcast 021 18-17 with LLWS advisory in effect. I went to call dispatch up again and bring this to his attention. They said that I probably would have been in before that. I responded back by saying that we would be diverting. I did not receive any additional information relative to the flight other than telling me that a flight just got on. We finally got a rerte from dispatch and based on the WX; I was convinced we would be on the back side of the WX by our new ETA of XG00. We departed at XD37 and landed uneventfully at XF48 with a smooth flight and no WX issues en route. Approach had said that they had 15 aircraft hold for over 1 hour until XE00. They also stated that they had 8 or 9 diversions as well. That next morning at the hotel; I met a crew. They got into ZZZ at XE08 and sent ACARS messages to dispatch stating how the whole area is blanketed in thunderstorms and asked why dispatch placed them in that severe WX with no warning. This crew was very irate at dispatch pushed them into very bad WX and then provided them with little to no help on dealing with it. Then I also met a captain who flew in. He stated to me that the WX was the worst he had seen and barely made it in. He was so concerned that he called his dispatcher and provided a PIREP in detail. He said that he heard another flight went around because of severe windshear on runway 23L. He also stated that a B757 had to go around and that they elected to divert. How come none of this critical information (PIREPS; etc) was presented to me!? I spoke on the phone with dispatch on 5 separate occasions and they did not disclose any of this important information regarding the aircraft's route of flight and flight conditions to me. I found out about it the next day and that is wrong. Therefore; based on the facts presented to me; there is a preponderance of evidence that clearly shows beyond a reasonable doubt that dispatch failed to disclose pertinent information relative to the safe operation of my flight. Furthermore; it appears that dispatch willingly took part in a pilot pushing campaign that was in direct violation of far's and multiple company policies relative to WX and pilot to dispatcher protocols. I am respectfully requesting that the crew scheduling and dispatch tapes be pulled at this time in order to facilitate a formal investigation into these matters.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DISPATCHERS ATTEMPT TO COERCE CAPT INTO FLYING INTO SEVERE WX AGAINST HIS JUDGEMENT. FLIGHT DEPARTS LATE AND ARRIVES SAFELY.
Narrative: AFTER I SIGNED IN; I WENT AND REVIEWED THE WX RADAR LOOP. I NOTED SEVERE WX AND HVY TO SEVERE PRECIP FROM ZZZ1 TO ZZZ2. THE TOPS WERE UP TO FL450. I ALSO NOTED THAT THE MASSIVE SYS WAS MOVING NE AT 15-20 KTS. I THEN READ ON MY RELEASE THAT THE TAF FOR ZZZ WAS SHOWING WIND AT 170 DEGS AT 18 KTS GUSTING TO 30 KTS (SEVERE XWINDS AND OUT OF LIMITS FOR A WET RWY FOR OUR ACFT. THIS WAS RIGHT AT OUR ETA. OUR ALTERNATES WERE ZZZ3 WHICH WAS EMBEDDED IN TSTMS AND ZZZ4 WHICH WAS ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE MASSIVE WX SYS WITH NO WAY OF GETTING TO IT. I THEN CALLED MY DISPATCHER AND DISCUSSED WITH HIM WHAT I SAW AND READ. HE SAID ACR X FLTS HAVE BEEN GETTING IN THERE. HE DID NOT DISCLOSE TO ME ANY PIREPS OR ANY OTHER INFO OTHER THAN WHAT I WAS LOOKING AT ON THE WX RADAR AND WHAT WAS IN MY RELEASE. THEREFORE; BASED ON THE CURRENT INFO AND THE FACT THAT THE ZZZ TERMINAL AREA WAS BLANKETED BY TSTMS WITH NO TSTM FREE AREAS; AND THE FACT THAT THE CURRENT WX RADAR SHOWED THAT THERE WAS NO WAY TO AVOID THIS SEVERE WX BY 20 MI BECAUSE IT WAS SO WIDESPREAD; I ELECTED TO DEFER THE FLT. I TOLD THE DISPATCHER THAT I WOULD CALL HIM BACK IN 1 HR. AT APPROX XA30 I CALLED MY DISPATCHER BACK AND ELECTED TO CONTINUE TO DEFER THE FLT. I HAD NOT RECEIVED ANY ADDITIONAL INFO FROM DISPATCH REGARDING THE FLT OTHER THAN PEOPLE ARE GETTING IN THERE. AT APPROX XB00 I WAS WALKING BACK IN FROM THE ACFT TO REVIEW THE WX RADAR AGAIN AND WAS INTERCEPTED BY THE GATE AGENT. SHE ABRUPTLY AND LOUDLY STATED IN FRONT OF THE PAX IN THE GATE AREA THAT 'I WAS GOING TO ZZZ.' SHE SAID SHE JUST GOT OFF THE PHONE WITH DISPATCH AND THAT THEY SAID THE WX WAS FINE AND THAT THEY DID NOT UNDERSTAND WHAT MY PROB WAS. THE GATE AGENT DELIBERATELY INTERFERED WITH ME ATTEMPTING TO PERFORM MY SAFETY DUTIES (AS THE PIC AND CREW MEMBER). AS EMBARRASSED AS THAT MADE ME AND REGARDLESS OF THE FACT THAT THE GATE AGENT WAS UNDERMINING MY DECISION TO DEFER THE FLT; I TOOK HER TO A COMPUTER BEHIND THE GATE AND SHOWED HER THE WX ISSUES THAT I WAS CONFRONTED WITH. I THEN TOOK 5-10 MINS TO HELP EDUCATE HER ON RADAR DATA INTERP. IT WAS TO NO AVAIL. SHE SAID THAT DISPATCH WOULD NEVER MAKE YOU DO SOMETHING UNSAFE. I DISAGREED AND WENT TO CALL DISPATCH AGAIN FOR AN UPDATE. THEN AT APPROX XB10 MY CELL PHONE RINGS AND IT WAS CREW SCHEDULING. THE PERSON IDENTED THEMSELVES AS THE CREW SCHEDULING SUPVR AND ASKED ME WHAT THE PROB WAS AND WHY I WAS NOT IN ZZZ YET. I COULD NOT FIGURE OUT WHAT THEY HAD TO DO WITH THIS. I STATED THAT THE FLT WAS DEFERRED. THE SUPVR RESPONDED WITH 'ARE YOU REFUSING TO FLY CAPT?' THAT RESPONSE WAS VERY CONFRONTATIONAL. I RESPONDED BACK BY STATING THAT IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY BECAUSE OF THE SEVERE WX I AM DEFERRING THE FLT (DELTA; ECHO; FOXTROT; ECHO ROMEO). THEN THEY IMMEDIATELY HUNG UP ON ME. I CALLED DISPATCH AFTER REVIEWING THE WX RADAR LOOP AGAIN AND CONTINUED THE DEFERRAL. AT APPROX XB30 I RECEIVED A PHONE CALL FROM THE CHIEF PLT ON MY CELL PHONE. HE SEEMED CONFUSED AND ASKED ME WHAT WAS GOING ON. DISPATCH HAD CALLED HIM AT HOME WHILE HE WAS ASLEEP AND APPARENTLY HAD ISSUES WITH MY DEFERRING OF THE FLT. HE LISTENED TO THE FACTS AND HE TOLD ME TO TELL DISPATCH THAT HE SPOKE WITH ME AND THAT THE FLT DEFERRAL STANDS UNTIL YOU ARE CONVINCED THAT THE WX IS SUITABLE FOR SAFE OP OF THE FLT. I THEN CALLED DISPATCH AGAIN AT APPROX XB30 AND SPOKE WITH THE DISPATCH AS DIRECTED BY MY CHIEF PLT. HE STATED 'WE ARE TRYING TO FIGURE OUT WHY WE'RE NOT TRYING TO GET TO ZZZ.' HE STATED THAT 'HE DID NOT WANT TO WAIT AROUND ALL NIGHT.' I TOLD HIM THAT IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY BECAUSE OF THE SEVERE WX BLANKETING THE ENTIRE REGION THAT I WAS ELECTING TO CONTINUE TO DEFER THE FLT. HE THEN STATED THAT FLTS HAD BEEN GETTING IN AND OUT OF ZZZ FOR THE LAST 8 HRS. HE CONTINUED TO SAY THAT HE WAS WATCHING THEM ON COMPUTER AND FOLLOWING THEM VERY CLOSELY AND GUYS ARE GETTING IN AND OUT. I TRIED TO CONVINCE HIM OTHERWISE BUT IT SEEMED HE HAD HIS MIND MADE UP THAT THE WX HAD BEEN SUITABLE FOR SAFE FLT. HE WAS UNWILLING TO ACCEPT MY DEFERRAL. TO FURTHER PROVOKE ME HE SAID HAD I LEFT 2 HRS AGO THAT I WOULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN THERE BY NOW. I WENT BACK TO THE ACFT AND MY FO HANDED ME AN ATIS AND IT SHOWED RIGHT NEAR OUR ETA THAT THE WX WAS AT +TRSA BR BROKEN 014 OVCST 021 18-17 WITH LLWS ADVISORY IN EFFECT. I WENT TO CALL DISPATCH UP AGAIN AND BRING THIS TO HIS ATTN. THEY SAID THAT I PROBABLY WOULD HAVE BEEN IN BEFORE THAT. I RESPONDED BACK BY SAYING THAT WE WOULD BE DIVERTING. I DID NOT RECEIVE ANY ADDITIONAL INFO RELATIVE TO THE FLT OTHER THAN TELLING ME THAT A FLT JUST GOT ON. WE FINALLY GOT A RERTE FROM DISPATCH AND BASED ON THE WX; I WAS CONVINCED WE WOULD BE ON THE BACK SIDE OF THE WX BY OUR NEW ETA OF XG00. WE DEPARTED AT XD37 AND LANDED UNEVENTFULLY AT XF48 WITH A SMOOTH FLT AND NO WX ISSUES ENRTE. APCH HAD SAID THAT THEY HAD 15 ACFT HOLD FOR OVER 1 HR UNTIL XE00. THEY ALSO STATED THAT THEY HAD 8 OR 9 DIVERSIONS AS WELL. THAT NEXT MORNING AT THE HOTEL; I MET A CREW. THEY GOT INTO ZZZ AT XE08 AND SENT ACARS MESSAGES TO DISPATCH STATING HOW THE WHOLE AREA IS BLANKETED IN TSTMS AND ASKED WHY DISPATCH PLACED THEM IN THAT SEVERE WX WITH NO WARNING. THIS CREW WAS VERY IRATE AT DISPATCH PUSHED THEM INTO VERY BAD WX AND THEN PROVIDED THEM WITH LITTLE TO NO HELP ON DEALING WITH IT. THEN I ALSO MET A CAPT WHO FLEW IN. HE STATED TO ME THAT THE WX WAS THE WORST HE HAD SEEN AND BARELY MADE IT IN. HE WAS SO CONCERNED THAT HE CALLED HIS DISPATCHER AND PROVIDED A PIREP IN DETAIL. HE SAID THAT HE HEARD ANOTHER FLT WENT AROUND BECAUSE OF SEVERE WINDSHEAR ON RWY 23L. HE ALSO STATED THAT A B757 HAD TO GO AROUND AND THAT THEY ELECTED TO DIVERT. HOW COME NONE OF THIS CRITICAL INFO (PIREPS; ETC) WAS PRESENTED TO ME!? I SPOKE ON THE PHONE WITH DISPATCH ON 5 SEPARATE OCCASIONS AND THEY DID NOT DISCLOSE ANY OF THIS IMPORTANT INFO REGARDING THE ACFT'S RTE OF FLT AND FLT CONDITIONS TO ME. I FOUND OUT ABOUT IT THE NEXT DAY AND THAT IS WRONG. THEREFORE; BASED ON THE FACTS PRESENTED TO ME; THERE IS A PREPONDERANCE OF EVIDENCE THAT CLEARLY SHOWS BEYOND A REASONABLE DOUBT THAT DISPATCH FAILED TO DISCLOSE PERTINENT INFO RELATIVE TO THE SAFE OP OF MY FLT. FURTHERMORE; IT APPEARS THAT DISPATCH WILLINGLY TOOK PART IN A PLT PUSHING CAMPAIGN THAT WAS IN DIRECT VIOLATION OF FAR'S AND MULTIPLE COMPANY POLICIES RELATIVE TO WX AND PLT TO DISPATCHER PROTOCOLS. I AM RESPECTFULLY REQUESTING THAT THE CREW SCHEDULING AND DISPATCH TAPES BE PULLED AT THIS TIME IN ORDER TO FACILITATE A FORMAL INVESTIGATION INTO THESE MATTERS.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 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.