|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : bwi|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other|
|Flight Phase||climbout : takeoff|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : flight engineer
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 2000
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
This report may be unusual because it does not involve a problem with a pilot but with the conditions we sometimes work under. Situation: cold winter night at a major us airport in the northeast. Wet snow on all surfaces and braking action reports are poor. Heavy snowfall at departure time. Captain has 150 hours in left seat and first officer has 180 hours in this airplane in right seat. This airplane is critical in icing conditions and has engines that are very susceptible to FOD. Primary runway is closed for deicing and another opened for use using intersection takeoffs. Not good. I decide to delay departure until I get a good runway for takeoff. All is well until other flts land and depart. After 2 1/2 hours delay with no improvement in runway conditions, passenger are deplaned. In an effort to better assess conditions the first officer and I go on the runway with airport authorities to take braking action readings (tapely system). As expected the runway is very slippery at the ends and fair-to-good in the center (in the ruts made by other airplanes). Still no good. After 4 1/2 hour delay and 2 deicing the primary runway is clear and braking action good. That is when we took off. My company now wants to bust me back to first officer because, 'we can't have 1000 capts, each with his own set of standards.' apparently if the 'other guys' made it, I would have too. This is taking the right of a captain to make a decision based on safety away. This is not in the best interest of my company, my career, my passenger and the air transportation industry. My reason for submitting this report is to let you know that there is pressure, sometimes overwhelming pressure, to keep schedules intact. My hope is that I can make this type of decision in the future, as unpopular as it may be, west/O letting that pressure influence me in any way and west/O fear of retribution.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PIC COMMAND AUTHORITY PRESSURED WHEN TKOF DELAYED BECAUSE OF RWY CONDITIONS.
Narrative: THIS RPT MAY BE UNUSUAL BECAUSE IT DOES NOT INVOLVE A PROB WITH A PLT BUT WITH THE CONDITIONS WE SOMETIMES WORK UNDER. SITUATION: COLD WINTER NIGHT AT A MAJOR U.S. ARPT IN THE NE. WET SNOW ON ALL SURFACES AND BRAKING ACTION RPTS ARE POOR. HEAVY SNOWFALL AT DEP TIME. CAPT HAS 150 HRS IN LEFT SEAT AND F/O HAS 180 HRS IN THIS AIRPLANE IN RIGHT SEAT. THIS AIRPLANE IS CRITICAL IN ICING CONDITIONS AND HAS ENGS THAT ARE VERY SUSCEPTIBLE TO FOD. PRIMARY RWY IS CLOSED FOR DEICING AND ANOTHER OPENED FOR USE USING INTXN TKOFS. NOT GOOD. I DECIDE TO DELAY DEP UNTIL I GET A GOOD RWY FOR TKOF. ALL IS WELL UNTIL OTHER FLTS LAND AND DEPART. AFTER 2 1/2 HRS DELAY WITH NO IMPROVEMENT IN RWY CONDITIONS, PAX ARE DEPLANED. IN AN EFFORT TO BETTER ASSESS CONDITIONS THE F/O AND I GO ON THE RWY WITH ARPT AUTHORITIES TO TAKE BRAKING ACTION READINGS (TAPELY SYS). AS EXPECTED THE RWY IS VERY SLIPPERY AT THE ENDS AND FAIR-TO-GOOD IN THE CENTER (IN THE RUTS MADE BY OTHER AIRPLANES). STILL NO GOOD. AFTER 4 1/2 HR DELAY AND 2 DEICING THE PRIMARY RWY IS CLR AND BRAKING ACTION GOOD. THAT IS WHEN WE TOOK OFF. MY COMPANY NOW WANTS TO BUST ME BACK TO F/O BECAUSE, 'WE CAN'T HAVE 1000 CAPTS, EACH WITH HIS OWN SET OF STANDARDS.' APPARENTLY IF THE 'OTHER GUYS' MADE IT, I WOULD HAVE TOO. THIS IS TAKING THE RIGHT OF A CAPT TO MAKE A DECISION BASED ON SAFETY AWAY. THIS IS NOT IN THE BEST INTEREST OF MY COMPANY, MY CAREER, MY PAX AND THE AIR TRANSPORTATION INDUSTRY. MY REASON FOR SUBMITTING THIS RPT IS TO LET YOU KNOW THAT THERE IS PRESSURE, SOMETIMES OVERWHELMING PRESSURE, TO KEEP SCHEDULES INTACT. MY HOPE IS THAT I CAN MAKE THIS TYPE OF DECISION IN THE FUTURE, AS UNPOPULAR AS IT MAY BE, W/O LETTING THAT PRESSURE INFLUENCE ME IN ANY WAY AND W/O FEAR OF RETRIBUTION.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 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.