|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : pfn|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3000|
msl bound upper : 3000
|Controlling Facilities||military facility : pam|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||arrival other|
enroute : on vectors
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 250|
flight time total : 12000
flight time type : 6000
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
While approaching pfn on flight xyz from mem at approximately XXX, the pfn xxa ATIS calling for 800 broken and 5 mi in light rain and fog with the wind from 340 degree at 10 K. Later WX observations received during the approach were not significantly different from this. As I am sure you know, the only runway that we can use at pfn is 32/14 with the sole ILS to 14. Runway 32/14 is 6314' long, the landing distance beyond the glide slope on the ILS 14 is only 5263' and the runway was wet at the time in question. The medium large transport we were flying had every seat filled and weighed approximately 81000 pounds, just a bit under its maximum landing weight. We asked tyndall approach for the VOR to 32 and were told that the active runway at pfn was 14 and that we were cleared for the ILS to 14, circle to 32 if we desired. We informed him that we were not authority/authorized to circle in a medium large transport below basic VFR and that we wanted the VOR to 32. The controller then informed us that the VOR 32 approach was not available because it went directly over tyndall AFB, and that if we insisted, we could use the VOR a approach to land on runway 32. On the VOR a approach the inbound right is 239 degrees, (making it 81 degrees to runway 32, legally a circling approach), and that its minimums are very close to that of the reported WX, not a prudent choice especially when there is a straight-in approach available. Captain then informed tyndall approach that if the VOR 32 approach was indeed still in effect as it was published in our commercial chart manual, then we wanted it and also included a brief explanation of our appraisal of the situation. After a delay, we were finally cleared for the VOR 32 approach, with vectors for the final provided instead of the published procedure turn. The approach and subsequent landing were routine. I believe that had we not pressed this controller for the approach we felt was the best choice considering the circumstances, we would not have been cleared for it and an approach that was more 'convenient' for the controling facility would have been substituted. It could have been because of local practice or perhaps a personal decision not to go through the hassle of coordinating it, although, since the controling facility in this case was an air force one, another explanation might involve the differences in the regulations that pertain to military controllers vs their civilian counterparts. In any case, I believe that this action warrants inclusion in the NASA ASRS program and I have filled out the appropriate form. I hope that this situation is not allowed to exist for much longer, and that a flight crew is not 'led down the path' to continuing an operation that is not the safest possible.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: MLG ACR INITIALLY CLEARED RWY 14 ILS CIRCLE TO LAND RWY 32. FLC UNABLE DUE TO COMPANY REGS. PLT HAD TO INSIST ON RWY 32 VOR FROM PAM MIL TRACON. PIC FEELS MIL CTLR NOT RESPONSIVE IN ASSIGNMENT OF IFR APCH FOR CEILING AND VSBY CONDITIONS.
Narrative: WHILE APCHING PFN ON FLT XYZ FROM MEM AT APPROX XXX, THE PFN XXA ATIS CALLING FOR 800 BROKEN AND 5 MI IN LIGHT RAIN AND FOG WITH THE WIND FROM 340 DEG AT 10 K. LATER WX OBSERVATIONS RECEIVED DURING THE APCH WERE NOT SIGNIFICANTLY DIFFERENT FROM THIS. AS I AM SURE YOU KNOW, THE ONLY RWY THAT WE CAN USE AT PFN IS 32/14 WITH THE SOLE ILS TO 14. RWY 32/14 IS 6314' LONG, THE LNDG DISTANCE BEYOND THE GLIDE SLOPE ON THE ILS 14 IS ONLY 5263' AND THE RWY WAS WET AT THE TIME IN QUESTION. THE MLG WE WERE FLYING HAD EVERY SEAT FILLED AND WEIGHED APPROX 81000 LBS, JUST A BIT UNDER ITS MAX LNDG WEIGHT. WE ASKED TYNDALL APCH FOR THE VOR TO 32 AND WERE TOLD THAT THE ACTIVE RWY AT PFN WAS 14 AND THAT WE WERE CLRED FOR THE ILS TO 14, CIRCLE TO 32 IF WE DESIRED. WE INFORMED HIM THAT WE WERE NOT AUTH TO CIRCLE IN A MLG BELOW BASIC VFR AND THAT WE WANTED THE VOR TO 32. THE CTLR THEN INFORMED US THAT THE VOR 32 APCH WAS NOT AVAILABLE BECAUSE IT WENT DIRECTLY OVER TYNDALL AFB, AND THAT IF WE INSISTED, WE COULD USE THE VOR A APCH TO LAND ON RWY 32. ON THE VOR A APCH THE INBND R IS 239 DEGS, (MAKING IT 81 DEGS TO RWY 32, LEGALLY A CIRCLING APCH), AND THAT ITS MINIMUMS ARE VERY CLOSE TO THAT OF THE RPTED WX, NOT A PRUDENT CHOICE ESPECIALLY WHEN THERE IS A STRAIGHT-IN APCH AVAILABLE. CAPT THEN INFORMED TYNDALL APCH THAT IF THE VOR 32 APCH WAS INDEED STILL IN EFFECT AS IT WAS PUBLISHED IN OUR COMMERCIAL CHART MANUAL, THEN WE WANTED IT AND ALSO INCLUDED A BRIEF EXPLANATION OF OUR APPRAISAL OF THE SITUATION. AFTER A DELAY, WE WERE FINALLY CLRED FOR THE VOR 32 APCH, WITH VECTORS FOR THE FINAL PROVIDED INSTEAD OF THE PUBLISHED PROC TURN. THE APCH AND SUBSEQUENT LNDG WERE ROUTINE. I BELIEVE THAT HAD WE NOT PRESSED THIS CTLR FOR THE APCH WE FELT WAS THE BEST CHOICE CONSIDERING THE CIRCUMSTANCES, WE WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN CLRED FOR IT AND AN APCH THAT WAS MORE 'CONVENIENT' FOR THE CTLING FACILITY WOULD HAVE BEEN SUBSTITUTED. IT COULD HAVE BEEN BECAUSE OF LCL PRACTICE OR PERHAPS A PERSONAL DECISION NOT TO GO THROUGH THE HASSLE OF COORDINATING IT, ALTHOUGH, SINCE THE CTLING FACILITY IN THIS CASE WAS AN AIR FORCE ONE, ANOTHER EXPLANATION MIGHT INVOLVE THE DIFFERENCES IN THE REGS THAT PERTAIN TO MIL CTLRS VS THEIR CIVILIAN COUNTERPARTS. IN ANY CASE, I BELIEVE THAT THIS ACTION WARRANTS INCLUSION IN THE NASA ASRS PROGRAM AND I HAVE FILLED OUT THE APPROPRIATE FORM. I HOPE THAT THIS SITUATION IS NOT ALLOWED TO EXIST FOR MUCH LONGER, AND THAT A FLT CREW IS NOT 'LED DOWN THE PATH' TO CONTINUING AN OPERATION THAT IS NOT THE SAFEST POSSIBLE.
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.