|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : mrb|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 15000|
msl bound upper : 35000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zdc|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Widebody, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Navigation In Use||Other |
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : j162|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : crossing restriction not met|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
none taken : anomaly accepted
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
ATC cleared air carrier X to descend 15 west of martinsburg VOR and cross the 15 mile fix at 15000. Two attempts were made to enter the information, for the descent, in the computer. The computer would not accept the information. A manual descent was then started! Even with full speedbrake the altitude restriction could not be made. This is another example of the descent been given at the last minute. Even if we had not tried to enter the information in the computer, it would have still being difficult to make the restriction. At times ATC will give an intersection crossing altitude, and when you advise them that it would be impossible to make the altitude. They say 'do your best.' and the thing I don't understand is that there is a fix 14 miles west of martinsburg VOR that is on the charts and was also in the computer. Why didn't he use that? It is the old story! How can we plan ahead if we don't know how ATC is going to clear us? They get behind and give the clearance at the last minute, and it takes time for us to react. We need time too!
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ALT CROSSING RESTRICTION NOT MADE. FLT CREW MEMBER OBJECTS TO LATE DESCENT AND CTLR TECHNIQUE OR PROCEDURE.
Narrative: ATC CLRED ACR X TO DESCEND 15 WEST OF MARTINSBURG VOR AND CROSS THE 15 MILE FIX AT 15000. TWO ATTEMPTS WERE MADE TO ENTER THE INFORMATION, FOR THE DESCENT, IN THE COMPUTER. THE COMPUTER WOULD NOT ACCEPT THE INFORMATION. A MANUAL DESCENT WAS THEN STARTED! EVEN WITH FULL SPEEDBRAKE THE ALT RESTRICTION COULD NOT BE MADE. THIS IS ANOTHER EXAMPLE OF THE DESCENT BEEN GIVEN AT THE LAST MINUTE. EVEN IF WE HAD NOT TRIED TO ENTER THE INFORMATION IN THE COMPUTER, IT WOULD HAVE STILL BEING DIFFICULT TO MAKE THE RESTRICTION. AT TIMES ATC WILL GIVE AN INTERSECTION XING ALT, AND WHEN YOU ADVISE THEM THAT IT WOULD BE IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE THE ALT. THEY SAY 'DO YOUR BEST.' AND THE THING I DON'T UNDERSTAND IS THAT THERE IS A FIX 14 MILES WEST OF MARTINSBURG VOR THAT IS ON THE CHARTS AND WAS ALSO IN THE COMPUTER. WHY DIDN'T HE USE THAT? IT IS THE OLD STORY! HOW CAN WE PLAN AHEAD IF WE DON'T KNOW HOW ATC IS GOING TO CLR US? THEY GET BEHIND AND GIVE THE CLRNC AT THE LAST MINUTE, AND IT TAKES TIME FOR US TO REACT. WE NEED TIME TOO!
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.