|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : jad|
airport : iad
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4000|
msl bound upper : 4000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : iap|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Medium Large Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turbojet Eng|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 240|
flight time total : 12500
flight time type : 7000
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : overcame equipment problem|
flight crew : declared emergency
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The first officer was flying the aircraft on takeoff from runway 30 at iad (dulles). After we were airborne both the first officer and I heard some crackling in the radio but weren't concerned about it at the time. We were maintaining our last assigned clearance which was maintain runway heading and 4000'. The tower never was heard to tell us to switch to departure frequency so I initiated a call to them with no results. I switched to the departure frequency and tried them with still no contact. I then tried the departure frequency on our other (#2) VHF comm radio with still no results. I then asked the first officer to use her microphone and her jackbox to attempt contact which still proved unsuccessful. At this time we set the transponder to 7700 then 7500 and I attempted contact with anybody on 121.5 still with no results. I was now faced with reviewing my options and since my destination (memphis) weather and enroute weather were not VFR, I had decided to exercise my emergency authority and return to dulles (squawking 7700) and make a no radio approach hoping that they would move traffic out of my way. At this time the flight attendant rang the cockpit with the call system. When I pushed the jackbox interphone button in to tell them to standby, I found that our communications radios started working normally from the first officer's station and the observers (jumpseat) station as long as my interphone transmit button remained pushed in. Since we now had communications with both radio's we terminated the emergency with ATC and continued uneventfully to our destination. In subsequent talks with ATC and FAA personnel I found that all major control tower and approach controls (those having ARTS III equipment) have an alarm that sounds when transponder code 7700 is received and that returning in IFR conditions with no radio to the destination airport would not be completely disruptive to the ATC system and in some cases might be the most appropriate course of action. I believe this information should be added to far 91.127 as a possible alternative to extended operation no radio IFR thru many ATC sectors and centers and being faced with making a no radio approach at many of the airline hub airports.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ACFT EQUIPMENT PROBLEM RENDERED ALL ACFT RADIOS INOPERATIVE. EMERGENCY DECLARED.
Narrative: THE F/O WAS FLYING THE ACFT ON TKOF FROM RWY 30 AT IAD (DULLES). AFTER WE WERE AIRBORNE BOTH THE F/O AND I HEARD SOME CRACKLING IN THE RADIO BUT WEREN'T CONCERNED ABOUT IT AT THE TIME. WE WERE MAINTAINING OUR LAST ASSIGNED CLRNC WHICH WAS MAINTAIN RWY HEADING AND 4000'. THE TWR NEVER WAS HEARD TO TELL US TO SWITCH TO DEP FREQ SO I INITIATED A CALL TO THEM WITH NO RESULTS. I SWITCHED TO THE DEP FREQ AND TRIED THEM WITH STILL NO CONTACT. I THEN TRIED THE DEP FREQ ON OUR OTHER (#2) VHF COMM RADIO WITH STILL NO RESULTS. I THEN ASKED THE F/O TO USE HER MICROPHONE AND HER JACKBOX TO ATTEMPT CONTACT WHICH STILL PROVED UNSUCCESSFUL. AT THIS TIME WE SET THE TRANSPONDER TO 7700 THEN 7500 AND I ATTEMPTED CONTACT WITH ANYBODY ON 121.5 STILL WITH NO RESULTS. I WAS NOW FACED WITH REVIEWING MY OPTIONS AND SINCE MY DEST (MEMPHIS) WEATHER AND ENROUTE WEATHER WERE NOT VFR, I HAD DECIDED TO EXERCISE MY EMER AUTHORITY AND RETURN TO DULLES (SQUAWKING 7700) AND MAKE A NO RADIO APCH HOPING THAT THEY WOULD MOVE TFC OUT OF MY WAY. AT THIS TIME THE FLT ATTENDANT RANG THE COCKPIT WITH THE CALL SYSTEM. WHEN I PUSHED THE JACKBOX INTERPHONE BUTTON IN TO TELL THEM TO STANDBY, I FOUND THAT OUR COMMUNICATIONS RADIOS STARTED WORKING NORMALLY FROM THE F/O'S STATION AND THE OBSERVERS (JUMPSEAT) STATION AS LONG AS MY INTERPHONE XMIT BUTTON REMAINED PUSHED IN. SINCE WE NOW HAD COMMUNICATIONS WITH BOTH RADIO'S WE TERMINATED THE EMER WITH ATC AND CONTINUED UNEVENTFULLY TO OUR DEST. IN SUBSEQUENT TALKS WITH ATC AND FAA PERSONNEL I FOUND THAT ALL MAJOR CTL TWR AND APCH CTLS (THOSE HAVING ARTS III EQUIPMENT) HAVE AN ALARM THAT SOUNDS WHEN TRANSPONDER CODE 7700 IS RECEIVED AND THAT RETURNING IN IFR CONDITIONS WITH NO RADIO TO THE DEST ARPT WOULD NOT BE COMPLETELY DISRUPTIVE TO THE ATC SYSTEM AND IN SOME CASES MIGHT BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE COURSE OF ACTION. I BELIEVE THIS INFORMATION SHOULD BE ADDED TO FAR 91.127 AS A POSSIBLE ALTERNATIVE TO EXTENDED OPERATION NO RADIO IFR THRU MANY ATC SECTORS AND CENTERS AND BEING FACED WITH MAKING A NO RADIO APCH AT MANY OF THE AIRLINE HUB ARPTS.
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.