|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : den|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 15400|
msl bound upper : 16000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zdv|
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Medium Transport|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 8000
flight time type : 250
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
altitude deviation : overshoot
non adherence : clearance
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : returned to intended course or assigned course|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
We were the 5TH aircraft on the profile descent into denver. Everyone was waiting as long as possible to descend, so as to avoid turbulence and to save fuel. The center started to hold the aircraft in front of us and therefore cancelled our profile descent. Center gave us dscnts 2000' at a time. Because we were landing at a feeder airport, we were given an off course vector for descent. At approximately 50 mi from our destination we were told to expedite a descent to 16000'. Because of mod turbulence and icing in the clouds we were very busy trying to maintain power for anti-icing, slow for turbulence, and expedite our descent. The autoplt did not level off at 16000'. I caught the mistake and leveled at 15400' and began a climb back to 16000'. About the time we started climbing back to 16000' the center called and asked our altitude. I said 16000. After landing it occurred to me that I had made 2 errors besides deviating from my assigned altitude. The 2 additional errors were more important than the altitude deviation. The additional errors reflect a feeling and situation that is very bad. They show how the relationship between the aviation community and the FAA has degraded in the last few years. The first of the two additional errors was not immediately reporting the altitude deviation. The second was incorrectly reporting my altitude as 16000'. The reason for the 2 deceptions is simple. If one tells the truth, some FAA lawyer will be right there to try and take your license away. Anyone can make a mistake, but the covering up of that mistake can be more dangerous than the mistake itself.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: DESCENDING TO 16000', AUTOPLT DID NOT CAPTURE AND FLT CREW PERMITTED ACFT TO DESCEND TO 15400'.
Narrative: WE WERE THE 5TH ACFT ON THE PROFILE DSCNT INTO DENVER. EVERYONE WAS WAITING AS LONG AS POSSIBLE TO DSND, SO AS TO AVOID TURB AND TO SAVE FUEL. THE CENTER STARTED TO HOLD THE ACFT IN FRONT OF US AND THEREFORE CANCELLED OUR PROFILE DSCNT. CENTER GAVE US DSCNTS 2000' AT A TIME. BECAUSE WE WERE LNDG AT A FEEDER ARPT, WE WERE GIVEN AN OFF COURSE VECTOR FOR DSCNT. AT APPROX 50 MI FROM OUR DEST WE WERE TOLD TO EXPEDITE A DSCNT TO 16000'. BECAUSE OF MOD TURB AND ICING IN THE CLOUDS WE WERE VERY BUSY TRYING TO MAINTAIN POWER FOR ANTI-ICING, SLOW FOR TURB, AND EXPEDITE OUR DSCNT. THE AUTOPLT DID NOT LEVEL OFF AT 16000'. I CAUGHT THE MISTAKE AND LEVELED AT 15400' AND BEGAN A CLIMB BACK TO 16000'. ABOUT THE TIME WE STARTED CLIMBING BACK TO 16000' THE CENTER CALLED AND ASKED OUR ALT. I SAID 16000. AFTER LNDG IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT I HAD MADE 2 ERRORS BESIDES DEVIATING FROM MY ASSIGNED ALT. THE 2 ADDITIONAL ERRORS WERE MORE IMPORTANT THAN THE ALT DEVIATION. THE ADDITIONAL ERRORS REFLECT A FEELING AND SITUATION THAT IS VERY BAD. THEY SHOW HOW THE RELATIONSHIP BETWEEN THE AVIATION COMMUNITY AND THE FAA HAS DEGRADED IN THE LAST FEW YEARS. THE FIRST OF THE TWO ADDITIONAL ERRORS WAS NOT IMMEDIATELY REPORTING THE ALT DEVIATION. THE SECOND WAS INCORRECTLY REPORTING MY ALT AS 16000'. THE REASON FOR THE 2 DECEPTIONS IS SIMPLE. IF ONE TELLS THE TRUTH, SOME FAA LAWYER WILL BE RIGHT THERE TO TRY AND TAKE YOUR LICENSE AWAY. ANYONE CAN MAKE A MISTAKE, BUT THE COVERING UP OF THAT MISTAKE CAN BE MORE DANGEROUS THAN THE MISTAKE ITSELF.
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.