|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : pcu|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4200|
msl bound upper : 5000
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : v552|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : overshoot|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
During the stop at baton rouge my wife became ill with what was later diagnosed as a virus. However, she did not tell me how badly she really felt. We departed metropolitan-ryan airport at about XA30 hours with an assigned altitude of 7000' and routing direct to the picayune VOR and then via victor 552. My transponder with mode C was operating normally. At about XB15 hours, while at 7000' soon after passing picayune, it was necessary to enter clouds and some light to moderate turbulence was encountered. Gpt approach control was the controling agency at the time. Because of my wife's illness and the flight conditions, she became frightened almost to the point of panic. She told me, 'I can't take any more of this.' I requested and received clearance to descend to 5000'. My wife continued to express fear and appeared to be very ill. During the descent ATC suggested a change of routing direct to saufley VOR because of WX along my assigned route. I was not sure of the exact location of saufley, and I had to unfold my chart to find it. I accepted the change of routing and then saw that I was descending through 4200'. I started a climb back to 5000', then requested and received clearance to descend to and maintain 3000'. I completed that descent and the flight then proceeded normally to destination, ft walton beach. The incident occurred solely because I allowed myself to be distracted. I should have asked the controller to stand by until I was established at 5000'. Also, a warning from the controller based on the mode C information would have been helpful.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ALT OVERSHOT ON DESCENT WHEN PLT DISTRACTED BY PASSENGER ILLNESS.
Narrative: DURING THE STOP AT BATON ROUGE MY WIFE BECAME ILL WITH WHAT WAS LATER DIAGNOSED AS A VIRUS. HOWEVER, SHE DID NOT TELL ME HOW BADLY SHE REALLY FELT. WE DEPARTED METRO-RYAN ARPT AT ABOUT XA30 HRS WITH AN ASSIGNED ALT OF 7000' AND ROUTING DIRECT TO THE PICAYUNE VOR AND THEN VIA VICTOR 552. MY TRANSPONDER WITH MODE C WAS OPERATING NORMALLY. AT ABOUT XB15 HRS, WHILE AT 7000' SOON AFTER PASSING PICAYUNE, IT WAS NECESSARY TO ENTER CLOUDS AND SOME LIGHT TO MODERATE TURB WAS ENCOUNTERED. GPT APCH CTL WAS THE CTLING AGENCY AT THE TIME. BECAUSE OF MY WIFE'S ILLNESS AND THE FLT CONDITIONS, SHE BECAME FRIGHTENED ALMOST TO THE POINT OF PANIC. SHE TOLD ME, 'I CAN'T TAKE ANY MORE OF THIS.' I REQUESTED AND RECEIVED CLRNC TO DSND TO 5000'. MY WIFE CONTINUED TO EXPRESS FEAR AND APPEARED TO BE VERY ILL. DURING THE DSCNT ATC SUGGESTED A CHANGE OF ROUTING DIRECT TO SAUFLEY VOR BECAUSE OF WX ALONG MY ASSIGNED ROUTE. I WAS NOT SURE OF THE EXACT LOCATION OF SAUFLEY, AND I HAD TO UNFOLD MY CHART TO FIND IT. I ACCEPTED THE CHANGE OF ROUTING AND THEN SAW THAT I WAS DSNDING THROUGH 4200'. I STARTED A CLB BACK TO 5000', THEN REQUESTED AND RECEIVED CLRNC TO DSND TO AND MAINTAIN 3000'. I COMPLETED THAT DSCNT AND THE FLT THEN PROCEEDED NORMALLY TO DEST, FT WALTON BEACH. THE INCIDENT OCCURRED SOLELY BECAUSE I ALLOWED MYSELF TO BE DISTRACTED. I SHOULD HAVE ASKED THE CTLR TO STAND BY UNTIL I WAS ESTABLISHED AT 5000'. ALSO, A WARNING FROM THE CTLR BASED ON THE MODE C INFO WOULD HAVE BEEN HELPFUL.
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.