|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : djb|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 29000|
msl bound upper : 33000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zid|
artcc : zob
|Route In Use||enroute airway : zid|
enroute airway : zob
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
|Experience||controller radar : 6|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : unspecified|
A procedure has been in effect in area C since mid-oct wherein dtw arrs, filed northbound on J85 over djb at FL330 or above must be cleared by the lck controller to 'cross the djb 47 DME at FL330 then descend to cross the djb 35 DME at FL290.' radar handoff is made to the ZOB rav sector and communications change to the ZOB ash sector. Since the aircraft is required to maintain FL330 until the ZOB/ZID boundary (djb 47 DME), no coordination is required between the lck and ape sectors. The following example illustrates just how dangerous this procedure could prove to be under the right (or wrong?) circumstances. Referring to the accompanying diagram, aircraft a is a dtw arrival and has been issued the above stated clearance to comply with the procedure in question. Immediately below aircraft a is aircraft B, a J85 overflt at FL310. Lck sector is working aircraft a, ape sector is working aircraft B, and neither controller is aware of the other's aircraft. Lck effects a handoff on aircraft a to the rav sector but, as the procedure requires, switches the aircraft to the ash sector. Ape hands off aircraft be to rav and communications transfer is made to rav. Aircraft a has been issued an authority/authorized clearance to descend through aircraft B's altitude. Naturally, at the time of the 2 handoffs, the rav controller would be all too aware of the very serious impending problem. Aircraft a would normally already have been issued the clearance to FL290 and, given the close proximity to the ZID/ZOB boundary and speeds involved, last minute coordination on the handoff line is an inadequate was of solving the problem. Sole responsibility for preventing this situation lies with the rav controller. The procedure is awkward at best and downright dangerous, given the margin for error in the real world ATC environment. Since the dtw arrs must travel a minimum of 142 NM from the ZID/ZOB boundary to dtw, I feel the original procedure of crossing the 50 DME south of djb (3 mi inside ZID airspace) is adequate, and that abandoning this new procedure is imperative in the interest of safety. FAA unsatisfactory condition report filed. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: callback indicates this procedure is no longer in use. Reporter indicates it was not discontinued due to his ucr and that the reply to his ucr was the standard 'we see no problem' reply. Background on procedure was given in that it was established at ZOB ARTCC request due to traffic flow in their airspace. Reporter admits his hypothetical situation did have a lot of 'if's', but he felt it was unsafe. Since procedure is no longer in use, analyst sees no reason for FYI or ab.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CTLR COMPLAINT ON ARR PROC USED BETWEEN ADJACENT ARTCCS.
Narrative: A PROC HAS BEEN IN EFFECT IN AREA C SINCE MID-OCT WHEREIN DTW ARRS, FILED NBOUND ON J85 OVER DJB AT FL330 OR ABOVE MUST BE CLRED BY THE LCK CTLR TO 'CROSS THE DJB 47 DME AT FL330 THEN DSND TO CROSS THE DJB 35 DME AT FL290.' RADAR HDOF IS MADE TO THE ZOB RAV SECTOR AND COMS CHANGE TO THE ZOB ASH SECTOR. SINCE THE ACFT IS REQUIRED TO MAINTAIN FL330 UNTIL THE ZOB/ZID BOUNDARY (DJB 47 DME), NO COORD IS REQUIRED BTWN THE LCK AND APE SECTORS. THE FOLLOWING EXAMPLE ILLUSTRATES JUST HOW DANGEROUS THIS PROC COULD PROVE TO BE UNDER THE RIGHT (OR WRONG?) CIRCUMSTANCES. REFERRING TO THE ACCOMPANYING DIAGRAM, ACFT A IS A DTW ARR AND HAS BEEN ISSUED THE ABOVE STATED CLRNC TO COMPLY WITH THE PROC IN QUESTION. IMMEDIATELY BELOW ACFT A IS ACFT B, A J85 OVERFLT AT FL310. LCK SECTOR IS WORKING ACFT A, APE SECTOR IS WORKING ACFT B, AND NEITHER CTLR IS AWARE OF THE OTHER'S ACFT. LCK EFFECTS A HDOF ON ACFT A TO THE RAV SECTOR BUT, AS THE PROC REQUIRES, SWITCHES THE ACFT TO THE ASH SECTOR. APE HANDS OFF ACFT BE TO RAV AND COMS TRANSFER IS MADE TO RAV. ACFT A HAS BEEN ISSUED AN AUTH CLRNC TO DSND THROUGH ACFT B'S ALT. NATURALLY, AT THE TIME OF THE 2 HDOFS, THE RAV CTLR WOULD BE ALL TOO AWARE OF THE VERY SERIOUS IMPENDING PROB. ACFT A WOULD NORMALLY ALREADY HAVE BEEN ISSUED THE CLRNC TO FL290 AND, GIVEN THE CLOSE PROX TO THE ZID/ZOB BOUNDARY AND SPDS INVOLVED, LAST MINUTE COORD ON THE HDOF LINE IS AN INADEQUATE WAS OF SOLVING THE PROB. SOLE RESPONSIBILITY FOR PREVENTING THIS SITUATION LIES WITH THE RAV CTLR. THE PROC IS AWKWARD AT BEST AND DOWNRIGHT DANGEROUS, GIVEN THE MARGIN FOR ERROR IN THE REAL WORLD ATC ENVIRONMENT. SINCE THE DTW ARRS MUST TRAVEL A MINIMUM OF 142 NM FROM THE ZID/ZOB BOUNDARY TO DTW, I FEEL THE ORIGINAL PROC OF XING THE 50 DME S OF DJB (3 MI INSIDE ZID AIRSPACE) IS ADEQUATE, AND THAT ABANDONING THIS NEW PROC IS IMPERATIVE IN THE INTEREST OF SAFETY. FAA UNSATISFACTORY CONDITION RPT FILED. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: CALLBACK INDICATES THIS PROC IS NO LONGER IN USE. RPTR INDICATES IT WAS NOT DISCONTINUED DUE TO HIS UCR AND THAT THE REPLY TO HIS UCR WAS THE STANDARD 'WE SEE NO PROB' REPLY. BACKGROUND ON PROC WAS GIVEN IN THAT IT WAS ESTABLISHED AT ZOB ARTCC REQUEST DUE TO TFC FLOW IN THEIR AIRSPACE. RPTR ADMITS HIS HYPOTHETICAL SITUATION DID HAVE A LOT OF 'IF'S', BUT HE FELT IT WAS UNSAFE. SINCE PROC IS NO LONGER IN USE, ANALYST SEES NO REASON FOR FYI OR AB.
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.