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Incidents related to Issue 10 incidents related to this issue.

Issue: automation performance may be limited (Issue #126)
Description: The ability of the automation to perform correctly and quickly may be limited by design constraints, possibly increasing pilot workload and the opportunity for error.

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  2. Accession Number: 360911
    Synopsis: AN ACR CAPT RPTS THAT THE AUTOFLT SYS ON THE MD88 HAS SOME 'ERRATIC AND POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS' CHARACTERISTICS ASSOCIATED WITH THE VNAV AND AUTOTHROTTLE FUNCTIONS. THE RPTR ALSO COMPLAINS ABOUT A NAV PROGRAM IN THE FMC.
    Narrative: THE VNAV CAPTURE FUNCTION OF AUTOPLT IS POTENTIALLY HAZARDOUS DURING CONDITIONS OF HIGH ACFT CLB PERFORMANCE (IE, LIGHT GROSS WT AND/OR LOW TEMP). IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR THE AUTOTHROTTLES TO PULL BACK PWR BELOW CLEAN SPD WHILE IN A TURN, AT 3000 FT MSL WITH LEVEL OFF AT 6000 FT MSL. EVEN CLBING AT 250 KTS PASSING THROUGH 10000 FT ENRTE TO 12000 FT IT IS NOT UNCOMMON FOR THE AUTOTHROTTLES TO PULL BACK PWR AND THEN JAM IT ON AGAIN TO ACCELERATE. THIS ERRATIC NATURE OF THE AUTOTHROTTLES REQUIRES THE PLT'S FULL ATTN, OR WILL BE MISSED WHILE PERFORMING OTHER FLT DUTIES AND RESULT IN AIRSPD FALLING BELOW SAFE LEVELS. THE INCLUSION OF THE 6000 FT INITIAL CLB ALT IN THE FMS FOR THE REDSS ONE DEP INHIBITS VNAV WHEN, WHILE ON VECTORS, WE ARE GIVEN CLRNC TO A HIGHER ALT. PLEASE REMOVE THIS RESTR FROM THE FMS DATA BANK FOR THE DEP. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THIS RPTR SAID THAT SINCE HE HAS STARTED OPERATING THIS ACFT IN LINE OPS HE HAS DISCOVERED THAT IT DOES NOT ALWAYS SMOOTHLY AND CORRECTLY CAPTURE THE SELECTED ALT. THE MD88 AUTOTHROTTLES WILL START REDUCING THRUST WELL BEFORE THEY SHOULD AS THE ACFT APCHS ITS ALT HE SAID. ALSO HE COMPLAINED THAT IN SOME EXTREME CASES THE AUTOTHROTTLES WOULD ALLOW THE AIRSPD TO DECREASE TO A CRITICAL LEVEL IF HE WERE NOT WATCHFUL. HE ALSO COMPLAINED THAT IF THE LEVEL OFF ALT WAS AROUND 10000 FT OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE, THE AUTOTHROTTLES WOULD REDUCE AS THE ALT WAS CAPTURED AND THEN GO BACK TO FULL PWR AFTER LEVELING AT OR PASSING 10000 FT. LASTLY, THE RPTR COMPLAINED ABOUT A RECENT CHANGE IN THE SOFTWARE THAT WAS ANTICIPATING A NORMAL CLRNC THAT IS OFTEN GIVEN ON A DEP. HOWEVER, THE ALT RESTR IS NOT ALWAYS GIVEN YET, WITH THE SOFTWARE CHANGE, THE FMC ALWAYS TRIES TO MEET THE RESTR.

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  4. Accession Number: 361546
    Synopsis: AN ACR B767 FLC HAS DIFFICULTY WITH THEIR FMCS AND RELATED NAV AND AUTOFLT SYS. THE PROBS WERE FINALLY RESOLVED AND THE SYS ARE RESTORED TO NORMAL OP.
    Narrative: FLT LEFT LHR ON TIME AT XX00Z. INITIALLY ON HDGS/ VECTORS BY LONDON AND SCOTTISH CTL. OCCASIONALLY WHILE CLBING OUT WE WOULD GET MESSAGE ON FMC 'RTE UPLINK READY TO LOAD.' SINCE WE HAD ALREADY DONE THIS ON THE GND AND EVERYTHING LOOKED NORMAL IT WAS JUST BOTHERSOME, BUT QUESTIONABLE WHY THIS FMC (BOTH ACTUALLY) WAS DOING THAT. NEAR GLASGOW WE WERE AT OUR FINAL, FL310 AND THE FO HAD FINISHED DOING ALL THE REQUIRED CHKS BEFORE ENTERING CLASS II AIRSPACE. IRS CHKED FINE, OUR VOR CHK WAS RIGHT ON, POS CHK WAS CORRECT AND OUR MAGNETIC COMPASS, HSI CHK WAS CORRECT. I WAS PF AND HAD ACFT HOOKED UP TO AUTOPLT AND AUTOTHROTTLE. WE WERE ABOUT TO RECEIVE OUR OCEANIC CLRNC WHEN ON THE ADI THE VNAV ANNUNCIATION AND LNAV ANNUNCIATION WENT AMBER WITH A YELLOW LINE THROUGH THEM. SIMULTANEOUSLY A MASTER CAUTION WENT OFF WITH ANNUNCIATION OF AUTOTHROTTLE DISCONNECT AND AUTOPLT DISCONNECT. THE AUTOTHROTTLE DID DISCONNECT, BUT THE ACFT'S AUTOPLT STAYED ENGAGED, BUT WITHOUT ANY GUIDANCE. TRYING TO RE-ENGAGE LNAV AND VNAV WAS UNSUCCESSFUL. WE DESELECTED CTR AUTOPLT AND TRIED THE L AND R AUTOPLT WITH NO SUCCESS. USING HEADING SELECT I WAS ABLE TO MAINTAIN DIRECTIONAL GUIDANCE AND SELECTING 'FLCH' WAS ABLE TO MAINTAIN AIRSPD AND ALT. SINCE THE AUTOPLT WAS WORKING, OBVIOUSLY SOMETHING WITH LNAV AND VNAV WAS NOT FUNCTIONING PROPERLY. WE HAD LOST OUR ACTIVE WAYPOINT, (WE WERE DIRECT 'MATIK' AT TIME) HOWEVER ALL OUR WAYPOINTS WERE STILL DISPLAYED. THE FMC STILL HELD OUR RTE, BUT NO ETA'S WERE ON LEG'S PAGES OR ON PROGRESS PAGE. WE RE-SELECTED 'MATIK' AS OUR ACTIVE WAYPOINT, AND WHILE VERY SLOW THE FMC FINALLY REENGAGED THE RTES AND WE TRIED 'LNAV' AND THE ACFT WAS ONCE AGAIN ON IRS NAV. THE CAPT THEN TOLD ME 'YOU FLY AND TALK, WE'LL WORK ON THE PROB' MEANING THE FO AND HIM. THEY CALLED MAINT AND DISPATCH AND APPARENTLY THEY WERE OF VERY LITTLE HELP. I DID NOT HEAR ANY OF THEIR CONVERSATION EXCEPT THE FO AND CAPT WERE VERY UPSET WITH THEM. DURING THIS TIME I HAD SCOTTISH CONFIRM OUR POS, AND I DID SOME CHKING ON FIX PAGE WITH VORS AND SUCH. ALL THE TIME, THE FMC DISPLAY A RTE, BUT IT WAS NOT ACTIVE, AND ABOUT THIS TIME MAINT HAD US PULL AND RESET CERTAIN CIRCUIT BREAKERS. AFTER THIS THE RTE HAD REMAINED IN THE FMC, BUT IT HAD NOW BECOME 'MOD RTE' WHICH MEANS IT WAS NOT ACTIVE, ALSO THE MESSAGE 'PERF/VNAV UNAVAILABLE' STARTED BEING DISPLAYED. THE FO AND I REALIZED ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THAT THAT MEANT WE'D LOST OUR PERFORMANCE PLATFORM, AND THAT WAS ONE REASON WE DID NOT HAVE ETA'S TO POINTS. I INDEXED THE FMC AND PULLED UP PERFORMANCE PAGE AND SURE ENOUGH ALL OUR PERFORMANCE DATA HAD BEEN DUMPED, PROBABLY DUE TO RESETTING CIRCUIT BREAKERS OF FMC AND OTHER EQUIP. AS SOON AS I ENTERED ALL THE DATA THE FMC IMMEDIATELY CAME UP WITH ALL THE PROPER DATA, ETA'S TO FIX, TIME ENRTE, GROSS WT, ETC. WE ONCE AGAIN DID ALL OUR CHKS FOR ENTERING CLASS II AIRSPACE, AND FELT COMFORTABLE THAT THE PROB WAS FIXED. WE AGREED AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY. DURING THE OCEAN XING WE WERE ALWAYS ON COURSE AND WHILE OVER ICELAND HAD OUR POS VERIFIED WITH REYKEVIC CTL. ON WHY THE FMC DID WHAT IT DID I HAVE SOME THOUGHTS. WHILE UNDER RADAR VECTORS, THE CAPT KEPT SWITCHING FROM HDG SELECT TO LNAV, FOR AS HE SAID 'TO KEEP THE CLOCK UPDATED.' OFTEN WHEN HE DID THIS THE MESSAGE 'NOT ON INTERCEPT HDG' WOULD COME UP. SINCE I WAS HAND FLYING AND KEEPING A HEADING IT MAY HAVE CONFUSED THE FMC ON WHAT IT WAS SUPPOSED TO DO. ALSO I KNOW THE CAPT WAS GOING TO UPLOAD THE WINDS, BUT I WONDER IF HE ACCIDENTALLY HIT 'UP LOAD RTE' INSTEAD AND THAT WAS WHY WE KEPT GETTING 'RTE UPLINK READY TO LOAD' MESSAGE. WE NEVER HAD FMC FAILURE, NOR DID WE GET THAT MESSAGE, THE RTE WAS ALWAYS IN THE FMC, AND MAP DISPLAY WAS GOOD, IT JUST FOR SOME REASON, PROBABLY HUMAN, CAUSED IT TO OVERLOAD AND GO INTO A DEGRADE MODE UNTIL IT HAD ALL THE FACTS. THAT WE WERE ABLE TO RESTORE IT POINTS TO SOME GLITCH, EITHER ELECTRONICALLY OR HUMAN, THAT CAUSED IT TO BEHAVE THE WAY IT DID. AT NO TIME WERE WE IN CLASS II AIRSPACE, AND AT NO TIME DID WE LOSE STANDARD NAV CAPABILITY (VOR, ADF, ILS). CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE INTL RELIEF FO SAID THAT HE SUSPECTED THAT THE CAPT HAD INITIALLY ATTEMPTED TO ENTER UPDATED WINDS BY INADVERTENTLY PUSHING THE 'UPLOAD RTE' BUTTON. THE RPTR SAID THAT LATER IN THE FLT, THE REGULAR FO AND HE TALKED ABOUT THESE EVENTS AND THEY AGREED THAT THE PRIMARY CAUSE OF THE PROB WAS HUMAN ERROR. THE RPTR ALSO SAID THAT ONE OF THE OTHER PROBS WAS THAT THE FMCS WERE BEING OVERLOADED WITH INPUTS AND WERE IN DANGER OF CEASING TO FUNCTION. THIS IS A COMMON PROB AND OR LIMITATION THE RPTR SAID WITH THE B767 AND B757 FMCS. HE SAID THAT YOU JUST CAN'T MOVE TOO FAST WITH YOUR TYPING OR THEY WILL QUIT.

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  6. Accession Number: 368720
    Synopsis: CAPT OF AN MD88 DSNDED BELOW ASSIGNED DUE TO AUTOPLT FAILURE TO TRIM ACFT TO HOLD ALT DUE TO THE HIGH RATE OF SLOWING THE ACFT FOR A SPD REDUCTION.
    Narrative: ON ARR INTO ATL ON THE ROME ARR WE WERE LEVEL AT 11000 FT AND WE WERE SLOWING FROM 320 KTS TO 210 KIAS. AS THE ACFT WAS SLOWING DOWN AND TRIMMING UP, I WAS DOING AN APCH BRIEFING. I HAD MY COMMERCIAL CHART BOOK IN FRONT OF ME AND WAS BRIEFING THE APCH. I DID NOT NOTICE, BUT THE ACFT STARTED A GRADUAL DSCNT BECAUSE THE AUTOPLT COULD NOT TRIM FAST ENOUGH FOR THE AIRSPD CHANGE. WE LOST 300 FT BEFORE I NOTICED AND I IMMEDIATELY CORRECTED BACK TO ALT. NO OTHER ACFT WERE IN THE AREA AND ATC MADE NO COMMENT.

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  8. Accession Number: 369260
    Synopsis: FLC OF AN MD80 OVERSHOT DSCNT ALT DUE TO THE INCORRECT OP OF THE AUTOPLT. THE ACFT WAS IMMEDIATELY RETURNED TO ASSIGNED ALT.
    Narrative: ZLA CLRED US TO 12000 FT. AT 13000 FT, I CALLED OUT THE 1000 FT TO GO RPT TO THE CAPT. AT 12600 FT, WE SWITCHED TO LAS VEGAS APCH. LAS APCH TOLD US TO REDUCE SPD TO 250 KTS. THE AUTOPLT OF OUR MD80 WAS ENGAGED AND THE ALT WAS ARMED FOR CAPTURE. WE WERE CURRENTLY AT 320 KTS FOR THE DSCNT. CAPT USED THE IAS PITCH WHEEL ON AUTOPLT TO REDUCE OUR SPD. AIRSPD GRADUALLY STARTED TO REDUCE. AS THE ACFT REACHED 12000 FT, I SAW THE AUTOPLT DID NOT CAPTURE ALT. I CALLED OUT '12000 FT -- WE'RE CLRED TO 12000 FT.' CAPT ACKNOWLEDGED AT 11900 FT 'WE WERE CLRED FOR 12000 FT?' 'YES 12000 FT' I RESPONDED. CAPT DISCONNECTED AUTOPLT AND RECOVERED AT 11600 FT AND LEVELED IMMEDIATELY OFF AT 12000 FT. TOTAL DEV 400 FT FOR 1 SECOND. (I FORGOT TO MENTION WE WERE CLRED TO CROSS 40 NM ON LAS R-060 AT 12000 FT.) THE MD80 IS NOTORIOUS FOR THE AUTOPLT NOT CAPTURING THE ARMED ALT IF THE IAS OR VERT SPD PITCH WHEEL IS CHANGED PRIOR TO THE ASSIGNED ALT. ESPECIALLY IF A LARGE DEV IS REQUIRED (IE, 70 KTS DIFFERENCE IN THE ABOVE EXAMPLE) THE AUTOPLT CANNOT DO BOTH CAPTURE ALT AND REDUCE A LARGE DIFFERENCE IN AIRSPD. IF LAS APCH WOULD HAVE CLRED US TO REDUCE SPD TO 250 KTS THEN DSND TO 12000 FT OR LEVEL AT 12000 FT THEN REDUCE TO 250 KTS OUR AUTOPLT WOULD HAVE CAPTURED THE ASSIGNED ALT.

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  10. Accession Number: 379502
    Synopsis: NAV ERROR. FO ON A B727-200 RPTS ON THE INACCURACY OF THE OMEGA SYS IN USE THAT DAY FROM BOS TO ARUBA. BY THE TIME THEY ARRIVED AT ZMA CTL AREA THEY WERE SOME 85 MI W OF PLANNED COURSE. FO CITES THE CAPT AS BEING PARTLY RESPONSIBLE FOR NOT INSURING A LAND DEP POINT FOR AN ACCURACY CHK OF THE OMEGA.
    Narrative: TO BEGIN WITH, THE FLT PLAN RTE NEEDS TO BE STATED. I FEEL THE INITIAL FAILURE TO FLY THE FLT PLAN RTE MAY HAVE LED TO THE EVENT. DEP POINT: BOS. ARR POINT: ARUBA. FLT PLAN/CLRNC: LOGAN 1 LUCOS SEY 067 SEY DIRECT HTO DIRECT RANCO DIRECT KUPEC A554 LAMER DIRECT SEKAR DIRECT PTA UW7 BEROX A567 TNCA. THE ACFT LONG RANGE NAV SYS IS OMEGA. A STANDARD PRACTICE WHEN USING OMEGA IS TO POSITIVELY FIX THE POS BY OVERFLYING A VOR OR NDB PRIOR TO GOING ON AN OCEANIC RTE. THIS IS WHERE I BELIEVE THE PROB INITIALLY OCCURRED. UPON REACHING LUCOS INTXN ON THE LOGAN 1 DEP FROM BOS, ZBW CLRED THE FLT DIRECT TO RANCO INTXN. THE CAPT OF THE FLT ACCEPTED THIS CLRNC. I QUESTIONED WHETHER WE SHOULD ACCEPT THIS BECAUSE WE NEEDED TO GO OVER A GATE AND POSITIVELY FIX OUR POS WITH THE OMEGA. WHAT FOLLOWED WAS A RATHER INTENSE DISCUSSION OVER WHAT WAS THE CORRECT AND PROPER PROC WHEN FLYING WITH OMEGA. THE CAPT'S ARGUMENT WAS THAT HIS MAP AND PLOTTER SHOWED THAT THE OMEGA COURSE AND DISTANCE WERE INDEED CORRECT. I COULD NOT ARGUE WITH THIS EXCEPT TO SAY THAT WITHOUT A POSITIVE FIX ON THE OMEGA, THE SYS TENDED TO WANDER. AFTER WE BEGAN TO GO DIRECT RANCO, I COUPLED THE AUTOPLT TO THE OMEGA. UPON REACHING RANCO, WE TRIED TO TRIANGULATE THE POS WITH BEARINGS FROM HTO AND SIE VORS. THESE BEARINGS SHOWED THE ACFT TO BE A LITTLE W AND S OF COURSE, COMPARED TO THE OMEGA. WE CORRECTED FOR THESE INDICATIONS AND THEN PROCEEDED TO FLY DIRECT KUPEC-A554 ETC. IT MUST BE STATED HERE THAT AFTER RANCO, THE FLT LOSES RADAR CONTACT AND MUST MAKE POS RPTS. THE OMEGA AND AUTOPLT APPEARED TO BE OPERATING PROPERLY. EACH POS CAME WITHIN 2-3 MINS OF WHAT THE COMPUTER FLT PLAN SHOWED. WE GAVE OUR POS RPTS ACCORDING TO THE INFO OFF THE OMEGA AND XCHKED WITH THE FLT PLAN. APCHING LAMER INTXN ON A554, THE FLT WAS SUPPOSED TO CONTACT ZMA. AFTER INITIAL CONTACT, ZMA ASKED FOR AN IDENT. THEY PROCEEDED TO TELL US WE WERE 5 MI SE OF LETON INTXN. LETON IS APPROX 90 MI W OF LAMER. AT THIS POINT WE RPTED AN OMEGA VLF NAV FAILURE. WE WERE ABLE TO CONTINUE THE FLT VIA VOR NAV TO THE DEST. IN SUMMARY: I FEEL THE PROB AROSE BY NOT TAKING A POSITIVE FIX. BY NOT BEING IN RADAR CONTACT, THE FLT WAS NOT ABLE TO BE CORRECTED FOR COURSE ERROR. I BELIEVE THE OMEGA SYS IS TOO INACCURATE AND SHOULD NOT BE USED FOR LONG RANGE NAV. I BELIEVE THE CAPT'S LACK OF KNOWLEDGE ON THE OMEGA SYS ENHANCED A BAD JUDGEMENT ON HIS PART, IE, PROCEED DIRECT RANCO WITHOUT A POSITIVE FIX. I ALSO FEEL HIS INABILITY TO LISTEN TO THE CREW AND THEREFORE EXERCISE CRM CONTRIBUTED TO THIS EVENT.

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  12. Accession Number: 385878
    Synopsis: MDT ACFT WITH PF, FO ON HIS FIRST LEG OF IOE, WAS CLRED TO DSND FOR A XING RESTR. DUE TO STRONG TAILWIND AND FO INEXPERIENCE, ACFT WAS STARTED DOWN LATE AND HAD TO MAKE A MAX DSCNT RESULTING IN OVERSHOOT AT LEVELOFF.
    Narrative: THIS FLT HAPPENED TO BE AN IOE FLT (FIRST TRIP -- FIRST LEG) IN THIS ACFT FOR THIS FO (PF). AT APPROX 90 NM E OF PMM VOR, ON J547, ZOB ISSUED A CLRNC FOR US TO CROSS 65 NM E OF PMM AT FL310. WE WERE CRUISING AT FL390, WITH A TAILWIND OF 35 KTS, AT .80 MACH (APPROX GND SPD OF 485 KTS). THE FO SELECTED PMM FOR DME AND BEGAN TO FIGURE OUT A DSCNT. THE DSCNT WAS INITIATED AT 78 DME FROM PMM. MAX FORWARD SPD WITH FULL SPD BRAKE EXTENSION WERE REQUIRED TO MAKE THE XING. IN DISCOVERING THAT WE MIGHT NOT MAKE THE RESTR I INFORMED CTR WE MIGHT BE HIGH. CTR RESPONDED 'I GAVE YOU THE CLRNC AT LEAST 10 MI BACK,' (OR SOMETHING VERY CLOSE TO THOSE WORDS), NOTHING MORE. AS WE APCHED FL310 THE FO BEGAN TO LEVEL. HIS UNFAMILIARITY WITH THE ACTUAL ACFT PERFORMANCE AND THE QUICKNESS OF THE EVENTS LED TO AN ALTDEV. LOWEST ALT REACHED WAS FL303 WITH AN IMMEDIATE RECOVERY TO FL310. ATC COULD HAVE BEEN A LITTLE MORE CONSIDERATE AND GIVEN US MORE DISTANCE TO MAKE THE DSCNT AND XING RESTR. DSNDING FROM FL390 TO FL310 IN 25 NM WITH A 35 KT TAILWIND, A NEW PLT TO THE ACFT, SLOW REACTING FMS, AUTOFLT SYS (IG), ALL CONTRIBUTED IN MAKING THE XING RESTR DIFFICULT TO ACHIEVE. LOOKING BACK, ACCEPTING THE CLRNC UNDER THESE CONDITIONS WAS NOT IN OUR BEST INTEREST. ATC'S LACK OF WILLINGNESS TO AMEND THE CLRNC WHEN INFORMED OF OUR STATUS, OUR EFFORT TO ADHERE TO THE XING RESTR, SLOW RETRACTION OF THE SPD BRAKES (NORMAL SYS OPS FOR THIS ACFT) AT HIGH SPDS, AND FO'S UNFAMILIARITY WITH ACFT PERFORMANCE, ALL CONTRIBUTED TO THE ALTDEV.

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  14. Accession Number: 394740
    Synopsis: A B757 OVERSHOT ITS ASSIGNED ALT OF FL190 BY 400 FT. ACFT HAD BEEN ON AUTOPLT AND AT A HIGH RATE OF CLB.
    Narrative: CAPT WAS HAND FLYING. AFTER CONTACTING DEP WE WERE CLRED TO 10000 FT ON A N HDG. PASSING THROUGH 8300 FT MSL, ATC TOLD US TO LEVEL AT 8000 FT. CLB WAS STOPPED AND STARTING DSCNT TO 8000 FT WE WERE RECLRED TO 10000 FT WITH A 120 DEG TURN TOWARDS THE E, AWAY FROM ANOTHER ACFT AT 10000 FT. ZDC LATER CLRED US UP TO FL190. THE ALTIMETER SETTING WAS 29.52. DUE TO TFC, AUTOPLT WAS ENGAGED. THE ACFT WAS LIGHT AND 'ALT CAPTURE' OCCURRED AT 17000 FT. AT 17300 FT ALTIMETER WAS RESET TO 29.92. REACHING FL190 ACFT LEVELED OFF. HOWEVER, IT CONTINUED UP TO FL193, AT WHICH TIME THE ALT ALERT SIGNALED US THAT A DEV HAD OCCURRED. ATC ALSO QUESTIONED US BECAUSE THEY SHOWED US AT FL194. IN FACT, BY THIS TIME, WE TOUCHED FL194. ACFT WAS MANUALLY FLOWN BACK TO FL190 WHICH WAS THE ALT SET ALL ALONG IN THE MODE SELECTOR PANEL. BECAUSE THE AIRPLANE HAD BEEN ON AUTOPLT AND WE WERE LOOKING OUTSIDE FOR TFC AND THE SUN WAS RISING IN OUR EYES, I FAILED TO NOTICE THE ALTDEV. WE CALLED OUR MAINT BASE, SUSPECTING THAT THE LARGE ALTIMETER DIFFERENCE WAS TOO LARGE FOR THE AIRPLANE SYS TO ACCOMMODATE IN JUST A FEW HUNDRED FT (GOING THROUGH 17000 FT TO FL190), PARTICULARLY AFTER ENGAGING IN THE ALT CAPTURE MODE. THEY THOUGHT SO, TOO. THIS IS SOMETHING TO REALLY PAY ATTN TO WHEN TRANSITION LEVELS AND LEVELOFFS NEAR THEM INVOLVE LARGE DIFFERENCES IN ALTIMETER CHANGES, ESPECIALLY WHEN NOT HAND FLYING, BUT RELYING ON AUTOMATED SYS. I DON'T THINK THERE WAS A CONFLICT WITH ANY OTHER ACFT.

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  16. Accession Number: 410940
    Synopsis: B747-400 CAPT ATTEMPTED TO DSND USING ACFT AUTOMATION. WHEN REPROGRAMMED TO COMPLY WITH A NEW CLRNC, DSCNT WAS DELAYED EXCESSIVELY.
    Narrative: MY ACFT WAS GIVEN A XING RESTR OF A POINT ABOUT 30 MI E OF ECK VOR TO BE AT OR BELOW FL290 THEN PLT DISCRETION TO FL240. A DSCNT FROM FL390 WAS STARTED. THE FMC WAS REPROGRAMMED AT ABOUT FL300 FOR A CRUISE ALT OF FL290 SO THAT A NEW TOP OF DSCNT HAD TO BE FIGURED SO AS TO START DOWN IN TIME TO CROSS THE POLAK INTXN AT 12000 FT. THE FMC LEVELED THE ACFT OFF AT ABOUT FL296 WHILE IT COMPUTED A NEW TOP OF DSCNT POINT (APPROX 30 SECONDS). THAT 30 SECOND PERIOD WAS LONG ENOUGH FOR AN ACFT TO GET WITHIN 2000 FT OF OUR ACFT (HE WAS AT FL310). ATC WARNED US TO DSND THE OTHER 600 FT IMMEDIATELY, WHICH WE DID. I DON'T BELIEVE A VIOLATION WAS FILED BUT IT TAUGHT ME A GOOD LESSON IN USING THE FMC.

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  18. Accession Number: 411715
    Synopsis: FLC OF AN EMBRAER 145 (E145) OVERSHOT ASSIGNED ALT DURING GAR CLB. RPTR COMPLAINS OF LACK OF AUTOPLT ALT CAPTURE, WORKLOAD AND FATIGUE.
    Narrative: ON APPROX 2 MI FINAL TO ILS RWY 4R MY FO QUESTIONED EWR TWR AS TO WHETHER OR NOT THE ACFT AHEAD CLRED THE RWY. ON SHORT FINAL, EWR TWR TOLD US TO 'GAR.' EWR TWR OFFERED A R VISUAL PATTERN TO LAND ON RWY 29 BUT WE WERE NOT ABLE TO KEEP THE ARPT IN SIGHT VISUALLY, SO WE WERE SEQUENCED BACK FOR ANOTHER ILS TO RWY 4R. WE DECLARED MINIMUM FUEL -- ADVISORY FUEL WITH 60 MINS OF FUEL REMAINING. ON OUR GAR THE ACFT BLEED #2 OVERHEAT WARNING WENT OFF. WE WERE TOLD TO FLY 060 DEGS AND MAINTAIN 1500 FT ON THE GAR. I CLBED TO 1700 FT AND THEN WENT BACK DOWN TO 1500 FT. THE AUTOPLT AND FLT GUIDANCE CTLR ON THE EMB145 ACFT IS VERY SLOW AND MAKES MANY ERRORS. THE FLT DIRECTOR BARS DID NOT CAPTURE THE 1500 FT ALT. OUR COMPANY SHOULD HAVE ORDERED THE BETTER COMPUTER. THE HONEYWELL SYS IS OVERLOADED. OTHER FACTORS INCLUDE LONG DUTY DAY OF 12+ HRS AND COMMUTE TIME OF 6 HRS. FLT FROM CVG TO EWR HAD MANY DELAYS AND HOLDING. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATED THAT HE DOES NOT KNOW FOR SURE IF THE ALT CAPTURE FOR 1500 FT WAS ENTERED BY THE FO IN SUFFICIENT TIME TO ALLOW THE AUTOPLT TO CAPTURE THE ALT. HE DID REITERATE THAT THE HONEYWELL SYS WAS NORMALLY VERY SLOW TO REACT TO NOT ONLY ALT CHANGES, BUT ALSO HDG CHANGES. HE BELIEVES THAT IT IS A DESIGN CHARACTERISTIC OF THE AUTOFLT SYS. HE ADMITTED THAT HE SHOULD HAVE MONITORED THE ALT TO WHICH HE WAS ASSIGNED FOR GAR MORE CLOSELY AS HE WAS USED TO THE SLOW REACTION OF THE AUTOPLT SYS. HE FURTHER STATED THAT EVEN THOUGH THIS EQUIP IS NOT AS DEPENDABLE AS OTHER AUTOPLTS BY THE SAME MANUFACTURER ON OTHER ACFT HE HAS OPERATED, AND THE ENG FADEC COMPUTER SYS HAS CREATED UNWARRANTED ENG SHUTDOWNS, HE BELIEVES THAT THE ACFT IS A GOOD ACFT AND HAS HAD VERY FEW PROBS FOR A NEWLY DESIGNED ACFT.

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  20. Accession Number: 411850
    Synopsis: A DSNDING MD80 OVERSHOT ITS ALT WHEN THE FO DOES NOT FOLLOW THE MANDATES OF THE FLT GUIDANCE SYS'S OPERATING PROCS.
    Narrative: ALT ASSIGNED ON THE ARR WAS 11000 FT. DURING THE DSCNT FOR THE QBALL 4 STAR THE ALT WAS ARMED PROPERLY FOR 11000 FT. NEARING THE LEVELOFF, I WAS DISTRACTED RETRACTING SPOILERS AND I DIDN'T NOTICE THE ALT CAPTURE LIGHT COME ON. I WENT TO CORRECT MY SLOWING RATE OF DSCNT BY INCREASING VERT SPD TO 1500 FPM. THIS DISENGAGED THE ALT CAPTURE AND THE ACFT DSNDED TO 10650 FT. THE PROB WAS CORRECTED BUT NOT IN TIME. I BELIEVE THE FLT GUIDANCE SYS ON THE MD80 IS FAR TOO SUSCEPTIBLE TO PROBS OF THIS NATURE. THE FLT MODE ANNUNCIATOR DOES NOT GIVE YOU ENOUGH INFO QUICKLY ENOUGH TO RESPOND TO THIS PARTICULAR PROB.
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