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Incidents related to Issue 8 incidents related to this issue.

Issue: standardization may be lacking (Issue #138)
Description: There may be a lack of function and interface standardization between automation systems, possibly leading to increased training requirements, increased pilot workload, and poor pilot performance.

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  2. Accession Number: 98109
    Synopsis: ACR MLG TRACK DEVIATION AND ALT CROSSING RESTRCTION DEVIATIONS.
    Narrative: DURING THIS FLT SEVERAL PROBS OCCURRED, ALL WITH A COMMON CAUSE. MY AIRLINE EXPECTS US TO STAY CURRENT ON ANY MODEL MLG FROM BASIC THROUGH ADVANCED, AND EFIS AND EM. THERE ARE SEVERAL DIFFERENT SOFTWARE PACKAGES IN USE AMONG OTHERWISE IDENTICAL ACFT. WE ALSO USE BOTH XY AND XZ ENGS ON THE ADV MLG AND X, Y AND Z ON THE MLG. ON THIS DAY, I WAS FLYING WITH A CAPT WHO DID NOT FOLLOW COMPANY PROCS RE: CHKLIST USAGE OR FLOWS. THE CAPT DIRECTED ME TO CALL FOR PUSHBACK WHILE THE ACFT WAS STILL BEING LOADED. AFTER CUSSING OUT THE GND CREW, I WAS TOLD AGAIN TO GET CLRNC AS THE ACFT WAS GOING TO PUSH. AFTER WE STARTED THE PUSH, THE CAPT THEN CALLED FOR THE BEFORE START CHKLIST. WHILE I READ THE LIST, THE CAPT COMMENCED TO START ENGS, W/O THE CHKLIST COMPLETE. ONCE WE WERE IN LINE, THE CAPT STARTED CUSSING AND SWEARING ABOUT HOW WE COULD HAVE GOTTEN RWY 25 AND MADE UP TIME. HE CONTACTED GND TO SEE IF HE COULD TURN AROUND, BUT THERE WERE ALREADY ACFT BEHIND US. DURING THIS TIME THE CAPT APPARENTLY CHANGED THE FMC TO RWY 25. ON OUR ADV EFIS ACFT THIS IS APPARENT ON THE RWY BECAUSE THE ACFT POS ON THE MAP DISPLAY IS NOT ON THE RWY. I WAS TRYING TO FLY THE OASIS 5 DEP. THE CAPT SWITCHED BACK TO TWR, GOT A 125.95 FREQ AND COULD NOT RAISE ANYONE ON THAT EITHER. HE WAS CUSSING AND BANKING SWITCHES. I STARTED TO LEVEL OFF AT 7000' MSL. I WAS HAND FLYING WITH THE AUTO THROTTLE ENGAGED DUE TO THE FLT DIRECTOR FOLLOWING THE WRONG RWY SID. SOMEHOW IT HAD BEEN SET FOR 25, AND THE RESTRICTIONS WIPED OUT SO IT WOULD CLB UNRESTRICTED. AS I LEVELLED OFF, TRYING TO REMEMBER THE MILEAGES FOR THE RESTRICTIONS, THE ACFT ACCELERATED TO ABOUT 285 KTS AT 7000' MSL. AS I NOTICED THIS, I YANKED ALL THE PWR OFF. NOT KNOWING ABOUT TFC ABOVE THE RESTRICTION ALT, I HELD ALT. I THEN NOTICED THE AUTOTHROTTLES MOVING THE PWR BACK UP EVEN THOUGH THE AIRSPD BUG WAS STILL AT 250 KTS AND THE INDICATED STILL OVER THAT! I PUNCHED OFF THE AUTOTHROTTLES AND AGAIN PULLED ALL THE PWR OFF. I FLEW ABOUT 5 MI LEVEL AT 7000' FARTHER THAN I SHOULD HAVE. THEN I STARTED TO CLB, AND FINALLY CONTACT WAS MADE WITH CENTER, AND THE FLT WENT ON. WHAT I HAD NOT YET REALIZED WAS THAT THE IRF PLATFORMS WERE STILL ERROR! AS WE TRANSITIONED ONTO THE RWY 25 PROFILE DSNT INTO LAX, I WAS NAVIGATING IN THE LNAV MODE, AND IN MANUAL MODE NOT AUTO TUNING. THE AIRLINE HAS SEVERAL DIFFERENT CONFIGNS OF AUTO/MANUAL SELECTION. ALL THE EFIS BIRDS HAVE 2 VIS INDICATIONS, AND 1 IN THE FMC, WHICH I CHKED. SURPRISE, THIS AIRPLANE DID NOT HAVE THAT DISPLAY ON THE FMC. SOMEHOW MY NAV RADIOS HAD BEEN SWITCHED TO MANUAL. THIS RESULTED IN MY BEING WAY OFF COURSE DURING THE DSNT INTO LAX AND MISSING SEVERAL OF THE CROSSING RESTRICTIONS FOR SPD AND ALT. FINALLY I GAVE UP, AND JUST FORCED EVERYTHING BACK TO MANUAL MODES AND HAND FLEW THE APCH. I STRONGLY SUSPECT SOME OF THE PROBS WERE DUE TO CAPT INSECURITY, REGARDS KNOWLEDGE, RELUCTANCE TO SAY I DON'T KNOW, AND THE LIKE. I FEEL VERY STRONGLY THAT THE AIRLINE NEEDS TO SPEND SOME MONEY TO AT LEAST MAKE ALL THE ACFT OF THE SAME MODEL IDENTICAL. WE HAVE TROUBLE WITH THE AUDIO PANELS, FMC SOFTWARE, HSI SWITCHES, XPONDER AND NAVCOM LOCATION AND CONFIGN. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THE PIC ON THIS FLT HAD RESISTED UPGRADING TO THE ADVANCED MODEL LONG AS POSSIBLE AND WAS STILL FIGHTING THE PROGRAM. MAIN REASON BEING THIS ACR IS EXPANDING AND WILL TAKE ANY MLG IT CAN GET AND HAS MODELS WITH 1 FMC AND ELECTRO MECHANICAL INSTRUMENTS SEVERAL MODELS WITH 2 FMC'S AND SOME WITH OMEGA SETS NOT CERTIFIED IN USA. ALSO, MODELS HAVE SEVERAL SETS OF COCKPIT CONFIGN WITH MCP SWITCHES BEING IN DIFFERENT PLACES SOME IN SUCH A LOCATION THAT PF MAY NOT SEE PNF MOVE THEM AND THEY HAVE NO INDICATION ON THE MODE ANNUNCIATORS OR HSI THAT INDICATES SWITCH HAS BEEN MOVED. RPTR FEELS THAT MODEL WITH 1 FMC AND ELECTRIC MECHANICAL INSTRUMENTS IS AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN BECAUSE OF LACK OF INDICATIONS ON INSTRUMENT PANEL WHAT FMC IS DOING.

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  4. Accession Number: 134620
    Synopsis: ACR WDB OVERSHOOTS ALT IN DESCENT, ABRUPT PULL-UP CAUSES MINOR INJURY TO A PASSENGER.
    Narrative: F/O FLYING ON AUTOPLT, DSNDING FROM FL370 TO 330, LNDG ORD. I WAS LOOKING OVER ARR ROUTES AND RWYS WHEN I HEARD AUTOPLT DISENGAGE. LOOKED AT ALT, FL325. F/O WITH VERY POSITIVE BACK PRESSURE MANUALLY LEVELED THE ACFT AT FL330. MIGHT BE A LACK OF UNDERSTANDING OF THE SYS; I.E., MOVING PITCH CTL WHEEL WHILE IN THE CAPTURE MODE, WHICH DISENGAGES AUTOCAPTURE AND HOLD. ALSO THERE MAY HAVE BEEN A LITTLE COMPLACENCY. NOT CHKING AUTO FUNCTIONS WITH RAW DATA. MY OBSERVATIONS WHILE THE F/O IS FLYING IS A LACK OF RESPONSIBILITY FOR HIS ACTIONS. MAKE THE F/O ANSWER FOR HIS ACTIONS. SUPPLEMENTAL INFO FROM ACN 135029: CAPT FAILED TO ARM THE ALT DSNT WINDOW. I FEEL HE IS STILL USED TO FLYING THE WDB A, WHERE YOU DON'T HAVE TO PULL OUT ON THE ALERT KNOB, BUT ON THE WDB B YOU HAVE TO SELECT THE NEW ALT AND PULL OUT ON THE KNOB TO ARM IT. CREW ATTN WAS DIVERTED AND NO ALT WARNING SOUNDED, AND THE CREW HAD TO MAKE AN ABRUPT LEVEL OFF. 1 PAX WAS INJURED ABOUT THIS TIME IN THE FLT. PARAMEDICS MET THE ACFT. SUPPLEMENTAL INFO FROM ACN 134889: I WAS AT THE F/E TABLE COPYING ATIS INFO AND ACCOMPLISHING COMPANY REQUIRED PAPERWORK IN PREPARATION FOR OUR DSNT INTO ORD. AS I WAS WRITING, I FELT A SLIGHT "G" SENSATION. IT SIMPLY FELT LIKE A MOMENTARY BUMP OF TURB. WHEN I TURNED FORWARD TO HAND THE PLTS THE PAPERWORK, THE CAPT WAS MAKING A COMMENT ABOUT THE BUMP, BUT I MISSED IT BECAUSE I WAS STILL MONITORING ATIS ON MY HEADSET. LATER I WAS INFORMED THAT THE AUTOPLT HAD FAILED TO CAPTURE THE ENRTE DSNT ALT. OUR PLTS DETECTED THE FAILURE AND RETURNED THE ACFT TO FL330.

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  6. Accession Number: 138909
    Synopsis: ALT BUST.
    Narrative: IN THE INITIAL DSNT PHASE OF FLT, ISSUED DSNT CLRNC TO CROSS 30 E OF AGC AT 11000' I SELECTED 11000 IN THE ALT ALERT COUNTER, TOOK THE AUTOPLT OFF THE PMS MODE (PERFORMANCE MANAGEMENT SYSTEM) AND IN THE CONTROL WHEEL STEERING MODE INITIATED THE DSNT. DURING THE DSNT THE F/O WENT OFF THE CENTER FREQ AND LISTENED TO THE PITTSBURGH ATIS. WHILE DESCENDING, I REVIEWED THE ENRTE CHART FOR NAVAID FREQS. WE DESCENDED THROUGH 11000, WERE ALERTED BY THE ALT ALERT SYSTEM, RECOVERED BY 10700' AND CLIMBED BACK UP TO THE ASSIGNED 11000'. THE CENTER CTLR MADE NO MENTION OF THE ALT DEVIATION. I BELIEVE THE PRIMARY CONTRIBUTING FACTOR WAS THE DIFFERENCE IN AUTOFLT SYSTEMS IN THE SAME ACFT. THE AIRLINE AS THE RESULT OF A MERGER JUST INTERMIXED THE SEPARATE FLEETS AS OF JANUARY 1990. IN THE MLG I HAVE BEEN FLYING FOR 3 YRS, REGARDLESS OF THE AUTOFLT MODE OF DSNT (VERTICAL SPEED, PDC ON LEVEL CHANGE), THE ACFT WILL ONLY AUTOMATICALLY LEVEL OFF AT THE DESIRED ALT IF THE AUTOPLT IS SELECTED TO THE PMS MODE. ALSO CONTRIBUTING FACTORS INCLUDE: DIFFERENT LOCATIONS OF THE ALT ALERT COUNTER (GLARE SHIELD VS CONSOLE), UNUSUAL CLRNC -- NORMALLY ISSUED RESTRICTION AT 30 MI AND 10000', AND THE FACT THAT BOTH MYSELF AND THE F/O WERE BEING DISTRACTED BY ATTN TO OTHER DETAILS THAN MONITORING THE DSNT.

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  8. Accession Number: 142911
    Synopsis: CAPT OF WDB DESCENDS THROUGH ASSIGNED ALT WHILE FO IS OUT OF COCKPIT DUE TO CAPT'S FAILING TO ARM THE ALT CAPTURE ON THE AUTOPLT. FO RETURNS AND SPOTS ALT DEVIATION, THEN TURNS OFF TRANSPONDER TO COVER UP THE MISTAKE WHILE THE CAPT COR
    Narrative: IF YOU ARE KEEPING RECORDS ON AUTOMATION COMPLACENCY THIS IS ANOTHER OCCURRENCE. I HAVE SPENT THE LAST THREE YRS AS AN LGT CAPT. THE LGT WILL AUTOMATICALLY CAPTURE THE ALT SELECTED ON ITS MODE CTL PANEL W/O THE NECESSITY OF ARMING. BEING A NEW WDB CAPT (APPROX 22 HRS WDB TIME) I FELL INTO AN AUTOMATION DIFFERENCE BTWN THE TWO ACFT. I WAS CLRED BY ZMP TO DSCND TO FL240. MY F/O WAS OUT OF THE COCKPIT TAKING CARE OF PERSONAL PHYSIOLOGICAL NEEDS. THE AUTOPLT WAS ENGAGED, I SELECTED FL240 ON THE ALT SELECT WINDOW AND STARTED AN IAS (INDICATED AIRSPD) DSNT. WHEN I SELECTED FL240 I SHOULD HAVE ARMED THE ALT CAPTURE MODE BUT AFTER THREE YRS OF HAVING THIS DONE AUTOMATICALLY ON THE LGT, I FORGOT TO MAKE THE SELECTION. DSNDING THROUGH APPROX FL260, I WAS DISTR BY MY F/O RETURNING TO THE COCKPIT. AS HE WAS BUCKLING INTO HIS SEAT, HE NOTICED WE WERE PASSING THROUGH THE SELECTED ALT (ABOUT 23000'). IMMEDIATELY, I STARTED A CLB BACK TO FL240 AND AT THE SAME TIME MY F/O TURNED OFF OUR TRANSPONDER. HIS INTENT IN TURNING OFF THE TRANSPONDER WAS TO PROTECT HIS CAPT FROM THE POSSIBLE CONSEQUENCES OF THIS ALT DEVIATION. TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE ZMP DID NOT DETECT THIS DEVIATION BECAUSE NOTHING WAS SAID TO INDICATE THEIR KNOWING. AFTER MUCH THOUGHT AND AGONIZING, I CONSULTED WITH THREE OTHER COMPANY CAPTS AND WAS VERY SURPRISED TO FIND THAT TWO OF THE THREE HAD SIMILAR EXPERIENCES. THE COMMON THREAD TO ALL THREE WAS A COMBINATION OF AN ERROR IN AUTOMATION SELECTION COMBINED WITH A DISTR AT A CRITICAL TIME. IN CONCLUSION, I WOULD LIKE TO EXPRESS MY THANKS FOR THIS CONFIDENTIAL FORUM TO RELAY INFO THAT I HOPE CAN BE USED FOR THE PROMOTION OF AVIATION SAFETY. I AM NOT PROUD OF MY ACTIONS IN THIS OCCURRENCE BUT I HOPE THAT MY INDISCRETION CAN BE USED FOR A POSITIVE PURPOSE. IT IS MY SINCERE OPINION THAT AUTOMATION IS AN ASSET, BUT IT REQUIRES A SPECIAL EFFORT TO MAINTAIN VIGILANCE.

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  10. Accession Number: 231227
    Synopsis: FO OF ACR WDB ACFT INADVERTENTLY OVER-BOOSTED THE ENGS EXCEEDING DESIGN LIMITATIONS.
    Narrative: ON 1/FRI/93 FLT X ATL TO SJU SHIP XXX. AFTER REACHING CRUISE ALT I SET PWR TO EPR ON FLT PLAN. A FEW MINS LATER WE WERE GIVEN A RTE CHANGE AND TOLD TO CONTACT ENRTE RADIO (COMMERCIAL RADIO). THE CAPT WAS HAVING DIFFICULTY MAKING CONTACT ON HF. I WAS CHANGING THE RTE AND THE FE WAS MAKING A COMPANY POS RPT. I LOOKED UP AND NOTICED THE AIRSPD STABLE AT 208 KTS. I IMMEDIATELY INCREASED PWR TO RETURN TO REQUIRED CRUISE MACH. DURING INITIAL PWR APPLICATION #2 ENG HAD AN N1 OVERSPD (THIS WAS NOT NOTICED TILL LATER IN THE FLT). ALL ENGS RAN SMOOTHLY AND PWR WAS RESET AT A NUMBER HIGHER THAN THAT CALLED FOR ON THE FLT PLAN. WHEN WE NOTICED THAT #2 N1 HAD EXPERIENCED AN OVERSPD WE WERE MORE THAN HALF WAY TO SJU. SINCE ALL OTHER ENG INSTRUMENTS WERE NORMAL AND THE ENG WAS RUNNING SMOOTHLY WE LEFT THE ENG CONTINUE TO OPERATE AND LANDED IN SJU. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS WERE THE CONFIGN OF SHIP XXX. IT HAS NO FMS LIKE OUR OTHER WDB ACFT, SO IT HAS NO CRUISE AUTOTHROTTLE CAPABILITY. THIS WAS THE FIRST TIME THAT I FLEW THIS SHIP AND THE FIRST IN A TRIPLE INS CONFIGN. ALL PAST EXPERIENCE HAS BEEN INS/FMS CONFIGN. I LET MYSELF BECOME DISTRACTED AND UPON SEEING LOW AIRSPD ADVANCED THROTTLES RAPIDLY.

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  12. Accession Number: 391520
    Synopsis: MD88 ACFT IN CRUISE WAS GIVEN CLRNC TO CLB AND FLC DIDN'T START CLB UNTIL QUESTIONED BY CTLR.
    Narrative: AFTER DEP FROM CVG, DURING CLB TO CRUISE ALT, ATC (ZID) ASSIGNED A HEADING. WHILE STILL ON THAT HEADING, WITH ACFT LEVEL AT FL230, ATC ASSIGNED 'MAINTAIN PRESENT HEADING, CLB MAINTAIN FL310.' THE FO (PNF) RESPONDED AND PUT THE ALT IN THE ALT WINDOW. WITH THE AUTOPLT ENGAGED, I (PF) SHOULD HAVE PUT THE ASSIGNED ALT IN THE WINDOW. NO ACTION WAS TAKEN TO INITIATE THE CLB. SHORTLY THEREAFTER ATC AGAIN ASSIGNED, 'CLB MAINTAIN FL310.' I NOTICED FL310 WAS ALREADY IN THE WINDOW AND I INITIATED THE CLB. ATC DID NOT MENTION ANY TFC CONFLICT AND SOUNDED NORMAL (DID NOT SOUND CONCERNED). I AM NOT CERTAIN HOW MUCH TIME PASSED BTWN CLRNCS. FACTORS: 1) INEXPERIENCE. I AM RELATIVELY NEW CAPT (LESS THAN 200 HRS), SECOND MONTH. THE FO WAS ONLY 3 MONTHS IN HIS FIRST R SEAT WITH THE COMPANY, AND NEW TO FMS ACFT. 2) FATIGUE. I HAD ARRIVED HOME PAST MIDNIGHT THE PREVIOUS EVENING AFTER COMPLETING A 4 DAY TRIP WITHOUT MUCH SLEEP OPPORTUNITY, THEN GOT CALLED OUT ON RESERVE FOR THIS TRIP. 3) FIRST FLT WITH THE OTHER CREW MEMBER. 4) FMS ON MD88 DOES NOT INITIATE AUTOMATIC CLB WITH NEW ALT IN THE WINDOW. MY PREVIOUS ACFT (B767) DID. INTERRUPTION OF NORMAL HABIT PATTERNS PROBABLY CAUSED THE EVENT (PF PUTS ALTS IN WINDOW WITH THE AUTOPLT ENGAGED), COMBINED WITH FATIGUE. MORE CLOSELY MONITOR SIT WITH LESS EXPERIENCED CREW MEMBERS.

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  14. Accession Number: 396392
    Synopsis: A G3 OVERSHOT THEIR ASSIGNED ALT WHEN THE AIR DATA COMPUTER FAILS TO RECOGNIZE THE ALT CAPTURE ALT AND DOES NOT LEVEL THE ACFT AT THE ALT ALERTER SETTING OF FL350. AN OPPOSITE DIRECTION MD80 GETS A TCASII TA.
    Narrative: GULFSTREAM ACFT WAS PROCEEDING WBOUND DIRECT TO FLYBY INTXN JUST W OF LVS VOR AT FL430 WHEN ZAB CLRED THEM TO DSND TO FL350. THE FO RESET THE ALT ALERT TO 35000 FT AND THE CAPT STARTED THE DSCNT ON AUTOPLT USING VERT SPD MODE AND APPROX 1500-1800 FPM RATE OF DSCNT SET ON THE SPZ-800 FLT DIRECTOR/AUTOPLT CTL. AS THE ACFT PASSED THROUGH FL360 THE FO CALLED OUT 1000 FT TO GO AND THE CAPT SLOWED THE RATE OF DSCNT SLIGHTLY. THE DSCNT PROCEEDED NORMALLY UNTIL APCHING FL350. AT 35100 FT THE FO CALLED OUT THAT THE AUTOPLT WAS NOT CAPTURING THE SELECTED ALT. THE CAPT IMMEDIATELY SELECTED ALT SELECT ON THE FLT GUIDANCE CTL PANEL BUT THE ACFT CONTINUED THROUGH THE ALT. THE AUTOPLT WAS THEN DISCONNECTED BY THE CAPT AND A PULL-UP MANEUVER EXECUTED. THE ACFT STARTED TO LEVEL AND REVERSE DIRECTION AS THE ALTIMETER INDICATED ABOUT 34700 FT AND WAS LEVEL AT 35000 FT APPROX 10 SECONDS LATER. I BELIEVE THE CONTRIBUTING FACTORS TO THIS INCIDENT TO BE THE POSSIBLE MALFUNCTION OF THE FLT DIRECTOR/AUTOPLT ALT HOLD FUNCTION AND THE CREW'S FAILURE TO REALIZE THAT THE AUTOPLT WAS NOT DOING ITS JOB UNTIL TOO LATE. ANOTHER FACTOR WAS THE CAPT HAD JUST COMPLETED 21 DAY INITIAL TRAINING ON AN ACFT WITH A VERY DIFFERENT FLT GUIDANCE CTLR (FMZ-8400). SUBSEQUENT CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: 1) A VISIT TO ZAB WAS MADE THE NEXT DAY BY THE PLT. 2) ALL ACFT SYS INCLUDING THE ADC'S, ALTIMETERS, FLT DIRECTOR COMPUTERS AND AUTOPLT WERE CHKED BY THE AVIONICS SHOP IN ALBUQUERQUE THE NEXT DAY. TWO DISCREPANCIES WERE FOUND: A) THE #1 XPONDER COULD NOT BE SUPPLIED DATA FROM THE #2 ADC, AND B) ON ONE ATTEMPT TO CAPTURE ALT, THE #2 FLT DIRECTOR FAILED. 3) CREW PROCS ARE BEING CHANGED SO THAT IN ADDITION TO THE NORMAL CALLOUT AT 1000 FT ABOVE OR BELOW THE ASSIGNED ALT OR RESTR THE COPLT WILL ALSO STATE 'RATE OF DSCNT 1000 FPM OR LESS AND FLT DIRECTOR ARMED.' 4) THE NEW PROC WILL BE SENT TO FLT SAFETY TO BE INCORPORATED INTO OUR FLC SEMI-ANNUAL TRAINING PROGRAM. 5) A CREW MEETING HAS BEEN SCHEDULED TO INFORM ALL PLTS OF THE NEW PROC AND TO EXPLAIN FURTHER THE LIMITATIONS OF THE AUTOPLT SYS. SUPPLEMENTAL INFO FROM ACN 396174: IMMEDIATELY FOLLOWING THIS AN MD80 AIRLINER AT FL330 RPTED TO ATC THEY WERE RECEIVING A TA ALERT ON TCASII. AT THAT TIME WE WERE QUESTIONED BY ATC AND TOLD TO CALL CTR ON THE GND. FROM THAT POINT ON A NORMAL DSCNT AND LNDG WERE MADE. WE HAVE TWO TYPES OF ACFT WITH TWO DIFFERENT FLT GUIDANCE COMPUTERS. ONE DOES NOT REQUIRE ACTIVATION OF ALT SELECT TO CAPTURE THE PRESELECTED ALT. AFTER FLYING THIS ONE TYPE FOR A NUMBER OF TRIPS AND THEN SWITCHING ACFT, IT DOES TAKE A CONTINUOUS EFFORT TO MAKE SURE ALT SELECT IS SELECTED. RECOMMENDATIONS: THE PNF SHOULD CALL '1000 FT TO GO, ALT SELECT.'

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  16. Accession Number: 400250
    Synopsis: AN EMB145 ON DSCNT WITH AUTOPLT CTL OVERSHOT THE ASSIGNED ALT DUE TO THE WRONG ALT SELECTED ON THE AUTOPLT CTL PANEL.
    Narrative: OUR CARRIER IS CURRENTLY INTRODUCING THE EMB145 REGIONAL JET INTO SVC AND DURING ONE PARTICULAR PRACTICE PROVING RUN, WE WERE GIVEN A DSCNT CLRNC TO 17000 FT. I, AS THE PNF, NOTICED THE AUTOPLT WAS NOT CAPTURING 17000 FT AND IN FACT CONTINUED TO DSND TO ABOUT 16000 FT BEFORE THE PF DISENGAGED THE AUTOPLT AND MANUALLY FLEW THE ACFT BACK TO 17000 FT. DURING THIS TIME I IMMEDIATELY CHKED THE ALT PRESELECT AND SAW MOMENTARILY 17400 FT SELECTED. I BELIEVE THAT UNFAMILIARITY LED TO CHANGING THE ALT PRESELECT INADVERTENTLY. THE ALT PRESELECT, COURSE KNOB AND LEADING KNOBS ARE ALL LOCATED ON THE GLARE SHIELD PANEL AND I CAN SEE THAT CONSTANT VIGILANCE WILL BE REQUIRED TO INSURE THE CORRECT KNOB IS BEING ADJUSTED UNTIL WE ALL BECOME MORE FAMILIAR WITH THIS NEW ACFT.
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