Preventing Level-bust Operators strategies Capt. Stephen Eggenschwiler Flight
Preventing Level-bust Operators strategies Capt. Stephen Eggenschwiler Flight Safety Officer Swiss International Air Lines Ltd. 2014 Safety Forum: Airborne Conflict Brussels June 10th Data Collection Since 2006 we received 57 reports of unintended level deviation Only reports with an actual altitude deviation were considered 2 Crew ATC
Weather Technical Misunderstanding (TCAS RA) 2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Weather flying in moderate turbulence we were passed by an aircraft 1000 ft below. We encountered a downdraft and at the same time the other aircraft encountered an updraft resulting in an immediate TCAS RA. We climbed 400 ft whereas the other flight maintained altitude 3
2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Technical during level flight with automatics on the AP suddenly disconnected due to an out of trim situation. Aircraft pitched up and A/T increased power. Immediate manual take over of aircraft but still a level bust of 500 ft occurred flight was cleared to altitude 8000 ft. This was set and confirmed by both pilots. When approaching 8000 ft CMD realized that altitude preselect showed 7000 ft. 8000 ft was confirmed with ATC. Aircraft was levelled off but undershoot of 200 ft could not be avoided as the rate of climb was 2500 ft/min vertical speed was selected with a rate of 1000ft/min about 1400 ft before cleared altitude. FGS captured the altitude but due to the slow reaction of the AP the aircraft overshoot by 300 ft 4
2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th ATC at FL 159 received reclearance to level off at FL 160. Undershoot of 500 ft at FL 310 cleared to descend to FL 200 to be level within 3 minutes. Passing FL 240 with a rate of descent of 4000 ft/min ATC ordered turn left HDG 120, level off FL 230. Even with AP disengagement an undershoot of 300 ft could not be avoided 5 2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Misunderstanding
Handover to next sector Similar call signs Readback hearback issues Atmospherical disturbances Language proficiency Callsign versus flight level e.g. LX1100 FL110 Unclear or complex SID description 6 2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Crew
Small talk Automation Altimeter Public address PAX issues Communication Callsign Workload Flight Crew
Aircraft energy Manipulation Distraction Fatigue Training Assumptions Technical Just Culture Human nature remains the weakest link Todays SOPs are usually well developed and sound
To be able to correct the flaws within it is imperative that the system knows what is going on To understand an error we need the crews to report events and this will only work with trust in the system Therefore to manage human error a just culture environment is a MUST 8 2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Risk mitigation What are we doing? Ops support Awareness
Reporting Training Just Culture Confidential reporting 9 2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Publications Recurrent
Risk Mitigation What are we doing? Awareness measures Altimeter setting errors Where are the automation traps Foster awareness for environment and traffic Publish own cases on a regular i.e. monthly basis Joint ATCO-Pilot CRM courses Importance of discipline Encourage reporting Operator Review of SOPs Encourage the use of intercoms Use of mode S Lobby for SID/STAR redesign 10
2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th Thank you for your attention 12 2014 Safety Forum Brussels June 10th
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