Screwed up a bit

Screwed up a bit

Postby enricoshark » Wed Jan 31, 2018 3:23 am

Hello, yesterday morning (PT time) I decided to do an IFR from CMA to PSP.
It all started with me doing a wrong readback and being aknowledged as readback correct.
She instructed me to fly rwy heading and turn 230 at 500 ft. I don't know why, but I wrote 5000 ft and read back 5000ft. Then was told to maintain 4000. It seemed pretty weird to me and I made the mistake to not ask for clarification.

When I got in the air, I got a pretty late handoff to departure (I had to remind the tower for it) and I was already passing 2000. My question is: why my turn to 230 wasn't reminded to me when she saw me passing let's say 600 or 700? I got to departure, got scolded about it from the controller and he cleared me direct VNY.
In that moment I was pretty confused, I was already near the previously mentioned 4000ft and continued my climb to 11000 (really worst mistake ever I could have done) and I really apologize for it, and I'm a controller too so I know how we get pissed in having altitudes busts and so on. But I was told of my altitude bust when I was at 10000ft when my filed cruise alt was 11000 and been told to descend and maintain 7000.

I don't know if it as like intentional to let me climb and descend as punishment, but if I was told to maintain 4000, you don't want me over 7000, you see me climbing through 4000. You promptly tell "Comanche 65P, you're busting your altitude, descend and maintain 4000" (only 1000-1500ft descend) or tell me to climb and maintain 7000.

I was pretty frustrated by it, I always try to be as much perfect as I can when I'm controlling or when I'm flying and I totally acknowledge my mistakes and apologize for it. But IMHO there has been a chain reaction that could have been avoided by the controllers. Also, I'm here to learn and to adhere strictly to rw procedures, so I will thank everyone that gives me advice or constructive critiques

Here's the recording http://assets.pilotedge.net/recordings/ ... _17510.mp3

Good day
enricoshark
 
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Re: Screwed up a bit

Postby kevin meyers » Wed Jan 31, 2018 8:12 am

This seems like a perfect example of the Swiss cheese error chain management model. It sounds like there were multiple errors on both sides of the equation starting from you mis-hearing the initial turn altitude, then the controller missing your incorrect read back and then maybe an incorrect altitude issued upon departure- all of which could have been avoided during different stages along the way. I also agree that the tower controller would typically wait for the turn to be observed prior to switching you to departure, but none of these errors are unrealistic and it all comes down to basic human error from both sides.

Situations like these happen every day in the RW and that’s why it is so important for both the pilot and controller to always work together as a team. It’s great that you recognize your error and understand how crucial and catastrophic a situation like this could be. You also already recognized the best piece of advice anyone could give you- if you’re ever confused, you need to ask for clarification. ATC is there to help and assist you and if you are just guessing about something, ATC would much rather field your question beforehand rather than have to clean up whatever mess the mistake would make after the fact.

Lastly- i guarantee the controller wasn’t trying to punish you with the altitude. He probably just didn’t catch it in time.
Kevin Meyers
Legacy PilotEdge Air Traffic Controller / Instructor
Dallas, Texas
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Re: Screwed up a bit

Postby enricoshark » Thu Feb 01, 2018 12:14 am

kevin meyers wrote:This seems like a perfect example of the Swiss cheese error chain management model. It sounds like there were multiple errors on both sides of the equation starting from you mis-hearing the initial turn altitude, then the controller missing your incorrect read back and then maybe an incorrect altitude issued upon departure- all of which could have been avoided during different stages along the way. I also agree that the tower controller would typically wait for the turn to be observed prior to switching you to departure, but none of these errors are unrealistic and it all comes down to basic human error from both sides.

Situations like these happen every day in the RW and that’s why it is so important for both the pilot and controller to always work together as a team. It’s great that you recognize your error and understand how crucial and catastrophic a situation like this could be. You also already recognized the best piece of advice anyone could give you- if you’re ever confused, you need to ask for clarification. ATC is there to help and assist you and if you are just guessing about something, ATC would much rather field your question beforehand rather than have to clean up whatever mess the mistake would make after the fact.

Lastly- i guarantee the controller wasn’t trying to punish you with the altitude. He probably just didn’t catch it in time.


Yes, the Swiss cheese model is exactly what I had in mind when I wrote chain reaction ;) It has been in my mind since I studied aviation safety at university.
Love the fact that I could listen to the recording and go analyze the flow of the events, it's so realistic :)
Yeah, I guess that next time I won't be shy to ask for clarification. It's better safe than sorry.

Thank you, Kevin.

Have a nice day
Enrico
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