May 29, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Callback 512: What Would You Have Done? NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System

Callback 512: What Would You Have Done? NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System

The situations below are from Callback 512: What Would You Have Done? NASA’s Aviation Safety Reporting System. You may make an out-of-the-ordinary judgment; use your insight to determine a possible course of action; or devise a plan to resolve the situation.

To determine “What would you have done?” the selected ASRS reports may not provide all the information you want, and you may not be experienced in the type of aircraft involved, but each incident should give you a chance to refine your aviation judgment and decision-making skills.

In “The First Half of the Story,” you’ll receive information about a specific situation. In “The Rest of the Story,” you’ll find the actions that were taken by reporters in response to each situation. Bear in mind that their decisions may not necessarily represent the best course of action, and there may not be a “right” answer. The intent is to stimulate thought, training, and discussion related to these reported incidents.

The First Half of the Story

Communication Once Again B737-700 Pilot’s Report

■ [We were] midway down the runway on takeoff. A regional aircraft…stated, “Using the afterburners, huh?” 

What Would You Have Done? A Dysfunctional Check Flight  CRJ700 First Officer’s Report

What Would You Have Done?

Exit Strategy  Small, Two-Engine Transport Pilot’s Report

■ After dropping a load of skydivers, I entered the airport traffic pattern on a high crosswind.… Subsequent calls were made on downwind, base, and final. Neither I nor the other pilot onboard heard any calls from any other aircraft in the area. We are always careful to coordinate due to the glider activity at the airport as well as the VFR traffic when the weather is nice. On short final…I suddenly noticed an aircraft on the opposite end of the runway.… The aircraft was moving and heading directly toward us, though it appeared to be on or just above the runway. We were still on short final and higher. I could not alter my flightpath to the right, as skydivers were landing there. I did not want to go left, as that is where I expected the other aircraft to go.

What Would You Have Done? Landing Decisions  Small Aircraft Pilot’s Report

■ I was PIC and the only person onboard. On my turn from downwind to final, I noticed my airspeed was at 60 [knots], so I took action to increase my airspeed. In the course of doing this, I found that when I turned to final, I was too high. I put the aircraft into a slip to get down. When I rounded out of the slip, I was over the runway numbers and doing 79 knots.

What Would You Have Done? Spoiler Alert  B767 Captain’s Report

■ This trip was…the continuation of Aircraft X on…the day following our weather divert. While beginning our descent…the FO (PF) deployed the speedbrakes to approximately 50% in order to comply with the altitude restriction. When the FO stowed the speedbrakes, the aircraft abruptly rolled 35 degrees to the left. The autopilot had difficulty controlling the aircraft, so we disconnected and the FO flew manually. The FO quickly and accurately corrected the left-roll tendency with right ailerons, leveled the wings, and continued the arrival. Simultaneously to these events, the SPOILERS EICAS illuminated. We slowed to 250 KIAS to minimize the left-roll tendency and informed ATC. We decided to have the FO continue to fly and handle radios while I ran the non-normal checklist, coordinated with Dispatch and Maintenance, and ran the test with the Lead Flight Attendant. After finishing the SPOILERS EICAS checklist and the other coordination… it was determined that some of the spoilers on the left wing remained in the UP position and would not stow.

What Would You Have Done?

The Rest of the Story

Communication Once Again

■ Since we were empty with no passengers and not much fuel, we were accelerating quickly, and thus, his comment made sense. Upon rotation, the Tower asked the regional aircraft, “What was that you said?” He responded, “Looks like [Company] is using afterburners; a six-foot flame was coming out of the back of the #2 engine.” Upon reaching cleanup altitude, we ran all the appropriate checklists and returned back to ZZZ. The fire trucks were called by ATC, and they performed an inspection upon taxiing clear of the runway. We were cleared to taxi to the gate.… The event was entered in the logbook, and Maintenance, Dispatch, and the Chief Pilots were notified. The regional aircraft could have been more clear in his comments, and we could have aborted the takeoff at low speed.

(First half of situation #2)

A Dysfunctional Check Flight  From the Captain’s Report

■ I aborted the takeoff and came to a complete stop on the runway. The speed at the time of the abort was less than 40 knots. We ran the QRH and were able to taxi…off the runway using the tiller. Before taxiing back to the ramp, we lined up on the runway again, this time only intending to test the rudder pedal nose wheel steering. Both the Captain and FO…pedals were tested.… Both sets of pedals were giving inverse steering commands. Right rudder was giving a left steering command and left rudder was giving a right steering command. The aircraft was returned to the ramp, and the discrepancy was entered into the logbook. The cause of inverse steering commands was traced back to one of the electrical components that activates nose wheel steering being installed 180 degrees out of normal position. Update FCF checklists to include more detailed preflight checks and the testing of rudder pedal steering during taxi-out.

(First half of situation #3)

Exit Strategy

■ In that decision-making moment, I saw the other aircraft begin to climb, and I decided that the best course of action was to go underneath them and continue with the landing. From third party accounts, I believe that the other aircraft did, in fact, make a radio call announcing their position in the pattern and their intent to land on [that runway]. The high amount of wind noise interacting with the headset booms may have prevented us from hearing those transmissions.… We were in contact with ATC during the jump run and the descent and did not have an issue hearing them. This is one of those airports where the runway has a significant slope, and aircraft taking off in one direction and landing in the other direction is not uncommon. That was the case on this day.

(First half of situation #4)

Landing Decisions

■ I should have gone around but, instead, made the bad decision to try to force the plane onto the runway. When I touched down before the midway point of the runway, I was still too fast and locked up the brakes. This resulted in a sideways skid into the grass on the left side of the runway. I went 30 feet into the grass. There was no damage to the airplane or injury to me. I taxied back to the hangar for inspection. Maintenance confirmed no damage. Looking back now, I should have just gone around after I was not happy with my downwind to base turn.

(First half of situation #5)

Spoiler Alert

■ I opted to request priority handling and requested the ILS with a long, 20-mile final, which ATC coordinated. We then gradually slowed and configured the aircraft, determining the aircraft controllability with each configuration change. Once final landing configuration (Flaps 30) and target speed were established, the aircraft continued the left-roll tendency but was manageable. The FO accurately noted that at target speed, the speed tape showed little margin above stick shaker activation, so we opted to add 10 knots to our target speed. I believe this was due to the spoilers still extended on the left wing. The remainder of the approach and landing was uneventful, as the FO made an excellent landing. I took the aircraft on the rollout, and we met the responding emergency personnel. They checked us over, and we taxied to the gate.


Source/credit for content/image: NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS), CALLBACK, Issue 500, “What Would You Have Done?” A Monthly Safety Newsletter from The Office of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System, P.O. Box 189  |  Moffett Field, CA  |  94035-0189,, Issue 512.

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