CALLBACK From the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System
 Issue 525 October 2023 

What Would You Have Done?

This month, CALLBACK again offers the reader a chance to “interact” with the information given in a selection of ASRS reports. In “The First Half of the Story,” you will find report excerpts describing an event or situation up to a point where a specific decision must be made, an immediate action must be taken, or a non-normal condition must be actively managed. You may then exercise your own judgment to make a decision, determine a possible course of action, or devise a plan that might best resolve the situation.

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 Rest of the Story…” you will 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. Our intent is to stimulate thought, training, and discussion related to these reported incidents.

The First Half of the Story

Part 107 – Night Stealth  A UAS Pilot’s Report
I was Pilot In Command (PIC) of a drone, who observed…while on a photography session, another small UAS operating with no anti-collision lights during dawn. I had two anti-collision strobes…activated and operating continuously. I immediately evaded the area to avoid a collision, since the other PIC was flying erratically. I departed about 150 feet north, and the other PIC followed and continued to fly erratically below me.

What Would You Have Done?

Part 91 – To Go or Not to Go  A Hot Air Balloon Pilot’s Report
Following an uneventful morning hot air balloon flight, as I descended to land, I realized the ground wind speed was much faster than the air I had been flying in at approximately 800 feet AGL. I utilized a drop line to my ground crew near the northwest corner of the intersection. Although the ground crew was able to grab the drop line, the wind was such that they could not hold the balloon against it. As there was a crop of soybeans there that I didn’t want to damage, I…

What Would You Have Done?

Part 91 – Maverick Waves  A Light Transport Jet Pilot’s Report
While cruising at FL450 near HVE, we encountered a mountain wave, which smoothly descended us to FL448, then climbed us to FL455. Then suddenly, the aircraft began a rapid descent in which the stick shaker activated.

What Would You Have Done?

Part 121 – Powered Cabin Devices  An A320 Captain’s Report
At the completion of our boarding process, as we received our baggage loading record, I was notified by the Lead Flight Attendant that a mobility device battery had been brought to the cabin by a passenger as a carry-on.

What Would You Have Done?

Part 121 – A Gear up Surprise  A B767 Captain’s Report
We received a mechanically sound…aircraft to fly.… After addressing several cabin-related maintenance issues during the late boarding phase, we were finally able to get the aircraft…ready for departure. Pushback and taxi-out were non-eventful. Approaching the hold short [line]…we were cleared to line up and wait. Subsequently, before entering the runway, we were then cleared for takeoff.… We verified the runway, cleared left and right, noted the fuel on board, took the runway…and began our takeoff roll.… After the 100-knot call and prior to V1, I…heard something that sounded like something had fallen to the floor. A…glance at the engine gauges, then eyes back outside. V1, rotate, positive rate, gear up, boom! As if the engine failure was connected to the gear handle itself.

What Would You Have Done?

The Rest of the Story

Part 107 – Night Stealth
I…departed the area and landed to avoid a collision. I…drove to find the PIC of the [other] UAS and asked if he was the operator.… He replied…he was. I then discussed with him if he was a Part 107 pilot. He replied he was.… [I] asked why he did not have anti-collision lights on and recommended he … use one during night or dawn operations. He stated he didn’t need to use anti-collision lights because he was flying under recreational/hobbyist flight rules. I informed him regardless he must have anti-collision lights on during dawn and night operations…to avoid an incident.

First Half of Situation #2

Part 91 – To Go or Not to Go
I waved off my crew and flew on. Crossing a slight ridge in the direction of flight revealed a large grassy field. I shut off my fuel and pilot lights, reviewed the landing procedures with my one passenger, and prepared for a high wind rip-out landing. We landed on the farm…1,200 meters west of the earlier aborted landing. The basket landed fairly hard, tipped over, and was dragged before coming to rest in the field. When the basket tipped over, the passenger landed on top of me. On coming to a stop, the passenger said she had stepped on her ankle with her other foot. There was no damage to the aircraft and no property damage. The passenger was able to walk on her sore ankle and rested while the aircraft was recovered.… I was…able to convince her to be evaluated. …She required surgery…and a plate to stabilize her ankle.

First Half of Situation #3

Part 91 – Maverick Waves
The Captain, who was the pilot flying, immediately initiated the stall recovery procedure. The descent was stopped by FL430. ATC was notified that we were unable to maintain altitude. ATC then issued us a block altitude of FL410 to FL450. We then slowly climbed back to FL450 without incident.

First Half of Situation #4

Part 121 – Powered Cabin Devices
I went to the jetway to check with the Gate Agent in order to get the details. The passenger had used a partially foldable mobility device. I asked the ramp worker who had delivered the baggage loading record about the device, and they confirmed that it had been loaded without a battery and that the device’s exposed battery was removed before bringing the device downstairs. The Gate Agent put me on the phone with the Gate Supervisor, and they confirmed that for certain mobility devices, they remove the battery and have the passenger board with the battery as a carry-on. They said that it was something that was not unusual. The battery was in a protective molded housing that was obviously designed for the particular device with unexposed terminals. During our phone conversation, I referenced the General Operations Manual and the Company’s dangerous goods table. There are three table entries for batteries in general and another five entries for mobility aids. It appeared that the device we had loaded fit the description of a collapsible mobility aid, which allowed for the battery to be removed and carried in the cabin. I briefed the Lead Flight Attendant about my conversation with the Gate Agent and we departed.

First Half of Situation #5

Part 121 – A Gear up Surprise
I stated, “Engine failure.” Another pilot echoed me.… Then we commenced…the engine failure procedures.… The engine failed climbing through approximately 200 feet AGL. We…climbed out tracking the runway centerline, requested priority handling…and began coordination with ZZZ Tower for an air turn-back and to have Crash Fire Rescue (CFR) on scene for our arrival. We had [Tower] notify the Company of what had just happened. A series of right turns…positioned us for the Runway XXL approach, the longest runway…available. For future note, no instrument approach [was available] to XXL, and therefore [there were] no instrument runway approach lights. We were heavy, overweight, single-engine, not absolutely certain of the status of the left main landing gear, night, VFR, and clear and a million. We stayed with [Runway] XXL. I continued to fly the plane; the First Officer and Relief Pilot ran the QRC/QRH. We got vectors from Departure and leveled off at 2,500 feet for the remainder of the event. We communicated and coordinated with Flight Attendants (FAs) in the cabin. We explained to the passengers what happened and that we were returning to ZZZ. We completed checklist and performance items and positioned the aircraft for landing on Runway XXL, flaps 20. We finally picked up the VASIs, flew them down to touchdown, made a long rollout to a stop, then began to coordinate with CFR to address our hot brakes. There was more coordination and communication with the FA crew and passengers. We kept them seated with the seatbelt sign on…for the entire brake cooling event. It was…83 minutes from stopping on the runway and addressing and fighting the hot brakes scenario to getting to the gate.… Everything worked rather smoothly from start to finish…and there was no further damage or injury to aircraft or personnel.
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ASRS Alerts Issued in August 2023
Subject of Alert No. of Alerts
Aircraft or Aircraft Equipment 3
Airport Facility or Procedure 13
ATC Equipment or Procedure 15
Hazard to Flight 2
August 2023 Report Intake
Air Carrier/Air Taxi Pilots 5,169
General Aviation Pilots 1,653
Flight Attendants 799
Controllers 481
Military/Other 330
Mechanics 242
Dispatchers 240
TOTAL 8,914
and   Indicate an ASRS report narrative
[  ]  Indicates clarification made by ASRS
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A Monthly Safety Newsletter from The Office of the NASA Aviation Safety Reporting System
P.O. Box 189  |  Moffett Field, CA  |  94035-0189
Issue 525