IFR bust…or…not?

Discussion in 'Lessons Learned' started by OopsIBustedIt, Aug 28, 2022.

  1. En route the yesterday, I was given a descent into my Initial Approach Fix “N12345 cross POINT at or above 4500.” I was in and out of the clouds throughout my flight and was excited that perhaps the bases were near 4500. I was looking around and kind of aiming for the base of the next cloud when I look down and see my altimeter at just over 4000. “Oh no! That’s outside of my 300’ window of leeway!” I immediately climbed back up and continued at or above my assigned altitude.

    No “Possible pilot deviation,” no number to call, not even a “verify altimeter setting.”

    Am I going to get a letter from the FAA? Am I going under investigation? Am I doomed forever? (Ok, I know it isn’t that bad…)

    No loss of separation occurred, no danger to safety of flight as I was in VMC when it occurred, and while the computer probably caught it, nothing was ever said.
    I know that many “busts” are never elevated above the controller, so could I skate by with just a lesson learned? Should I file an ASRS report? All these questions and more have been running through my head.
     
  2. RyanB

    RyanB Super Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    15,128
    Location:
    Chattanooga, TN

    Display name:
    Ryan
    Concur. You could always file the ASRS, but I think you’re fine.
     
  3. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Oct 24, 2016
    Messages:
    694
    Location:
    KADS

    Display name:
    Plano Pilot
  4. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 22, 2008
    Messages:
    15,327
    Location:
    mass fla

    Display name:
    ron keating
    ATC probably didn’t even notice the momentary change. If your worried file an ASRS report.
     
    SFDukie likes this.
  5. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Oct 25, 2005
    Messages:
    13,106
    Location:
    Wichita, KS

    Display name:
    MauleSkinner
    How about braised? Or brassiered? ;)
     
    AoACowboy likes this.
  6. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

    Joined:
    Feb 22, 2017
    Messages:
    8,848

    Display name:
    San_Diego_Pilot
    I think you are fine!!
     
  7. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

    Joined:
    Aug 26, 2017
    Messages:
    3,852
    Location:
    Phoenix, AZ and Ensenada, Mexico

    Display name:
    rgbeard
    This is a nothingburger.
     
    RDUPilot and SFDukie like this.
  8. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    Nashville, TN

    Display name:
    Larry in TN
    You're probably fine, but it can come up in a QA review and still get filed. I wouldn't worry too much about it, though.

    File the ASRS report. Good idea even if you didn't violate any regs.
     
  9. After doing some more research, I opted to file the ASRS report as it is anonymous. In the event that nothing happens, then no harm, no foul. If they do follow up, I doubt it will go any further than a phone call (although with it being a club plane, I doubt it will even go that far at this point).
    Worst case scenario and they really want to stick it to me for a few seconds of being below my assigned altitude, I have an ASRS report to keep me out of big trouble.
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    14,147
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    Yes. We must not be to brash and think this through before making a decision.
     
    MauleSkinner and Palmpilot like this.
  11. Country Flier

    Country Flier Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Sep 20, 2019
    Messages:
    622

    Display name:
    CFL
    Personally, I wouldn't have worried one bit...heck you didn't even get a "NXXX1, altimeter setting 29.75"...which is your clue to getting your butt back up to 4500...
     
    DesertNomad, bflynn, RDUPilot and 2 others like this.
  12. EdFred

    EdFred Taxi to Parking

    Joined:
    Feb 25, 2005
    Messages:
    29,041
    Location:
    Michigan

    Display name:
    White Chocolate
    And the reeponse to that is, "let me cycle my transponder."
     
    Zeldman, RDUPilot and Country Flier like this.
  13. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    14,165

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    The 4,500 sounds like it was required for the approach and not for sep purposes. They aren’t that concerned about that nor do they have time to write up everyone who busts a crossing altitude. Since you didn’t get a safety alert, doubtful if it even triggered an MSAW.
     
  14. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN En-Route

    Joined:
    Nov 16, 2013
    Messages:
    2,704
    Location:
    Nashville, TN

    Display name:
    Larry in TN
    Don't limit your ASRS filings to incidents where you may have violated a regulation. It is a safety database that is used to identify problems and improve safety. File an ASRS whenever you encounter something that could affect safety issues. Identify threats you encountered and errors you made.
     
    midlifeflyer, Palmpilot and crash7 like this.
  15. MacFlier

    MacFlier Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 5, 2018
    Messages:
    380

    Display name:
    MacFlier
    I once was in a similar situation, but on climb out and leveled at the cloud bases to pass under a big build up.
    I got a "low altitude alert" and corrected immediately and never got a phone number.
     
    flyingpreacher likes this.