Pilots Are Responsible!
Delta's Weekly Flight Ops Update MEMO:
Safety & operations
Thinking about slowing early?
Not so fast Recent ASAP reports have shown an increase in speed-related pilot deviations on approaches. Consider the scenario of being vectored and cleared for a visual or ILS to 27L in Atlanta. The controller instructs a Delta aircraft to maintain 180 knots to DEPOT and tells them to contact Tower. After intercepting the approach course, the pilot decides to slow early to create additional space from the preceding aircraft using their TCAS as their guide.
As a result of the speed reduction, the pilot has created a loss of separation with the aircraft in trail, resulting in a go around. Not only that, but the early reduction was unnecessary – spacing was just fine. Remember, a speed assignment of 180 knots to DEPOT is an ATC clearance. When an approach clearance is received with a speed assignment, it is the pilot's responsibility to comply with the speed restriction or request an amended clearance. Recently, and with ever-increasing frequency, ATL TRACON and other approach facilities are processing pilot deviations for these speed violations.
When cleared for any approach with a speed assignment, pilots must comply. Failure to do so may result in a pilot deviation unless the pilot has communicated with ATC the inability to comply with the issued clearance. Please continue to submit ASAP reports if you experience any issues related to the above. Delta has a close working relationship with many ATC facilities and can work with them to address any concerns.
Be Safe and Stay in Command!
Dr. Karlene Petitt
PhD. MBA. MHS.
A350, B777, A330, B747-400, B747-200, B767, B757, B737, B727