Confusion Triggers ASRS Report at TEB

 - March 19, 2012, 4:00 PM

According to an Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) report (ACN 983575), the captain of a Gulfstream IV, while departing Teterboro’s runway 24 under strong, gusty winds, misinterpreted an ATC clearance flying the Ruddy 3 departure. A climb restriction for the standard instrument departure (SID) demands aircraft level off at 1,500 feet until passing WENTZ and then climb to 2,000 feet.

“It was very busy at TEB,” the pilot stated. “We were cleared to 2,000 ft. and set that in the altitude alerter. We climbed in turbulence directly to 2,000 feet, without stopping at 1,500 ft. This is very confusing. But the bottom line is the crew made the error. We won’t make that mistake again though.” Luckily no other aircraft were nearby. 


This one is classic gotcha at TEB, especially with crews not based there or who visited infrequently. Having operated out of TEB for 12 years it was ingrained in me to stop at 1500 or set 1500 in the altitude alerter and reset after the restriction. This usually required a power reduction earlier than usual to avoid overshooting.

What caught my eye initially on this story John was that this almost happened to me departing TEB one night. And we’d briefed the departure before I took off. As you mentioned, that first power reduction happens so early that it almost doesn’t seem natural … but it happens anyway.

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