Wrong reaction to “Adjust Vertical Speed” RA

Wrong reaction to “Adjust Vertical Speed” RA

What we have been informed

There are repeated instances of pilots incorrectly executing “Adjust Vertical Speed” RAs. In some cases, this wrong reaction to this actually led to the deterioration of spacing between the aircraft.

What are the facts?

  • TCAS II is designed to generate an “Adjust Vertical Speed” RA instead of a stronger “Climb” or “Descend” RA, whenever possible.
  • The objective is to solve a predicted risk of collision by a reduction of the current vertical speed, either in climb or in descent, while maximising compatibility with the ATC clearance. The reduction is associated with four different values: 0, 500, 1000 or 2000 ft/min.
  • RAs could occur when aircraft are in close proximity and the vertical speed of closure exceeds 1500 ft/min;
  • This type of RA is mainly issued when an aircraft is climbing or descending to level-off 1000 ft from another aircraft. It reinforces the controller’s clearance and helps to ensure successful level-off at the cleared flight level.
  • “Adjust Vertical Speed” RAs are the most frequent RAs triggered by TCAS II.

What are the potential solutions?

It is essential that all RAs are followed accurately. Aircraft Operators - Remind flight crews that:

  • It is necessary to observe carefully the RA display when manoeuvring, bearing in mind that an "Adjust Vertical Speed" RA always requires a reduction of the vertical speed.
  • All RAs are followed accurately, even if there is a discrepancy between RA and ATC clearance or instruction.

Your attention is required


© European Organisation for Safety of Air Navigation (EUROCONTROL) June 2006. This alert is published by EUROCONTROL for information purposes. It may be copied in whole or in part, provided that EUROCONTROL is mentioned as the source and to the extent justified by the non-commercial use (not for sale). The information in this document may not be modified without prior written permission from EUROCONTROL. The use of the document is at the user’s sole risk and responsibility. EUROCONTROL expressly disclaim any and all warranties with respect to any content within the alert, express or implied.


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