|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : edw|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4500|
msl bound upper : 4500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : edw|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 2300
flight time type : 175
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was flying southbound, from the owens valley en route to inyo/kern, following highway 395. When I inadvertently flew into IMC west/O a proper clearance. The owens passage is located about 83 NM south of bishop VOR and 80 NM north of palmdale VOR. This passage is a narrow canyon, with high mountainous terrain on both sides that joins the owens valley with the mojave dessert. It was here that, I was flying low about 4500' MSL and following the highway, in order to maintain VFR, when I accidentally flew into IFR conditions. I completely lost sight of all, ground features was unable to judge my position in relation to the surrounding terrain. It was this reason I was reluctant to make a 180 degree turn. I felt the only action I could have taken was to climb, maintain my heading, hoping not to hit anything before I got into radar coverage. During the climb, I contacted edw approach and asked for assistance, which they (edw approach) provided and were very good about the whole situation. Fortunately my situation was resolved and ended on a good note and nothing would come of it. Some contributing factors: unfamiliar with area, narrow passage, darkness--unable to define and make out the clouds, unable to descend due to terrain, non radar environment. In conclusion, I know I'm not the first and won't be the last to get into this kind of situation. I feel, in order to have good outcome, emphasis (training) should be put on how ground facility could help the pilot instead of installing the fear of one getting violated or having to submit a report to ATC. Then maybe the pilots won't be so hesitant to call up.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CARGO SMT FLYING VFR IN MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN BECOMES VFR IN IMC.
Narrative: I WAS FLYING SBND, FROM THE OWENS VALLEY ENRTE TO INYO/KERN, FOLLOWING HIGHWAY 395. WHEN I INADVERTENTLY FLEW INTO IMC W/O A PROPER CLRNC. THE OWENS PASSAGE IS LOCATED ABOUT 83 NM S OF BISHOP VOR AND 80 NM N OF PALMDALE VOR. THIS PASSAGE IS A NARROW CANYON, WITH HIGH MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN ON BOTH SIDES THAT JOINS THE OWENS VALLEY WITH THE MOJAVE DESSERT. IT WAS HERE THAT, I WAS FLYING LOW ABOUT 4500' MSL AND FOLLOWING THE HIGHWAY, IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN VFR, WHEN I ACCIDENTALLY FLEW INTO IFR CONDITIONS. I COMPLETELY LOST SIGHT OF ALL, GND FEATURES WAS UNABLE TO JUDGE MY POS IN RELATION TO THE SURROUNDING TERRAIN. IT WAS THIS REASON I WAS RELUCTANT TO MAKE A 180 DEG TURN. I FELT THE ONLY ACTION I COULD HAVE TAKEN WAS TO CLB, MAINTAIN MY HDG, HOPING NOT TO HIT ANYTHING BEFORE I GOT INTO RADAR COVERAGE. DURING THE CLB, I CONTACTED EDW APCH AND ASKED FOR ASSISTANCE, WHICH THEY (EDW APCH) PROVIDED AND WERE VERY GOOD ABOUT THE WHOLE SITUATION. FORTUNATELY MY SITUATION WAS RESOLVED AND ENDED ON A GOOD NOTE AND NOTHING WOULD COME OF IT. SOME CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: UNFAMILIAR WITH AREA, NARROW PASSAGE, DARKNESS--UNABLE TO DEFINE AND MAKE OUT THE CLOUDS, UNABLE TO DSND DUE TO TERRAIN, NON RADAR ENVIRONMENT. IN CONCLUSION, I KNOW I'M NOT THE FIRST AND WON'T BE THE LAST TO GET INTO THIS KIND OF SITUATION. I FEEL, IN ORDER TO HAVE GOOD OUTCOME, EMPHASIS (TRNING) SHOULD BE PUT ON HOW GND FAC COULD HELP THE PLT INSTEAD OF INSTALLING THE FEAR OF ONE GETTING VIOLATED OR HAVING TO SUBMIT A RPT TO ATC. THEN MAYBE THE PLTS WON'T BE SO HESITANT TO CALL UP.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.