|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 700|
agl bound upper : 1500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : zzz|
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 45|
flight time total : 7000
flight time type : 90
|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 : issued new clearance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was piloting a small aircraft helicopter from ZZZ to medical center located in xyz. We had flown to ZZZ earlier in the day to have our aircraft reweighed. While en route on our return flight to xyz the WX had deteriorated to approximately 700' and 2 mi. Suddenly the visibility dropped to less than a mi and I made the mental decision to make a 180 degree turn and return to ZZZ. I started a right turn from a heading of 030 degrees to a heading of 225 degrees. About half way through the turn we went solid IFR. I elected to fly the aircraft, continue my turn to 225 degrees, and initiate a climb to a higher altitude. I contacted ZZZ on my departure frequency, told him of my approximately location and intentions, heading altitude passing through and my desired altitude of 3000'. He had me in radar contact 12 mi northwest of the VOR and gave me a clearance to ZZZ. Our first clearance was for ILS 12L at ZZZ. I responded several mins later that we would not be able to accept the ILS approach and was offered an ASR approach to runway 23. We broke out at 1900' MSL and 3-4 mi from the runway. The controller did an excellent job on the approach. This problem was encountered due to flying in marginal WX conditions. It would not have happened if we would have waited until later in the day, or until the next day when conditions would have greatly improved. Or if we would have turned around sooner than we did. Due to the pilot not knowing the terrain or local area he felt it was in the best interest of the 3 passenger on board to maintain control of the aircraft and climb to a safer altitude.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: EMS SMA INFLT WX ENCOUNTER. VFR IN IMC.
Narrative: I WAS PILOTING A SMA HELI FROM ZZZ TO MEDICAL CENTER LOCATED IN XYZ. WE HAD FLOWN TO ZZZ EARLIER IN THE DAY TO HAVE OUR ACFT REWEIGHED. WHILE ENRTE ON OUR RETURN FLT TO XYZ THE WX HAD DETERIORATED TO APPROX 700' AND 2 MI. SUDDENLY THE VISIBILITY DROPPED TO LESS THAN A MI AND I MADE THE MENTAL DECISION TO MAKE A 180 DEG TURN AND RETURN TO ZZZ. I STARTED A RIGHT TURN FROM A HDG OF 030 DEGS TO A HDG OF 225 DEGS. ABOUT HALF WAY THROUGH THE TURN WE WENT SOLID IFR. I ELECTED TO FLY THE ACFT, CONTINUE MY TURN TO 225 DEGS, AND INITIATE A CLB TO A HIGHER ALT. I CONTACTED ZZZ ON MY DEP FREQ, TOLD HIM OF MY APPROX LOCATION AND INTENTIONS, HDG ALT PASSING THROUGH AND MY DESIRED ALT OF 3000'. HE HAD ME IN RADAR CONTACT 12 MI NW OF THE VOR AND GAVE ME A CLRNC TO ZZZ. OUR FIRST CLRNC WAS FOR ILS 12L AT ZZZ. I RESPONDED SEVERAL MINS LATER THAT WE WOULD NOT BE ABLE TO ACCEPT THE ILS APCH AND WAS OFFERED AN ASR APCH TO RWY 23. WE BROKE OUT AT 1900' MSL AND 3-4 MI FROM THE RWY. THE CTLR DID AN EXCELLENT JOB ON THE APCH. THIS PROB WAS ENCOUNTERED DUE TO FLYING IN MARGINAL WX CONDITIONS. IT WOULD NOT HAVE HAPPENED IF WE WOULD HAVE WAITED UNTIL LATER IN THE DAY, OR UNTIL THE NEXT DAY WHEN CONDITIONS WOULD HAVE GREATLY IMPROVED. OR IF WE WOULD HAVE TURNED AROUND SOONER THAN WE DID. DUE TO THE PLT NOT KNOWING THE TERRAIN OR LCL AREA HE FELT IT WAS IN THE BEST INTEREST OF THE 3 PAX ON BOARD TO MAINTAIN CTL OF THE ACFT AND CLB TO A SAFER ALT.
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.