|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : mtj|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 13500|
msl bound upper : 14000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zdv|
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 19000
flight time type : 2600
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : overshoot|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : clearance
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : returned to intended course or assigned course|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Primary Problem||Navigational Facility|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
|ATC Facility||other physical facility|
procedure or policy : unspecified
We, in the montrose area, sometimes reach 15000' before contact can be made with ARTCC. It is not uncommon to lose communications below 15000' and very common at 14000'. This day, because of communication problem of altitude, coupled with static electricity on plane, and snow, I had experienced intermittent communications with center up to the time of the event. On enroute descent to holding pattern, I advised center it was turbulent and they confirmed this fact through communication with other aircraft. Regarding this event, after entering hold at 15000' I had been cleared to 14000' and again I advised center of turbulence conditions and received no response. The next communication I received from ATC was a request to confirm my altitude and I responded that turbs had taken me to 13500' and I was climbing back to my assigned 14000' altitude. I was at 13500' less than 30 seconds. Upon regaining the 14000' altitude, I was immediately cleared to 13000' and asked to call center by phone after landing. We had a discussion on the phone and I was asked about turbulence and flight conditions and I informed him of flight conditions and his comments were that because of the flight conditions, no action would be taken on the inadvertent descent to 13500'. In order to prevent a recurrence of this, I would recommend that the FAA consider improving the communication link in and around the mtj airport so that direct communications with center is reliable at procedure turn altitude of 7800', similar to the ability to talk to center at the western slope towns of gunnison, durango, hayden and aspen.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: COMS PROBLEM LEADS TO ALT DEVIATION.
Narrative: WE, IN THE MONTROSE AREA, SOMETIMES REACH 15000' BEFORE CONTACT CAN BE MADE WITH ARTCC. IT IS NOT UNCOMMON TO LOSE COMS BELOW 15000' AND VERY COMMON AT 14000'. THIS DAY, BECAUSE OF COM PROB OF ALT, COUPLED WITH STATIC ELECTRICITY ON PLANE, AND SNOW, I HAD EXPERIENCED INTERMITTENT COMS WITH CENTER UP TO THE TIME OF THE EVENT. ON ENROUTE DESCENT TO HOLDING PATTERN, I ADVISED CENTER IT WAS TURBULENT AND THEY CONFIRMED THIS FACT THROUGH COM WITH OTHER ACFT. REGARDING THIS EVENT, AFTER ENTERING HOLD AT 15000' I HAD BEEN CLRED TO 14000' AND AGAIN I ADVISED CENTER OF TURB CONDITIONS AND RECEIVED NO RESPONSE. THE NEXT COM I RECEIVED FROM ATC WAS A REQUEST TO CONFIRM MY ALT AND I RESPONDED THAT TURBS HAD TAKEN ME TO 13500' AND I WAS CLBING BACK TO MY ASSIGNED 14000' ALT. I WAS AT 13500' LESS THAN 30 SECS. UPON REGAINING THE 14000' ALT, I WAS IMMEDIATELY CLRED TO 13000' AND ASKED TO CALL CENTER BY PHONE AFTER LNDG. WE HAD A DISCUSSION ON THE PHONE AND I WAS ASKED ABOUT TURB AND FLT CONDITIONS AND I INFORMED HIM OF FLT CONDITIONS AND HIS COMMENTS WERE THAT BECAUSE OF THE FLT CONDITIONS, NO ACTION WOULD BE TAKEN ON THE INADVERTENT DSCNT TO 13500'. IN ORDER TO PREVENT A RECURRENCE OF THIS, I WOULD RECOMMEND THAT THE FAA CONSIDER IMPROVING THE COM LINK IN AND AROUND THE MTJ ARPT SO THAT DIRECT COMS WITH CENTER IS RELIABLE AT PROC TURN ALT OF 7800', SIMILAR TO THE ABILITY TO TALK TO CENTER AT THE WESTERN SLOPE TOWNS OF GUNNISON, DURANGO, HAYDEN AND ASPEN.
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.