|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : 048|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1200|
msl bound upper : 4000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zoa|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
climbout : takeoff
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 24|
flight time total : 135
flight time type : 98
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|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|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
WX briefing 1/2 hour prior to departure obtained from ukiah FSS. Briefing: no present flight precautions, no significant WX. 6000' broken, 30 mi, sts 10000' scattered, 15000' scattered, occasional patches ground fog on coast north of point arena, no PIREPS in area. At airport: fog and light drizzle with 3-5 mi visibility estimated. No clouds seen above airport, tops of trees and ridges clearly visible. Bluish color to sky. Judgement was that VFR could be maintained and follow coast to better conditions. At takeoff entered cloud at 1200' with intermittent ground contact. Judged that attempt to circle and land would be hazardous. Climbed south. Sun shining through overcast but did not clearly break out. Contacted ZOA and obtained a clearance to concord. Unforecast icing encountered at 7000', given altitude of 6000' which was between layers. In visibility conditions before reaching ukiah called flight watch with PIREPS of these conditions. Other aircraft had departed ahead of us and others were preparing for departure. Discussion: judging WX conditions from ground west/O vertical landmarks in haze or light fog is difficult. There is no WX reporting at mendocino or anywhere in a long stretch of the calif coast. I have been in IFR training for the last 5 months and may be desensitized to visibilities, but from the way the sky looked I expected clear air at 2000' with a hazy view of the ground. Once committed it was not feasible to return to VFR conditions. WX briefing was misleading. Recommendations: 1) WX reporting stations should be placed on the north calif coast. 2) more attention to judging ceilings and visibilities from the ground. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter states he filed IFR flight plan, even though not rated, when caught in IMC situation because 'it was the only way to be safe.' FAA not aware of violation as he obviously did not state that he was not IFR rated.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: IMC FLT OF VFR PLT.
Narrative: WX BRIEFING 1/2 HR PRIOR TO DEP OBTAINED FROM UKIAH FSS. BRIEFING: NO PRESENT FLT PRECAUTIONS, NO SIGNIFICANT WX. 6000' BROKEN, 30 MI, STS 10000' SCATTERED, 15000' SCATTERED, OCCASIONAL PATCHES GND FOG ON COAST N OF POINT ARENA, NO PIREPS IN AREA. AT ARPT: FOG AND LIGHT DRIZZLE WITH 3-5 MI VISIBILITY ESTIMATED. NO CLOUDS SEEN ABOVE ARPT, TOPS OF TREES AND RIDGES CLEARLY VISIBLE. BLUISH COLOR TO SKY. JUDGEMENT WAS THAT VFR COULD BE MAINTAINED AND FOLLOW COAST TO BETTER CONDITIONS. AT TKOF ENTERED CLOUD AT 1200' WITH INTERMITTENT GND CONTACT. JUDGED THAT ATTEMPT TO CIRCLE AND LAND WOULD BE HAZARDOUS. CLBED S. SUN SHINING THROUGH OVCST BUT DID NOT CLEARLY BREAK OUT. CONTACTED ZOA AND OBTAINED A CLRNC TO CONCORD. UNFORECAST ICING ENCOUNTERED AT 7000', GIVEN ALT OF 6000' WHICH WAS BTWN LAYERS. IN VIS CONDITIONS BEFORE REACHING UKIAH CALLED FLT WATCH WITH PIREPS OF THESE CONDITIONS. OTHER ACFT HAD DEPARTED AHEAD OF US AND OTHERS WERE PREPARING FOR DEP. DISCUSSION: JUDGING WX CONDITIONS FROM GND W/O VERT LANDMARKS IN HAZE OR LIGHT FOG IS DIFFICULT. THERE IS NO WX RPTING AT MENDOCINO OR ANYWHERE IN A LONG STRETCH OF THE CALIF COAST. I HAVE BEEN IN IFR TRNING FOR THE LAST 5 MONTHS AND MAY BE DESENSITIZED TO VISIBILITIES, BUT FROM THE WAY THE SKY LOOKED I EXPECTED CLEAR AIR AT 2000' WITH A HAZY VIEW OF THE GND. ONCE COMMITTED IT WAS NOT FEASIBLE TO RETURN TO VFR CONDITIONS. WX BRIEFING WAS MISLEADING. RECOMMENDATIONS: 1) WX RPTING STATIONS SHOULD BE PLACED ON THE N CALIF COAST. 2) MORE ATTN TO JUDGING CEILINGS AND VISIBILITIES FROM THE GND. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR STATES HE FILED IFR FLT PLAN, EVEN THOUGH NOT RATED, WHEN CAUGHT IN IMC SITUATION BECAUSE 'IT WAS THE ONLY WAY TO BE SAFE.' FAA NOT AWARE OF VIOLATION AS HE OBVIOUSLY DID NOT STATE THAT HE WAS NOT IFR RATED.
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.