|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : mmu|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2500|
msl bound upper : 3000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : n90|
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Route In Use||enroute : direct|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 250|
flight time total : 1950
flight time type : 50
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
While RNAV direct morristown from mugzy intersection ATC cleared the aircraft down to an altitude which placed the aircraft in VMC (although there was high cirrus and good visibility at mmu a 4000' overcast existed 20-30 mi northwest). ATC issued the aircraft a vector of 180 degrees (aircraft previously headed 125 degrees) and I complied. Since I was in good VMC I advised ATC that I would cancel IFR and the controller acknowledged. I then descended from my assigned altitude of 3000 to 2500' to remain below the TCA (which I was about to enter and had not received a clearance). I remained with nyc approach for VFR advisories and proceeded RNAV direct mmu once again. About 5 mi northwest I reported mmu in sight and requested a frequency change to mmu tower when the controller questioned me about my heading (which was now about 120 degrees). The controller replied that I had been issued a heading of 180 degrees and was to maintain it for the sequence. I replied to him that that is why I had cancelled my IFR, so I could proceed direct. To this the controller (who had lost his temper) said I must follow his vectors and not to do this again before terminating radar service. This could have been prevented had I taken the vectors for the sequence and had remained IFR, although this would have added more time on to the flight in my opinion. By cancelling IFR and proceeding on course using my own navigation (which I have done countless times while in VMC due to the crazy vectoring of nyc approach) I believed ATC would be providing VFR advisories and would be aware that I would go direct mmu. If it was not for the irate controller, whose behavior made the situation worse, I would have believed I was in compliance of far 91.75(a) since I had cancelled IFR and was below the TCA floor. I still believe that I have not violated 91.75(a). Also, from the time I cancelled to the time the controller verbally chastised me, several mins had passed which he did not notice my heading deviation until I got his attention by reporting mmu in sight. I believe that it is probable that the controller was not monitoring my progress and was surprised to see me where he did not expect (after I called his attention to me). Finally, I believe that this whole event could have been avoided had I informed the controller that I was proceeding direct mmu at the instant I cancelled IFR.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CTLR COMPLAINS OF ACFT NOT MAINTAINING ASSIGNED HEADING AFTER ACFT CANCELLED IFR.
Narrative: WHILE RNAV DIRECT MORRISTOWN FROM MUGZY INTXN ATC CLRED THE ACFT DOWN TO AN ALT WHICH PLACED THE ACFT IN VMC (ALTHOUGH THERE WAS HIGH CIRRUS AND GOOD VISIBILITY AT MMU A 4000' OVCST EXISTED 20-30 MI NW). ATC ISSUED THE ACFT A VECTOR OF 180 DEGS (ACFT PREVIOUSLY HEADED 125 DEGS) AND I COMPLIED. SINCE I WAS IN GOOD VMC I ADVISED ATC THAT I WOULD CANCEL IFR AND THE CTLR ACKNOWLEDGED. I THEN DSNDED FROM MY ASSIGNED ALT OF 3000 TO 2500' TO REMAIN BELOW THE TCA (WHICH I WAS ABOUT TO ENTER AND HAD NOT RECEIVED A CLRNC). I REMAINED WITH NYC APCH FOR VFR ADVISORIES AND PROCEEDED RNAV DIRECT MMU ONCE AGAIN. ABOUT 5 MI NW I RPTED MMU IN SIGHT AND REQUESTED A FREQ CHANGE TO MMU TWR WHEN THE CTLR QUESTIONED ME ABOUT MY HDG (WHICH WAS NOW ABOUT 120 DEGS). THE CTLR REPLIED THAT I HAD BEEN ISSUED A HDG OF 180 DEGS AND WAS TO MAINTAIN IT FOR THE SEQUENCE. I REPLIED TO HIM THAT THAT IS WHY I HAD CANCELLED MY IFR, SO I COULD PROCEED DIRECT. TO THIS THE CTLR (WHO HAD LOST HIS TEMPER) SAID I MUST FOLLOW HIS VECTORS AND NOT TO DO THIS AGAIN BEFORE TERMINATING RADAR SERVICE. THIS COULD HAVE BEEN PREVENTED HAD I TAKEN THE VECTORS FOR THE SEQUENCE AND HAD REMAINED IFR, ALTHOUGH THIS WOULD HAVE ADDED MORE TIME ON TO THE FLT IN MY OPINION. BY CANCELLING IFR AND PROCEEDING ON COURSE USING MY OWN NAV (WHICH I HAVE DONE COUNTLESS TIMES WHILE IN VMC DUE TO THE CRAZY VECTORING OF NYC APCH) I BELIEVED ATC WOULD BE PROVIDING VFR ADVISORIES AND WOULD BE AWARE THAT I WOULD GO DIRECT MMU. IF IT WAS NOT FOR THE IRATE CTLR, WHOSE BEHAVIOR MADE THE SITUATION WORSE, I WOULD HAVE BELIEVED I WAS IN COMPLIANCE OF FAR 91.75(A) SINCE I HAD CANCELLED IFR AND WAS BELOW THE TCA FLOOR. I STILL BELIEVE THAT I HAVE NOT VIOLATED 91.75(A). ALSO, FROM THE TIME I CANCELLED TO THE TIME THE CTLR VERBALLY CHASTISED ME, SEVERAL MINS HAD PASSED WHICH HE DID NOT NOTICE MY HDG DEVIATION UNTIL I GOT HIS ATTN BY RPTING MMU IN SIGHT. I BELIEVE THAT IT IS PROBABLE THAT THE CTLR WAS NOT MONITORING MY PROGRESS AND WAS SURPRISED TO SEE ME WHERE HE DID NOT EXPECT (AFTER I CALLED HIS ATTN TO ME). FINALLY, I BELIEVE THAT THIS WHOLE EVENT COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED HAD I INFORMED THE CTLR THAT I WAS PROCEEDING DIRECT MMU AT THE INSTANT I CANCELLED IFR.
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.