|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : vny|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 6500|
msl bound upper : 6500
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time total : 1050|
flight time type : 120
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
During a training flight I was flying back to my home airport (vny). When the low voltage light illuminated a second time. It had already lit up once earlier in the flight. I tried resetting the master switch, but the light remained on and the ammeter indicated a negative rate or charge. The sun had set more than an hour ago, and the battery was unable to keep the navigation and anti-collision lights on for very long. I didn't feel that I should have turned the lights off earlier and used the lights when I had nearby traffic. In other words, I thought the battery could run the lights and one communication/navigation radio for the remaining 30 mins. At that point, I chose to continue the flight to vny. Vny was just about as close as any airport, except for el monte. I think it would have been safer to land at el monte.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA CONTINUED NIGHT FLT TO HOME BASE WITHOUT ELECTRICAL POWER.
Narrative: DURING A TRNING FLT I WAS FLYING BACK TO MY HOME ARPT (VNY). WHEN THE LOW VOLTAGE LIGHT ILLUMINATED A SECOND TIME. IT HAD ALREADY LIT UP ONCE EARLIER IN THE FLT. I TRIED RESETTING THE MASTER SWITCH, BUT THE LIGHT REMAINED ON AND THE AMMETER INDICATED A NEGATIVE RATE OR CHARGE. THE SUN HAD SET MORE THAN AN HR AGO, AND THE BATTERY WAS UNABLE TO KEEP THE NAV AND ANTI-COLLISION LIGHTS ON FOR VERY LONG. I DIDN'T FEEL THAT I SHOULD HAVE TURNED THE LIGHTS OFF EARLIER AND USED THE LIGHTS WHEN I HAD NEARBY TFC. IN OTHER WORDS, I THOUGHT THE BATTERY COULD RUN THE LIGHTS AND ONE COM/NAV RADIO FOR THE REMAINING 30 MINS. AT THAT POINT, I CHOSE TO CONTINUE THE FLT TO VNY. VNY WAS JUST ABOUT AS CLOSE AS ANY ARPT, EXCEPT FOR EL MONTE. I THINK IT WOULD HAVE BEEN SAFER TO LAND AT EL MONTE.
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.