|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : iad|
airport : w09
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4500|
msl bound upper : 4500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : iad|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
enroute : on vectors
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time total : 140|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : clearance|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was en route on my long commercial cross country flight to lynchburg, va. Originally I had planned to overfly the dulles arsa at 6500', but later changed the plan and decided to stop at leesburg, va, for fuel. Flying at 4500' contacted dulles approach on the 226 degree right from westminster when I crossed route 270. I was given a heading to fly. After turning to the heading approach said, 'the airport is at 12 O'clock and 7 mi.' I could not see it, and he would keep coming back and saying, 'the airport is at 12 O'clock and (X number of mi).' of course, each time he came back to me it was getting closer. Finally I remember him saying, 'the airport is at 11 O'clock (and either 1 or 2 mi), do you have the airport in sight yet?' I saw a runway. I said yes, then he terminated radar service and gave me frequency change approval. I contacted leesburg unicom, and found out which runway was active and was told 35. I turned toward the only runway in sight and entered a distant downwind leg. (It was slightly hazy out.) I continued on my course until I reached the point to turn base. I called base (on the leesburg frequency) and continued on my heading south. I and my passenger (who is also a pilot) saw that we were approaching the wrong airport environment. Contacted dulles approach and said, 'dulles approach this is small aircraft XXX. I am unsure of my present location.' he said, 'squawk 1200 and identify.' I was already squawking 1200. He said he couldn't see me and had me identify several times. He gave me a heading and said, '15 mins ago when I spoke to you, you said you had the airport in sight. Are you aware you are in violation of the dulles international arsa?' I said, 'I am now.' he had already given me a squawk code and vectored me back to leesburg. Finally when I positively idented the airport he said, 'if you lose sight of the airport again, do not fly south, fly north. Radar service terminated, frequency change approved.' I then landed west/O incident. I consider myself to be a good pilot and have never had a problem with navigation. The mix up came when he kept asking, 'do you have the airport in sight yet?' (almost trying to get rid of me by persistence). When he said, 'the airport is at 11 O'clock, the only airport in sight in that direction was the one I flew toward, dulles international. It was also slightly hazy, and in haze a large airport farther away looks much like a smaller one does closer.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA UNAUTH PENETRATION OF AIRSPACE. IAD ARSA.
Narrative: I WAS ENRTE ON MY LONG COMMERCIAL XCOUNTRY FLT TO LYNCHBURG, VA. ORIGINALLY I HAD PLANNED TO OVERFLY THE DULLES ARSA AT 6500', BUT LATER CHANGED THE PLAN AND DECIDED TO STOP AT LEESBURG, VA, FOR FUEL. FLYING AT 4500' CONTACTED DULLES APCH ON THE 226 DEG R FROM WESTMINSTER WHEN I CROSSED ROUTE 270. I WAS GIVEN A HDG TO FLY. AFTER TURNING TO THE HDG APCH SAID, 'THE ARPT IS AT 12 O'CLOCK AND 7 MI.' I COULD NOT SEE IT, AND HE WOULD KEEP COMING BACK AND SAYING, 'THE ARPT IS AT 12 O'CLOCK AND (X NUMBER OF MI).' OF COURSE, EACH TIME HE CAME BACK TO ME IT WAS GETTING CLOSER. FINALLY I REMEMBER HIM SAYING, 'THE ARPT IS AT 11 O'CLOCK (AND EITHER 1 OR 2 MI), DO YOU HAVE THE ARPT IN SIGHT YET?' I SAW A RWY. I SAID YES, THEN HE TERMINATED RADAR SVC AND GAVE ME FREQ CHANGE APPROVAL. I CONTACTED LEESBURG UNICOM, AND FOUND OUT WHICH RWY WAS ACTIVE AND WAS TOLD 35. I TURNED TOWARD THE ONLY RWY IN SIGHT AND ENTERED A DISTANT DOWNWIND LEG. (IT WAS SLIGHTLY HAZY OUT.) I CONTINUED ON MY COURSE UNTIL I REACHED THE POINT TO TURN BASE. I CALLED BASE (ON THE LEESBURG FREQ) AND CONTINUED ON MY HDG S. I AND MY PAX (WHO IS ALSO A PLT) SAW THAT WE WERE APCHING THE WRONG ARPT ENVIRONMENT. CONTACTED DULLES APCH AND SAID, 'DULLES APCH THIS IS SMA XXX. I AM UNSURE OF MY PRESENT LOCATION.' HE SAID, 'SQUAWK 1200 AND IDENT.' I WAS ALREADY SQUAWKING 1200. HE SAID HE COULDN'T SEE ME AND HAD ME IDENT SEVERAL TIMES. HE GAVE ME A HDG AND SAID, '15 MINS AGO WHEN I SPOKE TO YOU, YOU SAID YOU HAD THE ARPT IN SIGHT. ARE YOU AWARE YOU ARE IN VIOLATION OF THE DULLES INTL ARSA?' I SAID, 'I AM NOW.' HE HAD ALREADY GIVEN ME A SQUAWK CODE AND VECTORED ME BACK TO LEESBURG. FINALLY WHEN I POSITIVELY IDENTED THE ARPT HE SAID, 'IF YOU LOSE SIGHT OF THE ARPT AGAIN, DO NOT FLY S, FLY N. RADAR SVC TERMINATED, FREQ CHANGE APPROVED.' I THEN LANDED W/O INCIDENT. I CONSIDER MYSELF TO BE A GOOD PLT AND HAVE NEVER HAD A PROB WITH NAV. THE MIX UP CAME WHEN HE KEPT ASKING, 'DO YOU HAVE THE ARPT IN SIGHT YET?' (ALMOST TRYING TO GET RID OF ME BY PERSISTENCE). WHEN HE SAID, 'THE ARPT IS AT 11 O'CLOCK, THE ONLY ARPT IN SIGHT IN THAT DIRECTION WAS THE ONE I FLEW TOWARD, DULLES INTL. IT WAS ALSO SLIGHTLY HAZY, AND IN HAZE A LARGE ARPT FARTHER AWAY LOOKS MUCH LIKE A SMALLER ONE DOES CLOSER.
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.