|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : acr|
airport : acv
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1500|
msl bound upper : 1500
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||oversight : pic|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 6|
flight time total : 2300
flight time type : 3
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
pilot : instrument
|Anomaly||non adherence : clearance|
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The flight was for instrument currency. The pilot in the right seat held a private pilot certificate with an instrument rating. Upon contact with seattle center we requested a series of approachs (VOR, NDB, ILS) into arcata, and specifically requested 'practice approachs' under VFR conditions. This is the terminology called for in the aim. To indicate the pilot is not on an IFR flight plan. Nevertheless, center and FSS's speech led myself and the safety pilot to wonder if they (ATC) were confused as to our status. I have encountered this situation frequently before and generally repeat my status ('practice approach, under VFR conditions') throughout my operations. I did so several times on this flight. However, upon completion of our last approach (ILS), FSS's terminology led me to wonder as to what they considered our status. We had not called at the OM, since no such call is required in VFR approachs. Rather, we called inside the OM, stating we were making a low approach. As an instrument flight instrument who has encountered this situation too many times, I feel the present terminology ('practice approach') is inadequate. Perhaps this is because ATC often hears pilots on IFR flight plans also state that 'this is (just) a practice approach.' couldn't we come up with a better terminology for indicating that the flight is not on an IFR flight plan and is requesting a practice approach under VFR conditions?
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA FAILED TO KEEP FSS ADVISED OF ACFT POSITION WHILE MAKING PRACTICE INSTRUMENT APCHS IN VMC.
Narrative: THE FLT WAS FOR INSTRUMENT CURRENCY. THE PLT IN THE RIGHT SEAT HELD A PVT PLT CERTIFICATE WITH AN INSTRUMENT RATING. UPON CONTACT WITH SEATTLE CENTER WE REQUESTED A SERIES OF APCHS (VOR, NDB, ILS) INTO ARCATA, AND SPECIFICALLY REQUESTED 'PRACTICE APCHS' UNDER VFR CONDITIONS. THIS IS THE TERMINOLOGY CALLED FOR IN THE AIM. TO INDICATE THE PLT IS NOT ON AN IFR FLT PLAN. NEVERTHELESS, CENTER AND FSS'S SPEECH LED MYSELF AND THE SAFETY PLT TO WONDER IF THEY (ATC) WERE CONFUSED AS TO OUR STATUS. I HAVE ENCOUNTERED THIS SITUATION FREQUENTLY BEFORE AND GENERALLY REPEAT MY STATUS ('PRACTICE APCH, UNDER VFR CONDITIONS') THROUGHOUT MY OPS. I DID SO SEVERAL TIMES ON THIS FLT. HOWEVER, UPON COMPLETION OF OUR LAST APCH (ILS), FSS'S TERMINOLOGY LED ME TO WONDER AS TO WHAT THEY CONSIDERED OUR STATUS. WE HAD NOT CALLED AT THE OM, SINCE NO SUCH CALL IS REQUIRED IN VFR APCHS. RATHER, WE CALLED INSIDE THE OM, STATING WE WERE MAKING A LOW APCH. AS AN INSTRUMENT FLT INSTR WHO HAS ENCOUNTERED THIS SITUATION TOO MANY TIMES, I FEEL THE PRESENT TERMINOLOGY ('PRACTICE APCH') IS INADEQUATE. PERHAPS THIS IS BECAUSE ATC OFTEN HEARS PLTS ON IFR FLT PLANS ALSO STATE THAT 'THIS IS (JUST) A PRACTICE APCH.' COULDN'T WE COME UP WITH A BETTER TERMINOLOGY FOR INDICATING THAT THE FLT IS NOT ON AN IFR FLT PLAN AND IS REQUESTING A PRACTICE APCH UNDER VFR CONDITIONS?
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.