|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : lhs|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 6500|
msl bound upper : 12000
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : v459|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
pilot : cfi
|Function||instruction : trainee|
|Qualification||pilot : student|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : excursion from assigned altitude|
inflight encounter : weather
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
flight crew : exited adverse environment
Due to strong downdrafts, my student and I were unable to maintain our assigned altitude. It fluctuated a number of times plus or minus 1500 FPM as low as 6500' and as high as 12000'. There was an area of heavy clouds below with high terrain and mountains coming up through. During two of the dscnts we were forced to alter our course to the east and west of the airway to maintain VFR conditions, not wishing to descend into the clouds in rough terrain. There were a few broken areas of VFR to the ground, and during each strong downdraft we were forced to head toward them to remain VFR and safe, even though we had filed IFR. We were well below the MEA at times. The controller did his best to help us, but we were not able to maintain our desired heading or altitude. The controller declared an emergency on our behalf. The strong headwinds caused us to be quite late, about 1 1/2 hours, on our flight plan.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA ENCOUNTERED STRONG WINDS NORTHEAST OF LHS. ARTCC RADAR CTLR ASSISTED ACFT AND DECLARED EMERGENCY FOR THE ACFT TO KEEP THE AREA CLEAR WHEN INSTRUCTOR WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN HEADING OR ALT.
Narrative: DUE TO STRONG DOWNDRAFTS, MY STUDENT AND I WERE UNABLE TO MAINTAIN OUR ASSIGNED ALT. IT FLUCTUATED A NUMBER OF TIMES PLUS OR MINUS 1500 FPM AS LOW AS 6500' AND AS HIGH AS 12000'. THERE WAS AN AREA OF HEAVY CLOUDS BELOW WITH HIGH TERRAIN AND MOUNTAINS COMING UP THROUGH. DURING TWO OF THE DSCNTS WE WERE FORCED TO ALTER OUR COURSE TO THE E AND W OF THE AIRWAY TO MAINTAIN VFR CONDITIONS, NOT WISHING TO DSND INTO THE CLOUDS IN ROUGH TERRAIN. THERE WERE A FEW BROKEN AREAS OF VFR TO THE GND, AND DURING EACH STRONG DOWNDRAFT WE WERE FORCED TO HEAD TOWARD THEM TO REMAIN VFR AND SAFE, EVEN THOUGH WE HAD FILED IFR. WE WERE WELL BELOW THE MEA AT TIMES. THE CTLR DID HIS BEST TO HELP US, BUT WE WERE NOT ABLE TO MAINTAIN OUR DESIRED HDG OR ALT. THE CTLR DECLARED AN EMER ON OUR BEHALF. THE STRONG HEADWINDS CAUSED US TO BE QUITE LATE, ABOUT 1 1/2 HOURS, ON OUR FLT PLAN.
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.