|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : fit|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2500|
msl bound upper : 2500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : bos|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : direct|
enroute : on vectors
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 12|
flight time total : 200
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
inflight encounter : weather
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
flight crew : exited adverse environment
none taken : anomaly accepted
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I planned a route of travel marshfield, ma, to fit to ack to fit to marshfield. At XA00 local that morning I called bridgeport FSS for a full WX briefing which called for excellent VFR through midnight. WX was as forecast through XH45 local. At xi 40 hours approaching fit I noticed the WX was over mount wachusett (northwest of fit) appearing to cloud up slightly. After remaining at fit for approximately 20 mins I contacted bridgeport FSS by phone. The WX briefer reported snow activity west of worcester and he expected that worcester airport would go IFR in a short while, however the WX to the east and along my route was for VFR to marshfield as long as I departed within 10 mins or so. (Time of report approximately XJ10.) I was airborne from fit at XJ15 and took a heading of 150 degrees. Out shortly, I noticed what appeared to be light snow flurries but visibility remained good, but began diminishing. I contemplated making a 180 degree turn to get out of the approaching WX, but because the forecast was for the bad WX coming from the west, I opted not to do so. I looked east attempting to fly out of the snow (based upon the forecast) and changed to a heading of 90 degrees heading for bed at an altitude of 2500' MSL. Visibility diminished quickly and I tuned in hanscom ATIS which as I was listening changed to a 'warning to airman,' notifying traffic in the area that the airport was about to go under IFR. I then contacted the bed tower which turned me over to bos approach. Bos approach requested my position, and if I or the aircraft were IFR. I was given a squawk and told to identify, which I did. I was asked my original destination and advised bos approach that it was marshfield. They advised me of alternate airports (owd or bvy). I stated my preference for bvy as from my experience, I knew that owd was less visible and had more obstacles (ie, blue hill, etc). Bos approach gave me a vector of 090 degrees for bvy and inquired as to the WX conditions. I reported visibility poor and I could not see the ground due to snow. Bos approach then gave me a heading of 100 degrees. At 13 mi out, I still couldn't see the field. At 7 mi out, bos approach advised that bvy was VFR and I advised that I didn't have the field in sight and that I was still in snow. Bos confirmed that they showed no snow in my area. I asked to descend to 2000', hoping I would see the airport. Bos approach advised I was 3 mi out on right base to runway 16. At 1 1/2 mi I saw runway lights, advised bos approach which handed me off to bvy tower who cleared me to land on 16. Being high and fast, I notified tower I was going around. They gave me left traffic at 1100'. In summary, based upon the information from bridgeport FSS which called for clear VFR along my route to marshfield, I attempted this flight. I was also shocked the next day when I heard of a fatal crash in southbridge, ma, (west of my area of operation). I would not have attempted the flight west/O the briefing which called for VFR and I wonder if the other pilot might not have been given bad WX information.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA VFR IN IMC ON NIGHT CROSS COUNTRY.
Narrative: I PLANNED A ROUTE OF TRAVEL MARSHFIELD, MA, TO FIT TO ACK TO FIT TO MARSHFIELD. AT XA00 LCL THAT MORNING I CALLED BRIDGEPORT FSS FOR A FULL WX BRIEFING WHICH CALLED FOR EXCELLENT VFR THROUGH MIDNIGHT. WX WAS AS FORECAST THROUGH XH45 LCL. AT XI 40 HRS APCHING FIT I NOTICED THE WX WAS OVER MOUNT WACHUSETT (NW OF FIT) APPEARING TO CLOUD UP SLIGHTLY. AFTER REMAINING AT FIT FOR APPROX 20 MINS I CONTACTED BRIDGEPORT FSS BY PHONE. THE WX BRIEFER RPTED SNOW ACTIVITY W OF WORCESTER AND HE EXPECTED THAT WORCESTER ARPT WOULD GO IFR IN A SHORT WHILE, HOWEVER THE WX TO THE E AND ALONG MY ROUTE WAS FOR VFR TO MARSHFIELD AS LONG AS I DEPARTED WITHIN 10 MINS OR SO. (TIME OF RPT APPROX XJ10.) I WAS AIRBORNE FROM FIT AT XJ15 AND TOOK A HDG OF 150 DEGS. OUT SHORTLY, I NOTICED WHAT APPEARED TO BE LIGHT SNOW FLURRIES BUT VISIBILITY REMAINED GOOD, BUT BEGAN DIMINISHING. I CONTEMPLATED MAKING A 180 DEG TURN TO GET OUT OF THE APCHING WX, BUT BECAUSE THE FORECAST WAS FOR THE BAD WX COMING FROM THE W, I OPTED NOT TO DO SO. I LOOKED E ATTEMPTING TO FLY OUT OF THE SNOW (BASED UPON THE FORECAST) AND CHANGED TO A HDG OF 90 DEGS HDG FOR BED AT AN ALT OF 2500' MSL. VISIBILITY DIMINISHED QUICKLY AND I TUNED IN HANSCOM ATIS WHICH AS I WAS LISTENING CHANGED TO A 'WARNING TO AIRMAN,' NOTIFYING TFC IN THE AREA THAT THE ARPT WAS ABOUT TO GO UNDER IFR. I THEN CONTACTED THE BED TWR WHICH TURNED ME OVER TO BOS APCH. BOS APCH REQUESTED MY POS, AND IF I OR THE ACFT WERE IFR. I WAS GIVEN A SQUAWK AND TOLD TO IDENT, WHICH I DID. I WAS ASKED MY ORIGINAL DEST AND ADVISED BOS APCH THAT IT WAS MARSHFIELD. THEY ADVISED ME OF ALTERNATE ARPTS (OWD OR BVY). I STATED MY PREFERENCE FOR BVY AS FROM MY EXPERIENCE, I KNEW THAT OWD WAS LESS VISIBLE AND HAD MORE OBSTACLES (IE, BLUE HILL, ETC). BOS APCH GAVE ME A VECTOR OF 090 DEGS FOR BVY AND INQUIRED AS TO THE WX CONDITIONS. I RPTED VISIBILITY POOR AND I COULD NOT SEE THE GND DUE TO SNOW. BOS APCH THEN GAVE ME A HDG OF 100 DEGS. AT 13 MI OUT, I STILL COULDN'T SEE THE FIELD. AT 7 MI OUT, BOS APCH ADVISED THAT BVY WAS VFR AND I ADVISED THAT I DIDN'T HAVE THE FIELD IN SIGHT AND THAT I WAS STILL IN SNOW. BOS CONFIRMED THAT THEY SHOWED NO SNOW IN MY AREA. I ASKED TO DSND TO 2000', HOPING I WOULD SEE THE ARPT. BOS APCH ADVISED I WAS 3 MI OUT ON RIGHT BASE TO RWY 16. AT 1 1/2 MI I SAW RWY LIGHTS, ADVISED BOS APCH WHICH HANDED ME OFF TO BVY TWR WHO CLRED ME TO LAND ON 16. BEING HIGH AND FAST, I NOTIFIED TWR I WAS GOING AROUND. THEY GAVE ME LEFT TFC AT 1100'. IN SUMMARY, BASED UPON THE INFO FROM BRIDGEPORT FSS WHICH CALLED FOR CLR VFR ALONG MY ROUTE TO MARSHFIELD, I ATTEMPTED THIS FLT. I WAS ALSO SHOCKED THE NEXT DAY WHEN I HEARD OF A FATAL CRASH IN SOUTHBRIDGE, MA, (W OF MY AREA OF OPERATION). I WOULD NOT HAVE ATTEMPTED THE FLT W/O THE BRIEFING WHICH CALLED FOR VFR AND I WONDER IF THE OTHER PLT MIGHT NOT HAVE BEEN GIVEN BAD WX INFO.
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.