|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : lax|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1800|
msl bound upper : 1800
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : lax|
tower : lgb
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 154|
flight time total : 4000
flight time type : 3600
|Function||observation : observer|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
On 3/89 at approximately xx hours local, I was pilot of sheriff's helicopter. We were conducting a surveillance in the area of torrance airport. We were maneuvering 3 mi east of the airport at 2000' MSL for approximately 1 1/2 hours. The surveillance then proceeded north on the 110. I advised torrance tower of our new direction and altitude. At the 110 and sepulveda (about 4 mi east of the airport) torrance advised me that I was clear and 'frequency changed' approved. I then called lgb tower on 120.50 and advised them of my location, altitude and activity. They requested I squawk XXXX. After a few mins lgb advised I was outside of their air traffic area. I advised them that I might be entering their area and that I was conducting a surveillance. They provided service in that they called traffic coming off of compton airport, and I remained on this frequency. At the 110 and 405 freeways they confirmed my position and altitude. I then awaited a handoff. I realize this is not their responsibility, however while conducting surveillances our maneuvering is so unpredictable that it is not unusual for the tower personnel to provide such assistance. Just north of the hawthorne airport, still following the 110 and still having not received a handoff, I contacted lax approach on my own initiative on frequency 134.90. They idented me and my location and advised I call them on 124.90. I complied and was advised that they had been tracking me for approximately 5-10 mins, and that I had probably violated the TCA. I immediately advised them that I was in constant contact with lgb and was unaware of a violation. The controller was very courteous and gave me a clearance to continue with my surveillance. I was getting low on fuel and requested to continue to hooper heliport (lapd downtown heliport). The best assistance the tower could have provided would have been to have coordinated a handoff to either lax approach or lax helicopter control, or at least to have advised them of my location/direction. This was a police surveillance and not a normal flight from a known point direct to a known point. Pilot workload should also be mentioned. I was hovering out of ground effect at 1800' MSL eastbound with a 10-15 KT quartering tailwind, above a veh concealed in traffic. I was receiving instructions from my observer and lgb, and at the same time maintaining VFR and following my flight progress. Again realizing the tower is not responsible, but for safety in a congested area it would seem that once a controller has idented you and your location, he should attempt to assist with proper communications.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GOV HELICOPTER ON SURVEILLANCE FLT UNAUTH PENETRATION OF LAX TCA.
Narrative: ON 3/89 AT APPROX XX HRS LCL, I WAS PLT OF SHERIFF'S HELI. WE WERE CONDUCTING A SURVEILLANCE IN THE AREA OF TORRANCE ARPT. WE WERE MANEUVERING 3 MI E OF THE ARPT AT 2000' MSL FOR APPROX 1 1/2 HRS. THE SURVEILLANCE THEN PROCEEDED N ON THE 110. I ADVISED TORRANCE TWR OF OUR NEW DIRECTION AND ALT. AT THE 110 AND SEPULVEDA (ABOUT 4 MI E OF THE ARPT) TORRANCE ADVISED ME THAT I WAS CLR AND 'FREQ CHANGED' APPROVED. I THEN CALLED LGB TWR ON 120.50 AND ADVISED THEM OF MY LOCATION, ALT AND ACTIVITY. THEY REQUESTED I SQUAWK XXXX. AFTER A FEW MINS LGB ADVISED I WAS OUTSIDE OF THEIR ATA. I ADVISED THEM THAT I MIGHT BE ENTERING THEIR AREA AND THAT I WAS CONDUCTING A SURVEILLANCE. THEY PROVIDED SVC IN THAT THEY CALLED TFC COMING OFF OF COMPTON ARPT, AND I REMAINED ON THIS FREQ. AT THE 110 AND 405 FREEWAYS THEY CONFIRMED MY POS AND ALT. I THEN AWAITED A HDOF. I REALIZE THIS IS NOT THEIR RESPONSIBILITY, HOWEVER WHILE CONDUCTING SURVEILLANCES OUR MANEUVERING IS SO UNPREDICTABLE THAT IT IS NOT UNUSUAL FOR THE TWR PERSONNEL TO PROVIDE SUCH ASSISTANCE. JUST N OF THE HAWTHORNE ARPT, STILL FOLLOWING THE 110 AND STILL HAVING NOT RECEIVED A HDOF, I CONTACTED LAX APCH ON MY OWN INITIATIVE ON FREQ 134.90. THEY IDENTED ME AND MY LOCATION AND ADVISED I CALL THEM ON 124.90. I COMPLIED AND WAS ADVISED THAT THEY HAD BEEN TRACKING ME FOR APPROX 5-10 MINS, AND THAT I HAD PROBABLY VIOLATED THE TCA. I IMMEDIATELY ADVISED THEM THAT I WAS IN CONSTANT CONTACT WITH LGB AND WAS UNAWARE OF A VIOLATION. THE CTLR WAS VERY COURTEOUS AND GAVE ME A CLRNC TO CONTINUE WITH MY SURVEILLANCE. I WAS GETTING LOW ON FUEL AND REQUESTED TO CONTINUE TO HOOPER HELIPORT (LAPD DOWNTOWN HELIPORT). THE BEST ASSISTANCE THE TWR COULD HAVE PROVIDED WOULD HAVE BEEN TO HAVE COORDINATED A HDOF TO EITHER LAX APCH OR LAX HELI CTL, OR AT LEAST TO HAVE ADVISED THEM OF MY LOCATION/DIRECTION. THIS WAS A POLICE SURVEILLANCE AND NOT A NORMAL FLT FROM A KNOWN POINT DIRECT TO A KNOWN POINT. PLT WORKLOAD SHOULD ALSO BE MENTIONED. I WAS HOVERING OUT OF GND EFFECT AT 1800' MSL EBND WITH A 10-15 KT QUARTERING TAILWIND, ABOVE A VEH CONCEALED IN TFC. I WAS RECEIVING INSTRUCTIONS FROM MY OBSERVER AND LGB, AND AT THE SAME TIME MAINTAINING VFR AND FOLLOWING MY FLT PROGRESS. AGAIN REALIZING THE TWR IS NOT RESPONSIBLE, BUT FOR SAFETY IN A CONGESTED AREA IT WOULD SEEM THAT ONCE A CTLR HAS IDENTED YOU AND YOUR LOCATION, HE SHOULD ATTEMPT TO ASSIST WITH PROPER COMS.
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.