|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : oak|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1000|
msl bound upper : 1000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : ok|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 220
flight time type : 220
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
flight crew : became reoriented
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
On a return flight from placerville to san carlos, this pilot flew into IMC conditions 12 mi northwest of oak and had to declare an emergency to bay approach controllers. I had been briefed on the WX by the sac FSS and told 'VFR flight not recommended' (due to mountain obscuration over north ca). This pilot elected to try for the flight since all airports between placerville and san carlos were VFR at the time. However, what I did not think of was the vast empty spaces between the airports--many of these places were marginal VFR. I would up being vectored through solid IMC until I8 was able to descend VFR through a hold in the clouds to san carlos. Luckily, I have been taking instrument training and was able to keep the plane upright and flying. VFR pilots need to be aware of the fact that 'VFR flight not recommended' is a serious situation, indeed. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter states he really scared himself. It was quite a lesson. Because in IMC and low, afraid to turn around as he knew there was higher terrain in area. Felt best thing was to ask for help. Feels very lucky that no action taken by FAA. Controllers were very helpful and made no further comment.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: FLT INTO IMC BY LOW TIME NON INSTRUMENT PLT. FLT ASSIST BY TRACON CTLR.
Narrative: ON A RETURN FLT FROM PLACERVILLE TO SAN CARLOS, THIS PLT FLEW INTO IMC CONDITIONS 12 MI NW OF OAK AND HAD TO DECLARE AN EMER TO BAY APCH CTLRS. I HAD BEEN BRIEFED ON THE WX BY THE SAC FSS AND TOLD 'VFR FLT NOT RECOMMENDED' (DUE TO MOUNTAIN OBSCURATION OVER N CA). THIS PLT ELECTED TO TRY FOR THE FLT SINCE ALL ARPTS BTWN PLACERVILLE AND SAN CARLOS WERE VFR AT THE TIME. HOWEVER, WHAT I DID NOT THINK OF WAS THE VAST EMPTY SPACES BTWN THE ARPTS--MANY OF THESE PLACES WERE MARGINAL VFR. I WOULD UP BEING VECTORED THROUGH SOLID IMC UNTIL I8 WAS ABLE TO DSND VFR THROUGH A HOLD IN THE CLOUDS TO SAN CARLOS. LUCKILY, I HAVE BEEN TAKING INSTRUMENT TRNING AND WAS ABLE TO KEEP THE PLANE UPRIGHT AND FLYING. VFR PLTS NEED TO BE AWARE OF THE FACT THAT 'VFR FLT NOT RECOMMENDED' IS A SERIOUS SITUATION, INDEED. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR STATES HE REALLY SCARED HIMSELF. IT WAS QUITE A LESSON. BECAUSE IN IMC AND LOW, AFRAID TO TURN AROUND AS HE KNEW THERE WAS HIGHER TERRAIN IN AREA. FELT BEST THING WAS TO ASK FOR HELP. FEELS VERY LUCKY THAT NO ACTION TAKEN BY FAA. CTLRS WERE VERY HELPFUL AND MADE NO FURTHER COMMENT.
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.