|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : tlh|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2000|
msl bound upper : 2000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : tlh|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
instruction : trainee
|Qualification||pilot : student|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 33
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
pilot : cfi
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was flying into tlh from the west. I departed with what I believed was adequate time before sundown. While approaching tlh it began to get dark. Knowing that my student pilot certificate does not permit me to fly at night, I began to get worried about violating this rule. I believed that if I called approach when I saw the glow of the tlh lights, I would be safe. Contrary to my prior belief, the lights of tlh approaching from the west are not very visible until you are practically on top of the city. I saw the rotating beacon and assumed that since there wasn't a large city following the airport, it was quincy. I wanted to fly over and decide for sure it was quincy, so I would know my exact location. As I grew closer to the city I realized it was much too large for quincy and I was in tallahassee. When I discovered this I skipped calling approach because I was already there, and I called the tower for assistance. I could have avoided all this trouble if I had just calculated ETA more accurately. I could have called approach at a much earlier time and requested vectors. I could have used the VOR to find my pont on the chart instead of flying further to observe. Due to my inexperience of night flying my perception of what to look for was inaccurate.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA FLOWN BY STUDENT PLT ON A SOLO CROSS-COUNTRY FLT ARRIVES AT TLH AFTER DARK AND FLIES INTO THE TLH ARSA AND ATA WITHOUT TALKING TO ATC DUE TO POOR NAVIGATION TECHNIQUE.
Narrative: I WAS FLYING INTO TLH FROM THE W. I DEPARTED WITH WHAT I BELIEVED WAS ADEQUATE TIME BEFORE SUNDOWN. WHILE APCHING TLH IT BEGAN TO GET DARK. KNOWING THAT MY STUDENT PLT CERTIFICATE DOES NOT PERMIT ME TO FLY AT NIGHT, I BEGAN TO GET WORRIED ABOUT VIOLATING THIS RULE. I BELIEVED THAT IF I CALLED APCH WHEN I SAW THE GLOW OF THE TLH LIGHTS, I WOULD BE SAFE. CONTRARY TO MY PRIOR BELIEF, THE LIGHTS OF TLH APCHING FROM THE W ARE NOT VERY VISIBLE UNTIL YOU ARE PRACTICALLY ON TOP OF THE CITY. I SAW THE ROTATING BEACON AND ASSUMED THAT SINCE THERE WASN'T A LARGE CITY FOLLOWING THE ARPT, IT WAS QUINCY. I WANTED TO FLY OVER AND DECIDE FOR SURE IT WAS QUINCY, SO I WOULD KNOW MY EXACT LOCATION. AS I GREW CLOSER TO THE CITY I REALIZED IT WAS MUCH TOO LARGE FOR QUINCY AND I WAS IN TALLAHASSEE. WHEN I DISCOVERED THIS I SKIPPED CALLING APCH BECAUSE I WAS ALREADY THERE, AND I CALLED THE TWR FOR ASSISTANCE. I COULD HAVE AVOIDED ALL THIS TROUBLE IF I HAD JUST CALCULATED ETA MORE ACCURATELY. I COULD HAVE CALLED APCH AT A MUCH EARLIER TIME AND REQUESTED VECTORS. I COULD HAVE USED THE VOR TO FIND MY PONT ON THE CHART INSTEAD OF FLYING FURTHER TO OBSERVE. DUE TO MY INEXPERIENCE OF NIGHT FLYING MY PERCEPTION OF WHAT TO LOOK FOR WAS INACCURATE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of July 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.