|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : dqo|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4000|
msl bound upper : 4800
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zse|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : dov|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 9|
flight time total : 1085
flight time type : 219
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : departure|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : excursion from assigned altitude|
inflight encounter : weather
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited adverse environment|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The flight departed N80 at approximately xpm local, en route to lns, under VFR with 5-7 mi visibility and scattered clouds at approximately 4500' MSL, and proceeded normally for approximately 35 mins. Darker clouds ahead and stormscope indications caused me to request and receive an IFR clearance from phl approach prior to hitting any WX. We were at 2000' MSL and were assigned and climbed to 4000' shortly after receiving clearance. Basically, what happened is that I flew into the leading edge of a thunderstorm cell at 4000' MSL, hit a severe updraft (2000 FPM) and settled out at 4700-4800'. Power was reduced to idle upon penetration. After this event, I informed the controller that we were doing a 180 degree turn and leaving the way we came. We also descended to 2000' and exited the storm under the wall cloud which contained the strong updraft. This also made it possible to maintain visibility conditions while exiting. The controller was quite helpful throughout. I should note that the wall cloud did nt look at all severe prior to entry. We returned to our departure site for the night and flew home the next morning. Contributing factors: 1) my WX information was approximately 2 hours old upon departure. From watching the WX channel off and on the entire afternoon, I believe I had a good feel for what was happening. It indicated to me that the frontal activity to be totally dying off and I didn't believe it would create any significant WX. There was no activity at all 2 hours prior to departure. It should be noted that this WX I entered didn't actually develop until after my departure. Still, I should have made another phone call T doublechk, especially since forecasts were still calling for a chance of severe WX. 2) I thought I understood my stormscope. I have used it on a # of occasions to my benefit and have participated in a seminar on its use. However, this time, the indications were different than any I have seen, or that were discussed at the seminar. Basically, the dots were widespread and not clumped, which made me believe I was looking at an area of general showers and no major cells. I now think that my oblique approach to that area probably explains this pattern. The fact that I had an unknown pattern also made me question whether the stormscope was even functioning correctly. The fact that we never saw any large, high clouds ahead of us also supported this idea. 3) minor case of get homeitis. I didn't need to return home that evening, but it would have helped my schedule. I didn't mind turning around, but the fact that we were only mins from our destination tends to lead you on. Corrective action: obviously, I should have made the 180 degree turn 5 mins or more before I did. I had enough information to do that! The controller did inform us that there was an area of precipitation ahead, and my stormscope was trying to tell me something also. You can be sure I will remember what that stormscope indication means in the future! Human performance: the thing that probably bothers me most, is that I don't believe I did anything blatantly wrong, but I still did something stupid. I left knowing that thunderstorms were possible. I planned to turn back if we encountered any severe WX. I monitored the stormscope. I requested WX information form dover approach as we proceeded (it was just north of their area, but they didn't see any), but I still flew too far before I made the decision to turn around. An interesting thing about this entire adventure is that I am sure I would have turned around well prior to entry if I hadn't decided to request the IFR clearance. From the initial request until I received the clearance took a few mins and then I climbed from 2000-4000'. While this was occurring the WX was deteriorating rapidly. The point is that once you ask for the clearance, you tend to not want to go back and say, 'I've changed my mind and I am going to return to my departure point.' so, you continue ahead, even though it's becoming obvious that you shouldn't. It's something like ordering a special cheeseburger at mcdonalds west/O pickles and onions, and then just as they have it ready, telling them that you changedyou mind and you don't want that anymore. Most people don't have the nerve to do that--it's just not polite!
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA GAINS 700-800' WHEN IT ENTERS TSTM AREA.
Narrative: THE FLT DEPARTED N80 AT APPROX XPM LCL, ENRTE TO LNS, UNDER VFR WITH 5-7 MI VISIBILITY AND SCATTERED CLOUDS AT APPROX 4500' MSL, AND PROCEEDED NORMALLY FOR APPROX 35 MINS. DARKER CLOUDS AHEAD AND STORMSCOPE INDICATIONS CAUSED ME TO REQUEST AND RECEIVE AN IFR CLRNC FROM PHL APCH PRIOR TO HITTING ANY WX. WE WERE AT 2000' MSL AND WERE ASSIGNED AND CLBED TO 4000' SHORTLY AFTER RECEIVING CLRNC. BASICALLY, WHAT HAPPENED IS THAT I FLEW INTO THE LEADING EDGE OF A TSTM CELL AT 4000' MSL, HIT A SEVERE UPDRAFT (2000 FPM) AND SETTLED OUT AT 4700-4800'. PWR WAS REDUCED TO IDLE UPON PENETRATION. AFTER THIS EVENT, I INFORMED THE CTLR THAT WE WERE DOING A 180 DEG TURN AND LEAVING THE WAY WE CAME. WE ALSO DSNDED TO 2000' AND EXITED THE STORM UNDER THE WALL CLOUD WHICH CONTAINED THE STRONG UPDRAFT. THIS ALSO MADE IT POSSIBLE TO MAINTAIN VIS CONDITIONS WHILE EXITING. THE CTLR WAS QUITE HELPFUL THROUGHOUT. I SHOULD NOTE THAT THE WALL CLOUD DID NT LOOK AT ALL SEVERE PRIOR TO ENTRY. WE RETURNED TO OUR DEP SITE FOR THE NIGHT AND FLEW HOME THE NEXT MORNING. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: 1) MY WX INFO WAS APPROX 2 HRS OLD UPON DEP. FROM WATCHING THE WX CHANNEL OFF AND ON THE ENTIRE AFTERNOON, I BELIEVE I HAD A GOOD FEEL FOR WHAT WAS HAPPENING. IT INDICATED TO ME THAT THE FRONTAL ACTIVITY TO BE TOTALLY DYING OFF AND I DIDN'T BELIEVE IT WOULD CREATE ANY SIGNIFICANT WX. THERE WAS NO ACTIVITY AT ALL 2 HRS PRIOR TO DEP. IT SHOULD BE NOTED THAT THIS WX I ENTERED DIDN'T ACTUALLY DEVELOP UNTIL AFTER MY DEP. STILL, I SHOULD HAVE MADE ANOTHER PHONE CALL T DOUBLECHK, ESPECIALLY SINCE FORECASTS WERE STILL CALLING FOR A CHANCE OF SEVERE WX. 2) I THOUGHT I UNDERSTOOD MY STORMSCOPE. I HAVE USED IT ON A # OF OCCASIONS TO MY BENEFIT AND HAVE PARTICIPATED IN A SEMINAR ON ITS USE. HOWEVER, THIS TIME, THE INDICATIONS WERE DIFFERENT THAN ANY I HAVE SEEN, OR THAT WERE DISCUSSED AT THE SEMINAR. BASICALLY, THE DOTS WERE WIDESPREAD AND NOT CLUMPED, WHICH MADE ME BELIEVE I WAS LOOKING AT AN AREA OF GENERAL SHOWERS AND NO MAJOR CELLS. I NOW THINK THAT MY OBLIQUE APCH TO THAT AREA PROBABLY EXPLAINS THIS PATTERN. THE FACT THAT I HAD AN UNKNOWN PATTERN ALSO MADE ME QUESTION WHETHER THE STORMSCOPE WAS EVEN FUNCTIONING CORRECTLY. THE FACT THAT WE NEVER SAW ANY LARGE, HIGH CLOUDS AHEAD OF US ALSO SUPPORTED THIS IDEA. 3) MINOR CASE OF GET HOMEITIS. I DIDN'T NEED TO RETURN HOME THAT EVENING, BUT IT WOULD HAVE HELPED MY SCHEDULE. I DIDN'T MIND TURNING AROUND, BUT THE FACT THAT WE WERE ONLY MINS FROM OUR DEST TENDS TO LEAD YOU ON. CORRECTIVE ACTION: OBVIOUSLY, I SHOULD HAVE MADE THE 180 DEG TURN 5 MINS OR MORE BEFORE I DID. I HAD ENOUGH INFO TO DO THAT! THE CTLR DID INFORM US THAT THERE WAS AN AREA OF PRECIPITATION AHEAD, AND MY STORMSCOPE WAS TRYING TO TELL ME SOMETHING ALSO. YOU CAN BE SURE I WILL REMEMBER WHAT THAT STORMSCOPE INDICATION MEANS IN THE FUTURE! HUMAN PERFORMANCE: THE THING THAT PROBABLY BOTHERS ME MOST, IS THAT I DON'T BELIEVE I DID ANYTHING BLATANTLY WRONG, BUT I STILL DID SOMETHING STUPID. I LEFT KNOWING THAT TSTMS WERE POSSIBLE. I PLANNED TO TURN BACK IF WE ENCOUNTERED ANY SEVERE WX. I MONITORED THE STORMSCOPE. I REQUESTED WX INFO FORM DOVER APCH AS WE PROCEEDED (IT WAS JUST N OF THEIR AREA, BUT THEY DIDN'T SEE ANY), BUT I STILL FLEW TOO FAR BEFORE I MADE THE DECISION TO TURN AROUND. AN INTERESTING THING ABOUT THIS ENTIRE ADVENTURE IS THAT I AM SURE I WOULD HAVE TURNED AROUND WELL PRIOR TO ENTRY IF I HADN'T DECIDED TO REQUEST THE IFR CLRNC. FROM THE INITIAL REQUEST UNTIL I RECEIVED THE CLRNC TOOK A FEW MINS AND THEN I CLBED FROM 2000-4000'. WHILE THIS WAS OCCURRING THE WX WAS DETERIORATING RAPIDLY. THE POINT IS THAT ONCE YOU ASK FOR THE CLRNC, YOU TEND TO NOT WANT TO GO BACK AND SAY, 'I'VE CHANGED MY MIND AND I AM GOING TO RETURN TO MY DEP POINT.' SO, YOU CONTINUE AHEAD, EVEN THOUGH IT'S BECOMING OBVIOUS THAT YOU SHOULDN'T. IT'S SOMETHING LIKE ORDERING A SPECIAL CHEESEBURGER AT MCDONALDS W/O PICKLES AND ONIONS, AND THEN JUST AS THEY HAVE IT READY, TELLING THEM THAT YOU CHANGEDYOU MIND AND YOU DON'T WANT THAT ANYMORE. MOST PEOPLE DON'T HAVE THE NERVE TO DO THAT--IT'S JUST NOT POLITE!
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.