|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : w10|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3000|
msl bound upper : 4500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : dca|
tracon : iad
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : direct|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 60|
flight time total : 900
flight time type : 400
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||airspace violation : entry|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited penetrated airspace|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
While traversing the washington TCA swbnd at 4500', I had been receiving VFR advisories from washington approach. Several mi northeast of dca, the scattered bases were getting ragged and lowering a bit, so I requested lower in order to maintain VFR, and was given 4000'. About 12-14 mi southwest of dca, the scattered layer had dissipated, and I mentioned to the controller that I could resume 4500' again if he so desired. No reply was received. Since I knew the controller was working aircraft on at least on other frequency, I didn't make the request again until few mins later, when I was just near the western edge of the TCA. Leaving the washington TCA, I was cleared to descend to 3000', radar service terminated, squawk 1200, suggest dulles on XXX.X. This frequency turned out to be the wrong one, it was actually andrews AFB tower. It also later turned out that he had no heard either of my previous requests for 4500'. From my present position, it looked like direct casanova VOR would keep me south of the arsa. I then made three errors in a row. I mistakenly looked at the frequency box for linden VOR. I didn't identification the station, and third I didn't notice that my inbound to course was about 10 degrees more northerly than it should have been. Thinking that I was now on a 'safe' track, I called dulles again. I got the reply 'small aircraft calling dulles, this is andrews tower.' I apologized and switched back to the TCA frequency. I also asked him just out of curiosity why he gave me 3000' instead of my requested 4500' when leaving the TCA, and he said that he had not heard my request(south) and just gave me 3000' because it was the appropriate altitude for that direction. I switched over to the real dulles approach frequency, and the controller was very busy, so I didn't call in right away. A few mins later, I noticed manassas field off my left wing instead of below me like it should have been if I were on the proper course, and I realized that I was probably inside the arsa at 3000'. Of course, I turned south and got out pronto, but it was pretty scary.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA UNAUTH PENETRATION OF IAD ARSA.
Narrative: WHILE TRAVERSING THE WASHINGTON TCA SWBND AT 4500', I HAD BEEN RECEIVING VFR ADVISORIES FROM WASHINGTON APCH. SEVERAL MI NE OF DCA, THE SCATTERED BASES WERE GETTING RAGGED AND LOWERING A BIT, SO I REQUESTED LOWER IN ORDER TO MAINTAIN VFR, AND WAS GIVEN 4000'. ABOUT 12-14 MI SW OF DCA, THE SCATTERED LAYER HAD DISSIPATED, AND I MENTIONED TO THE CTLR THAT I COULD RESUME 4500' AGAIN IF HE SO DESIRED. NO REPLY WAS RECEIVED. SINCE I KNEW THE CTLR WAS WORKING ACFT ON AT LEAST ON OTHER FREQ, I DIDN'T MAKE THE REQUEST AGAIN UNTIL FEW MINS LATER, WHEN I WAS JUST NEAR THE WESTERN EDGE OF THE TCA. LEAVING THE WASHINGTON TCA, I WAS CLRED TO DSND TO 3000', RADAR SVC TERMINATED, SQUAWK 1200, SUGGEST DULLES ON XXX.X. THIS FREQ TURNED OUT TO BE THE WRONG ONE, IT WAS ACTUALLY ANDREWS AFB TWR. IT ALSO LATER TURNED OUT THAT HE HAD NO HEARD EITHER OF MY PREVIOUS REQUESTS FOR 4500'. FROM MY PRESENT POS, IT LOOKED LIKE DIRECT CASANOVA VOR WOULD KEEP ME S OF THE ARSA. I THEN MADE THREE ERRORS IN A ROW. I MISTAKENLY LOOKED AT THE FREQ BOX FOR LINDEN VOR. I DIDN'T ID THE STATION, AND THIRD I DIDN'T NOTICE THAT MY INBND TO COURSE WAS ABOUT 10 DEGS MORE NORTHERLY THAN IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN. THINKING THAT I WAS NOW ON A 'SAFE' TRACK, I CALLED DULLES AGAIN. I GOT THE REPLY 'SMA CALLING DULLES, THIS IS ANDREWS TWR.' I APOLOGIZED AND SWITCHED BACK TO THE TCA FREQ. I ALSO ASKED HIM JUST OUT OF CURIOSITY WHY HE GAVE ME 3000' INSTEAD OF MY REQUESTED 4500' WHEN LEAVING THE TCA, AND HE SAID THAT HE HAD NOT HEARD MY REQUEST(S) AND JUST GAVE ME 3000' BECAUSE IT WAS THE APPROPRIATE ALT FOR THAT DIRECTION. I SWITCHED OVER TO THE REAL DULLES APCH FREQ, AND THE CTLR WAS VERY BUSY, SO I DIDN'T CALL IN RIGHT AWAY. A FEW MINS LATER, I NOTICED MANASSAS FIELD OFF MY L WING INSTEAD OF BELOW ME LIKE IT SHOULD HAVE BEEN IF I WERE ON THE PROPER COURSE, AND I REALIZED THAT I WAS PROBABLY INSIDE THE ARSA AT 3000'. OF COURSE, I TURNED S AND GOT OUT PRONTO, BUT IT WAS PRETTY SCARY.
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.