|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : hpn|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1400|
msl bound upper : 1400
|Controlling Facilities||tower : hpn|
tower : las
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 148|
flight time total : 11600
flight time type : 2650
|Function||flight crew : first officer|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Anomaly||conflict : nmac|
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Miss Distance||horizontal : 100|
vertical : 0
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
Departed 6n4 en route hpn. Received the ATIS at about 12 NM from hpn (they were landing 34 and 29). I called hpn tower at 10 NM southwest of hpn and requested the sierra route, landing at the main terminal. Hpn gave us a transponder code and cleared us to proceed inbound on the sierra route. Radio traffic was very heavy, so we had no further contact with hpn tower until I reported cpr X approaching south boundary. We were at 1400 MSL per established procedure. (An small aircraft was moving from our left to right.) the small aircraft was not a factor, but I thought it may have looked like a problem from the tower. It is common practice call position at the airport boundary. Tower responded to our position report, 'do you have the small aircraft on go around?' I did not hear any reference to runway from which the go around was being executed. I hesitated momentarily in replying in order to scan for the go around traffic. I did not see it. Before I could answer, other radio traffic made my reply impossible. During my visual search, I saw a light airplane moving along, or slightly above, runway 34 just short of 29. We were now about over the departure end of 29. I thought this light airplane might be the go around traffic, but was unsure. Still concerned and uncertain, I had received no further communication from the tower. I announced 'cpr X overhead at 1 point 4.' almost immediately thereafter we saw the belly of small aircraft Y, climbing through our altitude (1400 MSL) in what appeared to be a left bank in excess of 60 degree in his successful effort to avoid us. We were, at that time, about 1/4 mi northwest of the intersection of 34 and 29. I make the following observations. It seems the tower was having some difficulty in coping with the heavy traffic, as we had no communication with tower following our initial contact/clearance until we called them at the airport boundary. No TA's were issued until the question 'do you have small aircraft Y on go around?' no further TA's were issued at any time thereafter -- to us that is. I was not aware of the go around in progress, although I probably should have been, as the other pilot with me said he heard earlier reference to a go around, but did not hear any reference to which runway was involved. Improved communication in the cockpit may have helped. After learning of the go around, I took no evasive action, as I did not know where the aircraft was that I wanted to avoid. I continued straight ahead and announced my position so as to be sure my location was known, which seemed especially important since I didn't know where the other guy was. I think it may have been appropriate to have issued us instructions to clear the airspace conflicting with the go around. I would restate, however, that I am well aware that the tower was very busy, with a high volume of traffic, and communications were a problem, given the radio congestion. Although it may have had no impact on this particular situation, I see somewhat of a problem with having helicopters entering on flight paths which cross fixed wing traffic patterns with only 100 ft vertical separation in the interest of noise abatement. In summary, we could, I think, have benefitted from more positive control of the airspace, more TA's, and perhaps less conflicting traffic flows. Also, more situational awareness on my part, which could have resulted from a more diligent monitoring of the radio and more effective crew communication would have been most helpful.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CPR X HAD NMAC IN TFC PATTERN WITH SMA Y. SEE AND AVOID CONCEPT.
Narrative: DEPARTED 6N4 ENRTE HPN. RECEIVED THE ATIS AT ABOUT 12 NM FROM HPN (THEY WERE LNDG 34 AND 29). I CALLED HPN TWR AT 10 NM SW OF HPN AND REQUESTED THE SIERRA RTE, LNDG AT THE MAIN TERMINAL. HPN GAVE US A TRANSPONDER CODE AND CLRED US TO PROCEED INBOUND ON THE SIERRA RTE. RADIO TFC WAS VERY HVY, SO WE HAD NO FURTHER CONTACT WITH HPN TWR UNTIL I RPTED CPR X APCHING S BOUNDARY. WE WERE AT 1400 MSL PER ESTABLISHED PROC. (AN SMA WAS MOVING FROM OUR L TO R.) THE SMA WAS NOT A FACTOR, BUT I THOUGHT IT MAY HAVE LOOKED LIKE A PROBLEM FROM THE TWR. IT IS COMMON PRACTICE CALL POS AT THE ARPT BOUNDARY. TWR RESPONDED TO OUR POS RPT, 'DO YOU HAVE THE SMA ON GAR?' I DID NOT HEAR ANY REF TO RWY FROM WHICH THE GAR WAS BEING EXECUTED. I HESITATED MOMENTARILY IN REPLYING IN ORDER TO SCAN FOR THE GAR TFC. I DID NOT SEE IT. BEFORE I COULD ANSWER, OTHER RADIO TFC MADE MY REPLY IMPOSSIBLE. DURING MY VISUAL SEARCH, I SAW A LIGHT AIRPLANE MOVING ALONG, OR SLIGHTLY ABOVE, RWY 34 JUST SHORT OF 29. WE WERE NOW ABOUT OVER THE DEP END OF 29. I THOUGHT THIS LIGHT AIRPLANE MIGHT BE THE GAR TFC, BUT WAS UNSURE. STILL CONCERNED AND UNCERTAIN, I HAD RECEIVED NO FURTHER COM FROM THE TWR. I ANNOUNCED 'CPR X OVERHEAD AT 1 POINT 4.' ALMOST IMMEDIATELY THEREAFTER WE SAW THE BELLY OF SMA Y, CLBING THROUGH OUR ALT (1400 MSL) IN WHAT APPEARED TO BE A L BANK IN EXCESS OF 60 DEG IN HIS SUCCESSFUL EFFORT TO AVOID US. WE WERE, AT THAT TIME, ABOUT 1/4 MI NW OF THE INTXN OF 34 AND 29. I MAKE THE FOLLOWING OBSERVATIONS. IT SEEMS THE TWR WAS HAVING SOME DIFFICULTY IN COPING WITH THE HVY TFC, AS WE HAD NO COM WITH TWR FOLLOWING OUR INITIAL CONTACT/CLRNC UNTIL WE CALLED THEM AT THE ARPT BOUNDARY. NO TA'S WERE ISSUED UNTIL THE QUESTION 'DO YOU HAVE SMA Y ON GAR?' NO FURTHER TA'S WERE ISSUED AT ANY TIME THEREAFTER -- TO US THAT IS. I WAS NOT AWARE OF THE GAR IN PROGRESS, ALTHOUGH I PROBABLY SHOULD HAVE BEEN, AS THE OTHER PLT WITH ME SAID HE HEARD EARLIER REF TO A GAR, BUT DID NOT HEAR ANY REF TO WHICH RWY WAS INVOLVED. IMPROVED COM IN THE COCKPIT MAY HAVE HELPED. AFTER LEARNING OF THE GAR, I TOOK NO EVASIVE ACTION, AS I DID NOT KNOW WHERE THE ACFT WAS THAT I WANTED TO AVOID. I CONTINUED STRAIGHT AHEAD AND ANNOUNCED MY POS SO AS TO BE SURE MY LOCATION WAS KNOWN, WHICH SEEMED ESPECIALLY IMPORTANT SINCE I DIDN'T KNOW WHERE THE OTHER GUY WAS. I THINK IT MAY HAVE BEEN APPROPRIATE TO HAVE ISSUED US INSTRUCTIONS TO CLR THE AIRSPACE CONFLICTING WITH THE GAR. I WOULD RESTATE, HOWEVER, THAT I AM WELL AWARE THAT THE TWR WAS VERY BUSY, WITH A HIGH VOLUME OF TFC, AND COMS WERE A PROBLEM, GIVEN THE RADIO CONGESTION. ALTHOUGH IT MAY HAVE HAD NO IMPACT ON THIS PARTICULAR SITUATION, I SEE SOMEWHAT OF A PROBLEM WITH HAVING HELIS ENTERING ON FLT PATHS WHICH CROSS FIXED WING TFC PATTERNS WITH ONLY 100 FT VERT SEPARATION IN THE INTEREST OF NOISE ABATEMENT. IN SUMMARY, WE COULD, I THINK, HAVE BENEFITTED FROM MORE POSITIVE CTL OF THE AIRSPACE, MORE TA'S, AND PERHAPS LESS CONFLICTING TFC FLOWS. ALSO, MORE SITUATIONAL AWARENESS ON MY PART, WHICH COULD HAVE RESULTED FROM A MORE DILIGENT MONITORING OF THE RADIO AND MORE EFFECTIVE CREW COM WOULD HAVE BEEN MOST HELPFUL.
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.