|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : fty|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 600|
msl bound upper : 3500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : atl|
tower : fty
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 2 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||climbout : takeoff|
climbout : intermediate altitude
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 150|
flight time total : 1100
flight time type : 375
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
inflight encounter : vfr in imc
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited adverse environment|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I flew the company small aircraft from home base to fulton county 15 mins away for autoplt maintenance. A front approaching gave me high overcast with good VFR for my arrival at county but promised mixed IFR conditions throughout the day. True to my preflight predictions during the 8 1/2 hours on the ground there were IFR and VFR conditions moving across the airport all day long. Late afternoon brought definite improvement with MVFR to VMC and occasional but more rare IMC. The autoplt checked out perfectly and I filed a flight plan back to ctj. However, I then decided to shoot 1 ILS with the avionics tech in the airplane so I called ground with my request of 1 ILS to full stop. I then asked them to call atl approach and work that out with them so there was no confusion since I did have a flight plan on file. Ground said we are VFR now so you can just takeoff VFR and work that out with atl approach. My first mistake: I felt the airport was probably VMC and I simply said roger. I should have requested an IFR clearance while still on the ramp. Never again. At 500 ft AGL I suddenly realized I would soon be in IMC and called tower to request frequency change so I could work out the 'practice' ILS with atl approach. This was my second mistake. I should have told tower of my conditions and requested an IFR clearance back into fty. I switched and called atl, 'atl approach it is aircraft identify requesting 1 practice ILS with full stop at county.' his response, 'aircraft identify unable.' I was at that point in and out of cloud bases at 600 ft AGL and glimpsing towers in the area. The irony and my foolishness struck me, such a careful law abiding pilot, as I began my VFR climb through IMC. To avoid the possible towers in the area I headed northwest for the VFR practice area. I knew at least I would avoid all ground obstructions during my climb. I broke out at 3500 ft MSL on top of a broken layer of puffy cumulus clouds and almost immediately saw good VMC through a hole leading to the practice area. I carefully flew down through the hole to legal VMC with improving skies to the west, my new heading. I called atl approach and this time requested and got an IFR clearance into county. I believe my actions went unnoticed because for the rest of the flight into county and the flight home no one said anything about my unusual climb and descent. I did realize immediately that I had in effect given up my command of the airplane when while still on the ground I accepted someone else's opinion that county was VMC. It wasn't just VMC over the airport and nowhere else either. I can say this because before clearing the departure end of the runway I had to level off just to avoid clouds at 600 ft. I definitely learned several lessons, fortunately without any traffic conflicts. There is no such thing as a practice ILS on such a WX day. I can and will always ask for and receive a clearance if there is the slightest chance of IMC. I will also strive to never again inadvertently give up my responsibilities as PIC to a controller.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CPR SMA VFR IN IMC AFTER TKOF FROM FTY WITH A FLT PLAN FILED BUT NEVER ACTIVATED.
Narrative: I FLEW THE COMPANY SMA FROM HOME BASE TO FULTON COUNTY 15 MINS AWAY FOR AUTOPLT MAINT. A FRONT APCHING GAVE ME HIGH OVCST WITH GOOD VFR FOR MY ARR AT COUNTY BUT PROMISED MIXED IFR CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT THE DAY. TRUE TO MY PREFLT PREDICTIONS DURING THE 8 1/2 HRS ON THE GND THERE WERE IFR AND VFR CONDITIONS MOVING ACROSS THE ARPT ALL DAY LONG. LATE AFTERNOON BROUGHT DEFINITE IMPROVEMENT WITH MVFR TO VMC AND OCCASIONAL BUT MORE RARE IMC. THE AUTOPLT CHKED OUT PERFECTLY AND I FILED A FLT PLAN BACK TO CTJ. HOWEVER, I THEN DECIDED TO SHOOT 1 ILS WITH THE AVIONICS TECH IN THE AIRPLANE SO I CALLED GND WITH MY REQUEST OF 1 ILS TO FULL STOP. I THEN ASKED THEM TO CALL ATL APCH AND WORK THAT OUT WITH THEM SO THERE WAS NO CONFUSION SINCE I DID HAVE A FLT PLAN ON FILE. GND SAID WE ARE VFR NOW SO YOU CAN JUST TKOF VFR AND WORK THAT OUT WITH ATL APCH. MY FIRST MISTAKE: I FELT THE ARPT WAS PROBABLY VMC AND I SIMPLY SAID ROGER. I SHOULD HAVE REQUESTED AN IFR CLRNC WHILE STILL ON THE RAMP. NEVER AGAIN. AT 500 FT AGL I SUDDENLY REALIZED I WOULD SOON BE IN IMC AND CALLED TWR TO REQUEST FREQ CHANGE SO I COULD WORK OUT THE 'PRACTICE' ILS WITH ATL APCH. THIS WAS MY SECOND MISTAKE. I SHOULD HAVE TOLD TWR OF MY CONDITIONS AND REQUESTED AN IFR CLRNC BACK INTO FTY. I SWITCHED AND CALLED ATL, 'ATL APCH IT IS ACFT IDENT REQUESTING 1 PRACTICE ILS WITH FULL STOP AT COUNTY.' HIS RESPONSE, 'ACFT IDENT UNABLE.' I WAS AT THAT POINT IN AND OUT OF CLOUD BASES AT 600 FT AGL AND GLIMPSING TWRS IN THE AREA. THE IRONY AND MY FOOLISHNESS STRUCK ME, SUCH A CAREFUL LAW ABIDING PLT, AS I BEGAN MY VFR CLB THROUGH IMC. TO AVOID THE POSSIBLE TWRS IN THE AREA I HEADED NW FOR THE VFR PRACTICE AREA. I KNEW AT LEAST I WOULD AVOID ALL GND OBSTRUCTIONS DURING MY CLB. I BROKE OUT AT 3500 FT MSL ON TOP OF A BROKEN LAYER OF PUFFY CUMULUS CLOUDS AND ALMOST IMMEDIATELY SAW GOOD VMC THROUGH A HOLE LEADING TO THE PRACTICE AREA. I CAREFULLY FLEW DOWN THROUGH THE HOLE TO LEGAL VMC WITH IMPROVING SKIES TO THE W, MY NEW HDG. I CALLED ATL APCH AND THIS TIME REQUESTED AND GOT AN IFR CLRNC INTO COUNTY. I BELIEVE MY ACTIONS WENT UNNOTICED BECAUSE FOR THE REST OF THE FLT INTO COUNTY AND THE FLT HOME NO ONE SAID ANYTHING ABOUT MY UNUSUAL CLB AND DSCNT. I DID REALIZE IMMEDIATELY THAT I HAD IN EFFECT GIVEN UP MY COMMAND OF THE AIRPLANE WHEN WHILE STILL ON THE GND I ACCEPTED SOMEONE ELSE'S OPINION THAT COUNTY WAS VMC. IT WASN'T JUST VMC OVER THE ARPT AND NOWHERE ELSE EITHER. I CAN SAY THIS BECAUSE BEFORE CLRING THE DEP END OF THE RWY I HAD TO LEVEL OFF JUST TO AVOID CLOUDS AT 600 FT. I DEFINITELY LEARNED SEVERAL LESSONS, FORTUNATELY WITHOUT ANY TFC CONFLICTS. THERE IS NO SUCH THING AS A PRACTICE ILS ON SUCH A WX DAY. I CAN AND WILL ALWAYS ASK FOR AND RECEIVE A CLRNC IF THERE IS THE SLIGHTEST CHANCE OF IMC. I WILL ALSO STRIVE TO NEVER AGAIN INADVERTENTLY GIVE UP MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS PIC TO A CTLR.
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.