|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : sdm|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : bos|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||ground : parked|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 20|
flight time total : 1400
flight time type : 20
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified cockpit|
other other : unspecified
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I was plting my small aircraft on a return trip from baja california, mexico. The right seat was occupied by a rated pilot. He is current in all aspects; medical, biennial, make and model. He also accepts responsibility as 'PIC'. My medical had expired on 10/X/91. The event occurred 11/X/91. As owner and pilot (not PIC) of the aircraft I filled out and filed the us customs 'private aircraft arrival report' at brown field, san diego, ca. When I presented my pilot license and medical certificate, I explained the man in the right seat was also a pilot (current and rated). The inspector did not seem to understand that the PIC need not situation in the left seat. In fact, he later stated that I had to be the pilot because I was in the left seat and the second pilot could not claim to be the pilot because he was seated on the right side of the aircraft. (In front and with full functioning controls). The customs inspector I have written about is in charge of the inspection station at brown field. He certainly needs some enlightenment on the FAA's rules. This type of time consuming error could be eliminated by a certification program by the FAA for all customs inspectors that come in contact with aircraft. 'Aircraft certified' inspectors could save everyone involved a great deal of time. Perhaps, never again, will I be asked 'where's your current air worthiness certificate? This one is dated 1974. How do I know it is good?' or, be told, 'you can't pilot an aircraft from the right seat.' callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information. Reporter states he has had no follow up by anyone. The station chief at customs has a form to complete referencing any FAA problems. He then sends it to FSDO office. The form is very unclr and does not request PIC complete. As owner of aircraft reporter completed the form. Station chief would not even look at the right seat pilot's credentials when the problem arose. He did say that he would note in his report that a qualified pilot was on board after some discussion. Reporter makes this trip about once a month. Comments that these customs people are the same ones who check cars across the border. He often has to lead them step by step through their aircraft form because they do not know what to look for to complete it. He feels GA pilots are truly harassed. Does not mind for 1 min the use of dogs for luggage inspection, but the rest is pure harassment.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA RETURNING FROM MEXICO HAS PROBLEM WITH CUSTOMS PERSONNEL.
Narrative: I WAS PLTING MY SMA ON A RETURN TRIP FROM BAJA CALIFORNIA, MEXICO. THE R SEAT WAS OCCUPIED BY A RATED PLT. HE IS CURRENT IN ALL ASPECTS; MEDICAL, BIENNIAL, MAKE AND MODEL. HE ALSO ACCEPTS RESPONSIBILITY AS 'PIC'. MY MEDICAL HAD EXPIRED ON 10/X/91. THE EVENT OCCURRED 11/X/91. AS OWNER AND PLT (NOT PIC) OF THE ACFT I FILLED OUT AND FILED THE U.S. CUSTOMS 'PRIVATE ACFT ARR RPT' AT BROWN FIELD, SAN DIEGO, CA. WHEN I PRESENTED MY PLT LICENSE AND MEDICAL CERTIFICATE, I EXPLAINED THE MAN IN THE R SEAT WAS ALSO A PLT (CURRENT AND RATED). THE INSPECTOR DID NOT SEEM TO UNDERSTAND THAT THE PIC NEED NOT SIT IN THE L SEAT. IN FACT, HE LATER STATED THAT I HAD TO BE THE PLT BECAUSE I WAS IN THE L SEAT AND THE SECOND PLT COULD NOT CLAIM TO BE THE PLT BECAUSE HE WAS SEATED ON THE R SIDE OF THE ACFT. (IN FRONT AND WITH FULL FUNCTIONING CTLS). THE CUSTOMS INSPECTOR I HAVE WRITTEN ABOUT IS IN CHARGE OF THE INSPECTION STATION AT BROWN FIELD. HE CERTAINLY NEEDS SOME ENLIGHTENMENT ON THE FAA'S RULES. THIS TYPE OF TIME CONSUMING ERROR COULD BE ELIMINATED BY A CERTIFICATION PROGRAM BY THE FAA FOR ALL CUSTOMS INSPECTORS THAT COME IN CONTACT WITH ACFT. 'ACFT CERTIFIED' INSPECTORS COULD SAVE EVERYONE INVOLVED A GREAT DEAL OF TIME. PERHAPS, NEVER AGAIN, WILL I BE ASKED 'WHERE'S YOUR CURRENT AIR WORTHINESS CERTIFICATE? THIS ONE IS DATED 1974. HOW DO I KNOW IT IS GOOD?' OR, BE TOLD, 'YOU CAN'T PLT AN ACFT FROM THE R SEAT.' CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO. RPTR STATES HE HAS HAD NO FOLLOW UP BY ANYONE. THE STATION CHIEF AT CUSTOMS HAS A FORM TO COMPLETE REFERENCING ANY FAA PROBLEMS. HE THEN SENDS IT TO FSDO OFFICE. THE FORM IS VERY UNCLR AND DOES NOT REQUEST PIC COMPLETE. AS OWNER OF ACFT RPTR COMPLETED THE FORM. STATION CHIEF WOULD NOT EVEN LOOK AT THE R SEAT PLT'S CREDENTIALS WHEN THE PROBLEM AROSE. HE DID SAY THAT HE WOULD NOTE IN HIS RPT THAT A QUALIFIED PLT WAS ON BOARD AFTER SOME DISCUSSION. RPTR MAKES THIS TRIP ABOUT ONCE A MONTH. COMMENTS THAT THESE CUSTOMS PEOPLE ARE THE SAME ONES WHO CHK CARS ACROSS THE BORDER. HE OFTEN HAS TO LEAD THEM STEP BY STEP THROUGH THEIR ACFT FORM BECAUSE THEY DO NOT KNOW WHAT TO LOOK FOR TO COMPLETE IT. HE FEELS GA PLTS ARE TRULY HARASSED. DOES NOT MIND FOR 1 MIN THE USE OF DOGS FOR LUGGAGE INSPECTION, BUT THE REST IS PURE HARASSMENT.
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.