|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : sns|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2000|
msl bound upper : 7000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zoa|
tower : mkg
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 10|
flight time total : 160
flight time type : 6
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
inflight encounter : vfr in imc
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Was flying VFR from L45 to san jose international. WX was 1500 scattered, 3000-7000 overcast. Freezing level was 4500-6500. Approximately 20 mi southeast of salinas my VOR started acting up. I spent 5-10 mins trying different frequencys and altitudes. Static but no signal. Because of the bad visibility and uncertainty where I was I called oakland radio. Oakland could not copy my mode C. There was a hole above me so I climbed to try to get it to work. While climbing, oakland reported that they could not hear me anymore. Immediately after this the radio frequencys on the communication radio jumped off (they are programmed, not switched). I realized that I had an alternator failure and low battery as the source of the problems. I shut off all electrical except the communication radio and mode C. With all of this going on I lost sight of the ground and was VFR on top at 7000 ft. Also I was picking up slight icing. Also, I realized I probably had very little battery left and no longer had oakland's frequency. I called mayday on 121.5 and eventually got oakland back. With them, I then went through the clouds to land at monterey. Actions are listed above. Inactions were: 1) I should have picked up the alternator failure much sooner. I haven't checked it in the past on panel scans. 2) shouldn't have flown in such bad WX.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA LOST ELECTRICAL PWR AND HAD TO DECLARE AN EMER TO GET ZOA FLT ASSIST.
Narrative: WAS FLYING VFR FROM L45 TO SAN JOSE INTL. WX WAS 1500 SCATTERED, 3000-7000 OVCST. FREEZING LEVEL WAS 4500-6500. APPROX 20 MI SE OF SALINAS MY VOR STARTED ACTING UP. I SPENT 5-10 MINS TRYING DIFFERENT FREQS AND ALTS. STATIC BUT NO SIGNAL. BECAUSE OF THE BAD VISIBILITY AND UNCERTAINTY WHERE I WAS I CALLED OAKLAND RADIO. OAKLAND COULD NOT COPY MY MODE C. THERE WAS A HOLE ABOVE ME SO I CLBED TO TRY TO GET IT TO WORK. WHILE CLBING, OAKLAND RPTED THAT THEY COULD NOT HEAR ME ANYMORE. IMMEDIATELY AFTER THIS THE RADIO FREQS ON THE COM RADIO JUMPED OFF (THEY ARE PROGRAMMED, NOT SWITCHED). I REALIZED THAT I HAD AN ALTERNATOR FAILURE AND LOW BATTERY AS THE SOURCE OF THE PROBLEMS. I SHUT OFF ALL ELECTRICAL EXCEPT THE COM RADIO AND MODE C. WITH ALL OF THIS GOING ON I LOST SIGHT OF THE GND AND WAS VFR ON TOP AT 7000 FT. ALSO I WAS PICKING UP SLIGHT ICING. ALSO, I REALIZED I PROBABLY HAD VERY LITTLE BATTERY LEFT AND NO LONGER HAD OAKLAND'S FREQ. I CALLED MAYDAY ON 121.5 AND EVENTUALLY GOT OAKLAND BACK. WITH THEM, I THEN WENT THROUGH THE CLOUDS TO LAND AT MONTEREY. ACTIONS ARE LISTED ABOVE. INACTIONS WERE: 1) I SHOULD HAVE PICKED UP THE ALTERNATOR FAILURE MUCH SOONER. I HAVEN'T CHKED IT IN THE PAST ON PANEL SCANS. 2) SHOULDN'T HAVE FLOWN IN SUCH BAD WX.
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.