|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 300|
msl bound upper : 300
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zzz|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 1520
flight time type : 400
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified cockpit|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
A flight was requested to go from abc, to ZZZ. (Hospital to hospital). FSS (abc) indicated WX at abc was VFR and ZZZ was VFR (14 ovc and 11 mi). I departure abc at xx:47 hour. I arrived in the ZZZ area at xy:05 hours. I called my dispatch center to verify WX at ZZZ. They reported 8 ovc and 11 mi and light rain. I called XXX center on 118.95 several times to obtain clearance. I did not get a reply. I then compared mileage on the LORAN between my destination and the airport I saw that it was 5 mi by my navigation radius. I decided to continue to my destination. I landed without further incident. I then noticed that the LORAN was not accurate at destination and I had actually entered the control zone without clearance. I had made traffic advisories on unicom and there were not any other aircraft in the area. I also did not cross any approach or departure at ZZZ hospital. Therefore, traffic separation was not an issue. My question is why could I not contact XXX center at low altitude. I was told most of the time aircraft can reach XXX while on the ground while at ZZZ. Also, if I had not called dispatch I would not have known the control zone was below VFR. With 800 ft and 11 mi visibility it really doesn't appear to be below the minimums. How, during WX just below VFR, would a VFR aircraft know current WX. The mountains surrounding ZZZ prevent calls to FSS at low altitude. As far as my radius, I contacted abc approach 30 mi out on the return trip therefore I believe my equipment was ok. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states if he hadn't called dispatch he would have been going on his departure briefing and would have probably been ok. He had maintained 12 to 1500 ft all along route until began descent to land. Cloud just hung over airspace that's why he contacted dispatch. Two hospitals on east side of ZZZ and believes he must have entered other hospital identification into LORAN and thus came up with incorrect distance. Still can't figure lack of ability to contact XXX center. He circled several times before deciding to continue with landing. He called on phone for SVFR clearance when he departed. 11 mi visibility was excellent so he never felt any danger.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: EMS HELI ENTERS CZN WITHOUT SVFR CLRNC AS WX DIMINISHES BELOW VFR.
Narrative: A FLT WAS REQUESTED TO GO FROM ABC, TO ZZZ. (HOSPITAL TO HOSPITAL). FSS (ABC) INDICATED WX AT ABC WAS VFR AND ZZZ WAS VFR (14 OVC AND 11 MI). I DEP ABC AT XX:47 HR. I ARRIVED IN THE ZZZ AREA AT XY:05 HRS. I CALLED MY DISPATCH CTR TO VERIFY WX AT ZZZ. THEY REPORTED 8 OVC AND 11 MI AND LIGHT RAIN. I CALLED XXX CTR ON 118.95 SEVERAL TIMES TO OBTAIN CLRNC. I DID NOT GET A REPLY. I THEN COMPARED MILEAGE ON THE LORAN BTWN MY DEST AND THE ARPT I SAW THAT IT WAS 5 MI BY MY NAV RADIUS. I DECIDED TO CONTINUE TO MY DEST. I LANDED WITHOUT FURTHER INCIDENT. I THEN NOTICED THAT THE LORAN WAS NOT ACCURATE AT DEST AND I HAD ACTUALLY ENTERED THE CTL ZONE WITHOUT CLRNC. I HAD MADE TFC ADVISORIES ON UNICOM AND THERE WERE NOT ANY OTHER ACFT IN THE AREA. I ALSO DID NOT CROSS ANY APCH OR DEP AT ZZZ HOSPITAL. THEREFORE, TFC SEPARATION WAS NOT AN ISSUE. MY QUESTION IS WHY COULD I NOT CONTACT XXX CTR AT LOW ALT. I WAS TOLD MOST OF THE TIME ACFT CAN REACH XXX WHILE ON THE GND WHILE AT ZZZ. ALSO, IF I HAD NOT CALLED DISPATCH I WOULD NOT HAVE KNOWN THE CTL ZONE WAS BELOW VFR. WITH 800 FT AND 11 MI VISIBILITY IT REALLY DOESN'T APPEAR TO BE BELOW THE MINIMUMS. HOW, DURING WX JUST BELOW VFR, WOULD A VFR ACFT KNOW CURRENT WX. THE MOUNTAINS SURROUNDING ZZZ PREVENT CALLS TO FSS AT LOW ALT. AS FAR AS MY RADIUS, I CONTACTED ABC APCH 30 MI OUT ON THE RETURN TRIP THEREFORE I BELIEVE MY EQUIP WAS OK. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES IF HE HADN'T CALLED DISPATCH HE WOULD HAVE BEEN GOING ON HIS DEP BRIEFING AND WOULD HAVE PROBABLY BEEN OK. HE HAD MAINTAINED 12 TO 1500 FT ALL ALONG RTE UNTIL BEGAN DSCNT TO LAND. CLOUD JUST HUNG OVER AIRSPACE THAT'S WHY HE CONTACTED DISPATCH. TWO HOSPITALS ON EAST SIDE OF ZZZ AND BELIEVES HE MUST HAVE ENTERED OTHER HOSPITAL ID INTO LORAN AND THUS CAME UP WITH INCORRECT DISTANCE. STILL CAN'T FIGURE LACK OF ABILITY TO CONTACT XXX CTR. HE CIRCLED SEVERAL TIMES BEFORE DECIDING TO CONTINUE WITH LNDG. HE CALLED ON PHONE FOR SVFR CLRNC WHEN HE DEPARTED. 11 MI VISIBILITY WAS EXCELLENT SO HE NEVER FELT ANY DANGER.
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.