|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : w32|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1500|
msl bound upper : 1500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : adw|
tracon : dca
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 46|
flight time total : 260
flight time type : 48
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||atc equipment other atc equipment : unspecified|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
faa : investigated
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The trip had been made under predominantly IMC, and arrival into the washington area was at approximately 2000 local time. I was on an IFR flight plan and in contact with washington approach control who had given me the irons 2 approach into W32 with vectors to the airport. I was at approximately 1500 MSL in VFR conditions. However, due to the hour (dusk) and altitude it was difficult to clearly and precisely identify the landmarks. No rotating beacons or runway lighting was on at any of the airports in the area. Washington approach gave me a vector to W32 and indicated my distance (which I do not recall) from the airport. After a few mins had passed, washington approach gave me another vector (020) and the distance (3 mi) to the airport. I compared this to my LORAN readout which indicated the same heading (I did not look at the LORAN distance indication). I could see a clearing which I believed to be W32 and proceeded directly to it. Washington approach asked whether I wanted to cancel IFR. Believing I had W32 in sight I cancelled IFR, radar service was terminated and I changed the transponder to VFR and unsuccessfully tried to raise W32 unicom. I did, however, hear a helicopter announce his intention to land on 23 at W32. After approximately 1 1/2 to 2 mins I could begin to make out the runway (which I thought was 5/23 at W32), but I was not yet close enough to see the closed runway (13/31) at the northeast end of 5/23. I proceeded for a left downwind entry for runway 23 for another 1/2 to 1 min looking for the closed crossing runway at the far end of the one I had in sight in order to positively identify W32, but I was sensing that I was not where I wanted to be. The LORAN was indicating a heading of 020, which I was holding, and a distance of 6 mi to W32. Realizing now that I was approaching andrews air force base and the washington TCA, I executed a 180 degree turn, switched my radio to washington approach and asked them for a vector to W32. Washington approach asked me to 'identify,' but said they were unable to identify me. They told me to contact andrews radar. Andrews radar gave me a vector to W32 and asked me if I was aware that I had 'busted' the TCA. I told them 'negative' believing my LORAN readout of 6 mi to W32 at the time I turned back to have been correct. Andrews radar asked me to copy the telephone number of the andrews tower and to call them after I landed. I proceeded to W32 and noted the rotating beacon and runway lights came on as I approached W32. I landed on runway 23. After landing, I called the andrews tower who asked me to call the supervisor back in 10-15 mins. I called the supervisor who indicated that I had entered the TCA and overflown the final approach course to their western parallel runway (what I initially thought was 5/23 at W32).
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PRIVATE PLT INADVERTENTLY PENETRATED TCA IN HIGHLY CONGESTED AREA AFTER CANCELING IFR AND VECTORS TO AN UNCTLED ARPT SANDWICHED IN AND BENEATH THE TCA.
Narrative: THE TRIP HAD BEEN MADE UNDER PREDOMINANTLY IMC, AND ARR INTO THE WASHINGTON AREA WAS AT APPROX 2000 LCL TIME. I WAS ON AN IFR FLT PLAN AND IN CONTACT WITH WASHINGTON APCH CTL WHO HAD GIVEN ME THE IRONS 2 APCH INTO W32 WITH VECTORS TO THE ARPT. I WAS AT APPROX 1500 MSL IN VFR CONDITIONS. HOWEVER, DUE TO THE HR (DUSK) AND ALT IT WAS DIFFICULT TO CLRLY AND PRECISELY IDENT THE LANDMARKS. NO ROTATING BEACONS OR RWY LIGHTING WAS ON AT ANY OF THE ARPTS IN THE AREA. WASHINGTON APCH GAVE ME A VECTOR TO W32 AND INDICATED MY DISTANCE (WHICH I DO NOT RECALL) FROM THE ARPT. AFTER A FEW MINS HAD PASSED, WASHINGTON APCH GAVE ME ANOTHER VECTOR (020) AND THE DISTANCE (3 MI) TO THE ARPT. I COMPARED THIS TO MY LORAN READOUT WHICH INDICATED THE SAME HDG (I DID NOT LOOK AT THE LORAN DISTANCE INDICATION). I COULD SEE A CLRING WHICH I BELIEVED TO BE W32 AND PROCEEDED DIRECTLY TO IT. WASHINGTON APCH ASKED WHETHER I WANTED TO CANCEL IFR. BELIEVING I HAD W32 IN SIGHT I CANCELLED IFR, RADAR SVC WAS TERMINATED AND I CHANGED THE TRANSPONDER TO VFR AND UNSUCCESSFULLY TRIED TO RAISE W32 UNICOM. I DID, HOWEVER, HEAR A HELI ANNOUNCE HIS INTENTION TO LAND ON 23 AT W32. AFTER APPROX 1 1/2 TO 2 MINS I COULD BEGIN TO MAKE OUT THE RWY (WHICH I THOUGHT WAS 5/23 AT W32), BUT I WAS NOT YET CLOSE ENOUGH TO SEE THE CLOSED RWY (13/31) AT THE NE END OF 5/23. I PROCEEDED FOR A L DOWNWIND ENTRY FOR RWY 23 FOR ANOTHER 1/2 TO 1 MIN LOOKING FOR THE CLOSED XING RWY AT THE FAR END OF THE ONE I HAD IN SIGHT IN ORDER TO POSITIVELY IDENT W32, BUT I WAS SENSING THAT I WAS NOT WHERE I WANTED TO BE. THE LORAN WAS INDICATING A HDG OF 020, WHICH I WAS HOLDING, AND A DISTANCE OF 6 MI TO W32. REALIZING NOW THAT I WAS APCHING ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE AND THE WASHINGTON TCA, I EXECUTED A 180 DEG TURN, SWITCHED MY RADIO TO WASHINGTON APCH AND ASKED THEM FOR A VECTOR TO W32. WASHINGTON APCH ASKED ME TO 'IDENT,' BUT SAID THEY WERE UNABLE TO IDENT ME. THEY TOLD ME TO CONTACT ANDREWS RADAR. ANDREWS RADAR GAVE ME A VECTOR TO W32 AND ASKED ME IF I WAS AWARE THAT I HAD 'BUSTED' THE TCA. I TOLD THEM 'NEGATIVE' BELIEVING MY LORAN READOUT OF 6 MI TO W32 AT THE TIME I TURNED BACK TO HAVE BEEN CORRECT. ANDREWS RADAR ASKED ME TO COPY THE TELEPHONE NUMBER OF THE ANDREWS TWR AND TO CALL THEM AFTER I LANDED. I PROCEEDED TO W32 AND NOTED THE ROTATING BEACON AND RWY LIGHTS CAME ON AS I APCHED W32. I LANDED ON RWY 23. AFTER LNDG, I CALLED THE ANDREWS TWR WHO ASKED ME TO CALL THE SUPVR BACK IN 10-15 MINS. I CALLED THE SUPVR WHO INDICATED THAT I HAD ENTERED THE TCA AND OVERFLOWN THE FINAL APCH COURSE TO THEIR WESTERN PARALLEL RWY (WHAT I INITIALLY THOUGHT WAS 5/23 AT W32).
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.