|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : laf|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4500|
msl bound upper : 4500
|Controlling Facilities||tower : laf|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : direct|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 40|
flight time total : 260
flight time type : 200
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
non adherence : published procedure
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
other flight crewa
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I was en route from muncie to lafayette about 10-15 mins from muncie when I discovered the alternator light was on. I went to the operating manual and did the alternator failure checklist. I then informed muncie tower to contact lafayette in case I lost my radios. My choice was to either spend 15 mins going back to muncie to an unfamiliar airport or to lafayette 20 mins away and where I have always flown out of. I contacted FSS (terre haute) and told them what I was doing, then chose to reduce the load even more by turning off my radios, but leaving my navigation and anti-collision lights on. 10 mis from lafayette, I turned on my radios, but they were inoperative. I squawked 7600 and shut off all lights. I was then able to contact FSS again. I was cleared into lafayette. They left the tower in operation because of pilot controled lighting -- in case I lost my radios again. Grissom air force base was informed and ZID by FSS. I was able to contact lafayette tower and land safely. The mechanic said the alternator belt broke. The only thing I can say to pilots is always go by the manual. It said in the emergency checklist to land as soon as practical, I did. I felt letting FSS know was important and was the correct decision. The belt broke but was fine when I preflted the plane and on runups, so realize that even when preflted correctly, things can still go wrong.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA PLT IN A NIGHT OP LOSES ALTERNATOR. COORD WITH FSS WHO IN TURN COORD WITH DEST ARPT TWR REF PROBLEM OF LOST COM PROC AND PLT CTLED RWY LIGHTING. TWR REMAINS OPEN.
Narrative: I WAS ENRTE FROM MUNCIE TO LAFAYETTE ABOUT 10-15 MINS FROM MUNCIE WHEN I DISCOVERED THE ALTERNATOR LIGHT WAS ON. I WENT TO THE OPERATING MANUAL AND DID THE ALTERNATOR FAILURE CHKLIST. I THEN INFORMED MUNCIE TWR TO CONTACT LAFAYETTE IN CASE I LOST MY RADIOS. MY CHOICE WAS TO EITHER SPEND 15 MINS GOING BACK TO MUNCIE TO AN UNFAMILIAR ARPT OR TO LAFAYETTE 20 MINS AWAY AND WHERE I HAVE ALWAYS FLOWN OUT OF. I CONTACTED FSS (TERRE HAUTE) AND TOLD THEM WHAT I WAS DOING, THEN CHOSE TO REDUCE THE LOAD EVEN MORE BY TURNING OFF MY RADIOS, BUT LEAVING MY NAV AND ANTI-COLLISION LIGHTS ON. 10 MIS FROM LAFAYETTE, I TURNED ON MY RADIOS, BUT THEY WERE INOP. I SQUAWKED 7600 AND SHUT OFF ALL LIGHTS. I WAS THEN ABLE TO CONTACT FSS AGAIN. I WAS CLRED INTO LAFAYETTE. THEY LEFT THE TWR IN OP BECAUSE OF PLT CTLED LIGHTING -- IN CASE I LOST MY RADIOS AGAIN. GRISSOM AIR FORCE BASE WAS INFORMED AND ZID BY FSS. I WAS ABLE TO CONTACT LAFAYETTE TWR AND LAND SAFELY. THE MECH SAID THE ALTERNATOR BELT BROKE. THE ONLY THING I CAN SAY TO PLTS IS ALWAYS GO BY THE MANUAL. IT SAID IN THE EMER CHKLIST TO LAND AS SOON AS PRACTICAL, I DID. I FELT LETTING FSS KNOW WAS IMPORTANT AND WAS THE CORRECT DECISION. THE BELT BROKE BUT WAS FINE WHEN I PREFLTED THE PLANE AND ON RUNUPS, SO REALIZE THAT EVEN WHEN PREFLTED CORRECTLY, THINGS CAN STILL GO WRONG.
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.