|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : mlb|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 700|
msl bound upper : 700
|Controlling Facilities||tower : mlb|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : direct|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 10000
flight time type : 100
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Returning to merritt island, fl, from a pleasure flight south, I attempted to circumnav the melbourne airport control zone. Relying on visual ground reference only, I evidently entered the extended control zone to the west of the airport. I had the airport in sight and thought I was far enough west. However, wanting to ensure I was not causing a problem, I switched from unicom frequency to tower frequency. I immediately heard 'aircraft west of melbourne at 700 ft, say your call sign.' I idented myself, stated my intention to continue north, apologized for entering the zone and was told there was 'no problem' and to contact patrick approach control. Having heard so many light aircraft stray into airport control zones over the yrs in my flying as an air carrier pilot, I was embarrassed to find myself joining their ranks. This occurred because of my mindset that I was on a pleasure flight in uncontrolled airspace. I thought I was capable of avoiding any traffic conflict by being far enough from the airport and well below the approach gradient. I did not appreciate the difficulty in determining the exact distance from an airport at low altitude, using visual cues only. Though I did avoid any traffic conflict, I caused unnecessary concern for the tower controller and embarrassment for myself. I would strongly encourage all light aircraft pilots to contact control towers they pass anywhere near. Over the yrs I have sometimes felt that this causes unnecessary frequency congestion, but in today's traffic environment and in light of this experience, I will certainly be communicating with every nearby facility even though I am on a 'day off' and enjoying a pleasure flight.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA MAY HAVE ENTERED MLB ATA WITHOUT CLRNC.
Narrative: RETURNING TO MERRITT ISLAND, FL, FROM A PLEASURE FLT S, I ATTEMPTED TO CIRCUMNAV THE MELBOURNE ARPT CTL ZONE. RELYING ON VISUAL GND REF ONLY, I EVIDENTLY ENTERED THE EXTENDED CTL ZONE TO THE W OF THE ARPT. I HAD THE ARPT IN SIGHT AND THOUGHT I WAS FAR ENOUGH W. HOWEVER, WANTING TO ENSURE I WAS NOT CAUSING A PROBLEM, I SWITCHED FROM UNICOM FREQ TO TWR FREQ. I IMMEDIATELY HEARD 'ACFT W OF MELBOURNE AT 700 FT, SAY YOUR CALL SIGN.' I IDENTED MYSELF, STATED MY INTENTION TO CONTINUE N, APOLOGIZED FOR ENTERING THE ZONE AND WAS TOLD THERE WAS 'NO PROBLEM' AND TO CONTACT PATRICK APCH CTL. HAVING HEARD SO MANY LIGHT ACFT STRAY INTO ARPT CTL ZONES OVER THE YRS IN MY FLYING AS AN ACR PLT, I WAS EMBARRASSED TO FIND MYSELF JOINING THEIR RANKS. THIS OCCURRED BECAUSE OF MY MINDSET THAT I WAS ON A PLEASURE FLT IN UNCTLED AIRSPACE. I THOUGHT I WAS CAPABLE OF AVOIDING ANY TFC CONFLICT BY BEING FAR ENOUGH FROM THE ARPT AND WELL BELOW THE APCH GRADIENT. I DID NOT APPRECIATE THE DIFFICULTY IN DETERMINING THE EXACT DISTANCE FROM AN ARPT AT LOW ALT, USING VISUAL CUES ONLY. THOUGH I DID AVOID ANY TFC CONFLICT, I CAUSED UNNECESSARY CONCERN FOR THE TWR CTLR AND EMBARRASSMENT FOR MYSELF. I WOULD STRONGLY ENCOURAGE ALL LIGHT ACFT PLTS TO CONTACT CTL TWRS THEY PASS ANYWHERE NEAR. OVER THE YRS I HAVE SOMETIMES FELT THAT THIS CAUSES UNNECESSARY FREQ CONGESTION, BUT IN TODAY'S TFC ENVIRONMENT AND IN LIGHT OF THIS EXPERIENCE, I WILL CERTAINLY BE COMMUNICATING WITH EVERY NEARBY FACILITY EVEN THOUGH I AM ON A 'DAY OFF' AND ENJOYING A PLEASURE FLT.
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.