|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : kka|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2000|
msl bound upper : 5500
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Route In Use||approach : visual|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 320|
flight time total : 7200
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||observation : air carrier inspector|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Consequence||faa : assigned or threatened penalties|
faa : investigated
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was scheduled to fly an small transport from nome to koyuk to shaktoolik to unalakleet, ak. An FAA inspector went along on a route check in the right seat. We left on a VFR flight plan to koyuk and leveled off at 5500 ft (since we were eastbound). About 50 mi out of nome, we started to get close to a thin scattered layer so I started my descent out of 5500 ft at that time. Visibility was unlimited outside the scattered layer. The moon and stars also out. Over the white mountain airport I turned right and went direct to moses point VOR, still in a very gradual descent. I arrived over the moses point VOR at about 2000 ft and went direct to koyuk at that point since the lights and runway were visible 30 mi out. Because of the extreme cold temperatures and the fact that the visibility was unlimited, I wanted to get down and level off early so I could cool the engines down slowly. The inspector claims I got within 2000 ft of the 'mountainous terrain' (within a 5 mi radius) at night and that I was in violation of that far. Inspector called me today and said he was sending the letter of investigation out to try to violate me. Although he himself admitted there was no question as to the safety of the flight and the passenger agreed. At every point in the flight the visibility was unlimited and the 'mountainous terrain' was plainly visible with the moon shining on them. At a couple points I was within 1000 ft of the terrain but that was because I had started a descent and was entering the approach phase of the flight.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: AIR TAXI FLT ACCUSED OF FLYING TOO CLOSE TO MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN BY ACI ON BOARD.
Narrative: I WAS SCHEDULED TO FLY AN SMT FROM NOME TO KOYUK TO SHAKTOOLIK TO UNALAKLEET, AK. AN FAA INSPECTOR WENT ALONG ON A RTE CHK IN THE R SEAT. WE LEFT ON A VFR FLT PLAN TO KOYUK AND LEVELED OFF AT 5500 FT (SINCE WE WERE EBOUND). ABOUT 50 MI OUT OF NOME, WE STARTED TO GET CLOSE TO A THIN SCATTERED LAYER SO I STARTED MY DSCNT OUT OF 5500 FT AT THAT TIME. VISIBILITY WAS UNLIMITED OUTSIDE THE SCATTERED LAYER. THE MOON AND STARS ALSO OUT. OVER THE WHITE MOUNTAIN ARPT I TURNED R AND WENT DIRECT TO MOSES POINT VOR, STILL IN A VERY GRADUAL DSCNT. I ARRIVED OVER THE MOSES POINT VOR AT ABOUT 2000 FT AND WENT DIRECT TO KOYUK AT THAT POINT SINCE THE LIGHTS AND RWY WERE VISIBLE 30 MI OUT. BECAUSE OF THE EXTREME COLD TEMPS AND THE FACT THAT THE VISIBILITY WAS UNLIMITED, I WANTED TO GET DOWN AND LEVEL OFF EARLY SO I COULD COOL THE ENGS DOWN SLOWLY. THE INSPECTOR CLAIMS I GOT WITHIN 2000 FT OF THE 'MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN' (WITHIN A 5 MI RADIUS) AT NIGHT AND THAT I WAS IN VIOLATION OF THAT FAR. INSPECTOR CALLED ME TODAY AND SAID HE WAS SENDING THE LETTER OF INVESTIGATION OUT TO TRY TO VIOLATE ME. ALTHOUGH HE HIMSELF ADMITTED THERE WAS NO QUESTION AS TO THE SAFETY OF THE FLT AND THE PAX AGREED. AT EVERY POINT IN THE FLT THE VISIBILITY WAS UNLIMITED AND THE 'MOUNTAINOUS TERRAIN' WAS PLAINLY VISIBLE WITH THE MOON SHINING ON THEM. AT A COUPLE POINTS I WAS WITHIN 1000 FT OF THE TERRAIN BUT THAT WAS BECAUSE I HAD STARTED A DSCNT AND WAS ENTERING THE APCH PHASE OF THE 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.