|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ftw|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : bgm|
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Flight Phase||ground : preflight|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I arrived by truck at ftw at about HA15 pm on mar/sun/93 in preparation for a flight in hot air balloon. I listened to ATIS and monitored the tower for about 10 mins prior to beginning the preflight assembly and inflation procedures. ATIS reported runway 34 in use, and all traffic was using that runway during the time I was monitoring the frequency. I was setting up about 100 ft south of the centerline of runway 9, about 200 or 300 ft ese of the threshold. I was not able to continue monitoring the radio during assembly and cold inflation due to the noise and other distrs. At about XA45 I telephoned the tower with a cellular phone to state my intention of launching within the next 10 or 15 mins. The person who answered seemed agitated and started talking to someone else concerning my intention to launch. He then told me that they had an airplane intending to use runway 9. I looked east and saw a single engine airplane on final for runway 9. At this time the balloon was still on its side, southeast of the threshold, and I asked if I should deflate immediately. He said no, and we had a discussion about the fact that they use all the runways. I apologized for the potential conflict, and we had a brief discussion about our communication. I really thought I was communicating properly, monitoring the tower and calling on the phone before I even stood the balloon up prior to flight. Far part 91.129 addresses maintaining 2-WAY radio communications while operating an aircraft within an air traffic area or on an airport with an operating control tower. Since a balloon's operation begins when the burner is used to first bring the balloon upright, I thought I was being extra careful and prudent with my actions prior to this time. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: the reporting pilot is a commercial operator with some special shape balloons. He operates regularly out of meacham field and has never seen the 'crosswind' runway in operation before. He and the tower chief have a new understanding as to when he will notify the tower of their operation. As the reporter operates out of this airport regularly, he has a key and continuous access to the airport.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A COMMERCIAL HOT AIR BALLOON OPERATOR COLD INFLATED HIS BALLOON WITHOUT PRIOR PERMISSION FROM THE ARPT TWR.
Narrative: I ARRIVED BY TRUCK AT FTW AT ABOUT HA15 PM ON MAR/SUN/93 IN PREPARATION FOR A FLT IN HOT AIR BALLOON. I LISTENED TO ATIS AND MONITORED THE TWR FOR ABOUT 10 MINS PRIOR TO BEGINNING THE PREFLT ASSEMBLY AND INFLATION PROCS. ATIS RPTED RWY 34 IN USE, AND ALL TFC WAS USING THAT RWY DURING THE TIME I WAS MONITORING THE FREQ. I WAS SETTING UP ABOUT 100 FT S OF THE CTRLINE OF RWY 9, ABOUT 200 OR 300 FT ESE OF THE THRESHOLD. I WAS NOT ABLE TO CONTINUE MONITORING THE RADIO DURING ASSEMBLY AND COLD INFLATION DUE TO THE NOISE AND OTHER DISTRS. AT ABOUT XA45 I TELEPHONED THE TWR WITH A CELLULAR PHONE TO STATE MY INTENTION OF LAUNCHING WITHIN THE NEXT 10 OR 15 MINS. THE PERSON WHO ANSWERED SEEMED AGITATED AND STARTED TALKING TO SOMEONE ELSE CONCERNING MY INTENTION TO LAUNCH. HE THEN TOLD ME THAT THEY HAD AN AIRPLANE INTENDING TO USE RWY 9. I LOOKED E AND SAW A SINGLE ENG AIRPLANE ON FINAL FOR RWY 9. AT THIS TIME THE BALLOON WAS STILL ON ITS SIDE, SE OF THE THRESHOLD, AND I ASKED IF I SHOULD DEFLATE IMMEDIATELY. HE SAID NO, AND WE HAD A DISCUSSION ABOUT THE FACT THAT THEY USE ALL THE RWYS. I APOLOGIZED FOR THE POTENTIAL CONFLICT, AND WE HAD A BRIEF DISCUSSION ABOUT OUR COM. I REALLY THOUGHT I WAS COMMUNICATING PROPERLY, MONITORING THE TWR AND CALLING ON THE PHONE BEFORE I EVEN STOOD THE BALLOON UP PRIOR TO FLT. FAR PART 91.129 ADDRESSES MAINTAINING 2-WAY RADIO COMS WHILE OPERATING AN ACFT WITHIN AN ATA OR ON AN ARPT WITH AN OPERATING CTL TWR. SINCE A BALLOON'S OP BEGINS WHEN THE BURNER IS USED TO FIRST BRING THE BALLOON UPRIGHT, I THOUGHT I WAS BEING EXTRA CAREFUL AND PRUDENT WITH MY ACTIONS PRIOR TO THIS TIME. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: THE RPTING PLT IS A COMMERCIAL OPERATOR WITH SOME SPECIAL SHAPE BALLOONS. HE OPERATES REGULARLY OUT OF MEACHAM FIELD AND HAS NEVER SEEN THE 'XWIND' RWY IN OP BEFORE. HE AND THE TWR CHIEF HAVE A NEW UNDERSTANDING AS TO WHEN HE WILL NOTIFY THE TWR OF THEIR OP. AS THE RPTR OPERATES OUT OF THIS ARPT REGULARLY, HE HAS A KEY AND CONTINUOUS ACCESS TO THE ARPT.
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.