|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : pae|
airport : bfi
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1000|
msl bound upper : 1000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zse|
tower : pae
tower : lax
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 36|
flight time total : 1189
flight time type : 1120
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
My observer and I were on a cap search for a missing aircraft. We had avoided 2 thunderstorms and had finished searching our assigned area. As we started to return to base we became aware that a large thunderstorm was blocking our path to the south. We turned north, planning to pass to the north of pae to avoid the storm. We contacted ZSE 6 NM west of pae for VFR flight following. I was apparently under more stress than I realized because, trying to stay in the best WX, I feel I passed too close to pae. I was over puget sound at 1000 ft MSL about 4 NM from the center of the airport. This put me about 400 ft above the runway elevation and probably out of the way of any potential arriving traffic. I believe I forgot to ask ZSE to clear me through the area and in fact should have contacted pae tower directly and asked them to hand me off to seattle. As it was, ZSE advised me that altitude was at my discretion and did not give any TA's, nor did we see any other aircraft, so we were probably alone. I feel I should have kept more distance between my aircraft and the airport. Another mistake I made was becoming so focused on completing the search that I let my awareness of the WX situation slip. Having been pushed out of my search area twice today by thunderstorms, I should have been more aware of the developing situation. I also stayed too late. Night was falling, making WX problems worse. I was never in a situation where visibility was less than about 5 NM or the ceiling less than 1000 ft above me, but night was falling and I was maneuvering to avoid a large thunderstorm to the south and what looked like 1 or 2 small ones to the north. I had the opportunity to land at pae but did not because of the possibility of getting stuck overnight. These storms could have easily intensified to cover the entire area. I had good luck, good visibility and good ceilings, so completed the flight without incident, but I should have landed at pae.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: UNAUTH PENETRATION OF AIRSPACE. PROX OF ATA.
Narrative: MY OBSERVER AND I WERE ON A CAP SEARCH FOR A MISSING ACFT. WE HAD AVOIDED 2 TSTMS AND HAD FINISHED SEARCHING OUR ASSIGNED AREA. AS WE STARTED TO RETURN TO BASE WE BECAME AWARE THAT A LARGE TSTM WAS BLOCKING OUR PATH TO THE S. WE TURNED N, PLANNING TO PASS TO THE N OF PAE TO AVOID THE STORM. WE CONTACTED ZSE 6 NM W OF PAE FOR VFR FLT FOLLOWING. I WAS APPARENTLY UNDER MORE STRESS THAN I REALIZED BECAUSE, TRYING TO STAY IN THE BEST WX, I FEEL I PASSED TOO CLOSE TO PAE. I WAS OVER PUGET SOUND AT 1000 FT MSL ABOUT 4 NM FROM THE CTR OF THE ARPT. THIS PUT ME ABOUT 400 FT ABOVE THE RWY ELEVATION AND PROBABLY OUT OF THE WAY OF ANY POTENTIAL ARRIVING TFC. I BELIEVE I FORGOT TO ASK ZSE TO CLR ME THROUGH THE AREA AND IN FACT SHOULD HAVE CONTACTED PAE TWR DIRECTLY AND ASKED THEM TO HAND ME OFF TO SEATTLE. AS IT WAS, ZSE ADVISED ME THAT ALT WAS AT MY DISCRETION AND DID NOT GIVE ANY TA'S, NOR DID WE SEE ANY OTHER ACFT, SO WE WERE PROBABLY ALONE. I FEEL I SHOULD HAVE KEPT MORE DISTANCE BTWN MY ACFT AND THE ARPT. ANOTHER MISTAKE I MADE WAS BECOMING SO FOCUSED ON COMPLETING THE SEARCH THAT I LET MY AWARENESS OF THE WX SIT SLIP. HAVING BEEN PUSHED OUT OF MY SEARCH AREA TWICE TODAY BY TSTMS, I SHOULD HAVE BEEN MORE AWARE OF THE DEVELOPING SIT. I ALSO STAYED TOO LATE. NIGHT WAS FALLING, MAKING WX PROBS WORSE. I WAS NEVER IN A SIT WHERE VISIBILITY WAS LESS THAN ABOUT 5 NM OR THE CEILING LESS THAN 1000 FT ABOVE ME, BUT NIGHT WAS FALLING AND I WAS MANEUVERING TO AVOID A LARGE TSTM TO THE S AND WHAT LOOKED LIKE 1 OR 2 SMALL ONES TO THE N. I HAD THE OPPORTUNITY TO LAND AT PAE BUT DID NOT BECAUSE OF THE POSSIBILITY OF GETTING STUCK OVERNIGHT. THESE STORMS COULD HAVE EASILY INTENSIFIED TO COVER THE ENTIRE AREA. I HAD GOOD LUCK, GOOD VISIBILITY AND GOOD CEILINGS, SO COMPLETED THE FLT WITHOUT INCIDENT, BUT I SHOULD HAVE LANDED AT PAE.
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.