|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : hvn|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2000|
msl bound upper : 2000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : hvn|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : student|
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
inflight encounter : weather
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
I was to go on my 1ST solo cross country flight that would start from providence to new haven (full stop) to windham (touch-and-go) and then on to providence. I called for a WX briefing. The briefing I received was 4500 ft scattered to broken and unrestricted visibilities. I began my climb to 4500 ft. Due to the clouds being lower than forecasted I could only climb to 3000 ft with the ceiling at 3700 ft. Within 20-25 mins from new haven airport the clouds were lowering further. To avoid going into the clouds I had to descend to 2000 ft. Again, within 7 mi of new haven the conditions began to deteriorate and visibility became worse near the airport. After landing in new haven I had my logbook signed. I went to FBO to call for a WX briefing again. I explained to them that the briefing I received earlier was not correct with what I experienced. He told me that basically nothing has changed, and reported 4500 ft broken current and forecasted. I explained that the visibility was not so clear due to fog, and again he said that is not what they show. I did my preflight and listened to the ATIS. I called for takeoff, and explained to the tower that I was a student pilot and my route was to windham, but due to visibility I would like to go back to providence. The tower agreed and said that he would check current conditions at providence. Providence told him that they had 4500 ft broken. I made the takeoff based on that information. 20 mi from the airport the fog began pushing down and around me, I began to descend but it was just getting worse rapidly. Soon I was in conditions I had never been in before, and I could no longer use the outside horizon to fly the aircraft so I became a bit disoriented. I concentrated more at this point in keeping the plane straight and level by the aircraft instruments. Next, I tuned into frequency 122.2 for the FSS to get assistance in finding a suitable airport close by because I felt going back to providence would be taking too much of a risk. I explained the situation to the FSS 'I am a student pilot on my 1ST cross country, I am 20 mi east of new haven with very poor visibility and I am having a hard time seeing the ground. I have never been in these conditions and I feel disoriented.' a pilot over new haven took over the conversation and offered me the assistance of getting into groten airport. I feel that I did all the right things to get myself out of that situation. I remained calm, did not panic, called for assistance and followed directions carefully. Had it not been for previous instrument training with the hood, the situation may have been even more difficult.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SPI ON FIRST SOLO XCOUNTRY ENCOUNTERS WX, BECOMES DISORIENTED, REQUESTS ASSISTANCE.
Narrative: I WAS TO GO ON MY 1ST SOLO XCOUNTRY FLT THAT WOULD START FROM PROVIDENCE TO NEW HAVEN (FULL STOP) TO WINDHAM (TOUCH-AND-GO) AND THEN ON TO PROVIDENCE. I CALLED FOR A WX BRIEFING. THE BRIEFING I RECEIVED WAS 4500 FT SCATTERED TO BROKEN AND UNRESTRICTED VISIBILITIES. I BEGAN MY CLB TO 4500 FT. DUE TO THE CLOUDS BEING LOWER THAN FORECASTED I COULD ONLY CLB TO 3000 FT WITH THE CEILING AT 3700 FT. WITHIN 20-25 MINS FROM NEW HAVEN ARPT THE CLOUDS WERE LOWERING FURTHER. TO AVOID GOING INTO THE CLOUDS I HAD TO DSND TO 2000 FT. AGAIN, WITHIN 7 MI OF NEW HAVEN THE CONDITIONS BEGAN TO DETERIORATE AND VISIBILITY BECAME WORSE NEAR THE ARPT. AFTER LNDG IN NEW HAVEN I HAD MY LOGBOOK SIGNED. I WENT TO FBO TO CALL FOR A WX BRIEFING AGAIN. I EXPLAINED TO THEM THAT THE BRIEFING I RECEIVED EARLIER WAS NOT CORRECT WITH WHAT I EXPERIENCED. HE TOLD ME THAT BASICALLY NOTHING HAS CHANGED, AND RPTED 4500 FT BROKEN CURRENT AND FORECASTED. I EXPLAINED THAT THE VISIBILITY WAS NOT SO CLR DUE TO FOG, AND AGAIN HE SAID THAT IS NOT WHAT THEY SHOW. I DID MY PREFLT AND LISTENED TO THE ATIS. I CALLED FOR TKOF, AND EXPLAINED TO THE TWR THAT I WAS A STUDENT PLT AND MY RTE WAS TO WINDHAM, BUT DUE TO VISIBILITY I WOULD LIKE TO GO BACK TO PROVIDENCE. THE TWR AGREED AND SAID THAT HE WOULD CHK CURRENT CONDITIONS AT PROVIDENCE. PROVIDENCE TOLD HIM THAT THEY HAD 4500 FT BROKEN. I MADE THE TKOF BASED ON THAT INFO. 20 MI FROM THE ARPT THE FOG BEGAN PUSHING DOWN AND AROUND ME, I BEGAN TO DSND BUT IT WAS JUST GETTING WORSE RAPIDLY. SOON I WAS IN CONDITIONS I HAD NEVER BEEN IN BEFORE, AND I COULD NO LONGER USE THE OUTSIDE HORIZON TO FLY THE ACFT SO I BECAME A BIT DISORIENTED. I CONCENTRATED MORE AT THIS POINT IN KEEPING THE PLANE STRAIGHT AND LEVEL BY THE ACFT INSTS. NEXT, I TUNED INTO FREQ 122.2 FOR THE FSS TO GET ASSISTANCE IN FINDING A SUITABLE ARPT CLOSE BY BECAUSE I FELT GOING BACK TO PROVIDENCE WOULD BE TAKING TOO MUCH OF A RISK. I EXPLAINED THE SIT TO THE FSS 'I AM A STUDENT PLT ON MY 1ST XCOUNTRY, I AM 20 MI E OF NEW HAVEN WITH VERY POOR VISIBILITY AND I AM HAVING A HARD TIME SEEING THE GND. I HAVE NEVER BEEN IN THESE CONDITIONS AND I FEEL DISORIENTED.' A PLT OVER NEW HAVEN TOOK OVER THE CONVERSATION AND OFFERED ME THE ASSISTANCE OF GETTING INTO GROTEN ARPT. I FEEL THAT I DID ALL THE RIGHT THINGS TO GET MYSELF OUT OF THAT SIT. I REMAINED CALM, DID NOT PANIC, CALLED FOR ASSISTANCE AND FOLLOWED DIRECTIONS CAREFULLY. HAD IT NOT BEEN FOR PREVIOUS INST TRAINING WITH THE HOOD, THE SIT MAY HAVE BEEN EVEN MORE DIFFICULT.
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.