|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : ssi|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 100|
agl bound upper : 100
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|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 : commercial|
pilot : instrument
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 20|
flight time total : 1000
flight time type : 150
|Function||observation : passenger|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I was en route from st. Simons island (ssi), GA, to ormond beach (omn), fl, in a loose formation with other aircraft (all classic tail draggers) flying sbound along the coastline. The wind was light and air was very smooth, so occasionally the flight was down to about 100 ft AGL over the open water. I didn't perceive that there was any problem doing this since low level flight over open water is legal according to the FARS and I was more than 500 ft from anything man-made or any person. An engine failure wouldn't have been risky since we were in cruise at about 105 mph and I could have easily pulled up and landed on the beach. I even simulated this one time and could gain about 200 ft which allowed time and energy to maneuver to the beach for safe landing. Anyway, the passenger was also a pilot and was occasionally flying and kept track of the navigation. Upon our return to our home base, I looked at our route and noticed a blue circle with dots inside it around cumberland island, GA. The legend on the sectional didn't have airspace depicted in such a way but it was similar to a dry lake/tide water area. I later was talking to another CFI and he said that he recalled something about wildlife areas and overflts somewhere. I spent hours looking and found it in the aim. According to section 7- 66 of the aim, pilots are requested to maintain 2000 ft AGL over national parks, seashores, etc. Clearly the word 'requested' doesn't imply a prohibition against flying below 2000 ft, but I understand why this request is made. Our flight (and other aircraft with us which included another CFI) did not honor this request, but were within the FARS. The violation of this request was not deliberate -- it was an unknown. Had I known about the request, I would have honored it. Such areas should be better marked on the sectionals. I'm sure lots of other pilots are completely unaware these areas exist or what they mean. My recommendations are: use symbology when marking national refuge areas, etc, that is on the legend, and show the requests or restrictions on the map. Move the information in the aim from chapter 7 to chapter 3 (airspace) where it makes more sense. Disseminate information about such areas to pilots, especially those living near these areas and to FBO's nearby.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: UNAUTH PENETRATION OF AIRSPACE. PROX OF SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE NATIONAL SEASHORE.
Narrative: I WAS ENRTE FROM ST. SIMONS ISLAND (SSI), GA, TO ORMOND BEACH (OMN), FL, IN A LOOSE FORMATION WITH OTHER ACFT (ALL CLASSIC TAIL DRAGGERS) FLYING SBOUND ALONG THE COASTLINE. THE WIND WAS LIGHT AND AIR WAS VERY SMOOTH, SO OCCASIONALLY THE FLT WAS DOWN TO ABOUT 100 FT AGL OVER THE OPEN WATER. I DIDN'T PERCEIVE THAT THERE WAS ANY PROB DOING THIS SINCE LOW LEVEL FLT OVER OPEN WATER IS LEGAL ACCORDING TO THE FARS AND I WAS MORE THAN 500 FT FROM ANYTHING MAN-MADE OR ANY PERSON. AN ENG FAILURE WOULDN'T HAVE BEEN RISKY SINCE WE WERE IN CRUISE AT ABOUT 105 MPH AND I COULD HAVE EASILY PULLED UP AND LANDED ON THE BEACH. I EVEN SIMULATED THIS ONE TIME AND COULD GAIN ABOUT 200 FT WHICH ALLOWED TIME AND ENERGY TO MANEUVER TO THE BEACH FOR SAFE LNDG. ANYWAY, THE PAX WAS ALSO A PLT AND WAS OCCASIONALLY FLYING AND KEPT TRACK OF THE NAV. UPON OUR RETURN TO OUR HOME BASE, I LOOKED AT OUR RTE AND NOTICED A BLUE CIRCLE WITH DOTS INSIDE IT AROUND CUMBERLAND ISLAND, GA. THE LEGEND ON THE SECTIONAL DIDN'T HAVE AIRSPACE DEPICTED IN SUCH A WAY BUT IT WAS SIMILAR TO A DRY LAKE/TIDE WATER AREA. I LATER WAS TALKING TO ANOTHER CFI AND HE SAID THAT HE RECALLED SOMETHING ABOUT WILDLIFE AREAS AND OVERFLTS SOMEWHERE. I SPENT HRS LOOKING AND FOUND IT IN THE AIM. ACCORDING TO SECTION 7- 66 OF THE AIM, PLTS ARE REQUESTED TO MAINTAIN 2000 FT AGL OVER NATIONAL PARKS, SEASHORES, ETC. CLEARLY THE WORD 'REQUESTED' DOESN'T IMPLY A PROHIBITION AGAINST FLYING BELOW 2000 FT, BUT I UNDERSTAND WHY THIS REQUEST IS MADE. OUR FLT (AND OTHER ACFT WITH US WHICH INCLUDED ANOTHER CFI) DID NOT HONOR THIS REQUEST, BUT WERE WITHIN THE FARS. THE VIOLATION OF THIS REQUEST WAS NOT DELIBERATE -- IT WAS AN UNKNOWN. HAD I KNOWN ABOUT THE REQUEST, I WOULD HAVE HONORED IT. SUCH AREAS SHOULD BE BETTER MARKED ON THE SECTIONALS. I'M SURE LOTS OF OTHER PLTS ARE COMPLETELY UNAWARE THESE AREAS EXIST OR WHAT THEY MEAN. MY RECOMMENDATIONS ARE: USE SYMBOLOGY WHEN MARKING NATIONAL REFUGE AREAS, ETC, THAT IS ON THE LEGEND, AND SHOW THE REQUESTS OR RESTRICTIONS ON THE MAP. MOVE THE INFO IN THE AIM FROM CHAPTER 7 TO CHAPTER 3 (AIRSPACE) WHERE IT MAKES MORE SENSE. DISSEMINATE INFO ABOUT SUCH AREAS TO PLTS, ESPECIALLY THOSE LIVING NEAR THESE AREAS AND TO FBO'S NEARBY.
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.