|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : crg|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 700|
msl bound upper : 6500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : jax|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 16|
flight time total : 1013
flight time type : 444
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : became reoriented|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I was en route on a VFR flight plan down V243 from vna through jax at 7500 ft MSL, with a planned landing at X47. About 30 mi north of crg, tracking the crg VOR at 140 degrees inbound, with flight following on ZJX, I monitored jax ATIS at C14 broken, 55 overcast. To keep some visual ground contact, I elected to descend below the 5500 ft ceiling. As I neared jax, now with jax approach, I was unable to maintain VFR at 5500 ft, so descended to 4500 ft. That altitude also proved unworkable, so I ascended through breaks back up to 6500 ft, continuing toward crg and talking to jax approach. At about XA35, sgj AWOS, some 20 mi so F jax, was reporting 'no clouds below 12000 ft.' by XA45, sgj was reporting 3500 ft scattered. Believing that the WX south was deteriorating, I planned to descend through the next available hole. Shortly thereafter, I saw a hole all the way down. Descending rapidly in a tight turn, I broke out at 700 ft MSL about a mi off shore. Approach offered vectors to craig, but I regained my composure and elected to continue south down the beach at 1200 ft MSL to X47. An aircraft landing at X47 provided local WX as clear and 7 mi with haze. The trip to X47 and landing were uneventful. Reflecting on the incident, I used poor judgement in 2 primary areas: 1) I could have learned from flight watch that the adverse conditions were local to jax. I had ample fuel and adequate WX to overfly jax at 7500 ft to good VFR south of sgj. 2) I failed to exercise the 4 C's. Although approach volunteered no WX information or encouragement to stay high and continue south, I am sure that their assistance need only have been requested. In summary, I hazarded my life and the aircraft by a precipitous decision to regain ground contact. It is my belief that part of the problem is flying alone, without a companion, no matter how unqualified, with whom to discuss problems. I also think that a few words of reassurance from one of the 3 approach controllers I passed through would have prevented this.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA DSNDS THROUGH CLOUD OPENING LEVELS AT 700 FT ABOVE OCEAN.
Narrative: I WAS ENRTE ON A VFR FLT PLAN DOWN V243 FROM VNA THROUGH JAX AT 7500 FT MSL, WITH A PLANNED LNDG AT X47. ABOUT 30 MI N OF CRG, TRACKING THE CRG VOR AT 140 DEGS INBOUND, WITH FLT FOLLOWING ON ZJX, I MONITORED JAX ATIS AT C14 BROKEN, 55 OVCST. TO KEEP SOME VISUAL GND CONTACT, I ELECTED TO DSND BELOW THE 5500 FT CEILING. AS I NEARED JAX, NOW WITH JAX APCH, I WAS UNABLE TO MAINTAIN VFR AT 5500 FT, SO DSNDED TO 4500 FT. THAT ALT ALSO PROVED UNWORKABLE, SO I ASCENDED THROUGH BREAKS BACK UP TO 6500 FT, CONTINUING TOWARD CRG AND TALKING TO JAX APCH. AT ABOUT XA35, SGJ AWOS, SOME 20 MI SO F JAX, WAS RPTING 'NO CLOUDS BELOW 12000 FT.' BY XA45, SGJ WAS RPTING 3500 FT SCATTERED. BELIEVING THAT THE WX S WAS DETERIORATING, I PLANNED TO DSND THROUGH THE NEXT AVAILABLE HOLE. SHORTLY THEREAFTER, I SAW A HOLE ALL THE WAY DOWN. DSNDING RAPIDLY IN A TIGHT TURN, I BROKE OUT AT 700 FT MSL ABOUT A MI OFF SHORE. APCH OFFERED VECTORS TO CRAIG, BUT I REGAINED MY COMPOSURE AND ELECTED TO CONTINUE S DOWN THE BEACH AT 1200 FT MSL TO X47. AN ACFT LNDG AT X47 PROVIDED LCL WX AS CLR AND 7 MI WITH HAZE. THE TRIP TO X47 AND LNDG WERE UNEVENTFUL. REFLECTING ON THE INCIDENT, I USED POOR JUDGEMENT IN 2 PRIMARY AREAS: 1) I COULD HAVE LEARNED FROM FLT WATCH THAT THE ADVERSE CONDITIONS WERE LCL TO JAX. I HAD AMPLE FUEL AND ADEQUATE WX TO OVERFLY JAX AT 7500 FT TO GOOD VFR S OF SGJ. 2) I FAILED TO EXERCISE THE 4 C'S. ALTHOUGH APCH VOLUNTEERED NO WX INFO OR ENCOURAGEMENT TO STAY HIGH AND CONTINUE S, I AM SURE THAT THEIR ASSISTANCE NEED ONLY HAVE BEEN REQUESTED. IN SUMMARY, I HAZARDED MY LIFE AND THE ACFT BY A PRECIPITOUS DECISION TO REGAIN GND CONTACT. IT IS MY BELIEF THAT PART OF THE PROB IS FLYING ALONE, WITHOUT A COMPANION, NO MATTER HOW UNQUALIFIED, WITH WHOM TO DISCUSS PROBS. I ALSO THINK THAT A FEW WORDS OF REASSURANCE FROM ONE OF THE 3 APCH CTLRS I PASSED THROUGH WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THIS.
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.