|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : buf|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3500|
msl bound upper : 3500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : buf|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Skyhawk 172/Cutlass 172|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 31|
flight time total : 440
flight time type : 250
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
altitude deviation : excursion from assigned altitude
non adherence : far
non adherence : clearance
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
flight crew : exited adverse environment
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Situation: IMC. Total electrical failure except gear landing light on only after down. Therefore, loss of all communication and navigation. There was no indication of ammeter discharge. Flew east to known VFR and descended below clouds. Dead reckoning to airport. Unable to determine exact position, but knew general vicinity. Had backup electrical but that failed (too much power draw). Exact positioning: due exactly where we were at failure, but had to guess position afterwards. Difficulty in lowering landing gear by hand. Critical to have sectionals as well as IFR charts of area transversed. Cause of electrical still undetermined. Retrospectively, I should have had handheld to negate the failure of backup electrical since it seems the navigation/communication was at fault or short somewhere that couldn't be isolated by closing off switches. I had no training for such occurrences, but have read extensively on IFR procedures. I would suspect more training is placed on such procedures.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PRIMARY ELECTRICAL SUPPLY PROB. LOSS OF COM FREQ, LOST COM, UNABLE TO ESTABLISH RADIO CONTACT.
Narrative: SIT: IMC. TOTAL ELECTRICAL FAILURE EXCEPT GEAR LNDG LIGHT ON ONLY AFTER DOWN. THEREFORE, LOSS OF ALL COM AND NAV. THERE WAS NO INDICATION OF AMMETER DISCHARGE. FLEW E TO KNOWN VFR AND DSNDED BELOW CLOUDS. DEAD RECKONING TO ARPT. UNABLE TO DETERMINE EXACT POS, BUT KNEW GENERAL VICINITY. HAD BACKUP ELECTRICAL BUT THAT FAILED (TOO MUCH PWR DRAW). EXACT POSITIONING: DUE EXACTLY WHERE WE WERE AT FAILURE, BUT HAD TO GUESS POS AFTERWARDS. DIFFICULTY IN LOWERING LNDG GEAR BY HAND. CRITICAL TO HAVE SECTIONALS AS WELL AS IFR CHARTS OF AREA TRANSVERSED. CAUSE OF ELECTRICAL STILL UNDETERMINED. RETROSPECTIVELY, I SHOULD HAVE HAD HANDHELD TO NEGATE THE FAILURE OF BACKUP ELECTRICAL SINCE IT SEEMS THE NAV/COM WAS AT FAULT OR SHORT SOMEWHERE THAT COULDN'T BE ISOLATED BY CLOSING OFF SWITCHES. I HAD NO TRAINING FOR SUCH OCCURRENCES, BUT HAVE READ EXTENSIVELY ON IFR PROCS. I WOULD SUSPECT MORE TRAINING IS PLACED ON SUCH PROCS.
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.