|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : sns|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : sns|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 50|
flight time total : 450
flight time type : 35
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||incursion : landing without clearance|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified cockpit|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I departed monterey bay academy just after dusk. This is an unlit dirt strip along the coast west of watsonville. After departure, it became evident that the fog had come in quickly. The strip was too dark to land at, so I turned south away from the heavier fog. The ceiling was about 700 ft MSL with occasional rain. Watsonville airport was never visible as a landing option. My destination was reid hillview in san jose. I tried to fly over highway 101, but the clouds were too low. I found a hole rising up through the fog which I ascended through, hoping to see hollister and san jose in the distance, but everything was fogged in and there was also an overcast layer, causing complete darkness. I climbed for terrain avoidance but hit clouds at 4500 ft. About that time, after intense praying, I saw some lights to the south breaking through a thin layer of fog. I assumed it was salinas. While overflying the lights, I saw the airport below. Unfortunately, my map was unaccessible because I wasn't planning on needing it, so I didn't know the frequencys. I knew I must land, though, so I went ahead and dropped in. How the problem arose: I failed to obtain a proper WX briefing. The storm was supposed to dissipate, which it did, but I failed to expect fog. I also failed to plan for unexpected emergencys. I didn't have the map or airport flight director available.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: RPTR TOOK OFF WITHOUT CHKING WX AND NO FLT PLAN AND NO AVAILABLE CHART. THE WX CLOSED IN AND HE FOUND AN ARPT AND LANDED WITHOUT CONTACTING THE TWR.
Narrative: I DEPARTED MONTEREY BAY ACADEMY JUST AFTER DUSK. THIS IS AN UNLIT DIRT STRIP ALONG THE COAST W OF WATSONVILLE. AFTER DEP, IT BECAME EVIDENT THAT THE FOG HAD COME IN QUICKLY. THE STRIP WAS TOO DARK TO LAND AT, SO I TURNED S AWAY FROM THE HEAVIER FOG. THE CEILING WAS ABOUT 700 FT MSL WITH OCCASIONAL RAIN. WATSONVILLE ARPT WAS NEVER VISIBLE AS A LNDG OPTION. MY DEST WAS REID HILLVIEW IN SAN JOSE. I TRIED TO FLY OVER HWY 101, BUT THE CLOUDS WERE TOO LOW. I FOUND A HOLE RISING UP THROUGH THE FOG WHICH I ASCENDED THROUGH, HOPING TO SEE HOLLISTER AND SAN JOSE IN THE DISTANCE, BUT EVERYTHING WAS FOGGED IN AND THERE WAS ALSO AN OVCST LAYER, CAUSING COMPLETE DARKNESS. I CLBED FOR TERRAIN AVOIDANCE BUT HIT CLOUDS AT 4500 FT. ABOUT THAT TIME, AFTER INTENSE PRAYING, I SAW SOME LIGHTS TO THE S BREAKING THROUGH A THIN LAYER OF FOG. I ASSUMED IT WAS SALINAS. WHILE OVERFLYING THE LIGHTS, I SAW THE ARPT BELOW. UNFORTUNATELY, MY MAP WAS UNACCESSIBLE BECAUSE I WASN'T PLANNING ON NEEDING IT, SO I DIDN'T KNOW THE FREQS. I KNEW I MUST LAND, THOUGH, SO I WENT AHEAD AND DROPPED IN. HOW THE PROB AROSE: I FAILED TO OBTAIN A PROPER WX BRIEFING. THE STORM WAS SUPPOSED TO DISSIPATE, WHICH IT DID, BUT I FAILED TO EXPECT FOG. I ALSO FAILED TO PLAN FOR UNEXPECTED EMERS. I DIDN'T HAVE THE MAP OR ARPT FLT DIRECTOR AVAILABLE.
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.