|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : bwi|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 8000|
msl bound upper : 8000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : bwi|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 50|
flight time total : 2400
flight time type : 1600
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
Sudden roughness of engine, which I eventually diagnosed (by engine scanner) as failure of #4 cylinder. I requested direct martin state airport, which I believed to be the closest facility with good maintenance availability. At the same time, declared an emergency, prompting controller to persistently badger me with request for fuel remaining and number of souls on board. Fuel was hardly an issue. Surely I must have had enough to get where I was going (dca). The only question was whether the engine would hold out the 20 or so nautical miles to martin state. I really object to this mindless adherence to an idiotic protocol, and refused to answer the question. Finally told him, 'I have the airport in sight, don't worry about it.' he turned me over to martin tower, who didn't bother to move traffic out of my way when I entered the pattern at 8000 ft for descent to the field. Had to remind tower of my emergency status and request that he move the traffic, in the event that the engine might quit. As it turned out, the landing was uneventful. From my point of view, the moral is: don't bother the pilot with irrelevant questions, particularly when he's got other things on his mind. And when he declares an emergency, treat him as one. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states there has been no follow-up from FAA. He is quite agitated regarding the 'irrelevance' of controller questions. Analyst tried to indicate the procedures for controllers are spelled out, but that is his complaint. 'Why do they need to bother the pilot?' he is upset even after discussion so analyst gave him the hotline to lodge his complaint.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA PLT HAS ENG RUN ROUGH. DECLARES EMER. DIVERT LAND.
Narrative: SUDDEN ROUGHNESS OF ENG, WHICH I EVENTUALLY DIAGNOSED (BY ENG SCANNER) AS FAILURE OF #4 CYLINDER. I REQUESTED DIRECT MARTIN STATE ARPT, WHICH I BELIEVED TO BE THE CLOSEST FACILITY WITH GOOD MAINT AVAILABILITY. AT THE SAME TIME, DECLARED AN EMER, PROMPTING CTLR TO PERSISTENTLY BADGER ME WITH REQUEST FOR FUEL REMAINING AND NUMBER OF SOULS ON BOARD. FUEL WAS HARDLY AN ISSUE. SURELY I MUST HAVE HAD ENOUGH TO GET WHERE I WAS GOING (DCA). THE ONLY QUESTION WAS WHETHER THE ENG WOULD HOLD OUT THE 20 OR SO NAUTICAL MILES TO MARTIN STATE. I REALLY OBJECT TO THIS MINDLESS ADHERENCE TO AN IDIOTIC PROTOCOL, AND REFUSED TO ANSWER THE QUESTION. FINALLY TOLD HIM, 'I HAVE THE ARPT IN SIGHT, DON'T WORRY ABOUT IT.' HE TURNED ME OVER TO MARTIN TWR, WHO DIDN'T BOTHER TO MOVE TFC OUT OF MY WAY WHEN I ENTERED THE PATTERN AT 8000 FT FOR DSCNT TO THE FIELD. HAD TO REMIND TWR OF MY EMER STATUS AND REQUEST THAT HE MOVE THE TFC, IN THE EVENT THAT THE ENG MIGHT QUIT. AS IT TURNED OUT, THE LNDG WAS UNEVENTFUL. FROM MY POINT OF VIEW, THE MORAL IS: DON'T BOTHER THE PLT WITH IRRELEVANT QUESTIONS, PARTICULARLY WHEN HE'S GOT OTHER THINGS ON HIS MIND. AND WHEN HE DECLARES AN EMER, TREAT HIM AS ONE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES THERE HAS BEEN NO FOLLOW-UP FROM FAA. HE IS QUITE AGITATED REGARDING THE 'IRRELEVANCE' OF CTLR QUESTIONS. ANALYST TRIED TO INDICATE THE PROCS FOR CTLRS ARE SPELLED OUT, BUT THAT IS HIS COMPLAINT. 'WHY DO THEY NEED TO BOTHER THE PLT?' HE IS UPSET EVEN AFTER DISCUSSION SO ANALYST GAVE HIM THE HOTLINE TO LODGE HIS COMPLAINT.
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.