|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : den|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 10500|
msl bound upper : 10500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : den|
|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 : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 147
flight time type : 130
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter other|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
other other : unspecified cockpit
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited penetrated airspace|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
On mar/fri/96, I inadvertently entered the class B airspace around dia at about kiowa. It is an area that I know well because I did my training there. On any other day the chance of an airspace violation would be nil. The leg of the trip where I got into trouble started in pueblo. I was returning from a trip to santa flight engineer, and I had fought turbulence most of the way and I was beat. We stopped there to have a rest from the battle to maintain straight and level flight. When I left pueblo, I picked up flight following and climbed to 10500 ft. Just north of cos, cos approach advised me to contact den approach in about 10 mi. Normally, on the return trip from pueblo I just drop under the class B and into centennial without calling den. Coming over monument hill, the bottoms of the clouds were looking very ragged, and my thoughts were of moderate or greater turbulence and the strong downdrafts associated with virga. I decided to hold 10500 ft so that in the event that I was up-ended by turbulence or sucked into a downdraft, I would have plenty of time to recover. I tuned approach control in and I was waiting for the 10 mi to go by when we got into some terrible turbulence. My attention was focused on maintaining a level flight attitude and I forgot about everything else. When we came over the town of kiowa, I knew exactly where I was. I looked at my DME and my altimeter, and what little blood I had left in my face drained out. I forgot the turbulence and pulled as hard 180 degree as I felt safe in the conditions and dove to get out as soon as possible. There were many factors involved. Probably most significant was the WX. I have been on many 3 hour trips before this, but never have I been so beat up by the WX. That long a flight at that level of concentration was pushing me to my limits. The decision to hold at 10500 ft was also a factor. It was different than what I would normally do on that trip as well as different than my flight plan. This trip had many en route changes to the plan due to WX, but as I wore down, my ability to effect changes well also wore down. I feel comfortable with that decision -- it was definitely the right thing to do for the safety of my aircraft and my passenger. Another factor that seems counter-intuitive is training. I am currently working on my instrument ticket, and the great fear of the class B airspace that my primary instructor instilled in me is no longer there. Before this, I would have never considered going into class B airspace. There was not the least bit of concern about flying through a little corner of dia's airspace. I had done it many times on practice approachs to centennial. Where I made the mistake was in not calling den approach as soon as cos terminated radar service. One final word about the ASRS program. My impression of it has always been that it is for researchers to make the airways safer by knowing where mistakes are made. That is surely true, but as I have learned, it also makes the pilots involved think about their errors in a very thorough way, and that will make those individuals better pilots.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: THE RPTR INVOLVED IN TURB IN CESSNA 172 FAILS TO REMAIN ABOVE THE CEILING OF THE CLASS B AIRSPACE.
Narrative: ON MAR/FRI/96, I INADVERTENTLY ENTERED THE CLASS B AIRSPACE AROUND DIA AT ABOUT KIOWA. IT IS AN AREA THAT I KNOW WELL BECAUSE I DID MY TRAINING THERE. ON ANY OTHER DAY THE CHANCE OF AN AIRSPACE VIOLATION WOULD BE NIL. THE LEG OF THE TRIP WHERE I GOT INTO TROUBLE STARTED IN PUEBLO. I WAS RETURNING FROM A TRIP TO SANTA FE, AND I HAD FOUGHT TURB MOST OF THE WAY AND I WAS BEAT. WE STOPPED THERE TO HAVE A REST FROM THE BATTLE TO MAINTAIN STRAIGHT AND LEVEL FLT. WHEN I LEFT PUEBLO, I PICKED UP FLT FOLLOWING AND CLBED TO 10500 FT. JUST N OF COS, COS APCH ADVISED ME TO CONTACT DEN APCH IN ABOUT 10 MI. NORMALLY, ON THE RETURN TRIP FROM PUEBLO I JUST DROP UNDER THE CLASS B AND INTO CENTENNIAL WITHOUT CALLING DEN. COMING OVER MONUMENT HILL, THE BOTTOMS OF THE CLOUDS WERE LOOKING VERY RAGGED, AND MY THOUGHTS WERE OF MODERATE OR GREATER TURB AND THE STRONG DOWNDRAFTS ASSOCIATED WITH VIRGA. I DECIDED TO HOLD 10500 FT SO THAT IN THE EVENT THAT I WAS UP-ENDED BY TURB OR SUCKED INTO A DOWNDRAFT, I WOULD HAVE PLENTY OF TIME TO RECOVER. I TUNED APCH CTL IN AND I WAS WAITING FOR THE 10 MI TO GO BY WHEN WE GOT INTO SOME TERRIBLE TURB. MY ATTN WAS FOCUSED ON MAINTAINING A LEVEL FLT ATTITUDE AND I FORGOT ABOUT EVERYTHING ELSE. WHEN WE CAME OVER THE TOWN OF KIOWA, I KNEW EXACTLY WHERE I WAS. I LOOKED AT MY DME AND MY ALTIMETER, AND WHAT LITTLE BLOOD I HAD LEFT IN MY FACE DRAINED OUT. I FORGOT THE TURB AND PULLED AS HARD 180 DEG AS I FELT SAFE IN THE CONDITIONS AND DOVE TO GET OUT AS SOON AS POSSIBLE. THERE WERE MANY FACTORS INVOLVED. PROBABLY MOST SIGNIFICANT WAS THE WX. I HAVE BEEN ON MANY 3 HR TRIPS BEFORE THIS, BUT NEVER HAVE I BEEN SO BEAT UP BY THE WX. THAT LONG A FLT AT THAT LEVEL OF CONCENTRATION WAS PUSHING ME TO MY LIMITS. THE DECISION TO HOLD AT 10500 FT WAS ALSO A FACTOR. IT WAS DIFFERENT THAN WHAT I WOULD NORMALLY DO ON THAT TRIP AS WELL AS DIFFERENT THAN MY FLT PLAN. THIS TRIP HAD MANY ENRTE CHANGES TO THE PLAN DUE TO WX, BUT AS I WORE DOWN, MY ABILITY TO EFFECT CHANGES WELL ALSO WORE DOWN. I FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH THAT DECISION -- IT WAS DEFINITELY THE RIGHT THING TO DO FOR THE SAFETY OF MY ACFT AND MY PAX. ANOTHER FACTOR THAT SEEMS COUNTER-INTUITIVE IS TRAINING. I AM CURRENTLY WORKING ON MY INST TICKET, AND THE GREAT FEAR OF THE CLASS B AIRSPACE THAT MY PRIMARY INSTRUCTOR INSTILLED IN ME IS NO LONGER THERE. BEFORE THIS, I WOULD HAVE NEVER CONSIDERED GOING INTO CLASS B AIRSPACE. THERE WAS NOT THE LEAST BIT OF CONCERN ABOUT FLYING THROUGH A LITTLE CORNER OF DIA'S AIRSPACE. I HAD DONE IT MANY TIMES ON PRACTICE APCHS TO CENTENNIAL. WHERE I MADE THE MISTAKE WAS IN NOT CALLING DEN APCH AS SOON AS COS TERMINATED RADAR SVC. ONE FINAL WORD ABOUT THE ASRS PROGRAM. MY IMPRESSION OF IT HAS ALWAYS BEEN THAT IT IS FOR RESEARCHERS TO MAKE THE AIRWAYS SAFER BY KNOWING WHERE MISTAKES ARE MADE. THAT IS SURELY TRUE, BUT AS I HAVE LEARNED, IT ALSO MAKES THE PLTS INVOLVED THINK ABOUT THEIR ERRORS IN A VERY THOROUGH WAY, AND THAT WILL MAKE THOSE INDIVIDUALS BETTER PLTS.
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.