|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : cno|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 2000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : cno|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
descent : approach
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 730
flight time type : 25
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : overcame equipment problem|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
faa : reviewed incident with flight crew
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The flight on apr/sat/96 began at approximately XA30 am. I launched my hot air balloon from prado regional park with 2 passenger on board. The ATC at chino airport is approximately 2.2 mi north of the launch point at a bearing of approximately 355 degrees. The wind at the launch point was light and variable. I believe the surface winds at the airport at the time were 020 degrees at 6 KTS. The normal winds for the morning flts from prado regional park are usually to the wnw (280 degrees). Upon lifting off, I picked up my handheld radio and established radio contact with cno. I stated my intentions were to stay in the area of prado regional park. Cno ATCT acknowledged my intentions and I placed the radio back in its holder and could hear the control tower operator advise departing and arriving planes that a hot air balloon was operating south of the airport in the area of prado park. As I began my ascent, I noticed my direction of travel begin taking me easterly out of the park and towards the california institute for women. The area to the east and north of the prison is the san bernardino county dairy preserve. There are many thousands of dairy cows in the preserve, so the balloons avoid flying into this area. Because of my direction of travel was beginning to take the balloon toward the prison and dairy preserve, I began to climb to catch the expected wnw wind direction. As the balloon continued to rise to 1000 ft AGL (1650 ft MSL), the direction of travel began to change to the north, towards chino airport. This was not a desired direction of travel either because we did not want to disrupt the operation of the airport. I continued to climb to find the wind direction towards the wnw. At this time I did not notice that I wasn't hearing radio traffic on my aircraft radio from cno ATCT as I was concentrating on reaching the altitude for the wind to the wnw. The balloon finally started going to the wnw but very slowly. By this time the balloon had drifted over the dairy on the northeast side of the park. I looked at my altimeter and read that it indicated 3200 ft, I picked up my aircraft radio to contact cno and discovered that it was not working. I immediately started a steep descent to get down to a lower altitude for landing. During my descent, I changed batteries in my aircraft radio and then re-established contact with cno ATCT. The tower operator indicated that he had tried to contact me at least 10 times with no response and that I had entered class C airspace. I told the tower operator my radio situation and that I was looking for a place to land. The operator asked me to contact the control tower by telephone after I had landed. Upon landing in a farmer's field just north of prado park, I called chino tower and they informed me that I had violated class C airspace without permission and that they would have to file a pilot deviation report. Because of the direction of flight the balloon was traveling, my immediate concern was to find a safe location for landing. I could not land on the prison property nor could I land within the confines of a dairy. The possibility of scaring the cows was of the utmost concern. At the time, the only alternative was to climb and find a change in direction of wind. The aircraft radio malfunction occurring during the flight compounded the problem. My concern was first the safety of my aircraft and passenger by not flying into an area that would have been hazardous to both the balloon/passenger and the surrounding locations on the ground. Secondly, I was trying to stay out of chino airport's takeoff pattern. The direction north would have taken the balloon right to the end of the takeoff runway. We would have been a hazard to the planes taking off. When I realized the situation, I took the immediate action necessary to get the balloon back on the ground safely.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A HOT AIR BALLOON, WITH A MALFUNCTIONING RADIO, FLEW INTO CLASS C AIRSPACE WITHOUT ATC CLRNC.
Narrative: THE FLT ON APR/SAT/96 BEGAN AT APPROX XA30 AM. I LAUNCHED MY HOT AIR BALLOON FROM PRADO REGIONAL PARK WITH 2 PAX ON BOARD. THE ATC AT CHINO ARPT IS APPROX 2.2 MI N OF THE LAUNCH POINT AT A BEARING OF APPROX 355 DEGS. THE WIND AT THE LAUNCH POINT WAS LIGHT AND VARIABLE. I BELIEVE THE SURFACE WINDS AT THE ARPT AT THE TIME WERE 020 DEGS AT 6 KTS. THE NORMAL WINDS FOR THE MORNING FLTS FROM PRADO REGIONAL PARK ARE USUALLY TO THE WNW (280 DEGS). UPON LIFTING OFF, I PICKED UP MY HANDHELD RADIO AND ESTABLISHED RADIO CONTACT WITH CNO. I STATED MY INTENTIONS WERE TO STAY IN THE AREA OF PRADO REGIONAL PARK. CNO ATCT ACKNOWLEDGED MY INTENTIONS AND I PLACED THE RADIO BACK IN ITS HOLDER AND COULD HEAR THE CTL TWR OPERATOR ADVISE DEPARTING AND ARRIVING PLANES THAT A HOT AIR BALLOON WAS OPERATING S OF THE ARPT IN THE AREA OF PRADO PARK. AS I BEGAN MY ASCENT, I NOTICED MY DIRECTION OF TRAVEL BEGIN TAKING ME EASTERLY OUT OF THE PARK AND TOWARDS THE CALIFORNIA INSTITUTE FOR WOMEN. THE AREA TO THE E AND N OF THE PRISON IS THE SAN BERNARDINO COUNTY DAIRY PRESERVE. THERE ARE MANY THOUSANDS OF DAIRY COWS IN THE PRESERVE, SO THE BALLOONS AVOID FLYING INTO THIS AREA. BECAUSE OF MY DIRECTION OF TRAVEL WAS BEGINNING TO TAKE THE BALLOON TOWARD THE PRISON AND DAIRY PRESERVE, I BEGAN TO CLB TO CATCH THE EXPECTED WNW WIND DIRECTION. AS THE BALLOON CONTINUED TO RISE TO 1000 FT AGL (1650 FT MSL), THE DIRECTION OF TRAVEL BEGAN TO CHANGE TO THE N, TOWARDS CHINO ARPT. THIS WAS NOT A DESIRED DIRECTION OF TRAVEL EITHER BECAUSE WE DID NOT WANT TO DISRUPT THE OP OF THE ARPT. I CONTINUED TO CLB TO FIND THE WIND DIRECTION TOWARDS THE WNW. AT THIS TIME I DID NOT NOTICE THAT I WASN'T HEARING RADIO TFC ON MY ACFT RADIO FROM CNO ATCT AS I WAS CONCENTRATING ON REACHING THE ALT FOR THE WIND TO THE WNW. THE BALLOON FINALLY STARTED GOING TO THE WNW BUT VERY SLOWLY. BY THIS TIME THE BALLOON HAD DRIFTED OVER THE DAIRY ON THE NE SIDE OF THE PARK. I LOOKED AT MY ALTIMETER AND READ THAT IT INDICATED 3200 FT, I PICKED UP MY ACFT RADIO TO CONTACT CNO AND DISCOVERED THAT IT WAS NOT WORKING. I IMMEDIATELY STARTED A STEEP DSCNT TO GET DOWN TO A LOWER ALT FOR LNDG. DURING MY DSCNT, I CHANGED BATTERIES IN MY ACFT RADIO AND THEN RE-ESTABLISHED CONTACT WITH CNO ATCT. THE TWR OPERATOR INDICATED THAT HE HAD TRIED TO CONTACT ME AT LEAST 10 TIMES WITH NO RESPONSE AND THAT I HAD ENTERED CLASS C AIRSPACE. I TOLD THE TWR OPERATOR MY RADIO SIT AND THAT I WAS LOOKING FOR A PLACE TO LAND. THE OPERATOR ASKED ME TO CONTACT THE CTL TWR BY TELEPHONE AFTER I HAD LANDED. UPON LNDG IN A FARMER'S FIELD JUST N OF PRADO PARK, I CALLED CHINO TWR AND THEY INFORMED ME THAT I HAD VIOLATED CLASS C AIRSPACE WITHOUT PERMISSION AND THAT THEY WOULD HAVE TO FILE A PLTDEV RPT. BECAUSE OF THE DIRECTION OF FLT THE BALLOON WAS TRAVELING, MY IMMEDIATE CONCERN WAS TO FIND A SAFE LOCATION FOR LNDG. I COULD NOT LAND ON THE PRISON PROPERTY NOR COULD I LAND WITHIN THE CONFINES OF A DAIRY. THE POSSIBILITY OF SCARING THE COWS WAS OF THE UTMOST CONCERN. AT THE TIME, THE ONLY ALTERNATIVE WAS TO CLB AND FIND A CHANGE IN DIRECTION OF WIND. THE ACFT RADIO MALFUNCTION OCCURRING DURING THE FLT COMPOUNDED THE PROB. MY CONCERN WAS FIRST THE SAFETY OF MY ACFT AND PAX BY NOT FLYING INTO AN AREA THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN HAZARDOUS TO BOTH THE BALLOON/PAX AND THE SURROUNDING LOCATIONS ON THE GND. SECONDLY, I WAS TRYING TO STAY OUT OF CHINO ARPT'S TKOF PATTERN. THE DIRECTION N WOULD HAVE TAKEN THE BALLOON RIGHT TO THE END OF THE TKOF RWY. WE WOULD HAVE BEEN A HAZARD TO THE PLANES TAKING OFF. WHEN I REALIZED THE SIT, I TOOK THE IMMEDIATE ACTION NECESSARY TO GET THE BALLOON BACK ON THE GND SAFELY.
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.