|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : 7a8|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 800
|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 : 18|
flight time total : 190
flight time type : 65
|Function||observation : passenger|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
Day VFR flight from wilmington to avery county airport spruce pine, nc. Filed VFR flight plan and closed in hickory, nc. We landed hickory, nc, and called avery county airport for WX into avery county. Report was minimum haze good visibility. We departed hickory with about 1 hour 45 min fuel. We were unable to find the avery county airport because of poor visibility. Our GPS told us we were over avery airport but could not see it. New bern flight watch did not tell us about a NOTAM that all GPS system were inaccurate due to the missile attack on iraq. About 30-40 mins later we landed at the banner elk airport in hopes of taking on fuel but none was available. We again departed with directions to avery county airport. We were not able to locate avery county after repeated calls to charlotte approach. We were told when passing charlotte's airspace that the radar was out for maintenance below 10000 ft for 5 hours so we could not get vectors to avery county as planned. With about 40 mins of fuel remaining we were still unable to find airport. I then decided to remain in a valley with good visibility over a golf course. The remaining fuel could and would not get us back over the mountains to safety. Our situation was getting desperate. After getting calls and help from local pilots to get us out, but with visibility getting worse, we decided if we ran out of fuel this would be the best option. Our fuel ran out, I set for a landing on the golf course but several golfers were playing. I decided to land on highway 221, pineola, nc. A safe landing was made with no injury to people on ground or to crew. Very little damage to airplane. What would I do different next time? Refuel in hickory before going further and receive several hours of mountain flying from a CFI in that area. I would also receive a more detailed WX report from avery county airport from a qualified pilot. Had I known the haze was as bad as it was I would have parked the plane and rented a car for the remaining trip. I have also learned that mountain flying can be fun but more planning needs to be made before arriving and going further. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter states that his passenger pilot had done all the work obtaining the briefing and planning the flight. He did not request NOTAMS and was not given any. Reporter feels something as important as a GPS change should be part of the normal briefing and one should not have to request it. The radar at charlotte was OTS and they were not informed of that either. Since the planned flight took them into charlotte's airspace that should have been part of the normal briefing. This was a 15 min flight from hickory to avery county airport and 1 hour and 45 mins of fuel seemed quite adequate. When he realized the GPS was giving wrong information he was too low to receive any VOR signals. He also was too low for good radio contact. Charlotte could not hear them, but they could hear charlotte. Another pilot was relaying messages to them. Reporter has received a letter from FAA and has been taking remedial training from a safety officer at his FBO. Analyst questioned reporter about dead reckoning navigation, but he indicated that not having flown in the mountains before he was totally disoriented. Aircraft was a C172.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: LACK OF NOTAM INFO REGARDING GPS CHANGE BY MIL WHEN MISSILE ACTIVITY OCCURRING LEADS TO DISORIENTATION AND EMER LNDG.
Narrative: DAY VFR FLT FROM WILMINGTON TO AVERY COUNTY ARPT SPRUCE PINE, NC. FILED VFR FLT PLAN AND CLOSED IN HICKORY, NC. WE LANDED HICKORY, NC, AND CALLED AVERY COUNTY ARPT FOR WX INTO AVERY COUNTY. RPT WAS MINIMUM HAZE GOOD VISIBILITY. WE DEPARTED HICKORY WITH ABOUT 1 HR 45 MIN FUEL. WE WERE UNABLE TO FIND THE AVERY COUNTY ARPT BECAUSE OF POOR VISIBILITY. OUR GPS TOLD US WE WERE OVER AVERY ARPT BUT COULD NOT SEE IT. NEW BERN FLT WATCH DID NOT TELL US ABOUT A NOTAM THAT ALL GPS SYS WERE INACCURATE DUE TO THE MISSILE ATTACK ON IRAQ. ABOUT 30-40 MINS LATER WE LANDED AT THE BANNER ELK ARPT IN HOPES OF TAKING ON FUEL BUT NONE WAS AVAILABLE. WE AGAIN DEPARTED WITH DIRECTIONS TO AVERY COUNTY ARPT. WE WERE NOT ABLE TO LOCATE AVERY COUNTY AFTER REPEATED CALLS TO CHARLOTTE APCH. WE WERE TOLD WHEN PASSING CHARLOTTE'S AIRSPACE THAT THE RADAR WAS OUT FOR MAINT BELOW 10000 FT FOR 5 HRS SO WE COULD NOT GET VECTORS TO AVERY COUNTY AS PLANNED. WITH ABOUT 40 MINS OF FUEL REMAINING WE WERE STILL UNABLE TO FIND ARPT. I THEN DECIDED TO REMAIN IN A VALLEY WITH GOOD VISIBILITY OVER A GOLF COURSE. THE REMAINING FUEL COULD AND WOULD NOT GET US BACK OVER THE MOUNTAINS TO SAFETY. OUR SIT WAS GETTING DESPERATE. AFTER GETTING CALLS AND HELP FROM LCL PLTS TO GET US OUT, BUT WITH VISIBILITY GETTING WORSE, WE DECIDED IF WE RAN OUT OF FUEL THIS WOULD BE THE BEST OPTION. OUR FUEL RAN OUT, I SET FOR A LNDG ON THE GOLF COURSE BUT SEVERAL GOLFERS WERE PLAYING. I DECIDED TO LAND ON HWY 221, PINEOLA, NC. A SAFE LNDG WAS MADE WITH NO INJURY TO PEOPLE ON GND OR TO CREW. VERY LITTLE DAMAGE TO AIRPLANE. WHAT WOULD I DO DIFFERENT NEXT TIME? REFUEL IN HICKORY BEFORE GOING FURTHER AND RECEIVE SEVERAL HRS OF MOUNTAIN FLYING FROM A CFI IN THAT AREA. I WOULD ALSO RECEIVE A MORE DETAILED WX RPT FROM AVERY COUNTY ARPT FROM A QUALIFIED PLT. HAD I KNOWN THE HAZE WAS AS BAD AS IT WAS I WOULD HAVE PARKED THE PLANE AND RENTED A CAR FOR THE REMAINING TRIP. I HAVE ALSO LEARNED THAT MOUNTAIN FLYING CAN BE FUN BUT MORE PLANNING NEEDS TO BE MADE BEFORE ARRIVING AND GOING FURTHER. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATES THAT HIS PAX PLT HAD DONE ALL THE WORK OBTAINING THE BRIEFING AND PLANNING THE FLT. HE DID NOT REQUEST NOTAMS AND WAS NOT GIVEN ANY. RPTR FEELS SOMETHING AS IMPORTANT AS A GPS CHANGE SHOULD BE PART OF THE NORMAL BRIEFING AND ONE SHOULD NOT HAVE TO REQUEST IT. THE RADAR AT CHARLOTTE WAS OTS AND THEY WERE NOT INFORMED OF THAT EITHER. SINCE THE PLANNED FLT TOOK THEM INTO CHARLOTTE'S AIRSPACE THAT SHOULD HAVE BEEN PART OF THE NORMAL BRIEFING. THIS WAS A 15 MIN FLT FROM HICKORY TO AVERY COUNTY ARPT AND 1 HR AND 45 MINS OF FUEL SEEMED QUITE ADEQUATE. WHEN HE REALIZED THE GPS WAS GIVING WRONG INFO HE WAS TOO LOW TO RECEIVE ANY VOR SIGNALS. HE ALSO WAS TOO LOW FOR GOOD RADIO CONTACT. CHARLOTTE COULD NOT HEAR THEM, BUT THEY COULD HEAR CHARLOTTE. ANOTHER PLT WAS RELAYING MESSAGES TO THEM. RPTR HAS RECEIVED A LETTER FROM FAA AND HAS BEEN TAKING REMEDIAL TRAINING FROM A SAFETY OFFICER AT HIS FBO. ANALYST QUESTIONED RPTR ABOUT DEAD RECKONING NAV, BUT HE INDICATED THAT NOT HAVING FLOWN IN THE MOUNTAINS BEFORE HE WAS TOTALLY DISORIENTED. ACFT WAS A C172.
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.