|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : flg|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 7500|
msl bound upper : 8000
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
While on a VFR flight from ffz, falcon field, mesa, az to ble, bryce canyon, ut, I encountered a 1000 ft ceiling in the vicinity which I felt I was legal to navigation under. While in the surface class east extension near flg, I was able to easily maintain 500 ft below the ceiling and probably close to 8 mi visibility. Occasionally, however, I was not able to maintain my standard 500 ft AGL which I feel comfortable with. I came to the realization that my definition of sparsely populated may be different from the FAA's. Although I avoided all buildings by at least 500 ft, I suppose I may have incurred on that limit if an unseen fence or some such thing is considered a structure. I have ran this regulation by several pilots and CFI's, and while pretty much everybody can virtually quote the regulation, no one had any knowledge of the definitions of 'congested areas,' 'other than congested areas,' 'sparsely populated areas,' or what 'structure' implies. While I don't believe that I violated any far, the ambiguous nature of 91.119's wording had me wondering. I intend to call the local FSDO and get clear on this.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: WHILE REMAINING CLR OF CLOUDS, SMA FLEW LESS THAN 500 FT ABOVE THE GND.
Narrative: WHILE ON A VFR FLT FROM FFZ, FALCON FIELD, MESA, AZ TO BLE, BRYCE CANYON, UT, I ENCOUNTERED A 1000 FT CEILING IN THE VICINITY WHICH I FELT I WAS LEGAL TO NAV UNDER. WHILE IN THE SURFACE CLASS E EXTENSION NEAR FLG, I WAS ABLE TO EASILY MAINTAIN 500 FT BELOW THE CEILING AND PROBABLY CLOSE TO 8 MI VISIBILITY. OCCASIONALLY, HOWEVER, I WAS NOT ABLE TO MAINTAIN MY STANDARD 500 FT AGL WHICH I FEEL COMFORTABLE WITH. I CAME TO THE REALIZATION THAT MY DEFINITION OF SPARSELY POPULATED MAY BE DIFFERENT FROM THE FAA'S. ALTHOUGH I AVOIDED ALL BUILDINGS BY AT LEAST 500 FT, I SUPPOSE I MAY HAVE INCURRED ON THAT LIMIT IF AN UNSEEN FENCE OR SOME SUCH THING IS CONSIDERED A STRUCTURE. I HAVE RAN THIS REG BY SEVERAL PLTS AND CFI'S, AND WHILE PRETTY MUCH EVERYBODY CAN VIRTUALLY QUOTE THE REG, NO ONE HAD ANY KNOWLEDGE OF THE DEFINITIONS OF 'CONGESTED AREAS,' 'OTHER THAN CONGESTED AREAS,' 'SPARSELY POPULATED AREAS,' OR WHAT 'STRUCTURE' IMPLIES. WHILE I DON'T BELIEVE THAT I VIOLATED ANY FAR, THE AMBIGUOUS NATURE OF 91.119'S WORDING HAD ME WONDERING. I INTEND TO CALL THE LCL FSDO AND GET CLR ON THIS.
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.