|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : etx|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 6000|
msl bound upper : 6000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : abe|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||PA-28 Cherokee/Archer II/Dakota/Pillan/Warrior|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 28|
flight time total : 2500
flight time type : 37
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
While on an IFR flight plan from ldj to agc after passing etx VOR at my assigned cruising altitude of 6000 ft, I had an electrical failure. The radio receiver was my first indication of trouble from a background noise in my headphones. Several attempts to establish communications failed to produce results on the assigned frequency. I reset all breakers, battery and alternator switches. After shutting off all equipment except for one transmitter, I tried to re- establish communications using my headset and hand microphone. Listening on my last assigned frequency from allentown approach (on which I had previous communications), etx VOR or 121.5 resulted in no response. I made a blind transmission to allentown approach of electrical failure and to cancel IFR and that I would proceed VFR. I then executed a climb to 6500 ft MSL and began to further assess the situation and my position. I expected ATC to treat me as a radio out case and proceeded to follow my cleared route at a VFR altitude. By pilotage I established my position after some searching on my WAC chart to be north of the town of altoona, PA. From that location I proceeded west toward allegheny county airport. After further confirmation of my position by visual identify of the johnstown and latrobe airports and at a point about 10 mi north of latrobe I descended to 2200 ft MSL to land at the pittsburgh-boquet airport. I searched for about 15-20 mins for the airport but was unable to locate it. I elected to proceed to rostraver airport which I located and landed at after executing a go around on the first pass when I thought the gear might not be down since I had no indicator lights. (The sounds, feel and dreg seemed ok but attitude on flare seemed wrong.) the gear was down and locked as evident by the successful arrival on the second attempt. I contacted altoona flight service by phone from the airport manager's office and reported my arrival and circumstances of my flight. The flight service specialist put me on hold for at least 5 mins and then came back on the line and asked who I was talking with when I lost radio contact. After a few more mins he returned on the line and acknowledged my flight plan cancellation. When I removed the battery to check its condition I found the positive lead only finger tight and corroded. Also the cable was secured by a wing nut and 2 flat washers -- no lock washer. After cleaning the contact surfaces and securing the connection the electrical system functioned normally.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PA28 PLT SUFFERS A LOSS OF ELECTRICAL, MAKING HIM NORDO TFC DURING AN IFR FLT. PLT EXECUTED THE LOST COM PROC AFTER BEING UNABLE TO COM WITH ANY STATION AND LANDED AT P53, PA. FOUND A LOOSE CABLE TO BATTERY. THE CABLE WAS NOT SECURED PROPERLY.
Narrative: WHILE ON AN IFR FLT PLAN FROM LDJ TO AGC AFTER PASSING ETX VOR AT MY ASSIGNED CRUISING ALT OF 6000 FT, I HAD AN ELECTRICAL FAILURE. THE RADIO RECEIVER WAS MY FIRST INDICATION OF TROUBLE FROM A BACKGROUND NOISE IN MY HEADPHONES. SEVERAL ATTEMPTS TO ESTABLISH COMS FAILED TO PRODUCE RESULTS ON THE ASSIGNED FREQ. I RESET ALL BREAKERS, BATTERY AND ALTERNATOR SWITCHES. AFTER SHUTTING OFF ALL EQUIP EXCEPT FOR ONE XMITTER, I TRIED TO RE- ESTABLISH COMS USING MY HEADSET AND HAND MIKE. LISTENING ON MY LAST ASSIGNED FREQ FROM ALLENTOWN APCH (ON WHICH I HAD PREVIOUS COMS), ETX VOR OR 121.5 RESULTED IN NO RESPONSE. I MADE A BLIND XMISSION TO ALLENTOWN APCH OF ELECTRICAL FAILURE AND TO CANCEL IFR AND THAT I WOULD PROCEED VFR. I THEN EXECUTED A CLB TO 6500 FT MSL AND BEGAN TO FURTHER ASSESS THE SIT AND MY POS. I EXPECTED ATC TO TREAT ME AS A RADIO OUT CASE AND PROCEEDED TO FOLLOW MY CLRED RTE AT A VFR ALT. BY PILOTAGE I ESTABLISHED MY POS AFTER SOME SEARCHING ON MY WAC CHART TO BE N OF THE TOWN OF ALTOONA, PA. FROM THAT LOCATION I PROCEEDED W TOWARD ALLEGHENY COUNTY ARPT. AFTER FURTHER CONFIRMATION OF MY POS BY VISUAL IDENT OF THE JOHNSTOWN AND LATROBE ARPTS AND AT A POINT ABOUT 10 MI N OF LATROBE I DSNDED TO 2200 FT MSL TO LAND AT THE PITTSBURGH-BOQUET ARPT. I SEARCHED FOR ABOUT 15-20 MINS FOR THE ARPT BUT WAS UNABLE TO LOCATE IT. I ELECTED TO PROCEED TO ROSTRAVER ARPT WHICH I LOCATED AND LANDED AT AFTER EXECUTING A GAR ON THE FIRST PASS WHEN I THOUGHT THE GEAR MIGHT NOT BE DOWN SINCE I HAD NO INDICATOR LIGHTS. (THE SOUNDS, FEEL AND DREG SEEMED OK BUT ATTITUDE ON FLARE SEEMED WRONG.) THE GEAR WAS DOWN AND LOCKED AS EVIDENT BY THE SUCCESSFUL ARR ON THE SECOND ATTEMPT. I CONTACTED ALTOONA FLT SVC BY PHONE FROM THE ARPT MGR'S OFFICE AND RPTED MY ARR AND CIRCUMSTANCES OF MY FLT. THE FLT SVC SPECIALIST PUT ME ON HOLD FOR AT LEAST 5 MINS AND THEN CAME BACK ON THE LINE AND ASKED WHO I WAS TALKING WITH WHEN I LOST RADIO CONTACT. AFTER A FEW MORE MINS HE RETURNED ON THE LINE AND ACKNOWLEDGED MY FLT PLAN CANCELLATION. WHEN I REMOVED THE BATTERY TO CHK ITS CONDITION I FOUND THE POSITIVE LEAD ONLY FINGER TIGHT AND CORRODED. ALSO THE CABLE WAS SECURED BY A WING NUT AND 2 FLAT WASHERS -- NO LOCK WASHER. AFTER CLEANING THE CONTACT SURFACES AND SECURING THE CONNECTION THE ELECTRICAL SYS FUNCTIONED NORMALLY.
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.