|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : mlb|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1400|
msl bound upper : 1400
|Controlling Facilities||tower : mco|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Any Unknown or Unlisted Aircraft Manufacturer|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 27|
flight time total : 191
flight time type : 191
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited adverse environment|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Our original flight route was from north perry (hwo) to deland (ded). After speaking with miami FSS, I decided to land at sebastian (X26) to wait until the line of thunderstorms passed. Eventually after 3 WX briefings and 6 hours, I was told the line had dissipated, ceilings were 2500 ft broken, 4000 ft overcast, and visibility was 10 mi along the remainder of my route to deland. I then filed a flight plan and departed sebastian at about XX40 local. The ceiling seemed to be about 2000 ft and visibility was good. Upon reaching melbourne I contacted the tower and was instructed to keep clear of class D. I made the mistake of vectoring to the right which would bring me into patrick class D. Also at this time there wasn't much ground lighting so I was watching the instruments as I turned. Suddenly, I found myself in IMC and was unsure which way to turn to get back out. I remained calm and attempted to get out for about 5 mins and then called st pete FSS to get help. They gave me orlando approach and I asked for a vector to a clearer area. We decided that if I climb I would break out and I did at about 3200 ft. The rest of the flight went good. I am not sure if patrick was still class D because it was around XX00 and they close and become class east at that time. I should have tried calling them but I was stressed and mostly concentrated on keeping the aircraft straight and level and trying to navigation. All I could think of was the stories I'd read of other pilots in this situation and how badly it could turn out. What I've learned and intend to talk to others about is that if there is any question whatsoever about WX conditions to always leave yourself a safe alternative because it can get very frightening if not catastrophic up there when you don't. I would also recommend everyone get an instrument rating if they wish to fly at night. I am not instrument rated, but I have about 20 hours of instruction towards it and without that, I am sure things wouldn't have turned out in my favor. From now on I won't fly unless conditions are substantially higher than marginal.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: NON INST RATED PVT PLT OF AN SMA ON VFR FLT WHILE ENRTE FLIES INTO IMC AND PENETRATES CLASS D AIRSPACE. HE CONTACTED FSS FOR A FLT ASSIST AND WAS GIVEN A NEARBY APCH CTL FOR HELP. HE WAS GIVEN CLB TO ON TOP AND THE REST OF THE TRIP WENT OK.
Narrative: OUR ORIGINAL FLT RTE WAS FROM NORTH PERRY (HWO) TO DELAND (DED). AFTER SPEAKING WITH MIAMI FSS, I DECIDED TO LAND AT SEBASTIAN (X26) TO WAIT UNTIL THE LINE OF TSTMS PASSED. EVENTUALLY AFTER 3 WX BRIEFINGS AND 6 HRS, I WAS TOLD THE LINE HAD DISSIPATED, CEILINGS WERE 2500 FT BROKEN, 4000 FT OVCST, AND VISIBILITY WAS 10 MI ALONG THE REMAINDER OF MY RTE TO DELAND. I THEN FILED A FLT PLAN AND DEPARTED SEBASTIAN AT ABOUT XX40 LCL. THE CEILING SEEMED TO BE ABOUT 2000 FT AND VISIBILITY WAS GOOD. UPON REACHING MELBOURNE I CONTACTED THE TWR AND WAS INSTRUCTED TO KEEP CLR OF CLASS D. I MADE THE MISTAKE OF VECTORING TO THE R WHICH WOULD BRING ME INTO PATRICK CLASS D. ALSO AT THIS TIME THERE WASN'T MUCH GND LIGHTING SO I WAS WATCHING THE INSTS AS I TURNED. SUDDENLY, I FOUND MYSELF IN IMC AND WAS UNSURE WHICH WAY TO TURN TO GET BACK OUT. I REMAINED CALM AND ATTEMPTED TO GET OUT FOR ABOUT 5 MINS AND THEN CALLED ST PETE FSS TO GET HELP. THEY GAVE ME ORLANDO APCH AND I ASKED FOR A VECTOR TO A CLEARER AREA. WE DECIDED THAT IF I CLB I WOULD BREAK OUT AND I DID AT ABOUT 3200 FT. THE REST OF THE FLT WENT GOOD. I AM NOT SURE IF PATRICK WAS STILL CLASS D BECAUSE IT WAS AROUND XX00 AND THEY CLOSE AND BECOME CLASS E AT THAT TIME. I SHOULD HAVE TRIED CALLING THEM BUT I WAS STRESSED AND MOSTLY CONCENTRATED ON KEEPING THE ACFT STRAIGHT AND LEVEL AND TRYING TO NAV. ALL I COULD THINK OF WAS THE STORIES I'D READ OF OTHER PLTS IN THIS SIT AND HOW BADLY IT COULD TURN OUT. WHAT I'VE LEARNED AND INTEND TO TALK TO OTHERS ABOUT IS THAT IF THERE IS ANY QUESTION WHATSOEVER ABOUT WX CONDITIONS TO ALWAYS LEAVE YOURSELF A SAFE ALTERNATIVE BECAUSE IT CAN GET VERY FRIGHTENING IF NOT CATASTROPHIC UP THERE WHEN YOU DON'T. I WOULD ALSO RECOMMEND EVERYONE GET AN INST RATING IF THEY WISH TO FLY AT NIGHT. I AM NOT INST RATED, BUT I HAVE ABOUT 20 HRS OF INSTRUCTION TOWARDS IT AND WITHOUT THAT, I AM SURE THINGS WOULDN'T HAVE TURNED OUT IN MY FAVOR. FROM NOW ON I WON'T FLY UNLESS CONDITIONS ARE SUBSTANTIALLY HIGHER THAN MARGINAL.
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.