|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : bwd|
airport : com
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 600|
agl bound upper : 1200
|Operator||general aviation : corporate|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 133|
flight time total : 2365
flight time type : 255
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
inflight encounter : weather
other anomaly other
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
While en route from texarkana, ar, to coleman, tx, we were on an IFR flight plan. We encountered solid IMC around cedar creek VOR, but as we passed glen rose VOR the WX at our cruising altitude of 6000 ft began to clear. I had been briefed that coleman NDB was OTS, and that forecast conditions for our arrival would be a ceiling of between 1500 ft and 2000 ft. Between cqy and jen, I radioed flight watch and they indicated that at abi and sjt, the closest reporting points, VFR conditions prevailed. A commuter flight departing brownwood indicated that there were a few clouds at 1500 ft and that the ceiling was about 3000 ft (MSL I assumed). Knowing that the MVA in the area was 4000 ft or 5000 ft, and knowing that I would be unable to do the NDB approach at coleman, I knew that our only chance at getting into communication would be to proceed VFR under the overcast. Just northeast of brownwood, there was a large hole in the clouds, through which I could see the ground. I decided to cancel IFR and descended VFR. ZFW told me to maintain VFR. I remained with them for advisories because I was still 25 mi from my destination. I descended and got below the clouds at 2000 ft MSL (600-700 ft AGL). I maintained VFR in class G airspace. The WX had begun to deteriorate and conditions were worse than both the forecast and the PIREP I had received. As I headed over brownwood lake, I realized that I would be unable to maintain VFR for much longer. Unwilling to descend farther, I radioed ZFW and requested another IFR clearance and a climb. I was told to stand by. At that time, I entered IMC. Since I was so close to the ground and conditions had changed so rapidly, as I waited for my clearance, I decided to start a climb away from obstructions. At this point, I figured that climbing straight ahead into IMC was safer than attempting a low altitude 180 degree turn back to conditions I was unsure were still VMC. As I passed 2500 ft MSL, center cleared me back on course with a climb to 5000 ft. I ended my flight with a localizer approach into bwd. There were, to my knowledge, no further problems. To the best of my knowledge, I did not enter controled airspace before being cleared to do so. While it would have been best not to have ever gotten myself into the situation in the first place, once presented with the situation, it was safer to climb rather than attempt a low altitude 180 degree IMC turn over unfamiliar terrain. I was in contact with center the whole time and was certain that there were no other aircraft in the area, and that I presented no hazard to other aircraft as I climbed. ATC was not put out by my actions and there were no further incidents during the flight. In the future, I realize that it will be better to land at an alternate airport, svced by an operational approach, than to attempt to fly under clouds, in marginal conditions, to my intended destination.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: A C310 INSTRUCTOR PLT ATTEMPTS A SCUD RUNNING OP WHEN ENCOUNTERING LOWER CLOUDS NEAR HIS DEST. THE IFR CLRNC HAD BEEN CANCELED SINCE HIS DEST ARPT, COM, TX, HAD AN NDB THAT WAS OTS, CREATING THE NEED FOR A VISUAL APCH.
Narrative: WHILE ENRTE FROM TEXARKANA, AR, TO COLEMAN, TX, WE WERE ON AN IFR FLT PLAN. WE ENCOUNTERED SOLID IMC AROUND CEDAR CREEK VOR, BUT AS WE PASSED GLEN ROSE VOR THE WX AT OUR CRUISING ALT OF 6000 FT BEGAN TO CLR. I HAD BEEN BRIEFED THAT COLEMAN NDB WAS OTS, AND THAT FORECAST CONDITIONS FOR OUR ARR WOULD BE A CEILING OF BTWN 1500 FT AND 2000 FT. BTWN CQY AND JEN, I RADIOED FLT WATCH AND THEY INDICATED THAT AT ABI AND SJT, THE CLOSEST RPTING POINTS, VFR CONDITIONS PREVAILED. A COMMUTER FLT DEPARTING BROWNWOOD INDICATED THAT THERE WERE A FEW CLOUDS AT 1500 FT AND THAT THE CEILING WAS ABOUT 3000 FT (MSL I ASSUMED). KNOWING THAT THE MVA IN THE AREA WAS 4000 FT OR 5000 FT, AND KNOWING THAT I WOULD BE UNABLE TO DO THE NDB APCH AT COLEMAN, I KNEW THAT OUR ONLY CHANCE AT GETTING INTO COM WOULD BE TO PROCEED VFR UNDER THE OVCST. JUST NE OF BROWNWOOD, THERE WAS A LARGE HOLE IN THE CLOUDS, THROUGH WHICH I COULD SEE THE GND. I DECIDED TO CANCEL IFR AND DSNDED VFR. ZFW TOLD ME TO MAINTAIN VFR. I REMAINED WITH THEM FOR ADVISORIES BECAUSE I WAS STILL 25 MI FROM MY DEST. I DSNDED AND GOT BELOW THE CLOUDS AT 2000 FT MSL (600-700 FT AGL). I MAINTAINED VFR IN CLASS G AIRSPACE. THE WX HAD BEGUN TO DETERIORATE AND CONDITIONS WERE WORSE THAN BOTH THE FORECAST AND THE PIREP I HAD RECEIVED. AS I HEADED OVER BROWNWOOD LAKE, I REALIZED THAT I WOULD BE UNABLE TO MAINTAIN VFR FOR MUCH LONGER. UNWILLING TO DSND FARTHER, I RADIOED ZFW AND REQUESTED ANOTHER IFR CLRNC AND A CLB. I WAS TOLD TO STAND BY. AT THAT TIME, I ENTERED IMC. SINCE I WAS SO CLOSE TO THE GND AND CONDITIONS HAD CHANGED SO RAPIDLY, AS I WAITED FOR MY CLRNC, I DECIDED TO START A CLB AWAY FROM OBSTRUCTIONS. AT THIS POINT, I FIGURED THAT CLBING STRAIGHT AHEAD INTO IMC WAS SAFER THAN ATTEMPTING A LOW ALT 180 DEG TURN BACK TO CONDITIONS I WAS UNSURE WERE STILL VMC. AS I PASSED 2500 FT MSL, CTR CLRED ME BACK ON COURSE WITH A CLB TO 5000 FT. I ENDED MY FLT WITH A LOC APCH INTO BWD. THERE WERE, TO MY KNOWLEDGE, NO FURTHER PROBS. TO THE BEST OF MY KNOWLEDGE, I DID NOT ENTER CTLED AIRSPACE BEFORE BEING CLRED TO DO SO. WHILE IT WOULD HAVE BEEN BEST NOT TO HAVE EVER GOTTEN MYSELF INTO THE SIT IN THE FIRST PLACE, ONCE PRESENTED WITH THE SIT, IT WAS SAFER TO CLB RATHER THAN ATTEMPT A LOW ALT 180 DEG IMC TURN OVER UNFAMILIAR TERRAIN. I WAS IN CONTACT WITH CTR THE WHOLE TIME AND WAS CERTAIN THAT THERE WERE NO OTHER ACFT IN THE AREA, AND THAT I PRESENTED NO HAZARD TO OTHER ACFT AS I CLBED. ATC WAS NOT PUT OUT BY MY ACTIONS AND THERE WERE NO FURTHER INCIDENTS DURING THE FLT. IN THE FUTURE, I REALIZE THAT IT WILL BE BETTER TO LAND AT AN ALTERNATE ARPT, SVCED BY AN OPERATIONAL APCH, THAN TO ATTEMPT TO FLY UNDER CLOUDS, IN MARGINAL CONDITIONS, TO MY INTENDED DEST.
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.