|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : olv|
airport : olv
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2000|
msl bound upper : 3000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : lga|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : mem|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 40|
flight time total : 455
flight time type : 220
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
The WX was 400 ft and 1 1/2 mi visibility. I was being radar vectored at my assigned altitude of 3000 ft by mem approach to intercept the localizer DME runway 18 approach to olv. Before intercepting the localizer, I was cleared for the approach once established on the localizer. Once established and approaching olv, I was expecting the controller to assign me 2000 ft, the published altitude for the FAF. (This is a radar required approach with no procedure turn, transition route, initial or intermediate segments. The only published segment is from the FAF to missed approach and to the hold.) as I continued the approach, I asked for 2000 ft. The controller responded with 'you are cleared for the approach' never assigning the requested altitude. As I approached the FAF, I concluded from the controller's last transmission that he must be expecting me to descend to cross the FAF at 2000 ft, the published intercept. I discussed the event with an instructor and was told that once cleared for the approach I could descend to 2000 ft to intercept the FAF at the published altitude of 2000 ft. I later referred to the FARS and concluded that I should have remained at my last assigned altitude unless assigned another altitude or I was on a published part of the approach. Again, the only published part of the approach is from the FAF to missed approach to the hold. I believe my mistake was assuming what I thought the controller wanted and not querying the controller in detail as to why he was leaving me at an altitude that was having me cross the FAF 1000 ft higher than published. I believe the controller should have assigned 2000 ft prior to the FAF. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following information: reporter stated that he remained somewhat doubtful with regard to the legality of descending prior to the published portion of the approach. It was pointed out to him that since radar vectors were required for the approach, ATC was responsible to vector the aircraft onto the final approach course inbound in order that all terrain clearance obstacles were met prior to the FAF. He advised that he read an article in a publication of instrument flight relating to this type of situation which made him particularly apprehensive during this flight to a 400 ft MDA with high towers in all quadrants. In addition, the MSA of 2500 ft, 500 ft above his descent altitude prior to the final fix, surrounded the airport. He is going to facsimile the article referred to us for our information.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: INST RATED PVT PLT OF A CHEROKEE ARROW PA28 QUESTIONED THE NEED FOR THE APCH RADAR CTLR TO CLR HIM TO THE PUBLISHED FINAL LOC FIX DURING RADAR VECTORS TO FINAL. HE DID NOT BELIEVE THAT HE WAS CLRED TO DSND PRIOR TO THE FINAL FIX EVEN THOUGH THE CTLR HAD CLRED HIM FOR THE APCH 'ONCE ESTABLISHED ON THE LOC.'
Narrative: THE WX WAS 400 FT AND 1 1/2 MI VISIBILITY. I WAS BEING RADAR VECTORED AT MY ASSIGNED ALT OF 3000 FT BY MEM APCH TO INTERCEPT THE LOC DME RWY 18 APCH TO OLV. BEFORE INTERCEPTING THE LOC, I WAS CLRED FOR THE APCH ONCE ESTABLISHED ON THE LOC. ONCE ESTABLISHED AND APCHING OLV, I WAS EXPECTING THE CTLR TO ASSIGN ME 2000 FT, THE PUBLISHED ALT FOR THE FAF. (THIS IS A RADAR REQUIRED APCH WITH NO PROC TURN, TRANSITION RTE, INITIAL OR INTERMEDIATE SEGMENTS. THE ONLY PUBLISHED SEGMENT IS FROM THE FAF TO MISSED APCH AND TO THE HOLD.) AS I CONTINUED THE APCH, I ASKED FOR 2000 FT. THE CTLR RESPONDED WITH 'YOU ARE CLRED FOR THE APCH' NEVER ASSIGNING THE REQUESTED ALT. AS I APCHED THE FAF, I CONCLUDED FROM THE CTLR'S LAST XMISSION THAT HE MUST BE EXPECTING ME TO DSND TO CROSS THE FAF AT 2000 FT, THE PUBLISHED INTERCEPT. I DISCUSSED THE EVENT WITH AN INSTRUCTOR AND WAS TOLD THAT ONCE CLRED FOR THE APCH I COULD DSND TO 2000 FT TO INTERCEPT THE FAF AT THE PUBLISHED ALT OF 2000 FT. I LATER REFERRED TO THE FARS AND CONCLUDED THAT I SHOULD HAVE REMAINED AT MY LAST ASSIGNED ALT UNLESS ASSIGNED ANOTHER ALT OR I WAS ON A PUBLISHED PART OF THE APCH. AGAIN, THE ONLY PUBLISHED PART OF THE APCH IS FROM THE FAF TO MISSED APCH TO THE HOLD. I BELIEVE MY MISTAKE WAS ASSUMING WHAT I THOUGHT THE CTLR WANTED AND NOT QUERYING THE CTLR IN DETAIL AS TO WHY HE WAS LEAVING ME AT AN ALT THAT WAS HAVING ME CROSS THE FAF 1000 FT HIGHER THAN PUBLISHED. I BELIEVE THE CTLR SHOULD HAVE ASSIGNED 2000 FT PRIOR TO THE FAF. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING INFO: RPTR STATED THAT HE REMAINED SOMEWHAT DOUBTFUL WITH REGARD TO THE LEGALITY OF DSNDING PRIOR TO THE PUBLISHED PORTION OF THE APCH. IT WAS POINTED OUT TO HIM THAT SINCE RADAR VECTORS WERE REQUIRED FOR THE APCH, ATC WAS RESPONSIBLE TO VECTOR THE ACFT ONTO THE FINAL APCH COURSE INBOUND IN ORDER THAT ALL TERRAIN CLRNC OBSTACLES WERE MET PRIOR TO THE FAF. HE ADVISED THAT HE READ AN ARTICLE IN A PUB OF INST FLT RELATING TO THIS TYPE OF SIT WHICH MADE HIM PARTICULARLY APPREHENSIVE DURING THIS FLT TO A 400 FT MDA WITH HIGH TWRS IN ALL QUADRANTS. IN ADDITION, THE MSA OF 2500 FT, 500 FT ABOVE HIS DSCNT ALT PRIOR TO THE FINAL FIX, SURROUNDED THE ARPT. HE IS GOING TO FAX THE ARTICLE REFERRED TO US FOR OUR INFO.
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.