|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||navaid : rod.vortac|
|Altitude||msl single value : 2500|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : day.tracon|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Grumman American Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Navigation In Use||other vortac|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : day.tracon|
|Make Model Name||Cessna Twin Piston Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Function||oversight : pic|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : multi engine
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 20|
flight time total : 3390
flight time type : 400
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Problem Areas||ATC Human Performance|
Flight Crew Human Performance
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
On a breakfast flyout to bluffton, oh (5g7) I flew the return to dayton wright brothers (mgy). I had decided to fly IFR for currency. On our arrival at 5g7, the WX was clear with about 6 mi visibility. When we were about to depart after breakfast, the sky condition had changed to a thin overcast with a ceiling of about 2500-3000 ft. So, I decided to depart VFR and ask for an IFR clearance with dayton approach control, which I did. The clearance request was for a low approach at dayton followed by a final landing at mgy. I was wearing a hood and had a safety pilot, but I remember specifically requesting an 'IFR clearance' due to the overcast condition. The ATIS at dayton was indicating good VFR with a sky condition of 15000 ft scattered. The controller acknowledged my request and I was told to expect the approach for runway 24L and remain VFR. I assumed that would be temporary and awaited my clearance. After about 2 mins, no clearance was forthcoming, so I requested 4000 ft thinking that would help emphasize that the request was for an IFR clearance. The controller authority/authorized 4000 ft, but restated the VFR restr. I checked the flight sky condition and determined that the flight sky condition had abated somewhat and that we could maintain VFR at 4000 ft. At this point it became obvious the controller had assumed that I had requested a practice approach under VFR. As this was being straightened out, the controller finally gave me a clearance statement that bypassed dayton and provided only for a landing at mgy. After more interchanges, we finally agreed on an IFR clearance for the flight as planned and I completed the currency flight with a landing at mgy. Throughout the event, the assigned squawk code was unchanged at XD06. Probably contributing to the problem was another aircraft on frequency with a similar sounding identify. Ours was xyz and theirs was yxz. The other aircraft was a twin cessna and it appeared it was shooting practice approachs for runway 24L. I believe that the problem was mostly caused by the failure of the controller to distinguish our request for an IFR clearance from a VFR class C entry clearance for practice approachs and that may have been influenced by the VFR WX conditions at his location. The problem could have been avoided altogether if I had simply followed normal IFR procedure and filed an IFR flight plan on the ground. Since I had a cell phone, this could have been accomplished even at the airplane. The 'pop-up clearance' can greatly improve the utility of the airplane, but has the potential for problems and relies too much on the oftentimes subtle use of standard terminology. The current terminology guidance seems to require the multiple use of the word 'clearance.' in this example, it has the dual meaning of permission to enter class C airspace or permission to operate IFR. In addition, the words 'practice approach' seem to mean operate VFR, but it appears not everyone complies with this usage so that controllers must make an assumption on what is really requested when the words 'practice approach' have not been stated. My experience is that good controllers ask for clarification whenever there is the opportunity for misunderstanding. As for the pilot making the request, I would like to see recommended terminology which in effect eliminates this opportunity for error. Relying on the omission of the words 'practice approach' to mean operate on an IFR clearance is not really satisfactory. Another solution perhaps, might be a universal reservation of a squawk code series 1XXX (or 12XX) for all practice approachs. This would tend to help the controller and pilot reach the required level of understanding. If this convention were in place, I would have known immediately that the controller had not gotten my full intention for an IFR operation.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA PLT WAS NOT SURE IF HE HAD AN IFR CLRNC OR WHETHER HE HAD CLRNC TO ENTER DAY CLASS C.
Narrative: ON A BREAKFAST FLYOUT TO BLUFFTON, OH (5G7) I FLEW THE RETURN TO DAYTON WRIGHT BROTHERS (MGY). I HAD DECIDED TO FLY IFR FOR CURRENCY. ON OUR ARR AT 5G7, THE WX WAS CLR WITH ABOUT 6 MI VISIBILITY. WHEN WE WERE ABOUT TO DEPART AFTER BREAKFAST, THE SKY CONDITION HAD CHANGED TO A THIN OVCST WITH A CEILING OF ABOUT 2500-3000 FT. SO, I DECIDED TO DEPART VFR AND ASK FOR AN IFR CLRNC WITH DAYTON APCH CTL, WHICH I DID. THE CLRNC REQUEST WAS FOR A LOW APCH AT DAYTON FOLLOWED BY A FINAL LNDG AT MGY. I WAS WEARING A HOOD AND HAD A SAFETY PLT, BUT I REMEMBER SPECIFICALLY REQUESTING AN 'IFR CLRNC' DUE TO THE OVCST CONDITION. THE ATIS AT DAYTON WAS INDICATING GOOD VFR WITH A SKY CONDITION OF 15000 FT SCATTERED. THE CTLR ACKNOWLEDGED MY REQUEST AND I WAS TOLD TO EXPECT THE APCH FOR RWY 24L AND REMAIN VFR. I ASSUMED THAT WOULD BE TEMPORARY AND AWAITED MY CLRNC. AFTER ABOUT 2 MINS, NO CLRNC WAS FORTHCOMING, SO I REQUESTED 4000 FT THINKING THAT WOULD HELP EMPHASIZE THAT THE REQUEST WAS FOR AN IFR CLRNC. THE CTLR AUTH 4000 FT, BUT RESTATED THE VFR RESTR. I CHKED THE FLT SKY CONDITION AND DETERMINED THAT THE FLT SKY CONDITION HAD ABATED SOMEWHAT AND THAT WE COULD MAINTAIN VFR AT 4000 FT. AT THIS POINT IT BECAME OBVIOUS THE CTLR HAD ASSUMED THAT I HAD REQUESTED A PRACTICE APCH UNDER VFR. AS THIS WAS BEING STRAIGHTENED OUT, THE CTLR FINALLY GAVE ME A CLRNC STATEMENT THAT BYPASSED DAYTON AND PROVIDED ONLY FOR A LNDG AT MGY. AFTER MORE INTERCHANGES, WE FINALLY AGREED ON AN IFR CLRNC FOR THE FLT AS PLANNED AND I COMPLETED THE CURRENCY FLT WITH A LNDG AT MGY. THROUGHOUT THE EVENT, THE ASSIGNED SQUAWK CODE WAS UNCHANGED AT XD06. PROBABLY CONTRIBUTING TO THE PROB WAS ANOTHER ACFT ON FREQ WITH A SIMILAR SOUNDING IDENT. OURS WAS XYZ AND THEIRS WAS YXZ. THE OTHER ACFT WAS A TWIN CESSNA AND IT APPEARED IT WAS SHOOTING PRACTICE APCHS FOR RWY 24L. I BELIEVE THAT THE PROB WAS MOSTLY CAUSED BY THE FAILURE OF THE CTLR TO DISTINGUISH OUR REQUEST FOR AN IFR CLRNC FROM A VFR CLASS C ENTRY CLRNC FOR PRACTICE APCHS AND THAT MAY HAVE BEEN INFLUENCED BY THE VFR WX CONDITIONS AT HIS LOCATION. THE PROB COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED ALTOGETHER IF I HAD SIMPLY FOLLOWED NORMAL IFR PROC AND FILED AN IFR FLT PLAN ON THE GND. SINCE I HAD A CELL PHONE, THIS COULD HAVE BEEN ACCOMPLISHED EVEN AT THE AIRPLANE. THE 'POP-UP CLRNC' CAN GREATLY IMPROVE THE UTILITY OF THE AIRPLANE, BUT HAS THE POTENTIAL FOR PROBS AND RELIES TOO MUCH ON THE OFTENTIMES SUBTLE USE OF STANDARD TERMINOLOGY. THE CURRENT TERMINOLOGY GUIDANCE SEEMS TO REQUIRE THE MULTIPLE USE OF THE WORD 'CLRNC.' IN THIS EXAMPLE, IT HAS THE DUAL MEANING OF PERMISSION TO ENTER CLASS C AIRSPACE OR PERMISSION TO OPERATE IFR. IN ADDITION, THE WORDS 'PRACTICE APCH' SEEM TO MEAN OPERATE VFR, BUT IT APPEARS NOT EVERYONE COMPLIES WITH THIS USAGE SO THAT CTLRS MUST MAKE AN ASSUMPTION ON WHAT IS REALLY REQUESTED WHEN THE WORDS 'PRACTICE APCH' HAVE NOT BEEN STATED. MY EXPERIENCE IS THAT GOOD CTLRS ASK FOR CLARIFICATION WHENEVER THERE IS THE OPPORTUNITY FOR MISUNDERSTANDING. AS FOR THE PLT MAKING THE REQUEST, I WOULD LIKE TO SEE RECOMMENDED TERMINOLOGY WHICH IN EFFECT ELIMINATES THIS OPPORTUNITY FOR ERROR. RELYING ON THE OMISSION OF THE WORDS 'PRACTICE APCH' TO MEAN OPERATE ON AN IFR CLRNC IS NOT REALLY SATISFACTORY. ANOTHER SOLUTION PERHAPS, MIGHT BE A UNIVERSAL RESERVATION OF A SQUAWK CODE SERIES 1XXX (OR 12XX) FOR ALL PRACTICE APCHS. THIS WOULD TEND TO HELP THE CTLR AND PLT REACH THE REQUIRED LEVEL OF UNDERSTANDING. IF THIS CONVENTION WERE IN PLACE, I WOULD HAVE KNOWN IMMEDIATELY THAT THE CTLR HAD NOT GOTTEN MY FULL INTENTION FOR AN IFR OP.
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.