|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||navaid : aml.vortac|
|Altitude||agl single value : 2000|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : pct.tracon|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Bonanza 36|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 2400
flight time type : 2000
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Anomaly||non adherence : published procedure|
non adherence : clearance
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : person 4|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Airspace Structure||special use : dcadiz.othersua|
I filed an ADIZ/VFR flight plan from hef to jyo departing at approximately XA00 with a return to manassas at approximately XD30. The trip to jyo was for maintenance I had pre-scheduled. I departed jyo at XD00 with an assigned discrete transponder code and contacted pct departure. I was given a series of headings which took me to the east of iad. There was light to moderate turbulence at 2000 ft. After passing to the south of iad, the controller asked if I had manassas in sight. I responded affirmatively and was told to contact the manassas tower. It proved difficult to switch to the tower frequency and make power adjustments due to the turbulence and my hand may have bumped my transponder which is located directly above my power controls. In any event, the frequency was channeled and the power reductions were made approximately 8 NM from manassas. The transponder has a VFR button that when pressed, automatically switches the transponder to 1200. The button is very sensitive and it has been inadvertently activated more than once while on IFR flight plans and during flight following. After an uneventful landing at manassas, I was told to proceed to the FBO and contact the tower. I was told to call TRACON at pct. In our conversation, he explained that I had committed a violation in the ADIZ. The supervisor explained that my transponder code had been switched from the assigned discrete code to 1200 prior to my landing at manassas. I did not recall making an intentional switch to a 'VFR only' code. I am very aware that a discrete code is required in the ADIZ. I can only surmise that I may have bumped my transponder VFR button. I was in contact with pct departure and the manassas tower during the entire duration of the flight and at no time was I told that my transponder code had been changed to 1200. I fully realize the pilot's responsibility, but a heads up notification would have been welcomed and corrective action would have been taken. In the future, I will monitor the transponder code as part of my normal scan and check it after every communication and navigation frequency change and especially after power changes in turbulence.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF BE36 INADVERTENTLY SQUAWKED VFR CODE IN DC ADIZ WHEN 'VFR' SWITCH ON XPONDER ACCIDENTALLY BUMPED IN TURBULENT CONDITIONS.
Narrative: I FILED AN ADIZ/VFR FLT PLAN FROM HEF TO JYO DEPARTING AT APPROX XA00 WITH A RETURN TO MANASSAS AT APPROX XD30. THE TRIP TO JYO WAS FOR MAINT I HAD PRE-SCHEDULED. I DEPARTED JYO AT XD00 WITH AN ASSIGNED DISCRETE XPONDER CODE AND CONTACTED PCT DEP. I WAS GIVEN A SERIES OF HDGS WHICH TOOK ME TO THE E OF IAD. THERE WAS LIGHT TO MODERATE TURB AT 2000 FT. AFTER PASSING TO THE S OF IAD, THE CTLR ASKED IF I HAD MANASSAS IN SIGHT. I RESPONDED AFFIRMATIVELY AND WAS TOLD TO CONTACT THE MANASSAS TWR. IT PROVED DIFFICULT TO SWITCH TO THE TWR FREQ AND MAKE PWR ADJUSTMENTS DUE TO THE TURB AND MY HAND MAY HAVE BUMPED MY XPONDER WHICH IS LOCATED DIRECTLY ABOVE MY PWR CTLS. IN ANY EVENT, THE FREQ WAS CHANNELED AND THE PWR REDUCTIONS WERE MADE APPROX 8 NM FROM MANASSAS. THE XPONDER HAS A VFR BUTTON THAT WHEN PRESSED, AUTOMATICALLY SWITCHES THE XPONDER TO 1200. THE BUTTON IS VERY SENSITIVE AND IT HAS BEEN INADVERTENTLY ACTIVATED MORE THAN ONCE WHILE ON IFR FLT PLANS AND DURING FLT FOLLOWING. AFTER AN UNEVENTFUL LNDG AT MANASSAS, I WAS TOLD TO PROCEED TO THE FBO AND CONTACT THE TWR. I WAS TOLD TO CALL TRACON AT PCT. IN OUR CONVERSATION, HE EXPLAINED THAT I HAD COMMITTED A VIOLATION IN THE ADIZ. THE SUPVR EXPLAINED THAT MY XPONDER CODE HAD BEEN SWITCHED FROM THE ASSIGNED DISCRETE CODE TO 1200 PRIOR TO MY LNDG AT MANASSAS. I DID NOT RECALL MAKING AN INTENTIONAL SWITCH TO A 'VFR ONLY' CODE. I AM VERY AWARE THAT A DISCRETE CODE IS REQUIRED IN THE ADIZ. I CAN ONLY SURMISE THAT I MAY HAVE BUMPED MY XPONDER VFR BUTTON. I WAS IN CONTACT WITH PCT DEP AND THE MANASSAS TWR DURING THE ENTIRE DURATION OF THE FLT AND AT NO TIME WAS I TOLD THAT MY XPONDER CODE HAD BEEN CHANGED TO 1200. I FULLY REALIZE THE PLT'S RESPONSIBILITY, BUT A HEADS UP NOTIFICATION WOULD HAVE BEEN WELCOMED AND CORRECTIVE ACTION WOULD HAVE BEEN TAKEN. IN THE FUTURE, I WILL MONITOR THE XPONDER CODE AS PART OF MY NORMAL SCAN AND CHECK IT AFTER EVERY COM AND NAV FREQUENCY CHANGE AND ESPECIALLY AFTER PWR CHANGES IN TURB.
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.