|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : gai.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 2000|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : pct.tracon|
tower : abq.tower
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Skyhawk 172/Cutlass 172|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : intermediate altitude|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 9|
flight time total : 175
flight time type : 138
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
non adherence : clearance
non adherence : published procedure
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
|Airspace Structure||special use : dcadiz.othersua|
I was returning to my home base of gaithersburg, md on an ADIZ flight plan. As a new pilot with only 1 year of experience, I have limited experience talking to ATC. Once gai was in sight, ATC told me that radar service was terminated and frequency change approved. Normally, I would change the radio and transponder code at this point. However, I believe new ADIZ rules require maintaining the assigned ATC code until on the ground. While securing the airplane, I notice the transponder code had been reset to 1200. While I may have changed this after I was on the ground, it's also possible that I changed it in the air while changing my radio frequency. If so, this was an inadvertent mistake. Without the ADIZ, I would not have been talking to ATC. I understand the need for security around washington, dc, but have also heard many stories about the confusion this has caused. I believe suggestions of assigning specific transponder codes for inbound, and pattern work at each airport within the ADIZ would help both pilots and ATC personnel. Even the recommendation for a 1234 code that was accepted for pattern work at towered airports would benefit non-towered airports like gaithersburg. Then pilots would know that this code must always be used while entering the airport pattern.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF C172 BELIEVES HE MAY HAVE INADVERTENTLY SWITCHED XPONDER CODE TO VFR WHEN TERMINATING ADIZ FLT PLAN WITH PCT TRACON, ALTHOUGH STILL WITHIN THE ADIZ.
Narrative: I WAS RETURNING TO MY HOME BASE OF GAITHERSBURG, MD ON AN ADIZ FLT PLAN. AS A NEW PLT WITH ONLY 1 YEAR OF EXPERIENCE, I HAVE LIMITED EXPERIENCE TALKING TO ATC. ONCE GAI WAS IN SIGHT, ATC TOLD ME THAT RADAR SERVICE WAS TERMINATED AND FREQUENCY CHANGE APPROVED. NORMALLY, I WOULD CHANGE THE RADIO AND XPONDER CODE AT THIS POINT. HOWEVER, I BELIEVE NEW ADIZ RULES REQUIRE MAINTAINING THE ASSIGNED ATC CODE UNTIL ON THE GND. WHILE SECURING THE AIRPLANE, I NOTICE THE XPONDER CODE HAD BEEN RESET TO 1200. WHILE I MAY HAVE CHANGED THIS AFTER I WAS ON THE GND, IT'S ALSO POSSIBLE THAT I CHANGED IT IN THE AIR WHILE CHANGING MY RADIO FREQUENCY. IF SO, THIS WAS AN INADVERTENT MISTAKE. WITHOUT THE ADIZ, I WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN TALKING TO ATC. I UNDERSTAND THE NEED FOR SECURITY AROUND WASHINGTON, DC, BUT HAVE ALSO HEARD MANY STORIES ABOUT THE CONFUSION THIS HAS CAUSED. I BELIEVE SUGGESTIONS OF ASSIGNING SPECIFIC XPONDER CODES FOR INBOUND, AND PATTERN WORK AT EACH ARPT WITHIN THE ADIZ WOULD HELP BOTH PLTS AND ATC PERSONNEL. EVEN THE RECOMMENDATION FOR A 1234 CODE THAT WAS ACCEPTED FOR PATTERN WORK AT TOWERED ARPTS WOULD BENEFIT NON-TOWERED ARPTS LIKE GAITHERSBURG. THEN PLTS WOULD KNOW THAT THIS CODE MUST ALWAYS BE USED WHILE ENTERING THE ARPT PATTERN.
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.