|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zoa.artcc|
|Altitude||msl single value : 11500|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zoa.artcc|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Cessna 210 Centurion / Turbo Centurion 210C, 210D|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 18|
flight time total : 1035
flight time type : 341
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : critical|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : generator warning light load meter|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : landed in emergency condition
Flight Crew Human Performance
En route to napa on an IFR flight plan in VMC, the alternator failed. I notified ATC of the problem and cancelled IFR. The controller allowed me to turn off the transponder, maintain VFR altitudes, and keep him informed of my altitude. Nightfall was eminent and might limit the choices of airports with appropriate runways and maintenance facilities. Rather than turning back to red bluff or redding, or diverting to sacramento (only 10 mins closer than napa), I chose to proceed to napa, with an ete of 40 mins. Upon handoff to the ZOA controller, I no longer had enough battery power to transmit a reply that could be heard. I then shut down the radio and continued to napa using a handheld navigation/communication to guide me on a bearing to sgd VOR. I landed without incident after self-announcing on CTAF (no other aircraft were reporting in the area). 10 mins later search and rescue aircraft and vehicles arrived and I notified them by handheld that I was down and safe. Based on previous experience in a T210, I thought I would have 1 hour of battery power, but the battery lasted only 30 mins in this plane. My choice to proceed to napa, even though it would entail a night landing, was influenced by availability of maintenance facilities, likelihood of FBO attendance, and runway lights, but also distance from my destination. The first oak controller had said he could follow me as a primary target, but I don't know if the second controller had radar coverage down to airport level. Of course, landing without lights was not optimal, especially when the tower was not open to notify other pilots in the area. In retrospect, I believe that diverting to red bluff or sacramento were not any better choices since red bluff is unattended at night and sacramento international was only a few mins closer and has significant turbojet traffic. Turning back to redding, however, would have allowed a dusk landing with a functional radio at an airport with maintenance facilities and rental cars. The longer drive from redding would have been offset by a safer arrival.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: C210 PLT HAD A GENERATOR FAILURE AT DUSK AT ZOA CLASS E. THE PLT NOTIFIED THE ZOA RADAR CTLR WHO DECLARED AN EMER FOR THE PLT AND REQUESTED SEARCH AND RESCUE TO INSURE PLT'S SAFE ARR.
Narrative: ENRTE TO NAPA ON AN IFR FLT PLAN IN VMC, THE ALTERNATOR FAILED. I NOTIFIED ATC OF THE PROB AND CANCELLED IFR. THE CTLR ALLOWED ME TO TURN OFF THE XPONDER, MAINTAIN VFR ALTS, AND KEEP HIM INFORMED OF MY ALT. NIGHTFALL WAS EMINENT AND MIGHT LIMIT THE CHOICES OF ARPTS WITH APPROPRIATE RWYS AND MAINT FACILITIES. RATHER THAN TURNING BACK TO RED BLUFF OR REDDING, OR DIVERTING TO SACRAMENTO (ONLY 10 MINS CLOSER THAN NAPA), I CHOSE TO PROCEED TO NAPA, WITH AN ETE OF 40 MINS. UPON HDOF TO THE ZOA CTLR, I NO LONGER HAD ENOUGH BATTERY PWR TO XMIT A REPLY THAT COULD BE HEARD. I THEN SHUT DOWN THE RADIO AND CONTINUED TO NAPA USING A HANDHELD NAV/COM TO GUIDE ME ON A BEARING TO SGD VOR. I LANDED WITHOUT INCIDENT AFTER SELF-ANNOUNCING ON CTAF (NO OTHER ACFT WERE RPTING IN THE AREA). 10 MINS LATER SEARCH AND RESCUE ACFT AND VEHICLES ARRIVED AND I NOTIFIED THEM BY HANDHELD THAT I WAS DOWN AND SAFE. BASED ON PREVIOUS EXPERIENCE IN A T210, I THOUGHT I WOULD HAVE 1 HR OF BATTERY PWR, BUT THE BATTERY LASTED ONLY 30 MINS IN THIS PLANE. MY CHOICE TO PROCEED TO NAPA, EVEN THOUGH IT WOULD ENTAIL A NIGHT LNDG, WAS INFLUENCED BY AVAILABILITY OF MAINT FACILITIES, LIKELIHOOD OF FBO ATTENDANCE, AND RWY LIGHTS, BUT ALSO DISTANCE FROM MY DEST. THE FIRST OAK CTLR HAD SAID HE COULD FOLLOW ME AS A PRIMARY TARGET, BUT I DON'T KNOW IF THE SECOND CTLR HAD RADAR COVERAGE DOWN TO ARPT LEVEL. OF COURSE, LNDG WITHOUT LIGHTS WAS NOT OPTIMAL, ESPECIALLY WHEN THE TWR WAS NOT OPEN TO NOTIFY OTHER PLTS IN THE AREA. IN RETROSPECT, I BELIEVE THAT DIVERTING TO RED BLUFF OR SACRAMENTO WERE NOT ANY BETTER CHOICES SINCE RED BLUFF IS UNATTENDED AT NIGHT AND SACRAMENTO INTL WAS ONLY A FEW MINS CLOSER AND HAS SIGNIFICANT TURBOJET TFC. TURNING BACK TO REDDING, HOWEVER, WOULD HAVE ALLOWED A DUSK LNDG WITH A FUNCTIONAL RADIO AT AN ARPT WITH MAINT FACILITIES AND RENTAL CARS. THE LONGER DRIVE FROM REDDING WOULD HAVE BEEN OFFSET BY A SAFER ARR.
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.