|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ore.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 6500|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||PA-28 Cherokee/Archer II/Dakota/Pillan/Warrior|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||cruise : level|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 800
flight time type : 725
|Function||other personnel other|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : skydivers|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited adverse environment|
|Problem Areas||Environmental Factor|
Flight Crew Human Performance
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
I was in VFR cruise at 6500 ft, on a magnetic course of 240 degrees, over orange municipal airport, ma (ore). Visibility was over 10 mi, there was no ceiling. I noticed that there were 3 airports in the area: 0b5, ore, and 7b2 -- all with parachute icons on the sectional. At 6500 ft, there was quite a bit of chatter and noise from distant airports, but I listened to 122.8 (ore) and did not hear any clear indication of a drop. Then I thought I saw a bird to my front, but realized it was a group of parachutists in a ring, approximately 1000 ft or more away. I realized that I stumbled onto a parachute drop, so as evasive action I decided to turn south toward the lake, thinking there would not be any parachutists dropped over the lake. I was scared (!) and very concerned, that I would have no control over the situation, and that neither I nor the parachutists would be able to prevent a collision between one of them and my airplane. It was too late to prevent being in the situation, my only alternative was to get out of it. As I left the area, I observed at least 2 more parachutists drop, one to my left and one to my right. I know they can steer to some degree, but I don't know how well. They went by fast and reminded me of the people that jumped from the twin towers on sep/tue. Once over the lake, I resumed course and monitored 122.7 (7b2) and heard something about parachutists. I asked where the parachutists were and they said they were still on the ground, apparently preparing to take off. (I am not sure when I changed frequency to 122.7). Thinking there were no jumps at ore, could have been a little premature in changing to 122.7, wanting to listen for drops at the next airport. This incident was 'extremely' upsetting to me, but I was able to continue my flight to the destination. It occurred to me that I should perhaps use flight following through such a congested area, but I am not sure ATC would always have the jump information, nor always have the time. I think that pilots making drops, should use brevity in radio communications, but rather should speak clearly and slowly (almost amateurishly), repeating several times that a drop is imminent as they climb to altitude. It is possible that I missed the drop announcement, but they do seem to drop from high altitudes, so in order for other aircraft at high altitudes to hear them, they have to get through the noise, static and squealing on the common class east airport frequencys. I am wondering why on such a clear day, the parachutists did not see an airplane near their landing zone and just wait to jump. With 3 airports supporting parachutists in the general area, would it be feasible to have all of the airports on the same frequency? Do we need one common parachutist frequency (if we see the parachute icon, we listen to the parachute frequency) for all airports? This is going to have a negative affect on me for the rest of my flying career. What worries me the most, how to positively avoid parachute drops, and I am not convinced they always can be.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT OF C172 STARTLED AND FRIGHTENED BY ENCOUNTER WITH MULTIPLE SKYDIVERS IN VICINITY OF ORE, 7B2 AND 0B5.
Narrative: I WAS IN VFR CRUISE AT 6500 FT, ON A MAGNETIC COURSE OF 240 DEGS, OVER ORANGE MUNICIPAL ARPT, MA (ORE). VISIBILITY WAS OVER 10 MI, THERE WAS NO CEILING. I NOTICED THAT THERE WERE 3 ARPTS IN THE AREA: 0B5, ORE, AND 7B2 -- ALL WITH PARACHUTE ICONS ON THE SECTIONAL. AT 6500 FT, THERE WAS QUITE A BIT OF CHATTER AND NOISE FROM DISTANT ARPTS, BUT I LISTENED TO 122.8 (ORE) AND DID NOT HEAR ANY CLR INDICATION OF A DROP. THEN I THOUGHT I SAW A BIRD TO MY FRONT, BUT REALIZED IT WAS A GROUP OF PARACHUTISTS IN A RING, APPROX 1000 FT OR MORE AWAY. I REALIZED THAT I STUMBLED ONTO A PARACHUTE DROP, SO AS EVASIVE ACTION I DECIDED TO TURN S TOWARD THE LAKE, THINKING THERE WOULD NOT BE ANY PARACHUTISTS DROPPED OVER THE LAKE. I WAS SCARED (!) AND VERY CONCERNED, THAT I WOULD HAVE NO CTL OVER THE SIT, AND THAT NEITHER I NOR THE PARACHUTISTS WOULD BE ABLE TO PREVENT A COLLISION BTWN ONE OF THEM AND MY AIRPLANE. IT WAS TOO LATE TO PREVENT BEING IN THE SIT, MY ONLY ALTERNATIVE WAS TO GET OUT OF IT. AS I LEFT THE AREA, I OBSERVED AT LEAST 2 MORE PARACHUTISTS DROP, ONE TO MY L AND ONE TO MY R. I KNOW THEY CAN STEER TO SOME DEG, BUT I DON'T KNOW HOW WELL. THEY WENT BY FAST AND REMINDED ME OF THE PEOPLE THAT JUMPED FROM THE TWIN TOWERS ON SEP/TUE. ONCE OVER THE LAKE, I RESUMED COURSE AND MONITORED 122.7 (7B2) AND HEARD SOMETHING ABOUT PARACHUTISTS. I ASKED WHERE THE PARACHUTISTS WERE AND THEY SAID THEY WERE STILL ON THE GND, APPARENTLY PREPARING TO TAKE OFF. (I AM NOT SURE WHEN I CHANGED FREQ TO 122.7). THINKING THERE WERE NO JUMPS AT ORE, COULD HAVE BEEN A LITTLE PREMATURE IN CHANGING TO 122.7, WANTING TO LISTEN FOR DROPS AT THE NEXT ARPT. THIS INCIDENT WAS 'EXTREMELY' UPSETTING TO ME, BUT I WAS ABLE TO CONTINUE MY FLT TO THE DEST. IT OCCURRED TO ME THAT I SHOULD PERHAPS USE FLT FOLLOWING THROUGH SUCH A CONGESTED AREA, BUT I AM NOT SURE ATC WOULD ALWAYS HAVE THE JUMP INFO, NOR ALWAYS HAVE THE TIME. I THINK THAT PLTS MAKING DROPS, SHOULD USE BREVITY IN RADIO COMS, BUT RATHER SHOULD SPEAK CLRLY AND SLOWLY (ALMOST AMATEURISHLY), REPEATING SEVERAL TIMES THAT A DROP IS IMMINENT AS THEY CLB TO ALT. IT IS POSSIBLE THAT I MISSED THE DROP ANNOUNCEMENT, BUT THEY DO SEEM TO DROP FROM HIGH ALTS, SO IN ORDER FOR OTHER ACFT AT HIGH ALTS TO HEAR THEM, THEY HAVE TO GET THROUGH THE NOISE, STATIC AND SQUEALING ON THE COMMON CLASS E ARPT FREQS. I AM WONDERING WHY ON SUCH A CLR DAY, THE PARACHUTISTS DID NOT SEE AN AIRPLANE NEAR THEIR LNDG ZONE AND JUST WAIT TO JUMP. WITH 3 ARPTS SUPPORTING PARACHUTISTS IN THE GENERAL AREA, WOULD IT BE FEASIBLE TO HAVE ALL OF THE ARPTS ON THE SAME FREQ? DO WE NEED ONE COMMON PARACHUTIST FREQ (IF WE SEE THE PARACHUTE ICON, WE LISTEN TO THE PARACHUTE FREQ) FOR ALL ARPTS? THIS IS GOING TO HAVE A NEGATIVE AFFECT ON ME FOR THE REST OF MY FLYING CAREER. WHAT WORRIES ME THE MOST, HOW TO POSITIVELY AVOID PARACHUTE DROPS, AND I AM NOT CONVINCED THEY ALWAYS CAN BE.
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.