|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : 36k.airport|
|Altitude||msl single value : 21000|
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zdv.artcc|
|Make Model Name||Piper Twin Turboprop Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
cruise : level
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 80|
flight time total : 5245
flight time type : 870
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
ATC Human Performance
|ATC Facility||communication equipment : zdv.artcc|
|Airspace Structure||class a : zdv.a|
While at our assigned altitude for our operation; we were transitioning an area between 2 cells. This area was pretty dense with ice crystal particles and was causing strong radio interference. Our location at this occurrence was at the eastern edge of ZDV's sector; which adjoins ZKC to the east. We often have reception trouble in this area depending which side of the thunderstorms we are on; and how many storms are between us and denver's remote antenna. In most cases; when we are operating in these fringe areas; it would make more sense to be handed off to ZKC; since we are much closer to their antenna; and in most cases in this geographic area the storms are moving from some westerly to easterly direction; usually putting numerous storms between us and denver's antenna. We have 3 communication radios in our aircraft; one with an individual volume control as well as it being tied into a master volume control; which is the only way to control the volume on the other 2 radios. This radio is dedicated to ATC because it allows me to make it the dominant radio; volume wise. The other 2 radios are used to monitor other company operations and our ground based meteorological staff. While transitioning the previously described area; one of our company aircraft informed me that center was trying to reach me. We had not heard the calls due to the static and our location; although we could still faintly hear our company aircraft due to their close proximity. At our meeting; I have always requested our company VFR aircraft to monitor my assigned center frequency when they were able just for this reason. I do not know how long we were unable to hear them. I can only estimate somewhere around 5 mins. Understandably the center controller was displeased with the occurrence but did not inform us of any traffic conflict -- only that they needed to know which way we were going to be maneuvering; presumably because of our close proximity to ZKC's airspace. We keep our static dischargers and grounding straps in good condition on our aircraft. Although I will investigate further with avionics shops if anything else can be done to alleviate the sits. This was one of the reasons we installed the one communication radio with the individual volume control. Also; it may be wise to request an early handoff to a different sector or center if I suspect the same situation developing; but sometimes it occurs before any intelligent communications can be established.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PA31 PLT EXPRESSED CONCERN REGARDING RADIO DIFFICULTIES WITH ZDV IN SECTORS ADJACENT TO ZKC AND SUGGESTED ALTERNATIVE OPS.
Narrative: WHILE AT OUR ASSIGNED ALT FOR OUR OP; WE WERE TRANSITIONING AN AREA BTWN 2 CELLS. THIS AREA WAS PRETTY DENSE WITH ICE CRYSTAL PARTICLES AND WAS CAUSING STRONG RADIO INTERFERENCE. OUR LOCATION AT THIS OCCURRENCE WAS AT THE EASTERN EDGE OF ZDV'S SECTOR; WHICH ADJOINS ZKC TO THE E. WE OFTEN HAVE RECEPTION TROUBLE IN THIS AREA DEPENDING WHICH SIDE OF THE TSTMS WE ARE ON; AND HOW MANY STORMS ARE BTWN US AND DENVER'S REMOTE ANTENNA. IN MOST CASES; WHEN WE ARE OPERATING IN THESE FRINGE AREAS; IT WOULD MAKE MORE SENSE TO BE HANDED OFF TO ZKC; SINCE WE ARE MUCH CLOSER TO THEIR ANTENNA; AND IN MOST CASES IN THIS GEOGRAPHIC AREA THE STORMS ARE MOVING FROM SOME WESTERLY TO EASTERLY DIRECTION; USUALLY PUTTING NUMEROUS STORMS BTWN US AND DENVER'S ANTENNA. WE HAVE 3 COM RADIOS IN OUR ACFT; ONE WITH AN INDIVIDUAL VOLUME CTL AS WELL AS IT BEING TIED INTO A MASTER VOLUME CTL; WHICH IS THE ONLY WAY TO CTL THE VOLUME ON THE OTHER 2 RADIOS. THIS RADIO IS DEDICATED TO ATC BECAUSE IT ALLOWS ME TO MAKE IT THE DOMINANT RADIO; VOLUME WISE. THE OTHER 2 RADIOS ARE USED TO MONITOR OTHER COMPANY OPS AND OUR GND BASED METEOROLOGICAL STAFF. WHILE TRANSITIONING THE PREVIOUSLY DESCRIBED AREA; ONE OF OUR COMPANY ACFT INFORMED ME THAT CTR WAS TRYING TO REACH ME. WE HAD NOT HEARD THE CALLS DUE TO THE STATIC AND OUR LOCATION; ALTHOUGH WE COULD STILL FAINTLY HEAR OUR COMPANY ACFT DUE TO THEIR CLOSE PROX. AT OUR MEETING; I HAVE ALWAYS REQUESTED OUR COMPANY VFR ACFT TO MONITOR MY ASSIGNED CTR FREQ WHEN THEY WERE ABLE JUST FOR THIS REASON. I DO NOT KNOW HOW LONG WE WERE UNABLE TO HEAR THEM. I CAN ONLY ESTIMATE SOMEWHERE AROUND 5 MINS. UNDERSTANDABLY THE CTR CTLR WAS DISPLEASED WITH THE OCCURRENCE BUT DID NOT INFORM US OF ANY TFC CONFLICT -- ONLY THAT THEY NEEDED TO KNOW WHICH WAY WE WERE GOING TO BE MANEUVERING; PRESUMABLY BECAUSE OF OUR CLOSE PROX TO ZKC'S AIRSPACE. WE KEEP OUR STATIC DISCHARGERS AND GNDING STRAPS IN GOOD CONDITION ON OUR ACFT. ALTHOUGH I WILL INVESTIGATE FURTHER WITH AVIONICS SHOPS IF ANYTHING ELSE CAN BE DONE TO ALLEVIATE THE SITS. THIS WAS ONE OF THE REASONS WE INSTALLED THE ONE COM RADIO WITH THE INDIVIDUAL VOLUME CTL. ALSO; IT MAY BE WISE TO REQUEST AN EARLY HDOF TO A DIFFERENT SECTOR OR CTR IF I SUSPECT THE SAME SIT DEVELOPING; BUT SOMETIMES IT OCCURS BEFORE ANY INTELLIGENT COMS CAN BE ESTABLISHED.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of January 2009 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.