|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Locale Reference||airport : hhf.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 0|
|Operator||common carrier : charter|
|Make Model Name||Citation I|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 135|
|Affiliation||company : charter|
|Function||flight crew : captain|
oversight : pic
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : multi engine
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 30|
flight time total : 7000
flight time type : 200
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Facility|
|ATC Facility||other physical facility|
There are 2 incidents that I encountered during the day that I feel constituted unsafe delays associated with the 'new' FSS system. I was operating as a crew of two on part 135 charter flts; the WX in general was IFR with widespread low ceilings and scattered rain. On the first leg of our flight we flew a dead leg to hhf to pick up passenger for a revenue flight. It was IFR at hhf so we did the GPS approach into hhf. Upon landing at hhf I attempted to cancel IFR with my cell phone. After a lengthy menu asking me about what state I was in and what part of the state I was in I was finally put on hold. About 10 mins later an FSS specialist finally answered and I was able to cancel my flight plan. About 30 mins later our passenger showed up and we taxied out. While the other crew member was boarding the passenger I again called the FSS on my cell phone. After what seemed like many mins I was finally connected with FSS personnel. He advised me upon hearing my north number that I had not canceled my previous IFR flight plan; which I of course assured him I had. Since we were in a hurry at this point I copied my clearance and we were on our way. The disturbing thing about this is what if another aircraft would have been behind us trying to land at hhf; we had the airport tied up for about an hour; more than most aircraft IFR reserves. The next occurrence was much the same as the first. Later in the day we were on an IFR flight plan to T82. Again the WX at T82 was IFR; in fact it was right at minimums. Upon landing I again dialed the FSS and went through the lengthy menu items and was put on hold. While on hold I walked into the terminal building and was talking with the lady behind the counter (while on hold). 10 mins or so passed and we then heard the king air call in on the unicom frequency and ask if the jet in front of him had canceled his IFR. She advised him I was standing in front of her on hold trying to cancel my IFR flight plan at that time. The king air pilot then relayed another number to call that went directly to the center. She dialed it and I remained on the other line to cancel my IFR flight plan; all the while some nice elevator music played on my cell phone. These kinds of delays are unsafe and unreasonable. There should be a more direct line to cancel IFR flight plans at uncontrolled airports. The system was not perfect before contractor took over but it certainly was a lot better than it is now. Again I would suggest there be a better way to open and especially close IFR flight plans at uncontrolled fields. Getting stuck in a holding pattern while another aircraft is already safely on the ground and burning IFR reserves is an accident waiting to happen.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: C-525 PLT UNABLE TO EXPEDITIOUSLY CONTACT FSS TO CLOSE OUT FLIGHT PLAN.
Narrative: THERE ARE 2 INCIDENTS THAT I ENCOUNTERED DURING THE DAY THAT I FEEL CONSTITUTED UNSAFE DELAYS ASSOCIATED WITH THE 'NEW' FSS SYS. I WAS OPERATING AS A CREW OF TWO ON PART 135 CHARTER FLTS; THE WX IN GENERAL WAS IFR WITH WIDESPREAD LOW CEILINGS AND SCATTERED RAIN. ON THE FIRST LEG OF OUR FLT WE FLEW A DEAD LEG TO HHF TO PICK UP PAX FOR A REVENUE FLT. IT WAS IFR AT HHF SO WE DID THE GPS APCH INTO HHF. UPON LNDG AT HHF I ATTEMPTED TO CANCEL IFR WITH MY CELL PHONE. AFTER A LENGTHY MENU ASKING ME ABOUT WHAT STATE I WAS IN AND WHAT PART OF THE STATE I WAS IN I WAS FINALLY PUT ON HOLD. ABOUT 10 MINS LATER AN FSS SPECIALIST FINALLY ANSWERED AND I WAS ABLE TO CANCEL MY FLT PLAN. ABOUT 30 MINS LATER OUR PAX SHOWED UP AND WE TAXIED OUT. WHILE THE OTHER CREW MEMBER WAS BOARDING THE PAX I AGAIN CALLED THE FSS ON MY CELL PHONE. AFTER WHAT SEEMED LIKE MANY MINS I WAS FINALLY CONNECTED WITH FSS PERSONNEL. HE ADVISED ME UPON HEARING MY N NUMBER THAT I HAD NOT CANCELED MY PREVIOUS IFR FLT PLAN; WHICH I OF COURSE ASSURED HIM I HAD. SINCE WE WERE IN A HURRY AT THIS POINT I COPIED MY CLRNC AND WE WERE ON OUR WAY. THE DISTURBING THING ABOUT THIS IS WHAT IF ANOTHER ACFT WOULD HAVE BEEN BEHIND US TRYING TO LAND AT HHF; WE HAD THE ARPT TIED UP FOR ABOUT AN HR; MORE THAN MOST ACFT IFR RESERVES. THE NEXT OCCURRENCE WAS MUCH THE SAME AS THE FIRST. LATER IN THE DAY WE WERE ON AN IFR FLT PLAN TO T82. AGAIN THE WX AT T82 WAS IFR; IN FACT IT WAS RIGHT AT MINIMUMS. UPON LNDG I AGAIN DIALED THE FSS AND WENT THROUGH THE LENGTHY MENU ITEMS AND WAS PUT ON HOLD. WHILE ON HOLD I WALKED INTO THE TERMINAL BUILDING AND WAS TALKING WITH THE LADY BEHIND THE COUNTER (WHILE ON HOLD). 10 MINS OR SO PASSED AND WE THEN HEARD THE KING AIR CALL IN ON THE UNICOM FREQ AND ASK IF THE JET IN FRONT OF HIM HAD CANCELED HIS IFR. SHE ADVISED HIM I WAS STANDING IN FRONT OF HER ON HOLD TRYING TO CANCEL MY IFR FLT PLAN AT THAT TIME. THE KING AIR PLT THEN RELAYED ANOTHER NUMBER TO CALL THAT WENT DIRECTLY TO THE CTR. SHE DIALED IT AND I REMAINED ON THE OTHER LINE TO CANCEL MY IFR FLT PLAN; ALL THE WHILE SOME NICE ELEVATOR MUSIC PLAYED ON MY CELL PHONE. THESE KINDS OF DELAYS ARE UNSAFE AND UNREASONABLE. THERE SHOULD BE A MORE DIRECT LINE TO CANCEL IFR FLT PLANS AT UNCTLED ARPTS. THE SYS WAS NOT PERFECT BEFORE CONTRACTOR TOOK OVER BUT IT CERTAINLY WAS A LOT BETTER THAN IT IS NOW. AGAIN I WOULD SUGGEST THERE BE A BETTER WAY TO OPEN AND ESPECIALLY CLOSE IFR FLT PLANS AT UNCTLED FIELDS. GETTING STUCK IN A HOLDING PATTERN WHILE ANOTHER ACFT IS ALREADY SAFELY ON THE GND AND BURNING IFR RESERVES IS AN ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN.
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.