|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : mmk.airport|
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : bdl.tracon|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||PA-28 Cherokee/Archer II/Dakota/Pillan/Warrior|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||climbout : initial|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 5|
flight time total : 268
flight time type : 133
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : vfr in imc|
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
Flight Crew Human Performance
I had decided to perform some takeoff and lndgs at mmk. The WX was marginal VFR with an observed ceiling that looked ok. There was mist in the air. Looking north I could see the mountains (about 5 mi) in mist; I was taking off to the south. I could see some occasional flashes of blue sky; and the wind was from the south. During climb out the mist became light rain and the visibility was becoming worse. Then the wall of white came and made the airport behind me disappear. I had no plan for this event. I was just barely at pattern altitude. I started to turn and was going to descend to try to find the airport but I could already tell that I had my hands full. I was concentrating hard to keep the attitude indicator wings level and I started a slight climb; I now had to reduce climb power and keep the plane under control. By now I was at 2000 ft; but fighting to keep the attitude indicator under control. My GPS was on; and I could see hfd and figured that they may be able to help radar me into their airport. I tried to call them; but I had no reply. (I now know that I must have tuned in the wrong frequency.) things were not good; I believe I was fighting vertigo. Some things were not making sense. I then retrieved my chart (yes it was a struggle to maintain control of the aircraft while doing this) and was able to tune in bdl approach and made my call for assistance. They answered! He had me enter a transponder code then tune to another frequency. Having someone to talk to was a great help. He gave me the altimeter setting; started giving me instructions; all turns were half standard rate; he kept reminding me to watch the airspeed; altimeter and would have me call out when wings level after the turns. At about 1200 ft MSL I came out of the clouds with the runway in front of me. The total time in IFR was 30 mins. I normally don't fly in marginal conditions but by me believing that I was just staying in the pattern; I gave myself a false sense of security; and ended up with extreme problems. The decision to take flight was in error due to improper WX/preflight planning.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PRIVATE PLT TAKES OFF IN MARGINAL CONDITIONS AND FLIES INTO IMC.
Narrative: I HAD DECIDED TO PERFORM SOME TKOF AND LNDGS AT MMK. THE WX WAS MARGINAL VFR WITH AN OBSERVED CEILING THAT LOOKED OK. THERE WAS MIST IN THE AIR. LOOKING N I COULD SEE THE MOUNTAINS (ABOUT 5 MI) IN MIST; I WAS TAKING OFF TO THE S. I COULD SEE SOME OCCASIONAL FLASHES OF BLUE SKY; AND THE WIND WAS FROM THE S. DURING CLBOUT THE MIST BECAME LIGHT RAIN AND THE VISIBILITY WAS BECOMING WORSE. THEN THE WALL OF WHITE CAME AND MADE THE ARPT BEHIND ME DISAPPEAR. I HAD NO PLAN FOR THIS EVENT. I WAS JUST BARELY AT PATTERN ALT. I STARTED TO TURN AND WAS GOING TO DSND TO TRY TO FIND THE ARPT BUT I COULD ALREADY TELL THAT I HAD MY HANDS FULL. I WAS CONCENTRATING HARD TO KEEP THE ATTITUDE INDICATOR WINGS LEVEL AND I STARTED A SLIGHT CLB; I NOW HAD TO REDUCE CLB PWR AND KEEP THE PLANE UNDER CTL. BY NOW I WAS AT 2000 FT; BUT FIGHTING TO KEEP THE ATTITUDE INDICATOR UNDER CTL. MY GPS WAS ON; AND I COULD SEE HFD AND FIGURED THAT THEY MAY BE ABLE TO HELP RADAR ME INTO THEIR ARPT. I TRIED TO CALL THEM; BUT I HAD NO REPLY. (I NOW KNOW THAT I MUST HAVE TUNED IN THE WRONG FREQ.) THINGS WERE NOT GOOD; I BELIEVE I WAS FIGHTING VERTIGO. SOME THINGS WERE NOT MAKING SENSE. I THEN RETRIEVED MY CHART (YES IT WAS A STRUGGLE TO MAINTAIN CTL OF THE ACFT WHILE DOING THIS) AND WAS ABLE TO TUNE IN BDL APCH AND MADE MY CALL FOR ASSISTANCE. THEY ANSWERED! HE HAD ME ENTER A XPONDER CODE THEN TUNE TO ANOTHER FREQ. HAVING SOMEONE TO TALK TO WAS A GREAT HELP. HE GAVE ME THE ALTIMETER SETTING; STARTED GIVING ME INSTRUCTIONS; ALL TURNS WERE HALF STANDARD RATE; HE KEPT REMINDING ME TO WATCH THE AIRSPD; ALTIMETER AND WOULD HAVE ME CALL OUT WHEN WINGS LEVEL AFTER THE TURNS. AT ABOUT 1200 FT MSL I CAME OUT OF THE CLOUDS WITH THE RWY IN FRONT OF ME. THE TOTAL TIME IN IFR WAS 30 MINS. I NORMALLY DON'T FLY IN MARGINAL CONDITIONS BUT BY ME BELIEVING THAT I WAS JUST STAYING IN THE PATTERN; I GAVE MYSELF A FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY; AND ENDED UP WITH EXTREME PROBS. THE DECISION TO TAKE FLT WAS IN ERROR DUE TO IMPROPER WX/PREFLT PLANNING.
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.