|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : vny.airport|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 6000|
msl bound upper : 9000
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Cessna 210 Centurion / Turbo Centurion 210C|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 35|
flight time total : 2400
flight time type : 1100
|Anomaly||airspace violation : entry|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|ATC Facility||procedure or policy : hhr.fss|
We were flying from west of vny up to the north; intending to proceed east toward big bear. We were climbing from around 5000 ft to 9500 ft or so. Prior to our departure; the pilot made 3 attempts to contact FSS to obtain a WX briefing. The first 2 attempts resulted in 1 disconnect and 1 fruitless 10 min wait. On the third attempt; after a 15 min wait; a briefer answered. He told me his computer was down. I told him I had made multiple attempts to get a briefing; and at least wanted to be on tape showing that I had made the attempt. I was particularly interested in temporary flight restrs (tfr's); as these occur frequently during fire season. En route; we tried to obtain flight following and kept getting suggestions to try other frequencys. We also contacted flight watch from the air to get information about tfr's around vny or big bear. Flight watch declined to give this information; saying we needed to contact FSS. We found the frequency for FSS (riverside radio; I think). Due to the delays and failures of the FSS operations on the ground; FSS in the air was mobbed; and we were about #6 to be processed. We left the frequency without receiving service. By this time we could see a small fire area within 10 mi of vny. We took a circuitous route around it but wondered whether we encroached on a tfr. Later we found out that there was a tfr there to 7000 ft. I am fairly certain we were above that and probably outside of the radius of the tfr as well; but I am not 100% certain; as we had not been given the information about the tfr; despite at least 6 attempts to obtain it (3 on the ground; 1 from an ATC frequency that denied us flight following; once from flight watch; and once from FSS in the air. The causes of this incident was the total breakdown of effective FSS briefing of flight critical information since these services were contracted. I know of no comparable breakdown in 20 yrs of flying with the old FAA FSS operations the problem of long wait times; irrelevant briefings; unavailable computer information during briefings; and the rest of this circus has become consistent and dangerous. I guess we could have canceled our flying; so perhaps a contributing factor was that we flew despite the inability to obtain official information that should be; but was not; available.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: C210 PLT FLYING VFR NEAR VNY MADE REPEATED ATTEMPTS TO RECEIVE FLT INFO FROM FSS; BUT WAS UNABLE; REPORTING POSSIBLE TFR ENTRY.
Narrative: WE WERE FLYING FROM W OF VNY UP TO THE N; INTENDING TO PROCEED E TOWARD BIG BEAR. WE WERE CLBING FROM AROUND 5000 FT TO 9500 FT OR SO. PRIOR TO OUR DEP; THE PLT MADE 3 ATTEMPTS TO CONTACT FSS TO OBTAIN A WX BRIEFING. THE FIRST 2 ATTEMPTS RESULTED IN 1 DISCONNECT AND 1 FRUITLESS 10 MIN WAIT. ON THE THIRD ATTEMPT; AFTER A 15 MIN WAIT; A BRIEFER ANSWERED. HE TOLD ME HIS COMPUTER WAS DOWN. I TOLD HIM I HAD MADE MULTIPLE ATTEMPTS TO GET A BRIEFING; AND AT LEAST WANTED TO BE ON TAPE SHOWING THAT I HAD MADE THE ATTEMPT. I WAS PARTICULARLY INTERESTED IN TEMPORARY FLT RESTRS (TFR'S); AS THESE OCCUR FREQUENTLY DURING FIRE SEASON. ENRTE; WE TRIED TO OBTAIN FLT FOLLOWING AND KEPT GETTING SUGGESTIONS TO TRY OTHER FREQS. WE ALSO CONTACTED FLT WATCH FROM THE AIR TO GET INFO ABOUT TFR'S AROUND VNY OR BIG BEAR. FLT WATCH DECLINED TO GIVE THIS INFO; SAYING WE NEEDED TO CONTACT FSS. WE FOUND THE FREQ FOR FSS (RIVERSIDE RADIO; I THINK). DUE TO THE DELAYS AND FAILURES OF THE FSS OPS ON THE GND; FSS IN THE AIR WAS MOBBED; AND WE WERE ABOUT #6 TO BE PROCESSED. WE LEFT THE FREQ WITHOUT RECEIVING SVC. BY THIS TIME WE COULD SEE A SMALL FIRE AREA WITHIN 10 MI OF VNY. WE TOOK A CIRCUITOUS RTE AROUND IT BUT WONDERED WHETHER WE ENCROACHED ON A TFR. LATER WE FOUND OUT THAT THERE WAS A TFR THERE TO 7000 FT. I AM FAIRLY CERTAIN WE WERE ABOVE THAT AND PROBABLY OUTSIDE OF THE RADIUS OF THE TFR AS WELL; BUT I AM NOT 100% CERTAIN; AS WE HAD NOT BEEN GIVEN THE INFO ABOUT THE TFR; DESPITE AT LEAST 6 ATTEMPTS TO OBTAIN IT (3 ON THE GND; 1 FROM AN ATC FREQ THAT DENIED US FLT FOLLOWING; ONCE FROM FLT WATCH; AND ONCE FROM FSS IN THE AIR. THE CAUSES OF THIS INCIDENT WAS THE TOTAL BREAKDOWN OF EFFECTIVE FSS BRIEFING OF FLT CRITICAL INFO SINCE THESE SVCS WERE CONTRACTED. I KNOW OF NO COMPARABLE BREAKDOWN IN 20 YRS OF FLYING WITH THE OLD FAA FSS OPS THE PROB OF LONG WAIT TIMES; IRRELEVANT BRIEFINGS; UNAVAILABLE COMPUTER INFO DURING BRIEFINGS; AND THE REST OF THIS CIRCUS HAS BECOME CONSISTENT AND DANGEROUS. I GUESS WE COULD HAVE CANCELED OUR FLYING; SO PERHAPS A CONTRIBUTING FACTOR WAS THAT WE FLEW DESPITE THE INABILITY TO OBTAIN OFFICIAL INFO THAT SHOULD BE; BUT WAS NOT; AVAILABLE.
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.