|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : zzz.airport|
|Altitude||agl single value : 1500|
|Make Model Name||Cessna Twin Turboprop Undifferentiated or Other Model|
|Operating Under FAR Part||Part 91|
|Function||observation : observer|
|Qualification||pilot : multi engine|
pilot : instrument
pilot : commercial
pilot : cfi
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 30|
flight time total : 6000
flight time type : 50
|Function||oversight : pic|
|Independent Detector||other other : 2|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Problem Areas||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
There were 3 of us in the aircraft; all check pilots. I was in the back. It had been a long day. I was tired. I had extreme confidence (too much) in the 2 pilots occupying the front seats. We were all giving each other check rides; so although the person in the front left was acting as PIC; it was more like 3 people with too much confidence in each other flying together and knocking out a bunch of check rides in the process. We were practicing finding an ELT; which is something I had done many times before at this particular location (a test beacon set up at a certain member's home). It was all 'old stuff' to me. I nodded off while riding in the back seat. Somewhere during that time the 2 in front were having trouble getting the new ELT locator to work the way they thought it should. The left seater told the right seater to 'turn on that ELT switch above the ELT locator to get it to work.' the right seater later said he didn't think that sounded right to him; but the left seater was much more experienced; so he did it. I was in the back oblivious to anything that was going on in front. When we stopped for fuel; I stepped out of the aircraft and my cell phone was going off. It was a frantic member wanting to know if we were ok. I said we were; and let her know where we were and what we were doing. She said the military had a signal that our specific airplane was sending up an ELT signal and from the location; it looked as if we had crashed near her house. That was followed by another call from another distressed member. Later; when we got back to home base; we were met by the FBO operator who said they had been contacted looking for us. Here's the good news. Those new ELT's work great. The folks in the military are on the ball. Our friends and neighbors really do care about us. Nothing distresses members of the aviation community more than when they learn of a missing aircraft. That's the good news. The bad news is; it doesn't matter how much experience; ratings; credentials; or certificates you have; when you screw up; it's really embarrassing. In fact; the more you have; the more embarrassing it is. The reminder to me was that even though I was a tired old man; there is no excuse for abdicating my responsibilities as a member of the crew. I knew the switch above the ELT locator activated our aircraft's ELT and if I had known what was happening in front; I would have stopped that action before it ever began. However; as it was; I was just a bunch of ballast in the aircraft and nothing more.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: C182 PLTS ACTIVATED THE ELT DURING FLT. THE ACFT WAS THEN BELIEVED TO BE MISSING; AND THE CAP WAS ALERTED.
Narrative: THERE WERE 3 OF US IN THE ACFT; ALL CHK PLTS. I WAS IN THE BACK. IT HAD BEEN A LONG DAY. I WAS TIRED. I HAD EXTREME CONFIDENCE (TOO MUCH) IN THE 2 PLTS OCCUPYING THE FRONT SEATS. WE WERE ALL GIVING EACH OTHER CHK RIDES; SO ALTHOUGH THE PERSON IN THE FRONT L WAS ACTING AS PIC; IT WAS MORE LIKE 3 PEOPLE WITH TOO MUCH CONFIDENCE IN EACH OTHER FLYING TOGETHER AND KNOCKING OUT A BUNCH OF CHK RIDES IN THE PROCESS. WE WERE PRACTICING FINDING AN ELT; WHICH IS SOMETHING I HAD DONE MANY TIMES BEFORE AT THIS PARTICULAR LOCATION (A TEST BEACON SET UP AT A CERTAIN MEMBER'S HOME). IT WAS ALL 'OLD STUFF' TO ME. I NODDED OFF WHILE RIDING IN THE BACK SEAT. SOMEWHERE DURING THAT TIME THE 2 IN FRONT WERE HAVING TROUBLE GETTING THE NEW ELT LOCATOR TO WORK THE WAY THEY THOUGHT IT SHOULD. THE L SEATER TOLD THE R SEATER TO 'TURN ON THAT ELT SWITCH ABOVE THE ELT LOCATOR TO GET IT TO WORK.' THE R SEATER LATER SAID HE DIDN'T THINK THAT SOUNDED RIGHT TO HIM; BUT THE L SEATER WAS MUCH MORE EXPERIENCED; SO HE DID IT. I WAS IN THE BACK OBLIVIOUS TO ANYTHING THAT WAS GOING ON IN FRONT. WHEN WE STOPPED FOR FUEL; I STEPPED OUT OF THE ACFT AND MY CELL PHONE WAS GOING OFF. IT WAS A FRANTIC MEMBER WANTING TO KNOW IF WE WERE OK. I SAID WE WERE; AND LET HER KNOW WHERE WE WERE AND WHAT WE WERE DOING. SHE SAID THE MIL HAD A SIGNAL THAT OUR SPECIFIC AIRPLANE WAS SENDING UP AN ELT SIGNAL AND FROM THE LOCATION; IT LOOKED AS IF WE HAD CRASHED NEAR HER HOUSE. THAT WAS FOLLOWED BY ANOTHER CALL FROM ANOTHER DISTRESSED MEMBER. LATER; WHEN WE GOT BACK TO HOME BASE; WE WERE MET BY THE FBO OPERATOR WHO SAID THEY HAD BEEN CONTACTED LOOKING FOR US. HERE'S THE GOOD NEWS. THOSE NEW ELT'S WORK GREAT. THE FOLKS IN THE MIL ARE ON THE BALL. OUR FRIENDS AND NEIGHBORS REALLY DO CARE ABOUT US. NOTHING DISTRESSES MEMBERS OF THE AVIATION COMMUNITY MORE THAN WHEN THEY LEARN OF A MISSING ACFT. THAT'S THE GOOD NEWS. THE BAD NEWS IS; IT DOESN'T MATTER HOW MUCH EXPERIENCE; RATINGS; CREDENTIALS; OR CERTIFICATES YOU HAVE; WHEN YOU SCREW UP; IT'S REALLY EMBARRASSING. IN FACT; THE MORE YOU HAVE; THE MORE EMBARRASSING IT IS. THE REMINDER TO ME WAS THAT EVEN THOUGH I WAS A TIRED OLD MAN; THERE IS NO EXCUSE FOR ABDICATING MY RESPONSIBILITIES AS A MEMBER OF THE CREW. I KNEW THE SWITCH ABOVE THE ELT LOCATOR ACTIVATED OUR ACFT'S ELT AND IF I HAD KNOWN WHAT WAS HAPPENING IN FRONT; I WOULD HAVE STOPPED THAT ACTION BEFORE IT EVER BEGAN. HOWEVER; AS IT WAS; I WAS JUST A BUNCH OF BALLAST IN THE ACFT AND NOTHING MORE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of May 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.