|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : cvg|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3500|
msl bound upper : 3500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : cvg|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 10|
flight time total : 180
flight time type : 80
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
inflight encounter : vfr in imc
non adherence : far
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
flight crew : declared emergency
none taken : anomaly accepted
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Upon leaving lexington, in the afternoon, I called for a weather briefing. The weather condition in route was all VFR. There was some marginal VFR east of us, which was not going to affect our route of flight. The reported ceilings at cincinnati were about 2200', and visibility was 3 to 5 miles with the possibility of light rain. Lexington was reporting 8,000 overcast, haze and fog 3 to 5 miles visibility. We departed stayed on with lexington departure flying about 3500' to 4000' and once outside of the lexington control area, we switched over to cincinnati approach. Once in contact with cincinnati approach, about 25 miles southwest of the airport, we noticed that the visibility was getting a little bit worse and by the time we realized that the clouds were forming underneath us the visibility quickly deteriorated, at which time we told approach that we needed to find better weather. They told us to maintain VFR if possible and the line of flight we were in, and they would check around to see if there was some better VFR weather around. They came back and said they could not find better VFR weather and asked what we wanted to do. We could still see the ground, we could still see 2 to 3 mi visibility. So at that point they asked if we could still maintain VFR and we felt that we could, but we could see the weather closing in around us pretty rapidly and even at that point a 180 degree turn would have put us into IFR conditions. We tried to maintain the direction of flight, which at that point the weather got to a point where there was an overcast layer below and above us, and again a 180 degree turn would have put us probably into some clouds so we continued to fly straight due north. At that point they asked me again what I felt I should do. Whether we needed to declare an emergency and make an attempted landing at cincinnati via instruments, or if we wanted to vector back to VFR weather, which they weren't even sure at the point if lexington was still VFR. We asked cincinnati approach what their current weather conditions were and they said they were 300 to 500 overcast, 2 miles and light rain showers, and some fog, which surprised me because the hour before they reported 2000 overcast, light rain and 3 to 5 miles visibility. That's when we realized that the weather had deteriorated extremely rapidly, and that trying to go all the way back to lexington might be a little more hazardous than trying to make a landing at cincinnati. We elected the landing at cincinnati considering we had autopilot. At that point they gave us headings to vector us onto runway 27R. Within a few minutes on a separate channel (emergency channel) they had us safely on the ground at cincinnati. At no point were we disoriented or concerned that we were in any danger, fortunately. We felt the controller did an excellent job in bringing us in with proper vectoring and altitude, and again I felt at that time that was the safest action that needed to be taken. I did not realize when we were on the outskirts of cincinnati airspace that the weather was going to deteriorate both in front of us and behind us as rapidly as it did with the visibility decreasing and the ceilings dropping, nor did I realize that listening to the instructions of approach control and not declaring an emergency and immediately turning around (whether that would have done any good I am not sure so I can not say whether that would have been a good decision or not) but again I did not realize that I was breaking a far regulation. If anywhere along the route of flight they would have reported less than 2000' ceilings, I would have not attempted to make this flight, but with 2000' ceilings I felt comfortable with making the flight back to detroit, because the weather in detroit was much better. They were reporting 8000 to 10000 broken, 25000 scattered, I believe I remember that information correctly.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA ENCOUNTERED ENROUTE WX THAT REQUIRED PLT TO REQUEST A FLTASSIST TO IMC ARPT. ACFT WAS ON VFR FLT PLAN AND PLT DID NOT HAVE AN INSTRUMENT RATING.
Narrative: UPON LEAVING LEXINGTON, IN THE AFTERNOON, I CALLED FOR A WEATHER BRIEFING. THE WEATHER CONDITION IN ROUTE WAS ALL VFR. THERE WAS SOME MARGINAL VFR EAST OF US, WHICH WAS NOT GOING TO AFFECT OUR ROUTE OF FLT. THE REPORTED CEILINGS AT CINCINNATI WERE ABOUT 2200', AND VISIBILITY WAS 3 TO 5 MILES WITH THE POSSIBILITY OF LIGHT RAIN. LEXINGTON WAS REPORTING 8,000 OVERCAST, HAZE AND FOG 3 TO 5 MILES VISIBILITY. WE DEPARTED STAYED ON WITH LEXINGTON DEPARTURE FLYING ABOUT 3500' TO 4000' AND ONCE OUTSIDE OF THE LEXINGTON CONTROL AREA, WE SWITCHED OVER TO CINCINNATI APPROACH. ONCE IN CONTACT WITH CINCINNATI APPROACH, ABOUT 25 MILES SW OF THE ARPT, WE NOTICED THAT THE VISIBILITY WAS GETTING A LITTLE BIT WORSE AND BY THE TIME WE REALIZED THAT THE CLOUDS WERE FORMING UNDERNEATH US THE VISIBILITY QUICKLY DETERIORATED, AT WHICH TIME WE TOLD APCH THAT WE NEEDED TO FIND BETTER WEATHER. THEY TOLD US TO MAINTAIN VFR IF POSSIBLE AND THE LINE OF FLT WE WERE IN, AND THEY WOULD CHECK AROUND TO SEE IF THERE WAS SOME BETTER VFR WEATHER AROUND. THEY CAME BACK AND SAID THEY COULD NOT FIND BETTER VFR WEATHER AND ASKED WHAT WE WANTED TO DO. WE COULD STILL SEE THE GND, WE COULD STILL SEE 2 TO 3 MI VISIBILITY. SO AT THAT POINT THEY ASKED IF WE COULD STILL MAINTAIN VFR AND WE FELT THAT WE COULD, BUT WE COULD SEE THE WEATHER CLOSING IN AROUND US PRETTY RAPIDLY AND EVEN AT THAT POINT A 180 DEG TURN WOULD HAVE PUT US INTO IFR CONDITIONS. WE TRIED TO MAINTAIN THE DIRECTION OF FLT, WHICH AT THAT POINT THE WEATHER GOT TO A POINT WHERE THERE WAS AN OVERCAST LAYER BELOW AND ABOVE US, AND AGAIN A 180 DEG TURN WOULD HAVE PUT US PROBABLY INTO SOME CLOUDS SO WE CONTINUED TO FLY STRAIGHT DUE NORTH. AT THAT POINT THEY ASKED ME AGAIN WHAT I FELT I SHOULD DO. WHETHER WE NEEDED TO DECLARE AN EMER AND MAKE AN ATTEMPTED LANDING AT CINCINNATI VIA INSTRUMENTS, OR IF WE WANTED TO VECTOR BACK TO VFR WEATHER, WHICH THEY WEREN'T EVEN SURE AT THE POINT IF LEXINGTON WAS STILL VFR. WE ASKED CINCINNATI APCH WHAT THEIR CURRENT WEATHER CONDITIONS WERE AND THEY SAID THEY WERE 300 TO 500 OVERCAST, 2 MILES AND LIGHT RAIN SHOWERS, AND SOME FOG, WHICH SURPRISED ME BECAUSE THE HOUR BEFORE THEY REPORTED 2000 OVERCAST, LIGHT RAIN AND 3 TO 5 MILES VISIBILITY. THAT'S WHEN WE REALIZED THAT THE WEATHER HAD DETERIORATED EXTREMELY RAPIDLY, AND THAT TRYING TO GO ALL THE WAY BACK TO LEXINGTON MIGHT BE A LITTLE MORE HAZARDOUS THAN TRYING TO MAKE A LANDING AT CINCINNATI. WE ELECTED THE LNDG AT CINCINNATI CONSIDERING WE HAD AUTOPILOT. AT THAT POINT THEY GAVE US HDGS TO VECTOR US ONTO RWY 27R. WITHIN A FEW MINUTES ON A SEPARATE CHANNEL (EMER CHANNEL) THEY HAD US SAFELY ON THE GND AT CINCINNATI. AT NO POINT WERE WE DISORIENTED OR CONCERNED THAT WE WERE IN ANY DANGER, FORTUNATELY. WE FELT THE CTLR DID AN EXCELLENT JOB IN BRINGING US IN WITH PROPER VECTORING AND ALT, AND AGAIN I FELT AT THAT TIME THAT WAS THE SAFEST ACTION THAT NEEDED TO BE TAKEN. I DID NOT REALIZE WHEN WE WERE ON THE OUTSKIRTS OF CINCINNATI AIRSPACE THAT THE WEATHER WAS GOING TO DETERIORATE BOTH IN FRONT OF US AND BEHIND US AS RAPIDLY AS IT DID WITH THE VISIBILITY DECREASING AND THE CEILINGS DROPPING, NOR DID I REALIZE THAT LISTENING TO THE INSTRUCTIONS OF APCH CTL AND NOT DECLARING AN EMER AND IMMEDIATELY TURNING AROUND (WHETHER THAT WOULD HAVE DONE ANY GOOD I AM NOT SURE SO I CAN NOT SAY WHETHER THAT WOULD HAVE BEEN A GOOD DECISION OR NOT) BUT AGAIN I DID NOT REALIZE THAT I WAS BREAKING A FAR REGULATION. IF ANYWHERE ALONG THE ROUTE OF FLT THEY WOULD HAVE REPORTED LESS THAN 2000' CEILINGS, I WOULD HAVE NOT ATTEMPTED TO MAKE THIS FLT, BUT WITH 2000' CEILINGS I FELT COMFORTABLE WITH MAKING THE FLT BACK TO DETROIT, BECAUSE THE WEATHER IN DETROIT WAS MUCH BETTER. THEY WERE REPORTING 8000 TO 10000 BROKEN, 25000 SCATTERED, I BELIEVE I REMEMBER THAT INFORMATION CORRECTLY.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 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.