|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : fdk|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 5500|
msl bound upper : 5500
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : student|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 19|
flight time total : 55
flight time type : 55
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
During my first solo cross country I inadvertently followed the wrong heading on dg (correct heading was 014 degrees, I followed 140 degrees). After climbing to my cruising altitude (5500') and opening flight plan with martinsburg FSS, I became concerned with close traffic and was not marking off chkpoints. When I did look down I was over suburbs of a city. I realized I was lost when I saw the chesapeake bay. I was unfamiliar with the dual/communication radios that were in my aircraft and hence was unable to contact anyone. My thought was to land and get my bearings as I realized I could be in controled airspace. Not being able to contact anyone added to my concern (at this point I was still above the arsa at 5500'). I saw a small airport off to my right and overflew the runway to decide the active runway. I then spiraled down and entered the pattern on downwind. When I landed and taxied up to a hangar, I realized I was at tipton air base, ft meade, md. A helicopter pilot suggested some course headings back to home airport of frederick, md. I took off and was careful to stay beneath the arsa. After clearing arsa I climbed to 2500' and tracked the VOR back to frederick. I could have avoided this situation by marking my chkpoints, doublechking correct heading (first and foremost!) and being completely familiar with equipment on board (radios).
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA PLT GOT LOST ON FIRST SOLO CROSS COUNTRY AND HAD TO LAND TO FIND OUT WHERE SHE WAS. LANDED AT AFB AND HELICOPTER PLT GAVE BEARINGS HEADING TO FLY TO HOME BASE.
Narrative: DURING MY FIRST SOLO CROSS COUNTRY I INADVERTENTLY FOLLOWED THE WRONG HDG ON DG (CORRECT HDG WAS 014 DEGS, I FOLLOWED 140 DEGS). AFTER CLBING TO MY CRUISING ALT (5500') AND OPENING FLT PLAN WITH MARTINSBURG FSS, I BECAME CONCERNED WITH CLOSE TFC AND WAS NOT MARKING OFF CHKPOINTS. WHEN I DID LOOK DOWN I WAS OVER SUBURBS OF A CITY. I REALIZED I WAS LOST WHEN I SAW THE CHESAPEAKE BAY. I WAS UNFAMILIAR WITH THE DUAL/COM RADIOS THAT WERE IN MY ACFT AND HENCE WAS UNABLE TO CONTACT ANYONE. MY THOUGHT WAS TO LAND AND GET MY BEARINGS AS I REALIZED I COULD BE IN CTLED AIRSPACE. NOT BEING ABLE TO CONTACT ANYONE ADDED TO MY CONCERN (AT THIS POINT I WAS STILL ABOVE THE ARSA AT 5500'). I SAW A SMALL ARPT OFF TO MY RIGHT AND OVERFLEW THE RWY TO DECIDE THE ACTIVE RWY. I THEN SPIRALED DOWN AND ENTERED THE PATTERN ON DOWNWIND. WHEN I LANDED AND TAXIED UP TO A HANGAR, I REALIZED I WAS AT TIPTON AIR BASE, FT MEADE, MD. A HELI PLT SUGGESTED SOME COURSE HDGS BACK TO HOME ARPT OF FREDERICK, MD. I TOOK OFF AND WAS CAREFUL TO STAY BENEATH THE ARSA. AFTER CLRING ARSA I CLBED TO 2500' AND TRACKED THE VOR BACK TO FREDERICK. I COULD HAVE AVOIDED THIS SITUATION BY MARKING MY CHKPOINTS, DOUBLECHKING CORRECT HDG (FIRST AND FOREMOST!) AND BEING COMPLETELY FAMILIAR WITH EQUIP ON BOARD (RADIOS).
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.