|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : cps|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3500|
msl bound upper : 3500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : stl|
tower : pvd
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 85|
flight time total : 350
flight time type : 270
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : detected after the fact|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
The airport is situated under the seastern-most edge of the stl TCA. I knew from experience that I had to hold my altitude below 2000' when on northbound course and below 3000' wbound. The common wisdom is that departures to the south and to the east are normally such that by the time one climbs to 3000', he is well clear of the TCA. My first en route fix was to be the farmington VOR, which is on a bearing of 180 degrees from the airport. I taxied from my hangar to the ramp and called ground control advising that I had ATIS and wished a southbound VFR departure. Winds that day were calm. I was assigned runway 4. This was unusual. The bulk of the departures from downtown are on either runway 12R-30L or 12L-30R. Runway 4-22 is a shorter runway with powerline obstructions and not used with nearly the same frequency as the 2 longer ones. Though I did not reflect on it at the time, I now recall that I had never been assigned runway 4 for a southbound on course heading. I was therefore not aware that its use on a southbound heading could lead to a dangerous situation. I taxied to the runup area, completed runup, and called the tower. I was cleared for takeoff, left turn approved. After takeoff and gaining about 500' AGL, I began a climbing left turn to my on course heading of 180 degrees. Since I had departed on runway 4, this amounted to a total change in heading of 220 degrees. I turned gradually while climbing and I continue to climb as I approached my 180 degree heading. However, when I was over the river southbound at 3500', I received a call from the downtown controller advising me that I had violated the TCA. At the time of the call, I was well south of the jefferson barracks bridge and I knew it was clear of the TCA. Thus, I acknowledged the transmission and proceeded to my destination. I was, and I remain, shocked that this might have happened. My training and my pilotage has emphasized careful avoidance of the TCA under VFR flight. After analysis of the charts I can see how it could have happened and how it could be avoided in the future. Most pilots at downtown feel that the TCA floor above the airport is of concern only on routes that are northbound clockwise through sebnd. This is borne out by the runway alignments of the 2 major runways. A departure on 12R or 12L takes the pilot from under the 3000' TCA floor at the end of the runway to a floor of 4500'. Departing on runway 30L or 30R followed by a climbing left turn of 120 degrees puts him easily out from below the TCA when he reaches a heading of 180 degrees. The time required first to clear the obstacles at the end of runway 4, gaining altitude and traveling farther north, and then make a climbing turn through 220 degrees could allow the airplane to climb through the 2500' to the base of the TCA. I would make the following recommendations to prevent another situation like I experienced. First, controllers should normally not assign runway 4 for southbound departure. Second, if its use is necessary, right turns should be recommended to direct the traffic away from the TCA, third, pilots, particularly those in training at the airport, should be made aware of the false sense of security that they can develop on southbound headings.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PENETRATED THE TCA WITHOUT CLRNC.
Narrative: THE ARPT IS SITUATED UNDER THE SEASTERN-MOST EDGE OF THE STL TCA. I KNEW FROM EXPERIENCE THAT I HAD TO HOLD MY ALT BELOW 2000' WHEN ON NBOUND COURSE AND BELOW 3000' WBOUND. THE COMMON WISDOM IS THAT DEPS TO THE S AND TO THE E ARE NORMALLY SUCH THAT BY THE TIME ONE CLBS TO 3000', HE IS WELL CLR OF THE TCA. MY FIRST ENRTE FIX WAS TO BE THE FARMINGTON VOR, WHICH IS ON A BEARING OF 180 DEGS FROM THE ARPT. I TAXIED FROM MY HANGAR TO THE RAMP AND CALLED GND CTL ADVISING THAT I HAD ATIS AND WISHED A SBND VFR DEP. WINDS THAT DAY WERE CALM. I WAS ASSIGNED RWY 4. THIS WAS UNUSUAL. THE BULK OF THE DEPS FROM DOWNTOWN ARE ON EITHER RWY 12R-30L OR 12L-30R. RWY 4-22 IS A SHORTER RWY WITH POWERLINE OBSTRUCTIONS AND NOT USED WITH NEARLY THE SAME FREQUENCY AS THE 2 LONGER ONES. THOUGH I DID NOT REFLECT ON IT AT THE TIME, I NOW RECALL THAT I HAD NEVER BEEN ASSIGNED RWY 4 FOR A SBND ON COURSE HDG. I WAS THEREFORE NOT AWARE THAT ITS USE ON A SBND HDG COULD LEAD TO A DANGEROUS SITUATION. I TAXIED TO THE RUNUP AREA, COMPLETED RUNUP, AND CALLED THE TWR. I WAS CLRED FOR TKOF, LEFT TURN APPROVED. AFTER TKOF AND GAINING ABOUT 500' AGL, I BEGAN A CLBING LEFT TURN TO MY ON COURSE HDG OF 180 DEGS. SINCE I HAD DEPARTED ON RWY 4, THIS AMOUNTED TO A TOTAL CHANGE IN HDG OF 220 DEGS. I TURNED GRADUALLY WHILE CLBING AND I CONTINUE TO CLB AS I APCHED MY 180 DEG HDG. HOWEVER, WHEN I WAS OVER THE RIVER SBND AT 3500', I RECEIVED A CALL FROM THE DOWNTOWN CTLR ADVISING ME THAT I HAD VIOLATED THE TCA. AT THE TIME OF THE CALL, I WAS WELL S OF THE JEFFERSON BARRACKS BRIDGE AND I KNEW IT WAS CLR OF THE TCA. THUS, I ACKNOWLEDGED THE XMISSION AND PROCEEDED TO MY DEST. I WAS, AND I REMAIN, SHOCKED THAT THIS MIGHT HAVE HAPPENED. MY TRNING AND MY PILOTAGE HAS EMPHASIZED CAREFUL AVOIDANCE OF THE TCA UNDER VFR FLT. AFTER ANALYSIS OF THE CHARTS I CAN SEE HOW IT COULD HAVE HAPPENED AND HOW IT COULD BE AVOIDED IN THE FUTURE. MOST PLTS AT DOWNTOWN FEEL THAT THE TCA FLOOR ABOVE THE ARPT IS OF CONCERN ONLY ON ROUTES THAT ARE NBOUND CLOCKWISE THROUGH SEBND. THIS IS BORNE OUT BY THE RWY ALIGNMENTS OF THE 2 MAJOR RWYS. A DEP ON 12R OR 12L TAKES THE PLT FROM UNDER THE 3000' TCA FLOOR AT THE END OF THE RWY TO A FLOOR OF 4500'. DEPARTING ON RWY 30L OR 30R FOLLOWED BY A CLBING LEFT TURN OF 120 DEGS PUTS HIM EASILY OUT FROM BELOW THE TCA WHEN HE REACHES A HDG OF 180 DEGS. THE TIME REQUIRED FIRST TO CLR THE OBSTACLES AT THE END OF RWY 4, GAINING ALT AND TRAVELING FARTHER N, AND THEN MAKE A CLBING TURN THROUGH 220 DEGS COULD ALLOW THE AIRPLANE TO CLB THROUGH THE 2500' TO THE BASE OF THE TCA. I WOULD MAKE THE FOLLOWING RECOMMENDATIONS TO PREVENT ANOTHER SITUATION LIKE I EXPERIENCED. FIRST, CTLRS SHOULD NORMALLY NOT ASSIGN RWY 4 FOR SBND DEP. SECOND, IF ITS USE IS NECESSARY, RIGHT TURNS SHOULD BE RECOMMENDED TO DIRECT THE TFC AWAY FROM THE TCA, THIRD, PLTS, PARTICULARLY THOSE IN TRNING AT THE ARPT, SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF THE FALSE SENSE OF SECURITY THAT THEY CAN DEVELOP ON SBND HDGS.
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.