|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : zfp|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 5500|
msl bound upper : 6000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zma|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 24|
flight time total : 861
flight time type : 743
|Function||controller : non radar|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||altitude deviation : excursion from assigned altitude|
inflight encounter : weather
non adherence : clearance
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I had not flown in the bahamas for 3 or 4 yrs. A friend needed a ride to myam from pmp. I was to leave pmp around XF00Z, drop him off, turn around and clear customs at pbi, and return to pmp. Total flying time was estimated at around 3 hours. That morning about XA00Z a check with flight service warned of an advancing low with associated heavy rain and storms moving into northern fl and forecast to remain in the upper 2/3 of the state. The WX channel on cable tv concurred that the WX would only involve the upper portion of the state. I filed an international IFR flight plan pmp to myam for XF00Z and return IFR, myam to pbi for XG30Z. I discussed at length with the flight service the availability of radar coverage over the area of grand bahama island. I was told that nassau now had radar service, and my chart manual has an area of the bahamas between grand bahama and new providence labeled as 'miami ARTCC (above 6000), nassau cta (to 6000).' there are low altitude instrument routes all over this area. The trip to myam began at XF10Z and was uneventful. Upon leaving myam at XH05Z I noted the sky looked a little dark to the west. I contacted nassau radio and was told to contact freeport radio. I tried to make contact repeatedly as I climbed on a westerly heading to 6500' MSL along the southern side of grand bahama island. The WX now looked terrible and my storm scope put all the activity at my 12-1 O'clock. Finally freeport answered me and told me to report deers intersection at 6000', then zfp VORTAC where a transponder code would be issued. I assumed I would be handed to mia center at that time. Upon reaching zfp I was cleared to 10 DME on the 289 right of zfp. At 10 DME I was handed to mia center, but at 9 DME I had penetrated the leading edge of a storm that was spawning tornadoes in boca raton. Mia was very helpful and immediately let me deviate to the south. I reduced to maneuvering speed and pounded my way along, unable to maintain altitude at times (5500') due to the turbulence. Mia kept asking for my position but the zfp DME was blinking on and off and, of course, went out just before mia would call back for a position check. Finally I exited the storm to the south and made an uneventful visual approach to fxe. As soon as I hit the storm I knew nassau didn't really have radar, or if they do they are not using it, and I should have started yelling for mia a lot sooner. I just had not been over there for so long and I felt uncomfortable telling the bahama controller (I was in his airspace) that I would rather be talking to mia. Now I know things have not changed much. Your only heavy WX chance back from the bahamas is mia center. It always has been and probably always will be. I won't be going back very soon, however, to test this theory. I hope this report has been useful.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: RADAR COVERAGE LACKING IN MYNN AIRSPACE AND TURBULENCE GENERATED ALT DEVIATION.
Narrative: I HAD NOT FLOWN IN THE BAHAMAS FOR 3 OR 4 YRS. A FRIEND NEEDED A RIDE TO MYAM FROM PMP. I WAS TO LEAVE PMP AROUND XF00Z, DROP HIM OFF, TURN AROUND AND CLR CUSTOMS AT PBI, AND RETURN TO PMP. TOTAL FLYING TIME WAS ESTIMATED AT AROUND 3 HRS. THAT MORNING ABOUT XA00Z A CHK WITH FLT SVC WARNED OF AN ADVANCING LOW WITH ASSOCIATED HEAVY RAIN AND STORMS MOVING INTO NORTHERN FL AND FORECAST TO REMAIN IN THE UPPER 2/3 OF THE STATE. THE WX CHANNEL ON CABLE TV CONCURRED THAT THE WX WOULD ONLY INVOLVE THE UPPER PORTION OF THE STATE. I FILED AN INTL IFR FLT PLAN PMP TO MYAM FOR XF00Z AND RETURN IFR, MYAM TO PBI FOR XG30Z. I DISCUSSED AT LENGTH WITH THE FLT SVC THE AVAILABILITY OF RADAR COVERAGE OVER THE AREA OF GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND. I WAS TOLD THAT NASSAU NOW HAD RADAR SVC, AND MY CHART MANUAL HAS AN AREA OF THE BAHAMAS BTWN GRAND BAHAMA AND NEW PROVIDENCE LABELED AS 'MIAMI ARTCC (ABOVE 6000), NASSAU CTA (TO 6000).' THERE ARE LOW ALT INSTRUMENT ROUTES ALL OVER THIS AREA. THE TRIP TO MYAM BEGAN AT XF10Z AND WAS UNEVENTFUL. UPON LEAVING MYAM AT XH05Z I NOTED THE SKY LOOKED A LITTLE DARK TO THE W. I CONTACTED NASSAU RADIO AND WAS TOLD TO CONTACT FREEPORT RADIO. I TRIED TO MAKE CONTACT REPEATEDLY AS I CLBED ON A WESTERLY HDG TO 6500' MSL ALONG THE SOUTHERN SIDE OF GRAND BAHAMA ISLAND. THE WX NOW LOOKED TERRIBLE AND MY STORM SCOPE PUT ALL THE ACTIVITY AT MY 12-1 O'CLOCK. FINALLY FREEPORT ANSWERED ME AND TOLD ME TO RPT DEERS INTXN AT 6000', THEN ZFP VORTAC WHERE A TRANSPONDER CODE WOULD BE ISSUED. I ASSUMED I WOULD BE HANDED TO MIA CENTER AT THAT TIME. UPON REACHING ZFP I WAS CLRED TO 10 DME ON THE 289 R OF ZFP. AT 10 DME I WAS HANDED TO MIA CENTER, BUT AT 9 DME I HAD PENETRATED THE LEADING EDGE OF A STORM THAT WAS SPAWNING TORNADOES IN BOCA RATON. MIA WAS VERY HELPFUL AND IMMEDIATELY LET ME DEVIATE TO THE S. I REDUCED TO MANEUVERING SPD AND POUNDED MY WAY ALONG, UNABLE TO MAINTAIN ALT AT TIMES (5500') DUE TO THE TURB. MIA KEPT ASKING FOR MY POS BUT THE ZFP DME WAS BLINKING ON AND OFF AND, OF COURSE, WENT OUT JUST BEFORE MIA WOULD CALL BACK FOR A POS CHK. FINALLY I EXITED THE STORM TO THE S AND MADE AN UNEVENTFUL VISUAL APCH TO FXE. AS SOON AS I HIT THE STORM I KNEW NASSAU DIDN'T REALLY HAVE RADAR, OR IF THEY DO THEY ARE NOT USING IT, AND I SHOULD HAVE STARTED YELLING FOR MIA A LOT SOONER. I JUST HAD NOT BEEN OVER THERE FOR SO LONG AND I FELT UNCOMFORTABLE TELLING THE BAHAMA CTLR (I WAS IN HIS AIRSPACE) THAT I WOULD RATHER BE TALKING TO MIA. NOW I KNOW THINGS HAVE NOT CHANGED MUCH. YOUR ONLY HEAVY WX CHANCE BACK FROM THE BAHAMAS IS MIA CENTER. IT ALWAYS HAS BEEN AND PROBABLY ALWAYS WILL BE. I WON'T BE GOING BACK VERY SOON, HOWEVER, TO TEST THIS THEORY. I HOPE THIS RPT HAS BEEN USEFUL.
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.