|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : mmu|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3000|
msl bound upper : 3040
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : n90|
tower : mmu
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||descent other|
|Function||instruction : instructor|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : instrument
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 3600
flight time type : 75
|Function||instruction : trainee|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited penetrated airspace|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
We were concluding a training flight. We had filed IFR to msv from mmu. We were returning VFR to mmu so we could practice maneuvers--ie, steep turns, slow flight. Our last exercise was to locate the nearest airport, which was greenwood lake airport. This was done. We circled the airport, descending to below 3000' MSL to be below the floor of the TCA, and continued in a cruise descent to mmu. We used LORAN for a direct heading to the airport. The ground varies in height, is approximately 1000' MSL with ridges and obstructions to 1250' MSL. The aircraft was less than 2000' AGL. Approximately 16 NM from mmu, we spotted a small object at our altitude--type, direction and intentions were unclear. We were cautious since training aircraft from 4 airports utilize the area. We slowed our rate of descent as we identified the object--a thermaling hawk-type bird, and allowed the aircraft to drift upward above the bird. Since startled birds dive, a descent below him would have presented a greater hazard. We drifted upward to 3040', presenting a possible hazard to aircraft being vectored at that altitude and presenting a possible intrusion into the TCA. No other traffic was present in the area. Immediately upon passing the bird, we resumed a higher rate of descent to below 2000' MSL and landed at mmu. Contributing factors: concern for smaller, slower, training aircraft known to frequent the area. Surprise to see a bird at that altitude, though we felt the presence of thermals (this area is a path for migrating birds), normally we return IFR or utilize radar service when returning to mmu--however since we planned to deviate to another airport as a training exercise, use of radar service would have been impractical. For short, quick local flts, ie, greenwood lake to mmu, radar service is not practical or possible due to controller workload and radio congestion. Lack of airspace to maneuver within--we had less than 2000' between the ground and the floor of the TCA--we need either more airspace or faster controller response to our request for radar service.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMT ON TRAINING FLT PENETRATED JFK TCA.
Narrative: WE WERE CONCLUDING A TRNING FLT. WE HAD FILED IFR TO MSV FROM MMU. WE WERE RETURNING VFR TO MMU SO WE COULD PRACTICE MANEUVERS--IE, STEEP TURNS, SLOW FLT. OUR LAST EXERCISE WAS TO LOCATE THE NEAREST ARPT, WHICH WAS GREENWOOD LAKE ARPT. THIS WAS DONE. WE CIRCLED THE ARPT, DSNDING TO BELOW 3000' MSL TO BE BELOW THE FLOOR OF THE TCA, AND CONTINUED IN A CRUISE DSCNT TO MMU. WE USED LORAN FOR A DIRECT HDG TO THE ARPT. THE GND VARIES IN HEIGHT, IS APPROX 1000' MSL WITH RIDGES AND OBSTRUCTIONS TO 1250' MSL. THE ACFT WAS LESS THAN 2000' AGL. APPROX 16 NM FROM MMU, WE SPOTTED A SMALL OBJECT AT OUR ALT--TYPE, DIRECTION AND INTENTIONS WERE UNCLEAR. WE WERE CAUTIOUS SINCE TRNING ACFT FROM 4 ARPTS UTILIZE THE AREA. WE SLOWED OUR RATE OF DSCNT AS WE IDENTIFIED THE OBJECT--A THERMALING HAWK-TYPE BIRD, AND ALLOWED THE ACFT TO DRIFT UPWARD ABOVE THE BIRD. SINCE STARTLED BIRDS DIVE, A DSCNT BELOW HIM WOULD HAVE PRESENTED A GREATER HAZARD. WE DRIFTED UPWARD TO 3040', PRESENTING A POSSIBLE HAZARD TO ACFT BEING VECTORED AT THAT ALT AND PRESENTING A POSSIBLE INTRUSION INTO THE TCA. NO OTHER TFC WAS PRESENT IN THE AREA. IMMEDIATELY UPON PASSING THE BIRD, WE RESUMED A HIGHER RATE OF DSCNT TO BELOW 2000' MSL AND LANDED AT MMU. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: CONCERN FOR SMALLER, SLOWER, TRNING ACFT KNOWN TO FREQUENT THE AREA. SURPRISE TO SEE A BIRD AT THAT ALT, THOUGH WE FELT THE PRESENCE OF THERMALS (THIS AREA IS A PATH FOR MIGRATING BIRDS), NORMALLY WE RETURN IFR OR UTILIZE RADAR SVC WHEN RETURNING TO MMU--HOWEVER SINCE WE PLANNED TO DEVIATE TO ANOTHER ARPT AS A TRNING EXERCISE, USE OF RADAR SVC WOULD HAVE BEEN IMPRACTICAL. FOR SHORT, QUICK LCL FLTS, IE, GREENWOOD LAKE TO MMU, RADAR SVC IS NOT PRACTICAL OR POSSIBLE DUE TO CTLR WORKLOAD AND RADIO CONGESTION. LACK OF AIRSPACE TO MANEUVER WITHIN--WE HAD LESS THAN 2000' BTWN THE GND AND THE FLOOR OF THE TCA--WE NEED EITHER MORE AIRSPACE OR FASTER CTLR RESPONSE TO OUR REQUEST FOR RADAR SVC.
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.