|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : srf|
airport : oak
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 1000|
agl bound upper : 3000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : oak|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Make Model Name||Helicopter|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 30|
flight time total : 1700
flight time type : 750
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : exited penetrated airspace|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
We were with bay approach for advisories and noticed some smoke from a ground fire near san rafael. We headed for the fire at an estimated 3000' AGL, were not warned of any traffic in the vicinity or flight restrictions, etc. Shortly before reaching the fire area, we were notified that we should squawk VFR and were leaving that controller's airspace. Again, no notification of other traffic, flight restrictions, aerial fire fighting, etc, was given although we were then just short of the fire location. We continued to monitor that frequency and heard no further calls with our call sign. We circled once or twice over the fire location, keeping a lookout for other traffic while circling. All on board were looking and the only aircraft noticed as a potential conflict was a helicopter with external load (we assumed a water bucket or other fire suppressant) maneuvering very much lower at the fire site. We estimated his height at 500' AGL, possibly lower and at the most 1000' AGL. The other aircraft was never any where close to our altitude and always in view to the right from both sides of the aircraft while circling to the right at a 30-40 degree bank. That aircraft was never a threat to us nor were we to them. However, we were later informed that someone had complained of a near miss. If it was this aircraft then, in the opinion of all on board, their perceptions of the situation were way off. On the other hand, if it was another aircraft entirely, we did not see it at all. If this was the case, then perhaps we fixated on the rotary wing and neglected our scan for other aircraft even if on a subconscious level. For incident 1, I think a better scan would help if there were in fact 2 other aircraft. If not, then we felt no conflict occurred, but perhaps better communications with bay could have put the other party at ease since we could have acknowledged the other traffic or been warned of any additional aircraft. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter was asked if the fire scene had been established as a temporary restr area by oak center. Reporter had no information to that effect and bay approach control mentioned nothing about such an airspace action. Reporter and 3 others in the aircraft at no time saw another aircraft in close proximity during their sightseeing trip and are mystified about the reported near miss. The FAA has made no follow up inquiries so it appears as if no report was filed.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: PLT REPORTER ACCUSED OF EITHER FLYING INTO TEMPORARY RESTRICTED AREA OR COMING TOO CLOSE TO ANOTHER ACFT.
Narrative: WE WERE WITH BAY APCH FOR ADVISORIES AND NOTICED SOME SMOKE FROM A GND FIRE NEAR SAN RAFAEL. WE HEADED FOR THE FIRE AT AN ESTIMATED 3000' AGL, WERE NOT WARNED OF ANY TFC IN THE VICINITY OR FLT RESTRICTIONS, ETC. SHORTLY BEFORE REACHING THE FIRE AREA, WE WERE NOTIFIED THAT WE SHOULD SQUAWK VFR AND WERE LEAVING THAT CTLR'S AIRSPACE. AGAIN, NO NOTIFICATION OF OTHER TFC, FLT RESTRICTIONS, AERIAL FIRE FIGHTING, ETC, WAS GIVEN ALTHOUGH WE WERE THEN JUST SHORT OF THE FIRE LOCATION. WE CONTINUED TO MONITOR THAT FREQ AND HEARD NO FURTHER CALLS WITH OUR CALL SIGN. WE CIRCLED ONCE OR TWICE OVER THE FIRE LOCATION, KEEPING A LOOKOUT FOR OTHER TFC WHILE CIRCLING. ALL ON BOARD WERE LOOKING AND THE ONLY ACFT NOTICED AS A POTENTIAL CONFLICT WAS A HELI WITH EXTERNAL LOAD (WE ASSUMED A WATER BUCKET OR OTHER FIRE SUPPRESSANT) MANEUVERING VERY MUCH LOWER AT THE FIRE SITE. WE ESTIMATED HIS HEIGHT AT 500' AGL, POSSIBLY LOWER AND AT THE MOST 1000' AGL. THE OTHER ACFT WAS NEVER ANY WHERE CLOSE TO OUR ALT AND ALWAYS IN VIEW TO THE RIGHT FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE ACFT WHILE CIRCLING TO THE RIGHT AT A 30-40 DEG BANK. THAT ACFT WAS NEVER A THREAT TO US NOR WERE WE TO THEM. HOWEVER, WE WERE LATER INFORMED THAT SOMEONE HAD COMPLAINED OF A NEAR MISS. IF IT WAS THIS ACFT THEN, IN THE OPINION OF ALL ON BOARD, THEIR PERCEPTIONS OF THE SITUATION WERE WAY OFF. ON THE OTHER HAND, IF IT WAS ANOTHER ACFT ENTIRELY, WE DID NOT SEE IT AT ALL. IF THIS WAS THE CASE, THEN PERHAPS WE FIXATED ON THE ROTARY WING AND NEGLECTED OUR SCAN FOR OTHER ACFT EVEN IF ON A SUBCONSCIOUS LEVEL. FOR INCIDENT 1, I THINK A BETTER SCAN WOULD HELP IF THERE WERE IN FACT 2 OTHER ACFT. IF NOT, THEN WE FELT NO CONFLICT OCCURRED, BUT PERHAPS BETTER COMS WITH BAY COULD HAVE PUT THE OTHER PARTY AT EASE SINCE WE COULD HAVE ACKNOWLEDGED THE OTHER TFC OR BEEN WARNED OF ANY ADDITIONAL ACFT. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR WAS ASKED IF THE FIRE SCENE HAD BEEN ESTABLISHED AS A TEMPORARY RESTR AREA BY OAK CENTER. RPTR HAD NO INFO TO THAT EFFECT AND BAY APCH CTL MENTIONED NOTHING ABOUT SUCH AN AIRSPACE ACTION. RPTR AND 3 OTHERS IN THE ACFT AT NO TIME SAW ANOTHER ACFT IN CLOSE PROX DURING THEIR SIGHTSEEING TRIP AND ARE MYSTIFIED ABOUT THE RPTED NEAR MISS. THE FAA HAS MADE NO FOLLOW UP INQUIRIES SO IT APPEARS AS IF NO RPT WAS FILED.
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.