|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||airport : fcm|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2000|
msl bound upper : 2000
|Controlling Facilities||tower : fcm|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : commercial
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 3|
flight time total : 350
flight time type : 130
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
I departed flying cloud airport and flew southwest on a sightseeing flight. After cruising south of minneapolis for 20-25 mins, I flew northwest under the msp TCA and east of the fcm airport air traffic area. I have considerable flight time in the msp area, especially out of fcm, and having grown up and lived in the area (ie, my house is 7-10 mi from the airport) for 26 yrs. I know the area well. I was using a VFR terminal area chart for pilotage navigation and planned to fly under NAVAID. I have measured the outward reach of the fcm air traffic area and have since remeasured it, and know there is a corridor I can safely and legally transit in this area west/O being in contact with msp approach/center and/or fcm tower. While flying in this uncontrolled airspace on this date, monitoring the busy fcm tower frequency, I heard a call from tower to an unidentified aircraft to the northeast of fcm. Thinking it may be me, I responded. After fcm tower confirmed my general location (northeast) and altitude (2000' below the TCA), the tower controller confirmed I was the aircraft they were calling. The controller then proceeded to state I was within the air traffic area and I must be in radio contact with fcm tower. I responded that my position was 5 mi to the northeast, and confirmed to myself that I was where I thought I was, approximately over highway 100 and outside the air traffic area (the highway is a visible landmark). Fcm tower then responded that this radar showed one inside the air traffic area, I believe they said 2.5 or 3 mi to the east. Not knowing how to deal with this, ie, should I continue to argue the point on a busy frequency, I responded 'sorry' and the tower went on controling other traffic. There were no more radio calls at this point or upon my return to fcm approximately 25 mins later. However, the subject is not dead as the FAA might contact me anytime in the future and possibly issue an airspace violation. After re-examining my charts I am quite sure today, as I was on 6/fri/88, of what my position was. And, I firmly believe I was outside controled airspace. Note that I had no fear of answering fcm tower's open 'who's that' radio call. Also, I am well aware of the FAA's sensitivity and theirs, and my feelings about the importance of airspace protection. While there were no lives endangered, no near miss, etc, and the situation resolved itself, (I was back in radio contact with fcm), there is still the issue on the disagreement over my position, I don't like it that this situation is just hanging there and not knowing what, if anything, the FAA might do. My thoughts: there should be a statute of limitations on the length of time the FAA has to issue a violation after an event. There should be penalties imposed on the FAA (ATC) for cases where they issue a violation and are wrong. The ability of the FAA to go on witch hunts must be prevented. If a violation is issued and ends up being resolved in the courts or before a board, and the FAA is wrong, the pilot should, at a minimum, be reimbursed for all legal expenses. Fighting the FAA is darn difficult and the penalties to pilots are severe enough that you can't just plead guilty and pay a fine like an automobile violation. I was not in the air traffic area and I will fight this if I must, but the system needs some additional controls.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA AND TWR DISPUTE OVER SMA PENETRATION OF ATA.
Narrative: I DEPARTED FLYING CLOUD ARPT AND FLEW SW ON A SIGHTSEEING FLT. AFTER CRUISING S OF MINNEAPOLIS FOR 20-25 MINS, I FLEW NW UNDER THE MSP TCA AND E OF THE FCM ARPT ATA. I HAVE CONSIDERABLE FLT TIME IN THE MSP AREA, ESPECIALLY OUT OF FCM, AND HAVING GROWN UP AND LIVED IN THE AREA (IE, MY HOUSE IS 7-10 MI FROM THE ARPT) FOR 26 YRS. I KNOW THE AREA WELL. I WAS USING A VFR TERMINAL AREA CHART FOR PILOTAGE NAV AND PLANNED TO FLY UNDER NAVAID. I HAVE MEASURED THE OUTWARD REACH OF THE FCM ATA AND HAVE SINCE REMEASURED IT, AND KNOW THERE IS A CORRIDOR I CAN SAFELY AND LEGALLY TRANSIT IN THIS AREA W/O BEING IN CONTACT WITH MSP APCH/CENTER AND/OR FCM TWR. WHILE FLYING IN THIS UNCTLED AIRSPACE ON THIS DATE, MONITORING THE BUSY FCM TWR FREQ, I HEARD A CALL FROM TWR TO AN UNIDENTIFIED ACFT TO THE NE OF FCM. THINKING IT MAY BE ME, I RESPONDED. AFTER FCM TWR CONFIRMED MY GENERAL LOCATION (NE) AND ALT (2000' BELOW THE TCA), THE TWR CTLR CONFIRMED I WAS THE ACFT THEY WERE CALLING. THE CTLR THEN PROCEEDED TO STATE I WAS WITHIN THE ATA AND I MUST BE IN RADIO CONTACT WITH FCM TWR. I RESPONDED THAT MY POS WAS 5 MI TO THE NE, AND CONFIRMED TO MYSELF THAT I WAS WHERE I THOUGHT I WAS, APPROX OVER HWY 100 AND OUTSIDE THE ATA (THE HWY IS A VISIBLE LANDMARK). FCM TWR THEN RESPONDED THAT THIS RADAR SHOWED ONE INSIDE THE ATA, I BELIEVE THEY SAID 2.5 OR 3 MI TO THE E. NOT KNOWING HOW TO DEAL WITH THIS, IE, SHOULD I CONTINUE TO ARGUE THE POINT ON A BUSY FREQ, I RESPONDED 'SORRY' AND THE TWR WENT ON CTLING OTHER TFC. THERE WERE NO MORE RADIO CALLS AT THIS POINT OR UPON MY RETURN TO FCM APPROX 25 MINS LATER. HOWEVER, THE SUBJECT IS NOT DEAD AS THE FAA MIGHT CONTACT ME ANYTIME IN THE FUTURE AND POSSIBLY ISSUE AN AIRSPACE VIOLATION. AFTER RE-EXAMINING MY CHARTS I AM QUITE SURE TODAY, AS I WAS ON 6/FRI/88, OF WHAT MY POS WAS. AND, I FIRMLY BELIEVE I WAS OUTSIDE CTLED AIRSPACE. NOTE THAT I HAD NO FEAR OF ANSWERING FCM TWR'S OPEN 'WHO'S THAT' RADIO CALL. ALSO, I AM WELL AWARE OF THE FAA'S SENSITIVITY AND THEIRS, AND MY FEELINGS ABOUT THE IMPORTANCE OF AIRSPACE PROTECTION. WHILE THERE WERE NO LIVES ENDANGERED, NO NEAR MISS, ETC, AND THE SITUATION RESOLVED ITSELF, (I WAS BACK IN RADIO CONTACT WITH FCM), THERE IS STILL THE ISSUE ON THE DISAGREEMENT OVER MY POS, I DON'T LIKE IT THAT THIS SITUATION IS JUST HANGING THERE AND NOT KNOWING WHAT, IF ANYTHING, THE FAA MIGHT DO. MY THOUGHTS: THERE SHOULD BE A STATUTE OF LIMITATIONS ON THE LENGTH OF TIME THE FAA HAS TO ISSUE A VIOLATION AFTER AN EVENT. THERE SHOULD BE PENALTIES IMPOSED ON THE FAA (ATC) FOR CASES WHERE THEY ISSUE A VIOLATION AND ARE WRONG. THE ABILITY OF THE FAA TO GO ON WITCH HUNTS MUST BE PREVENTED. IF A VIOLATION IS ISSUED AND ENDS UP BEING RESOLVED IN THE COURTS OR BEFORE A BOARD, AND THE FAA IS WRONG, THE PLT SHOULD, AT A MINIMUM, BE REIMBURSED FOR ALL LEGAL EXPENSES. FIGHTING THE FAA IS DARN DIFFICULT AND THE PENALTIES TO PLTS ARE SEVERE ENOUGH THAT YOU CAN'T JUST PLEAD GUILTY AND PAY A FINE LIKE AN AUTOMOBILE VIOLATION. I WAS NOT IN THE ATA AND I WILL FIGHT THIS IF I MUST, BUT THE SYS NEEDS SOME ADDITIONAL CTLS.
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.