|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0001 To 0600|
|Locale Reference||airport : 022|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 1000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zoa|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||descent : approach|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 60|
flight time total : 700
flight time type : 500
|Function||oversight : airport manager|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
On a clear night approach to columbia airport runway 35, paved, lighted, 4060' long and 2112' MSL flight elevation, I was at pattern altitude 3112' MSL, 1000' AGL, lined up with runway and beginning descent when I noticed 2 red lights which appeared to me as one over the other. At that altitude I assumed they were the VASI lights indicating that my approach was low, so I slowed my descent to avoid hitting an obstruction in the dark. Upon nearing the end of runway 35, I then noticed that they were red obstruction lights on 2 hangars to the left of the runway. I then applied full flaps, made a steep descent and touched down about midfield, still giving me plenty of room to stop my small aircraft and avoid a go around through the dark valley ahead. The next day I contacted the airport manager and voiced my concerns. He said pilots had been notified that the VASI's were OTS, the red lights were required by FAA and there was nothing he could do about it. Although a tenant at that airport, I do not recall being notified by his office or by NOTAM, but my real concern is a visitor with a faster landing airplane that may not know the terrain as well as I do. There may be an accident--please check it out.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA MISTOOK WARNING LIGHTS ON TOP OF THE HANGAR AT 022 FOR VASI LIGHTS AND ALMOST OVERSHOT THE ARPT.
Narrative: ON A CLEAR NIGHT APCH TO COLUMBIA ARPT RWY 35, PAVED, LIGHTED, 4060' LONG AND 2112' MSL FLT ELEVATION, I WAS AT PATTERN ALT 3112' MSL, 1000' AGL, LINED UP WITH RWY AND BEGINNING DSCNT WHEN I NOTICED 2 RED LIGHTS WHICH APPEARED TO ME AS ONE OVER THE OTHER. AT THAT ALT I ASSUMED THEY WERE THE VASI LIGHTS INDICATING THAT MY APCH WAS LOW, SO I SLOWED MY DSCNT TO AVOID HITTING AN OBSTRUCTION IN THE DARK. UPON NEARING THE END OF RWY 35, I THEN NOTICED THAT THEY WERE RED OBSTRUCTION LIGHTS ON 2 HANGARS TO THE LEFT OF THE RWY. I THEN APPLIED FULL FLAPS, MADE A STEEP DSCNT AND TOUCHED DOWN ABOUT MIDFIELD, STILL GIVING ME PLENTY OF ROOM TO STOP MY SMA AND AVOID A GO AROUND THROUGH THE DARK VALLEY AHEAD. THE NEXT DAY I CONTACTED THE ARPT MGR AND VOICED MY CONCERNS. HE SAID PLTS HAD BEEN NOTIFIED THAT THE VASI'S WERE OTS, THE RED LIGHTS WERE REQUIRED BY FAA AND THERE WAS NOTHING HE COULD DO ABOUT IT. ALTHOUGH A TENANT AT THAT ARPT, I DO NOT RECALL BEING NOTIFIED BY HIS OFFICE OR BY NOTAM, BUT MY REAL CONCERN IS A VISITOR WITH A FASTER LNDG AIRPLANE THAT MAY NOT KNOW THE TERRAIN AS WELL AS I DO. THERE MAY BE AN ACCIDENT--PLEASE CHK IT OUT.
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.