|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : ob6|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 500|
msl bound upper : 2000
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 350
flight time type : 120
|Function||other personnel other|
|Qualification||other other : other|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Upon arriving at chatham airport, chatham, ma, in 7/88, I was told to speak to someone in the FBO. I spoke to the manager (no name taken), who told me that someone had reported seeing an aircraft like mine flying at a low altitude over the eastward ho golf course--specifically over the pro shop. The manager, who had not seen my aircraft in any phase of the previous day's flight, accused me of having made this flight and with a certain amount of foul language, told me that I was an 'accident waiting to happen' and that the FAA was going to pull my license. I responded that I had been within legal minimum safe altitudes and distances at all times during my previous day's flight, and that it was unfortunate that someone had alleged to have seen this happen. The previous day's flight had gone as follows: departed hya at approximately XA30 pm local 7/88. Flew east along the south coast of the captain at 1300' MSL. Turned left (northeast) and climbed to 2000' MSL east dennisport. Flew parallel to the chatham runway approximately 4 mi out, still northeast heading. Watched chatham traffic using 24 and decided to make a large sweep to the east to allow a downwind entry to the pattern. I then began a rapid descent from 2000' MSL to approximately 600' MSL. I proceeded over crow's pond, where my altitude never came below 500' MSL over the water. I then climbed sharply to maintain legal minimum safe altitude over the northeast shore of the pond, then proceeded in a wide right hard turn to circle for the landing pattern entry. On 7/mon/88, I flew over this area to retrace my flight path, and at no time was I over the golf course or the bldgs, or even as close as 500' in any direction from them. The golf course is on a narrow section of land between the 2 ponds and I was looking out of the left side of the aircraft into the water on crow's pond as I passed. There was no possibility that this particular flight could have been in the position of which the airport manager accused me. He did tell me that no north numbers were seen on the passing field in order to pick one out for identify. My aircraft has 10' numbers on the side, easily readable from great distances. I don't believe that someone who had seen the aircraft could not have seen the numbers. There are many aircraft in the air on cape cod, including traffic to chatham and provincetown and to nantucket, etc. This would be especially true in the areas around the airports, where this allegedly occurred. Perhaps this observer saw a different aircraft which he then later idented to look similar to mine. I never spoke directly to the observer, nor learned of his (her) identity. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: has made no contact with FAA or has not received any request for information on the incident. Was advised by an FAA acquaintance it could be as long as 1 yr before any inquiry is made. Does not feel he was flying low or in a dangerous manner.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ALLEDGED LOW FLYING BY A GND OBSERVER.
Narrative: UPON ARRIVING AT CHATHAM ARPT, CHATHAM, MA, IN 7/88, I WAS TOLD TO SPEAK TO SOMEONE IN THE FBO. I SPOKE TO THE MGR (NO NAME TAKEN), WHO TOLD ME THAT SOMEONE HAD RPTED SEEING AN ACFT LIKE MINE FLYING AT A LOW ALT OVER THE EASTWARD HO GOLF COURSE--SPECIFICALLY OVER THE PRO SHOP. THE MGR, WHO HAD NOT SEEN MY ACFT IN ANY PHASE OF THE PREVIOUS DAY'S FLT, ACCUSED ME OF HAVING MADE THIS FLT AND WITH A CERTAIN AMOUNT OF FOUL LANGUAGE, TOLD ME THAT I WAS AN 'ACCIDENT WAITING TO HAPPEN' AND THAT THE FAA WAS GOING TO PULL MY LICENSE. I RESPONDED THAT I HAD BEEN WITHIN LEGAL MINIMUM SAFE ALTS AND DISTANCES AT ALL TIMES DURING MY PREVIOUS DAY'S FLT, AND THAT IT WAS UNFORTUNATE THAT SOMEONE HAD ALLEGED TO HAVE SEEN THIS HAPPEN. THE PREVIOUS DAY'S FLT HAD GONE AS FOLLOWS: DEPARTED HYA AT APPROX XA30 PM LCL 7/88. FLEW E ALONG THE S COAST OF THE CAPT AT 1300' MSL. TURNED LEFT (NE) AND CLBED TO 2000' MSL E DENNISPORT. FLEW PARALLEL TO THE CHATHAM RWY APPROX 4 MI OUT, STILL NE HDG. WATCHED CHATHAM TFC USING 24 AND DECIDED TO MAKE A LARGE SWEEP TO THE E TO ALLOW A DOWNWIND ENTRY TO THE PATTERN. I THEN BEGAN A RAPID DSCNT FROM 2000' MSL TO APPROX 600' MSL. I PROCEEDED OVER CROW'S POND, WHERE MY ALT NEVER CAME BELOW 500' MSL OVER THE WATER. I THEN CLBED SHARPLY TO MAINTAIN LEGAL MINIMUM SAFE ALT OVER THE NE SHORE OF THE POND, THEN PROCEEDED IN A WIDE RIGHT HARD TURN TO CIRCLE FOR THE LNDG PATTERN ENTRY. ON 7/MON/88, I FLEW OVER THIS AREA TO RETRACE MY FLT PATH, AND AT NO TIME WAS I OVER THE GOLF COURSE OR THE BLDGS, OR EVEN AS CLOSE AS 500' IN ANY DIRECTION FROM THEM. THE GOLF COURSE IS ON A NARROW SECTION OF LAND BTWN THE 2 PONDS AND I WAS LOOKING OUT OF THE LEFT SIDE OF THE ACFT INTO THE WATER ON CROW'S POND AS I PASSED. THERE WAS NO POSSIBILITY THAT THIS PARTICULAR FLT COULD HAVE BEEN IN THE POS OF WHICH THE ARPT MGR ACCUSED ME. HE DID TELL ME THAT NO N NUMBERS WERE SEEN ON THE PASSING FIELD IN ORDER TO PICK ONE OUT FOR IDENT. MY ACFT HAS 10' NUMBERS ON THE SIDE, EASILY READABLE FROM GREAT DISTANCES. I DON'T BELIEVE THAT SOMEONE WHO HAD SEEN THE ACFT COULD NOT HAVE SEEN THE NUMBERS. THERE ARE MANY ACFT IN THE AIR ON CAPE COD, INCLUDING TFC TO CHATHAM AND PROVINCETOWN AND TO NANTUCKET, ETC. THIS WOULD BE ESPECIALLY TRUE IN THE AREAS AROUND THE ARPTS, WHERE THIS ALLEGEDLY OCCURRED. PERHAPS THIS OBSERVER SAW A DIFFERENT ACFT WHICH HE THEN LATER IDENTED TO LOOK SIMILAR TO MINE. I NEVER SPOKE DIRECTLY TO THE OBSERVER, NOR LEARNED OF HIS (HER) IDENTITY. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: HAS MADE NO CONTACT WITH FAA OR HAS NOT RECEIVED ANY REQUEST FOR INFO ON THE INCIDENT. WAS ADVISED BY AN FAA ACQUAINTANCE IT COULD BE AS LONG AS 1 YR BEFORE ANY INQUIRY IS MADE. DOES NOT FEEL HE WAS FLYING LOW OR IN A DANGEROUS MANNER.
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.