|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : 72n|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 2 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||landing other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : flight engineer
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 100|
flight time total : 10000
flight time type : 500
|Function||observation : passenger|
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Primary Problem||Chart Or Publication|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
On the morning of 7/tue/88, I planned a flight to manahawkin, nj, from solberg airport (N51) in readington, nj. The WX throughout the area was VFR and forecast to remain VFR for the remainder of the day. Checking the airport/facility directory effective 6/88 under manahawkin airport (72N), I read the following under 'airport remarks:' 'attended XX00Z to dusk...tie down fee...ultra lights prohibited. Airport closed...' I interpreted these remarks to mean the airport was closed to ultra lights only and planned to use miller air park (N44) as an alternate. At approximately XA00 EDT I departed solberg with my wife and 2 sons. About 10-15 mins before landing my oldest boy complained of severe physical discomfort. I immediately became quite anxious and concerned about his ears. He has suffered from chronic inner ear problems since infancy. And, just 4 days before, he suffered from severe ear pain and was placed on antibiotics. That pain subsided by the day before the flight, but his ear showed evidence of fluid drainage. The morning of the flight my wife called his doctor to have him examined. However, the nurse felt the drainage was part of the normal healing process and that it wasn't necessary for him to be seen unless the pain recurred. At this point my concentration shifted to minimizing the risk of damage to my son's hearing by establishing a very controled and slow rate of descent toward manahawkin. I knew manahawkin airport was located on a well traveled road just 2 blocks from a hospital making access to medical assistance expeditious. By continuing attention to flight path I was able to maintain a precise rate of descent arriving with approximately 500' altitude. As I approached the field I could see the runway was marked with an 'X.' but I was very concerned about the medical problem affecting my son's safety and well being. If I proceeded to my alternate I would have to climb and descend again keeping the boy in the air longer and increasing the risk of damage to his ears. I would also be flying away from the hospital and transportation which might be needed for his safety. I therefore overflew the runway the survey its conditions. I was then able to verify the integrity of the runway and assure that a landing could be made west/O risk to any of my passenger, the aircraft, ground personnel or property. It seemed self evident that it was improper and unnecessary to put my son at further risk. I made a wide circuit continuing a shallow consistent descent rate. On final I again verified the runway integrity and landed west/O incident. Contributing factors: ambiguous language in airport/facility directory. If an airport is to be closed that fact should be clearly spelled out as the only remark it should not just be 'tagged' on the normal operational remarks. It was this ambiguity that put me over head the airport in the first place. Concern for the health and safety of my son in light of his medical history made continuing the flight longer than necessary and away from expeditious medical assistance seem inappropriate. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: pilot revealed the lady who runs the airport was unhappy and reported incident to FSDO even though pilot explained he knew airport was closed but concern was getting sick passenger to nearby hospital, which he did. Only reason airport closed was because owner does not want anyone landing there. Nothing wrong with airport. Reporter feels, and analyst agrees, that when airport closed rest of remarks should be removed from airport facs guide and only airport closed left, as anything else is irrelevant at this point and causes confusion. Pilot has not heard from FSDO and his lawyer has called, but FSDO says they have no time to talk to him.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA LANDED AT CLOSED ARPT.
Narrative: ON THE MORNING OF 7/TUE/88, I PLANNED A FLT TO MANAHAWKIN, NJ, FROM SOLBERG ARPT (N51) IN READINGTON, NJ. THE WX THROUGHOUT THE AREA WAS VFR AND FORECAST TO REMAIN VFR FOR THE REMAINDER OF THE DAY. CHKING THE ARPT/FAC DIRECTORY EFFECTIVE 6/88 UNDER MANAHAWKIN ARPT (72N), I READ THE FOLLOWING UNDER 'ARPT REMARKS:' 'ATTENDED XX00Z TO DUSK...TIE DOWN FEE...ULTRA LIGHTS PROHIBITED. ARPT CLOSED...' I INTERPRETED THESE REMARKS TO MEAN THE ARPT WAS CLOSED TO ULTRA LIGHTS ONLY AND PLANNED TO USE MILLER AIR PARK (N44) AS AN ALTERNATE. AT APPROX XA00 EDT I DEPARTED SOLBERG WITH MY WIFE AND 2 SONS. ABOUT 10-15 MINS BEFORE LNDG MY OLDEST BOY COMPLAINED OF SEVERE PHYSICAL DISCOMFORT. I IMMEDIATELY BECAME QUITE ANXIOUS AND CONCERNED ABOUT HIS EARS. HE HAS SUFFERED FROM CHRONIC INNER EAR PROBS SINCE INFANCY. AND, JUST 4 DAYS BEFORE, HE SUFFERED FROM SEVERE EAR PAIN AND WAS PLACED ON ANTIBIOTICS. THAT PAIN SUBSIDED BY THE DAY BEFORE THE FLT, BUT HIS EAR SHOWED EVIDENCE OF FLUID DRAINAGE. THE MORNING OF THE FLT MY WIFE CALLED HIS DOCTOR TO HAVE HIM EXAMINED. HOWEVER, THE NURSE FELT THE DRAINAGE WAS PART OF THE NORMAL HEALING PROCESS AND THAT IT WASN'T NECESSARY FOR HIM TO BE SEEN UNLESS THE PAIN RECURRED. AT THIS POINT MY CONCENTRATION SHIFTED TO MINIMIZING THE RISK OF DAMAGE TO MY SON'S HEARING BY ESTABLISHING A VERY CTLED AND SLOW RATE OF DSCNT TOWARD MANAHAWKIN. I KNEW MANAHAWKIN ARPT WAS LOCATED ON A WELL TRAVELED ROAD JUST 2 BLOCKS FROM A HOSPITAL MAKING ACCESS TO MEDICAL ASSISTANCE EXPEDITIOUS. BY CONTINUING ATTN TO FLT PATH I WAS ABLE TO MAINTAIN A PRECISE RATE OF DSCNT ARRIVING WITH APPROX 500' ALT. AS I APCHED THE FIELD I COULD SEE THE RWY WAS MARKED WITH AN 'X.' BUT I WAS VERY CONCERNED ABOUT THE MEDICAL PROB AFFECTING MY SON'S SAFETY AND WELL BEING. IF I PROCEEDED TO MY ALTERNATE I WOULD HAVE TO CLB AND DSND AGAIN KEEPING THE BOY IN THE AIR LONGER AND INCREASING THE RISK OF DAMAGE TO HIS EARS. I WOULD ALSO BE FLYING AWAY FROM THE HOSPITAL AND TRANSPORTATION WHICH MIGHT BE NEEDED FOR HIS SAFETY. I THEREFORE OVERFLEW THE RWY THE SURVEY ITS CONDITIONS. I WAS THEN ABLE TO VERIFY THE INTEGRITY OF THE RWY AND ASSURE THAT A LNDG COULD BE MADE W/O RISK TO ANY OF MY PAX, THE ACFT, GND PERSONNEL OR PROPERTY. IT SEEMED SELF EVIDENT THAT IT WAS IMPROPER AND UNNECESSARY TO PUT MY SON AT FURTHER RISK. I MADE A WIDE CIRCUIT CONTINUING A SHALLOW CONSISTENT DSCNT RATE. ON FINAL I AGAIN VERIFIED THE RWY INTEGRITY AND LANDED W/O INCIDENT. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: AMBIGUOUS LANGUAGE IN ARPT/FAC DIRECTORY. IF AN ARPT IS TO BE CLOSED THAT FACT SHOULD BE CLEARLY SPELLED OUT AS THE ONLY REMARK IT SHOULD NOT JUST BE 'TAGGED' ON THE NORMAL OPERATIONAL REMARKS. IT WAS THIS AMBIGUITY THAT PUT ME OVER HEAD THE ARPT IN THE FIRST PLACE. CONCERN FOR THE HEALTH AND SAFETY OF MY SON IN LIGHT OF HIS MEDICAL HISTORY MADE CONTINUING THE FLT LONGER THAN NECESSARY AND AWAY FROM EXPEDITIOUS MEDICAL ASSISTANCE SEEM INAPPROPRIATE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: PLT REVEALED THE LADY WHO RUNS THE ARPT WAS UNHAPPY AND RPTED INCIDENT TO FSDO EVEN THOUGH PLT EXPLAINED HE KNEW ARPT WAS CLOSED BUT CONCERN WAS GETTING SICK PAX TO NEARBY HOSPITAL, WHICH HE DID. ONLY REASON ARPT CLOSED WAS BECAUSE OWNER DOES NOT WANT ANYONE LNDG THERE. NOTHING WRONG WITH ARPT. RPTR FEELS, AND ANALYST AGREES, THAT WHEN ARPT CLOSED REST OF REMARKS SHOULD BE REMOVED FROM ARPT FACS GUIDE AND ONLY ARPT CLOSED LEFT, AS ANYTHING ELSE IS IRRELEVANT AT THIS POINT AND CAUSES CONFUSION. PLT HAS NOT HEARD FROM FSDO AND HIS LAWYER HAS CALLED, BUT FSDO SAYS THEY HAVE NO TIME TO TALK TO HIM.
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.