|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : mkc|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 10|
agl bound upper : 10
|Controlling Facilities||tower : mkc|
|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 : instrument|
pilot : cfi
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 60|
flight time total : 1400
flight time type : 15
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 75|
flight time total : 5800
|Anomaly||non adherence : far|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other other : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
While on a right downwind leg for runway 19 at mkc, I requested clearance to make a low pass down the runway. The tower cleared me and I proceeded to descend in the pattern for the low pass. ATIS had informed me that the last 500' of runway 19 was closed. I interpreted this to mean no usage could be made of this segment for takeoff or lndgs. I was aware of equipment off to the west side of the runway as I began my low pass. The centerline of the runway was maintained as I executed the maneuver and I maintained approximately 15' clearance above the runway surface, not trying to get any lower since I hadn't flown the aircraft for quite a while. Before flying abeam the equipment, I executed a pull up and right turn to re-enter the pattern for a full stop landing. While taxiing in the tower told us to call the airport manager, but he came over to see us while we were securing the airplane. He asked us for our names and license numbers and told us that we had narrowly missed taking off a worker's head. He also said we were flying too low for a low pass and that our flying was reckless and imprudent (in so many words). My passenger (the owner of the airplane) took exception to his accusations and informed the airport manager that we had clearance from the tower, that the visibility from the small aircraft was excellent, and that there wasn't anybody on the runway when we approached the closed section. He then informed us that he told the painter to clear the area when he saw us coming. We also explained that our pull up started before the equipment, so that if anybody was standing in the middle of the runway we would have cleared them. Everybody eventually cooled down, names were given with license numbers, apologies made, harmless intentions expressed, but we never admitted who was flying the airplane. I later called AOPA and the aviation specialist said recent court cases stated that FAA tower personnel do not have the authority to issue clrncs for low passes. This authority must come from the FAA administrator or an employee with designated administrator's pwrs. The airport manager said he would talk with the tower chief and give us a call. The next day he called and said he wasn't going to pursue the matter any further. This matter could have been avoided in several ways. The tower shouldn't issue low pass clrncs, there should be better communication between the manager and the tower, the tower should have told us to break off the maneuver, ATIS could be more specific about reasons for the runway segment closure, and local contractors should be made aware of possible conditions which could lead to the immediate clearing of the runway, like an engine failure. I sensed that the local contractor was angry that he had to pull a worker off the runway due to low flying traffic when he was told that it would be closed. This in turn leads to the airport manager getting chewed on, who in turn decides to chew on us. There was nothing unsafe about our maneuver and we did not come close to hitting anybody. I had a clear unobstructed view of the runway in front of me and my concentration was focused very sharply on the low pass maneuver. I have performed this maneuver at airshows and other airports, so I am experienced somewhat with this type of flying. My low passes from now on will be missed apches and the minimum altitudes AGL will by 50'.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: CIVILIAN MTR MAKING LOW PASS FLEW LOW OVER MEN WORKING ON A CLOSE PORTION OF THE RWY.
Narrative: WHILE ON A RIGHT DOWNWIND LEG FOR RWY 19 AT MKC, I REQUESTED CLRNC TO MAKE A LOW PASS DOWN THE RWY. THE TWR CLRED ME AND I PROCEEDED TO DSND IN THE PATTERN FOR THE LOW PASS. ATIS HAD INFORMED ME THAT THE LAST 500' OF RWY 19 WAS CLOSED. I INTERPRETED THIS TO MEAN NO USAGE COULD BE MADE OF THIS SEGMENT FOR TKOF OR LNDGS. I WAS AWARE OF EQUIP OFF TO THE W SIDE OF THE RWY AS I BEGAN MY LOW PASS. THE CENTERLINE OF THE RWY WAS MAINTAINED AS I EXECUTED THE MANEUVER AND I MAINTAINED APPROX 15' CLRNC ABOVE THE RWY SURFACE, NOT TRYING TO GET ANY LOWER SINCE I HADN'T FLOWN THE ACFT FOR QUITE A WHILE. BEFORE FLYING ABEAM THE EQUIP, I EXECUTED A PULL UP AND RIGHT TURN TO RE-ENTER THE PATTERN FOR A FULL STOP LNDG. WHILE TAXIING IN THE TWR TOLD US TO CALL THE ARPT MGR, BUT HE CAME OVER TO SEE US WHILE WE WERE SECURING THE AIRPLANE. HE ASKED US FOR OUR NAMES AND LICENSE NUMBERS AND TOLD US THAT WE HAD NARROWLY MISSED TAKING OFF A WORKER'S HEAD. HE ALSO SAID WE WERE FLYING TOO LOW FOR A LOW PASS AND THAT OUR FLYING WAS RECKLESS AND IMPRUDENT (IN SO MANY WORDS). MY PAX (THE OWNER OF THE AIRPLANE) TOOK EXCEPTION TO HIS ACCUSATIONS AND INFORMED THE ARPT MGR THAT WE HAD CLRNC FROM THE TWR, THAT THE VIS FROM THE SMA WAS EXCELLENT, AND THAT THERE WASN'T ANYBODY ON THE RWY WHEN WE APCHED THE CLOSED SECTION. HE THEN INFORMED US THAT HE TOLD THE PAINTER TO CLEAR THE AREA WHEN HE SAW US COMING. WE ALSO EXPLAINED THAT OUR PULL UP STARTED BEFORE THE EQUIP, SO THAT IF ANYBODY WAS STANDING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE RWY WE WOULD HAVE CLRED THEM. EVERYBODY EVENTUALLY COOLED DOWN, NAMES WERE GIVEN WITH LICENSE NUMBERS, APOLOGIES MADE, HARMLESS INTENTIONS EXPRESSED, BUT WE NEVER ADMITTED WHO WAS FLYING THE AIRPLANE. I LATER CALLED AOPA AND THE AVIATION SPECIALIST SAID RECENT COURT CASES STATED THAT FAA TWR PERSONNEL DO NOT HAVE THE AUTHORITY TO ISSUE CLRNCS FOR LOW PASSES. THIS AUTHORITY MUST COME FROM THE FAA ADMINISTRATOR OR AN EMPLOYEE WITH DESIGNATED ADMINISTRATOR'S PWRS. THE ARPT MGR SAID HE WOULD TALK WITH THE TWR CHIEF AND GIVE US A CALL. THE NEXT DAY HE CALLED AND SAID HE WASN'T GOING TO PURSUE THE MATTER ANY FURTHER. THIS MATTER COULD HAVE BEEN AVOIDED IN SEVERAL WAYS. THE TWR SHOULDN'T ISSUE LOW PASS CLRNCS, THERE SHOULD BE BETTER COM BTWN THE MGR AND THE TWR, THE TWR SHOULD HAVE TOLD US TO BREAK OFF THE MANEUVER, ATIS COULD BE MORE SPECIFIC ABOUT REASONS FOR THE RWY SEGMENT CLOSURE, AND LCL CONTRACTORS SHOULD BE MADE AWARE OF POSSIBLE CONDITIONS WHICH COULD LEAD TO THE IMMEDIATE CLRING OF THE RWY, LIKE AN ENG FAILURE. I SENSED THAT THE LCL CONTRACTOR WAS ANGRY THAT HE HAD TO PULL A WORKER OFF THE RWY DUE TO LOW FLYING TFC WHEN HE WAS TOLD THAT IT WOULD BE CLOSED. THIS IN TURN LEADS TO THE ARPT MGR GETTING CHEWED ON, WHO IN TURN DECIDES TO CHEW ON US. THERE WAS NOTHING UNSAFE ABOUT OUR MANEUVER AND WE DID NOT COME CLOSE TO HITTING ANYBODY. I HAD A CLEAR UNOBSTRUCTED VIEW OF THE RWY IN FRONT OF ME AND MY CONCENTRATION WAS FOCUSED VERY SHARPLY ON THE LOW PASS MANEUVER. I HAVE PERFORMED THIS MANEUVER AT AIRSHOWS AND OTHER ARPTS, SO I AM EXPERIENCED SOMEWHAT WITH THIS TYPE OF FLYING. MY LOW PASSES FROM NOW ON WILL BE MISSED APCHES AND THE MINIMUM ALTS AGL WILL BY 50'.
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.