|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : hnl|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 4500|
msl bound upper : 4500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : hnl|
|Operator||common carrier : air carrier|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Affiliation||company : air carrier|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 300|
flight time total : 4560
flight time type : 270
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I took off from molokai airport in VFR conditions on a VFR flight plan and climbed northwest to 3000' MSL to get above the clouds. Realizing I would not have sufficient cloud clearance at 3000' MSL, I continued my climb to 4500' MSL. As I approached the honolulu TCA on this part 135 passenger carrying flight at 4500' MSL, there was a lower deck of scattered to broken clouds (bases: 2200' MSL, tops: 3000'-5000' MSL) northeast to southeast of honolulu. Honolulu WX was VFR (24 scattered 45 scattered 250 scattered 25 88 degree 67 degree 06 12 gust 23 29.93). Anticipating the possibility of having to penetrate the cloud deck, I requested an IFR clearance with a visual approach. However, the vectors provided me by honolulu approach control caused me to skirt the clouds to the south and I remained in VFR conditions throughout the entire approach. Since I stayed VFR throughout the entire approach, I apparently violated far part 135.103 'exception to second in command requirement: IFR operations.' if I had been unable to remain VFR throughout the descent, then it would not have been a violation of the far. The problem was caused by an apparent misinterp throughout the company of the intent of far part 135.103(C) which states: 'an IFR approach may be conducted if, upon arrival at the destination airport, unforecast WX conditions do not allow an approach to be completed under VFR.' the action that I took has been briefed and encouraged by company operations and training personnel and is widely practiced. From my initial indoctrination training until the present, it has been stressed that when in doubt, request an IFR clearance into the TCA. Since the pilots and aircraft are all IFR qualified, it would seem to provide a more orderly and safer flow of traffic for the approach controller. I believe a recurrence of this incident could be avoided by more specific wording in the far as to why an IFR clearance cannot be requested when VFR conditions exist. I believe the far as presently written encourages 'scud running,' which is counter to all our efforts to make commuter part 135 operations safer. I also think that a clrer understanding of the far and better training by the operations and training supervisors would have prevented the incident.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SINGLE PLT PART 135 FILED IFR WHEN APCHING HNL.
Narrative: I TOOK OFF FROM MOLOKAI ARPT IN VFR CONDITIONS ON A VFR FLT PLAN AND CLBED NW TO 3000' MSL TO GET ABOVE THE CLOUDS. REALIZING I WOULD NOT HAVE SUFFICIENT CLOUD CLRNC AT 3000' MSL, I CONTINUED MY CLB TO 4500' MSL. AS I APCHED THE HONOLULU TCA ON THIS PART 135 PAX CARRYING FLT AT 4500' MSL, THERE WAS A LOWER DECK OF SCATTERED TO BROKEN CLOUDS (BASES: 2200' MSL, TOPS: 3000'-5000' MSL) NE TO SE OF HONOLULU. HONOLULU WX WAS VFR (24 SCATTERED 45 SCATTERED 250 SCATTERED 25 88 DEG 67 DEG 06 12 GUST 23 29.93). ANTICIPATING THE POSSIBILITY OF HAVING TO PENETRATE THE CLOUD DECK, I REQUESTED AN IFR CLRNC WITH A VISUAL APCH. HOWEVER, THE VECTORS PROVIDED ME BY HONOLULU APCH CTL CAUSED ME TO SKIRT THE CLOUDS TO THE S AND I REMAINED IN VFR CONDITIONS THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE APCH. SINCE I STAYED VFR THROUGHOUT THE ENTIRE APCH, I APPARENTLY VIOLATED FAR PART 135.103 'EXCEPTION TO SECOND IN COMMAND REQUIREMENT: IFR OPS.' IF I HAD BEEN UNABLE TO REMAIN VFR THROUGHOUT THE DSCNT, THEN IT WOULD NOT HAVE BEEN A VIOLATION OF THE FAR. THE PROB WAS CAUSED BY AN APPARENT MISINTERP THROUGHOUT THE COMPANY OF THE INTENT OF FAR PART 135.103(C) WHICH STATES: 'AN IFR APCH MAY BE CONDUCTED IF, UPON ARR AT THE DEST ARPT, UNFORECAST WX CONDITIONS DO NOT ALLOW AN APCH TO BE COMPLETED UNDER VFR.' THE ACTION THAT I TOOK HAS BEEN BRIEFED AND ENCOURAGED BY COMPANY OPS AND TRNING PERSONNEL AND IS WIDELY PRACTICED. FROM MY INITIAL INDOCTRINATION TRNING UNTIL THE PRESENT, IT HAS BEEN STRESSED THAT WHEN IN DOUBT, REQUEST AN IFR CLRNC INTO THE TCA. SINCE THE PLTS AND ACFT ARE ALL IFR QUALIFIED, IT WOULD SEEM TO PROVIDE A MORE ORDERLY AND SAFER FLOW OF TFC FOR THE APCH CTLR. I BELIEVE A RECURRENCE OF THIS INCIDENT COULD BE AVOIDED BY MORE SPECIFIC WORDING IN THE FAR AS TO WHY AN IFR CLRNC CANNOT BE REQUESTED WHEN VFR CONDITIONS EXIST. I BELIEVE THE FAR AS PRESENTLY WRITTEN ENCOURAGES 'SCUD RUNNING,' WHICH IS COUNTER TO ALL OUR EFFORTS TO MAKE COMMUTER PART 135 OPS SAFER. I ALSO THINK THAT A CLRER UNDERSTANDING OF THE FAR AND BETTER TRNING BY THE OPS AND TRNING SUPVRS WOULD HAVE PREVENTED THE INCIDENT.
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.