|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : sea|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 2500|
msl bound upper : 2500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : sea|
tower : bfi
tower : sea
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Recip Eng|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute : on vectors|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : commercial
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 50|
flight time total : 9000
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Operational Deviation|
The flight I am describing occurred on a flight from paine field, wa, to boeing field at seattle, wa. The purpose of the flight was to take the airplane to boeing field for some radio work. I departed paine field on a VFR flight, no flight plan, and flew for about 15 mins in an area wsw of paine field in the vicinity of pt gamble, checking the autoplt performance at approximately 1500' altitude. Having finished the autoplt check, I called sea approach en route to boeing field at 2500' and was assigned a transponder code. The flight took place over puget sound southbound below the sea TCA. I was expecting sea approach to vector me below the TCA to the east along the duwamish waterway paralleling boeing field on the west side. The controller had several airplanes that were trailing me so his instructions to me were to fly south towards the north end of vashon island and remain at 2500'. He was talking to an airplane behind me at 2000' and asking for visual contact from him. My next instructions were to parallel the shoreline which required a turn on my part to 130 degrees. 130 degrees roughly parallels the seattle shoreline and at that altitude is outside the TCA. It also parallels the active runway at boeing field. Information on the ATIS indicated the traffic flow landing on runway 31. During the contacts with the sea approach control I indicated at different times my destination, boeing field. He continued to hold me at 2500' which was unusual, but I have crossed the center of sea-tac airport on several occasions at approximately that altitude (below 2500') and thought on this occasion that he was vectoring me to make a left hand base leg over the top of sea-tac making it possible to then enter the pattern at boeing for runway 31L. Much to my surprise, he continued my flight path inside the sea-tac air traffic area still at 2500'. When he directed me to switch to the tower I did so. I contacted boeing field tower, told them where I was, and he said to stand by to find the intention of the controller. I continued on the 130 degree heading which then put me inside the TCA overflying the south end of sea-tac airport. Boeing field controller came back. Told me to contact the sea-tac tower, which I did and at that time the sea-tac tower turned me back to the sea approach. There was an airplane on final approach which appeared to be on the ILS for runway 34R. The airplane was approximately 5 mi away, so there was no need for any concern. I was then vectored by approach control to the northeast to fly over the auburn municipal airport before descending and then directed to contact the boeing field tower, which I did. I am reporting this only because it appeared to me that the controller vectoring me to the airport misunderstood the airport to which I was landing and was directing me to land at sea-tac. He was very busy and I believe I tried on 2 occasions to assure him I was going to boeing field, but because of the many radio contacts, this message apparently did not get through. I believe I followed the safest course of action since the WX was completely clear, to continue at my altitude awaiting the 2 towers and the approach control to sort out the instructions. This letter is not written as a criticism, but I am writing it to provide the ASRS program information on an unusual occurrence.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: APCH CTLR VECTORED A POPUP VFR SMT TO THE WRONG ARPT. OPERATIONAL DEVIATION.
Narrative: THE FLT I AM DESCRIBING OCCURRED ON A FLT FROM PAINE FIELD, WA, TO BOEING FIELD AT SEATTLE, WA. THE PURPOSE OF THE FLT WAS TO TAKE THE AIRPLANE TO BOEING FIELD FOR SOME RADIO WORK. I DEPARTED PAINE FIELD ON A VFR FLT, NO FLT PLAN, AND FLEW FOR ABOUT 15 MINS IN AN AREA WSW OF PAINE FIELD IN THE VICINITY OF PT GAMBLE, CHKING THE AUTOPLT PERFORMANCE AT APPROX 1500' ALT. HAVING FINISHED THE AUTOPLT CHK, I CALLED SEA APCH ENRTE TO BOEING FIELD AT 2500' AND WAS ASSIGNED A TRANSPONDER CODE. THE FLT TOOK PLACE OVER PUGET SOUND SBND BELOW THE SEA TCA. I WAS EXPECTING SEA APCH TO VECTOR ME BELOW THE TCA TO THE E ALONG THE DUWAMISH WATERWAY PARALLELING BOEING FIELD ON THE W SIDE. THE CTLR HAD SEVERAL AIRPLANES THAT WERE TRAILING ME SO HIS INSTRUCTIONS TO ME WERE TO FLY S TOWARDS THE N END OF VASHON ISLAND AND REMAIN AT 2500'. HE WAS TALKING TO AN AIRPLANE BEHIND ME AT 2000' AND ASKING FOR VISUAL CONTACT FROM HIM. MY NEXT INSTRUCTIONS WERE TO PARALLEL THE SHORELINE WHICH REQUIRED A TURN ON MY PART TO 130 DEGS. 130 DEGS ROUGHLY PARALLELS THE SEATTLE SHORELINE AND AT THAT ALT IS OUTSIDE THE TCA. IT ALSO PARALLELS THE ACTIVE RWY AT BOEING FIELD. INFO ON THE ATIS INDICATED THE TFC FLOW LNDG ON RWY 31. DURING THE CONTACTS WITH THE SEA APCH CTL I INDICATED AT DIFFERENT TIMES MY DEST, BOEING FIELD. HE CONTINUED TO HOLD ME AT 2500' WHICH WAS UNUSUAL, BUT I HAVE CROSSED THE CENTER OF SEA-TAC ARPT ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS AT APPROX THAT ALT (BELOW 2500') AND THOUGHT ON THIS OCCASION THAT HE WAS VECTORING ME TO MAKE A LEFT HAND BASE LEG OVER THE TOP OF SEA-TAC MAKING IT POSSIBLE TO THEN ENTER THE PATTERN AT BOEING FOR RWY 31L. MUCH TO MY SURPRISE, HE CONTINUED MY FLT PATH INSIDE THE SEA-TAC ATA STILL AT 2500'. WHEN HE DIRECTED ME TO SWITCH TO THE TWR I DID SO. I CONTACTED BOEING FIELD TWR, TOLD THEM WHERE I WAS, AND HE SAID TO STAND BY TO FIND THE INTENTION OF THE CTLR. I CONTINUED ON THE 130 DEG HDG WHICH THEN PUT ME INSIDE THE TCA OVERFLYING THE S END OF SEA-TAC ARPT. BOEING FIELD CTLR CAME BACK. TOLD ME TO CONTACT THE SEA-TAC TWR, WHICH I DID AND AT THAT TIME THE SEA-TAC TWR TURNED ME BACK TO THE SEA APCH. THERE WAS AN AIRPLANE ON FINAL APCH WHICH APPEARED TO BE ON THE ILS FOR RWY 34R. THE AIRPLANE WAS APPROX 5 MI AWAY, SO THERE WAS NO NEED FOR ANY CONCERN. I WAS THEN VECTORED BY APCH CTL TO THE NE TO FLY OVER THE AUBURN MUNI ARPT BEFORE DSNDING AND THEN DIRECTED TO CONTACT THE BOEING FIELD TWR, WHICH I DID. I AM RPTING THIS ONLY BECAUSE IT APPEARED TO ME THAT THE CTLR VECTORING ME TO THE ARPT MISUNDERSTOOD THE ARPT TO WHICH I WAS LNDG AND WAS DIRECTING ME TO LAND AT SEA-TAC. HE WAS VERY BUSY AND I BELIEVE I TRIED ON 2 OCCASIONS TO ASSURE HIM I WAS GOING TO BOEING FIELD, BUT BECAUSE OF THE MANY RADIO CONTACTS, THIS MESSAGE APPARENTLY DID NOT GET THROUGH. I BELIEVE I FOLLOWED THE SAFEST COURSE OF ACTION SINCE THE WX WAS COMPLETELY CLEAR, TO CONTINUE AT MY ALT AWAITING THE 2 TWRS AND THE APCH CTL TO SORT OUT THE INSTRUCTIONS. THIS LETTER IS NOT WRITTEN AS A CRITICISM, BUT I AM WRITING IT TO PROVIDE THE ASRS PROGRAM INFO ON AN UNUSUAL OCCURRENCE.
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.