|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : cap|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 5000|
msl bound upper : 6000
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : spi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 33|
flight time total : 254
flight time type : 135
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : departure|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
other flight crewa
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I took off VFR in VMC (scattered clouds at around 2000' AGL). I then contacted peoria approach to pick up my IFR clearance to mem. I am a new IFR pilot, and this was my first experience with receiving a clearance while airborne. I cannot swear that I heard my clearance accurately, but I understood (and copied the clearance) as 'cleared to the memphis airport, direct cap, then as filed, climb and maintain 6000'.' I read back this clearance and I believe that I was greeted with 'readback correct.' the route I had filed in my flight plan was: direct pia, V129 to cap, V69 to fam, V9 to gqe, direct mem, (generally a ssw route). When I was passed to springfield approach, I was directed to 'descend to 5000', the correct altitude' for my direction of flight. (This might have been a clue to me that something was wrong with my clearance.) as I crossed the cap VOR, I turned to a new course of 187 degrees, with a right-hand correction of about 5-10 degrees. A few mins later, I received an inquiry from springfield as to my heading. I responded that it was about 190 or 195 degrees. A few seconds later, springfield stated that my heading should be about 130 degrees. Asked him to verify that my clearance was the one I have indicated above. He asked me to standby and then came back and told me that my clearance had been: direct cap, direct sam, direct gqe, direct mem. (Communicated with what seemed to me to be like a tone of exasperation or disgust in the voice.) this 'new' clearance was a surprise to me. I had no idea where sam was, and when I found it, I discovered that the distance between there and gqe is something like 225 NM (a lot farther than I would have been able to navigation via VOR at 5000'). The clearance was shortly amended to direct enl, direct gqe, direct mem--a slight improvement, but still a long haul between fixes. From my perspective, a breakdown in the ground-based ATC system occurred. This put me and my passenger, as well as other aircraft in the area, in potential danger. It was fortunate that the conditions at the time made it possible to see and avoid any potentially conflicting traffic. By the way, I included the statement 'new IFR rating' in my remarks section of the flight plan. I did this in hopes of receiving extra care in handling from ATC (slower communications, etc). I would not advise anyone to do this in the future. I was aware of no instances in which I received any benefit from my admission, and in several instances I was aware of what seemed intolerant and condescending attitudes from a few controllers. I doubt that the above incident was related to my admission of neophyte status, but it is not impossible. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter most confused by controller indicating a different clearance than filed. Feels they were trying to keep him clear of st louis area but rather extreme direction to southeast. No arwy between 2 VOR's used, and cleared direct.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: IFR CLRNC CONFUSION.
Narrative: I TOOK OFF VFR IN VMC (SCATTERED CLOUDS AT AROUND 2000' AGL). I THEN CONTACTED PEORIA APCH TO PICK UP MY IFR CLRNC TO MEM. I AM A NEW IFR PLT, AND THIS WAS MY FIRST EXPERIENCE WITH RECEIVING A CLRNC WHILE AIRBORNE. I CANNOT SWEAR THAT I HEARD MY CLRNC ACCURATELY, BUT I UNDERSTOOD (AND COPIED THE CLRNC) AS 'CLRED TO THE MEMPHIS ARPT, DIRECT CAP, THEN AS FILED, CLB AND MAINTAIN 6000'.' I READ BACK THIS CLRNC AND I BELIEVE THAT I WAS GREETED WITH 'READBACK CORRECT.' THE RTE I HAD FILED IN MY FLT PLAN WAS: DIRECT PIA, V129 TO CAP, V69 TO FAM, V9 TO GQE, DIRECT MEM, (GENERALLY A SSW RTE). WHEN I WAS PASSED TO SPRINGFIELD APCH, I WAS DIRECTED TO 'DSND TO 5000', THE CORRECT ALT' FOR MY DIRECTION OF FLT. (THIS MIGHT HAVE BEEN A CLUE TO ME THAT SOMETHING WAS WRONG WITH MY CLRNC.) AS I CROSSED THE CAP VOR, I TURNED TO A NEW COURSE OF 187 DEGS, WITH A RIGHT-HAND CORRECTION OF ABOUT 5-10 DEGS. A FEW MINS LATER, I RECEIVED AN INQUIRY FROM SPRINGFIELD AS TO MY HDG. I RESPONDED THAT IT WAS ABOUT 190 OR 195 DEGS. A FEW SECS LATER, SPRINGFIELD STATED THAT MY HDG SHOULD BE ABOUT 130 DEGS. ASKED HIM TO VERIFY THAT MY CLRNC WAS THE ONE I HAVE INDICATED ABOVE. HE ASKED ME TO STANDBY AND THEN CAME BACK AND TOLD ME THAT MY CLRNC HAD BEEN: DIRECT CAP, DIRECT SAM, DIRECT GQE, DIRECT MEM. (COMMUNICATED WITH WHAT SEEMED TO ME TO BE LIKE A TONE OF EXASPERATION OR DISGUST IN THE VOICE.) THIS 'NEW' CLRNC WAS A SURPRISE TO ME. I HAD NO IDEA WHERE SAM WAS, AND WHEN I FOUND IT, I DISCOVERED THAT THE DISTANCE BTWN THERE AND GQE IS SOMETHING LIKE 225 NM (A LOT FARTHER THAN I WOULD HAVE BEEN ABLE TO NAV VIA VOR AT 5000'). THE CLRNC WAS SHORTLY AMENDED TO DIRECT ENL, DIRECT GQE, DIRECT MEM--A SLIGHT IMPROVEMENT, BUT STILL A LONG HAUL BTWN FIXES. FROM MY PERSPECTIVE, A BREAKDOWN IN THE GND-BASED ATC SYS OCCURRED. THIS PUT ME AND MY PAX, AS WELL AS OTHER ACFT IN THE AREA, IN POTENTIAL DANGER. IT WAS FORTUNATE THAT THE CONDITIONS AT THE TIME MADE IT POSSIBLE TO SEE AND AVOID ANY POTENTIALLY CONFLICTING TFC. BY THE WAY, I INCLUDED THE STATEMENT 'NEW IFR RATING' IN MY REMARKS SECTION OF THE FLT PLAN. I DID THIS IN HOPES OF RECEIVING EXTRA CARE IN HANDLING FROM ATC (SLOWER COMS, ETC). I WOULD NOT ADVISE ANYONE TO DO THIS IN THE FUTURE. I WAS AWARE OF NO INSTANCES IN WHICH I RECEIVED ANY BENEFIT FROM MY ADMISSION, AND IN SEVERAL INSTANCES I WAS AWARE OF WHAT SEEMED INTOLERANT AND CONDESCENDING ATTITUDES FROM A FEW CTLRS. I DOUBT THAT THE ABOVE INCIDENT WAS RELATED TO MY ADMISSION OF NEOPHYTE STATUS, BUT IT IS NOT IMPOSSIBLE. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR MOST CONFUSED BY CTLR INDICATING A DIFFERENT CLRNC THAN FILED. FEELS THEY WERE TRYING TO KEEP HIM CLEAR OF ST LOUIS AREA BUT RATHER EXTREME DIRECTION TO SE. NO ARWY BTWN 2 VOR'S USED, AND CLRED DIRECT.
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.