|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : nzj|
airport : smo
airport : l08
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3500|
msl bound upper : 5500
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Navigation In Use||other vortac|
|Flight Phase||climbout : intermediate altitude|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : instrument|
pilot : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 20|
flight time total : 700
flight time type : 60
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : returned to intended course or assigned course|
flight crew : became reoriented
|Primary Problem||Chart Or Publication|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
During a flight from santa monica to L08, I transited the la sfra (aka the la corridor) directly overlying lax. On transiting the sfra on the south, level at 3500', I turned to an approximately easterly heading and proceeded towards the sli VOR. On transiting the airspace beneath zone F of the TCA (5000' floor) in the vicinity of long beach airport, I began a climb to 5500', to remain below the southeast (zone G) segment of the TCA (6000' floor). At this point I tuned in marine nzj VOR, frequency 112.2. Much to my surprise I determined that I appeared to be substantially south of the VOR, rather than approximately due west. I eventually decided to navigate via the jli VOR to the east. Eventually I came to the area of camp pendleton restr zone R2503. I believe that during the navigation uncertainty I may have inadvertently entered the southeast TCA sector, as well as R2503. Chart misprint: on landing and studying the chart carefully I discovered that the printed frequency for nzj is the same as pdz VOR some 30 mi to the north. On reviewing the la sectional chart and the low altitude instrument chart, I determined that nzj's frequency was misprinted on the TCA chart and should have been 117.2. I immediately telephoned this information to NOAA, stating in the strongest terms that this must be considered a potentially very serious error--the proximity to the TCA as well as several restr zones and other special use airspace requires an immediate reissue of the TCA chart. Other problems with la TCA chart: a colleague has also pointed out another flaw in the la TCA chart--the northern boundary of the TCA is defined as being a radial of the vtu VOR, the 075 degree right, but the ventura frequency is not shown on the chart. Additionally, the TCA chart is cluttered, there are important frequencys and communications requirements that are difficult to read, and the vertical boundaries of the TCA and various arsa's are quite difficult to make out. Suggestions: FAA should require greater care with TCA charts. The FAA requires a current la TCA in the cockpit when transiting the sfra, and any careful pilot will certainly have that chart out and will be using it for primary navigation assistance when in the area covered by the chart. Therefore, it seems essential that the FAA transmit to NOAA the criticality of information on the la TCA chart, and take extra precautions to be certain that all information, topographic, navigation, etc, is correct, clear and useful to the pilot in navigating through this difficult airspace. The presentation on the back of the chart, labeled the 'charted VFR flyway planning chart,' is clearer and far more useful in this airspace, but the status of this chart is not known, and there are several aspects that are described as being, '...for evaluation.' I would hope that NOAA would consider this presentation to be the most appropriate for the TCA, and eliminate the full topographic and color information. Though color is often used to convey multi-dimensional information in computer displays, the effect on the TCA chart is to greatly increase the sense of visual clutter, to mask important elements, and to give increased perceptual importance to items that are completely irrelevant (such as yellow, a high perception color, for urban areas). Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter's call to NOAA was very unsatisfactory. They did, however, admit that the error in el toro VORTAC's frequency was their typo. The previous lax TCA chart did have the frequency correct, so it is apparently a mistake made in the printing process. Reporter was informed that a call had been placed to the national flight data center, headquarters, FAA, and that assurance has been received that the frequency error would be corrected and a NOTAM would be published to alert the flying public until the chart is changed. Reporter's suggestions that the vtu frequency be placed on the chart was also relayed to the fdc. Reporter advised that he has heard nothing from the FAA concerning his possible incursions into the lax TCA or R2503. He now assumes that he did not penetrate these areas, or if he did, it was not detected.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA PLT ON PLEASURE FLT BECAME CONFUSED ABOUT NAVIGATION BECAUSE OF AN ERROR ON LAX TCA CHART.
Narrative: DURING A FLT FROM SANTA MONICA TO L08, I TRANSITED THE LA SFRA (AKA THE LA CORRIDOR) DIRECTLY OVERLYING LAX. ON TRANSITING THE SFRA ON THE S, LEVEL AT 3500', I TURNED TO AN APPROX EASTERLY HDG AND PROCEEDED TOWARDS THE SLI VOR. ON TRANSITING THE AIRSPACE BENEATH ZONE F OF THE TCA (5000' FLOOR) IN THE VICINITY OF LONG BEACH ARPT, I BEGAN A CLB TO 5500', TO REMAIN BELOW THE SE (ZONE G) SEGMENT OF THE TCA (6000' FLOOR). AT THIS POINT I TUNED IN MARINE NZJ VOR, FREQ 112.2. MUCH TO MY SURPRISE I DETERMINED THAT I APPEARED TO BE SUBSTANTIALLY S OF THE VOR, RATHER THAN APPROX DUE W. I EVENTUALLY DECIDED TO NAVIGATE VIA THE JLI VOR TO THE E. EVENTUALLY I CAME TO THE AREA OF CAMP PENDLETON RESTR ZONE R2503. I BELIEVE THAT DURING THE NAV UNCERTAINTY I MAY HAVE INADVERTENTLY ENTERED THE SE TCA SECTOR, AS WELL AS R2503. CHART MISPRINT: ON LNDG AND STUDYING THE CHART CAREFULLY I DISCOVERED THAT THE PRINTED FREQ FOR NZJ IS THE SAME AS PDZ VOR SOME 30 MI TO THE N. ON REVIEWING THE LA SECTIONAL CHART AND THE LOW ALT INSTRUMENT CHART, I DETERMINED THAT NZJ'S FREQ WAS MISPRINTED ON THE TCA CHART AND SHOULD HAVE BEEN 117.2. I IMMEDIATELY TELEPHONED THIS INFO TO NOAA, STATING IN THE STRONGEST TERMS THAT THIS MUST BE CONSIDERED A POTENTIALLY VERY SERIOUS ERROR--THE PROX TO THE TCA AS WELL AS SEVERAL RESTR ZONES AND OTHER SPECIAL USE AIRSPACE REQUIRES AN IMMEDIATE REISSUE OF THE TCA CHART. OTHER PROBS WITH LA TCA CHART: A COLLEAGUE HAS ALSO POINTED OUT ANOTHER FLAW IN THE LA TCA CHART--THE NORTHERN BOUNDARY OF THE TCA IS DEFINED AS BEING A RADIAL OF THE VTU VOR, THE 075 DEG R, BUT THE VENTURA FREQ IS NOT SHOWN ON THE CHART. ADDITIONALLY, THE TCA CHART IS CLUTTERED, THERE ARE IMPORTANT FREQS AND COMS REQUIREMENTS THAT ARE DIFFICULT TO READ, AND THE VERT BOUNDARIES OF THE TCA AND VARIOUS ARSA'S ARE QUITE DIFFICULT TO MAKE OUT. SUGGESTIONS: FAA SHOULD REQUIRE GREATER CARE WITH TCA CHARTS. THE FAA REQUIRES A CURRENT LA TCA IN THE COCKPIT WHEN TRANSITING THE SFRA, AND ANY CAREFUL PLT WILL CERTAINLY HAVE THAT CHART OUT AND WILL BE USING IT FOR PRIMARY NAV ASSISTANCE WHEN IN THE AREA COVERED BY THE CHART. THEREFORE, IT SEEMS ESSENTIAL THAT THE FAA XMIT TO NOAA THE CRITICALITY OF INFO ON THE LA TCA CHART, AND TAKE EXTRA PRECAUTIONS TO BE CERTAIN THAT ALL INFO, TOPOGRAPHIC, NAV, ETC, IS CORRECT, CLEAR AND USEFUL TO THE PLT IN NAVIGATING THROUGH THIS DIFFICULT AIRSPACE. THE PRESENTATION ON THE BACK OF THE CHART, LABELED THE 'CHARTED VFR FLYWAY PLANNING CHART,' IS CLEARER AND FAR MORE USEFUL IN THIS AIRSPACE, BUT THE STATUS OF THIS CHART IS NOT KNOWN, AND THERE ARE SEVERAL ASPECTS THAT ARE DESCRIBED AS BEING, '...FOR EVALUATION.' I WOULD HOPE THAT NOAA WOULD CONSIDER THIS PRESENTATION TO BE THE MOST APPROPRIATE FOR THE TCA, AND ELIMINATE THE FULL TOPOGRAPHIC AND COLOR INFO. THOUGH COLOR IS OFTEN USED TO CONVEY MULTI-DIMENSIONAL INFO IN COMPUTER DISPLAYS, THE EFFECT ON THE TCA CHART IS TO GREATLY INCREASE THE SENSE OF VISUAL CLUTTER, TO MASK IMPORTANT ELEMENTS, AND TO GIVE INCREASED PERCEPTUAL IMPORTANCE TO ITEMS THAT ARE COMPLETELY IRRELEVANT (SUCH AS YELLOW, A HIGH PERCEPTION COLOR, FOR URBAN AREAS). CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR'S CALL TO NOAA WAS VERY UNSATISFACTORY. THEY DID, HOWEVER, ADMIT THAT THE ERROR IN EL TORO VORTAC'S FREQ WAS THEIR TYPO. THE PREVIOUS LAX TCA CHART DID HAVE THE FREQ CORRECT, SO IT IS APPARENTLY A MISTAKE MADE IN THE PRINTING PROCESS. RPTR WAS INFORMED THAT A CALL HAD BEEN PLACED TO THE NATL FLT DATA CENTER, HQ, FAA, AND THAT ASSURANCE HAS BEEN RECEIVED THAT THE FREQ ERROR WOULD BE CORRECTED AND A NOTAM WOULD BE PUBLISHED TO ALERT THE FLYING PUBLIC UNTIL THE CHART IS CHANGED. REPORTER'S SUGGESTIONS THAT THE VTU FREQ BE PLACED ON THE CHART WAS ALSO RELAYED TO THE FDC. RPTR ADVISED THAT HE HAS HEARD NOTHING FROM THE FAA CONCERNING HIS POSSIBLE INCURSIONS INTO THE LAX TCA OR R2503. HE NOW ASSUMES THAT HE DID NOT PENETRATE THESE AREAS, OR IF HE DID, IT WAS NOT DETECTED.
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.