|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : cty|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 10000|
msl bound upper : 12000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zjx|
tower : sna
|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 : private
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 40|
flight time total : 800
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter other|
non adherence : clearance
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Consequence||faa : investigated|
faa : reviewed incident with flight crew
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
After getting a WX briefing at spg, we departed VFR with a VFR flight plan filed. Our destination was gyy. We had been advised of possible thundershower activity and because of this, flight service did not recommend VFR travel. I explained that I was IFR rated and could file in the air if necessary. Flight service agreed that would be a proper way to proceed and we departed. Flight service reported tops to 8000', so we began our climb to 8500' in an effort to stay VFR on top. Upon reaching northern fl (cross city VOR area), we began to encounter a line of thunderstorm activity as forecast but more dense and higher tops than anticipated. Consequently the controllers were quite busy answering WX related questions and vectoring traffic around the cell activity. They did find time to assist us in working in and around some of the build ups. However, as we were winding our way around and over the cell activity it was becoming clear that conditions were deteriorating and I would have to file an IFR flight plan in the air and work our way through the system. We were not O2 equipped and tops were growing beyond the 12000' level. At the time I filed I was at 10000', but changing altitude and course frequently to remain clear of clouds and VFR. The controller asked us to stand by while he worked out our clearance. In the meantime, anticipating some delay (we were boxed in by the cell activity), we found it necessary to climb to 12000' to stay clear of clouds and out of the rather dark WX activity. When the controller came back and gave us our clearance he asked me to verify that I was at 10000'. I told him that we had climbed to 12000' to remain VFR but would descend to 10000' when we received our clearance. We had been told earlier to change altitudes at pilot's discretion and to remain VFR at all times. At this time or very shortly thereafter, he told us that we were in violation and asked me to verify if I was IFR rated. He then put on his supervisor and they together read us the riot act. While all this was going on, we were beginning to penetrate some worrisome WX conditions and the difficulty with the controllers seemed to compound the problems. We were then asked what altitude we wanted to fly, based on the newer WX situation we requested 12000'. We were cleared at 12000' and the trip proceeded west/O any further incidence. I am not writing to fault the controllers. They were very busy and up to this point had been a big help. This all happened in a very short time period causing a great deal of confusion for all concerned. I am hoping that this report may contribute toward clarifying the proper procedures in the future.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA INFLT ENCOUNTER WX.
Narrative: AFTER GETTING A WX BRIEFING AT SPG, WE DEPARTED VFR WITH A VFR FLT PLAN FILED. OUR DEST WAS GYY. WE HAD BEEN ADVISED OF POSSIBLE THUNDERSHOWER ACTIVITY AND BECAUSE OF THIS, FLT SVC DID NOT RECOMMEND VFR TRAVEL. I EXPLAINED THAT I WAS IFR RATED AND COULD FILE IN THE AIR IF NECESSARY. FLT SVC AGREED THAT WOULD BE A PROPER WAY TO PROCEED AND WE DEPARTED. FLT SVC RPTED TOPS TO 8000', SO WE BEGAN OUR CLB TO 8500' IN AN EFFORT TO STAY VFR ON TOP. UPON REACHING NORTHERN FL (CROSS CITY VOR AREA), WE BEGAN TO ENCOUNTER A LINE OF TSTM ACTIVITY AS FORECAST BUT MORE DENSE AND HIGHER TOPS THAN ANTICIPATED. CONSEQUENTLY THE CTLRS WERE QUITE BUSY ANSWERING WX RELATED QUESTIONS AND VECTORING TFC AROUND THE CELL ACTIVITY. THEY DID FIND TIME TO ASSIST US IN WORKING IN AND AROUND SOME OF THE BUILD UPS. HOWEVER, AS WE WERE WINDING OUR WAY AROUND AND OVER THE CELL ACTIVITY IT WAS BECOMING CLEAR THAT CONDITIONS WERE DETERIORATING AND I WOULD HAVE TO FILE AN IFR FLT PLAN IN THE AIR AND WORK OUR WAY THROUGH THE SYS. WE WERE NOT O2 EQUIPPED AND TOPS WERE GROWING BEYOND THE 12000' LEVEL. AT THE TIME I FILED I WAS AT 10000', BUT CHANGING ALT AND COURSE FREQUENTLY TO REMAIN CLEAR OF CLOUDS AND VFR. THE CTLR ASKED US TO STAND BY WHILE HE WORKED OUT OUR CLRNC. IN THE MEANTIME, ANTICIPATING SOME DELAY (WE WERE BOXED IN BY THE CELL ACTIVITY), WE FOUND IT NECESSARY TO CLB TO 12000' TO STAY CLEAR OF CLOUDS AND OUT OF THE RATHER DARK WX ACTIVITY. WHEN THE CTLR CAME BACK AND GAVE US OUR CLRNC HE ASKED ME TO VERIFY THAT I WAS AT 10000'. I TOLD HIM THAT WE HAD CLBED TO 12000' TO REMAIN VFR BUT WOULD DSND TO 10000' WHEN WE RECEIVED OUR CLRNC. WE HAD BEEN TOLD EARLIER TO CHANGE ALTS AT PLT'S DISCRETION AND TO REMAIN VFR AT ALL TIMES. AT THIS TIME OR VERY SHORTLY THEREAFTER, HE TOLD US THAT WE WERE IN VIOLATION AND ASKED ME TO VERIFY IF I WAS IFR RATED. HE THEN PUT ON HIS SUPVR AND THEY TOGETHER READ US THE RIOT ACT. WHILE ALL THIS WAS GOING ON, WE WERE BEGINNING TO PENETRATE SOME WORRISOME WX CONDITIONS AND THE DIFFICULTY WITH THE CTLRS SEEMED TO COMPOUND THE PROBS. WE WERE THEN ASKED WHAT ALT WE WANTED TO FLY, BASED ON THE NEWER WX SITUATION WE REQUESTED 12000'. WE WERE CLRED AT 12000' AND THE TRIP PROCEEDED W/O ANY FURTHER INCIDENCE. I AM NOT WRITING TO FAULT THE CTLRS. THEY WERE VERY BUSY AND UP TO THIS POINT HAD BEEN A BIG HELP. THIS ALL HAPPENED IN A VERY SHORT TIME PERIOD CAUSING A GREAT DEAL OF CONFUSION FOR ALL CONCERNED. I AM HOPING THAT THIS RPT MAY CONTRIBUTE TOWARD CLARIFYING THE PROPER PROCS IN THE FUTURE.
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.