|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : mry|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3500|
msl bound upper : 3500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : mry|
tower : ord
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 45|
flight time total : 180
flight time type : 55
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
On this trip I took a friend around big sur to see the sights and experienced difficulty communicating with mry approach. I figured the controller was just ignoring me because I wasn't IFR, since the radios were working fine at pao and watsonville. However, coming back from big sur the controller acknowledged very weak xmissions from an small aircraft. Since I couldn't establish communications I proceeded through the TRSA above the mry air traffic area with extreme caution. When we got back to watsonville another pilot reported that my xmissions were very weak and scratchy. I dropped off my passenger, then unplugged and stowed the second headset to preclude cockpit clutter. Just as I did that the radio vol changed significantly. On the return to pao there were again no radio problems with moffett tower or pao tower. When I got home I took apart the second headset and found that a wire in the microphone plug was shorting to the connector shell. Thus, there actually was an electrical problem and mry approach really could not hear me. I had trouble only with them because that was the only time the faulty headset was plugged in. Lesson learned: often the controller is trying to do what he's supposed to and the problem is somewhere else.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: APCH CTLR UNABLE TO READ DUE TO ACFT RADIO PROBLEM.
Narrative: ON THIS TRIP I TOOK A FRIEND AROUND BIG SUR TO SEE THE SIGHTS AND EXPERIENCED DIFFICULTY COMMUNICATING WITH MRY APCH. I FIGURED THE CTLR WAS JUST IGNORING ME BECAUSE I WASN'T IFR, SINCE THE RADIOS WERE WORKING FINE AT PAO AND WATSONVILLE. HOWEVER, COMING BACK FROM BIG SUR THE CTLR ACKNOWLEDGED VERY WEAK XMISSIONS FROM AN SMA. SINCE I COULDN'T ESTABLISH COMS I PROCEEDED THROUGH THE TRSA ABOVE THE MRY ATA WITH EXTREME CAUTION. WHEN WE GOT BACK TO WATSONVILLE ANOTHER PLT RPTED THAT MY XMISSIONS WERE VERY WEAK AND SCRATCHY. I DROPPED OFF MY PAX, THEN UNPLUGGED AND STOWED THE SECOND HEADSET TO PRECLUDE COCKPIT CLUTTER. JUST AS I DID THAT THE RADIO VOL CHANGED SIGNIFICANTLY. ON THE RETURN TO PAO THERE WERE AGAIN NO RADIO PROBS WITH MOFFETT TWR OR PAO TWR. WHEN I GOT HOME I TOOK APART THE SECOND HEADSET AND FOUND THAT A WIRE IN THE MIC PLUG WAS SHORTING TO THE CONNECTOR SHELL. THUS, THERE ACTUALLY WAS AN ELECTRICAL PROB AND MRY APCH REALLY COULD NOT HEAR ME. I HAD TROUBLE ONLY WITH THEM BECAUSE THAT WAS THE ONLY TIME THE FAULTY HEADSET WAS PLUGGED IN. LESSON LEARNED: OFTEN THE CTLR IS TRYING TO DO WHAT HE'S SUPPOSED TO AND THE PROB IS SOMEWHERE ELSE.
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.