|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : dpk|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 6500|
msl bound upper : 8500
|Controlling Facilities||tower : stt|
|Operator||general aviation : instructional|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Retractable Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : v16|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : commercial|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 75|
flight time total : 900
flight time type : 150
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||conflict : airborne less severe|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : issued new clearance|
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Operational Deviation|
IFR flight from new bedford, ma to pottstown, PA (N47) in cavu conditions. Initial controller advised I'd have to climb to 8000' due to slower traffic ahead. I requested and received VFR on top altitude and was cruising at 6500' MSL. Long island ATC instructed small aircraft make a 360 for sep. I immediately did so and queried whether slowing down would help. ATC said, 'yes, you can expect 3-4 360's.' after completing my 360, I proceeded on course at slower speed. One min later, long island ATC said, 'small aircraft, are you making 360's?' I replied, 'negative. You said make a 360 and expect others.' controller got snippy and said, 'I'll make it easy. Turn to 090' (opposite direction), at which time I cancelled my IFR flight plan and proceeded VFR over to ny TCA at 8500'. While the controllers were slightly busy, they were not overworked in comparison to the approximately 50 flts I've made along this route. This controller's instructions were not what he thought expected. Under IFR, the word 'expected' (as in efc, etc.) implies something in the future and I do not construe it as an immediate instruction. I also feel that when I'm under IFR with VFR on top altitude, I (not ATC) have assumed responsibility for traffic sep, so what was the big deal if I caught up to slower IFR traffic ahead? Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following. Reporter advised that he was correct and controller wrong that controller had to issue the added circle instruction that expect did not suffice. Reporter also counseled that although IFR and VFR on top controller still responsible for sep and that pilot had to advise before changing altitude. Reporter suggested that even though controller in TCA too busy to handle VFR traffic, they at least issue squawk so they know aircraft is there and can verify altitude to other traffic being worked.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA OVERTAKING ANOTHER ACFT GIVEN ONE 360 AND EXPECT MORE BUT CLRNC NEVER GIVEN FOR ADDITIONAL TURNS.
Narrative: IFR FLT FROM NEW BEDFORD, MA TO POTTSTOWN, PA (N47) IN CAVU CONDITIONS. INITIAL CTLR ADVISED I'D HAVE TO CLB TO 8000' DUE TO SLOWER TFC AHEAD. I REQUESTED AND RECEIVED VFR ON TOP ALT AND WAS CRUISING AT 6500' MSL. LONG ISLAND ATC INSTRUCTED SMA MAKE A 360 FOR SEP. I IMMEDIATELY DID SO AND QUERIED WHETHER SLOWING DOWN WOULD HELP. ATC SAID, 'YES, YOU CAN EXPECT 3-4 360'S.' AFTER COMPLETING MY 360, I PROCEEDED ON COURSE AT SLOWER SPD. ONE MIN LATER, LONG ISLAND ATC SAID, 'SMA, ARE YOU MAKING 360'S?' I REPLIED, 'NEGATIVE. YOU SAID MAKE A 360 AND EXPECT OTHERS.' CTLR GOT SNIPPY AND SAID, 'I'LL MAKE IT EASY. TURN TO 090' (OPPOSITE DIRECTION), AT WHICH TIME I CANCELLED MY IFR FLT PLAN AND PROCEEDED VFR OVER TO NY TCA AT 8500'. WHILE THE CTLRS WERE SLIGHTLY BUSY, THEY WERE NOT OVERWORKED IN COMPARISON TO THE APPROX 50 FLTS I'VE MADE ALONG THIS ROUTE. THIS CTLR'S INSTRUCTIONS WERE NOT WHAT HE THOUGHT EXPECTED. UNDER IFR, THE WORD 'EXPECTED' (AS IN EFC, ETC.) IMPLIES SOMETHING IN THE FUTURE AND I DO NOT CONSTRUE IT AS AN IMMEDIATE INSTRUCTION. I ALSO FEEL THAT WHEN I'M UNDER IFR WITH VFR ON TOP ALT, I (NOT ATC) HAVE ASSUMED RESPONSIBILITY FOR TFC SEP, SO WHAT WAS THE BIG DEAL IF I CAUGHT UP TO SLOWER IFR TFC AHEAD? CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING. RPTR ADVISED THAT HE WAS CORRECT AND CTLR WRONG THAT CTLR HAD TO ISSUE THE ADDED CIRCLE INSTRUCTION THAT EXPECT DID NOT SUFFICE. RPTR ALSO COUNSELED THAT ALTHOUGH IFR AND VFR ON TOP CTLR STILL RESPONSIBLE FOR SEP AND THAT PLT HAD TO ADVISE BEFORE CHANGING ALT. RPTR SUGGESTED THAT EVEN THOUGH CTLR IN TCA TOO BUSY TO HANDLE VFR TFC, THEY AT LEAST ISSUE SQUAWK SO THEY KNOW ACFT IS THERE AND CAN VERIFY ALT TO OTHER TFC BEING WORKED.
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.