|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1801 To 2400|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : alb|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1000|
msl bound upper : 1000
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : alb|
tower : sch
tower : syr
|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 : 94|
flight time total : 114
flight time type : 114
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : became reoriented|
flight crew : exited penetrated airspace
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
|Airport||other physical facility|
Problem description/corrective actions: I am new private pilot and was returning from a local scenic flight with my wife. It was getting darker quicker than expected and I decided to return back to schenectady airport (from which I started out from). I was over saratoga lake, and reported to sch that I was inbound for landing. I headed approximately 225 degrees, which would head me toward sch (runway 4 was active). I saw what I believed to be sch's beacon, and then directed the plane in that direction. I was unaware that I was heading toward alb and consequently the arsa, until I made out the airport and was parallel to runway 19-37. Having called sch tower moments before to report I was on the downwind, when I realized where I was, I notified sch and they gave me alb approach frequency. I then immediately notified approach and they vectored me back to sch. Contributing factors: from my position, saratoga lake, I was situated east of sch and west of alb. I could not discern the beacon at sch. It is obscured from view due to its situation in trees. The only white/green I made out was alb's. Not knowing that sch's beacon would be obscured, believed it was sch's. In addition, I had never been in area east of sch before, for during my flight training, I was limited to the northwest practice area, where shc's beacon can be seen reasonably well, though I was never out there that late. Upon conferring with my flight instrument, he acknowledged the problem with the obscured beacon and mentioned that other people have had problems locating it because of tree obscuration which makes it hard to see from different approach angles. During this incident I continued to remain, as always, extremely vigilant for other aircraft and was alert to any possible hazards to myself or other people and property.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA UNAUTH PENETRATION OF AIRSPACE.
Narrative: PROB DESCRIPTION/CORRECTIVE ACTIONS: I AM NEW PVT PLT AND WAS RETURNING FROM A LCL SCENIC FLT WITH MY WIFE. IT WAS GETTING DARKER QUICKER THAN EXPECTED AND I DECIDED TO RETURN BACK TO SCHENECTADY ARPT (FROM WHICH I STARTED OUT FROM). I WAS OVER SARATOGA LAKE, AND RPTED TO SCH THAT I WAS INBND FOR LNDG. I HEADED APPROX 225 DEGS, WHICH WOULD HEAD ME TOWARD SCH (RWY 4 WAS ACTIVE). I SAW WHAT I BELIEVED TO BE SCH'S BEACON, AND THEN DIRECTED THE PLANE IN THAT DIRECTION. I WAS UNAWARE THAT I WAS HEADING TOWARD ALB AND CONSEQUENTLY THE ARSA, UNTIL I MADE OUT THE ARPT AND WAS PARALLEL TO RWY 19-37. HAVING CALLED SCH TWR MOMENTS BEFORE TO RPT I WAS ON THE DOWNWIND, WHEN I REALIZED WHERE I WAS, I NOTIFIED SCH AND THEY GAVE ME ALB APCH FREQ. I THEN IMMEDIATELY NOTIFIED APCH AND THEY VECTORED ME BACK TO SCH. CONTRIBUTING FACTORS: FROM MY POS, SARATOGA LAKE, I WAS SITUATED E OF SCH AND W OF ALB. I COULD NOT DISCERN THE BEACON AT SCH. IT IS OBSCURED FROM VIEW DUE TO ITS SITUATION IN TREES. THE ONLY WHITE/GREEN I MADE OUT WAS ALB'S. NOT KNOWING THAT SCH'S BEACON WOULD BE OBSCURED, BELIEVED IT WAS SCH'S. IN ADDITION, I HAD NEVER BEEN IN AREA E OF SCH BEFORE, FOR DURING MY FLT TRNING, I WAS LIMITED TO THE NW PRACTICE AREA, WHERE SHC'S BEACON CAN BE SEEN REASONABLY WELL, THOUGH I WAS NEVER OUT THERE THAT LATE. UPON CONFERRING WITH MY FLT INSTR, HE ACKNOWLEDGED THE PROB WITH THE OBSCURED BEACON AND MENTIONED THAT OTHER PEOPLE HAVE HAD PROBS LOCATING IT BECAUSE OF TREE OBSCURATION WHICH MAKES IT HARD TO SEE FROM DIFFERENT APCH ANGLES. DURING THIS INCIDENT I CONTINUED TO REMAIN, AS ALWAYS, EXTREMELY VIGILANT FOR OTHER ACFT AND WAS ALERT TO ANY POSSIBLE HAZARDS TO MYSELF OR OTHER PEOPLE AND PROPERTY.
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.