|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : aln|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Controlling Facilities||tower : aln|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Transport, Low Wing, 2 Turboprop Eng|
|Flight Phase||climbout : takeoff|
ground other : taxi
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : atp
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 110|
flight time total : 16800
flight time type : 600
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : local|
|Qualification||controller : non radar|
|Anomaly||incursion : runway|
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other controllera|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : anomaly accepted|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
Prior to my evening departure from aln I obtained the ATIS information using my aircraft #1 radio and headset. I retuned the same radio to ground control (120.2) and called for taxi clearance. After no reply, I tried the frequency several more times and then looked at the tower (less than 100 yds away) for any signs of activity. I saw no occupants in the control cabin attendant and no lights, and since the tower was shown on the nos approach plat as part time, I presumed they had closed at sunset. I switched to the common traffic advisory frequency (126.0) and called in the blind stating my intent to depart on runway 17. As I taxied from the ramp via taxiway charlie, I called prior to crossing runway 11 (the ATIS designated active) and again prior to taking position on runway 17. On runway 17 I completed my line up check and checked the final approach to runway 11 for traffic. (This scan definitely included the ATC tower as it was in my line of view.) partway through the takeoff roll I received a clear transmission asking 'the aircraft on runway 17, state you intentions.' I continued my takeoff and after attempting radio contact was told 'transmitting carrier only--no voice.' I used the coplts hand microphone to contact tower through the same #1 transceiver. I was informed the tower was in operation and that I had taxied and departed west/O clearance. As I continued my flight from aln to sat I used my #1 transceiver and headset to contact several ARTCC's and FSS's en route. All this was done west/O any malfunction of equipment or 'carrier wave only.' I cannot offer any logical explanation as to why my equipment would choose to fail for 15-20 mins, then function for 3 1/2 hours. Maybe there are gremlins. I am very surprised that an ATC specialist would allow an small transport with anticollision and strobe lights operating to taxi to a runway west/O calling numerous times in the blind or after I was in position on runway 17 attempting to use some sort of light signal. The aircraft is not that quiet (there was no other traffic) and there should have been 4-6 instances of carrier wave xmissions in his cabin attendant, which should have alerted him to some sort of activity. None of the published NOAA procedure charts nor en route charts show when a facility is or is not in operation. Nor did the commercial publication at the FBO mention when the tower operated. While I realize I was remiss in not checking deeper (as I am required to do), I think the inclusion of operating hours on the airport approach plate would be of some help. Generally speaking, I believe most pilots would have reacted the same way.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA UNAUTH TAXI TKOF. PLT THOUGHT THE TWR WAS CLOSED AND WAS USING CTAF WHICH IS THE SAME FREQ AS TWR LCL CTL.
Narrative: PRIOR TO MY EVENING DEP FROM ALN I OBTAINED THE ATIS INFO USING MY ACFT #1 RADIO AND HEADSET. I RETUNED THE SAME RADIO TO GND CTL (120.2) AND CALLED FOR TAXI CLRNC. AFTER NO REPLY, I TRIED THE FREQ SEVERAL MORE TIMES AND THEN LOOKED AT THE TWR (LESS THAN 100 YDS AWAY) FOR ANY SIGNS OF ACTIVITY. I SAW NO OCCUPANTS IN THE CTL CAB AND NO LIGHTS, AND SINCE THE TWR WAS SHOWN ON THE NOS APCH PLAT AS PART TIME, I PRESUMED THEY HAD CLOSED AT SUNSET. I SWITCHED TO THE COMMON TFC ADVISORY FREQ (126.0) AND CALLED IN THE BLIND STATING MY INTENT TO DEPART ON RWY 17. AS I TAXIED FROM THE RAMP VIA TXWY CHARLIE, I CALLED PRIOR TO XING RWY 11 (THE ATIS DESIGNATED ACTIVE) AND AGAIN PRIOR TO TAKING POS ON RWY 17. ON RWY 17 I COMPLETED MY LINE UP CHK AND CHKED THE FINAL APCH TO RWY 11 FOR TFC. (THIS SCAN DEFINITELY INCLUDED THE ATC TWR AS IT WAS IN MY LINE OF VIEW.) PARTWAY THROUGH THE TKOF ROLL I RECEIVED A CLEAR XMISSION ASKING 'THE ACFT ON RWY 17, STATE YOU INTENTIONS.' I CONTINUED MY TKOF AND AFTER ATTEMPTING RADIO CONTACT WAS TOLD 'XMITTING CARRIER ONLY--NO VOICE.' I USED THE COPLTS HAND MIC TO CONTACT TWR THROUGH THE SAME #1 TRANSCEIVER. I WAS INFORMED THE TWR WAS IN OPERATION AND THAT I HAD TAXIED AND DEPARTED W/O CLRNC. AS I CONTINUED MY FLT FROM ALN TO SAT I USED MY #1 TRANSCEIVER AND HEADSET TO CONTACT SEVERAL ARTCC'S AND FSS'S ENRTE. ALL THIS WAS DONE W/O ANY MALFUNCTION OF EQUIP OR 'CARRIER WAVE ONLY.' I CANNOT OFFER ANY LOGICAL EXPLANATION AS TO WHY MY EQUIP WOULD CHOOSE TO FAIL FOR 15-20 MINS, THEN FUNCTION FOR 3 1/2 HRS. MAYBE THERE ARE GREMLINS. I AM VERY SURPRISED THAT AN ATC SPECIALIST WOULD ALLOW AN SMT WITH ANTICOLLISION AND STROBE LIGHTS OPERATING TO TAXI TO A RWY W/O CALLING NUMEROUS TIMES IN THE BLIND OR AFTER I WAS IN POS ON RWY 17 ATTEMPTING TO USE SOME SORT OF LIGHT SIGNAL. THE ACFT IS NOT THAT QUIET (THERE WAS NO OTHER TFC) AND THERE SHOULD HAVE BEEN 4-6 INSTANCES OF CARRIER WAVE XMISSIONS IN HIS CAB, WHICH SHOULD HAVE ALERTED HIM TO SOME SORT OF ACTIVITY. NONE OF THE PUBLISHED NOAA PROC CHARTS NOR ENRTE CHARTS SHOW WHEN A FAC IS OR IS NOT IN OPERATION. NOR DID THE COMMERCIAL PUBLICATION AT THE FBO MENTION WHEN THE TWR OPERATED. WHILE I REALIZE I WAS REMISS IN NOT CHKING DEEPER (AS I AM REQUIRED TO DO), I THINK THE INCLUSION OF OPERATING HRS ON THE ARPT APCH PLATE WOULD BE OF SOME HELP. GENERALLY SPEAKING, I BELIEVE MOST PLTS WOULD HAVE REACTED THE SAME WAY.
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.