|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||airport : 7e2|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 3628|
msl bound upper : 11500
|Controlling Facilities||tower : sat|
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, Low Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 10|
flight time total : 560
flight time type : 20
|Anomaly||aircraft equipment problem : less severe|
|Independent Detector||aircraft equipment other aircraft equipment : unspecified|
|Resolutory Action||flight crew : declared emergency|
|Consequence||faa : reviewed incident with flight crew|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
Problem arose en route from el paso to tucson. I had 35 KT headwinds the full trip, at 60 SM east of tus I had climbed to 10500' per MEA for radio contact with tucson approach when I scanned the alternator and found it to be at 0--no output. Also no fuel gauges (gauge reads erratic at low voltage) and battery very low. I had computed fuel on board at approximately 17 gals total. However, being low and with battery power not running radios, etc, and approaching a major city once over the texas canyon range mountains, I decided to land at st david or benson (small towns). It was my judgement that this would be best since the fuel gauge no longer worked and I had shut off everything but strobe. In looking the area over it was my judgement, since everything was green and wet farmland, trees, etc, to use a small asphalt road using power. I looked the area over and landed west/O any damage to property, phone lines, people, etc. I then got out and towed the plane off the road in case of cars. I asked a lady to call the highway patrol, who came and relayed a message to my wife (who flies) to close the flight plan so no search would be started. She did and FSS said to keep them posted. We then towed up to a gas station, put on 11 gals (for balanced tanks only), jump started small aircraft using mfg cable (pep). I then, with aid from highway patrol, flew the plane out, contacted tus approach and landed using radio, squawk and strobes. No problems. We then put plane in hangar. There were no tickets by police. All were helpful. End of story. Talked with FSS upon return and gave same report to supervisor. Charged battery. Background: this alternator has been rebuilt and failed 4 times. Checked by tus avionics. Driven down to chandler dealer (110 mi). I have also replaced all wires, voltage regulation and relay--new prior to flight, flown 4 hours approximately. No problems. Also installed new circuit breaker's main and field. Checked by firm who rebuilt it. At present we are sending alternator and relay/regulation kit to mfg at salt lake city for their ideas and bench checks, etc since kit was 2 weeks old at time to see if they can match it up as we have no real avionics here, or so it would seem, since they all look and do nothing. Being an a&P I decided to send it to mfg and see if they can find it. Ps: could not locate dirt private field at benson due to trees over groth, etc. Landing was done to assure of no fire or capabilities of fire (prior to town and arsa).
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ALTERNATOR FAILURE RESULTS IN SMA PRIVATE PLT LNDG OFF ARPT WHEN UNABLE TO LOCATE CHARTED PRIVATE FIELD.
Narrative: PROB AROSE ENRTE FROM EL PASO TO TUCSON. I HAD 35 KT HEADWINDS THE FULL TRIP, AT 60 SM E OF TUS I HAD CLBED TO 10500' PER MEA FOR RADIO CONTACT WITH TUCSON APCH WHEN I SCANNED THE ALTERNATOR AND FOUND IT TO BE AT 0--NO OUTPUT. ALSO NO FUEL GAUGES (GAUGE READS ERRATIC AT LOW VOLTAGE) AND BATTERY VERY LOW. I HAD COMPUTED FUEL ON BOARD AT APPROX 17 GALS TOTAL. HOWEVER, BEING LOW AND WITH BATTERY PWR NOT RUNNING RADIOS, ETC, AND APCHING A MAJOR CITY ONCE OVER THE TEXAS CANYON RANGE MOUNTAINS, I DECIDED TO LAND AT ST DAVID OR BENSON (SMALL TOWNS). IT WAS MY JUDGEMENT THAT THIS WOULD BE BEST SINCE THE FUEL GAUGE NO LONGER WORKED AND I HAD SHUT OFF EVERYTHING BUT STROBE. IN LOOKING THE AREA OVER IT WAS MY JUDGEMENT, SINCE EVERYTHING WAS GREEN AND WET FARMLAND, TREES, ETC, TO USE A SMALL ASPHALT ROAD USING PWR. I LOOKED THE AREA OVER AND LANDED W/O ANY DAMAGE TO PROPERTY, PHONE LINES, PEOPLE, ETC. I THEN GOT OUT AND TOWED THE PLANE OFF THE ROAD IN CASE OF CARS. I ASKED A LADY TO CALL THE HWY PATROL, WHO CAME AND RELAYED A MESSAGE TO MY WIFE (WHO FLIES) TO CLOSE THE FLT PLAN SO NO SEARCH WOULD BE STARTED. SHE DID AND FSS SAID TO KEEP THEM POSTED. WE THEN TOWED UP TO A GAS STATION, PUT ON 11 GALS (FOR BALANCED TANKS ONLY), JUMP STARTED SMA USING MFG CABLE (PEP). I THEN, WITH AID FROM HWY PATROL, FLEW THE PLANE OUT, CONTACTED TUS APCH AND LANDED USING RADIO, SQUAWK AND STROBES. NO PROBS. WE THEN PUT PLANE IN HANGAR. THERE WERE NO TICKETS BY POLICE. ALL WERE HELPFUL. END OF STORY. TALKED WITH FSS UPON RETURN AND GAVE SAME RPT TO SUPVR. CHARGED BATTERY. BACKGROUND: THIS ALTERNATOR HAS BEEN REBUILT AND FAILED 4 TIMES. CHKED BY TUS AVIONICS. DRIVEN DOWN TO CHANDLER DEALER (110 MI). I HAVE ALSO REPLACED ALL WIRES, VOLTAGE REG AND RELAY--NEW PRIOR TO FLT, FLOWN 4 HRS APPROX. NO PROBS. ALSO INSTALLED NEW CB'S MAIN AND FIELD. CHKED BY FIRM WHO REBUILT IT. AT PRESENT WE ARE SENDING ALTERNATOR AND RELAY/REG KIT TO MFG AT SALT LAKE CITY FOR THEIR IDEAS AND BENCH CHKS, ETC SINCE KIT WAS 2 WKS OLD AT TIME TO SEE IF THEY CAN MATCH IT UP AS WE HAVE NO REAL AVIONICS HERE, OR SO IT WOULD SEEM, SINCE THEY ALL LOOK AND DO NOTHING. BEING AN A&P I DECIDED TO SEND IT TO MFG AND SEE IF THEY CAN FIND IT. PS: COULD NOT LOCATE DIRT PVT FIELD AT BENSON DUE TO TREES OVER GROTH, ETC. LNDG WAS DONE TO ASSURE OF NO FIRE OR CAPABILITIES OF FIRE (PRIOR TO TOWN AND ARSA).
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.