|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : mgm|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 1600|
msl bound upper : 10500
|Controlling Facilities||tracon : mgm|
|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 : 40|
flight time total : 342
flight time type : 277
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : approach|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||inflight encounter : weather|
inflight encounter : vfr in imc
non adherence : far
other anomaly other
other spatial deviation
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||controller : provided flight assist|
|Primary Problem||Flight Crew Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Pilot Deviation|
There were no problems along my route until I was approximately 40 NM northeast of the eufaula, VOR (109.2) at which time the cloud cover began to worsen. I lowered my elevation to 1,600' above sea level and started looking for the tuskegee airport. After circling for several minutes and not being able to locate that airport, I called montgomery donnelly approach central and requested a vector to that airport for landing. I was given a squawk which I put in my transponder. However, I never received a vector to the airport. After some delay, the transmission between us became garbled and not audible. By this time, the weather seemed to be worsening with the ceiling lowering and visibility dropping to approximately 3 to 5 NM, so with some obstacles as high as 1400' to 1600' above sea level in this general area and with garbled and finally no transmission with montgomery, I became somewhat confused as to my exact location and decided to follow the four C's, which means climb, communicate, confess and comply, which I did. It took me approximately 3+ minutes to get above the cloud cover at approximately 6000' to 6500'. The weather system was building with some of the tops higher, so I continued climbing to get above everything to an elevation of 10500' above sea level. During this climb, I regained contact with montgomery and was asked which VOR I was using and what heading I was on. I replied (111.0) and also told them my needle was fully deflected (as I recall) to the left. After some delay, I was told that VOR was out and given 114.4 (vulcan) VOR to use. I was also given a heading to fly, asked how many people in the plane, my name and address and was headed off to birmingham. The weather at birmingham was much improved (VFR in fact), so I decided to land there. I contacted birmingham approach control and was vectored in without any problem whatsoever. I gassed up my plane, went to the restroom, rested a few minutes, tuned in the ATIS, checked the weather visibility and departed in VFR conditions for memphis. I arrived and landed in memphis with clear skies. I feel that if I could have gotten an immediate vector to montgomery upon my initial contact, there never would have been a problem.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: GA SMA ENCOUNTERED LOWERING CEILING BECAME VFR IN IMC THEN BECAME DISORIENTATED AND REQUIRED FLT ASSISTANCE TO ARPT.
Narrative: THERE WERE NO PROBLEMS ALONG MY ROUTE UNTIL I WAS APPROXIMATELY 40 NM NE OF THE EUFAULA, VOR (109.2) AT WHICH TIME THE CLOUD COVER BEGAN TO WORSEN. I LOWERED MY ELEVATION TO 1,600' ABOVE SEA LEVEL AND STARTED LOOKING FOR THE TUSKEGEE AIRPORT. AFTER CIRCLING FOR SEVERAL MINUTES AND NOT BEING ABLE TO LOCATE THAT AIRPORT, I CALLED MONTGOMERY DONNELLY APPROACH CENTRAL AND REQUESTED A VECTOR TO THAT AIRPORT FOR LANDING. I WAS GIVEN A SQUAWK WHICH I PUT IN MY TRANSPONDER. HOWEVER, I NEVER RECEIVED A VECTOR TO THE AIRPORT. AFTER SOME DELAY, THE XMISSION BETWEEN US BECAME GARBLED AND NOT AUDIBLE. BY THIS TIME, THE WEATHER SEEMED TO BE WORSENING WITH THE CEILING LOWERING AND VISIBILITY DROPPING TO APPROXIMATELY 3 TO 5 NM, SO WITH SOME OBSTACLES AS HIGH AS 1400' TO 1600' ABOVE SEA LEVEL IN THIS GENERAL AREA AND WITH GARBLED AND FINALLY NO XMISSION WITH MONTGOMERY, I BECAME SOMEWHAT CONFUSED AS TO MY EXACT LOCATION AND DECIDED TO FOLLOW THE FOUR C'S, WHICH MEANS CLIMB, COMMUNICATE, CONFESS AND COMPLY, WHICH I DID. IT TOOK ME APPROX 3+ MINUTES TO GET ABOVE THE CLOUD COVER AT APPROX 6000' TO 6500'. THE WEATHER SYSTEM WAS BUILDING WITH SOME OF THE TOPS HIGHER, SO I CONTINUED CLIMBING TO GET ABOVE EVERYTHING TO AN ELEVATION OF 10500' ABOVE SEA LEVEL. DURING THIS CLIMB, I REGAINED CONTACT WITH MONTGOMERY AND WAS ASKED WHICH VOR I WAS USING AND WHAT HEADING I WAS ON. I REPLIED (111.0) AND ALSO TOLD THEM MY NEEDLE WAS FULLY DEFLECTED (AS I RECALL) TO THE LEFT. AFTER SOME DELAY, I WAS TOLD THAT VOR WAS OUT AND GIVEN 114.4 (VULCAN) VOR TO USE. I WAS ALSO GIVEN A HEADING TO FLY, ASKED HOW MANY PEOPLE IN THE PLANE, MY NAME AND ADDRESS AND WAS HEADED OFF TO BIRMINGHAM. THE WEATHER AT BIRMINGHAM WAS MUCH IMPROVED (VFR IN FACT), SO I DECIDED TO LAND THERE. I CONTACTED BIRMINGHAM APPROACH CONTROL AND WAS VECTORED IN WITHOUT ANY PROBLEM WHATSOEVER. I GASSED UP MY PLANE, WENT TO THE RESTROOM, RESTED A FEW MINUTES, TUNED IN THE ATIS, CHECKED THE WEATHER VISIBILITY AND DEPARTED IN VFR CONDITIONS FOR MEMPHIS. I ARRIVED AND LANDED IN MEMPHIS WITH CLEAR SKIES. I FEEL THAT IF I COULD HAVE GOTTEN AN IMMEDIATE VECTOR TO MONTGOMERY UPON MY INITIAL CONTACT, THERE NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN A PROBLEM.
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.