|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||1201 To 1800|
|Locale Reference||atc facility : tnv|
|Altitude||msl bound lower : 6000|
msl bound upper : 6000
|Controlling Facilities||artcc : zhu|
artcc : zfw
tracon : aus
|Operator||general aviation : personal|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft, High Wing, 1 Eng, Fixed Gear|
|Flight Phase||cruise other|
|Route In Use||enroute airway : v306|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : private|
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 25|
flight time total : 456
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||controller : radar|
|Qualification||controller : radar|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Resolutory Action||none taken : unable|
none taken : detected after the fact
|Primary Problem||ATC Human Performance|
|Air Traffic Incident||Intra Facility Coordination Failure|
Inter Facility Coordination Failure
I departed mathis field, san angelo, tx, 'cleared as filed.' passed ZFW to ZHU shortly after takeoff. Proceeded via V76 toward austin, tx. About 10-12 DME west of austin I began to wonder if ZHU was going to turn me over to aus arsa, so I called center and asked. I was then turned over to aus approach on 119.0. I continued to squawk XXXX, which was assigned when I was cleared at san angelo. Passing over aus VOR I intercepted V306. I was about 40 mi east of aus VOR and began wondering if aus was going to turn me back to ZHU, however aus called me twice--once to advise me of traffic and the second time to ask my altitude. Approximately 8 DME west of navasota VOR aus released me, told me to squawk 1200, and made no mention of contacting hou. I told aus that I was on an IFR flight plan. The controller said, 'you're IFR,' or words to that effect and then advised he had no record of that fact. He gave me a hou frequency to contact, which I did. I was immediately given a second frequency to contact, and immediately given a third. This third controller said he had been trying to raise me for some time. I explained to him that aus had me VFR only and I had found him after going through 2 other controllers. About 3 mins later I was turned over to a fourth controller, who also told me he had been trying to contact me for some time. I explained to him the same thing I told the third controller. I explained to both these later controllers that I had filed IFR. One of them, probably the third man, told me to stand by while he checked my IFR status. That is probably when he turned me over to the fourth man. The fourth controller told me I must be having trouble with my radio and gave me a frequency to contact when I reached to daisetta VOR, and said if no one answered to contact beaumont approach on 121.3. I had not been having radio problems that I know of. Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: reporter was called to ascertain if a follow up phone call had been made to see what had happened and where the breakdown in ATC had occurred. No follow up was made, so reporter and analyst can only speculate about cause. We agreed that the loss of flight plan data must have occurred between ZFW and ZHU. Some sectors in the ZHU had flight progress strips on this flight, but the sectors that should have handed the flight off to aus apparently thought reporter was VFR. It can also be assumed that aus did not have flight progress strips because they obviously thought reporter's flight was VFR. This flight proceeded through at least 2 sectors of ZHU and the entire airspace of aus approach control at 6000' (an IFR altitude) on an IFR squawk, and none of the controllers in these sectors gave this flight IFR service or sep. Since aus has an arsa that only goes up to 4600', reporter was not even afforded arsa sep service. This breakdown was probably in ZFW or ZHU in flight data processing. It appears that no loss of sep occurred, but that was not because of any ATC effort.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: SMA IFR FLT OF APPROX 240 MILES HANDLED AS A VFR FLT WHEN ATC FAC MISHANDLED THE FLT DATA PROCESS.
Narrative: I DEPARTED MATHIS FIELD, SAN ANGELO, TX, 'CLRED AS FILED.' PASSED ZFW TO ZHU SHORTLY AFTER TKOF. PROCEEDED VIA V76 TOWARD AUSTIN, TX. ABOUT 10-12 DME W OF AUSTIN I BEGAN TO WONDER IF ZHU WAS GOING TO TURN ME OVER TO AUS ARSA, SO I CALLED CENTER AND ASKED. I WAS THEN TURNED OVER TO AUS APCH ON 119.0. I CONTINUED TO SQUAWK XXXX, WHICH WAS ASSIGNED WHEN I WAS CLRED AT SAN ANGELO. PASSING OVER AUS VOR I INTERCEPTED V306. I WAS ABOUT 40 MI E OF AUS VOR AND BEGAN WONDERING IF AUS WAS GOING TO TURN ME BACK TO ZHU, HOWEVER AUS CALLED ME TWICE--ONCE TO ADVISE ME OF TFC AND THE SECOND TIME TO ASK MY ALT. APPROX 8 DME W OF NAVASOTA VOR AUS RELEASED ME, TOLD ME TO SQUAWK 1200, AND MADE NO MENTION OF CONTACTING HOU. I TOLD AUS THAT I WAS ON AN IFR FLT PLAN. THE CTLR SAID, 'YOU'RE IFR,' OR WORDS TO THAT EFFECT AND THEN ADVISED HE HAD NO RECORD OF THAT FACT. HE GAVE ME A HOU FREQ TO CONTACT, WHICH I DID. I WAS IMMEDIATELY GIVEN A SECOND FREQ TO CONTACT, AND IMMEDIATELY GIVEN A THIRD. THIS THIRD CTLR SAID HE HAD BEEN TRYING TO RAISE ME FOR SOME TIME. I EXPLAINED TO HIM THAT AUS HAD ME VFR ONLY AND I HAD FOUND HIM AFTER GOING THROUGH 2 OTHER CTLRS. ABOUT 3 MINS LATER I WAS TURNED OVER TO A FOURTH CTLR, WHO ALSO TOLD ME HE HAD BEEN TRYING TO CONTACT ME FOR SOME TIME. I EXPLAINED TO HIM THE SAME THING I TOLD THE THIRD CTLR. I EXPLAINED TO BOTH THESE LATER CTLRS THAT I HAD FILED IFR. ONE OF THEM, PROBABLY THE THIRD MAN, TOLD ME TO STAND BY WHILE HE CHKED MY IFR STATUS. THAT IS PROBABLY WHEN HE TURNED ME OVER TO THE FOURTH MAN. THE FOURTH CTLR TOLD ME I MUST BE HAVING TROUBLE WITH MY RADIO AND GAVE ME A FREQ TO CONTACT WHEN I REACHED TO DAISETTA VOR, AND SAID IF NO ONE ANSWERED TO CONTACT BEAUMONT APCH ON 121.3. I HAD NOT BEEN HAVING RADIO PROBS THAT I KNOW OF. CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: RPTR WAS CALLED TO ASCERTAIN IF A FOLLOW UP PHONE CALL HAD BEEN MADE TO SEE WHAT HAD HAPPENED AND WHERE THE BREAKDOWN IN ATC HAD OCCURRED. NO FOLLOW UP WAS MADE, SO RPTR AND ANALYST CAN ONLY SPECULATE ABOUT CAUSE. WE AGREED THAT THE LOSS OF FLT PLAN DATA MUST HAVE OCCURRED BTWN ZFW AND ZHU. SOME SECTORS IN THE ZHU HAD FLT PROGRESS STRIPS ON THIS FLT, BUT THE SECTORS THAT SHOULD HAVE HANDED THE FLT OFF TO AUS APPARENTLY THOUGHT RPTR WAS VFR. IT CAN ALSO BE ASSUMED THAT AUS DID NOT HAVE FLT PROGRESS STRIPS BECAUSE THEY OBVIOUSLY THOUGHT RPTR'S FLT WAS VFR. THIS FLT PROCEEDED THROUGH AT LEAST 2 SECTORS OF ZHU AND THE ENTIRE AIRSPACE OF AUS APCH CTL AT 6000' (AN IFR ALT) ON AN IFR SQUAWK, AND NONE OF THE CTLRS IN THESE SECTORS GAVE THIS FLT IFR SVC OR SEP. SINCE AUS HAS AN ARSA THAT ONLY GOES UP TO 4600', RPTR WAS NOT EVEN AFFORDED ARSA SEP SVC. THIS BREAKDOWN WAS PROBABLY IN ZFW OR ZHU IN FLT DATA PROCESSING. IT APPEARS THAT NO LOSS OF SEP OCCURRED, BUT THAT WAS NOT BECAUSE OF ANY ATC EFFORT.
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.