An anonymous forum to allow you to share those moments in flying that caused you concern. You can post without registering a username, registered users can log out to post
By profchrisreed
#759822
If a very near miss of airspace counts:

1. Were you a student or qualified?
Qualified (glider XC qualified - this was in a glider, but I think that makes no difference)

2. Were you current or rusty?
Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?
Own

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?
Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?
Yes

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?
GPS plus PDA running XCSoar moving map

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?
Yes - I planned not to go too near it

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?
No

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?
100+nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.
Class A airway near Bristol (from memory - might have been class D I suppose, but I don't fly in either).

11. Why do you think it happened?
Was flying from Nympsfield, my first visit to the area, and enjoying a local soaring tour. I'd decided to go as far south as Badminton, just North of the airway, and then turn back. Working height band was 3,500-5,000 ft (as I had no retrieve crew, so was making sure I didn't land in a field). The airway base is 4,500 msl.

I was using the map for primary navigation rather than the PDA, and couldn't locate Badminton. On the map it has an airfield symbol, so I was pleased to spot an airfield in the right direction, and headed for it.

As I neared it at 4,600 ft msl the PDA display flashed red all over! Quick check, 180 turn, check map and PDA - my trace is perhaps 250m from the edge of the airway. I'd overflown Badminton and was headed for some other airfield.

Had I continued I would have bust airspace by maybe only 100ft vertically, but it would still have been a bust.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

GPS + PDA made all the difference. Using map alone I'd probably have turned the airfield, maybe climbed above it to 5,000ft (i.e. into the airway by 500ft) and never realised I'd been in airspace.

Lessons learned:

a. When close to airspace, monitor the GPS/PDA more closely. It would have been indicating the airspace much earlier, as it's set up to indicate airspace as solid red when within 5k horizontal, 500ft vertical. I hadn't noticed because I'd located Badminton (I thought!) visually and from the map it's well outside the airspace, so I just continued with visual navigation. Also, if I'd looked at the PDA I'd have seen that I'd flown past Badminton.

b. Distances when navigating visually are very deceptive as height changes. I'd already been caught this way before, when I visually misidentified a combination of two towns connected by a Fenland drain as two other towns, similarly connected but a few miles further on. This is why I installed the PDA in the first place,

c. I was taught navigation with map and compass, and when I started using GPS treated it as a check on my visual navigation. I think I need to swap round - GPS as primary navigation, map as check on accuracy of GPS.

If it helps anyone flying power, the gliding software for PDAs is pretty good for basic navigation and airspace avoidance. XCSoar is Open Source, and thus free to install and use. It accepts any GPS source producing NMEA output. What I see on my moving map is very basic topography at about the 1/2 million map level - major roads and rivers, big towns, BGA turning points. Airspace appears and disappears as I get close to it - these setting are user selectable, so you could show airspace at all times. I believe more complex topography, airfields and other waypoints can be downloaded, or you can create your own files, and you can leave out things you don't want like the BGA turning points (except that gliders go near them, so might be worth keeping).

I mention this because the costs are minimal - free software, £50 or so for the PDA via eBay, £15 or so for a GPS receiver and the same for a mount with a suction cup.
User avatar
By fishermanpaul
#759971
1. Were you a student or qualified?
Qualified

2. Were you current or rusty?
Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?
Group

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?
Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?
Yes, although we were bimbling around trying to find a house so it was eyes out of the cockpit at the time.

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?
GPS

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?
Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?
No

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?
100nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.
Leeds Class D

11. Why do you think it happened?
Took a mate flying to look for his childhood home near Wakefield. Very thermic day, difficult to spot his house, got distracted and, next time I looked at the altimeter, I'd shot up 500' into the class D and also on the runway centre line.
Quick dive down, tune radio to Sheffield and apologise and I won't do it again. I was told by very nice ATC person not to worry, nothing had been coming in and if I wanted a clearance into the zone then just to ask and it wouldn't be a problem.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

Always fess up.
User avatar
By gozap
#761119
1. Were you a student or qualified?
Qualified

2. Were you current or rusty?
Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?
Own

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?
Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?
Primarily map, but GPS as secondary

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?
GPS

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?
No, but I should have been - no excuses.

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?
Class D Liverpool just to the south of St Helens

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?
20 miles

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.
Liverpool

11. Why do you think it happened?
Just south of St Helens, talking to LPL but distracted by the passenger who lived in the area and was trying to spot his house. There was a 20KtNortherly wind blowing which is unusual for the area and I had drifted south into the Liverpool Zone after telling them I would remain clear. :oops:

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.
I was talking to Liverpool at the time and they told me that I had entered their airspace but were cool about it after I professed my appologies. That is why I always try and talk to someone or at least monitor the relevant freq. when passing close to any controlled airspace and then at least if you do have a bust the Controllers can try and stop it becomming a major one.

Also, never forget to fly the plane as opposed to chatting to passengers or any other distraction and as per the other forumites, fess up as soon as you know, after all we all make mistakes - that is everyone apart from my wife! :lol:
User avatar
By QSD
#764415
1. Were you a student or qualified?

Qualified

2. Were you current or rusty?

Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?

Group

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?

Very

5. Were you using a nav aid?

Yes

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?

GPS, VOR

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?

Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?

Yes

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?

10 Miles

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.

Gatwick CTA, 1500 to 2500

11. Why do you think it happened?

I changed my carefully planned route at the last minute as a response to a question from my passenger - "why can't we cut that corner off?" My original routing had me tracking a radial from OCK to MID which would have kept me well clear of CAS. My last minute "shortcut" had me tracking directly to MID from just west of Dorking. This would still have been okay had I been at less than 1,500ft, but I was still at the originally planned 2,400 ft :oops: . Fortunately I was talking to Farnborough and squawking Mode C. They spotted me almost at once and gave me an "immediate right turn, descend to 1400 ft" call. When I was outside of the CAS again I called and apologised - they were very nice and advised me that I had not caused any disruption to the Gatwick traffick.

I still don't know why I did not spot the obvious flaw in my last minute change of plan - I certainly knew exactly where I was and I know all about the Gatwick shelf. My GPS (Garmin 296) did not alert me to the problem either - I get so many airspace warnings from it when flying around the complicated airspace in the South East that I probably just ignored it.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

Plan the flight, then fly the plan. Never make hasty last minute changes. Always squawk mode C - had I not been talking to Farnborough I might well have flown all the way across the Gatwick flight path. In these circumstances, the mode C squawk might not have saved me from a CAA investigation and an appearance on the "fly on track" replays, but it would have saved the lives of me, my passenger and all the folks in the 777 that I might have hit. Always talk to a LARS unit if you are close to CAS.
By mr spog
#764719
Thats a very good point about the GPS CAS warnings. The default settings needed changing in my GPS as it was sending so many warnings I ended up cancelling them too quickly and missed one important one.
By peterh337
#764824
You DO have to be logged in to reply to posts here, but anyway..............

1. Were you a student or qualified?

CPL/IR

2. Were you current or rusty?

Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?

Own

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?

Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?

Yes

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?

GPS

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?

Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?

Yes

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?

~50nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.

A little bit of the LTMA

11. Why do you think it happened?

Talking to a passenger, and not sticking absolutely to the prepared plog (which would have been OK) because I was trying to stay either above or below a cloud layer.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

I had the real VFR chart running as a GPS moving map, so had no excuse.

But I can see why hundreds of others do it, with lesser nav gear.

I am not "foreign" in the current sense, but to many foreign pilots the LTMA is just bizzare, with some bases at 5500ft and others at FL055, and the regional QNH being useless for this purpose.
By Anon
#764898
peterh337 wrote:You DO have to be logged in to reply to posts here, but anyway..............



Not so. Read the instructions here.

Username = Anon
Password - read that thread (see Timothy's suggestion).
By Anon
#766110
1. Were you a student or qualified?

Qualified

2. Were you current or rusty?

Fairly current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?

Own aircraft

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?

Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?
6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?

Mk I eyeball

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?

Oh yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?

Maybe to the unwitting, but as a 'local' I was familiar with this airspace.

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?

Fairly close

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.

Extremely deep into Liverpool CTR/CTA

11. Why do you think it happened?

I became fixated on what the picture should look like and therefore made the scenery fit and ended up following the M62 instead of the M58. Overlaying the GPS trace onto a map (yes there was a GPS on board to make it worse, although it was only a regular etrex, not an aviation GPS) was extremely cringeworthy, and I was simply refusing to believe information from the GPS suggesting I was in the wrong place.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

I've never done it since, although I have on one occasion since become fixated on the wrong thing (some chimneys to the Northwest of Leicester) and so just aiming towards them instead of following the map and therefore ending out of place but without actually busting airspace.
User avatar
By ADP
#766321
1. Were you a student or qualified?

PPL

2. Were you current or rusty?

Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?

Company

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?

Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?

Yes

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?

GPS

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?

Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?

Yes

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?

~50nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.

The Southern boundary of the Luton CTR, just North of BNN

11. Why do you think it happened?

Programming the Garmin 430 incorrectly. I was in a bit of a rush to get out of Elstree, and accidently put a Direct-To to my home airfield in the box. I realised what I had done, so I then inputted a flightplan routing BNN, HEN to avoid the Luton CTR. Problem was, I forgot to cancel the Direct-To navigation first. For those of you not familiar with the Garmin 430, if you put a Direct-To route in it stays there and over-rides everything else you enter in the flightplan section. You have to go back to the Direct-To page and tell it to cancel Direct-To navigation.

Anyway, coming out of Elstree I was tracking towards BNN, as the Direct-To track happened to go right over the top of it anyway. It was a claggy day with poor vis, and I mindlessly followed the route until I realised what had happened, by which time I was a mile inside the CTR. Swung a prompt steep turn straight out of the zone, and then called Luton Approach to apologise. They were fine with it, and even offered me a Radar Information Service back to my airfield!

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

Know your equipment inside out, and never rush your checks regardless of press on-itis

If you do bust airspace and you realise it, call up the relevant frequency and make yourself known as soon as possible - as many others here have said, the controllers are often understanding and take it no further if you 'fess up straight away
User avatar
By AfricanEagle
#767320
1. Were you a student or qualified?

PPL

2. Were you current or rusty?

Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?

Own

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?

Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?

Err, yes, sort of.

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?

VOR

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?

No

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?

Yes

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?

~150nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.

Bologna CTR

11. Why do you think it happened?

Flying visual at FL65 the perception of being overhead a specific spot is different then flying at 1000 or 2000ft. One wing was covering our reporting point within Romagna's airspace but ATC got all excited saying we were in Bologna's airspace. Maybe the other wing tip was, but I'm still not convinced.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

Don't start discussions over radio, just fly as told to and if the case phone after to clear misunderstandings
User avatar
By TangoZulu2
#772667
1. Were you a student or qualified?

PPL

2. Were you current or rusty?

Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?

Rented

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?

Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?

Sort of - Mainly map but portable GPS backup

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?

GPS

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?

Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?

Not hugely - I knew it was there, just not quite how close I was to it

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?

~130nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.

East Midlands

11. Why do you think it happened?

Having just taken off from Tollerton to go south (back home) I called East Mids and requested a transit and did not get immediate clearance. When I did not get the immediate clearance I started to orbit and got a call from EM saying they could see me orbiting but I was in their airspace. I was then cleared through without (knowingly) causing any avoiding action

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

The GPS backup was not clear (small screen) and wrong scale - make sure if using it that close to have it clearly visible. Also call ATSU quicker - esepcially as it is only a few miles from take off to needing the clearance. HAve subsequently been back to Tollerton and done the same flight with no issues.
User avatar
By Rob P
#773642
1. Were you a student or qualified? Qualified

2. Were you current or rusty? Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school? Group

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft? Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid? Yes

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)? Portable GPS

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust? Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area? Not particularly

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace? Several hundreds of miles

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust. Toulouse

11. Why do you think it happened? Fatigue / unplanned diversion from route / lack of any briefing at Lasbordes / unable to get onto frequency thanks to froggie chit/chat

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.

Flew out of Lasbordes, switched immediately to Toulouse, took a couple of minutes for the controller and A N Other to stop chattering in French, once in contact and identified was officially inside their zone (which covers Lasbordes)

Rob P
By Anon
#781112
1. Were you a student or qualified?
Qualified, me navigating with another qualified PPL as P1

2. Were you current or rusty?
As current as I've ever been...!

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?
Group.

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?
Yes.

5. Were you using a nav aid?
Other than DR, no.

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?
N/A

7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?
Oh yes.

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?
Fairly, but that wasn't a causal factor.

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?
Within 20nm of where I'd originally learned to fly.

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.
London CTR (sfc-2500'), western side.

11. Why do you think it happened?
P1 had planned the route, I was navigating, permitted ambiguity between the two of us what the intent was regarding one particular turning point leading to us turning south towards what we thought would be clear of the CTR, putting us about 5nm east of planned track and 3nm into the CTR.

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.
Don't assume that the other bugger has any more idea what he's doing than you do -- only time I've infringed and it had to be with another PPL in the cockpit!
User avatar
By Johnno
#789553
1. Were you a student or qualified?
Qualified PPL, hour building.

2. Were you current or rusty?
Current

3. Was it in your own/group aircraft or rented/school?
School

4. Were you familiar with the aircraft?
Yes

5. Were you using a nav aid?
No

6. If so which navaid (e.g. VOR, NDB, GPS)?


7. Were you aware of the airspace you bust?
Yes

8. Was it in a complex airspace area?
No

9. How close to your home airport was the airspace?
~50nm

10. Only if you wish, say which airspace you bust.
Class D (in New Zealand)

11. Why do you think it happened?
Flying in familiar airspace on an abnormally sunny, cloudless day. Decided to fly at a higher level without properly checking the chart and climbed straight into CAS. Contacted relevant frequency, apologised and got out of the airspace reasonably rapidly. It turns out they hadn't noticed me!

12. Any other comment that might help the rest of us.
Don't assume you're safe, even if you know the airspace (or think you do, as in my case). It's always worth double checking.