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 Anon
#1098615
I'm sure that each case will be dealt with on an individual basis, particularly those resulting from the Olympics restrictions.

However, in my own experience having bust a bit of UK airspace (shame) resulting in reduced separation from commercial traffic (more shame), the process isn't too bad, although I'm still acutely embarrassed even now.

Talking to destination airfield (or trying to, there was lots of traffic) when I eventually got through the immediate response was a quite stroppy demand to descend immediately. Which I did, not realising why the request was made. Join, landing etc, fine. On parking up I had a call asking me to contact tower by phone. They then told me I'd bust, and having checked the chart I could see that I had indeed done so, and that my route line had actually partially contributed to this (even though it was a single line drawn neatly). There were other contributing factors, which don't excuse it but could explain how it happened. The destination tower then asked me to contact the controlling authority for the bust airspace, which I did.

There then ensued a waiting game - they were too busy to talk so said they'd call me back. But they forgot, so I was left waiting to go home with deteriorating weather conditions. Eventually I called them back and said I had to go, but that I would be available on the phone again after a given time. Turned out they didn't call me back until about 2 hours after I'd landed back home and about 4 hours after the bust. I don't know if this was intentional to make me feel even worse, but it certainly did allow the stress to build up nicely.

Contrary to the advice given on the GA forum, I was open and honest straight away as to my understanding of what had happened, including the bust and the factors contributing. I was also honest about how mortified I was to have flown so badly. I was directed to complete an online reporting form, kind of similar to a Chirp, which allows the authorities to analyse causes and trends in busts, I imagine so they can try to reduce further events.

I had a nice email response thanking me for being quick to respond and for being frank and open, and was told it would be left with the CAA to decide further action. I was told this might range from no further action to a visit to the tower, to remedial training, to various more unpleasant sanctions. As it happens, I've heard nothing more.

I wouldn't have minded a trip to the tower to learn more, and would have accepted an instruction for remedial training (even though it would have been shameful to do). I'm glad there has been no heavy handed approach, but have been advised that it was my immediate hands up confession, consideration and communication that influenced this. As already stated, I've heard nothing more since then. But on subsequent trips you can be assured that I've checked routings very carefully, and double and triple checked them. So hopefully lesson learned.

Note - the thing that caught me was a change in airspace level above me - a step. It's easy to see the edge of airspace when it has that nice blue shading, but the steps inside are just dotted lines. When your line partially obscures the transition, it's easier to miss. When you're convinced you've chosen a level / altitude to fly at that keeps you safe, you stick to it. But I'd missed that step, which would have changed my planned height profile.

Not big, not clever, not proud, but glad to have learned (a lot) from it.
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By rats404
#1101323
Thanks for enlightening us all. I'm sure it wasn't easy to write, even anonymously.

Easy to do, and I'll be extra careful thanks to you.

Rats404