a rising moon, the old ASRS manor looms above the misty Mountain
View moors. Within its high walls, down long, narrow passages,
sequestered scribes unravel the mysteries of aggravating anomalies,
frightful weather, and the inexplicable workings of gremlins.
Aside from occasional grumbles and groans, the work progresses
in studious silence until... ominous clouds darken the full moon,
the hall lights flicker and dim, and a tale so scary, so beyond
the pale, evokes a chilling cry... "YIKES!"
Moved by ancient
ritual, old buzzards gather in response to the alarm, chew over
the report, and pick apart the culprit.
Then an old
timer who's seen and done it all says, "Yes, but I remember
once when I was a youngster...dumbest thing I ever did...lucky
I'm still alive...."
More true confessions
follow before the old buzzards disperse.
Thank you, to
the reporters who submitted these scary tales.
Your Input Keeps
Everyone Safer! (YIKES!)
It's one thing
to shuffle around the attic dragging chains, but trying to get
a C182 to levitate properly with a concrete weight attached is
was in the middle of preflighting and while at the tail of the
aircraft the passenger arrived. I had to let him in the gate
and then returned to the preflight, beginning where I left off
at the tail.... I did not see the tail tied down to a black
tire filled with concrete and the anchor rope was dark gray
and nearly invisible in the available light. I had looked underneath
the elevators but missed the tie down rope. This was exactly
where I had been interrupted.
noted a bit more resistance than usual when beginning to taxi.
I verified the chocks were out of the way and added a bit more
power and the aircraft rolled relatively easily. There was a
headwind on the runway and the tower was not operational when
we took off headed north. Upon lifting off there were some rather
significant "bumps" that felt like turbulence. The
passenger remarked that it was "bouncier" than usual.
Once airborne, however, the aircraft developed an oscillation
that was impossible to trim out. The mission was to...perform
some survey work. The flight proceeded, but with continuous
oscillations. Control was not difficult and I trimmed it up...and
flew the mission at 80 mph without any other difficulties. The
oscillations seemed too regular to be related to the wind. Everything
else seemed fine.
returned for landing and... just above the flare the aircraft
began pitching more noticeably.... At that moment the aircraft
suddenly dropped onto the tarmac with a rather hard landing.
Nothing was damaged.
taxied back to the tie down space and upon exiting the aircraft,
noted a tie down rope hanging from the tail tie down ring. The
tire that had been there was missing. I searched the runway
and discovered the tire about two-thirds of the way down the
runway, along with a frayed piece of tie down rope.
I had taken off with a 100-150 pound cement-filled tire attached
to the rearmost tie down ring.
That Go Bump in the Night
Ever have one of
those flights that seemed like a bad dream? Either this PA 28
was trimmed just right, or the pilot took sleepwalking to a whole
off sometime after midnight. I noted half-full tanks during my
preflight. I flew to [another field], did four touch and goes,
flew around the local area, and then headed for [a second field].
Enroute, I fell asleep and ran the left tank out of fuel. I landed
in a cotton field. My only memory of the incident was impacting
the ground in the field.
was caused by a poor decision to fly late at night without proper
rest after a long day at work.
Alone, and in the Dark
This report to
ASRS from a low-time, light aircraft pilot emphasizes the importance
of asking for assistance as soon as it is necessary. A request
for help from Air Traffic Control can prevent a small problem
from growing into a scary scenario.
the plane for a return flight to [another airport in Wisconsin].
The lighting on the instrument panel seemed faint, but the airport
ramp was well lit. I adjusted the rheostat on the panel and
departed. Once aloft, I could not easily read the instruments.
Relying only on the compass, I became lost. I could not read
the clock and lost track of time. After searching for an airport
to put the plane down, I saw one with a runway open. I saw a
plane approaching and, maintaining a safe distance, followed
it in and landed. I took the first taxiway off the runway and
shut down. I had not declared an emergency and was not in contact
with the tower. It was O'Hare.
may be conscientious in your approach to flying,you cannot assume
that everyone else will be as professional. These scary encounters
point out the need to keep an eye out for the "other guy."
It's bad enough
dealing with one "other guy," let alone two. This flight
crew had the misfortune to be confronted with a double dose of
We entered the
traffic pattern on the downwind having made position reports...on
the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (CTAF). On the TCASII
we observed an airplane at our eight o'clock position which
maintained very close proximity.... On short final for Runway
27, we received a TCAS traffic warning from this same aircraft
but we decided that landing would be the safest course of action
since the runway was clear.... After announcing our position
on short final we proceeded to land. Upon announcing our back
taxi to the ramp, and while still in a 180-degree turn, we realized
that a Cessna had landed directly behind us, while we were still
on the runway. Even more alarming was the transmission over
CTAF that a Beechcraft was on short final to land. The pilot
instructed us to remain at the end of the runway so that he
could land. I told him that he should not land, that there was
a Cessna in the middle of the runway already, and that it was
a very unsafe situation. We made it very clear that two planes
were on the runway, and that his failure to go around would
be [unsafe]. The Beechcraft pilot refused to agree and landed
while we prepared to exit the runway into the adjacent gravel
area, if necessary. Yikes! All of these aircraft then proceeded
to back taxi to the ramp without further incident..
It appears that
the pilot who submitted this report used the required lighting
and made the appropriate radio transmissions before taking the
runway. The "other guy" had opposite ideas.
We had just landed
on our first leg of a multi-engine/commercial training cross-country.
We taxied back to the active runway making all of the appropriate
radio calls.... After applying full power and reaching about
30 knots, we saw a light twin taking off in the opposite direction
with no lights on except a red anti-collision light, which from
the distance had been mistaken for an obstacle light. We throttled
to idle and applied full brakes. The opposite direction traffic
passed overhead by approximately 20 feet.
"Other Guy" in the Tower
As with pilots,
controllers' abilities improve with experience. In this incident
there may have been controller training in progress that eventually
required a supervisor to take over. However, as the reporter pointed
out, everyone involved probably made assumptions and certainly
each contributed factors that collectively led to a very close
was a piston twin in front of me in the runup area. I reported
ready in sequence to the tower. I read back instructions to
hold short. Tower advised that a King Air was at seven miles
inbound on the ILS.... The twin was cleared to takeoff and I
was immediately cleared to "position and hold." I
waited at the hold line because the twin did not take off immediately.
Instead, he hesitated and then began to move down the runway.
I moved into position on the runway as he moved out of the way.
[The runway] has about a 1,000 foot displaced threshold. I was
in position at the end and could see pretty well down the runway....
I waited for takeoff clearance.... I was beginning to wonder
where the King Air was.... It appeared that the Tower was working
the departures and arrivals pretty tightly. As the seconds ticked
by, I became concerned. I didn't feel like I would be in actual
danger if the King Air came in because of the displaced threshold,
but I didn't like being on the runway and not knowing where
he was. I decided to ask the controller if he wanted me off
the runway, but just then I was given takeoff clearance....
I assumed that the King Air must not be as close as I had feared
or they wouldn't be clearing me to takeoff. I...entered IMC
very soon after rotation.... Then I heard the King Air pilot
report that he was "on the missed." He said, "We
can't see a thing." I was shocked to hear this. I had just
lifted off and my initial climb rate was more than 1,100 feet
per minute. Now I had a King Air, theoretically climbing out
of 250 feet AGL right behind me.... I maintained runway heading,
staying where the controllers expected me to be.... I heard
two partial transmissions.... The controller didn't seem to
know what to say or do in response to the developing situation....
There was a few seconds of silence then transmissions from what
sounded like a different person, "King Air XXX, turn right
immediately; heading 330".... Then I was given an immediate
left turn.... I leveled off (probably an instinctive "duck"),
then I heard the sound and felt the vibration. Turboprop engines
- somewhere very close. The sound faded and I resumed my climb.
I broke through the overcast into the clear.... I never saw
the King Air.
I think everyone
had the mindset that the King Air was landing. I know I was
thinking that way and I suspect that the controller was as well.
I think the spacing between my aircraft and the King Air was
managed as if we were in VMC.... I think we all got into the
situation because things took a little longer than expected.
The twin was slow to depart. My takeoff clearance didn't come
immediately. Maybe the King Air's right turn
on the missed approach didn't start immediately.