The FAA called me at 4 am

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by drgwentzel, Nov 13, 2017.

  1. drgwentzel

    drgwentzel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Flyers,

    I flew to KTEB (Teterboro ap) yesterday with my wife and 2 friends to see Wicked on Broadway. (GREAT SHOW!...but I digress).

    After the show and back at KTEB I contact Clearance Delivery for a VFR clearance (yes, they are Class D, but require all VFR departures to contact CD). I told CD that I wanted to depart VFR and head toward the Hudson River Exclusion (Hudson River Corridor). All they did was provide me a squawk code and explained that they would forward my request to the tower.

    I next received my taxi instructions to RW 19 and after runup was cleared to take-off with the tower stating they understood my request to fly the corridor. She told me to fly a left downwind departure and then head toward the George Washington Bridge.

    On departure I did exactly that and the tower asked me if I would like a hand-off. I said, "No, we are going to fly the exclusion southbound at 900'.” She told me to squawk VFR, Frequency Change approved and remain clear of the class Bravo. I complied.

    Once outside of the exclusion and the Bravo I climbed to 2000' and flew home (n14).

    At 4:40 am my home phone rang and it was the FAA, but stopped ringing before I could answer it and a message was left. Immediately after that my cell phone rang and it was the Teterboro FBO (Atlantic Aviation). I answered and they said ATC was looking for me because Cleveland Center and New York Center lost track of my flight and wanted to know if I landed safely. Huh?!

    I called the FAA number back and they said the same thing. I explained that I was not on any IFR or VFR flight plan and I was released from the tower on a 1200 squawk code and didn't talk to ATC on the flight home. I was happy they were following up and concerned, but asked why was anyone keeping track of my flight if I wasn't on any type of flight plan? He didn't have an answer.

    What are the thoughts of the group? I think I'm going to call the FAA number back and ask if I can be provided the phone number for Cleveland Center or whom ever initiated the search and speak directly with them. I want to know if I was mixed up with another aircraft or, if I did anything wrong, I want to learn about it and correct it.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  2. Cap'n Jack

    Cap'n Jack Final Approach

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    Do you have ADSB? Was it a rental?
    I'm wondering how the FAA got your cell phone number- maybe via Atlantic Aviation? If you rented the plane from Atlantic and the FAA got your cell from them, they should have let the FAA know it landed safely.

    Seems weird, but also seems like a screw-up on the FAA's part.
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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  4. drgwentzel

    drgwentzel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    It is my aircraft and I have a mode S transponder. The FAA call my home phone and the FBO called my cell phone which I provided when I landed at TEB. Teterboro FBO could not tell them I landed safely because that is the AP I departed from, I landed at an uncontrolled field which is my homebase.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  5. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Should've taken the handoff.
     
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  6. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    I'd just call the number and follow up if you want to know the exact reason for the search.

    A possible scenario is that the tower put you in the NAS computer when they got your beacon code. Then your tag was either manually or auto handed-off to the TRACON/Center and then the tower told you to squawk VFR without removing it from the NAS or notifying the TRACON/Center. After some time went by they initiated a search for you and when the TRACON/Center called the tower that guy was gone/on break and no one remembered you. Hence the phone call.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  7. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    FDA... The US Food and Drug Administration called you too... were you smuggling something as well???
    :biggrin: :stirpot:
     
  8. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Yep, what RC said. Plenty of times on approach I'd see a VFR strip overdue. Somewhere up the line, the guy either terminated or changed destinations and no one removed / updated the strip. Usually the track down of said controller doesn't take that long though. Definitely not to the point of calling the owner / operator of the aircraft at home. :confused:
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
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  9. DFH65

    DFH65 Pattern Altitude

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    Not saying hide your dog...BUT hide your dog.
     
  10. Checkout_my_Six

    Checkout_my_Six Final Approach

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    bed check.....:lol:
     
  11. overdrive148

    overdrive148 En-Route

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    Back at KSNL I would get a call probably once a month from an ATC authority (usually OKC) asking about aircraft. Usually just wanting to know if/when they landed. I cancelled flight plans for them occasionally and let them know when they came back.
     
  12. FlySince9

    FlySince9 Pattern Altitude

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    sounds like an N-number mix up at the center...
     
  13. EminiTrader

    EminiTrader Cleared for Takeoff

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    Next time fly to JFK. Easy in and out.
     
  14. GlennAB1

    GlennAB1 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Post 9/11 era.
     
  15. Tom-D

    Tom-D Taxi to Parking

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    Thank God I don't live back east. I haven't talked to ATC or gotten a clearance in a couple years.

    Look out the window, if the picture ain't right fix it. :)
     
  16. sourdough44

    sourdough44 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I remember a ways back on one of the aviation forums mention about the federales checking out suspicious flight patterns/profiles? This was checking out a plane that flew long legs not talking to anyone, like VFR from the SW towards Iowa or similar.

    I’m not saying your flight fit that profile, I’m just thinking, in this modern era, I don’t put it past ATC/the feds from keeping an eye on anyone flying around, squawking, talking, or not. They may of just been concerned that your flight landed safely. You just know they we’re watching you as you skirted through the corridor and near the Class B.
     
  17. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Did you tell TEB your destination? Seriously doubt you were tracked as a security measure. Your situation is not even a reporting requirement (DEN). If they did report it, they're grasping at straws these days.
     
    Last edited: Nov 13, 2017
  18. PilotRPI

    PilotRPI Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Should have told them you'll call them back, you're busy pushing a Malaysian airliner back into the hangar.
     
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  19. Harold Rutila

    Harold Rutila Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Someone was being diligent after losing track of an aircraft. It sounds like they did their job. Any time ATC is in contact with an aircraft and has reason to suspect the airplane has gone missing, they can initiate search and rescue procedures even if no flight plan is involved. It could be as simple as a controller in the tower forgetting to cross out a call sign on a scratch pad and thinking "What happened to this guy?"
     
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  20. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I get calls like that and do my very best to get a good call back number, 'can I get your cell in case the lines are down again - I'll want to give you more details later'.
    Then start calling them at 3am about bullchit. (it sounds like your flight was hours earlier)
     
  21. Zeldman

    Zeldman Final Approach

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    I would rather they call when everything is Ok, than not call as I wait for rescue somewhere not near an airport.

    One time in Alaska I called the FSS on the radio and cancelled my VFR flight plan. I was about 5 minutes from landing, and about 5 minutes until my flight plan timed out.

    I landed, unloaded, fueled the plane, parked it and tied down. As I walked into the building, the phone was ringing. I answered it.......and It was FSS looking for me. It was the same guy I talked to on the radio to close my flight plan..... I sure gave him heck over that...:lol::lol::lol:

    And it was a simple case of getting another call right after me and then forgetting to record the closing.
     
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  22. danhagan

    danhagan Cleared for Takeoff

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    Could be worse ... you could have flown yesterday on a flight plan and closed it, and on the return trip today they're telling you your previous FP is still active:eek: Well, gee I closed it, and if it is still active why aren't you looking or calling? I stopped using flight plans after that event.
     
  23. paflyer

    paflyer Final Approach

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    Your Government loves you.
     
  24. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    FTFY