I was recently coming in to land at Deer Valley Airport when I was told to call Phoenix TRACON because of a possible pilot deviation—what should I do?

While the Phoenix area does offer pilots an outstanding environment to fly thanks to unbeatable weather and airfield availability, it is also an extremely challenging place to fly in its own right. With numerous Class D and C airports and several restricted areas, as well as a very complex Class B airspace surrounding Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, it is no wonder that pilots are often informed of possible deviations.

 

The infamous “phone number” transmission from an air traffic controller is never one a pilot wants to receive. This is usually the very first step the FAA takes to determine if a pilot has committed an infraction that is serious enough to warrant an enforcement action on their certificate. While you are not legally required to call the number provided, if the event in question was a relatively minor one, a quick phone call may be all you need to set things straight. If you are concerned that you may have violated something more serious, you may want to hold off on calling until you speak to an aviation lawyer so that you do not further incriminate yourself.

 

As long as your deviation was unintentional and did not include an accident or incident, you can file a NASA Form ARC 277B. This form can provide you with immunity from enforcement action as long as you have not been found guilty of violating a FAR within the past five years. Available both online and in a print-out/mail in version, you must submit the form within 10 days of the event in question. To err on the side of caution, you may still want to have an attorney read over your report before you hit “submit” or mail it in—it can never hurt to be sure that your bases are covered.

 

If you have received a "number" to call and would like to discuss your options, the Phoenix aviation attorneys at Curry, Pearson & Wooten can help guide you through the self-reporting process—call us today at 602-258-1000.