by Jim Timm


These pilot deviations need to be examined to determine if a common thread exists that we should address to help reduce the number of deviations that continue to occur, and thus enhance aviation safety.

In the reporting period from January 13, 2024, through February 15, 2024, there were sixteen pilot deviations reported by the FAA SDL FSDO office. Based on the low number of deviations, I hope we are winning, and I hope it continues.

These deviations were committed by pilots with pilot certificates ranging from Private Pilot thru ATP, and there were four out of state pilots that committed these deviations. Of the sixteen deviations reported, there was a need to issue ten Brashers.

Note: A controller will issue a Brasher notification to a pilot when further FAA action will be taken, and the controller is thus giving the airman the opportunity to make note of the occurrence, collect information, and their thoughts for their future interaction with FAA Flight Standards.

Pilots need to listen carefully to ATC instructions and follow them, and if you can’t comply, tell ATC why you can’t. Also, when flying in controlled airspace, pilots should never be creative, but talk to ATC before they do something that differs from the instructions given. Pilots must always be aware of what type of airspace they are flying in, or may be about to enter, and know what may be expected of them. Always fly with care and forethought.

The details of the deviations this month are as follows:





1/22  IFR Altitude Deviation

          Private Pilot

          Phoenix TRACON (P50)

The Eclipse Jet made an IFR departure off of Chandler and climbed through their assigned altitude of 3,000. The jet did not check in with the TRACON, and the Willy Controller reached out for them as they appeared to reach 3,400. The pilot responded, and the controller instructed them to ident, stop their climb, and issued them the altimeter setting. The pilot continued to climb, and as they were leaving 4,100 the controller assigned them an altitude of 6,000. A Brasher was issued.


2/2 IFR Route Deviation


Albuquerque Center (ZAB)

The Piaggio Avanti had been cleared via after MUMTE direct to EED. After MUMTE, the center controller observed the Piaggio about 45 degrees off course and cleared the aircraft direct to EED. The Piaggio had made an unauthorized turn, which resulted in the aircraft violating the 3-mile protected airspace of the BAGDAD MOA, which was active. A Brasher was issued.




1/14 Entering Class Bravo Airspace Without First Obtaining A Clearance

Private Pilot

Out of Florida

Phoenix TRACON (P50)

The Cessna violated the Phoenix Class Bravo Airspace approximately 7 miles SW of PHX airport at 3,700 in the SFC-090 box without authorization. There was no loss of separation. A Brasher was issued.


1/20 Entering Class Bravo Airspace Without First Obtaining A Clearance

Private Pilot

Phoenix TRACON (P50)

The Bonanza entered the Phoenix Class Bravo Airspace near Goodyear without authorization. There was no loss of separation. The Brasher was issued by the Phoenix Deer Valley (DVT) ATC.




1/31 Entering Class Delta Airspace Without First Establishing Communication

Commercial Pilot

Scottsdale Airport (SDL)

The Bonanza entered the Scottsdale Class Delta Airspace without first establishing two-way radio communications. There was no loss of separation. The local controller issued the Brasher warning.


2/1 Entering Class Delta Airspace Without First Establishing Communication & ATC Instructions

Commercial Pilot

Mesa Falcon Field (FFZ)

The Rutan Vari-EZ departed FFZ, and was told to fly straight out, but instead turned northbound without permission. Upon returning to FFZ the Vari-EZ appeared to enter the Falcon Field Class Delta Airspace without permission or first establishing two way radio communications. The Vari-EZ was issued the Brasher. 


2/3 Entering Class Delta Airspace Without First Establishing Communication

Private Pilot

Phoenix/Mesa Gateway Airport (IWA)

The pilot deviation was reported on the IWA emergency frequency when the Beech Baron violated the IWA airspace.


2/7 Entering Class Delta Airspace Without First Establishing Communication

Private Pilot

Out of Massachusetts

Scottsdale Airport (SDL)

The pilot deviation was reported on the SDL emergency frequency when the Piper Navajo violated the SDL airspace.




1/30 Not Complying With ATC Instructions

Private Pilot

Out of California

Chandler Airport (CHD)

The pilot was issued instructions to enter a right downwind for RWY 22R, when the aircraft crossed the centerline for RWY 4L, and the pilot was issued a right 360° to enter the right downwind for RWY 22R. the pilot made a right 360°, and again attempted to fly the 4L final again. the pilot was told to fly westbound and exit the airspace. Instead, the pilot made another 360° and attempted a straight in to 4L a third time. The Aircraft finally entered the right downwind for RWY 22R and was instructed to extend the downwind but made two attempts to turn base against instructions. When the aircraft was on the ground, a Brasher warning was issued by Ground Control.


1/31 Not Complying With ATC Instructions


Glendale Airport (GEU)

The Mooney M-20K was advised to make left traffic for runway 01. ATC observed the Mooney crossing over the departure end of the runway at 1,800 ft. The pilot appeared to be disoriented and was unsure of what he was doing. ATC advised him to continue in the right downwind for right traffic runway 01, and he was cleared to land. Glendale Tower spoke with the pilot twice after the incident, and the pilot refused to give his name and pilot's license number. The pilot was very uncooperative, making threats to ATC. 


2/1 This entry was discussed as the first item in the second entry under Class Delta Deviations.


1/12 Crossing A Hold Short Line

Commercial/CFI Pilot

Goodyear Airport (GYR)

The Cirrus SR20 called ready for takeoff at RWY 3, and was instructed to hold short of RWY 3, and the tower got a good read back. The controller gave a traffic call to a Cessna 172 that was on the upwind, and the response was Blocked. The controller subsequently cleared a flight of three Blackhawks for takeoff from A-3 in front of the tower. The controller noticed the SR20 had taxied past the hold short lines, and Ground Control issued a Brasher statement to the SR20. Fortunately the SR20 didn’t begin its takeoff roll.


1/17 Conducting A Touch And Go Without Authorization

Private Pilot

Prescott Airport (PRC)

The Evektor LSA had been conducting approaches to PRC, and the controller advised the LSA to break off the approach on a 1 mile final. The controller also did not issue a touch and go clearance. The LSA conducted a touch and go to Runway 21L. The controller instructed them to turn left immediately as a Seneca was short final for Runway 12.


1/18 Taking Off Without A Clearance

Private Pilot

Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT)

A Citation landed on Runway 7R, and the controller instructed a Bonanza to line up and wait on Runway 7R, and the read-back was correct. When the Citation cleared Runway 7R the controller observed the Bonanza starting its takeoff roll, and then issued a takeoff clearance to the Bonanza. The airplane departed and the controller issued them the Brasher warning.


1/18 Failure to Hold Short of Runway

Commercial/CFI Pilot

Chandler Airport (CHD)

The aircraft had landed on RWY 4R, and exited the runway at taxiway N. The aircraft was instructed to hold short of RWY 4L, and as the controller issued the aircraft’s crossing instructions, the controller observed the aircraft was already on RWY 4L. No other aircraft was involved.


1/28 Entered A Runway Without Authorization

Private Pilot

Out of California

Tucson Ryan Field (RYN)

The pilot read back the “continue to hold short of Runway 33” instructions. The Cirrus crossed the hold short line of Runway 33, and then contacted the controller. The controller advised the pilot that they had entered the runway and issued the Brasher. The Cirrus had crossed the hold short lines, but did not cross the runway edge line.


1/29 Crossed A Runway Without a Clearance


Phoenix Deer Valley Airport (DVT)

The Piper was at TWY B9 and was instructed to taxi to parking via TWY C, and D8. The Ground Controller thought the aircraft was at TWY C7. The Piper crossed RWY 7R at TWY B9 without a runway crossing clearance. An aircraft was concurrently cleared for takeoff on RWY 7R. The south controller cancelled their takeoff clearance abeam TWY C3 and the airplane exited the runway at TWY C6.

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