This is an excerpt from a report made to the Aviation Safety Reporting System. The narrative is written by the pilot, rather than FAA or NTSB officials. To maintain anonymity, many details, such as aircraft model or airport, are often scrubbed from the reports.
I experienced an engine that started to shake, along with a burning rubber smell and some visible smoke from the prop spinner area.
Immediately I turned towards ZZZ airport and called the Tower. I requested priority handling, stated my position as 15 miles west of the airport, inbound to land.
The Tower Controller told me to enter a right base for XXR. I said that I wanted to preserve my altitude and just go directly to the airport, then circle down from there in case I lost complete power.
I knew at my altitude, I would enter the Bravo airspace and requested that she give me a Bravo clearance, again stating that I’m requesting priority handling.
I was aware that I could use my priority authority to enter the Bravo without a clearance, but I still had the time and distance to receive a Bravo clearance. Tower said no, they can’t give me a Bravo clearance and again instructed me to enter a right base for XXR.
Frustrated that they didn’t seem to understand the situation, I called ZZZ1 Approach on XXX.X, requested priority handling with them, got the Bravo clearance, he even read me the current ATIS, then once I was overhead ZZZ, they switched me back to Tower.
I reduced power to idle and made a normal power off 180 landing, and was able to taxi to parking on my own power.
I’m very disappointed in how ZZZ Tower was not helpful in my situation. Even on a normal day, that controller seems overwhelmed and stressed out, spacing airplanes on 5+ mile finals, yelling at planes to widen the base leg to abnormal sizes, then when I experienced my problem, gives me instructions contrary to what I felt was the safest course of action and unhelpful overall.
Honestly, I feel that ZZZ would be a safer airport with no control tower (class E) than the service that I received.
Primary Problem: Aircraft