...Part 91 IFR; ...VFR to IFR; ...IFR FARs; ...Violated while IFR; ...Airway Clearances; ...Departures; ...IFR Charts; ...Jeppeson Charted Items; …Conversions Tables; …Instrument Departure Procedures (DP); ...Standard Terminal Arrivals (STARS); ...Alternate Airport; …You, ATC and Your Alternate; ...Alternate Alternates; …Learning to Brief; ...Sample Approach Briefing; ...Preparation; ...You Need; …How to Protect Yourself; ...One Planning System; ...Flying Approaches; … Preflight Planning Do's; ...Don'ts; ...Clearances; ...CRAFTS; ...IFR Shorthand; …Copying; ... Types of Clearances; ...When and When Not, Tower En Route; ...As Filed; ...Tower En route; ...Pop-up; ...Pop-up Checklist; …Pop-up Pick up; …Void Time Clearance; …Variations on Clearances; ...Manual E6-b Climb Rate; …2004 Instrument Procedures Handbook; ...
PART 91 IFR
Only FAR 91 operations can depart regardless of visibility and get a "look-see" privilege on approaches. Someone operating under FAR Part 91 can legally takeoff from an airport but not have the landing minimums needed to return and land at the same airport after takeoff. Not a good 'go' choice. Under FAR Part 91 you can legally takeoff when a commercial/airline operator would be grounded. Yeah, takeoff but can you get back?
Since there are no Part 91 departure standards, prudence would dictate:
--No departure be made if an arrival is not possible.
--Compliance with a published IFR procedure or with a DP is not mandatory unless it is included in the clearance.
--If no IAP is published, what will be the safest way to go?
--Is an alternate obstruction clearance route available?
--Will visual clearances be possible? Know the terrain, the minimum climb rates compared with your aircraft capability.
--I will do zero-zero departures (hooded student) for training under VFR conditions.
Departure obstacles are based on a 152' per mile slope from 35' above the departure end of the runway. As a standard, procedure designers assume that the aircraft will cross the end of the runway by at least 35' above the ground and will then climb at least 200 feet per nautical mile. The aircraft is expected to climb to 400' AGL before turning. If an obstacle penetrates this slope the airport will have a non-standard takeoff minimums. (Small T in black triangle) and greater performance will be required. If a climb of more than 200 fpnm is required on the plate to a certain altitude, a climb of 200 fp/nm will suffice after that altitude.
If marginal conditions exist, you must check takeoff and alternate minimums. The standard minimums apply only if there are no nonstandard alternate minimums published. To qualify under alternate minimums an airport must have approved weather reporting. This does not mean a terminal forecast. The published departure procedure gives an obstruction clearance route. You are expected to climb to pattern altitude before turning on course or to the assigned heading. For Part 91 operations, reported ceiling does not make a difference. Only visibility controls.
A technique to avoid vectors around areas like LA Basin, Chicago, or in the North East works well . File IFR from VOR on the other side of these areas to your destination. In remarks section of flight plan indicate time you will pick up IFR plan over VOR. Takeoff VFR fly to VOR and pick up IFR flight plan. You must remain VFR. This avoids all the wasteful vectors ATC gives IFR flights around the dense areas. The more off-hours you fly the more likely you are to get your way instead of ATC's way. If you have reason to believe that being IFR will lead to ATC vector problems. Ask if canceling IFR and proceeding VFR will help.
VFR to IFR
It is often better to depart VFR and avoid the IFR vectors that take you away from where you want to go. Pick up the IFR clearance once in the air and going the way you want to go.
IFR PTS Changes:
Task D: On circling approach reached MDA and maintains altitude within +100/-0 feet. Circles for normal landing at least 90 degrees for final approach course.
You cannot file IFR at any time unless you are IFR rated. A non-rated IFR student can, with instructors authorization, file in the instructor's name, for a dual IFR training flight. You cannot file IFR or fly in IFR conditions if you have not flown your 6 approaches, holding patterns and airway tracking within the past year. Only an instrument competency check can overcome this requirement.
Violated while IFR
You must understand and confirm your understanding in IFR communications. Your read back will eliminate 80% of IFR violations. Being in a hurry is the primary cause of oversight failures. Don't do anything you know to be stupid and indefensible.
--Descent to wrong altitude
---Land without clearance
--Fail to follow clearance
--Failing to read back
--Unprepared for approach
--Fail to advise ATC of disorientation
--Proceed beyond clearance limit
--Failure to comply with clearance
--Flying unairworthy aircraft
--Acknowledge ATC but fail to comply
--Communicate with an 'attitude'
--Unsure of where you are going
--Failure to check NOTAMS
--Fly beyond aircraft certifications
--Get inadequate weather briefing
--Turn wrong way contrary to ATC instruction
--Flying with out of currency charts
--Fly through a cloud on a visual approach
--Forget to take flight bag
--Fail to use checklist
--Fail to confirm or reconfirm assigned altitude
--Fly route always assigned instead of one assigned
--Ducking under one too many times
IFR or VFR you have every responsibility to question any ATC clearance that in your opinion hazardous. The possibility of losing your radios is always a legitimate concern. You might reject a route over water. Proximity of a thunderstorm is plenty of reason. FAR 91.3 is the basis you have for rejection of any clearance.
If a pilot who is operating along an airway receives a clearance to operate
below the MEA it can be accepted if:
1. If the altitude is no lower than the MOCA and the aircraft is within 22 nautical miles of the applicable fix or navaid.
2. If radar navigational guidance is provided along with lost communications instructions.
3. Do not accept a clearance that is proximate to an obstacle
4. Composite flight plans are combination IFR/VFR. VFR flight MUST be opened with FSS on IFR departure and also closed with FSS on completion.
Effective January 1, 1998 all SIDS and IFR departure procedures are replaced by Instrument Departure Procedures or DPs. Every IFR airport has one or more arrival procedures. Complex DPs will be both charted ;and verbally stated. A DP is a canned method for presenting the pilot with a procedure the provides both separations and traffic flow. One of the difficulties is that there is no guidance about which of any number of DPs to use when ATC fails to assign one. A DP is always given when the obstacle clearance route does not exceed 40:1.
Without an ATC departure restriction you are free to fly direct to your first en route fix once you are above 400’. If no climb requirement is specified than a minimum of 200’ per nautical ground mile applies. IFR operations should limit IFR departures to VFR if climb performance cannot exceed 350 per minute. Circle to climb should be done only in VFR and with ATC concurrence.
An ATC assigned climb gradient is mandatory. If a DP requires a turn of more than 15 degrees, the turn must be done after reaching 400’ AGL. Some airports have specified early turn requirements as part of the DP. Part 91 pilots are responsible for obstacle clearance. If any part of a Part 91 departure is going to enter controlled airspace the pilot much get an ATC clearance and not level off until the altitude requirement of 91.177(a)(2) are met. ATC assigns the altitude for IFR operations but can be different than required by the hemispheric rule. Special use airspace may be listed at the bottom of the front panel.
No takeoff where weather is below IFR landing minimums unless alternate within one hour flight time. Part 91 have neither IFR takeoff minimums or alternate requirement. Suggestion: Fly by PART 135 standards.
Departures require different airspeeds. The angle of bank as
shown on the attitude indicator is directly related to the airspeed.
Knowing this the proficient instrument pilot is able to adjust elevator,
throttle coordination and trim to maintain a constant altitude. You know that
as airspeed increases the angle of bank will increase and vice versa. On
departures, make a practice of noting rpm and engine sounds as normally
exists. This will help you note any malfunctions early.
ICAO uses 28 day cycle. U.S. and Canada uses 2 x 28 day cycle. Effective time is 0901 Zulu. Charts only up to 18,000’ all airspace Class E above 14,500 is controlled. Time zone boundaries are shown by line of T’s on front panel along with time conversion for Coordinated Universal Time (UTC)
There are four types of IFR charts, high-altitude en route charts or jet charts for above 18000’. Low-altitude enroute charts for flights below 18,000’. Terminal Charts for high density regions. Approach charts for each airport with an IFR procedure or procedures. IFR charts can be handy for VFR pilots since they give distances and radials between VORs Approach charts include airport diagrams as well as NDBs that are otherwise not depicted on VFR charts.
Jeppesen Charted Items
--Magenta squares around any Class D airspace does not allow SVFR
--Airport with *D before its information means Class D is part time.
--Airspace not class D becomes Class G. Times are all local.
--Base of controlled airspace starts at surface, 700’, or 1200’.AGL
--700’ is a transition area base. 1200’ is base of airways extending 4 nm each side as well as a transition area base.
--White areas of charts show airspace as being controlled below 14,500’ Adjacent shaded airspace has a base of 14,500 for controlled Class E airspace.
--Jepp charts have adjusted inoperative components progressively to the right. Lowest minimums are to the left.
--If the approach course is more than 30-degrees from the landing runway, straight in minimums are not authorized.
--If the descent gradient exceeds 400 fpm from the FAF to the threshold, straight-in minimums are not authorized.
--Aircraft categories apply to both straight-in and circle-to-land minimums.
--Once the approach stops using the glide slope the approach becomes a non-precision approach with a MDA be it straight in or circling. The lowest circle-to-land MDA must be 350' above the airport while the straight in MDA can be 250' above the airport reference altitude regardless of runway used. A minimum of 300' is provided for all categories above obstacles for all aircraft categories. A DH may have as little as 120' terrain clearance.
--Category 1 ILS visibility is 1/2 mile. With TDZL and centerline lights it can be 1800 RVR for a specific runway.
--Part 91 must have the OM or an authorized substitute. The substitute may be radar, DME, VOR or NDB.
--Minimum instrument altitude (MIA) is within 22 miles of VOR and may be below minimum enroute altitude (MEA.
--Jepp minimums box included DA, MDA, HAT and HAA. ILS minimums are DA(H) since the minimum altitude is actually an altitude instead of a height. An HAT and DH should be verified by reference to the TDZ elevation.
This table gives ground speed, descent rate and time figures. By picking a ground speed you can determine your time to the MDA and rate of descent it takes to get you there. Use DME to get ground speed.
On the ILS the conversion table specifies the time to the missed approach point for Localizer approaches. The ILS decision altitude is usually a half-mile before the threshold. If timing is not on the chart, it is not authorized. The missed approach can then be determined by DME.
--Review chart for obstacles
--Required rate of climb
--Heading to navaid
An airport with an instrument approach will have a DP when obstacles exceed a 40-to-1 plane. . The making of the DP requires a survey that will find a 40:1 departure route based upon a minimum climb of 1352 feet per nautical mile with no margin of error. A DP depicts all nav aids, courses, and altitudes for the departure. The presentation is both graphic, textual and computer coded. The standard climb gradient of 200 feet per nautical mile is expected unless a steeper gradient is specified. Required frequencies are part of the DP plate.
DPs come in three types: pilot nav DPs, vector DPs, and in combination. Most DPs are combination. DP plates change rather often so keep your DPs up to date. I recently had one more current than the one given by ATC. DPs may require specific aircraft performance to meet DP requirements. Check the gradient chart to see if you comply. Standard is 200 feet per mile or 333 feet per minute at 100 kts The departure requirement of 200'pnm gives you an ever-increasing margin of safety altitude of 48' per mile, only if you cross the departure end of the runway at 35'. Turns are not allowed until above 400'. Any tailwind on a DP reduces the safety margins.
If there is no DP because obstacles do not break the 40-to-1 plane, the pilot
is expected to do what is required to assure a safe departure. You should
check the terrain, gather local advice, plan for visual avoidance of terrain,
or otherwise fly the published departure procedure. ATC expects the pilot
to fly the DP so that required separations will be met. If you are below
radar coverage you are on your own until reaching controlled airspace or an
If a textual DP specified a navaid, the flight plan should be filed according to the procedure. Textual procedures are on the Jeppesen charts but on a different chart in the NOS system. A DP procedure may be either an IFR procedure or an obstacle clearance procedure. Having radar as assist in flying a DP since the departure frequency, initial altitude and heading is a part of the procedure though not given in the clearance. The best part of a DP is that the pilot gets to plan in advance what to expect and what you have to do.
DPs based upon text assume that you ate at least passing through 35-feet at the end of the runway and will climb to 400 feet before turning and continues to climb at 200 fpm from then on. Ninety knots gives 1.5 nm per minute. This should be plenty fast unless there is a tailwind that could make it difficult for a loaded C-172. Radar contact does not relieve the pilot of terrain clearance responsibility. However a radar vector means that ATC has assumed terrain clearance responsibility. Text descriptions are being replaced with symbolic depictions.
Hold-for-release means that your clearance is not valid until ATC tells you to go or gives you a void time.
At the end of the en route part of an IFR flight awaits the approach segment. The pilot gets rid of distractions and briefs the chart procedure. This briefing may consist of one or more post-its detailing the changing altitudes, flight directions, time, frequencies, and missed procedure. This is a good time to get the ATIS and decide when you are going to make speed and configuration changes. Much of your arrival may be incorporated into a STAR (Standard Terminal Arrival Route). Again, Jeppesen has STAR charts with the approach charts while NOS pages them alphabetically in a group.
A STAR can be a profile or textual description of a route whose purpose is to get you on the instrument approach. Different classes of aircraft may have different ‘notes’ to follow. If you go to an airport that has STAR procedures you will probably get one even though you did not file one. Some ATC procedures are STAR like without being called a STAR. They often coincide with PARs or preferred arrival routes. Controllers will often cut the corners off of STAR routes to same time. Always confirm with ATC if your routing is different than indicated on the STAR.
Use of a STAR requires that you use that code as the first part of a transition code since it will make computer acceptance easier. If you file using a star you must have at least the textual presentation with you. The STAR gives speeds, altitudes and what to expect. All descents require a clearance even though depicted in the STAR. If you are ATC directed to proceed via a part of a STAR you may head and descend as written in the STAR. You can reject the STAR by filing 'No Star'.
The terminal area hold is fitted into place so that multiple arrivals can be spaced and stacked at a navaid. Aircraft told to hold will be given the direction of the hold and the fix, the course, bearing or airway and the direction if not to the right. Additional the altitude and EFC (expect further clearance time) which give you a time to leave in case of communications failure.
STARs have altitudes that are MEAs. If you lose your radios do not fly the STAR altitudes. STAR altitudes and descents are valid only when you have been cleared for descent or on a cruise/approach clearance. A STAR may not be at an IAF (initial approach fix). Center may use the end of such a STAR to hand you over for vectors by TRACON.
A STAR has the same features as a DP with the addition of specific altitudes
and speeds. Mostly required for heavy jets. Know what the STARs are so you
know what ATC is doing. What you usually see on a STAR is what you will
normally get as a clearance when filing "No STAR". Star transitions
are just branches from the root route. Required frequencies are part of the
A STAR is not a profile descent. When descent clearance is issued ask for clarification if ATC gives mix of descents and STAR clearances. Don’t descend to the altitudes shown on a STAR until an unrestricted descent clearance is issued. STAR altitudes are to be ‘expected’ and must be validated by a clearance. Being cleared for approach while on a STAR route gives you the right to descend to all published MEAs, otherwise you must stay at your last assigned.
--A not unusual ATC clearance error is failure to mention the STAR to the
pilot that is assigned as part of the en route clearance.
--If you filed a STAR it can be considered as included in the 'cleared as filed' ATC statement. Either way, the ATC controller where the STAR commences is expected to assign it by name.
With the help of marginal weather the IFR approaches can be supplemented by contact and visual approaches. Only the pilot can initiate a contact approach, which can be approved by ATC if reported ground visibility is one mile. In return the pilot is responsible for obstruction clearance, must have one-mile flight visibility and will be able to reach the airport in those conditions. Use the contact approach when you have the airport in sight but you cannot maintain VFR but have ground contact. Losing sight of the ground or the airport requires that you advise ATC. They will give you a climb clearance and vector you back for the full approach.
The visual approach can be initiated by either the pilot or ATC and is
conditional on your being able to see either the airport or an aircraft to
follow. Remaining clear of clouds is an additional condition and the
airport must have a ceiling at or above 1000' and three-mile visibility.
An alternate is not required if the first airport of intended landing has a standard instrument approach procedure. In addition for at least one hour before and one hour after the estimated time of arrival, the weather reports or forecasts, or any combination of them indicate the ceiling will be at least 2000' above the airport elevation and the visibility will be at least three statute miles. Weather reports or forecasts, or any combination of them may be used to determine if an alternate airport is required. (A terminal forecast from the destination airport is required.) FAR 91.169(b)
If no instrument approach procedure has been published in FAR Part 97 for an airport, the ceiling and visibility minimums are those allowing descent from the MEA, approach, and landing under basic VFR. FAR Part 91.169(C)(2)
An airport with a precision approach can be filed as an alternate if at the estimated time of your arrival the forecast is at least 600 and two miles.
A 24 hour monitored ASOS at an airport will allow for alternate
You, ATC and Your Alternate
--ATC has no information as to the alternate you filed with FSS.
--Your FSS flight planned alternate is not 'automatically' put on your flight strip.
--You select an alternate because you must by FAR.
--If you suspect you may need to go missed, plan what you want to do before ATC does it for you.
--The sooner you tell ATC of what you plan to do the sooner they can put it together for you.
--When you go missed at your destination tell ATC what you plan to do.
--No weather will be exactly as forecast.
--Instead of trying an approach that is below minimums, divert early and avoid the rush.
--Alternate that you can reach is better than the VFR airport out of range.
--Far 91.103 gives legal requirements but the your real need may differ. With your destination predicted to be above 2000' and 3 miles for an hour either side of your arrival time you don't need an alternate. If you can't land at your destination you will head for the closest ILS with over 600' and 2 miles or a non-precision with 800 and two miles. The "paper alternate" exists to assure you of protected airspace to cover lost communications.
--Never rely on an alternate's forecast. Weather is what it is; not what it's supposed to be. Monitor your alternate weather en route. Barring the forced use of the "paper" alternate, you can use anywhere you want as the alternate. The choice of alternates declines at night. Radar and towers close. Keep your alternate within range.
--If your destination doesn't have an approved approach procedure you're required to file an alternate regardless of the weather. Some airports are not legal alternates with tower closed, having no weather observer, or navaids out of service. The rules for alternates exist so pilots have a way out. Your alternate doesn't need an approach procedure if you can descend from the MEA, approach and land under basic VFR.
--Middle marker is not required for a Cat 1 ILS. Neither is outer marker since glide slope FAF is intercept altitude. Minimums adjustment no longer exists on approach plates. Most middle markers are decommissioned.
--Consider filing to a VFR airport. this can be done if the forecast weather at ETA allows a VFR descent and landing from the MEA. An alternate airport is always required as a part of such filing.
--If in flight, your original IFR destination drops below the 1-2-3 rule you must file an alternate and have the fuel to reach it.
--Any airport, even one that has an approach, cannot be filed as an alternate regardless of a weather forecast if the chart says N/A. for not authorized. A planning alternate must have navaid monitoring and weather reporting to avoid having N/A on the chart.
--Even a chart that has alternate minimums may have higher than usual
minimums when used as an alternate. The critical factor of such minimums
is the circling minimums. The approach charts must be checked prior to
flight and filing.
--Dead reckoning is a frequent and legitimate part of IFR procedures. DR can be used if it is acceptable to ATC.
Learning to Brief
NATS (mnemonic) will cover all the elements of an approach. It is best to say everything out loud from the plate since errors become more apparent.
N stands for NOTAMS. NOTAMS usually occur at the end of the ATIS and will tell about runways, procedures or aspects of the airport that are not useable.
A stands for Approach. This means that you will orally review the plate 's essentials such as
Date of issue
Kind of approach
Navaid frequencies set and ident
Com frequencies set
Course and course changes
Intercept altitude and altimeter check
Missed procedure point, heading and altitude
Set altimeter, heading bugs and time
T stands for Terrain. What it takes in performance to avoid CFIT
S stands for Special Pages. Things related to noise abatement, time restrictions, etc.
1. This will be a ______ to runway ____ at ___________
2. Field elevation is ______ feet
3. Time for the FAF to MAP will be ______min ______sec.
4. The MDA/DH for this approach will be ______ feet.
5. The required rate of descent will be ______FPM at ______Kts.
Get 3-degree descent by G. S. X 10/2
6. Approach notes are
7. Missed approach procedure is...
Approach Briefing: (sample)
1. Current weather
2. Proper charts
3. Set all radios then ident all
4. Which way, how low, how long
5. Missed procedure
THE FIVE T's
Crossing the IAF
Stable descent (know rate)
Marker altitude check
At all turns
Step down altitudes
Where am I, cross-check?
No delay of missed
1. Confirms briefing data
2. Calls altitudes
3. Calls missed
4. Calls runway
By being prepared and organized you can concentrate on your flying.
--Get the ATIS ahead of time. If no ATIS get weather and NOTAMs ahead of time.
--Set radio for best reception
--Heading indicator set
--Listen selectively for what applies to you and that you need.
--Ceiling and visibility
--Memorize chart essentials.
--Debrief the approach as to headings, altitudes, frequencies, and missed approach.
--Direction (Which way). Will vectors affect your orientation.
How to Protect Yourself
--Altitudes (How low)
--Nearby published holds.
--Time (How long)
--Initial heading and Altitude of missed procedure
--Know how and where to locate chart information. Have all charts for flight available.
--Use the other person in the cockpit
--Aircraft performance settings for level, descent, and missed.
--Fuel requirements. Escape routes.
--Instrument performance check.
One Planning System:
1. Inside the initial approach fix (IAF)
2. Course interception
Callout Six "T"s
Turn; Time; Twist; Throttle; Talk; Track
3. Intercepting radial
"Cross radial alive"
4. Descent from Final Approach Fix (FAF)
Callout Six "T"s
5. Circling minimums
Visual Descent point (VDP)
6. Missed approach point (MAP)
Runway in sight
Each approach may require a slightly different arrangement of the above.
A successful approach begins by homework before takeoff. Many IFR students overlook the planning and organization required before you leave the ground.
You have planned and decided:
…When to set your radio stack for the approach,
…When to slow to approach speed,
…When to do the pre-landing,
…When to remind ATC that they are creating a problem for you,
…How you plan to maintain situational awareness (ADF),
…Effect of a head or tail wind,
…A descent, and a visual descent point, etc.
--With the new Jeppesen charts showing terrain in color the pilot should form a mental picture as part of the pre approach planning.
--Approaches begin at the initial approach fix. (IAF)
--Final approach segment is found by starting at the airport and working backwards to the FAF.
-- FAF is usually the outer marker on localizer approaches, the VOR on VOR approaches when not on airport. --Off airport NDBs are the final approach fix. Jeppeson uses the Maltese cross to indicate FAF.
--FAA has defined FAF for precision approaches as the point in space where the glide slope and intercept altitude meet.
--This is a different FAF than for the localizer approach with the Maltese cross a location over the ground.
--Missed approach points are usually at the runway threshold.
--Timing is used to determine the MAP on non-precision approaches.
--The precision MAP is where the localizer, glide slope and a DA meet usually 200' over the touchdown zone. ---DA is replacing DH.
--Any missed approach executed prior to reaching the MAP or time must be flown on course until passing the MAP before executing a turn.
--The climb may be executed immediately. Inform ATC of missed and your situation ASAP.
Note: IFR En route Low Altitude charts:
-- Will have Computer Navigation Fixes (CNF’s)
--Provides GPS navigation systems the information needed to identify position.
--First CNF’s will be at mileage breakdown points and turns on airways charted with small x.
--ATC will not be aware of CNF’s.
–Check for TFRs
--Review approach procedures, all of them
--Confirm alternate requirements
--Confirm aircraft has required instruments
--Check category and category minimums
--Get all NOTAMs
--Determine personal minimums based on experience at this field.
--Plan to fly as published
--Plan your descent and the Missed Approach
--Know what it takes to have airport in sight
--Expect to do the missed and plan to fly it as mapped
--Turn toward runway if a circle to land missed is required.
--If proceeding VFR be sure to cancel IFR
--Don’t fly actual to minimums unless all aids are operating in the aircraft and on the surface.
--Don’t descent below DH or MDA until you see the runway indicators
--Don’t fly circle-to-land at-straight in minimums
--Don’t deviate from IFR procedures until VFR and have canceled IFR
--Aircraft type and identification
--Cleared to/for limit
Item: Pre-Departure Clearances (PDC)
New procedure will reduce clearance delivery frequency congestion. but it does not check on the accuracy of the clearance by requiring a read back.
C = clearance limit
C = clearance limit is 99% of the time the destination airport. Sometimes a "paper stop" is used in
non-radar operations that will delay you in a holding patterns which just affects the clearance limit not
R = route
R = The route used for separation purposes. DPs (Departure procedures) are not in the computer plans
so the DP is given by the tower.
A = altitude
A = initial altitude followed by expected altitude. Altitude crossing restrictions are given in the order.
F = Frequency
F = Sometimes in the DP so it may not be given. Local differences. Read the DP
T = Transponder Code
T = Transponder/time. Time in this case is a void time after which you cannot leave and must re-contact
S = special instructions
--Your shorthand is your own...make it quick, easy, clear...
--Always slash a zero to avoid confusing with O|
--Put parentheses around instructions
--15 = fifteen minutes after the hour
--HFR = hold for release
AF = as filed
--RV = radar vectors
--RH = runway heading
/_______ climb and maintain,
\______ descend and maintain,
rr = report reaching,
CDA Class Delta Airspace,
___________ A line above and below means maintain
A line below means at or above
A line above means at or below
O with arrow into, out of, or through means to enter, leave, fly through
EFC expect further clearance, expect ten thousand in ten minutes
If cleared to 2000 and expect 6000 in 10 minutes...Write 2- 6 x 10
rt right turn,...etc
D = With arrow = direct
15k with up arrow = climb 15000'
Put transponder code in rectangle
V = victor airway or void as in void time
X = cross as in crossing fix or VOR
The vocabulary of a clearance is based on specialized interpretations of common words. A new pilot must be aware of these words and what they mean. The AIM glossary lists many of them. In addition common usage has corrupted some of the AIM strictures. A new pilot should stick to the definitions and requirements listed as references in the PTS.
The PTS examiner may simulate a clearance during the oral part of the test that adds impossible routings, leaves out essential elements or otherwise constitutes an invalid clearance. The process is a valuable and valid part of the PTS. The interpretation of a clearance on a chart is essential part of the clearance procedure. In your home area you know the clearances. An unfamiliar clearance needs careful study and clarification of any doubtful elements. Several months ago took a complex clearance out of San Luis Obispo and took a few minutes to make sure it was fully understood. After takeoff and a turn to intercept a radial outbound the remainder of the clearance became a non-factor. We were high enough to be cleared direct to the next VOR. You should be so lucky.
Visualize a situation where you have filed, ATC has your clearance but
refuses to issue it. What to do? Can they do that? A part 91 flight can make
up a safe departure. See AIM 5-2-6. Go VFR and get an en route pop-up
clearance. The right of ATC refusal of a clearance depends on the service
volume (capability) of the navaids. You can expect to avoid FAA action if
you make a regular practice of giving a full read back of all clearances and
instructions. Be careful and exact in reading back numbers related to
altitude, runways, taxiways, vector headings, etc.
--You do prepare and write out your expected clearance double spaced for room to make changes.
--You ask for a repeat of specific items, everything before, everything after, or claim to have dropped pencil.
--Make your own shorthand and symbols for common words and phrases such as direct, maintain, at or above
at or below, radar vectors, own navigation, altitudes in hundreds, hold, DME arc, climb, descend, until, before, after, void time, cross,
--Consider copying clearances on charts.
Types of Clearances
--An full approach clearance does not include airways before the feeder routes and associated initial approach segments for which the aircraft is equipped.
If ATC chooses not to allow "cleared as filed" then the full route clearance must be read to pilot, copied by pilot and read back by pilot.
Tower En route
When on a Tower En route Clearance you may expect to contact NORCAL Approach if the Letters of Agreement LOAs apply to your route or altitude and other facilities do not have coverage. Example: CCR to STS. (Santa Rosa or Napa)
--The FAA has charted tower en route control (TEC) procedures for most of California and other heavily traveled areas. There are also called preferred routes and are given a separate listing by Jeppesen. Prop aircraft have selected routes and altitudes that avoid the jet and turboprop traffic. If you file out Class-B areas you are going to get a preferred route. This, as in the Los Angeles and San Francisco areas will usually fly you all the way around the Class-B airspace. You can avoid this by filing in short segments, airport to airport until reaching the outer edge of the Class-B.
When and When Not, Tower En Route
As ATC evolved in Northern California ZOA (Oakland Center) had remote transmitters every seventeen miles from the Oregon border to half-way across Nevada, to Bakersfield and half way to Hawaii using special radios.
Center is Located in Fremont not far from Oakland. The ZOA realm was based mostly on altitude but not entirely so. As the system grew below the center's airspace lower altitudes were given to airports having radar or even groups of airports. Bay approach covered the SF area. Stockton, Sacramento, Fresno, Bakersfield, and Monterey all had their own Approach Control and individual names. Well before 9/11 all of these were in the process of being combined and renamed into one facility. For a period the combination was called Sierra Approach but now is called NorCal Approach in a modern facility near Sacramento. But some areas underlying Center never had their own Approach Control and were not included into NorCal. It is this blending that is causing the confusion for those who did not grow up with the changes as they occurred.
Tower En Route Control grew like Topsey with adjacent controls having aircraft not needing to climb to Center altitudes but passing beneath its altitudes from one to another. Where these Approach controls existed they developed a system called Tower En Route.
It is possible to taxi out at Concord, CA and get an IFR flight plan to Bakersfield just by calling ground and in the process of getting taxiing instructions request a Tower En Route to Bakersfield or nearly any other major airport in Northern California. Your clearance will be available to you by the time you finish your run-up. It's that simple. But, not always in all directions. The cities and airports of Napa and Santa Rosa lie just north of the Bay Area. From Concord you can 'file' Tower En Route to Napa and Santa Rosa. In the process you will leave NorCal and be handed over to Oakland Center on 127.8. But you can’t leave those airports IFR except by filing a regular FSS flight plan. Dumb, stupid and inefficient.
But every FAA facility must 'protect' its territory and domain. From Napa
and Santa Rosa, on an IFR day you either file or get out on a SVFR clearance
to where you can get a Pop Up IFR clearance that gets you into the Tower En
Route system from NorCal on 120.9 or from Travis AFB on 119.9.
I have done all of these over the years. In flying to Southern California IFR, I have found it easier to quickly get a Tower En Route from Concord Ground to Bakersfield or even San Jose and then just amend it along the way to my SoCal destination. This allows you to slip underneath the ZOA airspace without waiting for a time slot in the entire IFR route system. Now you know the R-R-R-e-S-S-TT of the story.
IFR Beyond the Tower en Route
Just this morning I tried a Tower En Route for Concord (CCR) to Ukiah (UKI)
Concord ground gave me...
Cesssna 561DE is cleared to Skaggs Island VOR via Buchanan seven departure Skaggs Island transition. Climb and maintain 4000 expect 6000 in ten minutes, departure frequency is 119.9. Squawk ****.
I flew the departure above and when Travis handed me off to Oakland Center on approaching Skaggs Island VOR, I requested of Oakland Center the rest of my clearance to Ukiah.
The clearance was Cleared to Santa Rosa VOR, Mendicino VOR Direct Ukiah. Approaching Mendicino VOR I requested vectors rather than 'own nav'.
My point in bringing this up is to show that what ATC says is the procedures often has been amended inside the system to make it work far beyond the written word. All you need to do is ASK.
An on-the-spot request for a clearance directly with ATC. This request is made for practice or when faced with VFR to IFR conditions en route. More often than not ATC will come back with request for aircraft identification, type and equipment (If you didn't remember to get it in the request). Then will come the route, altitude and squawk code. Radar contact is not required but it helps. ATC can give you a clearance without radar contact if the pilot agrees to maintain terrain/obstacle clearance. FAR 91.169 says at the beginning regarding flight plans "unless otherwise authorized by ATC. The Pop-up is covered in this phrase.
The pop-up may be made as a VFR or IFR flight. It may also be a practice VFR or practice IFR flight. The IFR pop-up flights are given separation as for all other IFR flights. The VFR or practice VFR procedure must be approved by ATC on a ‘work load permitting’ basis.
The word ‘practice’ separates the two. ATC on approval will advise that separation is not provided for VFR or practice approaches. Additionally, unless the option on the approach is requested a missed approach is given only by request and ATC approval.
At a controlled airport a common pop-up is "IFR to VFR-on-top". This means that you are allowed to depart in IFR conditions with the expectation that you will reach VFR very quickly (CCR). Once you are on top and over 1000' above the clouds you cancel with approach and proceed VFR. Give cloud base and top reports.
When you pop-up into a radar controllers airspace he may direct you to fly to a fix before issuing a clearance or giving a vector.
Given the problem of flying to a given fix from an off airways position.
--FIRST, make your best judgment turn to a heading toward the fix.
--SECOND, go about setting in your frequencies and OBS settings.
--THIRD, plan your 45 degree intercept of the airway.
There is at least one instance (1981) where failure to complete the flight plan form with all the particulars was deemed a violation. ATC in a pop-up may not even bother to write the information but it will be on tape. that you complied with the FARs.
Nav # 1 Nav # 2 ADF Marker DME/LORAN
Pitot Vacuum Heading
IFR Pop-ups (Pick-ups)
--Some ATC radar facilities prefer pop-ups to filed clearances.
--It allows them to to fit flight into line without being forced to accept the route and time. of filed plan.
--Establish radio contact with a radar facility
--It is important that you get as much done in VFR conditions as possible.
--If you can't, ATC may declare an emergency for you.
--Tell them where you are and where you want to go via an IFR clearance and current flight conditions.
--You will not be asked usual flight plan questions but may be asked if you are IFR capable.
--You must be able to climb to obstruction altitudes, and minimum vectoring altitudes in VFR conditions.
--Your clearance will give you a squawk, heading, and ask you to maintain VFR while climbing.
--Once you have your clearance you will be given additional vectors and an IFR altitude to maintain.
--Admit that you are without IFR charts and plates and they will give your all the required data.
--If you can maintain altitudes and fly headings ATC will work you through the approach and landing.
--By flying your pop-up properly and using good radio procedures you are unlikely to hear from the FAA.
Void Time Clearance (VTC)
Should you not takeoff before your void time; you have 30 minutes to let ATC know, otherwise, you are listed as a missing aircraft and overdue. Use the cell phone that you always fly with. Become familiar with the use of the GCO or ground communication outlet such as exists at Truckee, CA. This allows direct radio contact with the FSS in Reno.
Best way to get a void time clearance is to pre-file everything except getting the clearance. Complete everything except starting the engine and get your VTC in which ATC sets aside a block of airspace for you departure and climb into the ATC system.
Variations on Clearances
--No FAR that requires you to copy.
--You must 'acknowledge' i.e. read back and comply. FAR 91.123(a) requires clarification of clearance.
--PDC is a pre-departure clearance delivered electronically to airlines.
--FRC is a full route clearance gives everything or a major change to avoid possible confusion
--AF clearances are as filed and may have already been written out by the pilot.
--Pre-filed and tower en route clearances are given by either ground control or clearance delivery.
--Tower en route clearances are somewhat limited in distance and go from towered airport to towered airport.
--Towered airports not served by local TRACON are usually unable to give a tower en route clearance.
--A pop-up clearance is obtained in flight from ATC facility
--En route Clearance Change Sequence:
Manual E6-B Climb
--You are making a proportion
--Put 60 minutes index under your ground speed
--Read minute time scale as required feet per mile
--Read directly above feet per mine required clime rate as feet per minute
2004 Instrument Procedures
Got the FAA NEW "Instrument Procedures Handbook". FAA-H-8261-1 (2004) in the mail yesterday. Free, but don't know why. Book consists of 25% appendixes.
As is my practice, I started reading from the back of the book.
Appendix D is--Acronyms and Glossary
I knew about one out of every three or 100 of 300.
There seems to be no end to the bureaucratic effort to reduce the name of everything into an acronym.
Some of the more unique are:
ALAR, AOCC; ARFF; ASDAR; ATCRBS; ATCT; CAASD; CARF; CDTI, CPDLC, CRCT; DBRITE; DRVSM; EDCT; EGPWS; EICAS; EWINS; FISDL; GDPE; GWS; HOCSR; LAPC; MAMS; MAHWP; MASPS; MAWP; McTMA; MNPS; NACO; NASSI; NIMA; NTAP; pFAST; RDOF; RVSM; SATNAV; SMGCS; SPECI; STMP; SWAP; TAOARC; URET; VCOA; VGSI; WMSC;
I haven't cross checked there with my older texts but of the 45 I have here
I doubt that any one person can name more than ten.
Some are named below.
Glossary has right on 150 items. I only knew 41 of them as being familiar and used.
Some of the unknowns:
Automatic Dependent Surveillance-Broadcast; Center Radar ARTS Presentation/Processing, Database columns; Database Field; Database Identifier, Database Record; D-ATIS; Diverse Vector Area (DVA); Dynamic Magnetic Variation, Ellipsoid of Revolution; Flight Information Region (FIR); Four corner post configuration, Geodetic Datum; Gross Navigation Error (GNE); Highway in the Sky (HITS); LPV (not an acronym); Military Space Management System (MAMS); Obstacle Clearance Surface (OCS); Obstacle Identification Surface (OIS); Principal Operations Inspector (POI); Runway Hotspots; Station declination, Tracab; Traffic information service - broadcast; transition Layer, User Request Evaluation Tool (URET)
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Continued on Page 7.36 Missed Approaches