Busting Altitude

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by Andrew Byrd, Dec 6, 2017.

  1. Andrew Byrd

    Andrew Byrd Filing Flight Plan

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    Hello all,

    I recently started IFR training in south Florida. I've had some small issues with my instructor, but I was able to look past them, but in tonights flight and one flight before my instructor has abruptly either pulled back on the yoke, or pushed the nose down. Not gently, but very aggressively. The first time was on the flight earlier this week, and we were not on an IFR flight plan, just a simulated approach, and I understood what he was doing, but I was not a fan of it. On tonights flight, we were on a flight plan and I fell 40 feet below MEA on an approach the first time he did it because I was looking at my TPP to see when I could descend further. The second time was when we were going missed on the approach, and we were enroute to our holding fix, the TPP began to slide off my leg and I looked down to grab it and reposition it. Tonight was the straw that broke the camels back, and I told him to take me back to the airport, that is not the way to train a student, especially without warning me about my altitude.

    The reason my instructor does these abrupt movements is so we don't get a deviation (altitude bust). My question is: How far off from altitude do we have to be before we are given a deviation?
     
  2. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Usually 2-300' if the controller notices it.
     
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  3. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    And even then they will probably drop a hint first by giving you the altimeter setting
     
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  4. drjcustis

    drjcustis Pre-Flight

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    You’re VFR in training. Altitude is at your discretion. There is no altitude to bust.
    My instructor didn’t file IFR and fly actual IMC until later in my training. I remember him very calmly saying “altitude” and I’d be 7-800 feet off. I learned.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
  5. SkyDog58

    SkyDog58 Final Approach

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    If you don’t like your CFI’s teaching style, get another one. Simple enough.
     
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  6. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Dunno how things are with ACS but on the old PTS the standards we trained to were 0 below and 100 feet above an altitude on approach. Enroute it was +/- 100 feet. ATC will give you +/-300 feet enroute before a deviation is possible. I dunno what their deviation limits are on approach but when ya consider all the slop in mode C there’s quite a bit of room. That said I know one guy who couldn’t hold glideslope because he was iced up and he got a 709 ride.

    I too don’t care much for an instructor who can’t stay off the controls when it’s not a safety of flight concern.
     
  7. jsstevens

    jsstevens En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That. But first have you talked to the instructor about it? A good instructor will adjust teaching styles to fit students while staying safe.

    I used an instructor who did not routinely do the “your airplane” “my airplane” “your airplane” handoff. I talked to him about it and he adjusted for me.
     
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  8. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Seem to remember,+/- 100 ft.,if your doing simulated approaches VFR,you really shouldn’t have a problem. I would have a discussion with the instructor,and if it’s not to your satisfaction,get another instructor.
     
  9. DFH65

    DFH65 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Pet Peeve of mine is instructors that can't keep their hands off the controls. I have been fortunate and only flown with one guy who was like that and only for a lesson or two.
     
  10. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I would warn my students when approaching the standards (+-100 ft). No point in taking the controls until you exceed the PTS standards. ATC generally won't care until they see at least 300 ft difference. Even then, it'll just be a subtle reminder to check altimeter setting.
     
  11. upstateny

    upstateny Line Up and Wait

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    As mentioned earlier, instead of taking the controls, or saying, "You're too high/low!" I prefer to say calmly and non-judgmentally, "Altitude" or "Heading" and let my student figure it out and correct. Usually, they've become fixated on on instrument or chart and that jogs them into resuming proper scan.
     
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  12. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Hmmm, I don't know, sounds like he has figured out how to get your attention.
     
  13. RussR

    RussR Line Up and Wait

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    There are only a few reasons why an instructor would have to take the controls on an IFR training flight, and being off your altitude isn't usually one of them. I can usually accomplish the same result by saying one word - "altitude". Depending on the stage of training, and whether we are actually on an IFR flight plan, or in actual IMC, or not, I might prompt the student at 100 feet, or it might be more. But I don't think I've ever felt the need to take the controls for an altitude issue.

    Recently, I did have to quickly take the controls from an IFR student, but even then I think I said a quick "I have the airplane". We were in actual IMC and it was obvious he was getting the leans, as he was rolling to the right and a few "watch your headings" weren't having any effect. We were about to be in a descending spiral. So I took the controls, put it back straight and level, and gave them back.
     
  14. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I remember my first actual. I had flown into the soup and was still looking out the window when Bertorelli said "Don't lose it on me, Ron." I hunkered down on the gages quickly.
     
  15. bradg33

    bradg33 Line Up and Wait

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    I try hard not to take the controls, and certainly won't do it when VFR. If on an IFR plan, and the student starts to deviate, I usually give an "altitude" reminder, then another, then another "firmer" reminder. If those haven't triggered a correction, and we're >200ft off, I'll apply sufficient pressure to the controls in the necessary direction to initiate a correction while again giving an "altitude" reminder.
     
  16. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    Neither of the two CFIIs I worked with ever took the controls except to set up an unusual attitude or to let me dig my foggles out of the back seat and put them on. They gave good pointers to improve my landings, and one time I was told to go missed before minimums on an ILS because I had reached full-scale deflection on the CDI.

    If you are 100 feet high or low of your altitude en route, ATC is likely to give you the altimeter setting or tell you to "say altitude." If you are on an approach, you should not be going even 1 foot lower than the step-down altitude, MDA, or DA as the case may be. One thing you can do is fly 50 feet higher than the step-downs and MDA, which is exactly in the middle of the -0/+100 foot tolerance on the check ride.

    If you are low enough on an approach that you would be in danger (of failing the check ride or of impacting terrain), I think that the CFII should tell you to go missed and take control only if you are unable to execute the missed approach procedure safely. I think that this is the better training technique because, if you were actually flying the approach and having trouble, you are way better off going missed than jerking back on the yoke so you should train for what you should do in a real IFR situation.
     
  17. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Unless it causes loss of separation...
     
  18. RussR

    RussR Line Up and Wait

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    This is not correct for DA, though this is an extremely common misunderstanding, passed down from CFI to CFI. The ACS and previous PTS did not place the -0/+100 ft standard on DA, just MDAs.

    From the ACS: "Immediately initiate the missed approach when at the DA/DH". There is no mention of an altitude tolerance. You are expected to fly down the glideslope and, upon reaching the DA, initiate the missed approach. During this transition from descent to climb, it is expected you will briefly go below the DA. But the key is that the missed is initiated at the DA. That's why it's called a Decision Altitude, and not a Minimum Descent Altitude.

    In fact, the TERPS allows for this height loss in the procedure design, and airplanes are protected for it.
     
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  19. BigBadLou

    BigBadLou En-Route

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    Agreed, a good CFII won't be grabbing controls, this isn't an intro-to-PPL flight, this is instrument training.
    My CFIIs also pointed out my deviation verbally, either with "instruments" or a more specific "altitude/heading".
    Grabbing the controls and making abrupt adjustments sounds a little harsh.
    As others have pointed out, ask the instructor politely if he would be willing to change his habit ... or find a better instructor. There are plenty out there. You gotta click with your instructor, otherwise it won't be fun to train. And training should be fun, always.
     
  20. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I too dont like the grabber of the yoke...

    My IR instructor was cooler than the other side of the pillow. He never took the controls either, unless for foggles or unusual attitudes. To reiterate what other have said above, he would just say 'HEADING" or "ALTITUDE" as a pointer.

    More recently on a IFR flight in VMC, the controller came on and told me the altimeter and i was off by almost 200ft, due to not paying attention quite frankly. My guess the tolerance will be different depending where you are in the country and how busy the airspace. With that said I always try to nail it...
     
  21. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    That.
     
  22. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Actually if you're off (2-300' forget exact alt) and the controller notices it, they'll ask you to confirm altitude and issue the current altimeter setting. What happens next depends if ya caused a loss of separation or not, but I'd say most will let you correct your altitude if that's (conflict) not a factor. Where and how busy doesn't play into it.
     
  23. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I just downloaded the current instrument ACS (June 2017), and the only places it says +100/-0 is on the final approach segment of a non-precision approach, and when circling to land. It explicitly says that it's +/-100 prior to the final approach segment. Which strikes me as odd, because the profile view of government charts usually depicts all of the altitudes as minimum altitudes, not just the MDA. :dunno:
     
    Last edited: Dec 7, 2017 at 7:03 PM
  24. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I figured if you are flying in the Northeast or within class bravo the tolerances would be much lower than say flying in class E middle of no where...
     
  25. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Not because of the “book” tolerances, but in a Bravo you are more like to cause a loss of separation. The probability of someone looking over your shoulder I’m guessing is higher also.
     
  26. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    IFR separation is standard. Doesn't matter what class of airspace you're in. It does matter if the controller's equipment automatically reports (TARP) it though. The difference between sweeping something under the rug or the region investigating it.
     
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  27. Tantalum

    Tantalum Cleared for Takeoff

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    100%

    You are spending too much money and time with someone to not have it be a good fit
     
  28. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Posts 25 & 26 cover it RDU. Try to maintain brother! ;):D
     
  29. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    :thumbsup: yes sir..
     
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  30. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well ya don't have to if ya rather deal with Mr FAA ya know...it ain't fun. :D
     
  31. RDUPilot

    RDUPilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Yeah, I rather not deal with them. I try my best to hold and maintain heading and altitude. Though i wish they send me my shiny new card.. :D
     
  32. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Shiny new card?
     
  33. DesertNomad

    DesertNomad Cleared for Takeoff

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    Not too long ago flying IFR in VMC, I was given an initial altitude and told to expect higher in 5 min. With a lot going on, I ended up forgetting and busting by 270' or so before I realized my mistake pushed it over hard right about the time ATC came on to ask/verify/give me the altimeter setting. Obviously there was no loss of separation and nothing further was said.
     
  34. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    His new license with Instrument Rating on it
     
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  35. Andrew Byrd

    Andrew Byrd Filing Flight Plan

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    Thanks everyone for the comments. I'm at a large flight school, and most of the instructors are foreign and are here on visas, so I believe that may have something to do with it. But in the end I changed instructors and had my first flight with my new instructor today which went very well.
     
  36. EppyGA

    EppyGA Final Approach

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    Betcha if you work harder at staying within tolerances he won't feel the need to do that.