Cirrus Fatal yesterday and I learned something about Class B floors

Discussion in 'Aviation Mishaps' started by FastEddieB, Nov 27, 2019.

  1. dbahn

    dbahn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That's a correlation that may have nothing to do with causation. It's pretty clear that IFR pilots are generally better trained, regardless of whether they are flying IFR or VFR, and I think the pure number of VFR only pilots is higher.

    I don't remember the percentage, but there are quite a few IR rated pilots who die from VMC into IMC, so the rating itself doesn't always solve the problem.

    No, my point was that even with an instrument rating you are not legally allowed to fly into a cloud if you are not current, and it's fairly easy to fall out of currency if you don't fly IFR a lot. I do agree that flying on an IFR flight plan has a lot of advantages, but I still avoid ice and embedded thunderstorms at all costs, which sometimes means staying low and going VFR.
     
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  2. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    certainly, the IFR world opens up a whole new set of opportunities but with it also risks

    A fairly high percentage of IMC CFIT is from IFR pilots, yes, but I think that's more due to hubris.. "I'm IFR, I know how to fly in the clouds and keep the plane upright" .. but how many vmc into IMC loss-of-control accidents are from IFR pilots?

    At the end of the day, flying has its risks.. because general aviation lacks the strict standardization that the commercial guys follow it's very hard to equate or quantify how safe general aviation actually is.. TantalumAirlines <> dbahnairlines..
     
  3. dbahn

    dbahn Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I don't know for sure, but you'd think it should be nearly zero. Nonetheless here's a quote from one ERAU study at least suggesting that overall VMC into IMC the figure is "somewhere around" 20% that are instrument rated, (but admittedly it doesn't specify LOC vs. other causes, and I don't know if the data collection might have excluded CFIT):

    Interestingly, there is also the suggestion that IR pilots are simply less likely to scud run, which should lower their VFR into IMC rate in those figures.
     
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  4. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route

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    It was Dean Martins son, in March of 87.
     
  5. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hi, uh, Luv?

    Cleared to Oakland Airport via PALLY departure, Coaldale transition... maintain your own terrain clearance.

    PALLY calls for an initial heading off the runway of 168 degrees, which I set in the HSI, then intercept a 199 degree course to CAVER.

    When I called tower for takeoff clearance, they amended, "Maintain 168 degree heading, climb and maintain 4,000." OK, can do...

    Tower handed me off to Las Vegas departure, who kept me at 4,000 until I was clear of the Bravo 6,000' ring, then "maintain 168 degree heading, climb and maintain 6,000."

    I was motoring along a long, long ways on that heading and altitude, but about 20 nm south of the airport, I could see the terrain was going to intersect my flight path. So that's when I told Approach I was modifying course 10 degrees to the west to miss the terrain, and he scolded me for accepting "maintain own terrain clearance" if I couldn't. Well... I could, certainly, but the controller assigned me an altitude and heading that was taking me into the rocks... so something had to give.

    http://www.secure4host.net/upload/files/HND_Departure.jpg

    The NTSB investigator and I agree that approach either can assign heading and altitude, OR have me maintain my own terrain clearance. But they can't have it both ways. The NTSB guy tells me they do that often at LAS, despite the NTSB complaining about it to the FAA. Local stupid procedures...

    After the scolding, they vectored me clear of the Bravo, and turned me over to center for a climb. Very poor service.
     
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  6. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Once you're in radar contact and given a vector ATC assumes terrain responsibility. It's in the AIM and Controller Handbook. Lucky you were able to see the terrain and say something. When they give you a heading after they tell you to maintain your own terrain clearance, remind them it's their responsibility now. Shouldn't have to, but... "When in Rome, etc., etc."
     
  7. FastEddieB

    FastEddieB Final Approach

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    Four words that I’ve used to good effect are “Just to confirm that...”

    Only on rare occasion has ATC gotten snippy with me for asking for clarification of a clearance. I write it off as them maybe having a bad day, and remind myself they exist to serve us, not the other way around.
     
    Last edited: Dec 30, 2019
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  8. Doug Reid

    Doug Reid Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Another good reason to use ForeFlight with audible alerts.
     
  9. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Most of the ATC around here BOS are pretty relaxed. The NYC guys get pretty wound up though. Had one guy ask me to change to his frequency then 2 seconds later give me a "Hello??", I guess he wanted a changing over call then a I'm here call.
     
  10. GBSoren

    GBSoren Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I just got back from a long cross country. Family vacation in the Bahamas over Christmas. MN to FL then out into the Bahamas (Cat and Long Island). This is the second time we've taken this trip, the first time I wasn't instrument rated. We ended up having pretty good weather on that trip, left a day early to get ahead of some weather, and stayed an extra day in Fort Pierce because of some weather off the coast. Overall a great trip.

    Now I am instrument rated (and current....proficient is a term used a lot, I'm always striving to improve). This trip absolutely wouldn't have happened without my IFR. Outside of while in the Bahamas every approach I made was an instrument approach, except for two. The first approach I did was the poorest, last second change by ATC to intercept and fly straight in, I had the full approach with procedure turn loaded, should have just asked for that....I felt rushed and un-prepared, I learned a lesson. After that each approach I felt better about, ended up with 6 instrument approaches on the trip, with much of my time in FL in IMC.

    Being on an IFR flight plan just makes it so much less stressful when flying in busy airspace.
     
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  11. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Yeah, they boo booed. They can give you specific departure instructions that include headings along with the maintain your own terrain clearance speech. But they can't change things after you've accepted it without reaffirming the 'maintain your own.' When they took the SID away, the thing you had agreed to 'maintain your own' on, and replaced it with something else, the heading to fly, they were wrong. Did you make contact directly with the NTSB to talk about it? Or did you file an ASRS and they called you? Just curious, I havn't heard of NTSB getting directly involved with something like this before.
     
  12. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    That is a horribly drawn airspace. Ultimately, the poor guy was PIC, but the airspace designers are accessories in this - as is anyone who created a culture where he thought he couldn't get a clearance in that area.

    We're a bit spoiled where we live, because it is rare that we see icing, let alone icing that we can't escape in non-FIKI aircraft, and even when we do get rain, that is usually not convective rain and we can fly in hard IMC without risking tearing our aircraft apart.

    Yes, that incident - and the United that nearly proceeded it - were problematic and resulted in major changes. In fact, SIDs and STARs exist not just to simplify clearances, but also to help prevent this sort of thing. Same thing with computer aided vectoring.

    That is very true.

    I think you're missing the point. By flying IFR, you're making a deal to exchange your ability to choose your route and altitude in exchange for guaranteed terrain clearance and services to vector you away from other aircraft. It is your choice to make, but one that makes sense in many situations.

    Yeah, it is a pretty poor example to use, and was part of the learning curve to get us where we are today.

    The fact that they chart a Bravo shelf below not just the highest point in the sector, but a high point that basically dominates it, is pretty egregious.

    Also, you know my cure for the RNAV 17 at SEE. Don't fly to that terrible airport :p

    It wasn't FAA policy. It was apparently a local practice at P90. FAA policy encourages flight following.

    Yeah, there was some registration issue with the aircraft and it had been flown on a ferry permit. That is probably part of the reason they didn't fly IFR.

    Following the ODP would have taken him into the Bravo, so I can easily see why they didn't follow it - especially back then, when FF requests were regularly denied and Bravo clearances were non existent outside the two transition routes.

    They raised the Bravo floor in the sector he was in to help allow a safer transition altitude, but it is still low.

    Not really. The tower told him to extend his upwind. He then turned into the path of a mountain that he wouldn't be able to climb above because of the Bravo shelf. Now, there were other mistakes made - particularly involving situational awareness - but the preflight was probably ok.

    No, they bend over backward for the air carriers. I was VFR out of HND on a brutally hot day after an Angel Flight. Performance was fine, but the JPI was telling me that a slow climb was probably the best thing for my cylinders, so I had no interest in meeting the IFR climb requirements and just followed the 15 till I was clear and climbed super slowly. The guy on approach was telling all the air carriers that he knew it was hot, so what could he do to help them and not worry about hitting the altitudes - though most of them seemed to not be struggling.

    To be fair to them, the culture does seem better now. I just did 2 recent trips to SDL, IFR both ways on both, and I heard plenty of FF requests and Bravo clearances after VFR pilots followed certain, sensible instructions. The controllers were polite, patient with the various visiting students and seemed to care.

    Yes, it is easier to keep your charts current and lots of currency options.

    VFR into IMC incidents with instrument pilots usually has happened with either lapsed currency/proficiency pilots or unplanned circumstances. Part of the problem there is that people often treat VFR flying with less of an attention to detail. Just fly by landmarks and such, instead of loading up a flight plan with safe altitudes - even if that just means direct - and staying sharply on heading. I recently read an ASRS report about a pilot at MRY who ended up VFR into IMC after relying on a rosy AWOS report when tower was closed and turning into a cloud bank on departure. He maintained situational awareness and did what people should do when faced with a situation where they know there are terrain issues (MRY is at the base of a mountain). Instead of freaking out and trying to turn, he just maintained heading, which was over beaches, ocean and flat land, put on his AP and climbed at 500 fpm until he broke out. That kind of situational awareness is needed in any sort of flying, but of paramount importance when flying VFR.
     
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  13. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    I believe that shelf was put so low there in order to allow parallel runways on the 2 south runways at KPHX, which they did not end up often doing.

    I read the whole book by the wife. “Angels Three” by Karen Perry, since I am a newer pilot and we live in Phoenix. Some of the admissions in the book surprised me.

    It struck me that there was a certain sloppy attitude about this flight. They had done the same flight a week or two before and just quickly turned it around. IIRC they turned this around quickly. Probably no time to really consider the specific pre-planning of this flight segment. They may never have even considered what would happen if the turn to the south was made later.

    So complacency may have been a factor here.

    I think there also was a tower controlled change just as they were taking off which may have reduced the awareness of the situation by the controller as well.
     
  14. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    With regards to the Bravo shelf, I was referencing the one in Vegas that just probably killed this Cirrus pilot.

    The FFZ crash was definitely partly due to the late turn. Still, I'm not sure why the guy, who apparently used an iPad, wasn't looking at that and wondering.
     
  15. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :confused2:

    "OK" preflight planning on a night-VFR flight would have been to devise a way to know where those mountains were at all times, so that an unexpected instruction from ATC would not lead to killing everyone on board. Even without a moving-map GPS, he could have plotted a couple of PXR VOR radials that would have given him options for safe climb paths out from under the 5000-foot shelf which ends at 25 DME.
     
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  16. N1120A

    N1120A Cleared for Takeoff

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    Remember, the shelf was different then. I believe the current shelf would have resulted in him climbing safely
     
  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I was looking at the current chart when I wrote my post. Without a Bravo clearance, it would have him climbing out from under the 5000 MSL shelf with a 5057 MSL peak only four NM ahead. That's too close for comfort for me for night VFR.
     
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  18. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    By the way, when did that shelf change? I have a 2012 sectional that shows it being at the same location and altitude as it is now.
     
  19. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    I was flying out of KFFZ just a few weeks ago VFR during the day with an instructor. He normally works out of KCHD. He was really impressed by how close this shelf is and commented also on the bad design.
     
  20. PeterNSteinmetz

    PeterNSteinmetz Cleared for Takeoff

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    I think 2007. I was not a pilot then but remembered the complaints about noise changes shortly after we moved here in 2005. The accident was in late 2011.
     
  21. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    My whole thing about that accident is that, I just don't think PHX needs a 5k floor all the way to Apache Junction. They can raise that slice to 6k and the airliners would be fine.

    Of course this entire question would be moot if PHX wasn't hostile with VFR traffic and Bravo in the first place. That's really what this is about.
     
  22. Clip4

    Clip4 Final Approach

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    Sorry, but his preflight was totally lacking because he did not know where the terrain was for his departure at night. We see the same thing with pilots departing without an IFR clearance attempting to get the clearance inflight.
     
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  23. flibmeister

    flibmeister Pre-Flight

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    There have been no changes to the airspace since the 2011 Superstitions crash. That part of the Class B (known as "Area I") had a floor of 8000' until 2007, at which point it was lowered to 5000'-- where it remains today. Efforts to change that are ongoing.
     
  24. hindsight2020

    hindsight2020 En-Route

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    Yup, clear as day. That's all people need to understand about this. As to change, 9 years of debate? file that ask with the likes of primary non commercial, or any item under the "wish in one hand, defecate on the other see which one fills up first" paradigm of regulatory capture.
     
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  25. PaulS

    PaulS Final Approach

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    Losing the ASI in or near IMC near mountains warrants declaring an emergency negating Bravo requirements, so he still could have climbed through the bravo if he wanted to.
    From the limited info we have it seems this guy was not situationally aware until he realized he was heading for a mountain so none of this really matters.
     
  26. PaulMillner

    PaulMillner Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I filed an ASRS, and got a call...