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Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by azpilot, Mar 25, 2017.
I hear "good day" alot is that standard?
Nobody is arguing anything related to IFR insofar as I can tell. Great explanation, though.
I was told by the class D controllers to fly runway heading Monday. I was pleased I remembered not to correct for the crosswind and grinned to myself about this thread.
VFR or IFR?
I got another "Fly straight out, I'll call your crosswind" today, if we are keeping count. ;-)
I got a "climb to 2,000 before turning crosswind for traffic" yesterday, then I couldn't remember whether I should continue on upwind leg, departure leg, or runway heading.
So is the consensus of the thread that not correcting for crosswind applies to VFR in addition to IFR? I've lost track.
What I am about to say is not intended to be snarky, or wise ass, or anything belligerent nor is it directed to anyone. But this is such a common problem and such a pet peeve that it needs restating so I do so for dramatic effect because this is not rocket science here.....
What part of "Fly R-U-N-W-A-Y H-E-A-D-I-N-G" is not being understood here?! What is the HEADING of the RUNWAY?????????????? wait, I need more ??????????????? still more ????????????? and !!!!!!!!!!! (I'm looking for other ways to emphasize but, alas, the software is limited).
All one needs to do is substitute the words "runway heading" for the runway heading!!! If runway heading is 130 then the translated phrase becomes "Fly heading 130". I don't say, "Fly whatever heading you need to in order to maintain a course aligned with the runway departure course".
This is such a critical element to separation for many scenarios. Controllers have many procedural tools to separate aircraft such as 7110.65 5-5-7 diverging course rules, which, in a modified form, are used heavily with departure separation 5-8-3 (among a few others).
When applying "courses" to application of the rule the FAA has determined and briefed that with two aircraft free to fly assigned headings it suffices to use assigned headings to achieve the course element of the rule. For example, one aircraft assigned runway heading off 13 and another assigned a heading of 150 (20 degrees used because it's easier than trying to assign 15 degrees which is the minimum required) on departure off the same runway meets the requirements of 5-8-3 which is the rule that requires succeeding departures to be split by a minimum of 15 degrees. Why? Because the same wind that effects one will effect the other; not necessarily equally but enough that is isn't a concern. If the wind is from the west and the guy on runway heading decides to make good the actual runway course rather than the heading and the guy on a heading of 150 actually flies that heading then the wind will blow the 150 into the path of the 130 (which is fixed along the ground) thus losing the required 15 degree COURSE divergence required under 5-8-3!
This heading/heading rule only can be applied to two aircraft who are both free to fly headings. If one is locked down to a course along the ground, such as an aircraft on the localizer, then the controller must return to using actual course with the other aircraft (rather than assigned heading) to measure the divergence between the two.
As in all rules, they say what they say and mean what they mean. It's when we begin to interpret them that we start to see trouble.
And, this applies to any aircraft including VFR. When one is assigned "fly runway HEADING" that means precisely what the words describe. If the wind is a problem so that the plane is blown off then it is the controller's problem not the pilot's. The controller will compensate if necessary.
And to tie this in with the original issue....what does "fly straight out" actually mean when there are many separation scenarios and rules that are at play here? If the VFR tower and the aircraft is not involved in radar separation services then "fly straight out" or "go that a way" or any number of a thousand odd phrases, as non-standard as they are (and as easily replaced by standard phrases) won't have a "radar separation" effect and are thus non-essential to the compliance with any particular radar separation rule or procedure.
The problem lies with the issue of sloppiness and non-standardization at the least and dangerous miscommunication at the worst...in principle.
If given "fly runway heading," then yes. It's in the definition. However, I interpret "fly straight out" as a track.
When does ATC give vectors as a track? Fly the runway heading.
Why assume ATC is telling you to fly a track if they give vectors as headings?
And.......the .65 instructs controllers to assign headings, if neccessary, for departures as part of the clearance for take-off.
We don't work with tracks. We work with headings. The only time track becomes a factor is if I instruct you to join a track, such as a localizer, a route, an airway, a segment...and then release you to fly that assigned segment. Even then I don't care what heading you fly after joining the segment since, in that case, the result will be that you fly the desired track along the ground, but not as a result of a heading assigned by ATC.
If a controller wants you to fly the actual course of the runway then "fly straight out" doesn't cut it either. Simply because the desired result is not conveyed and instructed by the controller. In the case of joining an airway I will say, "fly heading 040, intercept V18 then resume own navigation."...in other words, fly my assigned heading of 040 NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS AND I DON'T CARE IF THE WORLD COMES TO AN END WHILE DOING SO then intercept V18 and track V18 NO MATTER WHAT HAPPENS AND I DON'T CARE IF THE WORLD COMES TO AN END WHILE DOING SO, and make sure you follow the centerline of V18. So I give a heading followed by an instruction for YOU to make good the ground track of V18. The point is that the instruction is clear as to INTENT!
If a controller wants you to make good the runway departure course then he needs something more in the instruction such as "fly so as to track outbound on the departure runway track" or something. That sounds odd doesn't it? That is because it's never done and that is because we don't deal with tracks. We deal with headings. We TAKE INTO ACCOUNT tracks but we don't ISSUE tracks. We issue headings. So ASSUMING a controller is requesting you to make good the ground track of the runway is a bad and unsupported assumption...and if he actually does intend that then shame on the controller for giving that kind of instruction and expecting that result.
And I defy any controller or facility to charge a pilot deviation on me if I decide that "fly straight out" means I can turn 20 degrees to my left, as long as it's sorta "in that general straight out direction". I deal with incident investigations on a daily basis and that won't get past the initial MOR stage, if that far. The first thing that will happen is that the tapes will be listened to and this question will be asked..."what did the pilot do wrong?" "Well, I said to fly straight out and he looked like he turned left 10 or 20 degrees that's what!" And the reply from the investigator like myself will be..."no, your instruction was not so clear that his turn was out of line."
And that will be the end of that investigation. In fact, in all probablility, the controller will be told to use more standardized phraseology or to state exactly what he intends the pilot to do next time.
Because "straight out" makes no reference to a heading. It's like "proceed straight-in." You're not on any vector for that.
Also, "straight out" is mentioned in the AIM after leaving the pattern from the departure leg. Since the departure leg is an extended centerline track, I think it's safe to assume "straight out" continues on that track.
Furthermore, some ICAO countries, ATC uses "climb straight ahead" for an aircraft to follow a specific track. "Straight out" is pretty darn close to that.
We can debate "straight out" all day long but until it's in the P/CG, they'll be different interpretations on what it means.
Seems like a reasonable inference. (To supply the context for this, the "straight out" reference occurs in note 6 of the airport traffic pattern diagrams, Figures 4-3-2 and 4-3-3).
It's also a lot of words to express a simple concept, especially if the frequency happens to be busy.
One reason why I wasn't sure whether that applies to VFR aircraft is this statement from earlier in the thread:
Also, while IFR pilots are taught to interpret it as you describe, I'm not sure that VFR pilots are always taught that. I don't think it was mentioned in my private pilot training (although that was 26 years ago).
It certainly was in mine.
Vectors are not at all rare in local airspace, VFR.
These days, I almost always get one crossing SJC Class C westbound. Just a few years back, it would usually be "fly direct Moffett" or own nav.
Local can vector aircraft (VFR or IFR) all day long if they 1) have a certified tower radar display, 2) are approach controllers or have attended a BRITE (CTRD) course and 3) a facility letter authorizing it. I think the odds of having that in a Class D is slim. A Class C or B? Happens all the time.
As the AIM says though, never assume you are receiving basic radar service when talking to a tower.
Maybe the class D tower that Justin M was talking about was one of the ones that are authorized to give vectors.
Don't know. I've brought up the "fly runway heading" to 3 separate controllers. One was sure it's implied as a radar vector and can't be used by a VFR tower, where the other two weren't completely sure it's unauthorized. They all work at Class C & Bs though so they can issue runway heading all day long.
I occasionally receive a vector from Norcal Approach while I'm VFR in our area, but tower controllers (including SJC) always seem to give me references to visually-identifiable landmarks.
VFR towers do not operate in a vacuum as islands unto themselves. They launch aircraft into someone's airspace who will provide radar or non-radar separation services to IFR aircraft and radar services to VFR aircraft who request it.
Whether or not the radar service provided to VFR aircraft is mandatory on the part of ATC depends on the airspace surrounding the airport...i.e...TRSA, Class C or Class B or Class E (as far as departures are concerned). Class C, B and TRSA requires ATC to provide services, unless, in the case of TRSA the pilot declines the service. Class E is on a workload permitted basis. HOWEVER, when radar services are going to be given, even if off a so-called VFR tower then there WILL be some provision stipulated in an LOA on how the VFR tower will launch that aircraft, even if the provision is to launch the VFR aircraft unrestricted and have him call approach airborne for the service rather than getting it off the ground (in Class E).
"VFR" towers simply provide tower services only but take their marching orders from the owner of the surrounding airspace as to what to do with ANY aircraft which will receive radar services once airborne.
There is a general rule of thumb...radar runs everything, either implicitly or explicitly, either by approval or acquiescence, since all towers are surrounded by someone's airspace and that someone drives the train, one way or the other, including the assignment of departure instructions.
For the tower to give limited radar services ON THEIR OWN requires a certified displays do authority to do so from the owner of the airspace within which he will operate. However they may relay radar instructions as issued by the departure facility even without a display. For example, a tower without a display might issue "fly runway heading" on the instruction from the departure controller. But radar takes responsibility. Authority to use The 2 increasing to 3 rule ( a radar separation rule for a departure with an arrival) might be given to a VFR tower by radar in a LOA but only with a certified display and the Local controller takes responsibility. Or in the case of some contract towers who WILL NOT accept that responsibility radar must give releases that will take into account the arrival because radar takes responsibility.
So in almost all cases the radar facility, one way or the other, controls all of the airspace and the radar serviced aircraft that enter into it even off so-called VFR towers who take their orders from the radar facility.
But that doesn't answer the question. I worked in a VFR tower as well. Yes, we took direction from approach. The OP's situation has nothing to do with going to radar. Can a VFR tower assign runway heading when it has nothing to do with going radar? Like Harold R said, I think there are a lot of Class Ds that see that instruction as a radar vector that they cannot assign. So, they go with straight out instead. Then, there's the confusion to what straight out actually means.
Got multiple "fly straight out" again today. LOL. Flew the track, stayed away from the traffic for the parallel and everyone seemed happy.
"Caution wake turbulence, departing F-18s on the parallel..." was also fun to watch. I couldn't keep up. Go figure. Ha.
Ewww, you should've flown runway heading!
A friend photoshopped this together for me. Ha.
VMFA-323 "Snake" callsign.
A VFR tower may, in fact, assign a heading if it is issued by departure and simply relayed by the tower.
A local controller may not issue headings but may issue general suggested directions such as " "fly westbound", "fly north", and yes, even "fly straight out". But that is only a general direction and doesn't imply runway heading nor anything more that "fly...that a way", as a suggested direction.
It does not mean runway heading and certainly does not mean fly a runway track.
Dat wuz dem!
Not sure if pilot or backseater runs the radios, but Two had a female voice. Lead took off rather sedately and Two hauled ass to join before One had finished the crosswind turn. Lovely noise going by.
That's consistent with what I was saying in post #99:
This is not new and it is gong to bite us in the asssssssssssssssssssssssssssssss
Your bankin to the right a little. Chicken!!! Lol