IFR Departure, “turn heading XYZ”

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Arob16, Jun 27, 2020.

  1. Arob16

    Arob16 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Hey gang - I recently had a controller jump on me for turning too early on an IFR takeoff, and I’m trying to research the right answer. Clearance was, “ On departure, turn heading 330, radar vectors to XYZ.” WX was clear VMC. After reaching a stabilized climb and and when I felt safe, I initiated my turn.

    I know about the diverse departure criteria and the 35’ above DER/400’ AGL criteria that define DPs. But I’m not certain if the context of those definitions translate to regulation (I.e. maybe I should have waited till 400’ to turn?)

    Anyway, wanted to see what everyone thought!
     
  2. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    400 feet is what I was taught.
     
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  3. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    If you have visual clearance with the obstacles, you can turn as soon as the wheels leave the ground. If you are about to enter the soup, you'd better continue straight out until you cross the departure end of the runway AND are at least 400' above the departure end elevation.
     
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  4. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    The controller evidently was expecting the 400 feet.
     
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  5. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard Pattern Altitude

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    I was taught 400’
     
  6. eman1200

    eman1200 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ok I’ll say it.....400’?
     
  7. GMascelli

    GMascelli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    +1 that’s my typical turn out.
     
  8. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Just curious, but what exactly did they say? If they didn’t include any kind of altitude guidance in the clearance why would they care when you turned? The other reason I ask is I wonder if it was not the altitude so much as the early turn dorked up the vector somehow.
     
  9. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    If your filed IFR you go to the altitude assigned unless the controller gives you a change.
     
  10. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Yeah, but you don’t wait to reach that altitude before making any turns on course or to a directed heading unless you’ve been given some kind of amplified instructions like “upon entering controlled airspace fly heading XYZ”.
     
  11. Jmcmanna

    Jmcmanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Need more information....what did they exactly say to you? Unless you overflew another aircraft on the parallel taxiway or something, I’m not sure why the controller would really care.
     
  12. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    A week ago I got a heading to fly and a”full length” instruction by tower.
    I’d never heard it before on takeoff; he was saying “don’t be starting your turn til past the end of the runway”.
    Maybe it’s in the PCG and I missed it.
     
  13. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    How long was the Runway. Did you turn before the Departure End? That’s a no-no. AIM 5-2-9 e. 1.
     
  14. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Don’t know about the PCG, but it is in the AIM. See above.
     
  15. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    Policy: Not less than 400 afe and not before the end of the runway.

    Fly some of those turning departures in a Garmin trainer. If you reach 400 feet before the end of the runway the turn won't commence until the end of the runway.
     
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  16. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I searched 5.2.9 for “length” - as in the ‘full length’ instruction on t-o, zero hits- can you point out please?
    Wouldn’t really matter, Im never 400’ before the end of the rwy anyway.
     
  17. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    Way back before the Earth cooled and I was flying lots of instruments in the SF Bay Area, it was typical for the IFR clearance to begin with "Cleared to KXXX via after takeoff fly heading XXX..."

    [EDITED] I suppose nowadays there is a DP for just about every IFR airport...

    After a few hours of sleep, I realized I was responding to a different thread halfway through typing this...
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  18. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    400' and end of the runway, except for wake turbulence avoidance with tower approval. SNA frequently givea an early turn to avoid wake for a light aircraft departing behind an airlines of 20R.

    I rarely get SIDs, nearly always headings and radar vectors. Some airports always give SIDs, but they are quite simple (SNA, VNY).
     
  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    1. Unless specified otherwise, required obstacle
    clearance for all departures, including diverse, is
    based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the
    runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of
    runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the
    departure end of runway elevation before making the
    initial turn...
     
  20. Hang 4

    Hang 4 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I read that as the departure end ELEVATION is the what you need to be 400 feet above, not that you need to be 400 feet AND at the departure end. It also reads as the design of the departure, not the flying reg.. I regularly turn before the runway end when departing IFR, never a peep from the tower.

    Not trying to be argumentative, just want to make sure I understand.
     
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  21. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you are in the clouds how do you know you have passed the end of the runway????????

    I go with 400 feet. At our home base taking off to the south we always get "left to 050". I am usually in the turn by 3/4 of the way down the runway, ATC has never commented about when I did my turn.
     
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  22. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    There is an ODP for every IFR airport. Surface airspace has nothing to do with it. The ODP can be diverse, abbreviated, or full-route, depending upon the obstacle environment.
     
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  23. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    If you are using a database departure (charted DP) it won't command the turn until the DER. It knows where the DER is.
     
  24. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I'm thinking you turned and became a potential problem for traffic in the pattern. I wait until 400 feet, but will turn lower if asked. I flew right seat with a friend on a compassion flight out of Boston. They asked for a right turn "when able" he waited until we were clear the tower to turn.... I have a cool picture, but it's too large to load here.
     
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  25. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Yeah, but these rules and guidance were written before and don't contemplate GPS or any other way of identifying the end of the runway. And so far, Garmin's choices do not establishing operating rules. (Wally, am I correct that the box manufacturers are following TERPS ICA guidance?).

    I can read that section of the AIM - which deals with obstacle clearance, not operating procedures anyway - either way. "based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the runway" suggests that the pilot has to, um, cross the departure end of the runway. But "above the departure end of runway elevation" is talking about how high, not where. If I am 400' above the end of runway elevation at midfield, I have met both of the elevation requirements.

    I'll be interested in seeing cites to FAA documents which clarify its meaning as opposed to opinions about what it means.
     
    Last edited: Jun 28, 2020
  26. kgruber

    kgruber En-Route

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    Ask for an early turn on course. At places like Grant County (KMWH), with a 13.000 runway, it saves. It has always been approved for me.
     
  27. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    oh, yes - Im aware of this.
    My comment, (which you noted as being mentioned in the AIM) was the controller telling me “Full length” on takeoff.
    I have never heard it before on takeoff and the phraseology doesn’t appear to be on the AIM.
    Thank you.
     
  28. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Yeah, it is the ‘design’ so to speak. It is what obstacle clearance is based on, no turns before 400 feet and the DER. It does not expressly say you shall not turn earlier.
     
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  29. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Being 400 feet above the end of the runway elevation at midfield does meet both elevation requirements. Being at 400 feet in and of itself meets the 35 foot thing. But ‘midfield’ doesn’t meet what the whole thing starts out with


    1. Unless specified otherwise, required obstacle
    clearance for all departures, including diverse, is
    based on the pilot crossing the departure end of the
    runway at least 35 feet above the departure end of
    runway elevation, climbing to 400 feet above the
    departure end of runway elevation before making the
    initial turn
    ....

    You can’t cross the DER if you never get there because you turned at midfield
     
  30. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    My guess is they have been burned by early turns more than once. What airport? Parallel or intersecting Runways???
     
  31. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Again, the 400'/end of runway is the rule for maintaining obstacle clearance. If the pilot can visually provide his own clearance, he can do at what ever altitude and position he deems safe. 400 is still a good idea, but it's not written anywhere, nor is there an obligation to get to the end of the runway. I've been given an initial 180 degree turn coming out of IAD and in VMC I'll never get to the far end of the runway (nor was I expected to be).
     
  32. Geosync

    Geosync Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Depends. Some airports like KHWD still say. “Rwy heading until 400 feet, left turn heading170......”. Sometimes they actually amend that instruction by 100 feet.

    Central Valley they can be pretty loose and just give the first vector.
     
  33. dtuuri

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    But that seems like just the opposite of the logic that says, "When circling in IFR conditions, you need to comply with the traffic pattern." Here, you're departing under IFR. Shouldn't you abide by the traffic pattern then too, if it's so all-fired important? FIG 4-3-2 of the AIM and accompanying legend says to climb straight out, not turning before 700' AGL.

    Or, you can reconcile the conflict my way: When in VFR conditions, follow the pattern. When in IFR conditions, follow your best judgment. Arrivals or departures. No flying over the terminal, either.
     
  34. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    I presume it's from RTCA specifications, but I don't know that for certain.
     
  35. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    In the "old days" we didn't wait for the runway end at JFK 13R/31L.
     
  36. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    ??? AIM 5-2-9 d.

    d. ....When an instrument approach is initially developed for an airport, the need for DPs is assessed. The procedure designer conducts an obstacle analysis to support departure operations. If an aircraft may turn in any direction from a runway within the limits of the assessment area (see paragraph 5−2−9e3) and remain clear of obstacles, that runway passes what is called a diverse departure assessment and no ODP will be published....
     
  37. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Define ‘obligation.’ The AIM certainly implies you shouldn’t be indiscriminately turning before the end of the Runway. 4-3-3 FIG 4-3-2 and FIG 4-3-3, example 4 of both, pages 4-3-4 and 4-3-5
     
  38. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

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    Yeah, I fixed it. Lack of sleep will make you do strange things...
     
  39. FORANE

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    When I have received a takeoff clearance with the words full length, it was clearance to use the displaced threshold to begin my ground roll, not in reference to the departure end of the runway.
     
  40. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    And don’t fly over the Mayor’s house