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Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Sinistar, Jan 8, 2019.
Forecasted weather, not current, as in the preceding comments.
I don't expect them to do all my thinking for me. Not sure I even want them to.
Fltplan.com (the website) will suggest alternates. It may have changed, but all it was ultimately doing was choosing airports with instrument approaches within fuel range. It was not looking at the forecast or what equipment I was flying or whether it had standard or alternate minimums or alternate NA as applicable to the best approach I could fly with what I was flying.
Remember, the discussion here is about filing to an airport at which you are not equipped to fly the approach...my experience is that the FAA treats that the same as not having an approach at the airport for alternate airport requirements. YMMV.
A cruise clearance very seldom gets you anything that seeing the airport and requesting a visual approach doesn’t. Yes, there are a few corners of the envelope where it does, but I don’t know that those are necessary for this discussion.
...and the controller you ask for it might well go "huh?"
Agreed. That Fltplan suggestion of alternates may go too far in choosing an alternate based on only part of the information.
Maybe just requiring that an alternate be entered is enough to force some thinking and a choice.
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A cruise clearance allows you to descend to the actual MIA (minimum instrument altitude) under 91.177(a)(2) instead of MVA or the sector MIA as carved out by ATC, which can be a lot higher. It also fits nicely with lost comm procedures. When and at what altitude would you begin a descent to under lost comm without a cruise clearance and no SIAP?
I doubt that.
Pretty sure that's the whole idea.
As I said, a very small corner of the envelope.
FAR 91.169 requires that each person filing an IFR flight plan "must include 1) information required under FAR 91.153 [information required for a VFR flight plan], and 2) an alternate airport." If the alternate airport does not have an instrument approach procedure, then the alternate weather minimums are, per FAR 91.169(c)(2), “the ceiling and visibility minima are those allowing descent from the MEA, approach and landing under basic VFR.”
I don't know what argument you're trying to make, but if it's trying to dispute what I wrote then you didn't do a good job. Above you quoted the requirement for using an airport as an alternate, not when an alternate is required or not.
91.169(a) says an alternate is required, unless the destination meets the criteria of 91.169(b). The alernate airport must meet the criteria of 91.169(c).
Believe it or not, ATC doesn’t even get your alternate unless you put it in the remarks section. If you decide you have to divert, ATC will ask you where you want to go because they have no idea. The alternate field when you file a flight plan is really only for S&R if you go NORDO and don’t cancel your IFR.
It’s ridiculous, but in many cases, depending on how you file a flight plan, ATC can’t even call FSS and get your phone number.
Here is the ATC standpoint for this situation: you check in with approach and tell them you have the wx and have to do the visual approach. ATC vectors you at the airport and you see it...you are cleared for the visual approach. Or, ATC vectors you at it and you don’t see it...”say intentions”. If you say “I’ll go to my alternate”, ATC will ask you where that is because they won’t know. Once they know, they’ll clear you there.
Another similar situation is when you can’t go IFR to an airport even when it’s VFR. Schaumburg, IL is an example. ATC can’t give you an IFR clearance into that airport because the airport is so close to ORD that it is impossible to go there and maintain IFR separation with ORD traffic. If it’s nice VFR, you can cancel IFR and go there when you get closer or if the wx requires an approach to get to VFR conditions, then you can shoot the advertised approach at DPA and cancel with DPA ATCT. If you can’t or won’t cancel IFR, then you fly the missed approach and start the process over again.
Back to the original scenario: ATC doesn’t care what the weather is at a non-towered airport. Either you see it and accept a visual approach clearance, or you don’t. That’s not necessarily the case at an airport with a control tower, but if you say you can do a visual approach, ATC is taking your word that you are legal to do that.
Or accept a cruise clearance:
CRUISE − Used in an ATC clearance to authorize a
pilot to conduct flight at any altitude from the
minimum IFR altitude up to and including the
altitude specified in the clearance. ...Further, it
is approval for the pilot to proceed to and make an
approach at destination airport and can be used in
b...An airport clearance limit at locations that are
within/below/outside controlled airspace and with-
out a standard/special instrument approach
procedure. ... it provides a means for the aircraft to proceed to destination airport, descend, and land in accordance with applicable CFRs
governing VFR flight operations. Also, this provides
search and rescue protection until such time as the
IFR flight plan is closed.
I gave up reading the whole thread because it seems like the OP is trying to find a way to make it work by possibly raising the risk level.
Going into IMC single engine single pilot IFR is no small thing. And with minimal navaids? Yikes.
What will you do if lost comms?
What will you do if you have a failure on climbout into IMC?
Ask yourself lots of what if’s, and how well you can retire those risks.
I’ve heard that’s the case.
Not a problem since the task is to develop a plan and tell ATC what you want to do, i.e. “Say intentions”
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The ones you mentioned aren’t any more difficult without GPS than with.
How can the pilot at the minimum IFR altitude, but can’t get the airport visually, accept a cruise clearance when he can’t fly the only instrument approach to the airport?
The cruise clearance puts the PIC in charge of determining minimum IFR altitude which may not be as high as ATC's for a large sector. Radio range and MVA, too, might be limiting factors without a clearance to cruise. Loss of communications on a clearance with "expect to cruise" after a certain fix allows the flight to make the planned descent; without it the pilot is stuck at the last assigned altitude. I would include the request for a cruise clearance at some fix in the filed flight plan's remarks section and would expect to receive it in the initial clearance at departure, "Cleared to KXYZ airport as filed, expect cruise clearance crossing TADAH intersection, etc., etc." I wouldn't expect it any sooner due to traffic.
OP, there a couple different options for you.
When I am going somewhere with only gps approaches with a non-gps airplane I am looking for options.
First thing to figure out is what the weather situation is. Is the overcast layer below the MEA? Answer is no? you won't need an approach. yes? go to step two
Are there any non-gps approaches nearby with a clear and safe route between? File to the airport with the approach, cancel once in VFR conditions and hop over to your field. I have used this method for overcast layers as low as 900 feet and it can be done, legally, even lower. If you are using a class D approach and its a low overcast, you may request SVFR with the cancellation. There is scent of scud running to this, it takes planning, but proper
If the airport you are going to is totally isolated, you won't want to not fly.
Schaumburg Illinois was mentioned earlier. There, I would file Dupage and as long as I was in VFR by 1600 MSL I would cancel and mosey over to Schaumburg
ATC will let you file just about anything you want. They may have you listed as no gps, but that ATC controller is going to let you fly over there then ask you "what are your intentions" if you say "im leaving that to you boss", they will are going to go get a cup of coffee and call their friend over to listen in on the stupidity. They expect you to know the weather you are flying to and they expect you to have a plan to get onto the ground.