IFR Lost Comms Question

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by CC268, Dec 11, 2017.

  1. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Well I am about 3/4 of the way through my IFR training, prepping for the oral exam, checkride, etc.

    Anyways, my bottom VOR had issues holding calibration so we ordered up a "serviceable" one the week before last. It came in and the new one wasn't working correctly so we are currently waiting for another one. So unfortunately I haven't flown with my instructor for 2 weeks. I have been flying VFR 3-4 times a week though to get my 50 hours XC time. Need 6 more hours.

    So...I will ask my instructor this question when I fly with him again, but for now I figured I would ask the question to the magnificent pilots of PoA.

    So for IFR Lost Comms we follow the acronym AVEFMEA, squawk 7600.

    Fly your route based on your last:

    Assigned (Your last assigned heading)
    Vectored (If nothing is assigned fly your last vector)
    Expected (If no vector fly what was expected in your clearance)
    Filed (Finally fly what you filed)

    AND fly the highest of the following:

    Minimum en-route altitude
    Expected altitude
    Assigned altitude

    If our destination is IFR we would hold at our last filed fix (VOR, GPS waypoint, etc) until we reach our ETA filed on our flight plan and then shoot the approach.

    Question: What do you do if you are PAST your ETA by the time you get to your last filed fix?

    Thanks.
     
  2. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    Fly the approach.
     
  3. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Thanks...so even if you were 10-20 minutes passed your ETA you could just shoot the approach?
     
  4. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route

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    Regulations aside, the consensus among controllers seems to be "get it on the ground...we know your situation and have sterilized the airspace for you. Holding just delays the inevitable and makes our job harder."

    Bob
     
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  5. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Thanks, that makes sense. Does that hold true even if you arrived BEFORE your ETA (regulations aside as you said)?
     
  6. Radar Contact

    Radar Contact Cleared for Takeoff

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    I agree with Bob. It's not like if you get to your last fix near the airport that we would just release IFR traffic around you. We'd wait. Also, food for thought, what if your last fix prior to your destination was 3 states ago and you were 10 min early? Would you set up your own hold pattern somewhere?

    As a controller, I'd prefer you to go on in because I guarantee I've already cleared the airspace and will be delaying planes until you get on the ground. As a pilot, that's what I'd do as well. In my mind if you are IMC and NORDO (GA plane especially) you are an emergency.
     
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  7. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    So on the oral exam I'll just say "this fella Radar Contact told me to just go on in and not hold at the fix" haha I'm just kidding. What your saying makes total sense. I guess I will use the "checkride" answer of holding at the fix, but maybe mention something about just shooting the approach since they have an eye on me and I can assume they have cleared the airspace for me anyways.
     
  8. AggieMike88

    AggieMike88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Good on you to get full clarification on Lost Comms.

    This was an area my examiner really emphasized during my check ride.
     
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  9. Greg Bockelman

    Greg Bockelman Administrator Management Council Member

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    I would make it in the form of a question.
     
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  10. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've rarely had an IFR clearance where I'm not cleared to the AIRPORT. Once I make it to the airport, I'm not leaving it again IFR without working radios.
     
  11. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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  12. iamtheari

    iamtheari Line Up and Wait

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    For the oral exam, you should:

    1. Tell the examiner what the regulations say to do
    2. Tell the examiner what you would actually do
    3. Explain why you would do something different from the what the regulations say to do
    4. Explain why you are allowed to do something different from what the regulations say to do

    In this case:
    1. The regulations say to hold at my last cleared point until my expect further clearance time
    2. I would actually fly direct to an initial approach fix and begin the approach
    3. I would do that because it is safer and does less to tie up the airspace
    4. The regulations allow me, as PIC, to deviate from any regulation in order to address an emergency, and lost comms in IMC is enough of an emergency for me to fly the approach before my ETA
     
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  13. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Yup, while not the textbook answer nor the regulation I was told directly by a TRACON supervisor in reality that they are clearing the airspace for you and would expect ya to just shoot an approach ASAP regardless of ETA since they do not know what other emergency you may be contending with in the cockpit nor would you be busted for doing so.
     
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  14. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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  15. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Good lord...so the logic is go to an IAF of an approach and hold there till ETA...meanwhile you have completely locked up that approach to any further incoming traffic by holding at said IAF till an imaginary made up time passes...for 25 min in their scenario.

    How is that logical?...I know...it is the FAA, it's not.
     
  16. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach

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    Yep, the logic of an FAA lawyer who doesn't sit behind a radar scope on a daily basis. :confused:
     
  17. aterpster

    aterpster Pattern Altitude

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    It's not just an FAA lawyer. It is the entire management structure of the FAA.
     
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  18. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow Final Approach

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    I wouldn’t get into the weeds on a checkride. Just quote the good book. They cannot fail you for that. They can for telling them in reality you’d ignore the rules and do you own thing.

    In reality do what your gut tells you, but I would keep the yap shut in front of the examiner.
     
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  19. mscard88

    mscard88 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    :yeahthat: THAT! RIGHT THERE! :nono:
     
  20. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Agreed, but noting demonstrates true understanding of a regulation like knowing when you can violate it!
     
  21. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route

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    ..Vectored (If nothing is assigned fly your last vector)??????
    You don't just keep flying that vector. You go to the 'fix, route or airway specified in the vecored clearance. If you get "fly heading whatever for vector to wherever," then you go to 'wherever' when you go Nordo
     
  22. CC268

    CC268 En-Route

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    Yes I think you misunderstood me, but we are in agreement.
     
  23. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route

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    It's a good question. Is the answer the same for a towered vs non-towered airport?

    I would suspect in the system and only radio failure the squawk change would tell them what's going on. Also losing the code altogether would tell them something if there is still a radar return.

    Following the last order seems to apply, and with no issued hold instructions proceeding makes sense.

    [Note: all worthless opinions of mine]
     
  24. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Tower or not makes little difference other than I'd be looking for a light signal when I broke out.
     
  25. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    May wanna look for the runway first...THEN the light signal...but that could just be me! :D
     
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  26. DoubleD

    DoubleD Pre-takeoff checklist

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    This regulation needs a rewrite, especially with regards to when to leave a clearance limit. Nowadays the clearance limit is often the airport. A literal reading of the reg suggests you fly to the airport (how, in IMC and without GPS?), then to an IAF. That makes no sense yet often very experienced pilots on this and other forums argue that's what you should do. And, as illustrated earlier in this thread, there's a disconnect between what the regulation says and what ATC, and common sense, suggest with regard to timing of leaving the "clearance limit".