Lost communication scenario and minimum altitude to fly.

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by John777, Nov 26, 2016.

  1. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Here is the link to KSGJ RNAV13 approach:-
    http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1612/00692R13.PDF

    Let us say we are coming from North and my route was from CRG to KSGJ, I hold over CRG, and leave the hold at EFC under lost comm situation.

    Since I am equipped with RNAV capability, I overfly the airport and then proceed to the IAF.

    My question is, which IAF do I fly direct to? any one of them that is the closest?

    Secondly, I will be starting, my descent so that I can leave the hold at IAF as close as possible to ETA and continue thr approach. Now, What altitude should I descend down to?
    Is it goimg to be 2100 for feeder route minimum or 2000 which is minimum for initial segment?

    John
     
  2. camel

    camel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If they told you to "expect" a certain IAF before you lost comms, then I would use that IAF. If you weren't given an expected IAF, then I think ORSOF is the most logical since your route was from CRG, and ORSOF is on the way.

    For the 2nd question, I don't think you can descend below 2100 on the feeder because the feeder route's published MEA is 2100.

    Also I'm not sure you're technically supposed to descend until your ETA time. But I'm recently IFR-minted so hopefully others will comment too.
     
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  3. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Camel, I overflew the airport since it was the last point in my flight-plan and I go to the ORSOF. Now I am not flying the feeder route but just going direct to the fix and hold there. After the hold, I simply do not know what altitude to go down.
     
  4. camel

    camel Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Ah ok. In that case, I think you can descend to 2000, since it is the published MEA for that segment of the approach (from ORSOF to TUNJU).
     
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  5. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    While you are correct that you are not supposed to descent until your EFC time and that is the answer you want to give your DPE... I recently did a TRACON tour and the subject came up in a formal discussion with some of the ATC supervisors. If you are truly in a lost com scenario and squawk 7600...the whole building knows and they are clearing the airspace for you to get on the ground ASAP. He said while technically you are supposed to wait for the EFC time or hold till ETA...in reality they do not know what other emergency you may be dealing with in the cockpit so they are moving everyone out so you can make an approach and get on the ground immediately and you would not be punished for doing so.

    Thought that was an interesting tidbit between what regulations say to do and what really happens.
     
  6. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thans Shawn.
    Could you provide some ideas to my second question if you do not mind?

    thnaks!
     
  7. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Loot at the MSA in the lower left...if you are flying direct to KSGJ the MSA is 2300 unless you are established on the feeder or approach segment.

    I will let the regulation experts state academically if and why you should or should not fly to KSGJ as part of your clearance limit vs GRG direct ORSOF and start the approach.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  8. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    First of all it would be silly to overfly the airport in the situation you state. Second, the minimum altitude to the IAF would be 2,100'

    Stop making things difficult.
     
  9. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Ha!...I wanted to say you just squwaked 7600 and essentially declared and emergency as far as ATC is concerned which trumps regulations...just land!

    Probably still not the answer the DPE wants to hear though.
     
  10. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well the right answer sure won't include "fly an extra 20 miles to overfly the airport and backtrack to an IAF which by the way would require a course reversal of some sort..."
     
  11. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The MSA is largely immaterial. While it might be a good default if you're off published routes and otherwise confused about what altitude but it is not one of the 91.185 altitudes.

    I disagree with going to the airport first. The airport is your CLEARANCE LIMIT. You're allowed to fly the approach to get there.
     
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  12. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ok, so i can still fly to the airport first and then to IAF by the regulation corrrect?
    and, Since I am not flying the feeder route, why should I maintain MSA of 2300ft?
     
  13. pburger

    pburger Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So, why would you fly to the airport first? You are holding at CRG, and have an emergency (Lost Comms). Just fly the approach, as others have mentioned.

    What is your fixation with flying over the airport, making essentially a 180, going back to ORSOF? That is neither correct nor expected. ATC is going to be wondering what the heck you are doing. If your clearance limit is the airport, then you are expected to go to the IAF, not the airport. Per your given scenario, you left CRG at EFC time, so you are good to go to fly the approach, get on the ground, and call ATC and let them know what happened.

    Seriously? Let's say you get to ORSOF before your ETA, and decide to hold there per lost comm procedures. Why is there a question of altitude? The leg from IAF to IF is published as 2000.

    EDIT -- Okay, when you say "After the hold..." I guess you mean the first hold at CRG. Okay. Well, if you just fly the friggin approach, you would maintain at or above 2100 along the feeder, then fly the published approach. But, if you were flying willy-nilly, off any published route, not on a vector, but simply using your own navigation to navigate to the airport for some unknown reason then you better figure out the MORA, or just climb to the MSA as depicted on the chart before you hit something.


    Did I just fall victim to feeding a troll? Let's see, original poster joined on April 1. Hmm.....
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
  14. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Your clearance was "Blah, blah, CRG, KSGJ". KSGJ is your destination, not a fix. You would need to fly an approach to get to KSGJ so why would you fly to it first? Your clearance was not ...CRG, KSGJ, RNAV13, KSGJ...why fly that mess in this case?

    There are times that overflying the airport first makes sense...but that is dictated by the approach charts, not the clearance.

    I should have clarified...while still unnecessary to fly there first...if you are not on a feeder route you should not ever DECEND below 2300' which is the MSA until established on a published segment....but as Ron pointed out, that is not one of the 91.185 altitudes which you should remain at until the IAF. You were however asking if 2000' or 2100' off segment was correct and just based on the MSA alone, it should have been an obvious answer that neither would be acceptable off segment. While in this case the altitudes are negligible in other cases they are not and the MSA is designed to keep you alive should things start going wrong. That is what I was trying to point out.
     
    Last edited: Nov 27, 2016
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  15. labbadabba

    labbadabba Cleared for Takeoff

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    Nope, he's legit. He frequently quizzes the forum but I don't think there's anything trollish about it.
     
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  16. Rcmutz

    Rcmutz Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Why make this so hard.

    Coming from the North with a CLEARANCE LIMIT of CRG and a EFC time, if I had plenty of fuel and the weather was forecast to hold above minimums, I would leave CRG at the EFC at 2100 ft, proceed to ORSOF, after passing descend to 2000 ft, heading to TUNJU, turn inbound, descend to 1600 to cross UDUZO, then precede to landing following the remainder of the IAP. If my fuel state or weather were going to be an issue, I would leave CRG prior to the EFC exercising my PIC authority, and follow what I described above.... QED!
     
  17. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I am just going by the textbook and what DE wants to hear. In terms of practicality, that is still fine.
     
  18. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    ok, so I have to be ready ro depart the hold at CRG AT 2100 by EFC TIME correct?
    But is not the airport stil a clearsnce limit given by clearance delivery?
     
  19. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    you have the legal answer for the DPE - and then you have the real world answer -

    a) if you're in bound to SGJ and see any airport VFR - LAND. Call in to the Tracon or the 800 number.
    b) if you're above the clouds and you arrive at the last nav fix and there is an approach you can fly to the airport and circle to land legally - FLY IT.

    Assuming your transponder is still working they'll be tracking you and will figure out what you are doing. If not - then they'll be tracking a skin paint for a while.

    Then - when you come out of the clouds - and prepare to circle to land - you should be watching the tower for the light signals - don't just land. They'll be waiting for you to come out of the clouds.

    If you are arriving from the north then why are playing games with overflying the airport? Fly the VOR-13 or the RNAV 13 whatever equpt you have - and land.
     
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  20. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thank you sir,
    So flying direct to the airport and thento IAF will be the answer to DE, correct?
    And the answers provided by others should be real world scenario based.
    So if I fly direct to airport and then fly to the IAF, I must be ready to depart ORSOF at 2000ft which minimum altitude for initial segment on both real world and DPE wise case correct?
     
  21. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Why? Not supported by either the regs or common sense.
     
  22. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Airport is your clearance limit...
     
  23. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Exactly. Once I'm on the ground at the airport, I'll await further clearance.
     
  24. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    AIM - 6-4-1: Two-Way Radio Communications Failure

    a. It is virtually impossible to provide regulations and procedures applicable to all possible situations associated with two-way radio communications failure. During two-way radio communications failure, when confronted by a situation not covered in the regulation, pilots are expected to exercise good judgment in whatever action they elect to take. Should the situation so dictate they should not be reluctant to use the emergency action contained in 14 CFR Section 91.3(b).

    If you are holding at CGR, there is zero reason to overfly the airport. That wording in the regulation to which you are referring to regarding clearance limit was intended to be a fix at which you could and had a hold option. Zero chance ATC would be expecting you to do what you are proposing....go to an IAF, leave the IAF via no published segment, then return to the IAF to start an approach.

    If you are looking for the "DPE Answer"...it is "Here is what the regulation says but here is how I would apply it to this situation"...but you need to understand both of those and sounds like you need a bit more time with your CFII.
     
    Last edited: Dec 1, 2016
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  25. John777

    John777 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I get that. Now, regarding the minimum IFR altitude, according to the 91.177, MSA is no where mentioned.
     
  26. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    The MSA is simply provided for emergency purposes only and guarantees 1,000 feet obstruction clearance in the sector indicated with reference to the bearings in the circle.
     
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  27. NKTFlyer

    NKTFlyer Pre-Flight

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    So now that we're over this dense, ludicrous notion that we fly to the airport and then back out to an IAF, next time if you know that conditions will dictate an approach, put the IAF you would want to fly from if you were lost comm in the route block when you file.

    Practically, filing direct to the airport is for when you're expecting to be in VMC in the terminal area.
     
  28. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I digging around with this topic...a lot of the wording in the lost coms scenario regarding clearance limit seems to be based on pre Direct Enter Enter days when you would most certainly have been cleared to a navaid via an airway that would essentially serve as your clearance limit before shooting an approach to your destination. In today's /G and radar environment that is no longer necessarily the case with the destination is now being offered as the "clearance limit" which presents the question that the OP is trying to solve. If it is truly a concern as to what to do and not clear in your pre flight planning as to what you would do should you wind up in that scenario...file a fix as NKTFlyer suggested...but this one is pretty clear.
     
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  29. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I got my instrument rating in 1992, which was well before the direct-enter-enter days, and in every IFR clearance that I received or heard anyone receive, the clearance limit was the destination airport.

    The lost com rules may have originated when radar coverage was less pervasive.
     
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  30. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    While I've tried many times to place an IAF or feeder in my filed route, it is NEVER in my clearance unless it is a prominent navaid that appears in the appropriate preferred IFR route, if applicable.
     
  31. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    The rules are based on situations where arrival holds are common. By and large, centralized flow control and radar coverage have obviated the need for that, but in a discussion we had in another thread, there are a few outlying places out in the sticks that still use holding stacks and timed approaches and hence you can get a clearance limit short of the destination there. Most of us never see them.
     
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  32. comanchepilot

    comanchepilot En-Route

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    Yes - and thats the textbook answer - then fly outbound to an IAF/FAF - do the procedure turn to lose altitude and plan to cross the FAF at an EFC time if you haev one - if not - at your planned time of arrival - which could be a long time in the future.

    Now the real world is that you get your airplane on the ground as soon as you can provided your transponder is working - they can see you and make room for what you are doing - make it obvious.

    If your transponder is not working then they'll REALLY be scrambling to view your skin paint and then get people out of your way - if your destination is KJAX for example, and you have an arrival or EFC time 30 from now - you really want to essentially close the airport for that entire time while they wait to see what you are going to do?

    Fly one turn in the hold where ever it is marked so they see you established, and then I was told by SOCAL and NY TRACON to ident when inbound and intending to land. . . they'll figure that out but the ident gets the attention. Heck, if your non-radio you declared an emergency, right?

    The regulatory cops will carry on endlessly aout the 'right' thing to do under the law- but at the end of the day you need to get your airplane on the ground, out of IMC and out of everyone elses way.
     
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  33. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    What textbook is that? It's not what the regs say and makes so sense to do that.
     
  34. Fearless Tower

    Fearless Tower Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I think this thread just lapped itself....
     
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  35. coma24

    coma24 Line Up and Wait

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    AIM 5-4-6 (b) Approach Clearances...

    Seems this would logically apply to lost comms, too. There is ZERO operational advantage or reason to overfly an IAF (or feeder), continue to the airport, and then double back to the IAF if it's IMC.
     
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  36. Sundancer

    Sundancer Pattern Altitude

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    I think at least one ATC type already chimed in. Pick the approach that makes the most sense, get to the IAF, and get 'er done. The sooner you're on the ground, the better for the system. . .as capricious, stupid, arbitrary, and arrogant as the FAA can be, I just don't see them hanging anyone for safely resolving the flight as soon as makes sense.
     
  37. aterpster

    aterpster Pattern Altitude

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    The FSDO "cops" won't even know about it unless the ATC facility reports it. Chances are they would not report, because that is what they want a lost comm to do.
     
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  38. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I agree. If anyone knows of a case where ATC reported a pilot to the FSDO for doing what Sundancer suggested, or a case where a FSDO found out by other means and pursued it as a violation, I'd like to hear about it.
     
  39. bobmrg

    bobmrg Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    In some countries MSA's are operational altitudes and form a portion of instrument approaches. That is not the case in the US. Barring an emergency you will never use an MSA.

    Bob Gardner
     
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  40. aterpster

    aterpster Pattern Altitude

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    One of the reasons the FAA decided to not sectorize non-operational MSAs on RNAV IAPs is because of the TAA concept. There was a lot of resistance from ATC facilities to TAAs in the beginning. But, they have generally gained acceptance except LA Center hands-down refuses to accept TAAs. I think Oakland is the same. And, they don't fit at some mountainous locations because of descent gradient issues or complexity.

    I believe MSAs are operational in most, if not all, countries that use PANS-OPs. And, some PANS-OPs countries are now using TAAs instead of MSAs on some RNAV procedures.
     
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