Minimum IFR climb rate - C182

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by swingwing, Sep 15, 2020.

  1. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So as my girls continue to grow, more frequently we are IFR in our fully loaded normally aspirated C182Q climbing to get above the cloud tops for a better ride. My standard procedure on takeoff (once reaching pattern altitude) is to go to a cruise climb at 25/24 doing 95-100 knots. This keeps the engine happy and temps in check. Depending on DA, after a few thousand feet there are times I’m not making 500 fpm. I usually just tell ATC I can’t do 500 fpm and continue on my mary way.

    I can’t imagine that this is an uncommon occurrence in loaded GA airplanes, but I can’t every recall hearing someone else announce they are climbing at less than 500 fpm. What is everybody else doing different?
     
  2. Boone

    Boone Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Some people just blow off making that call. In the rare occurrence I can’t make that climb rate I will advise ATC before accepting a higher altitude.
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well, you should tell ATC but having worked approach, I personally never cared. On position you treat aircraft differently based on assumptions. You climb a fighter based on the assumption they’ll climb like a bat outta ****. If they don’t, there could be issues. When you climb a typical single engine GA, you just assume it’ll be slow. Whether that’s 1,000 fpm or 300 fpm, oh well. As long as they meet MIA requirements that’s the only thing that matters. You provide a clear path for them and if it just so happens their climb rate won’t top local traffic, you stop their climb early or “vector for your climb.”

    But by all means, keep reporting to ATC when you can’t maintain at least 500 FPM.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  4. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Thanks you Velocity173, you answered my question. It’s not a major issue but I will continue to report to prevent knowingly violating the AIM
     
  5. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy En-Route

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    In a 182H I have similar issue. But I think my gross is a bit lower then yours. Usually above 6k it gets a little saggy.
     
  6. 455 Bravo Uniform

    455 Bravo Uniform En-Route

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    Are you pushing throttle back in to maintain that 25” every thousand feet? (Sorry if that’s an insulting question; I was not doing that on cruise climb routinely, but instead rather randomly).
     
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  7. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I’ll concur with @Velocity173in post #3 above, based on 24 years of working Approach and Center. It may have happened, but I cannot recall ever getting that report from a pilot. Where in the AIM does it say that?
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  8. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    4-4-10(d) says, in part:

    "If at anytime the pilot is unable to climb or descend at a rate of at least 500 feet a minute, advise ATC."
     
  9. Boone

    Boone Pre-takeoff checklist

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    AIM-5-3-3c
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    thx
     
  11. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    thx
     
  12. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    If you are able to climb 500 fpm but decide to climb only 400 ft per minute due to wanting a wider margin for error for lets say your cylinder head temps. Does that require an advisement to ATC? I often prefer to descend at a rate of about 300 ft per minute, because it allows me to descend at a faster airspeed without much power change and reduce even more the possibility of shock cooling. It also is easier on my wife's sensitive ears. Only once did I have ATC tell me to hit my target within 2 minutes. ( I was descending my typical slower rate and the request came when I got within 1000 ft from my new altitude ) I am not trying to nit pic, but is being able to climb/descend the most important thing, or is actually doing or exceeding it the most important thing even when it isn't necessary for collision avoidance?

    The AIM includes: "optimum rate consistent with the operating characteristics of the aircraft"

    4-4-10(d) When ATC has not used the term "AT PILOT'S DISCRETION" nor imposed any climb or descent restrictions, pilots should initiate climb or descent promptly on acknowledgement of the clearance. Descend or climb at an optimum rate consistent with the operating characteristics of the aircraft to 1,000 feet above or below the assigned altitude, and then attempt to descend or climb at a rate of between 500 and 1,500 fpm until the assigned altitude is reached.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
  13. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    ATC can’t tell the difference between “can’t” and “don’t wanna”, so I’d read the guidance as “tell them either way.

    As to the PD clearance, that’s not part of when you’re supposed to let them know.
     
  14. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I understand, however, the line: "optimum rate consistent with the operating characteristics of the aircraft" could apply in the climb or decent prior to the last 1000 ft. and in that case it appears that it may not require the notification.
    edit: as long as you would be able to maintain the 500 ft per minute change.

    We both agree that this is not what we are talking about:

     
  15. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    So you’re saying the AIM says you only need to notify ATC if you can’t make 500 ft/min for the last 1000 feet?
     
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    It looks like he covered that with the “edit: as long as you would be able to maintain the 500 ft per minute change.” This has been a new one to me. I know I’ve read it before because I’ve read the AIM cover to cover. But this thing obviously didn’t stick. In the other reference, 5-3-3 c., unable is italicized like they want to hammer home the point don’t do it just because you aren’t doing it, just when you can’t do it. So I gotta say, if you can’t do it you let them know and you don’t wait until the last thousand feet to spring it on them. While I can’t remember ever getting the report, I can remember a time where I wish I would have had it. It was a Convair 240 departing KBUR. By the time I realized he was climbing like a rock it put me down the ‘sheeter’ and a few other planes had to get jerked around.
     
    Last edited: Sep 16, 2020
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  17. labbadabba

    labbadabba Pattern Altitude

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    I always thought IFR climb rate was calculated based on feet per nm. Is that only really applicable for ODPs and such?
     
  18. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Pretty much so. You kinda answered your own question when you used the word "rate." Angle of climb is the point, you have to plug 'rate' that into your E6B or whatever you use to get feet per nm. Controllers do kinda the same thing in their head, not that they are actually crunching numbers, they 'see' it. But like a pilot needs to know if they are going to clear a rock, controllers need to know if you are going to get over or under another plane out yonder.
     
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  19. Ima Pilot

    Ima Pilot Filing Flight Plan

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    What should you say in the radio call to ATC if you know you can’t meet the requirement from the beginning of climb? Also what should you say if you meet the requirement for the start of climb out but you know as you get to higher altitude it’ll decrease below 500 fpm?
     
  20. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Have you tried climbing with WOT instead of 25/24? I used to climb at that setting and Savvy told me my CHTs would be lower WOT. Didn’t believe them but I tried it and they were right. Part of it is that you get a richer mixture at WOT and the other part is that you will have a higher airspeed for the same climb rate so more cooling air over the engine.

    Personally, once I’m at 1000’ AGL I leave the throttle wide open, pull the prop back to 2500 and then climb at 120 kts until the climb rate decays to 500 fpm. Once I get to 500 fpm I just adjust the airspeed to hold 500 fpm (technically, my autopilot does) until I hit Vy (which decreases with altitude until Vx and Vy meet at the absolute ceiling).

    I usually hit the 500 fpm mark around 15k’ density altitude so I rarely have to tell ATC I can’t maintain 500 fpm. Usually just when getting around weather.
     
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  21. Papa Pilot

    Papa Pilot Filing Flight Plan

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    Curious ...

    For those flying/training in something less powerful than a C-182 (e.g., a C-172 or a Cherokee 140) where climb rate is anemic and only gets worse, what do you do?
     
  22. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think that 99.9% of pilots of such aircraft don't bother with the report. The reason I think so is that in 29 years of flying, I have NEVER heard anyone make such a report!
     
  23. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I can try it but usually by 5000 feet it’s balls to the walls and the engine is no longer making 25 mp.
     
  24. swingwing

    swingwing Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I do continually advance the throttle as I climb to keep the power in
     
  25. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    As I am sure you know, leaning will be necessary to maintain peak power as you climb, and of course you will not be able to maintain 25" much past 4 or 5 thousand feet, depending on pressure altitude.


    Sorry for the confusion. Looking back, I was probably inadvertently hijacking this thread just a little, and I was also probably a little unclear in stating my position. To clarify, when I climb or descend, for the safety and health of my powerplant, I like to climb at a slower rate and faster airspeed. I don't have cowl flaps and cooling is better at higher airspeed. My descent is slower especially in smooth air because I error way on the side of caution when it comes to shock cooling, and also for the comfort of my wife who has very sensitive ears. My descent speed increases also, as a side benefit. Pointing out the regs as I did was merely pointing out that I believe that except for the last 1000 feet, my slower rate of climb and descent, appears to be allowed in the regs, and as long as I would be able to climb and decent at at least 500 fpm if requested by ATC, the reporting of less than 500 fpm is not necessary. That is why I mentioned the one time I was requested to descend the last thousand feet at a rate of 500 fpm. (reach newly assigned altitude in 2 minutes) Sorry for the confusion I may have caused, and sorry for the partial hijacking of the thread.
     
  26. Barry

    Barry Pre-Flight

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    i have a 182H and was trying to be nice to my cylinders in a fully loaded climb-out on a very hot day in the summer. I was climbing no more than 500fpm on a vfr flight following, might have dipped into the 400s even, and heard ATC advise someone else about my plane in a "slow climb". However that was all that was said.
     
  27. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Try it out. Hopefully by 5000’ high CHTs are no longer an issue for you. I have a tightly cowled Continental with no cowl flaps and I can keep the CHTs below 380 on a 100 F day using this technique. I also replaced the baffle seals a coupe of years ago so that definitely helped.
     
  28. wayne

    wayne Pattern Altitude

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    Start hunting for an aircraft with more power. :D

    I was flying an Arrow for a while. On a trip with the family in the summer I thought we'd never make it to 9,000'. :( Ok, it wasn't that bad, but it wasn't quick either. We were definitely below 500 fpm, I think (it has been many years since then) we were well below 400 fpm. I haven't had that issue with a SR22. ;)
     
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  29. PlasticCigar

    PlasticCigar Pre-takeoff checklist

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    So true! I love the Arrow. It’s the first plane we owned and I have fond memories of it. Great trainer (I soloed, got my private and instrument in the Arrow), great traveling machine for 2-3 people and really stable. With that “greased anvil” glide ratio and robust gear it was never a challenge to land. Handled crosswinds pretty well too.

    For my next plane, I realized I needed more power. Trying to out climb even small downdrafts in the mountains or taking off on hot summer days with even moderate density altitude created more excitement that I care to experience.

    I think a lot of people get themselves in trouble because they think it terms of pressure altitude and not density altitude. On a hot summer day, a lot of the < 200 HP certified planes will really struggle above 8-9k’ I got into an embarrassing situation where I was solo and intended to fly over the top of the LAX TCA (now Class B) but on that hot summer day I was still a few hundred feet short of clearing it. ATC was kind enough to approve a “slow climb” over the top of the TCA.
     
  30. AA5Bman

    AA5Bman Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I have had this issue in my NA Cessna 205, partly because we’re often heavy, and always because the MEAs are so stinking high around here (usually 11,000’+)

    I’ve been wanting to ask this question so I’m glad you brought it up. I will always dutifully report unable to maintain minimum 500 fpm, and to a controller, they respond almost as if they don’t know why I am reporting it. Hah! I feel like I should be like “ABC Center, Cessna 12345 making *required report* of unable to climb minimum 500fpm” or something along those lines.

    One controller asked if we were having trouble. Another gave me a hard time because I might not meet their next sector’s MVA, and kind of got mad at me as if I had control over it. Another cleared me to a lower, non-standard altitude (odd-thousand going west), which was nice.

    But yeah... I get where you’re coming from. Sometimes I feel like I should just stop making the report.
     
  31. PPC1052

    PPC1052 En-Route

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    "N1234, slow climb to 7000 feet."
     
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  32. k9medic

    k9medic Pre-takeoff checklist

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    I've only been asked one time by ATC if I was still climbing. Miami Center wanted me to climb from 7000' to 9000'. I started the climb and was managing about 300 fpm in a gross weight Cherokee 6. After about 3 minutes I was asked if I was still climbing to 9000'. My reply was simply "eventually."

    Like Velocity173 noted, rarely will they care.

    On a side note, I have also been asked if I can hover in position on the ILS.
     
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  33. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I *rarely* fly something like a P28 (any model) or 172 over 6K..

    But if I do.. I just tell them I'm doing my best.. sometime this will mean vectors or simply flying in a circle until you get high enough to where they need you for terrain or traffic. The circling thing sucks because if you're getting 300 ft/min and you do a gentle standard rate turn you're sacrificing some of that lift.. so the climb rate reduces further.. but c'est la vie
     
  34. Piper18O

    Piper18O Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Usually when I am ready to begin my descent, I will request "slow descent to xxxx ft." I will descend at about 300 fpm, it has always been approved, and I have never had an issue.
     
  35. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    I'm trying to figure out how a 182 has such an anemic climb at relatively low altitudes.
     
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  36. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Go out and do it at gross someday, on a hot day, and don't lean the engine all the way up :)
     
  37. smv

    smv Pattern Altitude

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    Climbing out of KBZN in a 182RG on a hot summer day can easily find one unable to make the MEA at ZUBLI.
     
  38. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    KBZN is at 4500'.
     
  39. Barry

    Barry Pre-Flight

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    I flew in IMC yesterday for the first time since getting my Instrument ticket 3 weeks ago, did 2 approaches at 2 different airports which are close in to me. I did not get any SD, my eyes stayed inside the cockpit most of the time while in IMC working hard to configure, ATC communications, and manage everything @ single pilot. Going forward if i do get any feeling of SD, will just focus my eyes completely inside and ignore outside while in the soup. I was glad to get that milestone done, admit.
     
  40. PaulS

    PaulS Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I believe they watch your climb rate, at least relative to where you are. I fly an SR-22, that pretty much always is more than 500 fpm, but I can tell when I'm not climbing fast enough when they give me "vectors for the climb". I usually do a cruise climb to keep the CHTs from going nuclear, especially on hot days.