Pop-up vs. airborne pickups

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by azure, Jul 16, 2017 at 8:16 AM.

  1. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Have you ever had that experience up here in VT or even northern NH? I really can't imagine it happening here.

    But yes, as I said, I would NOT request an airborne pickup if I didn't have outs. I can always stay VFR, but I may not be able to go where I intended. Usually they do not even ask whether you can maintain separation (did you mean traffic, or terrain?), and if they do, it still won't get you an immediately effective clearance regardless of what you answer.

    If I need to be IFR before reaching the MIA, I have to get my clearance on the ground. That's been pretty much an absolute ever since I moved here.
    Not sure what you mean. If you're departing IFR from the ground, it's not an airborne pickup.
    When I was doing an IPC a couple of months ago, we tried to get a "pop-up on the ground", i.e. a clearance from ZBW before departing, but without filing. We were told to go to FSS. I imagine the same thing would have happened if we'd been airborne.

    I don't really know what it is with ZBW, I hope it's a management issue that will change someday, but for now, I've learned not to even try to pick up a clearance in the air unless i can reach 5400 feet under VFR.
     
  2. Clip4

    Clip4 Pattern Altitude

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    Shall I link an ATC video where a controller tells a pilot requesting a pop up He is unable and to land and file?
     
  3. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Well sure, you call up for an IFR with nothing on file, the controller might very well tell you to file with FSS. Just like calling up for FF and the controller doesn't want to deal with you, they might deny the service. Both aren't the norm though

    Doesn't change the fact that both an airborne and a pop up are treated the same as far as the rules for issuing the clearance. And in either case, the pilot shouldn't be getting a clearance, then told to maintain VFR until reaching their MIA. That is a misunderstanding of the order. Doesn't surprise me though because I've read forums where controllers have stated they wouldn't issue a clearance below the MIA while conditions are IMC.
     
  4. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Another possibility, direct pilot-controller radio communications is available on the ground at a fair number of non-towered airports. Ask ATC about it on the way in.

    Never mattered to me.
     
  5. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Yes indeed, including at my home base KMPV - thankfully, as it makes the no airborne pickup below the MIA thing much less of an issue.

    It would be nice if that information were in the A/FD. If there is an ATC frequency listed for clearance delivery (e.g. at KLCI), that's a dead giveaway of course. But many times (including at KMPV) there is no listed frequency for clnc and yet you can still get your clearance from ATC on the ground. Something like "for clnc dlv ctc Boston Center on 135.7" would do the trick.
     
  6. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    This is what I said; "In my experience, pilots request IFR popups because they don't think they'll be able to continue under VFR."

    The requirement to ask if the pilot can maintain his own terrain and obstruction clearance while climbing to the minimum IFR altitude applies only when the pilot informs the controller, or the controller is otherwise aware, that the pilot is unable to climb in VFR conditions. A controller who issues an IFR clearance in that situation with a restriction to maintain VFR is just flat out stupid.

    Here's the note that follows subparagraph 4-2-8.d.1.:

    NOTE−
    Pilots of pop−up aircraft are responsible for terrain and
    obstacle clearance until reaching minimum instrument
    altitude (MIA) or minimum en route altitude (MEA). Pilot
    compliance with an approved FAA procedure or an ATC
    instruction transfers that responsibility to the FAA;
    therefore, do not assign (or imply) specific course guidance
    that will (or could) be in effect below the MIA or MEA.

    The note is correct but a bit misleading. Whether a pop-up or airborne pickup of an already filed IFR flight plan the pilot's responsibility for terrain and obstacle clearance is the same. Even when picking up an IFR clearance from the ground, the pilot is responsible for terrain and obstacle clearance unless ATC has issued a SID, DP, or vector.
     
  7. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    How do you get cleared lower than the MIA without being cleared for the approach?
     
  8. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Please expand on that. Why would you be expected to maintain traffic separation?

    Inserting likely thoughts...

    27K: It looks like OSH is IFR can I get a clearance from you or do I have to go to FSS to file.
    MKE: (sigh - yes he literally sighs over the air like "it's starting already") Are you rated and equipped?
    27K: (Of course I'm rated and equipped, I wouldn't request a fookin' IFR clearance if I wasn't rated and equipped.) Affirmative
    MKE: Cleared Direct to Oshksoh MAINTAN 4000 expect the VOR 9 approach.
    27K: How about the RNAV 9?
    MKE: OK expect that.
     
    mkosmo likes this.
  9. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    If you'd like, but why ask me? You don't need my permission, America is still a semi-free country.
     
  10. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    They don't explicitly issue an IFR clearance with a restriction to remain VFR. I can't think of any situation where it would even make sense to do that. As I said, what they typically do is either REFUSE to issue an IFR clearance until I am above the MIA, or else issue a clearance that does not go into effect until reaching the MIA, and is therefore useless for climbing through the clouds up to cruise altitude. They do not usually ask whether I can maintain terrain/obstruction clearance - in fact, I've volunteered that I can do that in an attempt to get the clearance earlier, just for convenience (in VFR conditions), and it made no difference. But at times when they have asked that question, and I've answered yes, all I've gotten is an "upon reaching" clearance that in a couple of cases was useless, because I needed the IFR to GET to the MIA.
    Right. And the usual way (for me anyway, since I rarely fly out of places where there is a SID, and the MVA is usually well above any obstructions) would be to fly the DP. The places where this would really be a sticky issue are VFR-only fields like 2B3 that don't have a DP, where there is rapidly rising terrain to the north. Getting out of there in low IFR conditions would require a void-time clearance relayed from FSS and there is no DP or other approved procedure for avoiding terrain. Unless there is a way to do this that I'm not aware of, I'd consider fields like that places to stay on the ground when visual terrain avoidance isn't possible.
     
  11. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I've been told to descend to 5000 (MIA is 5400) and maintain that altitude until reaching a fix on the approach, and then given the approach clearance. Maybe that's the same thing, but they do explicitly give me the altitude.
     
  12. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Well I take it back regarding 2B3, I see there is an RNAV-A there now and a DP. That's good to see. Anyway substitute 8B3 or any one of the other VFR-only fields in the area with significant terrain issues.
     
  13. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    There are those that do.
     
  14. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Sounds like you're referring to an IAP segment with a minimum altitude above the MVA/MIA.
     
  15. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I don't doubt it - but I was talking about the ZBW controllers working northern New England.
     
  16. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Yes, an IAP segment, but below the MIA not above.
     
  17. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    I was speaking in general.
     
  18. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Where? How do you know what the MIA is?
     
  19. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I get that all the time on pop ups which are quite common to get down through a marine layer that is commonplace at my home drone....will be something like "maintain VFR direct RISPE at or above 3000'"...while you are correct it is not truly an IFR clearance until "Cleared to the XXX airport..." we get vectors and sequencing to the approach all the time while VFR and often will get the actual clearance in conjunction with the approach clearance...VFR instructions as part of the IFR pop up process in getting the clearance are very common in my parts.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 3:29 PM
  20. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    On the RNAV 35 approach into KMPV, between LEB and XIMKY. I've been told by ZBW controllers (I asked them) that the MIA is 5400 in this sector. Admittedly, I'm not sure exactly where the sector boundary is.
     
  21. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Interesting, I've never heard of that before. Thanks.
     
  22. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    It's not even slightly an IFR clearance until a clearance limit, route, and altitude are assigned.

    Where radar and communications coverage permit, procedures are often established to provide IFR separation to VFR aircraft practicing instrument approaches. A clearance limit is not assigned and aircraft are instructed to maintain VFR. An altitude is not assigned but an altitude restriction may be. Separation begins when the approach clearance is issued, altitude separation is 500 feet.

    It may be common but it's wrong.
     
  23. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    LEB to XIMKY is a segment of the approach, LEB is an IAF, the minimum altitude is 5000. You don't need to be told descend to 5000 and maintain that altitude until reaching a fix on the approach, you're on a published route, all you need is approach clearance.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 4:09 PM
  24. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    You seem to have a reading comprehension problem...as I said you are indeed not IFR until that actual clearance limit is given which often in my case does not happen when requesting a Pop Up to get down through the marine layer until you also get the approach clearance, but there is absolutely nothing wrong or incorrect with ATC vectoring a VFR pilot to an expected approach while they work on getting the IFR clearance sussed out and issued.

    Nothing prevents ATC from vectoring a VFR aircraft to an approach...that happens day in and day out on VFR practice approaches everywhere in the country. In my scenario you just need to receive that clearance limit before entering IMC and receiving the separation that being IFR affords.

    When we have multiple arrivals into my uncontrolled field when it is IMC and we are all stuck on top, NorCal will often sequence us all while VFR so they can issue the clearances and provide the spacing they need to do that as efficiently as possible. They will not issue the final clearance to each aircraft until the separation can be assured, but we are sure being lined up as if we were all IFR...yet we are still VFR. Heck, I have even had them vector me to the IAF and start the approach VFR not yet having received the IFR clearance cuz the jackwaggon that went in front of me is taking his sweet time canceling from the ground.

    While it is correct to say that IFR aircraft will not/should not receive VFR instructions...it is indeed commonplace and correct to receive instructions while still VFR and going through the process of getting a pop up IFR clearance issued.
     
    Last edited: Jul 17, 2017 at 4:08 PM
  25. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    My reading comprehension is fine, your writing skills are deficient. You wrote, "while you are correct it is not truly an IFR clearance until 'Cleared to the XXX airport...', implying it's somewhat of an IFR clearance before all the elements of an IFR clearance are issued.

    No, not if that VFR pilot maintains VFR visibility and cloud clearance requirements while descending through that layer.

    Actually, a couple of things can prevent it. Vectoring an aircraft requires direct pilot-controller radio communications and radar coverage at the altitudes to be vectored. Lacking either one means no vectoring of any aircraft, IFR or VFR, approach or enroute.

    Dude, you cannot enter IMC while doing VFR practice approaches.
     
  26. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    I'm sorry, you are right...you don't have a reading comprehension problem...you have a context comprehension problem.

    You must be a hoot at parties...
     
  27. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Right, given an approach clearance, you can descend to 5000. Without an approach clearance, you need to be cleared down explicitly. That is what ZBW (sometimes) does.

    Not sure why you're pressing this point.
     
  28. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Please identify, explicitly, what you feel I took out of context and explain why you feel that way.

    If you can.
     
  29. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    That is simple...see the last line of my original post in the this thread:

    Note I said part of the "process" in actually obtaining a pop up clearance, not park of the actual clearance. You glossed over that nuance in the scenario we are discussing in your attempt to disprove the real world actual examples I gave because they do not fit into every possible scenario and situation that exists in the world like radar coverage.

    No s#!t VFR practice approach aircraft can not enter IMC...if that is what you thought I was implying in my example then you do indeed have a reading and context comprehension problem. The context was ATC vectoring of VFR aircraft to an approach before receiving their IFR clearance...which for some reason you continue to assert is "wrong".
     
  30. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    In message #51 you wrote; "I've been told to descend to 5000 (MIA is 5400) and maintain that altitude until reaching a fix on the approach, and then given the approach clearance. Maybe that's the same thing, but they do explicitly give me the altitude." The MIA is irrelevant when on a published route like an airway or approach segment. Stating the MIA, and that you were to maintain an altitude until reaching a fix, implied you were not on a published route. Not being on a published route and assigned an altitude lower than the MIA was a red flag.

    In message #60 you wrote; "On the RNAV 35 approach into KMPV, between LEB and XIMKY. I've been told by ZBW controllers (I asked them) that the MIA is 5400 in this sector. Admittedly, I'm not sure exactly where the sector boundary is." So you were on a published route and the question about the MIA was just casual conversation as it had no effect on your operation.
     
  31. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    VFR instructions are not part of the IFR pop-up process.

    You wrote; "that happens day in and day out on VFR practice approaches everywhere in the country. In my scenario you just need to receive that clearance limit before entering IMC."

    VFR practice approaches do not include a clearance limit and do not permit entering IMC.
     
  32. Shawn

    Shawn En-Route

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    Thank you for confirming your comprehension problems.
     
  33. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    I'm not following your logic. I have indeed been given an altitude to maintain until reaching a fix, even when on a published route. I'm not sure what "stating the MIA" has to do with anything.

    I can accept, though, that the altitude being below the MIA wasn't anything unusual because I was on a published route.

    The exchange about the MIA was at a different time, in the same general area (between MPV and LEB).
     
  34. wsuffa

    wsuffa Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I've done both.

    I've used the pop-up to get below a cloud deck or marine layer that was unexpected. Probably 3 or 4 times I was told to go to FSS to file, usually when the controller was too busy to take the flight plan info (longer flight). Once when either FSS or Potomac lost my flight plan into the SFRA, leaving me circling somewhere southeast of Stafford until it was filed.

    Airborne pickups I did regularly off of uncontrolled fields, especially where I would be talking to Center and there was no RCO on the field. In pre-cellphone days it was more common. More than once I got the clearance on the ground up picked up the release in the air after departing VFR (uncontrolled airport with inbound IFR). Typical issuance would be to get a squawk code and "maintain VFR" - once identified, and there was a real in the action, I'd get the full clearance. That was more common in the Midwest, Great Plains, and down toward Texas. With Potomac it's hit or miss - sometimes you'll get it right away, sometimes there might be a 5-10 minute delay depending on sector. Obviously with the SFRA it was a different matter.
     
  35. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    So what were you to do when you reached that fix?

    Stating the MIA implied you were not on a published route.
     
  36. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    Descend to 4000 feet, as charted.

    The sequence, as I recall it, was:

    ZBW: Nxx8JT, descend and maintain 5000.
    <exchanges with other aircraft, then a couple of minutes later...>
    ZBW: Nxx8JT, maintain 5000 until XIMKY, cleared for the RNAV 35 approach.

    Apparently it implied that to you, but as I said, I was indeed on a published route.
     
  37. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    The second one could have been just "Nxx8JT cleared RNAY runway 35 approach".

    It would imply it to everyone with a complete understanding of these procedures, you did not say you were on a published route when you were issued an altitude below the MIA.