Question for ATC..

Discussion in 'Change to my Frequency...' started by Kritchlow, Jul 2, 2016.

  1. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    We were told to descend via xxx arrival into MSP. We we were well on our merrily way on the the descent, but then asked for 20 right for weather. At what point does our "descend via" become invalid once we deviatite from the arrival?? We just kept descending in order to comply with the fix that we expected down the road, but that may not be the correct procedure? We probably should have got a "descend to xxFL" clearance instead of assuming.....
     
  2. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    If they pull you off the arrival, they should give you a new descent altitude. Sometimes they forget though, so just ask.

    I usually just keep a similar profile while abeam the arrival.
     
  3. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That ^ or they tell you to resume the xxx arrival.
     
    Last edited: Jul 4, 2016
  4. MarkZ

    MarkZ En-Route

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    If you deviate from the Descend Via arrival, you need to have new altitude information. It doesn't matter if the deviation is due to weather, a controller initiated radar vector, or what. I have to issue you a new altitude, and in addition I have to advise you where you can expect to resume the arrival. Descend Via STAR's are kind of a new thing, so there are growing pains.

    @kayoh190 is correct as well. If the controller approves your deviation or issues you a vector, you are supposed to receive amended altitude information as well. If you don't, just ask for it.
     
  5. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Does anyone have an FAA reference for the proposition that the approval of a left-right deviation for weather voids the altitudes in a "descend via" clearance?

    Generally speaking, the approval of a lateral deviation does not change an altitude instruction. Whether I am level or climbing or ,for example, descending from 10,000' with an instruction to maintain 3,000' and ask for a lateral deviation for weather, I would not expect my altitude instruction to change as well.

    Why then on a climb or descend "via" clearance? If I were already on a "descend via" STAR, would I suddenly be expected to level when receiving the lateral deviation approval?

    Yes, I would expect to get "resume...when able" or "advise...when able" from the controller. And, yes, I understand the growing pains and the need for some extra clarity as a result, which is why I am asking.
     
  6. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I would expect an altitude assignment when being vectored off a "descend via" STAR. As a practical matter, our AFCS will drop the VNAV mode and revert to PITCH if the airplane gets too far laterally from the course specified.
     
  7. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    So would I, but not for a temporary weather deviation I requested.
     
  8. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    I think @MarkZ has answered that in post #4. Maybe he can provide a reference from the ATC handbook.
     
  9. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Pattern Altitude PoA Supporter

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    Think of it like this - if you were given a "cross KAYOH at 8000" instruction, then subsequently end up on a vector away from KAYOH (either because you requested it or the controller gave it), what would you descend to? A descend via clearance is just a string of these kind of clearances all wrapped into one.

    Someone smarter than me will get you the reference. I'd quote my company manual, but our manuals are a layer removed from the underlying FARs and Ops Specs, and I'm sure you'd rather see the real deal.

    We're not saying you'd level - you'd just be given a new altitude to descend to. It could be the same altitude you were already planning on descending to originally on the 'descend via' clearance, or not. Point is, you'd expect ATC to tell you.
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    AIM 5-4-1 a. 2. You are either on the STAR, or you are not. If your "last assigned altitude" is on the STAR and you are not on the STAR and haven't received an assigned altitude then you are operating without an assigned altitude. ATC having to go through "growing pains" with this is not good. Where the basic concept that "altitude" is a requirement in any IFR clearance got lost I don't know.
     
  11. Cooter

    Cooter Cleared for Takeoff

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    IPH says that if ATC amends your route or altitude, it cancels the rest of the procedure. If deviating, it seems the route remains intact except for the actual deviation. The route in this instance doesn't seem to have been amended. I'm not sure if the language has clarified it down to this level though.
     
  12. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    7110.65 2-6-4 g (2)

    2. When approving a weather deviation for an aircraft that had previously been issued a crossing altitude, including Climb Via or Descend Via clearances, issue an altitude to maintain along with the clearance to deviate. If you intend on clearing the aircraft to resume the procedure, advise the pilot.

    PHRASEOLOGY−

    DEVIATION (restrictions if necessary) APPROVED, MAINTAIN (altitude), (if applicable) EXPECT TO RESUME (SID, STAR, etc.) AT (NAVAID, fix, waypoint)
     
  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Thank you @Velocity173! So, it's generally applicable to any crossing altitude instruction.
     
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  14. mscard88

    mscard88 Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Growing pains? I've been retired for 3 years from the airline and probably flew descend via arrivals for a few years before that. That's probably a good 4-5 years, at least. :)
     
  15. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Thanks for the responses....

    I had two examples on my last trip. One, after taking a heading off the arrival, was issued a "descend and maintain" clearance. Just today we took a heading off arrival and were issued nothing. We expected to turn back to the fix of crossing restriction, so we descended to meet that restriction. It seems there is no clear cut rule on this.
     
  16. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Oh, there is a clear cut rule on this (5-6-2 c (3). Similar to your weather deviation question, If you're vectored off an arrival that has altitude restrictions, the controller must issue a revised altitude with that vector.
     
  17. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    Okay.... But they don't. And what if we ask for a heading??
    I get there are some hard rules, but reality doesn't always realize that.
     
  18. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Don't know what to tell ya. Some controllers don't know the rules. I seriously mean that.

    I have friends still working ATC and they say their students are more concerned about their smart phones then studying their craft (7110.65). Didn't use to be that way.
     
  19. Kritchlow

    Kritchlow En-Route

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    I believe you... I do this every day for a living and constantly get different responses/non responses. I think I'll just cya from here on out and ask for an altitude restriction.
     
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  20. drjcustis

    drjcustis Filing Flight Plan

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    Well... This thread scares me a bit. If you're on a STAR or any approach and you deviate, are you not outside of protected space. The example of descending from 10,000 to 3,000 feet was given and the poster indicates that he should still be cleared to descend. What if there's a 9000 foot mountain to the side. You're now CFIT.


    Sent from my iPad using Tapatalk
     
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  21. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 En-Route

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    I can vouch for that. When I was in training they still threw flight strip holders at the offending student. I never got hit because I never needed to be thrown at. One of the morons opened a panel beneath the console yesterday to plug in their cell phone to charge it. He/she bumped a power cable and took out the radar for 10 hours. It wasn't on my watch or I'd have had some arse.
     
  22. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Run this through your company's safety/procedures department or whatever they have for this kind of thing. ALPA, NBAA, AOPA etc. File ASRS reports. If you are in other forums like this one that are for the "high altitude crowd," bring it up there.
     
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  23. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Of course, hiring diversity over the best applicants isn't going to make things any better either. So glad CTI is suing the FAA. Although I'm not sure it'll change a thing.

    Don't get me wrong, plenty of ****hot controllers out there that know the rules and take pride in their work. Just some of the stories my friends tell me have me shaking my head. Wonder how some of these people got to where there are.
     
  24. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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  25. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    OK. Think I got it. It's the college thing. That was doomed in the first place. Years later they finally learn that college aint got nuthin to do with the skills necessary and do something about it. Unfortunetly there are a whole lot of people that have invested a lot of time and money in the college they were told would lead to a job. Now it doesn't. I'd be mad to.
     
  26. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Line Up and Wait

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    Which airplane(s)? The 737/757/767 would stay in VNAV PTH.
     
  27. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Well the lawsuit centers around reverse race discrimination and not about a college degree. The FAA modified their hiring practices in 2014 to get more diversity. They went from giving preference to veterans and CTIs to hiring off the street with a bio question that some believe centered around getting minorities in the program.

    I don't think these CTI kids are complaining about not getting a job. They should have known all along that there was no guarantee in FAA employment after college. They're mad because the FAA changed a hiring policy that no longer selects the best applicant. I can understand opening up selection for OTS applicants because of a shortage but the number of veterans and CTIs were filling the requirement just fine. Sure, plenty of OTS applicants can do the job but I don't see the logic in picking an unknown when you already have a pool of experience to select from.
     
  28. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    Got it. About 8 years ago the Academy went back to pass/fail. Is it still and do the CTI grads have to go to the Academy?
     
  29. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    CE-680 with Primus Epic avionics.
     
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Not sure what policy they use in grading now. My brother went thru the radar course in 2005 and said back then it was a graded, ranked type course. CTIs still have to attend the academy.

    http://www.cticonnection.org/faa-hiring-practices-and-recent-changes/
     
  31. Jmcmanna

    Jmcmanna Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Descend via is relatively new in the grand scheme of things, and some controllers misapply the rules. Some pilots mess up climb/descend via too. We're all on the same team, so as a pilot, if ATC gives you an impossible instruction (or a confusing one), ask for clarification. We (TRACON controllers) are continuously getting training on this subject. Plenty of professional pilots do stupid/dangerous stuff too; hopefully everyone learns from those situations.
     
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  32. Dave S.

    Dave S. Pre-Flight

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    7110.65 5-6-2

    c. When vectoring or approving course deviations, assign an altitude to maintain when:
    1. The vector or approved deviation is off an assigned procedure which contains altitude
    instructions, i.e., instrument approach, etc.
    2. The previously issued clearance included crossing restrictions.
    3. The vector or approved deviation is off an assigned procedure that contains published altitude
    restrictions, i.e., SID, STAR, and a clearance to Climb Via/Descend Via has been issued.
    d. When vectoring or approving an aircraft to deviate off of a procedure that includes published
    altitude restrictions, advise the pilot if you intend on clearing the aircraft to resume the procedure.
    f. Aircraft instructed to resume a procedure which contains restrictions (SID/STAR, etc.) must be
    issued/reissued all applicable restrictions
    or must be advised to comply with those restrictions.

    This is the applicable rule controllers must follow.

    Once taken off whatever procedure you are navigating on your own, you are no long following the procedure but the instructions of the controller which must include lateral and altitude instructions even if the instructions are to continue to follow the procedure but use a different altitude. For example, if you were previously told to proceed to the initial approach fix and maintain an altitude to maintain until the fix, then later told to continue on the approach but maintain 3000 you would continue following the route of the approach but locked down to 3000. In this case you would expect to be released from that hard altitude prior to needing it, such as, "resume appropriate altitudes for the approach", or, "cleared for the approach" (which renews the clearance with no altitude incumberances), or "maintain 2300 until ALPHA cleared for the approach", or something similar.

    tex