Times to Blow Off the DH

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Captain, Nov 19, 2015.

  1. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    The other thread got me thinking...when is it appropriate to ride the GS to the runway and blow off the DH? For me the list is short.

    • Less than 10 minutes of fuel onboard
    • On Fire
    • Last leg with a REALLY tight commute!

    Okay, that last one is a joke...
     
  2. frfly172

    frfly172 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    When the motor quits on final.
     
  3. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Maybe some pilot medical emergency where you're hanging onto consciousness by a thread...
     
  4. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    I can think of a few reasons to blow off the DA/DH:

    (1) The aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers, and for operations conducted under part 121 or part 135 unless that descent rate will allow touchdown to occur within the touchdown zone of the runway of intended landing;

    (2) The flight visibility is not less than the visibility prescribed in the standard instrument approach being used; and

    (3) Except for a Category II or Category III approach where any necessary visual reference requirements are specified by the Administrator, at least one of the following visual references for the intended runway is distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot:

    (i) The approach light system, except that the pilot may not descend below 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation using the approach lights as a reference unless the red terminating bars or the red side row bars are also distinctly visible and identifiable.
    (ii) The threshold.
    (iii) The threshold markings.
    (iv) The threshold lights.
    (v) The runway end identifier lights.
    (vi) The visual approach slope indicator.
    (vii) The touchdown zone or touchdown zone markings.
    (viii) The touchdown zone lights.
    (ix) The runway or runway markings.
    (x) The runway lights.
     
  5. Dead Stick

    Dead Stick Line Up and Wait

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    I agree. With exception of the last one.

    It's pretty easy to come up with scenarios where the potential hazards of missing a particular approach are greater than the potential hazards of busting minimums and going for it. That's why we have made it a point to occasionally hand fly an approach to touchdown in the sim. I've done it several times (ILS to touchdown) in MU-2s back in the day. Our check airman required it on our 6-month checks. It's pretty good practice for the day when everything has gone south on you.
     
  6. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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  7. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Yeah....ummm.....okay.
     
  8. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    I've done it in the sim but it was always 'play time' and never a structured part of the lesson.
     
  9. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    That was me being snarky btw :)

    I agree with your 1 & 2 points. If I need to get the plane on the ground in an emergency 91.3 let's me ignore anything else and get it done.

    Emergencies for me would include:

    Passenger incapacitated / emergency with health
    Fuel
    Fire
    Airframe damage (bird strike) such that it made continuing flight a hazard
    Oil leak/engine in imminent danger of quitting

    etc..
     
  10. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    In a nutshell, in an emergency that "requires immediate action." Critically low fuel qualifies. In-flight fire qualifies. So does a passenger with a heart attack. And so on.

    "I gotta pee right now" or "I'm late for a meeting" are short of that.

    14 CFR 91.3(b).
     
  11. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    I think everything has been covered.

    To add to the other thread, if there was a lost comm situation and the entire area was socked in with low ifr and it's not an option to get to VFR, then might as well run the ILS down to the runway, especially if the surrounding airports all have non precision approaches.
     
  12. fiveoboy01

    fiveoboy01 Pattern Altitude

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    :eek:

    :lol:
     
  13. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I came close to ignoring minimums the other night. I was not going to fudge my huggies just to go missed. Fortunately there was a break in the clouds at just the right spot to continue the landing.
     
  14. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    That depends on what you are flying. Most PT.25 planes I would bet specify to go missed and set up a stabilized SE approach.

    Out of fuel, on fire, loaded with ice and no way to shed it, turtling.
     
  15. Jaybird180

    Jaybird180 Final Approach

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    While I agree that I would be in a hurry to get the aircraft on the ground in this situation, but I think you might be putting a career in danger with this one. Why? Some people's definitions of 91.3 only include a hazard to the safety of the flight, not a passenger on the flight. Just saying...:dunno:
     
  16. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    When you have complementary vnav, just like a LPV or ILS right :D

    I kid, I kid.



    The only time I would ignore a minimum like DA or a MDA, would be if I had no other option aside from a crash, ie fire, structure failure, jammed controls, no fuel, no power etc.

    A sick pax is not a reason to bust a min, there is a reason medevacs don't get special immunity on busting weather or approaches, try to save one person and end up killing them anyways, plus other folks while destroying property and taking a airport out of service for a period of time, a airport that perhaps could be use by a medevac to get a pt to the next level of care.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  17. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    It seems quite defensible. 91.3 only says an "in-flight emergency requiring immediate action." It does not say only a safety of flight issue. And to hell with it anyway, if the guy next to me passes out, I'm landing. No way I'm living with a dead guy due to some stupid misinterpretation of a regulation.
     
  18. Dead Stick

    Dead Stick Line Up and Wait

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    That's just one of the advantages of corporate flying under Part 91. We actually got to train, not simply prep for the checkride.
     
  19. N801BH

    N801BH Touchdown! Greaser! Gone West

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    That was going to be my comment.....:yes:
     
  20. Dead Stick

    Dead Stick Line Up and Wait

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    Back when I was flying dedicated air ambulance in MU-2s, we regularly did stuff that required letters of explanation to the FAA afterwards. All it took was a letter from the controlling physician that there was an in flight medical emergency included with the letter to the FAA and that was always the end of it. I would not hesitate one moment if that was truly the case.
     
  21. Dead Stick

    Dead Stick Line Up and Wait

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    Losing an engine on approach isn't going to be an issue with Part 25 twin-jets and in most cases you'd simply adjust your ref speed and perhaps flaps and continue the approach. It's not something that would merit busting minimums for, just go missed then soldier on to your alternate. It's even less of an issue with 3 or 4 engine jets. Loosing an engine in one of those is considered an abnormal and not an emergency situation.
     
  22. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Exactly, it doesn't warrant blowing through the DA. OTOH, in something like a Travelair, Apache, Seminole...180hp or less, a OEI approach is a reason to blow through DH and keep it coming. Better to crash under control on the airport than into a neighborhood trying to climb out and failing.
     
  23. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    Completely agree.
     
  24. dell30rb

    dell30rb Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    I can see busting some airspace or ignoring speed restrictions.. but not going below minimums on an ILS.
     
  25. coloradobluesky

    coloradobluesky En-Route Gone West

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    Our intrepid pilot sputters on his coffee. Damn, he said as he listened to the ATIS. KBAD is reporting 50' ceilings with 600' of visibility. He looks at his fuel gauge. Almost empty. "It's now or never" he announces to Camille, the cutie from dog rescue who talked him into this flight. Camille looks up longingly at Him and says "oh i do hope we make it". "Dottie does so want to go to her new home." "No worries my dear" Intrepid replies. "Ive done many like this" He lies. Down into the clag they go......Dottie barking twice as if to signal her approval....
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  26. taters

    taters Pattern Altitude

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    To catch a commute
     
  27. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    Again we run into the "legal does not mean safe". The Doc verifies there was an emergency on board, this gives the pilot legal Emergency Authority to do whatever he damned well pleases, so the FAA cannot violate the pilot for his actions... unless he crashes. The stipulation in the authority is, "to assure the safe completion of his flight." You mess that up, and the hounds of Hell are available to chew your ass.
     
  28. Dead Stick

    Dead Stick Line Up and Wait

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    It's not quite so cut and dried. Let's say it's your wife/daughter/mother in the airplane and the ceiling is at 100' and vis is good underneath. There was an auto accident and they were critically injured and being transported to a regional trauma center. Along the way, your W/D/M goes into arrest. The trauma nurse is telling the pilot to get them on the ground ASAP. What would you do? What would you want the pilot to do?

    I've actually been the pilot in that circumstance. I shot the approach and landed. For the record, the ceiling was right at 100' and the little girl did make it. The doctor said that even 15 more minutes and it would have been problematical for her. But you are 100% correct, most of the time it was for airspace and speed stuff - but not always.
     
    Last edited: Nov 19, 2015
  29. Let'sgoflying!

    Let'sgoflying! Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's only meant as a helpful suggestion, no?
    For the 'indecisive'.
     
  30. taters

    taters Pattern Altitude

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    Or if you have to poop
     
  31. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    What chit hole operator was this!?

    I work in the industry and that wouldn't even be on the table for us, this is why HEMS/EMS has had the issues it has had. If I were to of asked med crew for the docs number because I busted a buch of minimums, theyd made a phone all right, I'd wager within 5hrs I would have a phone call and that would likely be my last day, plus since it was a planned bust out get out of jail system (kinda like the NASA forum) wouldn't apply, I'd have a hit on my record and a dirty PRIA, wouldn't be a good move career wise, pt care wise, or over all not being a dumbazz wise.
     
  32. Dead Stick

    Dead Stick Line Up and Wait

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    That was then, this is now. How many guys nowadays have landed an MU-2 on an interstate highway because the helicopter couldn't get through? One of our guys did that. I know it wouldn't be tolerated now, but 30 years ago, yeah, it was done.
     
  33. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    Every outfit I've worked for agreed a Pax medical emergency is NOT an FAA/ATC emergency. Expedite, sure. Divert, absolutely if that makes sense. But using normal procedures.

    A required crew member medical emergency IS an FAA/ATC emergency.



    With that said, if an airliner or any plans reports a non responsive passenger the flight is going to get priority handling. But I'm not busting mins to get in. In fact, I'd be looking at mins when selecting the airport and an airport with a great hospital but below mins is worse than an airport above mins with a great ambulance service.

    All this is academic anyway. It never happens.
     
  34. James331

    James331 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Well that was before my time, so I can't say much.

    Landing a MU2 on a freeway, must have been a HUGE empty one, what's vref on one of those things? Not exactly a super cub.
     
  35. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    If you're landing into an major accident, it's likely the entire down stream highway to the next ramp is empty. I used to laugh at the effect flying over LA freeways. Parking lot->lights->empty
     
  36. Everskyward

    Everskyward Administrator Management Council Member

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    When I flew air ambulance, the company was quite emphatic about not busting minimums for the patient. We were reminded there were other people in the airplane too (nurse and medic).
     
  37. Zeldman

    Zeldman Touchdown! Greaser!

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    And that is the way it is at my company. We are changing up so the pilot does not know what is wrong with the patient, because the patients condition should never be a factor in the go/no go decision.
     
  38. Captain

    Captain Final Approach

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    So it looks like we all agree that except for the olden days or chit operators, a passenger medical issue is NOT a reason to blow off regs and operate under emergency authority. Have to say I'm sorta glad to see it finally trend that way...
     
  39. Henning

    Henning Ejection Handle Pulled

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    But does the pilot needing to take a dump count as a crew medical emergency? How about if they have hemmoroids too?:dunno:
     
  40. kayoh190

    kayoh190 Super Moderator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    Well, I'll declare the emergency, but yeah - other than heading straight to the airport and runway of my choice, I'm not going to do anything unsafe to make the landing happen.