Departure Procedure Question

flyTotheSky

Well-Known Member
Ok, I'd like some clarification on this...

The other day coming out of Chicago Midway, we were given the Midway 6 DP in our original clearance...

http://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/0810/00081MIDWAY.PDF

It says for Runway 22R to climb on runway heading until reaching 1300', thence.... You must turn to assigned heading by 4 DME from the airport.

When we were issued our takeoff clearance, the controller gave us a new heading to fly.

Question here...does the tower controller still expect us to fly the DP (climb to 1300' on runway heading before turning) or does his new heading trump the original clearance? Meaning, turn to the new assigned heading at a safe altitude and airspeed...

Just need some clarification on this since there was a little disagreement between the flight crew.
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
Climb to 1300', then turn to the heading he gave during the take-off clearance.

Question; where you originally given a heading with your clearance? Or just given the departure and the fix(es)?
 

flyTotheSky

Well-Known Member
Climb to 1300', then turn to the heading he gave during the take-off clearance.

Question; where you originally given a heading with your clearance? Or just given the departure and the fix(es)?

That's what I thought....

No headiing was issued with the original clearance...I was just given the the DP with expect radar vectors to the first fix.
 

flyTotheSky

Well-Known Member
Does anyone know if there is an FAA publication to back this up? Maybe in the controller handbook? I looked in the AIM but couldn't find much....
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
I don't know if there is a specific printed guideline that you can refer to for this scenario, but I think it reads pretty plainly right on the DP.

"TAKE-OFF RUNWAY 22R: Climb heading 224 to 1300 before turning, thence...
DME EQUIPPED AIRCRAFT: Complete initially assigned turn within 4 DME of Midway. Maintain 3000 feet or assigned lower altitude, thence..."

The heading that you were given with your take-off clearance is the "initally assigned turn" that the DP references. The heading is simply the last piece of the DP puzzle, not an instruction that voids the DP.

That's my take on the situation. Maybe a controller can post some additional info for you.

If you'd like I can move this thread to the Technical Talk forum. There are some guys that post there frequently that would know if there are any published guidelines that address the topic directly. Let me know...
 

flyTotheSky

Well-Known Member
Steve...thanks

Yeah if you could move this over to the tech forum that would be great. I'm interested to see if there is anything published about this.
 

tgrayson

New Member
Just need some clarification on this since there was a little disagreement between the flight crew.
The bigger problem is that there is disagreement throughout the aviation industry, including the FAA. The issue has been discussed in an industry/government working group called "Aeronautical Charting Forum-Instrument Procedures Group", which includes some of the most knowledgeable people in the country about instrument and ATC procedures. Here's the minutes of the various meetings on the topic:

http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org...0/afs420/acfipg/open/media/Hist 07-01-269.pdf

It won't give you any answers, but will clarify the questions. Here's also a good article by one of the members of that working group that touches on the subject:

http://www.terps.com/ifrr/apr97.pdf

Because there is such confusion on the issue, there's no guarantee that one controller to the next will mean the same thing by the heading assignment. In general, though, if the controller is at a Class B or Class C, they are applying this paragraph:
5−8−2. INITIAL HEADING
Before departure, assign the initial heading to be flown if a departing aircraft is to be vectored immediately after takeoff.

PHRASEOLOGY−
FLY RUNWAY HEADING.
TURN LEFT/RIGHT, HEADING (degrees).
NOTE−
TERMINAL. A purpose for the heading is not necessary, since pilots operating in a radar environment associate assigned headings with vectors to their planned route of flight.
REFERENCE−
FAAO 7110.65, Departure Clearances, Para 4−3−2.
FAAO 7110.65, Vectors Below Minimum Altitude, Para 5−6−3.
In theory, this sort of heading is only issued when you will be receiving departure vectors immediately after takeoff. Again in theory, that can only be done if there are Diverse Vector Areas established. However, as the first link I gave you will show, that criterion isn't necessarily being applied.

If I were you, I'd call the tower in question and find out what they mean when issuing that heading. Also find out how they intend to provide terrain clearance and whether or not DVAs exist for that airport.
 

flyTotheSky

Well-Known Member
Just spoke with someone in MDW Tower...

He said for my situation, they would have wanted us to follow the DP i.e., climb to 1300' then turn to our assigned heading that was issued during the T/O clearance. If they would have wanted anything different, they would have advised.

I agree with you Tgray that there doesn't seem to be much standardization when it comes to situations like these. I guess when in doubt, go back to the source. I don't know why I didn't think of just calling the tower myself...:)
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
tgrayson, I'm following the conversation in the links that you provided and I understand the issues being discussed, but I'm not sure that it really applies to the specific situation in question. It doesn't appear to me that there should be any ambiguity on what is intended when that particular DP is issued. I would question a take-off clearance given that did not include a heading in that situation.
 

tgrayson

New Member
I'm not sure that it really applies to the specific situation in question.
Not even this?

Also under discussion was when pilots should make the turn to an assigned ATC departure heading. Bill Hammett, AFS-420 (ISI), used the textual ODP for runway 35 at Manchester, NH (KMHT) as an example that has been under discussion in the New England Region. The ODP states to “....climb runway heading to 1200 before proceeding westbound...” Controllers frequently issue “...left turn to XXX, cleared for takeoff”. Does the pilot turn at 400’ AGL or climb to 1200 before taking the turn?

Sounds like an identical situation to me. Where do you see a difference?
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
The difference is that at Midway the pilot was issued the Midway Six departure procedure as part of his IFR clearance.

I presume (silly of me, I know :) ) that the example you present is at an airport with a published Obstacle Departure Procedure, but the ODP is not part of the actual clearance given.
 

B767Driver

New Member
I'll have to look up some references...but in the Part 135/121 world, operations specifications mandate that the ODP be flown as published (unless a SID is given which would supercede the ODP).

In the Part 91 world, you should turn to your assigned heading once obstacle clearance is assured. Probably the best way to do this would be to fly the ODP. But if you can determine another way safely clear obstacles during takeoff...that would be appropriate as well. My recollection is that this is fairly clearly addressed in Part 91.

Bottom line,...the pilot has responsibility for obstacle clearance during takeoff...not the tower.

The heading should be flown once the pilot is assured that obstacles can be cleared.
 

tgrayson

New Member
The difference is that at Midway the pilot was issued the Midway Six departure procedure as part of his IFR clearance.
True, but I see the issue here as attempting to distinguish between a radar departure using a DVA vs following a published procedure, ODP or SID. At an airport with a DVA, the tower controller can give a heading just like the one the OP received and the intent is that departure will vector the aircraft away from obstacles.

The question is, how can the pilot tell the difference between a heading given for a radar departure vs one that takes effect after following the assigned SID?
 

tgrayson

New Member
operations specifications mandate that the ODP be flown as published (unless a SID is given which would supercede the ODP).
What about a radar departure using a DVA?

Edit: Here's what one carrier has in its ops spec, which seems to leave open the possibility of a vector departure:

The flightcrew must comply with the departure procedures established for a particular airport by the FAA if ATC does not specify any particular departure procedure in the takeoff clearance given for that airport.​
 

SteveC

Really?
Staff member
True, but I see the issue here as attempting to distinguish between a radar departure using a DVA vs following a published procedure, ODP or SID. At an airport with a DVA, the tower controller can give a heading just like the one the OP received and the intent is that departure will vector the aircraft away from obstacles.

The question is, how can the pilot tell the difference between a heading given for a radar departure vs one that takes effect after following the assigned SID?
The difference is that this particular SID has very specific wording. "TAKE-OFF RUNWAY 22R: Climb heading 224 to 1300 before turning, thence... complete initially assigned turn within 4 DME of Midway." Since they were given this SID as part of their clearance the pilots should be expecting to receive a heading to fly, and there should be absolutely no reason for them to think that the receipt of a heading would nullify the requirement to fly the procedure.

Again, I am talking only about the specific scenario spelled out in the initial post. I fly that procedure on occasion so maybe I'm too close to the trees to see the forest on this one. But if that were the case I would expect any scheduled air carrier operation that flies in and out of MDW on a regular basis to be even closer to the trees than I am. :D

Believe me, I understand the issue that you bring up and it's an important one. I've been in a lot of situations myself where those issues come up (or should have come up!), but I just don't see the same potential for confusion in this particular case with the way this specific procedure is written.
 

tgrayson

New Member
Again, I am talking only about the specific scenario spelled out in the initial post.
Ah, ok, I see what you're saying. I was keying off what the OP said,
You must turn to assigned heading by 4 DME from the airport.
I was reading that to mean the heading assigned upon reaching 1300 and didn't pay any further attention to it. However, you quoted the SID correctly and it says:
complete initially assigned turn within 4 DME of Midway
Yes, I agree that it's unambiguous now. Whether I would have picked that up had I received that clearance unforewarned, I don't know.
 

B767Driver

New Member
What about a radar departure using a DVA?

Edit: Here's what one carrier has in its ops spec, which seems to leave open the possibility of a vector departure:

The flightcrew must comply with the departure procedures established for a particular airport by the FAA if ATC does not specify any particular departure procedure in the takeoff clearance given for that airport.​
Once you hear the words "radar contact" with the departure controller...you can now accept a radar vector and assume terrain clearance is assured. Most (all?) towers are not radar...and any assigned headings should be flown after ODPs are complied with or other means to assure obstacle clearance have been flown.

I'd be interested to see what ATC types on here have to say regarding this topic.

I agree...I think there is confusion on both ends here.

As a CFII, I taught all of my students to fly the ODP everytime...if it was published.
 

tgrayson

New Member
assigned headings should be flown after ODPs are complied with or other means to assure obstacle clearance have been flown.
That isn't what they want when they intend to use a DVA, since the DVA assures terrain clearance. The main problem is that the pilot has no idea where DVAs have been established.

I'd be interested to see what ATC types on here have to say regarding this topic.
They've been keeping quiet.
 

B767Driver

New Member


That isn't what they want when they intend to use a DVA, since the DVA assures terrain clearance. The main problem is that the pilot has no idea where DVAs have been established.



Bottom line, I wouldn't accept such a clearance or directive that I'm not convinced assures obstacle clearance. That's my responsibility on departure.
 
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