# FAR 91.185 Question

#### DakotaBlue

##### New Member
And I quote, "(c) IFR conditions. If the failure occurs in IFR conditions, or if paragraph (b) of this section cannot be complied with, each pilot shall continue the flight according to the following: (2) Altitude. At the highest of the following altitudes or flight levels for the route segment being flown:

(i) The altitude or flight level assigned in the last ATC clearance received;

(ii) The minimum altitude (converted, if appropriate, to minimum flight level as prescribed in §91.121(c)) for IFR operations; or

(iii) The altitude or flight level ATC has advised may be expected in a further clearance. "

I understand the whole thing for the most part...my question to ya'll is this. Lets say you get the clearance, "cleared to orlando, climb 3000, expect 17000 in 10"...as soon as you take off you lose comms....assuming that 10,000 is the highest of the altitudes and knowing that you should climb to the highest of the three ...would you automatically go to 10,000 or wait 10 minutes after departure then climb to 10'000? i know my question rambled and i apologize...thanks for your answers in advance...

I don't really understand your example...where did you get 10,000 from?

But does it really matter? If I lose comms right after takeoff, I'm not going to continue the flight, I'm going to return to the airport. If its too crappy to get back in and I have to go somewhere else, then I'd climb to the MEA or last assigned altitude (whichever is highest), then climb to the expected altitude (if its higher than the last assigned and MEA) after XX minutes.

i phrased the question horribly i know im sorry...but assuming its socked in...your saying you would automatically climb to the highest of the three excluding the expected altitude until you reach that clearance limit? i.e climb 3000, expect 17'000 in 10?

You'd have to do what they tell you in the clearance... that's what it's there for. In your example you'd climb to 3000' right after departure, fly for 10 minutes, and then climb to your expected altitude of 17000', assuming those altitudes aren't lower than the charted minimum altitude.

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but assuming its socked in

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Good reason not to take off if its too low to get back in.

Oh I see what you're asking... no you'd climb just to 3000' first then wait 10 minutes before climbing to your expected altitude: that's why they say 'expect 17000' in 10 min'. They're basically saying 'if you don't hear from us within 10 min, climb'.

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but assuming its socked in

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Good reason not to take off if its too low to get back in.

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First is you take off right into IMC and you lose radios...DO NOT return to the airport...you will be in deep trouble and the FAA has violated pilots for this. Comm failure alone is NOT an emergency. Just continue on your flight. As for as taking off into IMC when you can't return...it's no big deal, just make sure you have a departure alternate.

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First is you take off right into IMC and you lose radios...DO NOT return to the airport...you will be in deep trouble and the FAA has violated pilots for this. Comm failure alone is NOT an emergency.

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Where exactly does it say that? I thought the definition of emergency was subjective. If I take off into IMC, and lose comms shortly after takeoff, I'm going to squawk 7600 for one minute, and then 7700 and get my ass set up for an approach (provided the departure airport is above approach mins). I'm not flying all over creation in IMC with no radios. I guess that means I'll see the FAA in court.

This does bring up an interesting point though. Say your departure airport wx IS below mins. What if your filed alternate is 200 miles away? Do you cruise 200 miles through IMC with no radios? Or do you squawk 76/7700 and approach/land at the airport 35 miles away that is just above mins. without a clearance? I think I'll take the latter.

That exact situation actually happened to me... weather was 2 in mist, 500 bkn, 900 ovc; lost comm literally just after takeoff (radios turned to nothing but static). Would have been a VERY bad move to try to turn back; although if you lose comm in VMC you are expected to remain VMC, I guess that means taking off into 1000' and 3
... but what if the circling minimums are more than 1000'? Then you'd be VMC with no safe way to get back... I'd just keep climbing.

There is an FAA letter somewhere on that...but I'll explain my why. Let's say your radio's go out...why would this be an emergency? The biggest thing to worry about is having a mid-air with another aircraft. Given that, which path has the greatest risk? 1) Fly the route and alt ATC is expecting, or 2) Starting flying where ATC doesn't expect you to go...how will they know if you are returning to your departure airport, going to another nearby airport, or just lost?.

As far as a departure alternate...under 135 it has to be within one hours flying time...however, if you lose comms you WOULD NOT be going to the departure alt, you should fly to the clearance limit and then your destination.

Oh ESF I thought you meant 'duck under' and land
was starting to wonder...

Also, total comm failure is pretty rare. Best thing is to keep flying and work the problem. I've took off from uncontrolled fields into precip and had no radios for the first couple minutes from static...also taken off from a uncontrolled airport in the DFW area and had no radio contract because the approach controller didn't have the assigned freq turned on.

I would fly expected, then as filed unless you encounter VFR. If VFR land and call ATC.

Remember, if at any time during your flight you encounter VMC, remain VMC and land. (Otherwise you would be expected to follow your filed route, or route that ATC has advised you to expect.)

I agree with the other posters on the altitude...maintain 3000' (or the MEA if higher) for 10 minutes and then climb to 17,000'.

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