Lost Comms Procedure

juxtapilot

Snowflake
What is the procedure for lost comms, in terms of the decent to approach and the arrival time to the IAF.



Lets say you are cruising at 9000 feet which is your assigned and filed altitude, the MEA is 4000. You arrive at the Whatcom (HUH) 20 minutes before your ETA at the destination airport. When do you depart Whatcom and go to the IAF? (Do you hold at Whatcom and wait to go to the IAF?)

The IAF (SECOG) altitude is 2000. When do you decend to 2000 feet and start the approach? Do you hold at the fix (IAF) at 9000 and try to be at 2000 feet at the time you are supposed to leave? Or do you decend to cross the IAF at 2000 feet and complete the approach?
 

JLF

Well-Known Member
If I were cleared to BLI I would maintain 9,000 feet to SECOG and enter the racetrack, I would then descend to 2,000 in the hold and I would immediately finish the approach upon reaching 2,000 feet.

If for some reason my clearance limit were SECOG I'd do the same as above, but plan my descent to leave SECOG at 2,000 feet, and at my planned ETA.
 

Blip16

Well-Known Member
you hold at the IAF at your assigned altitude, until the ETA (or EFC if one was recieved) then commenced descent and approach
 

BajtheJino

I'm looking at you.
you hold at the IAF at your assigned altitude, until the ETA (or EFC if one was recieved) then commenced descent and approach
Thats a book answer. Is this what you'd do in real life? The whole reason for the ETA thing is a throwback to non-radar days. So, if you're in radar contact, have your radios go out, in IFR having to shoot an approach you'd really hold while you lock up a chunk of airspace and shut down an approach to an airport so you'd arrive at your ETA?
I'm not busting balls here, I want a real answer from people. Me, I'd shoot the approach. Who cares about ETA.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
Thats a book answer. Is this what you'd do in real life? The whole reason for the ETA thing is a throwback to non-radar days. So, if you're in radar contact, have your radios go out, in IFR having to shoot an approach you'd really hold while you lock up a chunk of airspace and shut down an approach to an airport so you'd arrive at your ETA?
I'm not busting balls here, I want a real answer from people. Me, I'd shoot the approach. Who cares about ETA.
Well the ETA is something that is expected and ATC can plan around. It also gives them time to clear the airspace and the runways. Unless I have a more serious emergency, I'll hold until the ETA.
 

fish314

Well-Known Member
I think the point of departing the fix "as close as possible to the Estimated Time of Arrival (ETA) as calculated from the filed or amended (with ATC) Estimated Time En Route (ETE)" is to try to make your time good enroute if you can, to avoid having to hold.
 

Blip16

Well-Known Member
Thats a book answer. Is this what you'd do in real life? The whole reason for the ETA thing is a throwback to non-radar days. So, if you're in radar contact, have your radios go out, in IFR having to shoot an approach you'd really hold while you lock up a chunk of airspace and shut down an approach to an airport so you'd arrive at your ETA?
I'm not busting balls here, I want a real answer from people. Me, I'd shoot the approach. Who cares about ETA.
i am not disagreeing with your thought process, and honestly if it happened to me, i would probably divert to somewhere close rather than continue into busy airspace. but ATC needs time to clear a path for me as well.
 

Nismaxdan

Well-Known Member
What is the procedure for lost comms, in terms of the decent to approach and the arrival time to the IAF.



Lets say you are cruising at 9000 feet which is your assigned and filed altitude, the MEA is 4000. You arrive at the Whatcom (HUH) 20 minutes before your ETA at the destination airport. When do you depart Whatcom and go to the IAF? (Do you hold at Whatcom and wait to go to the IAF?)
The way I learned it is you'd fly to SECOG and not WHATCOM at 9000ft and hold.
The IAF (SECOG) altitude is 2000. When do you decend to 2000 feet and start the approach? Do you hold at the fix (IAF) at 9000 and try to be at 2000 feet at the time you are supposed to leave? Or do you decend to cross the IAF at 2000 feet and complete the approach?
You would decent in the hold at a time near the time you were supposed to be at the fix.
 

DE727UPS

Well-Known Member
I'd put 7700 in my transponder and land ASAP. Lost comm is an emergency for both you and ATC. They want you on the ground and out of their hair.

But, as a CFII, I'd teach the lost comm stuff in the FAR's to a student and expect him to regurgitate it on the checkride. After that, I'd tell him what I'd really do...
 

Blip16

Well-Known Member
I'd put 7700 in my transponder and land ASAP. Lost comm is an emergency for both you and ATC. They want you on the ground and out of their hair.

But, as a CFII, I'd teach the lost comm stuff in the FAR's to a student and expect him to regurgitate it on the checkride. After that, I'd tell him what I'd really do...
yeah, thats pretty much how i feel too
 

BrewMaster

Well-Known Member
I'd say the book answer is obviously the "right" answer, but I would put in 7700, descend in the hold, and finish the approach after reaching 2000. Hopefully somewher near the ETA. I'm not gonna sit there for another 10 minutes, especially if I'm on radar.
 

Matt13C

Well-Known Member
What if you lost com enroute and never received an approach to expect and your destination has multiple, which do you use? I am thinking the most precise, ILS/loc, GPS, VOR then NDB and avoid any that are not aligned with a runway such as a VOR A.
 

fish314

Well-Known Member
What if you lost com enroute and never received an approach to expect and your destination has multiple, which do you use? I am thinking the most precise, ILS/loc, GPS, VOR then NDB and avoid any that are not aligned with a runway such as a VOR A.
Well, you're pretty much allowed to perform any "suitable" approach, which I read as any approach that your aircraft is equiped to fly. Practically, I'd probably fly an ILS to the active runway unless I had a good reason not to because it does bring you to the lowest minimums and thence reduces a chance of having to go missed while NORDO. Also, seems like at most fields the ILS is the approach that they assume you are going to fly unless you ask for something different-- so the ILS is probably the most "predictable" at "most" fields.
 

Bandit_Driver

Gold Member
What if you lost com enroute and never received an approach to expect and your destination has multiple, which do you use? I am thinking the most precise, ILS/loc, GPS, VOR then NDB and avoid any that are not aligned with a runway such as a VOR A.
I would execute the approach to the runway that the weather is favoring and that my aircraft will fit on. If I can receive current ATIS great, if not then I would base the decision on the weather in my flight release or wx briefing before the flight. Also might want to keep an eye on the ground speed readout during the approach and see if you actually have a headwind or tailwind.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
If I were cleared to BLI I would maintain 9,000 feet to SECOG and enter the racetrack, I would then descend to 2,000 in the hold and I would immediately finish the approach upon reaching 2,000 feet.

If for some reason my clearance limit were SECOG I'd do the same as above, but plan my descent to leave SECOG at 2,000 feet, and at my planned ETA.
I like that answer, although it's one of those that people argue a lot about. What's missing from the OP is what the clearance actually was.
 
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