Pop up clearance and alternate...

Louie1975

Well-Known Member
Is an alternate airport required when you file a pop up clearance? If so ATC doesn't seem to ask for one.
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
§ 91.169 IFR flight plan: Information required.
(a) Information required. Unless otherwise authorized by ATC...
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
IFR rules are still IFR rules. If the weather at your destination requires an alternate it doesn't matter how you file for, or pick up your IFR clearance.

ATC doesn't know if you need an alternate, and they aren't concerned with enforcement actions for failing to file one. It's on you as the PIC to let them know.
 

tgrayson

New Member
Is an alternate airport required when you file a pop up clearance? If so ATC doesn't seem to ask for one.
There is a well-known NTSB case where a pilot was violated for failing to list an alternate with a "pop up" clearance. The reason is as IanJ said: ATC only asks for the information needed to apply control functions. They don't ask for an alternate because they don't need that information. The fact that they don't ask doesn't mean they are implicitly giving you permission not to file one, because they don't have that power.

The irony is that there is nothing they can do with the info if you give it to them. Even when you file via FSS, your alternate is not transmitted to ATC. The people that are sticklers about this provide the info because it will at least be on tape.
 

MikeFavinger

Hubschrauber Flieger
The irony is that there is nothing they can do with the info if you give it to them. Even when you file via FSS, your alternate is not transmitted to ATC. The people that are sticklers about this provide the info because it will at least be on tape.
:yeahthat:

I have encountered a few instances where I've gone missed or couldn't get into an airport and ATC has asked me what my alternate was. Not that it really mattered anyway since the legal alternate I filed for and the actual airport I'd divert to were never the same.
 

Louie1975

Well-Known Member
Thanks, thats seems logical. But then the real world issue is.....how would you check the weather for an available alternate? I guess the answer would be....you should be familiar with all available info prior to departure.

Also many times a localized condition is socking in an airport, and you know its VFR everwhere else.
 

tgrayson

New Member
But then the real world issue is.....how would you check the weather for an available alternate? I guess the answer would be....you should be familiar with all available info prior to departure.
Real world, no one is looking over your shoulder to ensure you've filed an alternate. I have trouble envisioning a scenario in which the FAA would ever inquire.

In the case I mentioned, there were other circumstances that brought the flight to the FAA's attention. The FAA wanted to punish the guy for some sort of attitude problem and grabbed hold of the one thing they could find.
 

USMCmech

Well-Known Member
In the case I mentioned, there were other circumstances that brought the flight to the FAA's attention. The FAA wanted to punish the guy for some sort of attitude problem and grabbed hold of the one thing they could find.
That is the scenerio in a great many enforcement actions. The actual violation is not the cause of the enforcement action, but what they could make stick.

The FAA dose not have the means much less the desire to go around busting normal law abiding pilots for every minute violation of the FARs. However when you come to thier attention as someone who disregads the rules and/or is unsafe, then they start diging. Normally they don't have to dig very deep before they find something.


I have heard from many ATCers that they don't care if you have filed an alternate, as long as you have one in your mind. Anytime I begin an aproach where the WX in near mins, I tell ATC what my plan is if I have to go missed. That way, as soon as I pop back up everybody is aware of what my plan B is.
 

Louie1975

Well-Known Member
That is the scenerio in a great many enforcement actions. The actual violation is not the cause of the enforcement action, but what they could make stick.

The FAA dose not have the means much less the desire to go around busting normal law abiding pilots for every minute violation of the FARs. However when you come to thier attention as someone who disregads the rules and/or is unsafe, then they start diging. Normally they don't have to dig very deep before they find something.


I have heard from many ATCers that they don't care if you have filed an alternate, as long as you have one in your mind. Anytime I begin an aproach where the WX in near mins, I tell ATC what my plan is if I have to go missed. That way, as soon as I pop back up everybody is aware of what my plan B is.
Actually, the way I understand it is, the only reason you file an alternate is for radio failure purposes. If you have a radio failure AND you go missed at your destination, now you MUST go to your filed alternate. If you go missed with radios, chances are since your filed alternate will not be where you want to really go, you will not go there.
 

JLF

Well-Known Member
Actually, the way I understand it is, the only reason you file an alternate is for radio failure purposes. If you have a radio failure AND you go missed at your destination, now you MUST go to your filed alternate. If you go missed with radios, chances are since your filed alternate will not be where you want to really go, you will not go there.
I've never heard that one, but maybe so... In my world I file an alternate any time one is required and for the reason it's required. 123. A lot of times I'll file one when it's not even required, to get more gas on board. It's a total judgment call at that point.

Maybe I'm not looking at filing an alternate in the same light as this conversation, but that alternate to me, is there for a well defined reason.(things might not go your way.)
 

matt152

Well-Known Member
The FAA dose not have the means much less the desire to go around busting normal law abiding pilots for every minute violation of the FARs. However when you come to thier attention as someone who disregads the rules and/or is unsafe, then they start diging. Normally they don't have to dig very deep before they find something.
Unfortunately, it seems this may be changing if AVweb's reporting is accurate:

http://www.avweb.com/avwebflash/news/ControllersAsAirspacePolice_198538-1.html
 

MidlifeFlyer

Well-Known Member
Actually, the way I understand it is, the only reason you file an alternate is for radio failure purposes. If you have a radio failure AND you go missed at your destination, now you MUST go to your filed alternate. If you go missed with radios, chances are since your filed alternate will not be where you want to really go, you will not go there.
I don't think there is any rule that says that if you checked the weather shortly before you lost your radios, and the forecasts indicated that the alternate was well below minimums, that you were required to go there anyway to shoot an approach you knew you know would be unsuccessful.

My read is that the requirement for an alternate is a rule for planning fuel requirements so that, radar or not, radios or not, you are less likely to run out of fuel.

I think it's primarily a planning rule, not an operational rule.

Although ultimately, I like AP2B's response:
I file an alternate any time one is required and for the reason it's required.
 
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