Some time ago an ex colleague of mine ferried an ATR42 on a delivery flight from Canada to Europe at level 290!!
This because "you don't have pax on board, you will just get the cabin altitude warning but you can silence it and accept a higher cabin altitude, you will catch up strong tailwinds, and burn much less at that level"...
For those who don't know, the max altitude on the ATR is 25000ft, if I remember correctly.
In the hope one day this guy will read these lines, I encourage you to post as much as possible.
While not good practice, the FL250 limit typical of turboprops arises from the fact that to certify higher you need to equip the cabin with O2 (drop-down masks). The aircraft will fly quite happily a bit higher.
Oh God!!! First of all I have to say that this is a sign of times in which we are living. Every day there is a new instance in which a pilot makes a trial flight, inventing a new procedure. I remember when, many years ago, a copilot had to have a notepad in which he had written each and every captain's mania. SOP didn't exist yet . Second: among many civil aircrafts I've flown there is not the ATR (the ice grinder). So I don't know if on its manuals and documentation there is a chart with Low Speed and High speed Buffet. But I'm sure not. A DC-8, many decades ago, in the first company I flew for, discovered them on its own skin. She was unable to recover from stall neither reducing nor increasing the IAS/MCH. They had to descent rapidly from the higher altitude they went and couldn't afford. Fly safely. DOVES
Never having flown the ATR (nor any particular desire too either ), it was common procedure with two other types that I am aware of...the Lockheed Electra, and the ex-USAir Bac 1-11's. Both types had no pax oxygen, but could be flown quite happily above FL250. The BAC 1-11 of course had charts for higher altitudes, and Lockheed was pleased to provide same if asked.
Ferry is ferry, just that...no pax. Gee, what a surprise.
OTOH, there are a few new guys around who seem to make up the rules as they go along, without understanding the possible consequences.
I'm sure the airplane itself will fly happily at higher levels, as the 25000ft limitation comes having oxygen for only 10% of the passengers, so legally it has to reach 10000ft in an emergency descent in 4 minutes I believe, not more.
The Vmo being 250kts, this gives a max altitude of 25000ft.
But the real issue in flying higher than certified comes from the fact, I think, that the cabin altitude will rise above the limit and trigger the master warning.
Yes you can silence it, and accept a steady red caption on the CCAS. No big deal if you are a non smoker
But in doing so, there will be nothing to protect you from a real slow depressurization, besides from keeping an eye at all times on the cabin altitude indicator.
Thus the risk of fainting, and..... hasta luego!
Btw, another ex colleague of mine did the same thing from Europe to a Middle Eastern Sultanate... Unfortunately for him, that didn't go unnnoticed, and he was grounded with no salary for six months
The various limitations for a particular aircraft are a consequence of the certification design standards and how a particular applicant might seek to address these.
Be very aware that some of the requirements are quite subtle and not suited for gleaning by the typical pilot.
Like any other operation not strictly in accordance with the TC and AFM ... if one needs to do it, the airworthiness authorities have well defined protocols to address the need and, in so doing, revisit the certification and impose appropriate additional restrictions so that the proposed operation generally can be undertaken with a level of risk similar to the original TC implications.
Certainly not a matter for the line pilot to run with on a wing and a prayer basis ....
Last edited by john_tullamarine; 15th Apr 2005 at 00:00.
It is entirely possible that ATR has an approved ferrying procedure that allows this operation. As previously posted, the altitude limitation is a certification issue related to the pax ogygen limitation, it is not an aerodynamic nor engine operation limitation. MNPS equipment requirements are a moot point as there are enough loopholes in the current standard that allow VOR equipment as an acceptable means! On the other hand RVSM requirements were most likely the issue here as it is doubtful that an aircraft with a 25K limitation on altitude would have such certification. As always, waivers and exemption are available and routinely issued.
Ah, not likely, ferrydude, not on the blue spruce route. NDB's....maybe. Been that way quite a few times, the first few times more than likely well before you were flying, in turboprop and transport jet equipment, and VOR coverage is not satisfactory for MNPS...even at 390, never mind 290. RVSM, would agree, probably not complied with either. Why are we not surprised?
ahhh 411 and cosmo. Obviously you gents don't do much ferrying and are not completely familiar with either MNPS or RVSM procedures. VOR is in fact one of the means for demonstrating acceptable navigational perfomance standards in MNPS airspace. Only an idiot would suggest that VOR alone can actually be used as an navigational aid in MNPS airspace. I can assure you that non RVSM aircraft do operate in RVSM airspace frequently.
When aircraft are ferried they are often on a ferry permit. This temporary invalidates the ICAO airworthiness certificate. Which means that the aircraft does not meet ICAO legal requirements. This is very often the case for aircraft from the factory which have not yet been fully certified. Under a ferry permit any local approvals apply. i.e. under a US ferry permit extra fuel tanks may be installed which are usually not a standard option. Also an FAA ferry permit allow a 10% increase in MTOW and even more with factory paperwork. Regarding nav equipment even Douglas rented us INU's that just sit on the seat rails for navigation in the MNPS. I suspect that a GPS will do the same thing.
There are people who ferry company aircraft from A to B and there are professional ferry crews which are not the same thing
One more point for those that have ferried on FAA ferry permits, check requirement D2 on the back of the pink ferry permit
Some distinctions here. While commonly referred to as a "ferry permit" it is in fact an Airworthiness Certificate, albeit a special one. It is the legal remedy for operating an aircraft that does not have it's regularly issued Airworthiness Certificate in effect. Extra fuel tanks do not require one unless the aircraft is to be operated over gross weight. This is most often done by STC. Said permit does not allow one to deviate from operating rules, RVSM, MNPS, Part 91, etc. While I'm sure that it happens, those of use in the business and who expect to remain do not go blasting along violating requirements. Waivers and exemptions are "workarounds" for these situations. It can be and is routinely done in a safe and professional manner. Amateurs need not apply. I can cite numerous examples where I was requested to salvage a "ferry" trip gone bad. Civil Aviation Authorities catch many of the renegades-outlaws and ground the aircraft on the spot.
RVSM aircraft do operate in RVSM airspace frequently
Only by prior arrangement, and only if it fits in with the other traffic as non RVSM separation is applied. Effectively that chunk of airspace is now non RVSM. If all RVSM levels are required, then that aircraft will not fly there.