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Journey Man
26th May 2015, 11:10
Hi,

I'm looking for some guidance on industry best practices for managing step climb SID profiles with particular reference to vertical mode selection and armed/pre-selected altitude.

As an example of a departure, either the CPT5X or CPT4Y. Here's a link to the UK AIP page on Rocket Route https://fly.rocketroute.com/plates/adminview/EGWU_STANDARD_DEPARTURE_CHART_-_INSTRUMENT_%28SID%29_COMPTON_5X_4Y.pdf?cmd=pdf&docid=400000000117607&icao=EGWU

CPT5X description:
Climb to 3000, passing 700 turn left and intcp OCK VOR R011, cross LONDON CTR bdry/OCK D18 at 3000;
cross WATFO at 4000, then left on Tr 293° (BNN VOR R113); cross BNN D4 at 5000, then left on BNN VOR R284, cross HEN NDB at 5000; then left on Tr 226° (CPT VOR R046) to CPT VOR.

Would it be acceptable practice to set 5000ft and if managing the vertical profile in VNAV or 3000ft as it's the first step altitude? If using VNAV, In my departure brief I'd discuss TEM points, in particular the potential risk of not capturing the first step and for both crew to be vigilant for this at the key points and to manage tasks appropriately to facilitate this.

Thanks in advance

Journey Man
26th May 2015, 11:28
This post covers a lot of what I'm asking - the interaction with ATC and the selected alt.
http://www.pprune.org/questions/343908-vnav-stepped-climb-enhanced-mode-s-question.html
http://www.pprune.org/tech-log/266647-selected-altitude-input-during-sids.html

Just to add, usual caveats about confirming the FMS legs and altitude restrictions apply. If it's relevant, the aircraft is not auto throttle equipped and vertical speed would be careful controlled.

The above thread is quite a few years old, and I'm wondering if the ensuing years experience has formed more concrete practices.

Thanks

Skornogr4phy
26th May 2015, 14:09
My company policy is to set the first level off altitude, as you will usually be cleared higher pretty early on in the departure.

wiggy
26th May 2015, 14:15
I'm looking for some guidance on industry best practices for managing step climb SID profiles with particular reference to vertical mode selection and armed/pre-selected altitude.


FWIW some Boeing type FCTMs cover this under "Alternate MCP altitude Setting Technique using VNAV"..


If the procedure (SID/STAR) contains closely spaced altitude constraints it's acceptable to enter the terminating level/altitude in the MCP provided you've done a thorough check of the profile contained in the FMC and you ensure the vertical profile is flown in VNAV path.

Intruder
26th May 2015, 19:50
If "Climb via SID" is the clearance, we set the highest "cleared to" altitude in the MCP, and verify all intermediate altitudes are in the CDU. Climb mode is obviously VNAV (744). Often the restricting altitudes don't really affect us, so dialing in each of them in succession could cause more problems (e.g., ALTitude captured well before level-off).

Journey Man
26th May 2015, 22:05
Thanks for the feedback.

It seems that procedures are very much operator specific, plus dependent on the aircraft performance and interval between the various crossing altitudes of the step climb.

In the example of CPT5X, I had setup and briefed as described with the final altitude selected in the MCP. On handover from tower to departure we were instructed to "Stop climb A3000" and then reprimanded for having A5000 selected, and advised in future to select the first step altitude.

I think VNAV is a valuable tool in the right circumstances but it caused conflict in terms of the wider system, which was something I hadn't anticipated. At the end of the day, fitting seamlessly into the system is the goal!

Journey Man
26th May 2015, 22:11
If "Climb via SID" is the clearance, we set the highest "cleared to" altitude in the MCP, and verify all intermediate altitudes are in the CDU.

The clearance we receive in this particular instance is "Cleared via CPT5X departure, caution step climb…" and part of your read back has to be "caution step climb" otherwise they reiterate - so I understand the clearance limit to be to A5000, as that's indicated on the plate and the clearance cautions us about the step climb. If it was a clearance to A3000 only, no step climb caution would be required. Maybe I've misinterpreted, but under the conditions of the clearance I would think setting the highest cleared altitude, as you state, is correct.

Thanks for the input.

Intruder
27th May 2015, 00:30
I haven't heard a "caution Step Climb" clearance yet...

WHO reprimanded you for setting A5000? Was the 3000' limit properly set, and were you in VNAV? Had you busted the limit at D18?

galaxy flyer
27th May 2015, 02:25
The problem is London ATC reads your altitude selection, so the controller cannot confirm you are minding the steps.

Intruder

A common clearance out of Luton on the Compton SID.

Intruder
27th May 2015, 03:21
Looks like a clear case of ATC getting into the pilots' business... It is NOT his job to question whether you are "minding the steps"! Since he cannot see the entire cockpit setup, he is totally UNQUALIFIED to make such a judgement!

WHERE in UK ATC regulations does it allow for a controller to "reprimand" a PIC for an MCP setting? While I might understand a controller QUESTIONING a setting IF a breach of clearance is imminent, a controller does NOT fly my airplane!

Journey Man
27th May 2015, 07:57
WHO reprimanded you for setting A5000? Was the 3000' limit properly set, and were you in VNAV? Had you busted the limit at D18?

Northolt Departure. I was in VNAV FLC and the A3000 restriction would have been adhered to, but we were reprimanded before we reached A3000 and told to stop climb A3000. At this point, I selected A3000 via the MCP and levelled off at A3000. Once we explained we were in VNAV we were recleared to climb with the SID step climb vertical profile.

As a point to note, VS was restricted to about 2000fpm reducing to 1500fpm. We know we've got traffic above and don't want to be setting off TAs for guys above us.

I was a little confused why we were reprimanded, but my bigger concern is understanding whether this is a one off or whether VNAV managed climb to the final SID altitude is just going to cause conflict in the over all system. I was considering a CHIRP, but turned here first.

wiggy
27th May 2015, 08:06
Fair enough ATC querying the setting, and warning of a step climb, I have no problem with ATC doing that.

OTOH if UK ATC start issuing reprimands when you're set up to be fully compliant with the SID/STAR restrictions using company/Boeing/Airbus etc approved procedures then that IMHO warrants an MOR to the authority, on the grounds of distraction, unwarranted interference with safe operation, blah, blah...this may well be a case where too much information at the controllers end is actually a dangerous and distracting thing

Mikehotel152
27th May 2015, 08:47
I don't have access to the jeppy or aerad plate for the Compton 5X but can view the AIP.

In common with the WATFO and HEN altitude restictions, the specific altitude at the D18 boundary is a not-above, not-below restriction. Together with the notes on the plate warning of a step climb, I would certainly set 3000 on the MCP and not climb above unless specifically cleared by ATC. I would also have the 4000 and 5000 restrictons in the FMC to prevent level busts later in the SID.

Compare and contrast with a Clacton 8R from Stansted where the CLN D28 3000 altitude on the AIP is a not-below restriction whereas those at D21,16 & 13 are shown as not-above, not-below. I would therefore set 4000 on the MCP for departure, have it and the subsequent 5000 and 6000 restictions as hard altitudes in the FMC. Doing so, I have never had a word from ATC. It goes without saying that climb performance is not an issue and therefore being above 3000' at D28 is not a problem, but I would stop at 4000' unless cleared above.

It is therefore my understanding that a step-climb with the above type of restrictions does not allow a continuous climb to the highest altitude on the SID. The airspace around London is a bit complicated, with three major airports and plenty of GA traffic, so I can understand ATC's concern.

wiggy
27th May 2015, 09:11
I must admit I'm not a Stansted regular but I'd say the EGSS CLN 8R, as published by LIDO, with requirements to be:

"D28 CLN mnm 3000
D21 CLN at 4000
D16 CLN at 5000
D13 CLN at 6000"

Would, in my book, be an ideal candidate for the Boeing procedure, with 6000 set as the terminating altitude in the MCP...though maybe a clarification of "cleared climb via the SID" wouldn't be a bad idea (but a waste of R/T??).

Whilst I accept that London ATC seem to be mainly concerned with climbing level busts due to their airspace we all know there are some parts of the world where failing to step up promptly on a departure could potentially be dangerous or even terminal.

Journey Man
27th May 2015, 10:30
Hi Mikehotel152, I agree that climb to the final altitude on the SID is only in compliance with the crossing altitudes. I stated fairly early on that altitude restrictions were confirmed and crosschecked in the FMS - as you'd expect - so with that caveat in place….

I looked at the CLN 8R SID (https://fly.rocketroute.com/plates/adminview/EGSS_SID_CLACTON.pdf?cmd=pdf&docid=400000000055913&icao=EGSS), and I came across AAIB Bulletin 2/2012 EW/C2011/03/05 which states:

Additionally, it is possible for pilots to misinterpret the instruction:

‘Do not climb above SID levels until instructed by ATC’

to mean that they must obtain positive ATC clearance to climb above all of the levels specified on a SID.

I would now interpret this to mean that setting the first step altitude in the MCP, i.e. A4000 in the case of CLN8R, is appropriate. It infers ATC clearance is required for further climb. However, there is also a warning to ensure strict compliance with the specified altitudes in the SID. Let's take the case of a radio failure… on the CLN8R, established CLN R268 at D23 and A4000.

Appreciate all input

Spotless
27th May 2015, 12:00
I think it's been high profile due to number of airprox's in London airspace, the most significant I can think of recent AAIB 9/2010 EW/C2009/07/07; There's many comments regarding the SID and cleared altitudes. In summary the aircraft misheard his altitude clearance and climbed to 4000' instead of 3000'. The controller in your instance clearly had concern maybe a similar thing had happened, you say when you explained you were in VNAV that was enough to re-assure him/ her you knew what you were doing following the SID. From the AAIB report

‘Controllers must remain alert to the potential
for incorrect or unexpected interpretation of ATC
instructions by non-UK aircraft operators and
take appropriate action to ensure any required
separation.’


Personally, I can't see an issue in you being cleared for the SID with the associated altitudes included in that clearence, selecting the highest level associated with the VNAV proceedure which you have to do to follow the profile.

Flying in VS or FLC with ALT cap is higher workload and could result in delayed climbing in the step giving higher rates of climb and distractions which VNAV avoids.

I'm not sure but if you selected the altitidues as you passed them with your VNAV would your AP/FMC recapture or amend the VPATH?

It would be interesting to hear what a controller has to say, maybe post in thier section 'ATC issues' too?

error_401
27th May 2015, 12:01
On the E190 which is fully VNAV capable we always and only set the cleared altitude on MCP.

As a regular on LCY (EGLC) and LHR (EGLL) we are familiar with the step restrictions in the London area. Strict adherence to cleared levels and if not clearead otherwise the steps on the SID takes you quickly close to other traffic.

As a general rule:
Set initial "CLEARED" altitude and subsequent "CLEARED" altitudes on MCP. This feeds the mode S repeater and ATC knows that you have set what you are cleared to.
If not cleared otherwise adhere to the intermediate steps.
The clearance: "CLIMB NOW TO FL110" implies cancellation of the steps - maybe someone can add the link to the AIP U.K.

Our policy and also IMHO the best way is to have the aircraft fly in VNAV but only set cleared altitudes on MCP. We (pilots) do not know why ATC restricts us further or clears us beyond SID steps.

JeroenC
27th May 2015, 12:17
The danger with the Boeing procedure (setting the highest SID alt in the MCP) is if you are high perfomance due whatever reason, you might have to revert to VS mode to reduce your climb rate to below 1500ft/min, which might lead to a level bust.

de facto
27th May 2015, 13:49
Always set lowest altitude constraint even if flying in VNAV on departure.
To avoid high rate of climb (possible TA)prior to altitude level off ,vnav may have to be exited and level constraint busted.
UK has had mode S 2 for a while and they will interrogate your MCP,your FMS cant be checked by ATC.
I was always taught to set first hard altitude but again i was taught in the UK.
The clearance we receive in this particular instance is "Cleared via CPT5X departure, caution step climb…" and part of your read back has to be "caution step climb" otherwise they reiterate - so I understand the clearance limit to be to A5000, as that's indicated on the plate and the clearance cautions us about the step climb. If it was a clearance to A3000 only, no step climb caution would be required. Maybe I've misinterpreted, but under the conditions of the clearance I would think setting the highest cleared altitude, as you state, is correct.
The step climb is 3000 feet, a first step before the final sid altitude of 5000ft.

Journey Man
27th May 2015, 19:12
Let's take the case of a radio failure… on the CLN8R, established CLN R268 at D23 and A4000. Thoughts?

Intruder
27th May 2015, 20:36
The danger with the Boeing procedure (setting the highest SID alt in the MCP) is if you are high perfomance due whatever reason, you might have to revert to VS mode to reduce your climb rate to below 1500ft/min, which might lead to a level bust.
Not in the 744. VNAV will capture an altitude well below the altitude if the rate of climb warrants it. In general I see capture in a climb approximately equal to the rate of climb -- often 2500-3000' from the MCP set altitude.

AFAIK, there is no reason to limit climb rate to 1500 ft/min on initial departure, unless your company procedures tell you to do it for some reason.

Intruder
27th May 2015, 20:40
Let's take the case of a radio failure… on the CLN8R, established CLN R268 at D23 and A4000. Thoughts?

What was your initial (or last) clearance? If A5000, climb via the SID to A5000. Then sort out VMC vs IMC, visual return vs following clearance or published procedure...

Journey Man
27th May 2015, 21:02
For the example I gave of the CPT departure out of EGWU, the departure clearance is "Destination via CPT5X departure; caution step climb; Squawk XXXX"

There's no specific altitude given, other than the caution concerning the step climb.

I'm not sure about the departure clearance given for the CLN8R SID - I haven't flown that.

Intruder
27th May 2015, 22:01
The last altitude on the Compton SID is the hard A5000 at HEN, so you have to climb to 5000'. Considering note 2 under General Information, stay at 5000' until you have to climb for MEA or for filed altitude per IMC lost comm procedures.

Journey Man
27th May 2015, 22:03
My understanding as well, hence setting A5000 in the MCP and using VNAV in compliance with the step climb altitude restrictions along SID.

de facto
28th May 2015, 14:50
Intruder,

In UK airspace,(UK rules and regulations),irrelevant of your aircraft type, a maximum of 1500 ft rate of climb should be used when within 1500 ft of a cleared level.(obviously to avoid nuisance TA or worse).
If your SID first Hard altitude (at or below) is for example 4000 ft,it is prudent to use a mode that will reduce the climb rate in an airspace as congested as London TMA and therefore set 4000 ft in your MCP to avoid busting the SID level,when level at 4000 feet,set 5000 feet and wait for the appropriate waypoint to start the next climb.
The loss of comms scenario in the UK :
If failure occurs when the ACFT is following a notified departure procedure such as an SID and clearance to climb, or re-routing instructions have not been given, the procedure should be flown in accordance with the published lateral track and vertical profile, including any stepped climbs, until the last position, fix, or waypoint, published for the procedure, has been reached. Then, for that part of the period of 7 MIN that may remain, maintain the current speed and last assigned level or MSA, if this is higher.

agg_karan
5th Jun 2015, 07:00
I personally feel that setting a non cleared altitude of the SID, esp if it's higher set on the MCP than what the initial restrictions say on the chart, we re basically leaving the job of level off to the Fmc VNAV.
Should a FMC fail during climb/ level off , one has to remember to reset back to the clearance altitude to avoid the alt bust, not to mention the additional shock of the fmc failing and possible deviation of the lateral track, airplane accelerating/ cleaning up, high workload after takeoff scenario maybe negotiating little wx. And then going to a territory not allowed which can trigger an RA.
As much I would like to rely on the Fmc to have me level off lower, I may forget/overlook and get busy with something else. Also if there is a level bust for any other reason, ATC is gonna focus on 'what was set on MCP'
So situationally I would decide what altitude to be set, depending on which airspace I am in, wx conditions, traffic density, level off alt.

I have seen many FMC vnav alt bust by about 150' during a low alt level off with A/P which made me think a basic mode could HV been better athan times.

Journey Man
6th Jun 2015, 07:01
We could certainly play the 'what if...' game all day.

The backstop is proper monitoring and a thorough briefing of threat and error management. If the aircraft enters an undesirable aircraft state, stop looking down at the TV screens wondering what happened and fly the aircraft.

Your comments insinuate that we program the FMS and then sit back and let the plane fly whilst the crew high five and mentally stay on the ground. That's simply not the case. VNAV is a flight management mode, nothing more.

Finally, what's the cleared altitude on the departure, not the initial step? You say setting a non-cleared altitude is incorrect, so define the cleared altitude.

de facto
6th Jun 2015, 09:24
Finally, what's the cleared altitude on the departure, not the initial step? You say setting a non-cleared altitude is incorrect
Yes it is the first step!
You are from the uk...where were you trained??

Journey Man
6th Jun 2015, 09:49
My clearance limit is the final altitude, in compliance with the published steps. Can you post a specific regulation which states that I would need to await further clearance after passing the fix at the end of the first step altitude?

De Facto, you insinuate that this is a UK specific regulation, whereas others have already mentioned Boeing, for instance, publishes an Alternate MCP altitude Setting Technique using VNAV. Can you publish the regulation that specifically covers this, stating the first step altitude needs to be set.

Finally, if this is covered under UK flight training, I admit I have missed it. Please can you cover the specific training objectives covering this, and provide a reference, link or other published regulation on this.

Thank you.

JammedStab
6th Jun 2015, 10:49
The danger with the Boeing procedure (setting the highest SID alt in the MCP) is if you are high perfomance due whatever reason, you might have to revert to VS mode to reduce your climb rate to below 1500ft/min, which might lead to a level bust.

Not in the 744. VNAV will capture an altitude well below the altitude if the rate of climb warrants it. In general I see capture in a climb approximately equal to the rate of climb -- often 2500-3000' from the MCP set altitude.

AFAIK, there is no reason to limit climb rate to 1500 ft/min on initial departure, unless your company procedures tell you to do it for some reason.

But, in order to avoid a nuisance TA, you may go into V/S to reduce vertical speed which then eliminates the VNAV protection from busting a step climb restriction as the MCP is set at the higher altitude.

Even if avoiding nuisance TA's is not in your Company procedures it is in other procedures.

Lord Spandex Masher
6th Jun 2015, 13:11
My clearance limit is the final altitude, in compliance with the published steps. Can you post a specific regulation which states that I would need to await further clearance after passing the fix at the end of the first step altitude?


Your clearance limit is the altitude restriction at a particular DME and not the final limit until you have passed all the other alt/DME restrictions.

Journey Man
6th Jun 2015, 15:14
LSM, what did you understand by "..in compliance with the published steps"? Perhaps I'm not being clear.

Is there any regulatory reference to "final limit"? I couldn't find a definition for that. I'm not trying to be petty, but we appear to be discussing similar points using different terms.

I would call the step climb profile 'altitude restrictions' and the limit of my clearance the final altitude of the SID I've been cleared for. This in no way states that the intermediary altitude restrictions of the step climb are not to be complied with.

Citation2
6th Jun 2015, 19:28
Although Airbus is equipped with a wonderful CLIMB mode equivalent to Boeing VNAV , it says From Airbus FCOM PRO-NOR-SRP-01-40 P 5/10: Monitoring the Climb phase:

"Recommendation:To ensure that you will not miss the next constraint, it is recommended to select the FCU altitude to the next constraint as described above"

Also as previously stated in case of reversion to V/S due to TCAS TAs or reversion to Heading to avoid Weather , you would have a level bust. In heading mode the system cannot follow the vertical profile in Airbus

Journey Man
6th Jun 2015, 20:18
I've no preference either way, as my opening post states, I'm curious and looking for regulatory guidance and industry best practices.

If you're on a heading, for whatever reason, are you on the SID anymore...?

Citation2
6th Jun 2015, 21:19
You might be on heading to avoid weather in a busy environment , where you exercised your emergency authority to avoid weather due to a busy frequency , but still ATC expect you to maintain an initial altitude.

Many scenarios are available . Imagine a dual FMS failure as approach your initial altitude ? Bang ! You will be overshooting

Selection of V/S due to TCAS is another example and many more.

Nothing wrong to follow a VNAV profile , automation is nice but it requires a higher level of vigilence and alertness . And you have to be aware of the non standard scenarios and be ready to react promptly.

Aviation is not black or white , there is no wrong or right way to do it. If VNaV is there it means it can be used but not necessarily.

Regulatory guidance ? I dont think there are any , whether you flew the profile in managed or selected climb , both are correct as long as the result is the same.

As for aviation best practice I would say "stay on the safer side"

de facto
6th Jun 2015, 21:32
Journey man, the max rate of climb is UK ,the rest is risk management which does not preclude proper monitoring..
As Lord Spandex wrote,the level limit is by distance....

It is the same scenario,for example you are flying in LNAV and your target speed is just 10 kts above the 1.3 G...do you set bank 10deg or leave it to 25 since LNAV gives bank protection?
I dont know how you would so but i select 10 deg when weather avoidance is possible so in case i need to deviate my bank is already set max 10 deg..in case i forget before going into heading mode...risk management.

de facto
6th Jun 2015, 21:52
Just had a look in the 737 FCTM to provide a reference since requested here so there it goes:
Normally, set all maximum or hard altitude constraints in the MCP altitude window. The next altitude may be set when the restriction has been assured or further clearance has been received. This procedure provides altitude alerting and ensures compliance with altitude clearance limits

Ie:Hard altitude is AT or BELOW .(AT 4000,5000B...)
If you are given vectors,it is airmanship and CRM to confirm with the controller if restriction still applies.
In the UK as you know,when no restriction you will get the "climb NOW FL070"...

Journey Man
6th Jun 2015, 22:55
de facto, see post 11. Rate of climb already covered. Incidentally, it's a "should" clause applicable to enroute. I agree it's good airmanship, depending on the phase of flight.

Boeing is not applicable regulator. Let's keep on topic. My specific request is for references to industry standard or regulation. What's applicable to Boeing may not be applicable to other types, i.e. non AT equipped aircraft where VS is manually controlled in VFLC. There may be various personal approaches, hence the request for regulatory guidance.

latetonite
7th Jun 2015, 02:46
Flying is the responsibility of the pilots. Navigating their magnificent flying machine is nowadays done by gadgets at their disposal. How they manage it is part of their profession, not the regulators, or ATC for that matter.
After all, it is a profession, no? Using V/S, VNAV, LvlChange , HDG Sel, etc are only tools to facilitate us.
Imagine us pilots checking when and how ATC has us on which screen, and in what mode? Are we controlling when we are handed over to the next controller, and how he does it?

Or, are we informed if there is a back up generator ready and available at Brussels Belgo Control?

This robotic manipulation of aircraft is taking over from common sense.

Worries me.

Journey Man
7th Jun 2015, 06:50
Latetonite,

Don't be worried. Understand the thread, instead.

We're not discussing how best to 'let the autopilot fly' the aircraft. I've repeatedly tried to steer the post away from individual preferences towards discussing if there is a specific industry best practice or regulation in the presented scenario as we're merely a part of a larger system of traffic nowadays, and it's each of our professional responsibilities to each other to integrate as seamlessly into that system.

I've framed that discussion with reference to a particular case to give some context. If the technology we carry is creating new threats, in this case enhanced Mode S Tx displaying preselected altitude causing ATC to intervene despite the aircraft being flown on the correct lateral and vertical path, then I believe there is a wider discussion to be had.

One of the many benefits of never being the smartest guy in the room is that I can come to PPRuNe and ask my peers for advice. It really is a great tool for that and allows me to be exposed to a wider experience pool.

I hope now you understand the thread and feel less concerned. You could possibly even contribute something constructive.

de facto
7th Jun 2015, 08:12
Here is some information about step climb after a given heading:
https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP493SupplementaryInstruction201004.pdf
And about level bust:https://www.caa.co.uk/docs/33/CAP710.PDF

I dont think you will get a rule by a CAA how to set your MCP as they are too many types of aircraft,some even without an MCP mind you:E
I know how it will be set in mine thats all i can say.
If the technology we carry is creating new threats, in this case enhanced Mode S Tx displaying preselected altitude causing ATC to intervene despite the aircraft being flown on the correct lateral and vertical path, then I believe there is a wider discussion to be had.
They dont fly your aircraft,they are just making sure you will level off at the correct altitude.
They dont inquire to make you feel like you dont know how to manage your aircraft,they are just responding to risk as level busts are recurrent at these airports....and well lets face it some are because the initial altitude wasnt set and crews ended up in an "open" mode eventhough vnav was planned.
I find it normal that ATC is using this tool and if they recognise a potential risk,(aircraft will pass 1000 ft above the initial hard altitude )to confirm with you,that is CRM whether pilots like it or not.


Good luck with your thread.

Journey Man
7th Jun 2015, 16:03
CAP710 was interesting.

CAP493 is common sense. i.e. you go on a heading, you're no longer on the SID as I stated earlier (post #35) in response to one of the other poster's 'what if, what if' scenarios. Steps are defined by a fix not a distance, as you've said in post #37, for a reason. A fix has a lateral element to it. A distance merely prescribes a circle around a DME.

You seem not to understand what I've asked in the opening post. Enhanced Mode S may be introducing conflicts in the overall system. I'm not asking for ATC to "fly my aircraft". With over 3000 hours of hand flown IFR, I'm aware not all aircraft have an Alt preselect. They also, therefore, don't create the conflict caused by Enhanced Mode S, which is the main subject of the thread. Would a smiley face help here? How about ":E"? PPRuNe could be such a valuable resource for peers to discuss issues were it not for the flight sim brigade.

Thanks to those who've been constructive; this has probably run its course now.

de facto
7th Jun 2015, 20:34
You seem not to understand what I've asked in the opening post.
This?
Hi,

I'm looking for some guidance on industry best practices for managing step climb SID profiles with particular reference to vertical mode selection and armed/pre-selected altitude.


It was clearly answered by Citation 2.
There is not such guidance for the reason i tried to explain,each airliner systems has it own limits and pilots need be aware of them.(systems which the manufacturer need to make sure operators/pilots understand the limits/traps of).
The regulator job is to make sure that if level busts are frequent,the airlines are made aware of it and get a contingency procedure in place to avoid recurrence.
If i didnt answer your question,i apologise.
How about ""? PPRuNe could be such a valuable resource for peers to discuss issues were it not for the flight sim brigade.

Need variety to make a world...
this has probably run its course now.
I think so too.:E

Journey Man
12th Jun 2015, 00:52
Copy and pasting an excerpt of text does not indicate understanding. I was seeking industry best practice (i.e. Company SOP) or regulation. De facto, what you have repeatedly attempted is to present your opinion as regulation without a single relevant reference to give credence to your statements.

The only reference you have provided is a link to the usage of the UK usage of the phraseology 'climb now', which has at no point been queried in this thread and is irrelevant to the subject under discussion.

You've presented an en route SARP as applicable regulation to the departure phase. Explain the difference between 'must' and 'should'. I can't speak for your virtual airline's performance calculations, but my take-off performance analysis is predicated on a specific climb speed in the CLB thrust detent until the acceleration altitude.

It was clearly answered by Citation 2.Citation2 has provided no such definitive clarification, nor regulatory reference. Indeed, in their post they state:
You might be on heading to avoid weather in a busy environment , where you exercised your emergency authority to avoid weather due to a busy frequency , but still ATC expect you to maintain an initial altitude.

If you are taking avoiding action and deviating from the SID, you are no longer following the SID profile and the SID step climb profile is not applicable. To state that the the SID vertical profile is still applicable when deviating from the SID lateral track is neither a comprehensive, nor correct, answer despite your claim. It is nonsensical and potentially unsafe. You claim step altitudes are purely defined by DMEs, when they are defined by a fix that has a lateral element (i.e. a radial). A DME distance purely prescribes a circle around the DME, which coupled with your friend Citation2's suggestion of going off on a heading, may never be intersected. In what way do you feel Citation2 'clearly answered' the initial query for industry best practice or regulation?

De facto, as a flight simmer, you do not have an approved Ops Manual. Unless providing regulatory references you are not qualified to answer the initial query of industry best practice. No need to apologise for this. Some of my colleagues have responded stating what their Ops Manuals mandates, thus providing an indication of the industry's current practices. Clarifying regulation has not been presented. Therefore, as a flight simmer, your input is reduced to mere opinion, which you've repeatedly brandish as incontrovertible. This you should apologise for.

If my tone is acerbic, contemplate the snide and patronising comments littering your posts:

You are from the uk...where were you trained??
[ATC] dont fly your aircraft...

etc…

In the last fifteen years I've held four licences, on various continents, and in my opening posts I freely admit that I am unsure of the applicable regulation in this instance. The whole raison d'être of my post was to seek clarification. I have absolutely no issue with admitting that. During attaining each of those licences I've sat exams for Air Law and, unfortunately, there has been some muddying of the waters and information lost to the fog of time. PPRuNe should be a valuable industry resource for professional pilots to discuss such matters, providing reference to regulatory documentation. Unfortunatley, the forums are frequented predominantly by arm chair experts who constantly present opinion as fact. You perfectly illustrate why certain sub-forums should be restricted to those who present a verifiable commercial licence.

Once again, thank you to my peers who've presented valuable input.

de facto
17th Jun 2015, 12:48
Well seems like you got me alright,I must be the flight simmer of the year:E
By the way ALL my last sim airlines SOP required Hard altitudes to be selected regardless of vertical mode used,PC or MAC.

latetonite
17th Jun 2015, 13:01
I think in Windows 10 there will be no more need to do this.

Citation2
17th Jun 2015, 15:07
Journey man: when on heading , SID restrictions are not applicable anymore. This has been clarified for UK only.
Other states still expect you to maintain SID restrictions while on heading. Aviation is not only in the UK ( unless you are only qualified for domestic flights).

From IATA document "SID STAR report on potential misunderstanding :Often on SIDS, there are altitude restrictions. ATC often give clearance to a higher level without specifying whether those mandatory altitudes are still applicable. Also on STARs, ATC often give direct routings bypassing certain waypoints with mandatory crossing altitudes. Some ATCs expect pilots to cross abeam the mandatory waypoint at the specified altitude without actually instructing the pilots that the mandatory altitude still applies at the abeam waypoint position"

So I would carefully check the AIPs , charts and confirm with ATC if restrictions are still applicable and not apply a UK definition to the rest of the world.

Secondly I have already had this experience where I thought that on heading speed restriction was not applicable, still it was and we were asked about our deviation.

Thirdly logically speaking , in the UK if you were taken off the route by ATC Restrictions are no longer applicable.

But if ATC expected you to fly the SID and consequently based traffic separation on the assumption that you will fly the sid and profile then under your own initiative you took a heading left or right to avoid weather , it's a different thing as ATC expected you to be on profile in the SID , by the time you select your heading you are already overshooting and busting the level before even rotating the knob to the desired heading.

Industry best practice : better be safe than sorry.

Journey Man
18th Jun 2015, 09:00
Speed restrictions are different to altitude restrictions, for obvious reasons, and handled differently. You always have the option to clarify your clearance. Similarly, a STAR is a significantly different situation to a SID and handled differently in every jurisdiction I've flown in.

FAA "climb via" clarification (it's non-UK) http://www.faa.gov/about/office_org/headquarters_offices/avs/offices/afs/afs400/afs470/pbn/media/rnav1_rnp1_rnav2/climb_descend_via_faq.pdf Question 11 on page 4 may prove enlightening for you? I will seek out some more European based source documentation to clarify the differences further.

You haven't posted the source for the text you quote so I can't double check it, however it makes no mention of altitude restrictions when taking a heading off the SID, which is what you are alluding to. It does talk about being cleared to a higher level and confusion over whether the intermediary altitude restrictions apply, however this is whilst on the SID lateral track. This situation is handled in FAA regulated airspace using "climb via" and in the UK using "climb now", as your friend de facto has correctly stated. The excerpt you've copied does not mention being off the lateral profile of a SID at any time.

It does mention being off the lateral profile of a STAR. These are two very different situations. Read the excerpt you've copied again.

This is not pertinent to the thread's initial purpose. May I suggest debating this in a separate thread, or perusing the source documents.

piratepete
18th Jun 2015, 10:07
Standard ICAO RADIO TELEPHONY requires you to state (initial contact once airborne) for example .........." passing 800 feet, climbing 5000 feet TIMBUCKTOO SEVEN DEPARTURE".If the LAST HARD ALTITUDE in your assigned SID is say 16000 feet (you might even be given this number in your ATC CLEARANCE) but the FIRST HARD ALTITUDE is 5000 feet you must both SET 5000 feet in your MCP and mention this number in your first radio call to DEPARTURE FREQUENCY.You ARE NOT ALLOWED to just put the last HARD ALTITUDE in the MCP and rely on VNAV to keep you legal.With close proximity other aerodromes you MIGHT HIT SOMEONE.Watch the reaction from DEPARTURE when you mention "CLIMBING TO 16000 feet......" you will be told off because you are only cleared to the INITIAL HARD ALTITUDE until ATC says otherwise........Dont be silly.

Journey Man
18th Jun 2015, 10:34
Citations2,

Doc 8168 Volume I Flight Procedures, take a look at 1.7 discussing radar vectors on a SID, 4.2 describing a SID and 4.3 describing an omnidirectional departure. Should help clarify, and note this is ICAO Doc. 8168.


you are only cleared to the INITIAL HARD ALTITUDE until ATC says otherwise........Dont be silly.

So on reaching the first altitude restriction, you will maintain it beyond the navigational fix describing the start of a higher intermediate altitude restriction regardless until ATC call to 'clear' you to the next altitude restriction.

piratepete
18th Jun 2015, 10:44
That is a silly statement mate.You know the answer.If your CLEARANCE LIMIT IS SAY 16000 feet/FL then you of course you may follow the SID steps, AS CLEARED, but you cannot put the CLEARANCE LIMIT/FINAL HARD ALTITUDE in the MCP as some are suggesting before you set off.Try doing that AND SAYING THAT at most major airports around the planet and get back to me how you get on, Pete.

Journey Man
18th Jun 2015, 10:57
Are you're now reversing on your statement that you are only cleared to the initial altitude constraint until ATC clear you further? Incidentally, that would completely negate the need for SID altitude constraints.

Please describe the difference between a SID cleared altitude, and an SID altitude constraint.

I'm more than happy to accept that there is regulation stating you can't set the SID altitude, but must set the intermediary altitude constraints, as being the definitive regulation if you can link to an official source document. Thank you.

If your CLEARANCE LIMIT IS SAY 16000 feet/FL then you of course you may follow the SID steps, AS CLEARED, but you cannot put the CLEARANCE LIMIT/FINAL HARD ALTITUDE in the MCP as some are suggesting before you set off.Try doing that AND SAYING THAT at most major airports around the planet and get back to me how you get on, Pete.

As per CAP417, you report the intermediary altitude constraint in your initial call to APP. It is clearly stated in 3.25. So, I'm in complete agreement. But this has no bearing on how you manage your aircraft systems. This is purely radiotelephony.

you cannot put the CLEARANCE LIMIT/FINAL HARD ALTITUDE in the MCP

This is exactly what we're looking for - obviously there is a regulation?

you are only cleared to the INITIAL HARD ALTITUDE until ATC says otherwise

This clearance would normally be: "Cleared XXXXX Departure; stop climb Altitude XXXX" THis was not the stated clearance.

Look, just for clarification, maybe it's worth re-reading my opening post. We're not discussing whether intermediary altitude constraints on a SID are applicable; they are unless ATC cancel them via whatever radiotelephony mechanism is applicable. We're discussing how the aircraft automation is managed, and if there is regulation.

Perhaps réponses should be along the format of "My Company SOP is X, Y, Z." Or, "Applicable regulation is available here." With a hyperlink. It would certainly prevent thread creep.

piratepete
19th Jun 2015, 02:35
J.M. Im afraid you are being far too pedantic here.My experience (im still an active TRE and PIC on a widebody) around the planet including UK airports and most areas worldwide in 40 years (next month) and 22000 hours, mostly in an IFR environment is you would normally start an SID with the first constraint/hard altitude in the MCP and this is what you must STATE to ATC when your PM first makes contact airborne.IF ATC SAY NOTHING TO YOU regarding cleared altitude/FL then of course , away you go following the steps to your CLEARANCE LIMIT.This has nothing to do with SOPs although in some companies there may be a stated policy WRT this part of your flight, but when was the last time you heard nothing from ATC after initial contact regarding cleared altitude/FL.I cant recall one.PP

latetonite
19th Jun 2015, 06:47
And I am afraid pilots nowadays, not hindered by experience and common sense, are flying planes purely by SOP's. In absense of an adequate answer from the company books, they are now looking to the regulator to govern them how to manage automatics. Well this is pathetic.

Journey Man
19th Jun 2015, 06:51
Firstly, congratulations on your vast experience. Whilst I know that with your experience your opinions must therefore be irreproachable, I disagree with you.

I believe, as I stated in my opening post, that technology (specifically the capabilities of enhanced Mode S transponders) are creating situations that were not anticipated, and a wider discussion on creating industry best practice or regulation may now be necessary.

The thread is not about the applicability of altitude restrictions on a SID, or the use of automation. The discussion is based on whether there exists a specific applicable regulation that I may be ignorant of and various companies' SOPs are.

We're three pages in and despite various poster's assertations, no regulation has been presented for reference. Am I to understand that by resorting to belittling the subject you're also throwing in the towel when it comes to producing a reference? Does airing your resume normally end further discussion? An interesting TRE technique.

You do not have to state the MCP altitude. Please provide some reference to this, as I can't find one. You have to state the altitude you're climbing to, and in the case of intermediary altitude restrictions, this is the first altitude constraint you state. I have referenced CAP417 above, but a review of Appendix 1 shows that this is not a listed change from ICAO. There is no regulation stating you must state the pre-selected/MCP altitude, and not manage the climb using VNAV in the automation. If there is, then that would certainly clarify things if you could reference it. In VNAV climb with intermediary altitude constraints in the FMS, you are climbing to the first intermediary altitude constraint.

In the situation you describe, especially as you say ATC will always give you further climb on first contact (which is irrelevant to the discussion, incidentally) then there would be no need for intermediary altitude constraints on the SID. The departure would have a vertical limit of the lowest step and thereafter climb would be upon clearance by ATC.

Again, it is a wider discussion on issues that may be arising through technology and how best to adapt so that the entire system works in unison. If we have reliable VNAV capabilities and a published departure, then flying the departure in accordance with the altitude constraints in VNAV results in a lower flightdeck workload, more capacity and less frequency saturation. However these advantages are moot if ATC are expecting to see information via the enhanced Mode S transponder that isn't required and interject, increasing radio chatter and workload for both parts of the overall system. If that's the case then the introduction of SARPs may be beneficial. Alternatively, consideration by ATC of the implications of the reported selected altitude may be appropriate, as alluded to in the Skybrary article on Enhanced Mode S. The response from the UK Regulator has been quite positive. Maybe they don't benefit from your wealth of experience, though?

So, with all due deference to your extremely impressive resume, I believe the conversation is worth having. Might I suggest not getting involved if you don't feel it is a valid conversation, or indeed post erroneous information such as stating one must level off at the first altitude constraint and await further ATC clearance to climb to further intermediary altitude constraints.

Journey Man
19th Jun 2015, 06:55
Late, You're once again missing the point. As stated repeatedly, the conversation is hopefully about integration into a wider system. I'm afraid that cannot be made any clearer. Repeatedly.

piratepete
19th Jun 2015, 07:19
J.M. as Late has stated, you are completely missing the point.I would welcome meeting you in the SIM and if you have a copy of your UK Radio Procedures CAP you will find the reference to the requirement to state YOUR INITIAL CLEARED ALTITUDE on first contact, same as ICAO.Typical PPRUNE rubbish being spouted again and again.My resume is not relevant, but my worldwide exposure sure is.Stop being a pedant looking for references/regulations and accept real world standard practice.Why do you have to join the many others and get so personal? Jesus, go to the local and have a nice relaxed pint mate.No further comment.

latetonite
19th Jun 2015, 07:36
To JM.

I got your point from start. I just do not see how, even if our mode-s transponder would relay bank angle, lateral and vertical mode, or even a entire
Flight deck picture to ATC, it would enhance safety. A controller is not a pilot, nor is it his responsibility.
Looks like you are advocating passenger drones.

Journey Man
19th Jun 2015, 07:36
Stop being a pedant looking for references/regulations and accept real world standard practice.

So, accept PPRUNE's anonymous heroes without confirming the veracity of the information? If not taking anonymous internet poster's opinion as all encompassing, definitive regulation is pedantic then I am an unapologetic pedant.

For the benefit of yourself and Latetonite: in many respects the SID is merely a mechanism for framing the wider discussion on enhanced Mode S interaction with ATC. That is the discussion.

Journey Man
19th Jun 2015, 07:37
Latetonite, quite the contrary. You clearly have not understood the discussion.

Stop being a pedant looking for references/regulations and accept real world standard practice.
The basic premise of my opening post is to find industry best practices. Wouldn't it be fantastic if these 'real world standard practices' were recorded somewhere rather than being disseminated via self confessed anonymous TREs on PPRUNE. What might we call those, if they were recorded? Acceptable Means of Compliance? Standards and Recommended Practices? Regulations?