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Minimum Safety Altitude

Old 1st Jan 2018, 17:03
  #41 (permalink)  

Avoid imitations
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That's why it can never be a case of "one size fits all" and "if in doubt, chicken out (early!)".

Plus, in a situation where you find yourself facing deteriorating weather, always bear in mind an escape route.

If you've turned back through 180 degrees, you're over the same terrain you were two minutes ago. BUT if you've been scud running for a prolonged period at low altitude over an area where it was risky to be flying at in the first place, then I agree that your only option is to climb.

Climbing into bad weather can also go very badly wrong:
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Old 1st Jan 2018, 22:14
  #42 (permalink)  
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That event shows how important decent planning and Met appreciation is.

Poor decision making to attempt VFR transit when the TAFS and METARs were unsuitable - when you get airborne and go IMC at 200' you have got something wrong.

When you get into a situation where you are descending over water at twilight to try and get VMC beneath, you are a very long way from where you should have made a much better decision.

Maybe this is what should be emphasised for LAPL and the like. is offline  
Old 1st Jan 2018, 22:41
  #43 (permalink)  
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Wow. That AAIB report is something else.

So many opportunities missed that could have changed the outcome.

It really is one of those reports where you simply cannot believe what you are reading.

The fact that the AAIB provided no safety recommendations at the end of the report says it all.

It would be slightly more understandable if it were a private owner leaving their own private strip, but this was a club aircraft, operating in a club environment wish I think adds another dimension to this accident.
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Old 1st Jan 2018, 23:00
  #44 (permalink)  

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I agree, that sad episode was a classic case of an accident about to happen and there are many things that can be learned from the report, such as too much fuel on board for the initial departure, followed by not enough for the return. But it does show that climbing to SA is not the end of the problem - it might be the beginning.
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Old 2nd Jan 2018, 09:27
  #45 (permalink)  
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Or that planning to go Victor Mike on top without being able to get down at the other end is about as stupid as it gets. is offline  
Old 4th Jan 2018, 13:32
  #46 (permalink)  
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This is an interesting thread.,with some good points and I have to say there is more value than instructor seminars for both experienced and inexperienced..

I have always taught for VFR cross country flight planning 1000ft above any obstruction within 5nm of track, so MSA. I would add that includes glider winch cables which are often overlooked as obstructions. It is interesting to note the FAA definition of MSA includes flight over congested in order to glide clear of congested areas. while that is in the UK ANO, I'm not sure if pilots consider that is part of MSA. I should add it is interesting how often ATC in the UK have offered me a VFR clearance below what the FAA would consider MSA for congested areas.

I totally agree with the posts on here that we should teach MSA for VFR and it is beneficial for those going on to IR training and MSA delared at TOC and TOD checks,even in VFR, it is good for SITAW, particularly as airfields such as EGBE no longer give MSA on an arrival from DTY.

Build to add to the above, I would say teach to MSA of VFR cross country flights, but to also teach how to maintain MSA through a 180 turn or to transition down to low level flying, limitations in turning back in valleys, what I call 'flying up a tube'.

Finally, why do we not teach flyht planning to human factors, I can think of nurmerous fatal accidents involving 'getthereitus', it usually involves getting to a wedding, funeral, stag nigh, bussiness meeting, or simply to loose face infront of your PAX.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 12:56
  #47 (permalink)  
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i think this one is worthy of looking at, my once favourite aircraft flew into high ground at 2700ft whilst IMC.

thank you, should be :- https://assets.publishing.service.go...pdf_501087.pdf

Last edited by memories of px; 6th Jan 2018 at 21:28.
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Old 5th Jan 2018, 21:45
  #48 (permalink)  
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memories - your link seems to be only to the amendment of the AAIB report is offline  
Old 6th Jan 2018, 11:15
  #49 (permalink)  
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The Correct link is;


Interesting planned flight over the sea in December without imersion suits, Not exactly clear if the pilot was IMC qualified, I assume not,

The only AAIB reccomendation is for ELB to be fitted, not sure how that would have saved the crew of an aircraft flying into a mountain?
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Old 6th Jan 2018, 21:29
  #50 (permalink)  
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thank you, should be:- https://assets.publishing.service.go...pdf_501087.pdf.
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Old 12th Jan 2018, 20:20
  #51 (permalink)  
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Once upon a time Flying Clubs were full of Safety Sense Leaflets, today you don't see them, but tey are still available on the CAA website. This one is relevant to MSA
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 08:21
  #52 (permalink)  
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I have to say, that is an excellent summary of human factors and if every pilot read and abided by it there would be far fewer AAIB investigations. is offline  
Old 13th Jan 2018, 08:55
  #53 (permalink)  
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Originally Posted by Whopity View Post
Once upon a time Flying Clubs were full of Safety Sense Leaflets, today you don't see them, but tey are still available on the CAA website. This one is relevant to MSA
That's a most useful and relevant link, Whopity.

I've said it before; attempting to fly visually in IMC has killed a lot of pilots, and history shows experience is no protection; the statistics show that it makes little difference whether you've 30hrs or 30,000hrs.

My own well-rehearsed plan is to climb to MSA if I'm in any doubt whatsoever about my ability to remain VMC, and I've always maintained the basic skills to do this. If you have sufficient instrumentation left to maintain control, and a working engine and radio, then in the UK, a call on 121.5 will likely get you back on the ground with a reusable aircraft. Personally, my biggest worry was losing the radio and I'd sometimes carry a handheld transceiver as a backup when flying simply-equipped aircraft in dubious weather.

That said, lives have also been lost when pilots have attempted to fly in IMC without the requisite skill set; IIRC there was an accident somewhere in the SW after a novice pilot lost control in cloud after being instructed to climb to MSA by the controller handling the emergency.

Being below MSA in deteriorating weather with no exit plan or capability is, basically, suicidal. Being unable to maintain MSA due to icing is also something I take very seriously in planning.

From my own experience, I'd say my biggest likely mistake in such a scenario would be not to declare an emergency soon enough; waiting until you're in deep do-do and thoroughly frightened before calling for help is not likely to end well. I've found, in the UK at least, that the authorities are generally sympathetic to pilots in such situations and will generally seek to educate and inform, rather than prosecute.

Last edited by Sillert,V.I.; 13th Jan 2018 at 09:11.
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Old 13th Jan 2018, 21:55
  #54 (permalink)  
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What i have seen is the creeping acceptance of instructors flying and climbing through cloud to go vmc on top to conduct an exercise. We have all done it. Been doing it for 30 years, trying to earn a crust.
This gives the student the impression that flying in cloud is ok, and they are some how protected from disaster because they are with a flying instructor.
My first instructor was an ex Battle of Britain guy, he said you stay clear of cloud, if you enter you will fail your test. But if you do enter cloud then climb.
Later on a PPL took his advice, flew into a snow storm, then climbed to nearly 10k feet. Was radar vectored back into Brum.

And another guy left out flying club, not our member, with me saying the next time you hear about him, will be the news. I don't want to look at his aircraft as i don't want to be at a coroners court explaining what i saw.
Was the next day.
Report on Cairngorm aircraft crash released
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