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Unusual scenario - USA Climb via SID clearances

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Unusual scenario - USA Climb via SID clearances

Old 7th Jul 2019, 21:58
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RMC
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Unusual scenario - USA Climb via SID clearances

Standard LAX Orcka 3 clearance climb via Sid except maintain 5,000’ ...understand that the 3000’ or below SID limit just after departure has to be selected initially as it is BELOW the 5,000’ (subsequent limit),

LAX Orcka 3 with LAS transition also Has an at or above 15,000’ point and a final SID altitude of 23,000’.Climbing through 12,000’ got an ATC clearance to climb via SID except maintain 15,000’ queried whether ATC wanted us to maintain 15,000’ or continue to top altitude of 23,000’ and she said no climb via the SID means climb to 23,000 unless given a restriction....is that not what “except maintain 15,000”’ is? I see no reason for her to mention 15,000’ as she has already said that with her climb via the SID element .....but as 15,000’ is 8,000’ lower that the top altitude I assumed that meant we had to level at 15,000’

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Old 7th Jul 2019, 22:21
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
Standard LAX Orcka 3 clearance climb via Sid except maintain 5,000’ ...understand that the 3000’ or below SID limit just after departure has to be selected initially as it is BELOW the 5,000’ (subsequent limit),

LAX Orcka 3 with LAS transition also Has an at or above 15,000’ point and a final SID altitude of 23,000’.Climbing through 12,000’ got an ATC clearance to climb via SID except maintain 15,000’ queried whether ATC wanted us to maintain 15,000’ or continue to top altitude of 23,000’ and she said no climb via the SID means climb to 23,000 unless given a restriction....is that not what “except maintain 15,000”’ is? I see no reason for her to mention 15,000’ as she has already said that with her climb via the SID element .....but as 15,000’ is 8,000’ lower that the top altitude I assumed that meant we had to level at 15,000’

She’s wrong. If she said “climb via SID, maintain 15,000”, she just changed the SID’s top altitude. Excerpt below is straight from the AIM:

Example 4: (Using the Example 3 flight plan, ATC determines the top altitude must be changed to FL180). The clearance will read:

“Cleared to Johnston Airport, Scott One departure, Jonez transition, Q-One Forty-five, Climb via SID except maintain flight level one eight zero.”

Note: In Example 4, the aircraft must comply with the Scott One departure lateral path and any published speed and altitude restrictions while climbing to FL180. The aircraft must stop climb at FL180 until issued further clearance by ATC.


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Old 8th Jul 2019, 18:27
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The clearance is a perfectly valid one and quite standard in the US. It simply means that you climb to 15000’ whilst complying with altitude constraints such as above or below altitudes at fixes. This may require you to climb quickly or to level off for a while until passing a certain waypoint. On the Orcka this might mean crossing at or above 13000 at KEGGS for example. It also means reach 15000 by COOPP
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Old 8th Jul 2019, 19:01
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Originally Posted by weasil View Post
The clearance is a perfectly valid one and quite standard in the US. It simply means that you climb to 15000’ whilst complying with altitude constraints such as above or below altitudes at fixes. This may require you to climb quickly or to level off for a while until passing a certain waypoint. On the Orcka this might mean crossing at or above 13000 at KEGGS for example. It also means reach 15000 by COOPP
yeah but according to the OP the controller wanted him to climb to the SID’s top altitude of FL230, even though she said “maintain 15,000.” That’s why there was confusion.
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 08:44
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Sigler is correct

The control gave us the "except maintain 15,000'" and then when I asked the F/O to clarify did she want us to stop at 15,000 she said no the "climb via the SID" part meant that we could ignore the "except maintain 15,000' (which begged the question why did she say that part of the instruction in the first place). Have to add the controller sounded very young and asked a strange question about our speed which may indicated she was under supervision / training/inexperienced???
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Old 9th Jul 2019, 18:28
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The fact that you didn’t understand such a normal clearance says more about you than the controller. I don’t mean to offend you just trying to help you understand. It’s not an unusual scenario as you titled this thread, it’s a daily occurrence.

The answer from the controller sounds to me like she was trying to help you understand the clearance. It sounds like an explanation of how climb via works not an explanation of her specific clearance, just based on what you wrote, obviously I wasn’t there.

Just one mans opinion. I have similar confusion when I fly in Europe and Asia , there are so many different ways of phrasing these kinds of clearances around the world. My company (Delta) gives us copious notes on each specific airport and clearances that we might get that we haven’t heard before. I find myself often asking for clarification on altitude clearances in other parts of the world.

To to be clear though, the way that clearance was issued is a normal procedure in the USA and it means climb via until reaching 15000 and then stop climbing.
Hope that helps.

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Old 9th Jul 2019, 19:35
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Originally Posted by weasil View Post
The fact that you didn’t understand such a normal clearance...

To to be clear though, the way that clearance was issued is a normal procedure in the USA and it means climb via until reaching 15000 and then stop climbing.
Hope that helps.

You’re missing the point. Your last paragraph is what the original poster also understood from the clearance. However, the controller wanted him to keep climbing to FL230. That’s why he had to ask for clarification to begin with.
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 16:25
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Smile

Originally Posted by sigler View Post


You’re missing the point. Your last paragraph is what the original poster also understood from the clearance. However, the controller wanted him to keep climbing to FL230. That’s why he had to ask for clarification to begin with.
no I get his point. I just interpret the controllers words differently than he does. This is the problem with nonstandard worldwide phraseology, we hear the same words and get a different meaning sometime. I don’t think she did want him to keep climbing. I think she was trying to explain to him the difference between climb via and climb via except... clear as mud?
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 16:41
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Before you start on me, the furthest I ever got in my flying career was a PPL with a UK IMC

But, if ever I heard "climb via SID except maintain 15,000’ " I'd follow the standard instrument departure to 15,000' and stop climbing as per the instruction issued by ATC which overrules the SID instructions.

Once the OP queried (wanted confirmation of the limitation) the instruction and got the response "climb via the SID means climb to 23,000 unless given a restriction." that, to me, is where the confusion arises, she had given a restriction, quite clearly, stop the climb at 15,000'
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 17:52
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Isn't the comment on the SID relevant here "thence... . . .on (transition). Maintain FL230. Expect filed altitude five minutes after departure". The text implies that you were cleared at 15000 until the "thence"...
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 19:05
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Originally Posted by weasil View Post

no I get his point. I just interpret the controllers words differently than he does. This is the problem with nonstandard worldwide phraseology, we hear the same words and get a different meaning sometime. I don’t think she did want him to keep climbing. I think she was trying to explain to him the difference between climb via and climb via except... clear as mud?
Well, I got the idea that after he asked for clarification, she said she meant to instruct him to climb to FL230. But who knows, you may be right. The main thing though is that we're all in agreement that once a controller says "climb via the SID, except maintain XXXXX", the SID's charted top altitude is no longer in play and XXXXX becomes the "top altitude". Cheers!
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Old 11th Jul 2019, 21:28
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Maybe a simpler "Stop climb 15000 feet until cleared higher" would work?
On the other hand, I'm not a pilot but I understood that the controller wanted the SID followed except stop climb 15000 ft.
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Old 12th Jul 2019, 13:47
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I think people are not seeing the much more pedantic explanation. Imagine the new clearance being “Climb via SID except ‘the part about the need tomaintain 15,000’ There is a lack of clarity to attain brevity. Which is clearly failing in this case.

Extremely confusing phraseology either way but I can see how it makes sense to people who have always understood it that way.
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Old 12th Jul 2019, 21:11
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Wesail - Siegler remains correct

The SID ALTITUDE WAS ABOVE THE 15,000 she asked us (on clarification) to climb to 23,000 the SID top altitude...despite being given an " except maintain 15,000'

Wesail my first sentence

"Standard LAX Orcka 3 clearance climb via Sid except maintain 5,000’ ...understand that the 3000’ or below SID limit just after departure has to be selected initially as it is BELOW the 5,000’ (subsequent limit),"

shows that I understand the climb via when the SID restriction was below the "except maintain"
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 01:40
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
The SID ALTITUDE WAS ABOVE THE 15,000 she asked us (on clarification) to climb to 23,000 the SID top altitude...despite being given an " except maintain 15,000'

Wesail my first sentence

"Standard LAX Orcka 3 clearance climb via Sid except maintain 5,000’ ...understand that the 3000’ or below SID limit just after departure has to be selected initially as it is BELOW the 5,000’ (subsequent limit),"

shows that I understand the climb via when the SID restriction was below the "except maintain"
No mistake made by a controller or pilot shall result in altering the meaning of a rule or regulation in the FAR/AIM. Whatever has happened to you during a flight such as the one narrated, you are better off reading the regulations and complying with the meaning best conveyed in the rule. Unless someone can give a clear example with an existing SID, we may end up mis-learning the rule. Keep it simple!
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 04:26
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RMC -- we weren't there and there's no transcript of the actual conversation, but from your description I agree with weasil that you misunderstood (and continue to misunderstand) the controller.

From what you wrote, you "queried whether ATC wanted us to maintain 15,000’ or continue to top altitude of 23,000’ and she said no"

She's said no to the 23,000' part. She did not want you to continue to FL230. Then she logically explained that she's given you an altitude restriction and what that SID restriction meant. She wanted you to stop climbing at 15,000'.

Seems very clear to me. I hope you received further clearance before reaching 15,000' and did not bust your assigned altitude.
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 18:44
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The potential for an altitude bust was clear with this clearance so I asked a plain English question. “Confirm you want us to stop the climb at 15,000’ “ She said “negative ,climb via the SID means you climb to the cleared altitude of the SID which is FL230}.whilst all four of us believed “climb via the SID except maintain 15,000’ “ ACTUALLY meant we were to stop at 15,000’ her last statement cancelled her previous “maintain 15,000’” so our reply (to be clear to her) was “roger climbing to FL230”
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Old 14th Jul 2019, 19:16
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Originally Posted by RMC View Post
The potential for an altitude bust was clear with this clearance so I asked a plain English question. “Confirm you want us to stop the climb at 15,000’ “ She said “negative ,climb via the SID means you climb to the cleared altitude of the SID which is FL230}.whilst all four of us believed “climb via the SID except maintain 15,000’ “ ACTUALLY meant we were to stop at 15,000’ her last statement cancelled her previous “maintain 15,000’” so our reply (to be clear to her) was “roger climbing to FL230”
yeah she screwed up. Maintain 15,000’ means stop the climb at 15,000. She probably didn’t realize what she said in the first place.
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Old 15th Jul 2019, 03:45
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Everybody is finally on the same page in the thread. I was starting to think it wouldn't happen.
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