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VCTS: Alternate Requirement?

Old 26th Oct 2017, 02:08
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VCTS: Alternate Requirement?

Hi all,

Have searched Google and on here for any discussion about this, so be gentle.

Sydney's TTF on Sunday was intermittently endorsed with VCTS. I was pretty certain that doesn't call for any alternate/holding fuel, and was checking the AIP to confirm definitions (TAF forecasts valid for within 5nm of ARP, VC is approx 8-16km ARP (8km = 4.3nm...good one ) and the TS alternate requirement is if the storms/associated severe turb are forecast at the destination). Is the consensus that it doesn't impose any requirements?

Was thinking of asking CASA but thought I'd get a quicker response here
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 02:40
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Fill ya boots, go min fuel - you're legal!

AND the bonus is - you'll get that training command you are after because your discretionary fuel loads are so low.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 02:49
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Originally Posted by Oriana View Post
Fill ya boots, go min fuel - you're legal!

AND the bonus is - you'll get that training command you are after because your discretionary fuel loads are so low.
Oooorrrr maybe it's a last minute addition just prior to your arrival and you'd get in no probs if only continuing was legal
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 03:26
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CASA wouldn't give a definitive answer anyway. They would just say that it would depend on the circumstances. Those circumstances being if you had an incident that involved a TS being in the vicinity of the airport. In my interpretation I would say you don't have to carry the fuel but you would be crazy not to.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 03:57
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Yeah should have clarified, this was inflight as we were getting closer, so were deciding whether to bug out or not
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 08:37
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Yes.

A forecast of storms or their probability requires an alternate unless itís endorsed with tempo or inter.

Letís also think of it practically. Thereís a big cell at 8nm on the centreline of the most into wind runway. Itís affecting arrivals. The sequence slows. Youíre held until they can slot you in.

The only time youíd disregard this is on an ETOPS flight. As long as the wx conditions are above landing minima, youíre good.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 10:21
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Originally Posted by The Green Goblin View Post
Yes.

A forecast of storms or their probability requires an alternate unless it’s endorsed with tempo or inter.

Let’s also think of it practically. There’s a big cell at 8nm on the centreline of the most into wind runway. It’s affecting arrivals. The sequence slows. You’re held until they can slot you in.

The only time you’d disregard this is on an ETOPS flight. As long as the wx conditions are above landing minima, you’re good.
(ETOPS) EDTO or non EDTO destination requirements remain the same. It is the adequates that need to remain above landing minima once dispatched, prior to EDTO entry

Last edited by t_cas; 26th Oct 2017 at 21:12.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 13:04
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Originally Posted by t_cas View Post
(ETOPS) EDTO or non EDTO destination requirements remain the same. It is the adequates that need to remain above landing minima once dispatched.
Thatís what Iím saying. An ETOPS flight only needs an adequate once dispatched.
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 15:16
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A unique Australian requirement
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 20:56
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and so unfortunately the Austronaut species continues to evolve.

(In best David Attenborough voice)
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Old 26th Oct 2017, 21:08
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I've gotta say the term Austronaut is a good one.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 10:00
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A unique Australian requirement
Well feel free to lobby the government to change the law. I'm sure Air BP will be keen on mandatory alternates. Good luck getting it past the airlines though.......
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 11:34
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Originally Posted by t_cas View Post
(ETOPS) EDTO or non EDTO destination requirements remain the same. It is the adequates that need to remain above landing minima once dispatched, prior to EDTO entry
Which bit is unique?
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 12:29
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The bit that says you need extra fuel when thunderstorms are forecast. Pretty sure under ICAO there's no such requirement. Certainly all the pilots I've flown with overseas have never heard of it except for the Australians.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 14:03
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The original question was a very good one.

Can I please ask for clarification from m.r.a.z.23; you said it was a TTF and that it had intermittent endorsement of VCTS.

As the TTF is made up of two elements; the METAR and the trend, was the VCTS on the METAR part or the trend part?

I have never seen a forecast of VCTS, but I have seen many observations (METARs) of VCTS.

I doubt that a forecast would have that in it because it's too non-specific.
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 15:27
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TTFs will be a thing of the past soon. So you won't have to worry about it!
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Old 27th Oct 2017, 21:53
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Captn Fathom, in the new forecasts, TS will be listed, or not. The ďprob 30%Ē will disappear.

Also, forecasts wonít be updated if the weather improves...

Such a brave new world for Austronauts (Great term!)

It is interesting at a recent Avsafety seminar to hear CASA say that BoM are insisting on the changes to bring Oz in line with ICAO, but at another seminar, BoM were saying nothing to do with them, itís a CASA requirement!
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Old 28th Oct 2017, 05:36
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m.r.a.z.23,

I would take it that the VCTS does impose the operational requirements. There is nothing in the rules about distances. You seem to be somewhat hung up regarding distances but I suggest they are a red herring.

The rules simply state "TS at the destination". Does "VC" constitute "at"? My reading would be yes, on the grounds that any weather mentioned in METAR, TTF and TAF would be intended to be considered "at", as that is the whole purpose of those reports/forecasts.
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Old 28th Oct 2017, 06:56
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on the grounds that any weather mentioned in METAR, TTF and TAF would be intended to be considered "at", as that is the whole purpose of those reports/forecasts.
"The qualifier VC will be used to report certain significant weather phenomena in the vicinity (between approximately 8 and 16km of the airport reference point) of the airport."

What about RETS? Are you also required to carry fuel for that? I would be interested to see the TTF that the OP was looking at.
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Old 29th Oct 2017, 05:13
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m.r.a.z.23,

On reflection, I now think the opposite of what I did yesterday.

The rules state that TS impose an operational requirement when FORECAST at the destination.

But when you see VCTS, you are not looking at a forecast but are looking at either a METAR or the "report" component of the TTF.

You will never see VCTS in a forecast. Therefore, VCTS cannot trigger the operational requirement. This can only happen via a TAF or ARFOR.
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