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-   -   IFR being held at 8,500 feet in VMC – less safety (https://www.pprune.org/pacific-general-aviation-questions/614645-ifr-being-held-8-500-feet-vmc-less-safety.html)

Dick Smith 23rd Oct 2018 03:39

IFR being held at 8,500 feet in VMC – less safety
 
At the present time in Australia pilots on an IFR flight plan cannot enter Class E without a clearance - even in VMC.

In the USA, most pilots on an IFR flight plan take off and climb through E without a clearance to 17,500 feet when VMC exists, which means they are not holding at low levels where traffic density is greater.

Does anyone have a suggestion on how this problem can be solved in Australia?

Capn Bloggs 23rd Oct 2018 03:54

We have 1/20 of the traffic and IFR pilots are legally required to prevent collisions by looking out in VMC. What's the problem?

Dick Smith 23rd Oct 2018 04:09

A big 737 will use more fuel leveling off at 8000’ rather than continuing to climb.

There is also more risk of a collision below 10,000’ compared to above. Why not get above most of the small planes?

Atlas Shrugged 23rd Oct 2018 04:09

Not this again........................FFS!

:ugh::ugh:

Derfred 23rd Oct 2018 04:47

I fly 737’s to Class G airports, and I’ve never had to wait outside class E waiting for a clearance.

Not saying it can’t happen, but if it did it doesn’t burn much more fuel. If I can’t get a clearance it will be because there is another aircraft in my way. In that situation I’d rather stay out of it’s way!

On the other hand, I’m almost always held down at 5000’ for several minutes departing 34R in Sydney in Class C.

junior.VH-LFA 23rd Oct 2018 08:39

When does anyone have a problem getting a clearance though... this is some serious low quality bait.

andrewr 23rd Oct 2018 08:42


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10289936)
In the USA, most pilots on an IFR flight plan take off and climb through E without a clearance to 17,500 feet when VMC exists

I'm not sure I understand the question. I am pretty sure in the situation you describe, the pilots will be operating under visual flight rules until they have their IFR clearance i.e. despite the flight plan they are VFR. And the opposite seems pretty common on approach, cancelling IFR once they are visual and no longer need IFR-IFR separation by ATC.

I don't know if there is a procedure to change from VFR to IFR in the air in Australia - it seems like it must be possible?

Traffic_Is_Er_Was 23rd Oct 2018 09:36


There is also more risk of a collision below 10,000’ compared to above. Why not get above most of the small planes?
By 8000 it already has.

Dick Smith 23rd Oct 2018 09:50

Could it be “request clearance”?

TwoFiftyBelowTen 23rd Oct 2018 13:07

You are not correct Dick.
An IFR flight can enter Class E without a clearance in VMC using the “IFR Pick-up” procedure.
(it is not subject to ATC approval....they can’t “refuse” it)

Dick Smith 23rd Oct 2018 14:42

Has anyone actually used this procedure? I have not heard anyone use it.

TheGruntle 23rd Oct 2018 21:40

Why would they need to use IFR pickup Dick when they get a clearance. As seaid previously, on the incredibly rare circumstance that there is a delay in clearance, it is due to there being another IFR aircraft in CTA. And you want to just plough on through?

More often than not ATC will propose another option like a radial or heading to expect clearance on with a very minor delay.

Bear in mind that most aircraft that'll hit 8k fast enough to possibly cause a delay will be covered by company ops that require they don't do IFR pickup and furthermore, I know of places that will require the 'passive' party to IFR pickup to ask for avoidance.

How would you feel if you're IFR, punching along at 9k, or 13k and hear some jet denied a clearance due traffic in CTA only to have that jet then ask to punch through you on their own perogative?

Car RAMROD 23rd Oct 2018 21:51

Maybe no-one has needed to use it because they've all got clearances?

Has anybody here, when IFR, been held below 8500 because of no clearance? Never happened to me, and I've never heard it either on the radio.

AmarokGTI 23rd Oct 2018 23:11


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10290331)
Has anyone actually used this procedure? I have not heard anyone use it.

Yes. Extensively. It was used as standard practice by a major Adelaide based Flight Training school for years. Departure ex YPPF in VMC but wanting to practice instrument approaches at YPED/YPAD. Depart VFR to SKI then track to HANCH (using point to point nav on the RMI when flying one of the non GNSS aircraft) or Buckland Park and then IFR Pickup.

Dick Smith 24th Oct 2018 02:30

Gruntle, so the advantages of our much proven G airspace and self separation can be used when VMC exists and the advantages of class A when IMC exists.

TheGruntle 24th Oct 2018 02:55

I'm not sure I follow your response Dick. The option of IFR pickup exists. The fact of the matter is that it is rarely needed, in the occasions that there is a conflict preventing a clearance, it is common for ATC to provide another option to ensure segregation such as a radial and in the very rare instances where it is used, the passive party wants out of it. Separation standards exist for a reason. Most everyone buys into them and this issue you appear to be trying to highlight is so rare in occuring that it's a non issue.

Capn Bloggs 24th Oct 2018 03:35


Originally Posted by Dick
so the advantages of our much proven G airspace and self separation can be used when VMC exists

Say what? Pilot to pilots self-segregation comms on the Class E ATC freq? No! :D

As pointed out by Gruntle (welcome on board the Hampster Wheel) you'd be mad and/or an idiot to let another aeroplane, denied a clearance by ATC, go through your level without finding out where they are and what they are doing. Classic Class E hogpodge. Clayton's airspace.

PS: Glad you finally agree our Class G+ is a great system. :ok:

Dick Smith 24th Oct 2018 04:27

Yep bloggsy. Our existing class G is the way to go. An upgrade to E brings in full atc separation for IFR in IMC but professional pilots like you do not need the upgrade. Only an incompetent professional pilot would make an error like the king air one at Mt Hotham. You would never do that so class G can remain. Only those yanks who only designed and built the FA18 would need the upgrade to class E.

TheGruntle 24th Oct 2018 04:31


Originally Posted by Dick Smith (Post 10290847)
Yep bloggsy. Our existing class G is the way to go. An upgrade to E brings in full atc separation for IFR in IMC but professional pilots like you do not need the upgrade. Only an incompetent professional pilot would make an error like the one at Mt Hotham. You would never do that so class G can remain.

Please explain what Mt Hotham has to do with this Dick? That was an aircraft flying an arrival procedure in G, what are you suggesting needs to change to prevent a recurrence of such an incident?

Derfred 24th Oct 2018 09:40

Can I ask you to elaborate on your point, Dick?

Are you suggesting an expansion of Class E airspace, together with changing the rules of Class E airspace to allow uncontrolled IFR in VMC?

In other words, the cloudy bits of the airspace are treated as Class A, and the not-cloudy bits of the airspace are treated as class G?

How does the controller know where the cloudy bits are?



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