Jump to content


Photo

Minimums For Takeoff Vs Landing.


  • Please log in to reply
8 replies to this topic

#1 edrnemtp

edrnemtp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts

Posted 21 February 2010 - 10:58 PM

Today's weather here in Sitka prompted this discussion. As we don't have a policy regarding this issue, I'd like to get the community's feedback and if you care to share your policy that would be great.

Right now we would meet the minimums for takeoff but not to land (this is a fixed wing program). We could go to one of our outlying communities, pick up a patient and continue to another town with a higher level of care (i.e. Seattle or Anchorage). We would then have to wait until weather improves to return.

But what if we had an engine failure on ascent? Right now the only option is an hour away, too far if we had a significant failure. This being an island off the coast of Alaska leaves few options, actually leaves only a water landing- not a pretty thing to consider...

Thoughts? I feel that if the minimums are not there to allow an immediate return we have no business launching.

Again, if you have a written policy you care to share please email it to me.

Thanks!

Ed
  • 0
Ed Gonzalez, RN, CEN, CFRN, EMT-P

#2 cessnafelix

cessnafelix

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 53 posts

Posted 22 February 2010 - 02:07 PM

Im answering this as a pilot (im a FW Private pilot with 200 hours so no expert).
When I 1st started flying I would never fly if there was nay fog or low cloud in the area, but as time progressed I would not worry if there was near by, or even areas that I would fly over. Then one time I was flying to an airport & the weather was perfect where I took off, & where I was going, & frankly didnt look that closely in between as it was a fun flight & didnt really see how it would affect me. Half way over I could clearly see a large area of ground fog below me. I could easily see my destination & my original airport wasnt too far behind me. But as I pressed on I remembered that in one of my former helo jobs a pilot I used to fly with would always abort the flight at the 1st sign of wisps of ground fog below. I knew this would burn off so i wasnt too concerned - but then the other thought that is always going through a pilots mind stuck me. If my engine fails right here right now, where would I land? Suddenly I starting sweating as I realized that I couldnt glide to where I needed to be, & with glaring clarity I had the paradigm shift of why I had heard one eductor say a pilot should never fly over ground fog.
So to youu question it really comes to , would taking off from an area or poor visibility be safe & wise, or a risk? Theoretically you can always make a Special VFR take off - but that is considered very unwise for precisely the reason of what happens if you have an issue on take off? Can you turn around & land safely?
From a medical point of view - getting to your patient (as In my work place) is bringing a higher standard of care to the patient. So in that sense there is an argument to be made. BUT if SAFETY FIRST is 1st, as it should be, I would argue its not worth the risk to the crew of launching in the 1st place.
Unfortunately we farm out our FW flights to another vendor, so I dont know what their actual policy actually is.
  • 0

#3 flingwing1

flingwing1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 22 February 2010 - 03:56 PM

Im answering this as a pilot (im a FW Private pilot with 200 hours so no expert).
When I 1st started flying I would never fly if there was nay fog or low cloud in the area, but as time progressed I would not worry if there was near by, or even areas that I would fly over. Then one time I was flying to an airport & the weather was perfect where I took off, & where I was going, & frankly didnt look that closely in between as it was a fun flight & didnt really see how it would affect me. Half way over I could clearly see a large area of ground fog below me. I could easily see my destination & my original airport wasnt too far behind me. But as I pressed on I remembered that in one of my former helo jobs a pilot I used to fly with would always abort the flight at the 1st sign of wisps of ground fog below. I knew this would burn off so i wasnt too concerned - but then the other thought that is always going through a pilots mind stuck me. If my engine fails right here right now, where would I land? Suddenly I starting sweating as I realized that I couldnt glide to where I needed to be, & with glaring clarity I had the paradigm shift of why I had heard one eductor say a pilot should never fly over ground fog.
So to youu question it really comes to , would taking off from an area or poor visibility be safe & wise, or a risk? Theoretically you can always make a Special VFR take off - but that is considered very unwise for precisely the reason of what happens if you have an issue on take off? Can you turn around & land safely?
From a medical point of view - getting to your patient (as In my work place) is bringing a higher standard of care to the patient. So in that sense there is an argument to be made. BUT if SAFETY FIRST is 1st, as it should be, I would argue its not worth the risk to the crew of launching in the 1st place.
Unfortunately we farm out our FW flights to another vendor, so I dont know what their actual policy actually is.


  • 0

#4 flingwing1

flingwing1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 22 February 2010 - 04:09 PM

Here is the deal folks.
When considering a departure from an airport that does not have the required minimums to return to that airport and shoot an instrument approach the following questions must be asked and answered:
1. Is there an airport within 1 hour flying time that has the weather necessary to shoot an instrument approach there? The weather must be at or above minimums at the time of departure and forecast to remain so for the expected duration of the flight. Calculating the time enroute you use your single engine cruse speed.
2. Can I attain and maintain the required minimum enroute altitude to this airport?

If the answer to both these questions is yes then you may depart on the flight. Have I used this procedure -yes. Is it safe - acceptably but the risk level obviously is increased. Should the flight be done - maybe. The circumstances will dictate the answer to this question. I have used this most times when departing on a medical flight from our hospital. I can depart but the weather (low ceiling, fog, whatever) make a GPS approach back in to the hospital problematic. If the weather at the closest field (international airport with multiple precision approaches0 is such that I know I can get in there if I need to I will depart on the flight. If I am bringing the patient back to my departure hospital I will discuss with the med crew and dispatch the need to have ground transport ready to pick the crew up at the closest airport I can get into on the return leg if the weather does not clear. If everyone agrees with the plan, off we go.
This issue is not really a policy position. This type operation is governed by pretty strict FAA regulations with very definite procedures. When you fly commercial this type operation goes on all the time. It is really not a problem.
Obviously this applies to multi-engine aircraft. Singles would have a hard time attaining and maintaining MEA in the event of an engine failure.
Hope this help from a pilots point of view.
  • 0

#5 edrnemtp

edrnemtp

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 74 posts

Posted 23 February 2010 - 03:02 AM

Thanks all, I appreciate the input here and the emails. Apparently our vendor does have a policy of both minimums must be equal to depart.
  • 0
Ed Gonzalez, RN, CEN, CFRN, EMT-P

#6 Macgyver

Macgyver

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 868 posts

Posted 24 February 2010 - 03:16 AM

Here is the deal folks.
When considering a departure from an airport that does not have the required minimums to return to that airport and shoot an instrument approach the following questions must be asked and answered:

1. Is there an airport within 1 hour flying time that has the weather necessary to shoot an instrument approach there? The weather must be at or above minimums at the time of departure and forecast to remain so for the expected duration of the flight. Calculating the time enroute you use your single engine cruise speed.

2. Can I attain and maintain the required minimum enroute altitude to this airport?

If the answer to both these questions is yes then you may depart on the flight. Have I used this procedure -yes. Is it safe - acceptably but the risk level obviously is increased. Should the flight be done - maybe. The circumstances will dictate the answer to this question.


Given the location and prevailing weather / lack of runways / weather reporting / ILS approaches in the OP's area (SE Alaska), I think it highly unlikely that there will often be a suitable facility within an hour's range with landing (or better yet - alternate level) minimums. Even though under 'normal' flying conditions your backup plan may be within an hour's flight time - is it still so with one engine or with the gear down / a cowling missing etc.

So under those circumstances ( a worst case scenario speed on one engine leaving the other airport over an hour away) I would say that no - you should have as a (high-risk) minimum standard at least landing minimums prior to take off. That is assuming a King Air or other turbine twin. In a Caravan, piston twin or PC-12 i think it should be a requirement to have AT LEAST landing minimums before departure. The risk scoring system should reflect this, and assign lower scores if the minimums are at 'alternate' levels
  • 0
Ken BHSc, RN, REMT-P

#7 flingwing1

flingwing1

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 47 posts

Posted 25 February 2010 - 01:19 AM

Given the location and prevailing weather / lack of runways / weather reporting / ILS approaches in the OP's area (SE Alaska), I think it highly unlikely that there will often be a suitable facility within an hour's range with landing (or better yet - alternate level) minimums. Even though under 'normal' flying conditions your backup plan may be within an hour's flight time - is it still so with one engine or with the gear down / a cowling missing etc.

So under those circumstances ( a worst case scenario speed on one engine leaving the other airport over an hour away) I would say that no - you should have as a (high-risk) minimum standard at least landing minimums prior to take off. That is assuming a King Air or other turbine twin. In a Caravan, piston twin or PC-12 i think it should be a requirement to have AT LEAST landing minimums before departure. The risk scoring system should reflect this, and assign lower scores if the minimums are at 'alternate' levels

Obviously this scenario I presented only applies to twins. The key is you must be able to attain and maintain MEA with an engine out, rules out all singles. As far as the take-off alternate, it must be within one hour of flying time at single engine speed. The weather requirements are listed in my original post. You may not feel it is safe and would obviously have the option to say no. It is, however, legal and done all the time.
Yes you can go through all emergencies that would require an immediate landing. That is where the added risk comes in. The only way to remove all risk from flying is to not fly. When the PIC makes the decision a wise one will take into account all the variables and risk factors and then decide if is within his/her capabilities and the those of the aircraft. Single pilot IFR is not as safe as dual pilot IFR. Single engine flight over the mountains at night is much more dangerous then twin engine. We do both in this industry. Night scene landings, forget scenes and add some hospital helo pads, are dangerous but we do those. The job of the crew is to evaluate the risk and decide if they are willing to go. The original question was - was the procedure safe. Legal yes, under the conditions stated. Safe, maybe. Certainly given the right conditions and circumstances I would go. You may not and that is your right.
  • 0

#8 C3 Inc.

C3 Inc.

    Advanced Member

  • Members
  • PipPipPip
  • 133 posts

Posted 04 March 2010 - 08:33 AM

Obviously this scenario I presented only applies to twins. The key is you must be able to attain and maintain MEA with an engine out, rules out all singles. As far as the take-off alternate, it must be within one hour of flying time at single engine speed. The weather requirements are listed in my original post. You may not feel it is safe and would obviously have the option to say no. It is, however, legal and done all the time.
Yes you can go through all emergencies that would require an immediate landing. That is where the added risk comes in. The only way to remove all risk from flying is to not fly. When the PIC makes the decision a wise one will take into account all the variables and risk factors and then decide if is within his/her capabilities and the those of the aircraft. Single pilot IFR is not as safe as dual pilot IFR. Single engine flight over the mountains at night is much more dangerous then twin engine. We do both in this industry. Night scene landings, forget scenes and add some hospital helo pads, are dangerous but we do those. The job of the crew is to evaluate the risk and decide if they are willing to go. The original question was - was the procedure safe. Legal yes, under the conditions stated. Safe, maybe. Certainly given the right conditions and circumstances I would go. You may not and that is your right.


Nicely stated... I agree that we should not take off if we cannot safely return to base in the event of a mishap...and crew involvement in risk mitigation is surely needed. Thanks for the discussion.
  • 0
Richard A. Patterson
MBA, NR/CCEMT-P, MICP, FP-C, CFI, CFII, AGI, IGI
Critical Care Concepts, Inc.
www.CriticalCareConcepts.net
Email: info@CriticalCareConcepts.net

#9 flyingmedic44

flyingmedic44

    Newbie

  • Members
  • Pip
  • 2 posts

Posted 13 April 2011 - 02:32 PM

Ed, takeoff and landing miniums are federally mandated so you do have a "policy" per say. Let the pilot be concerned with FAA rules and regulations. If you were in a RW program, you would have some wiggle room to voteing down a poor, but legal weather flight. Chances are, you don't have all the information to state you have take off minimums but not landing minimums. Cheers!
  • 0