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If the missed approach procedure only calls for a climbing right hand turn, at what altitude after reaching the missed approach point (MAP) can I initiate the turn on a precision approach that takes me down to 200 AGL.

Some missed approach procedures say, for example, climb straight ahead to 1000 then climbing right turn to 3000, but some just say climbing right turn to 3000.

Is it documented anywhere that in this situation you can immediately start your climbing turn from the DH (or MDA on non-precision approach)?

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    $\begingroup$ Can you give an example of when the MAP says to turn immediately when you are on a precision approach? I can’t think of any offhand but I don’t fly where it’s flat, so that may be why. $\endgroup$ – JScarry Jul 21 '17 at 23:05
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    $\begingroup$ @JScarry I'll see if I can find it, but I came across it when doing some approaches on simulator a while back at various locations in US. I thought to myself, thats kind of scary (no pun intended). But maybe I mis-remembered it. All the approaches I remember form my time in CA had a climb out straight ahead before turning. $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Jul 22 '17 at 1:00
  • $\begingroup$ @JScarry: Here's a (now-closed) partial example; the missed-approach procedure calls for a hard right turn immediately upon reaching the MAP (the IGS middle marker) to avoid flying into a mountain, but the non-missed approach also calls for a sharp turn there (for the same reason), hence why it's only a partial example. $\endgroup$ – Sean Sep 19 at 1:36
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Based on your question and the circumstances you indicate:

On an approach that takes you down to 200' HAT (height above touchdown) and specifies a climbing turn without a "climb straight ahead to [some altitude] then climbing right turn," you should climb to 400 feet AGL and then start your right climbing turn along the missed approach course track.

From FAA Order 8260.3C, Section 2-8 Missed Approach, paragraph 2-8-6 [pertinent portion]:

"2-8-6. Turning Missed Approach Area. If a turn of more than 15 degrees from the FAC is required, a turning or combination straight and turning missed approach area must be constructed.

Note: If the HAT or HAA value associated with the DA/MDA is less than 400 feet, construct a combination straight and turning missed approach (see paragraph 2-8-8) to accommodate climb to 400 feet above TDZE/airport elevation prior to turn."

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  • $\begingroup$ FAA Order 8260.3C is entitled "United States Standard for Terminal Instrument Procedures (TERPS)." $\endgroup$ – 757toga Jul 21 '17 at 23:02
  • $\begingroup$ I have this document, it is 500 pages. Thanks! I'll check it out. $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Jul 22 '17 at 0:55
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    $\begingroup$ TERPS instructs people how to build procedures, right? I mean, a pilot is not expected to read TERPS and use it to know how to fly a procedure. The instruction in this answer should cause the person building the procedure to have the procedure explicitly call for a straight climb to 400 feet, followed by a climbing turn. But it does not tell the pilot what to do when such an instruction has been omitted from the procedure. Or am I misunderstanding it? $\endgroup$ – Wayne Conrad Jul 22 '17 at 1:41
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    $\begingroup$ FAR 91.175 (a) says that when an instrument approach is necessary it must be done based on FAR Part 97 (Instrument approach procedures). I agree it's a bit oblique. But many of the requirements instrument pilots use and take for granted cannot be directly tied to clear instructions beyond those specified within the development guidelines specified in TERPS. If there was more room to discuss this issue I could expand. This is why good training is necessary to fully understand how to operate safely and within the protected space designed for approaches. $\endgroup$ – 757toga Jul 22 '17 at 1:59
  • $\begingroup$ @757toga, this is really great information, thanks! I spent quite some time reading the TERPS. I also spent time looking for that approach that I thought I saw, but I think I was confusing the missed approach for a non-precision approach at the same airport with the missed approach procedure for the precision approach. There shouldn't be any missed approach procedure with an immediate turn if the HAT/HAA is only 200, due to the TERPS guidance you cited. $\endgroup$ – Devil07 Aug 15 '17 at 20:32

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