The KFDK departure procedure for RWY 23 states:

DEPARTURE PROCEDURE: Rwy 23, climb heading 229° to 1200 before turning right.

Does this only apply if making any sort of right turn after takeoff i.e. to the west? If my course was east or south and would I still need to climb to 1200, make a right turn, and effectively make a right climbing turn to fly back over the airport to get on course?

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ If you intend to turn left I don't see any constraint. The ODP only constrains right turns, presumably due to obstacles in that direction. Could you clarify your question? $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 2:08
  • $\begingroup$ That is exactly my question. If I wanted to turn left, is there a constraint? $\endgroup$
    – rainkinz
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 4:51
  • $\begingroup$ The way I read it, no matter which direction my final course will be, I'm supposed to fly to 1200 then make a right turn through 220 degrees to get on an easterly heading. It's the 'before' part of the description that is confusing, does it mean 'before turns to the right' (implying you're fine if you turn left)? $\endgroup$
    – rainkinz
    Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 13:26
  • $\begingroup$ Presumably you would always make a right turn when departing runway 23 since a left turn would take you straight into the Washington TFR $\endgroup$ Commented Feb 1, 2020 at 20:49
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    $\begingroup$ @Rainkinz, I see your point of confusion, but you have the instructions misunderstood. If the ODP needed aircraft to turn in a particular direction it would prescribe a heading. In this case it is specifying that a turn to the right of the extended centerline will be protected if above the prescribed altitude. $\endgroup$
    – J W
    Commented Feb 2, 2020 at 3:34

1 Answer 1


The only constraint is for right turns. If you plan to turn right, you should follow the procedure, especially if it's IFR. If you plan to fly straight ahead or turn left, you meet the minima for a safe departure using standard climb rates.

There is NO REQUIREMENT to make a right turn.

Takeoff minima procedures do not take adjacent ATC airspace into account, however. It's up to the pilot to know that the airspace is there.

Looking at the sectional, there's a ridge to the west of the airport that starts at 1000 feet (400 feet above the field), and gets higher to the southwest. That's the reason for the restriction.

Some charted procedures will have "avoid such-and-such airspace" on them, but these are usually found only on published IFR departure procedures (and approach plates), such as the LLADN1 at Hulett, Wyoming. Note the instructions for Devil's Tower and the Powder River MOA.



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