14 votes
Accepted

What does the instruction "Climb heading [BEARING] to [NAVAID] 2.5 DME" mean?

DME is "Distance Measuring Equipment". It tells you how far you are from the equipment transmitting the signal. This is often co-located with a VOR, or at an airport. turn heading 180 degrees to ...
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  • 25.8k
14 votes
Accepted

How would an aircraft fly PIKES ONE departure procedure of Denver Airport?

Let's treat the "normal" and "lost communication" cases separately. Fly assigned heading for RADAR vectors to assigned route. Climb and maintain 10000 or ATC assigned lower altitude. Expect filed ...
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  • 11k
11 votes

Are aircraft pilots required to fly runway heading for a certain distance?

The initial turn should be made at 400 feet AGL. Unless otherwise specified in the departure procedure, the initial turn should be made when reaching an altitude of 400 feet above the runway elevation ...
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  • 46k
10 votes

Are planes assigned different climb angles from the airport by the tower?

There can be many reasons. Flights taking off one after another: have different destinations have different weight and balance have difference in wings and wingtips have pilots with difference in ...
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  • 29.1k
8 votes

At what altitude do pilots usually switch to departure?

It will be different at every airport and even at different times for the same airport, but if you’re looking for a simple rule to keep things reasonably realistic, I’d go with 1000-1500ft AGL; that’s ...
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  • 26.6k
7 votes
Accepted

DP confusion. Do I turn left or right if not told?

The ROUTING is DHP 322 radial to WINCO. So that's the course line that you'd intercept when so instructed. There is no reason to actually start at DHP, and since you'll be flying the heading off the ...
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  • 42.1k
7 votes
Accepted

Do GA IFR flights out of airports w/ SIDs typically use them? What about STARs?

I cannot speak for all of General Aviation (GA), but throughout the IFR portion of my flying career I have generally used SIDs wherever available. NOTE: This choice of using SIDs was not always mine, ...
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  • 16.2k
6 votes
Accepted

What Does "By ATC" Mean for an SID Route?

It means, don't file that transition yourself. ATC may assign it, but it's their option to assign it or leave you on what you filed.
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  • 42.1k
6 votes

How to select a SID during the planning stage?

"File what you want, fly what you get." There's no way to know for sure what clearance ATC will give you until you actually call them. If you're departing from an airport that you know well then you ...
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  • 70.4k
6 votes
Accepted

What does the indication "ATC" in some Take-Off Minimums mean?

I believe I have found the answer to my own question, while examining the records of a meeting held by FAA concerning this subject ( source ). It clearly states: [ AERONAUTICAL CHARTING FORUM ...
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  • 1,813
6 votes

Can a commercial pilot decide where to make their turn after departure?

The short answer is yes, a commercial pilot can make a decision when to turn. To clarify a few points though, there really isn't such a thing as a "published vector". If a departure procedure with ...
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  • 16.5k
6 votes
Accepted

At what altitude do pilots usually switch to departure?

There is no standardized altitude rule for switching frequencies. This is done at the request of your current controller. If the airport is uncontrolled but you need to switch to a nearby ATC ...
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  • 11.4k
5 votes

What does LNAV engagement exactly mean?

Some old aircraft (737 Classic comes to mind) don't allow arming LNAV/NAV AFDS mode on the ground, as you normally have to be at least 400ft above ground (ICAO PANS OPS says 396ft) before making turns ...
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5 votes
Accepted

How to interpret the term "standard" which is found in FAA's Obstacle Departure Procedures (ODP) and Standard Instrument Departure Procedures (SID)?

The definition of standard minimum visibility for departure is found in CFR §91.175 Takeoff and landing under IFR. f) Civil airport takeoff minimums. This paragraph applies to persons operating an ...
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  • 7,230
5 votes

What are IFR departure categories?

The categories are actually approach categories that are also used for departures. From the AIM, 5−4−7. Instrument Approach Procedures Aircraft approach category means a grouping of aircraft based ...
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  • 7,230
5 votes

Can jetliner pilots program departures when specific RNAV procedures do not exist?

A Boeing 737 uses a Flight Management System (FMS, see this question for details: What's the difference between FMS and FMC?). This FMS takes inputs from multiple navigation sources/sensors, ...
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  • 46k
4 votes
Accepted

Can I accept a SID if I can't make the required climb gradient on a single engine but have no problem on two engines?

Depending on certain factors, you can accept a SID clearance knowing that you cannot make the required climb gradient with one engine inoperative (OEI). The FAA Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM) ...
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  • 11.2k
4 votes

Can I accept a SID if I can't make the required climb gradient on a single engine but have no problem on two engines?

In Europe and I suspect the FAA has a similar rule, if you are flying commercially, you're allowed to fly the SID...but you need to have performance documentation on the specific airport with the ...
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4 votes

Are planes assigned different climb angles from the airport by the tower?

No, planes are not assigned a specific climb angle by the tower upon takeoff - the tower will not instruct an aircraft to "climb at FPA 4 degrees" or "climb at 1200 feet/min". Separation is achieved ...
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  • 39.3k
4 votes

Are planes assigned different climb angles from the airport by the tower?

Referring to the takeoff pitch angle differences, they are often due to aircraft characteristics or situational things, like potential wake turbulence, or known obstacles. Planes have different speeds ...
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  • 344
4 votes
Accepted

Does the Enroute Phase begin at a 30NM distance from the departure airport?

You are not getting anything wrong, I think you are simply overthinking something that isn’t actually important. The 30nm distinction is somewhat arbitrary, and presumably captures most arrival and ...
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  • 16.5k
3 votes

Is it legal for a non-IFR rated pilot to fly a SID on a VFR flight?

It depends what you mean by 'flying a SID'. If it is just following the procedure without violation of VFR (i. e. you are above VFR weather minimums for a given airspace, you maintain your own ...
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  • 532
3 votes
Accepted

How can a SID's MEA be above its top altitude?

Although this is an RNAV procedure, it's a hybrid that requires instructions from ATC to get to DEEZZ. It would be the responsibility of ATC to get aircraft to proper altitudes before reaching the ...
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  • 69.8k
3 votes
Accepted

How should I interpret this raw SID data from the FAA?

To your first question, some SIDs exist to provide a basic set of information that will almost always be given as part of a clearance, rather than a path to fly. This allows a controller to not have ...
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  • 6,004
3 votes

Need help to clarify the terms "arrival", "departure", "approach", "terminal" and "transition" fix for US STAR and SIDS

I am not an FAA controller or instrument rated but since you don't have an answer yet I will give it a shot. If someone has a better answer please post: Arrival: IFR routes that start at radius ...
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  • 5,561
3 votes

Why are some legs of a SID considered transitions, even when there's only one?

After some digging and exploratory route planning in ForeFlight, it seems I've arrived at an answer that satisfies me: the last waypoint is listed as a transition only if the departure officially ends ...
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3 votes

How do designers determine the altitude profiles of neighboring procedures for deconfliction purposes?

I have some trouble understanding how the procedure designers take into consideration the traffic flow from neighboring arrival procedures We don't. We only concern ourselves with terrain and ...
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3 votes

For a coded departure procedure (SID), Fly-At-Altitude or At-Waypoint instruction has priority in case of conflict?

The textual description says clearly: RWY track to 4.5 DME FFM/1.5 DME FRD or 800, whichever is later The equivalent encoding is: [A800+] - DF134 (25C)[L] / DF135 (25L)[L] The meaning of this ...
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  • 75.2k

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