Features

November 2010 Issue

Non-Radar IFR

Once you’re off the beaten path, ATC can’t see you or provide the services—like obstacle clearance—we’ve taken for granted. They’re now your responsibility.

November 12345, you’re cleared from the Backwoods Airport to the Backwoods NDB, then hold as published. Climb and maintain 3000 feet, squawk 2012. Report airborne on frequency 125.1. Clearance void if not off by two-zero past the hour; time now zero-five past the hour. Expect further clearance at two-five past the hour." Fly IFR from non-towered, out-of-the-way airport, and you’ll eventually get a short-range clearance like the one above. It’s a clearance to a nearby fix with a time window (until the "void time") allowing you to enter controlled airspace without conflicting with other IFR airplanes. Since ATC can’t see you on radar yet and won’t know exactly when you’ll enter controlled airspace from that non-towered field, they’ll keep a small area clear for you until the void time

To continue reading this entire article you must be a paid subscriber.

Subscribe to Aviation Safety

The monthly journal of risk management and accident prevention, is packed with useful, timely information on basic and advanced technique, accident analysis and, most important, practical articles on how you can develop the judgment that will keep you in the air and out of the NTSB's files.

Already subscribe but haven't registered for all the benefits of the website? Click here.

Subscriber Log In

Forgot your password? Click Here.