July 2013 Issue

In The Valleys Of Good And Evil

Perspectives on performance flying below terrain from a former flatlander.

As long as you’re not worried about engine failure, the safest altitude is one that keeps you absolutely clear of terrain. The FAA has created a whole suite of acronyms to do this: Minimum sector altitude (MSA), minimum obstacle clearance altitude (MOCA), offroute obstacle clearance altitude (OROCA) are some examples. These acronyms and the numbers that go with them are designed to keep you above the rocks.

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