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Chad Vienna
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:30 pm

BOACH5.HEC RIIVR2

Fri Apr 18, 2014 11:58 am

While flying the above SID and STAR I encountered a few things that raised questions in my mind.

The scenario: I was departing KLAS RWY 19R per the SID and arriving KLAX per the STAR.

Prior to ROPPR (and climbing thru 3500'-4000') ATC issued me a "climb unrestricted to 19000'". I acknowledged the instruction, started the climb to FL190 while staying on the routing depicted on the SID. I believe that was the correct course of action.

Somewhere after HEC, ATC issued me a crossing restriction for a upcoming way-point ("cross XXX at or above XXX'"). I acknowledged the message and continued on at my current altitude. Upon reaching the point where I thought I should begin the descent to be able to "cross XXX at above XXX'", I began my descent. Questions/Clarification: When ATC gives me a crossing restriction am I allowed to begin my descent at my discretion? and do I advise/request from ATC prior to beginning the descent?

I'm not questioning or criticizing the controller's actions; I'm just trying to get things correct in my mind.

Thanks in advance,

Chad

P.S. Yes, The ZLA Pilot Certification IS making me a better pilot :D
P.S.S. Did you know that there is a RIVVR intersection in Michigan? My GPS had no problem with helping me to fly there.. :oops:
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Chad Vienna - KCRQ
ZLA Pilot Cert I-09
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Bradley Grafelman
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:26 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: BOACH5.HEC RIIVR2

Fri Apr 18, 2014 2:18 pm

Hi Chad. I asked CS to move your post to the main forum so other ZLA controllers (or perhaps even pilots) could chip in... but mostly so that I could respond since I was CTR and SoCal APP for the end of your flight (at least, I think we're talking about the same flight). :)
Prior to ROPPR (and climbing thru 3500'-4000') ATC issued me a "climb unrestricted to 19000'". I acknowledged the instruction, started the climb to FL190 while staying on the routing depicted on the SID. I believe that was the correct course of action.
Yup. It's actually a slight deviation from the normal phraseology just to clarify a point many pilots miss; a simple "Climb and maintain FL190" already authorizes an "unrestricted" climb... but some pilots don't realize this and will still comply with the restrictions on the departure (as would be the case for a "climb via the BOACH5 departure" or if DEP just said "radar contact").
Somewhere after HEC, ATC issued me a crossing restriction for a upcoming way-point ("cross XXX at or above XXX'").
Close - it was actually "cross GRAMM at and maintain FL190" (since the KONT altimeter was below 29.92 at the time and FL180 was unusable).
Questions/Clarification: When ATC gives me a crossing restriction am I allowed to begin my descent at my discretion? and do I advise/request from ATC prior to beginning the descent?
Yes, when your altitude assignment is in the form of "CROSS (fix, waypoint) AT AND MAINTAIN (altitude)", the only requirement is that you be at that altitude when you're over the fix. Whether you descend immediately to that altitude (and likely level out way too early - hope you don't mind wasting gas), plan a gradual descent, or plan a very steep descent... is all up to you.

The AIM does, I believe, instruct pilots to advise ATC when they leave an altitude for a new altitude when the climb/descent is at pilot's discretion. Since the AIM is just a bunch of recommendations, though, it's certainly not required to do this.

Chad Vienna
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: BOACH5.HEC RIIVR2

Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:30 pm

Hi Chad. I asked CS to move your post to the main forum so other ZLA controllers (or perhaps even pilots) could chip in... but mostly so that I could respond since I was CTR and SoCal APP for the end of your flight (at least, I think we're talking about the same flight). :)

same flight Brad.
Prior to ROPPR (and climbing thru 3500'-4000') ATC issued me a "climb unrestricted to 19000'". I acknowledged the instruction, started the climb to FL190 while staying on the routing depicted on the SID. I believe that was the correct course of action.
Yup. It's actually a slight deviation from the normal phraseology just to clarify a point many pilots miss; a simple "Climb and maintain FL190" already authorizes an "unrestricted" climb... but some pilots don't realize this and will still comply with the restrictions on the departure (as would be the case for a "climb via the BOACH5 departure" or if DEP just said "radar contact").

It was first time that I have ever been instructed to climb "unrestricted" (my first thought; hmmm.. push the CJ610's up and see if my '23 really will climb into the high teens at 7000FPM).
Somewhere after HEC, ATC issued me a crossing restriction for a upcoming way-point ("cross XXX at or above XXX'").
Close - it was actually "cross GRAMM at and maintain FL190" (since the KONT altimeter was below 29.92 at the time and FL180 was unusable).

Ahh.. Your instructions for crossing GRAMM only confused me in the sense that you contacted me, and had KONT been above standard you wouldn't have issued the instruction; you would've expected me to comply with the STAR correct?

Questions/Clarification: When ATC gives me a crossing restriction am I allowed to begin my descent at my discretion? and do I advise/request from ATC prior to beginning the descent?
Yes, when your altitude assignment is in the form of "CROSS (fix, waypoint) AT AND MAINTAIN (altitude)", the only requirement is that you be at that altitude when you're over the fix. Whether you descend immediately to that altitude (and likely level out way too early - hope you don't mind wasting gas), plan a gradual descent, or plan a very steep descent... is all up to you.

The AIM does, I believe, instruct pilots to advise ATC when they leave an altitude for a new altitude when the climb/descent is at pilot's discretion. Since the AIM is just a bunch of recommendations, though, it's certainly not required to do this.
]When I first started on VATSIM I used to advise ATC when leaving a altitude, then a controller told me "you don't need to tell me that, your descent instructions/clearance implied descend at your own discretion". I think I'll go back to advising.

Thanks Brad, Your input and knowledge is always appreciated.
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Chad Vienna - KCRQ
ZLA Pilot Cert I-09
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Bradley Grafelman
Posts: 306
Joined: Sun Apr 28, 2013 8:26 pm
Location: Kansas City

Re: BOACH5.HEC RIIVR2

Fri Apr 18, 2014 4:44 pm

Ahh.. Your instructions for crossing GRAMM only confused me in the sense that you contacted me, and had KONT been above standard you wouldn't have issued the instruction; you would've expected me to comply with the STAR correct?[/b][/i]
If it had been at or above standard, the instruction would have been the same - I just would have used FL180 as the altitude instead.

Without any instruction, there's no way you could have navigated vertically to comply with the STAR since back when you departed L30 I told you "climb and maintain (filed cruise altitude)." The "maintain" part means I need to give you another instruction later to somehow join the arrival and meet those altitude constraints.

Granted... if I'm CTR and SoCal, that instruction could literally just be "descend via RIIVR2 arrival" even from cruise altitude. This is just one of those scenarios where I pretend I'm not both at the same time and instead give the normal "cross at" instruction.
When I first started on VATSIM I used to advise ATC when leaving a altitude, then a controller told me "you don't need to tell me that, your descent instructions/clearance implied descend at your own discretion".
And he's right - it's at your discretion. However, I'm guessing it's for that very reason that the AIM has this to say in section 5-3-3:
5-3-3. Additional Reports

a. The following reports should be made to ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC request:

1. At all times.

(a)
 When vacating any previously assigned altitude or flight level for a newly assigned altitude or flight level.

Chad Vienna
Posts: 9
Joined: Sun Nov 17, 2013 7:30 pm

Re: BOACH5.HEC RIIVR2

Fri Apr 18, 2014 5:41 pm

If it had been at or above standard, the instruction would have been the same - I just would have used FL180 as the altitude instead.

Without any instruction, there's no way you could have navigated vertically to comply with the STAR since back when you departed L30 I told you "climb and maintain (filed cruise altitude)." The "maintain" part means I need to give you another instruction later to somehow join the arrival and meet those altitude constraints.
This makes perfect sense now.

Thanks again Brad
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Chad Vienna - KCRQ
ZLA Pilot Cert I-09
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