Flight Training - July 2020 - 52

ADVANCED PILOT INSTRUMENT TIP

THE STEPS INVOLVED IN DEPARTING IFR FROM A
NONTOWERED AIRPORT ARE SOMEWHAT SIMILAR
TO THOSE AT A TOWERED AIRPORT. THE PRIMARY
DIFFERENCE IS IN HOW THE CLEARANCE IS OBTAINED.
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sometimes it's in the future, such as,
"November Two-Three-Alpha released
at 1200Z." The release time is necessary because in order for you to depart
the nontowered airport, ATC must
clear the airspace of other instrument
traffic. If it's busy you may have to wait
until clearing the airspace is possible.
The void time is an upper limit on the
departure, for the same reason-they
can't hold the airspace forever. Approach
or flight service will say something like,
"Clearance void if not off by 1210Z. Time
now 1200Z. If not off by 1210Z contact
New York Approach on one one eight
point nine with intentions." If you don't
take off by the void time, it's important
to do as the clearance says and contact
the facility as soon as possible to obtain a
new clearance.
2. Call on the phone. The steps for
this method are the same for an RCO,
with the only difference being that
you reach clearance delivery by phone
instead of through the airplane radio.
With a Bluetooth-enabled headset this
method isn't hard. But without it, you
must either call before starting up,
which can make the clearance void time
tight, or you have to shout and strain to
listen while the airplane is idling. Neither is desirable.
3. In the air. Assuming the weather
is nice, there's nothing stopping you
from taking off VFR, calling the nearest
approach facility, and requesting your
clearance in the air. However, as one
of flying's many paradoxes, this is
both the most convenient method and
the one most fraught with problems.
Most important, you must be sure the
weather is VFR and you can maneuver
safely. If ATC is busy, can't receive your
transmissions down low, or your flight
plan is lost, it can take 15 minutes or
more to pick up the clearance. In good
52  FLIGHT TRAINING JULY 2020

weather that's no problem. But in poor
weather it's a recipe for an accident.
Any experienced instrument pilot can
tell you a few stories about circling
below a layer, trying to avoid certain
airspace, or some other highly saturated
task scenario while waiting to obtain a
clearance in the air.
If you decide to get the clearance
on the ground you can find the most
efficient way to do so in the FAA
chart supplement. The airport listing
will specify the RCO frequency and
facility, if one exists. Or you can use
the listing for the clearance delivery phone number included in every
nontowered airport entry. Most flight
planning apps have this information
as well.
The primary dilemma in getting
a clearance on the ground is when to
call for it. Doing so at the ramp means
you can listen and copy with your full
attention, and not have a delay on
departure. But the downside is that you
may have to hustle to make the clearance void time. Take off after that time
into weather and you've broken some
regulations. As an alternative you can
wait until you are near the end of the
runway and completely ready to go, but
then you could be waiting, and if you're
at the hold-short line, likely blocking
other traffic. There's no right answer
to this. You'll learn through experience
what works best for you.
Although we usually think of
departing IFR from a busy tower-controlled airport, the system is very
flexible and set up in such a way that
you could take off into the clouds from
a grass strip in the country almost as
easily as you could from a major international airport. FT
ian.twombly@aopa.org


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Flight Training - July 2020

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Flight Training - July 2020

Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - Intro
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover1
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover2
Flight Training - July 2020 - Contents
Flight Training - July 2020 - 2
Flight Training - July 2020 - 3
Flight Training - July 2020 - 4
Flight Training - July 2020 - 5
Flight Training - July 2020 - 6
Flight Training - July 2020 - 7
Flight Training - July 2020 - 8
Flight Training - July 2020 - 9
Flight Training - July 2020 - 10
Flight Training - July 2020 - 11
Flight Training - July 2020 - 12
Flight Training - July 2020 - 13
Flight Training - July 2020 - 14
Flight Training - July 2020 - 15
Flight Training - July 2020 - 16
Flight Training - July 2020 - 17
Flight Training - July 2020 - 18
Flight Training - July 2020 - 19
Flight Training - July 2020 - 20
Flight Training - July 2020 - 21
Flight Training - July 2020 - 22
Flight Training - July 2020 - 23
Flight Training - July 2020 - 24
Flight Training - July 2020 - 25
Flight Training - July 2020 - 26
Flight Training - July 2020 - 27
Flight Training - July 2020 - 28
Flight Training - July 2020 - 29
Flight Training - July 2020 - 30
Flight Training - July 2020 - 31
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 36
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 38
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 40
Flight Training - July 2020 - 41
Flight Training - July 2020 - 42
Flight Training - July 2020 - 43
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Flight Training - July 2020 - 55
Flight Training - July 2020 - 56
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover3
Flight Training - July 2020 - Cover4
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