Swoop Terrain Warning

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altiplano
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

AuxBatOn wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 4:29 pm The paragraph above and below duly note “radar vectors” in sentences where it applies. It is not mentioned in this one, therefore applicable to all IFR flights assigned a lower altitude.

Example: “You are cleared to YAB, descend to 4,000 feet”. ATC is then responsible for terrain/obstacle clearance.

Subsequently, “You are cleared for the RNAV Y runway 25”. You become responsible for terrain/obstacle clearance.


The entire section is under "radar vectors", they don't have to explicitly say "radar vector" in every sentence for it to apply to that... this is basic linguistic construction.

Look at the subject at the top of every clause you guys are quoting:

8.6.5 RADAR VECTORING
1.5.5 Obstacle Clearance during RADAR VECTORING

I can't believe this is an issue with a group I assumed are professional pilots.

So for the new IFR pilots reading this, and to summarize:

Every ATC altitude clearance does not guarantee terrain clearance.

Every ATC lateral clearance does not guarantee terrain clearance.

When you aren't being radar vectored, you are responsible for your own terrain... if you don't get that you're a hazard and should go talk to your local IFR guy and see if he can sort you out.
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by AuxBatOn »

Part of my job is to write flight rules and interpret others. My guess is that they put that blurb in this section because they define MRVA in that section (related to radar vectoring) and its applicability to other situations. Why would they explicitly put “radar vectors” in other sentences but not this one? Also, the ATM supports my interpretation. In Canada (this incident happened in Canada yes?), ATC will not assign you an altitude below the MRVA, guaranteeing obstacle and terrain clearance.
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altiplano
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

LOL... I like that it's your 'guess"...

It's explicitly written under, and applies to the subject.

Just to be clear, in your view, does every ATC clearance guarantee terrain separation?

What statement in the ATM supports you? The part under RADAR VECTORING?
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by AuxBatOn »

Yes. Sounds like they consider giving a clearance direct to a fix a “radar vector” for that purpose...

When vectoring an IFR flight and when giving an
IFR flight a direct routing which takes the aircraft off an ATS
route
, the radar controller shall issue clearances such that the
prescribed obstacle clearance will exist at all times


“Cleared direct XYZ, descend to 4,000 ft” will guarantee obstacle clearance.
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altiplano
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

AuxBatOn wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:31 pm Yes. Sounds like they consider giving a clearance direct to a fix a “radar vector” for that purpose...

When vectoring an IFR flight and when giving an
IFR flight a direct routing which takes the aircraft off an ATS
route
, the radar controller shall issue clearances such that the
prescribed obstacle clearance will exist at all times


“Cleared direct XYZ, descend to 4,000 ft” will guarantee obstacle clearance.
You are taking about a clearance while RADAR VECTORING though. "When vectoring"

Not all clearances constitute a radar vector and terrain responsibility by ATC.

Can you answer my question?

Do all ATC clearances guarantee terrain seperation?
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altiplano
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

You should try flying on an airway at the MEA, but below MSA and ask for a clearance direct to your destination or IAF or whatever... you'll get the clearance...

In fact I've had ATC offer it... on the west coast, at 10,000' with pressurization problems but continuing on the airway at MEA to destination on the North Coast... Van Centre clears me direct to the IAF through sectors with 16,000'+ MSAs while I'm at 10,000'... Who do you think has responsibility for terrain seperation there?
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by AuxBatOn »

altiplano wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:42 pm
AuxBatOn wrote: Sun Dec 29, 2019 11:31 pm Yes. Sounds like they consider giving a clearance direct to a fix a “radar vector” for that purpose...

When vectoring an IFR flight and when giving an
IFR flight a direct routing which takes the aircraft off an ATS
route
, the radar controller shall issue clearances such that the
prescribed obstacle clearance will exist at all times


“Cleared direct XYZ, descend to 4,000 ft” will guarantee obstacle clearance.
You are taking about a clearance while RADAR VECTORING though. "When vectoring"

Not all clearances constitute a radar vector and terrain responsibility by ATC.

Can you answer my question?

Do all ATC clearances guarantee terrain seperation?
When ATC assigns you an altitude with a clearance, yes, it guarantees terrain separation.

The “and” in the ATM means it applies when on radar vectors and also when you are cleared direct a fix off airways. You cannot be on vectors and cleared direct a fix at the same time... that sentence would literally mean nothing if you had to be on vectors and direct a fix at the same time since these are mutually exclusive.
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altiplano
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

Yes but in your case you are already on radar vectors and now they are putting you in a position to go direct off their vector. It's like the wrap up of their vector, and part of that.

Going in circles here...

Once again, can you answer my simple yes/no question?

Do all ATC clearances guarantee terrain seperation?
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ahramin
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by ahramin »

Altiplano and AuxBatOn, the reason you two are going around in circles is that you are both correct. In Canada, which is where the incident happened, every altitude or lateral clearance from ATC should keep you clear of terrain. However, this is not true in other places in the world, and Canadian IFR training and the AIM reflect that. Even in Canada, there is nowhere in the AIM that relieves the pilots of the responsibility for terrain clearance except when on radar vectors.
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altiplano
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

I agree, there is no time, other than radar vectors, that the pilot is relieved from terrain clearance responsibilities.

I provided an example where an ATC clearance did not provide terrain clearance.

ATC will give you a direct, off airway, clearance below sector altitudes. It's not a radar vector and they aren't responsible for terrain clearance.

Everything being quoted above is right under the sections pertaining specifically to radar vectors.

The specifics of this incident are unclear, but it doesn't sound to me like it wasn't a radar vector they were on.
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ahramin
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by ahramin »

altiplano wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:02 amATC will give you a direct, off airway, clearance below sector altitudes.
Not in Canada, as per the NavCanada MANOPs and AIC 19/17.

http://www.navcanada.ca/EN/products-and ... 19.pdf#top
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AuxBatOn
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by AuxBatOn »

altiplano wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:02 am You should try flying on an airway at the MEA, but below MSA and ask for a clearance direct to your destination or IAF or whatever... you'll get the clearance...

In fact I've had ATC offer it... on the west coast, at 10,000' with pressurization problems but continuing on the airway at MEA to destination on the North Coast... Van Centre clears me direct to the IAF through sectors with 16,000'+ MSAs while I'm at 10,000'... Who do you think has responsibility for terrain seperation there?
1- A controller in a radar environment will not clear you direct a fix if you are below their MRVA. They will ask you if you can climb VFR first at or above MRVA. Happens to me all the time. This absolves them of the responsibility of providing obstacle clearance in that case until you are above a safe altitude.
2- If you are above MRVA now but will get to a position where you are below MRVA, they will clear you to climb to an altitude at or above MRVA in your direct clearance.

In any case, their clearance will guarantee obstacle clearance. It is in the ATM that they have to do so.

As far as your question goes, it is to broad to answer with a simple yes or no.

For Swoop’s incident, they were on the STAR, were given an altitude to descend to (which guaranteed obstacle clearance as long as the step downs were respected), were subsequently cleared for the approach (which is the point where the aircraft was in a position to commence am approach) and instead of continuing down the STAR, elected to go direct to the IAF, which is absolutely okay. At that point, however, obstacle clearance is solely the responsibility of the crew and they failed to climb to a safe altitude given they were off the STAR.
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lostaviator
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by lostaviator »

AuxBatOn wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:14 am
altiplano wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 12:02 am You should try flying on an airway at the MEA, but below MSA and ask for a clearance direct to your destination or IAF or whatever... you'll get the clearance...

In fact I've had ATC offer it... on the west coast, at 10,000' with pressurization problems but continuing on the airway at MEA to destination on the North Coast... Van Centre clears me direct to the IAF through sectors with 16,000'+ MSAs while I'm at 10,000'... Who do you think has responsibility for terrain seperation there?
1- A controller in a radar environment will not clear you direct a fix if you are below their MRVA. They will ask you if you can climb VFR first at or above MRVA. Happens to me all the time. This absolves them of the responsibility of providing obstacle clearance in that case until you are above a safe altitude.
2- If you are above MRVA now but will get to a position where you are below MRVA, they will clear you to climb to an altitude at or above MRVA in your direct clearance.

In any case, their clearance will guarantee obstacle clearance. It is in the ATM that they have to do so.

As far as your question goes, it is to broad to answer with a simple yes or no.

For Swoop’s incident, they were on the STAR, were given an altitude to descend to (which guaranteed obstacle clearance as long as the step downs were respected), were subsequently cleared for the approach (which is the point where the aircraft was in a position to commence am approach) and instead of continuing down the STAR, elected to go direct to the IAF, which is absolutely okay. At that point, however, obstacle clearance is solely the responsibility of the crew and they failed to climb to a safe altitude given they were off the STAR.
I would argue that it is not "absolutely ok" in this case because the approach they were conducting (custom RNP) has specific instructions on how to execute the approach when cleared for it in the notes / set-up description.
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

ahramin wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:05 am
altiplano wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:02 amATC will give you a direct, off airway, clearance below sector altitudes.
Not in Canada, as per the NavCanada MANOPs and AIC 19/17.

http://www.navcanada.ca/EN/products-and ... 19.pdf#top
I don't read ATC manuals, but I know what my responsibility as a Pilot is.

The whole country, especially in the mountainous regions, is not radar airspace. Maybe it's changed, but as I said, I've been cleared direct on what was a stupid route and when I challenged the controller (Center) on the routing he said it was with my own terrain.
AuxBatOn wrote:As far as your question goes, it is to broad to answer with a simple yes or no.
It really isn't... it's pretty simple and the answer is No. You are responsible for your own terrain unless you are on radar vectors. These guys weren't on radar vectors.

But looks like these guys weren't even operating with a proper clearance.

Deciding on your own to just turn direct somewhere in a terminal environment because you were cleared an approach while on the STAR isn't reasonable either. You acknowledge that the controller wouldn't have cleared them direct because they were below his MRVA, so why did they do that? You acknowledge they weren't on vectors... so if you're going to try to cut the corner on your own, you better have your own terrain.

Ultimately it's a good thing they were in a terminal radar environment... how would that have worked out in the many other airports in those hills without a terminal controller watching them truck on down into the ground.
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by losercruiser »

altiplano wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 10:09 am
ahramin wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:05 am
altiplano wrote: Mon Dec 30, 2019 9:02 amATC will give you a direct, off airway, clearance below sector altitudes.
Not in Canada, as per the NavCanada MANOPs and AIC 19/17.

http://www.navcanada.ca/EN/products-and ... 19.pdf#top
I don't read ATC manuals, but I know what my responsibility as a Pilot is.

The whole country, especially in the mountainous regions, is not radar airspace. Maybe it's changed, but as I said, I've been cleared direct on what was a stupid route and when I challenged the controller (Center) on the routing he said it was with my own terrain.
AuxBatOn wrote:As far as your question goes, it is to broad to answer with a simple yes or no.
It really isn't... it's pretty simple and the answer is No. You are responsible for your own terrain unless you are on radar vectors. These guys weren't on radar vectors.

But looks like these guys weren't even operating with a proper clearance.

Deciding on your own to just turn direct somewhere in a terminal environment because you were cleared an approach while on the STAR isn't reasonable either. You acknowledge that the controller wouldn't have cleared them direct because they were below his MRVA, so why did they do that? You acknowledge they weren't on vectors... so if you're going to try to cut the corner on your own, you better have your own terrain.

Ultimately it's a good thing they were in a terminal radar environment... how would that have worked out in the many other airports in those hills without a terminal controller watching them truck on down into the ground.
You realize this entire conversation has been in regards to RADAR controlled airspace, right?

Obviously if you're cleared the kitimat beacon and 9000' you aren't going to go descend into a mountain....
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by altiplano »

losercruiser wrote: Tue Dec 31, 2019 3:09 am You realize this entire conversation has been in regards to RADAR controlled airspace, right?
altiplano wrote:Deciding on your own to just turn direct somewhere in a terminal environment because you were cleared an approach while on the STAR isn't reasonable either. You acknowledge that the controller wouldn't have cleared them direct because they were below his MRVA, so why did they do that? You acknowledge they weren't on vectors... so if you're going to try to cut the corner on your own, you better have your own terrain.
Clearly.

Doesn't change the fact that, just because you're in radar airspace with a terminal controller, you aren't absolved for your own responsibility for terrain separation unless on vectors.

And who just turns direct the fix on their own without a clearance?
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Last edited by altiplano on Tue Dec 31, 2019 1:55 pm, edited 1 time in total.
AuxBatOn
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by AuxBatOn »

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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by Canadianjetpilot »

Swoop has now had it's 3rd terrain incident into YXX.

Thats three in just 6 weeks.

WTF are they doing over there??
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by daedalusx »

Canadianjetpilot wrote: Fri Jan 31, 2020 3:17 am Swoop has now had it's 3rd terrain incident into YXX.

Thats three in just 6 weeks.

WTF are they doing over there??
https://wwwapps.tc.gc.ca/Saf-Sec-Sur/2/ ... d2020P0064


Wow ...
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Re: Swoop Terrain Warning

Post by ahramin »

That last doesn't say it was a terrain warning, just an ATC assigned altitude. The way NavCanada clears you for a STAR can be confusing to foreign pilots. In most of the world, a clearance for a STAR is both horizontal and vertical. If Whoops is foreign pilots, they should probably provide some training on the many particularities of NavCanada.
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