Unsafe, but Legal (or Not?)

skywaypil0t

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Morning everyone,

Recent scenario that I came across that I'd like some critique on from an FAR standpoint....

Private pilot without an instrument rating takes off from C89 airport and flies to DKB (during the day). When he left C89, weather at DKB was [24009KT 10SM OVC008 01/M02 A2985 RMK AO2]. Departure weather at C89 was roughly [25007KT 9SM BKN012 OVC060 01/M03 A2983 RMK AO2]. He did not get a weather briefing, but glanced at some TAFs and METARs applicable to his route of flight. By the time he actually arrived down at DKB, the ceilings increased slightly (1000 feet to 1200 feet).

I personally believe this to be unsafe because it falls into the category of scud running... especially as he got further south to DKB.

At the very least, I believe 91.103 to be in serious jeopardy because he did not become familiar with all available information concerning that flight (no standard weather briefing)..... 91.13 would probably piggyback onto that.

There were also most likely scenarios along that flight where proper altitude separation requirement over the ground/obstacles/buildings was not adhered to.

Any other FARs that I am missing? Overall thoughts?

Safe flying,
~PC
 

ackattacker

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Morning everyone,

Recent scenario that I came across that I'd like some critique on from an FAR standpoint....

Private pilot without an instrument rating takes off from C89 airport and flies to DKB (during the day). When he left C89, weather at DKB was [24009KT 10SM OVC008 01/M02 A2985 RMK AO2]. Departure weather at C89 was roughly [25007KT 9SM BKN012 OVC060 01/M03 A2983 RMK AO2]. He did not get a weather briefing, but glanced at some TAFs and METARs applicable to his route of flight. By the time he actually arrived down at DKB, the ceilings increased slightly (1000 feet to 1200 feet).

I personally believe this to be unsafe because it falls into the category of scud running... especially as he got further south to DKB.

At the very least, I believe 91.103 to be in serious jeopardy because he did not become familiar with all available information concerning that flight (no standard weather briefing)..... 91.13 would probably piggyback onto that.

There were also most likely scenarios along that flight where proper altitude separation requirement over the ground/obstacles/buildings was not adhered to.

Any other FARs that I am missing? Overall thoughts?

Safe flying,
~PC
Are you a fed? What do you care?
 

PilotSkydiver

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When I was flying 135 in Alaska that was a perfect VFR Day, I really do not understand your question. you said that he/she looked at the METAR/TAF and nothing else, are you sure? Was the weather a stable air mass that was unlikely to change? You do understand 91.103 does not require a standard weather briefing, right? The morning local news program probably had a regional map that showed the forecasts for his destination and suitable alternates. Also ,19.13 specifically talks about endangering the life or property of another (not him/herself). As far as I can see, the route from those airports goes over a lot of unpopulated areas/farmland. Also it appears he/she was operating in class G airspace which only requires 1 mi vis and clear of clouds, which appears to be well exceeded with 9 and 10 mi vis reported at his airports. 91.119 which you are attempting to quote only specifies a minimum of 500 ft flight altitude (1000 in sparsely populated areas) and to maintain a distance (vertically or horizontally) of 500 feet of obstacles/buildings)

I am not trying to take any sides here, but it seems as though you have a grudge with the pilot of that flight, who is not here to defend him/herself. Please remember that unsafe for you may not mean unsafe for everybody. I do not know the experience level of yourself or the pilot in question. If this pilot frequently flew this route and knew all the obstacles and the terrain well, it may not be reckless at all, however, if this was the pilots first time on this route, maybe it was dangerous and reckless. I guess we need more context before we can pass Judgement :p

Maybe it is like you said and all he did was look at the TAF/METAR and then take-off into poor weather, but unless you know for sure it would probably be a wiser action to confront the pilot personally rather than crucify him/her on a public web-board.

Happy Flying!
~Bob
 

skywaypil0t

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Maybe it is like you said and all he did was look at the TAF/METAR and then take-off into poor weather, but unless you know for sure it would probably be a wiser action to confront the pilot personally rather than crucify him/her on a public web-board.

Happy Flying!
~Bob
:) I would have to think that mentioning the specific identity of the pilot would be required for "crucify" status. I am here to gain additional insight before mentioning anything to the pilot. :)

Maybe I am way wrong with my concerns!

A few more facts:

-Private pilot.... not a 135 trained pilot.
-800 - 1,200 ft ceilings for the flight... there was some light snow in the vicinity of the flight.
-While there is a lot of farm field over the route of flight, there are plenty of congested areas of towns and subdivisions along the way that would require 1,000 ft clearance (91.119). That 1,000 feet would put him out of G and into E; now, proper cloud clearance below the cloud is not complied with.

I think you make a great point that the definition of "safe" is not the same for all!
 

CA1900

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-While there is a lot of farm field over the route of flight, there are plenty of congested areas of towns and subdivisions along the way that would require 1,000 ft clearance (91.119). That 1,000 feet would put him out of G and into E; now, proper cloud clearance below the cloud is not complied with.
Are you sure about that? Most areas in the US are Class G up to 1200 feet. In that case, 1000 feet AGL requires only that he be clear of clouds, not 500 feet below.
 

skywaypil0t

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Are you sure about that? Most areas in the US are Class G up to 1200 feet. In that case, 1000 feet AGL requires only that he be clear of clouds, not 500 feet below.
The route of flight from C89 to DKB is within a transition area for the vast majority of the flight.... So, 700 feet AGL.
 

ackattacker

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Ok, well, clearly it's scud running. Probably 100% legal, but probably unsafe. Scud running is always to be discouraged but a lot depends upon exactly how much knowledge the pilot had of the local terrain, towers, etc. If it was a route he flew frequently then probably can be done safely and legally.

Could do the whole thing at 600 feet AGL and be legal. Congested area is not well defined but if suitable landing spots where available and there weren't large open air assemblies of people then chances are he's OK from a fed standpoint. Of course from a practical standpoint scud running is a risky behavior because it's possible for the weather to change rapidly and you find yourself in an untenable position or disoriented.
 

Seadogrun

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Did the Taf show that the ceiling would lift as it did? I'll agree with the legal, but unsafe judgement.
 

imacdog

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With 9-10 miles visibility and what appears to be many options for emergency landings, I don't see why this would be an issue for an experienced pilot. When I flew VFR 135, we flew in 500-2 conditions quite often. A visibility in that range would be considered an easy day.
 

AC560

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I personally believe this to be unsafe because it falls into the category of scud running... especially as he got further south to DKB.

Any other FARs that I am missing? Overall thoughts?
I wouldn't frame the discussion in FAR's but rather discuss the issue with the student and have them walk you through their decision making process. Ask open ended questions to help them to understand why perhaps their decision was not the correct one or to show you why it was. The issue is decision making not the FAR's.

Focus on the FAR's and am I 499' or 501' below that cloud is what drives a many people to make bad decisions under the guise of "I was legal". FAR 91.13(A) covers 50% of what you need to know about flying in two sentences, 91.3 covers everything else. The rest is just the government earning their keep, no need to over complicate things.
 

booo

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Leave him alone. You don't like him; he probably doesn't like you (a lot!). Grow up.

Nothing to see here. Move along.
 

pilotyip

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Morning everyone,

Recent scenario that I came across that I'd like some critique on from an FAR standpoint....

Private pilot without an instrument rating takes off from C89 airport and flies to DKB (during the day). When he left C89, weather at DKB was [24009KT 10SM OVC008 01/M02 A2985 RMK AO2]. Departure weather at C89 was roughly [25007KT 9SM BKN012 OVC060 01/M03 A2983 RMK AO2]. He did not get a weather briefing, but glanced at some TAFs and METARs applicable to his route of flight. By the time he actually arrived down at DKB, the ceilings increased slightly (1000 feet to 1200 feet).

I personally believe this to be unsafe because it falls into the category of scud running... especially as he got further south to DKB.

At the very least, I believe 91.103 to be in serious jeopardy because he did not become familiar with all available information concerning that flight (no standard weather briefing)..... 91.13 would probably piggyback onto that.

There were also most likely scenarios along that flight where proper altitude separation requirement over the ground/obstacles/buildings was not adhered to.

Any other FARs that I am missing? Overall thoughts?

Safe flying,
~PC
Sounds perfectly legal to me, in class G day, VFR is 1 mile clear of clouds. Is it safe, depends how well does this pilot know the area, are there lots of 2,000' antennas enroute, big hills etc.

As far as full briefing, if you got a computerized briefing, you knw as much as you will get from a guy on the phone. We don't get wx briefings in the 121 world, we get a computerized print out that covers everything on our route.
 

Tired Soul

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OK, i'll play and for now I'm on skyway's side.

Are you sure he is Private Pilot rated?
Are you sure he does not have an Instrument rating?
Are you sure he did not file?
How many hours do this guy have and how was that experience accumulated?

If this guy is a 45 hr Private he is probably an accident waiting to happen.
If this guy has a ton of Alaska (or other crap) time he'll be ok.

I learned the hard way that just because I wouldn't do it doesn't make it illegal or unsafe.

When I was flying 135 in Alaska that was a perfect VFR Day,
Well he's not asking about you GodPilotInThe Sky....:rolleyes:
 

CA1900

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Been thinking on that for ten months, have you?
 

Tired Soul

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Well 'scuze me your Highness for not reading the friggin' date....:pimp:
yeah, you're right my bad.....
 
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