Would you go ?

LearjetGA

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This is the question of the day.

You are flying a Learjet 35A under Part135. You have a trip going from the Boston area to the Turks and Caicos.
Trip length is 1400 miles, the only alternate is the Bermudas.
The rest is water. Time enroute is going to be 3 hours and 35 minutes. (endurance 5+ hours @ M .76) (Time enroute over mainland requires one stop and takes 6 hours)

One other problem is the RVSM and MNPS zone. Knowing that Mnps is going to start at 67 West and RVSM is in effect all over the Bermuda triangle until FL390. (thanks for the information, Falcon)

The only altitude is FL410 (who would like to explore the coffin corner at the service ceiling altitude of a fully loaded Lear over tons of water, anyway)

So, would YOU do it ?

If Yes, imagine, that you start at dusk, you have never been there, and you fly with 1 IFR GPS only (a second GPS is only VFR) and you com with a HF that you have never operated in that particular plane before.

Would YOU still do it.

I posted this actual problem to have any good advice, and to see how many people would do it.

LearjetGA
 

Gulfstream 200

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forgive me I dont remember 135 rules anymore...
but....
3+35 is fine in a Lear 35 if you ask me. I kept one in the air for 5 hrs before no prob...well...
Overwater ...so...whats the big deal?
did you check if you can make all your alternates in case of Depressurize? (10,000ft) (usually worst senario), engine failure?
Bermuda Triangle? what are you going to do, fly around it? call Ms Cleo before you go....whys this an issue?
HF you never used? try it on the ground or have it ops checked before you go or venture out too far...no big deal...dont you have to have TWO for 135???? forgive me if Im wrong..
Isn't the 35 certified for FL 450?? coffin corner? not a single thing wrong with flying at 450, save fuel, plus you will most likely be doing LRC anyways...maybe .78.....dont be afraid of the learjet at 450..just dont fall asleep for too long.

P.S. - I used to sometimes stop in Bermuda for fuel in a 35 from NY/Boston area if going far down in the carribean (Barbados) bermuda is an OK tech stop....quick in and out.
just an idea....might put you at ease...trip does not become longer and its usually a 25-30 min tech stop.

Does not sound impossible, I suggest using UNIVERSAL for flight planning, they take care of the legalities with alternates fuel reserves and such...we always run multiple plans to determine if a trip is possible beforehand.only way to go if you ask me.

BUT, the most IMPORTANT thing is how YOU feel, not me or your boss. You sound like you have talked yourself out of it already and are asking us if you are justified....of course you are. Thats all that matters. You are the PIC. Maybe you are new at it, is there a more experienced pilot in your company that can go with you??
Dont be a hero i say....dont give into pressure.
I have personally been given trips in the past I flat out turned down, told them they need a bigger plane. period. Just have all you reasons researched so you sound smart!

my motto always was.....nobody move nobody get hurt.

good luck
 

Sheik_Yer_Booty

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Lear Jet,

Its sad but true, that many in our profession either know someone or have themselves pushed the edge of the aircraft performance envelop and the personal performance envelop and embarked upon a risky trip under less than stellar circumstances for one reason or another. Most common reasons are pressing boss, either on the plane with you or back at base or nagging passengers that don’t want to hear it and you particularly don’t care to ever have to engage in conversation beyond the cabin safety brief.

Personally, I say screw’em both!

Why?

You’re in charge, you’re in the drivers seat, you’re the freaking pilot, end of story.

Because, if things go bad and your “lucky”, you’ll be having many long, one-sided conversations with men in dark colored suits in dimly lit rooms wanting nothing more than to violate you and your certificates into administrative oblivion. If your not so “lucky”, most likely we’ll all be discussing the “end results” on this and other boards as the US Navy and NTSB wait for the luggage to wash ashore.

By virtue of your post it is clear to me that you already know the answer, you’re just looking for some moral support, mutual reassurance.

Always play it safe, when in doubt don’t do it.

Sheik
 

Gulfstream 200

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Just be careful...
the "IM the pilot, its my license, I say NO" is NOT the answer you want to give...
Yes, you may very well know you ARE NOT doing a trip a certain way..
remember...

It can ALWAYS be done, may take 3X as much time and 10X as much money, but it can ALWAYS be done, and you, as thier highly qualified and expericenced pilot, know just how to do it.. Thats what they want to hear.

Do your research and give them all the possible scenarios (routes, diffrent a/c, etc..) with plenty of notice.
Stand your ground, be safe, but dont let your answer be "Im NOT going to do it, Im the CAPTAIN"
that kind of answer will get you nothing but replaced.
remember in this business we are dealing with ego maniacs and you are just a driver...just the facts!!!
 

patq1

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Do your ops specs allow you to do this with only 1 long range nav?

pat
 

empenage

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LearjetGA:

Are YOU comfortable making this trip? You see it does not matter if I'm comfortable making the trip or if anyone on this board is comfortable making this trip. What matters is are you comfortable with it?

I'm just curious...What's the weather like?
 

SeaBass

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I was under the impression that the RVSM started at FL310 and went up to 390. In my limited experience, we have always gone under the RVSM...ie FL290 or FL280. The 35 will still sip gas at those altitudes.

Have fun down there!

--Seabass
 

justApilot

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It has been years since I flew the 35, so forgive me. But I seem to remember that a max gross weight 35 won't make 450 until sometime around the 2.5 hour mark and it better be **CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED****CENSORED** cold up there. On an standard day it might take 3 hours to get to 450.
The 35 is no rocket, like THEY want you to believe.
Beware of "coffin corner" it does exist and it needs to be respected. The margin between low and high speed buffet can be very small. Throw in a turn and some turbulence and you are going to be in for the ride of your life.
 

may

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EOW

If you really want to know "PM" me and I will give you the name and number of the guy you need to talk to. He has written an extensive article in PP mag. about EOWP and has been making trips from the west coast to PHNL for over 15 years. He can answer all your questons. There are alot of people out there with lear experience, and there are the ones who know what a lear can do, and it is alot more than you think.
 

CL60

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Risk management assessment

LearjetGA,

Purely from a risk management standpoint, there are simpy too many cards stacked against you in this deck. Make the stop... take the extra hour penalty... not a big deal!

From a logistical point of view, is this trip, (as it is described), even legal? I'm not sure if you will penetrate the airspace but if you do; not sure by your post but, are you operating with only one long range nav over RVSM/MNPS airspace? Even if you overfly the airspace, what if you have to descend into it for an unforseen circumstance? I.e., pressurization problem, loss of an engine, etc... If so, yill you be crossing the West bound Atlantic traffic at their "rush hour?" You will certainly have to turn West, primarily to parallel the Atlantic traffic and, secondarily to find a suitable landing site. How will you know where the tracks are? How will you parallel them? There are already too many things wrong here. Make the stop... take the extra hour penalty... not a big deal!
 

Webslinger

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I would have to agree with CL60, do your research. Dont be a hero and try to make it nonstop-no matter how many Lear drvrs say you can fly for 5hrs. I flew 35's and 31's for 6 yrs. and have done many trips to the islands. How much fuel does your bird hold? 6238lbs? or do you have a 36? What are your average burns for your engines? Also, how much do you want to land with? Min reserves over the ocean? Not smart. Where is your alternate? Are you legal 135 with your Ops specs. with just one GPS? Do you have life vests and enough rafts with the 50% overflow requirement?

Also, I wouldnt trust Universal or Base ops to tell you it will work. As the others have posted, take the info from these services and compare them to the numbers that you came up with for YOUR airplane. No one knows YOUR bird better than you. I cant tell you how many times one of these services has tried to file me at the wrong alt. or an alt. that would be physically impossible to reach considering current aircraft weight, outside temp ie, ISA and winds. Also, make sure you have the obvious paper work when you go. 91 Private customs sticker-even though your 135, agriculture cards, Gen decs, and maby some tourist cards, and most important- passports. Dont let anyone tell you that you dont need them and that you can get away with using a birth certificate. You will have a bitch of a time trying to get back in the states without one if you dont have a decent customs person.
Also, are all or your Pax. us citizens, if not they will also need to show a visa from their perspective country.

Anyway, just my .02 worth. Hope you have a good and safe trip.
Just make sure to CYA.
 

LearjetGA

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Thank You

Thank You for all your responses.

First of all, the Bermuda Triangle was a figure of speech, i used it because it summarized pretty good the route that was initially chosen. Shall i remind : Triangle stretches from the Bermudas to Puerto Rico to Miami. No Miss Cleo here, G200.

So here is what happened. The flight was done last week. Our ops manual and ops specs approuve the use of one Gps for long range navigation as long it has been checked against a class 1 navigation facility before leaving mainland.

The weather was clear all along the way. Since i am not the most experienced guy around, i asked for a co-captain, friend of mine who was off that day but still joined me.

One of the concerns i had about flying above the atlantic was first get up to FL410 with a full load of fuel (6238 lbs),and 5 pax with bags. (no need to discuss the FL450, just not possible in these conditions). Second was the fact that if you have a problem, you land in the Bermudas, and then, and that's when it starts to get funny, what do you do if you have a technical there, is there somebody to help. I am not sure about that.

So I explained our passengers the pros and cons and why i chose to take the long route and they agreed that the extra hour was worth it. The Mainland route became an extra asset when one of the pax developed a medical condition (allergy) and we had to land in Miami. During the time that our pax got treated we invited the others to go to diner. When everybody was there and fit to go, we continued our journey and arrived without any further incident to our destination.
 

CL60

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Relief

LearjetGA,

I'm very happy to hear you took the conservative route and played it safe. Whew! There are already too many "yes" people out here. Good risk management.

Just curious; how would you have addressed the issue of having to descend into RVSM/MNPS airspace if it became necessary? Without the proper RNP you could have been in trouble with the Feds, not to mention the fact that something forced you down there to begin with. I'm assuming that your ops specs approved your over-water route somehow???

Thanks in advance,
 

Gulfstream 200

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Learjet GA...
Ok understand the triangle thing...my fault
Sounds like you made the safe decision, nothing wrong with that!
just curious...why not just fuel stop in Bermuda and go from there....??
there IS service in Bermuda 24hrs if needed AND airlines and charters close to get your folks outta there if you broke bad, etc....
OH well, glad to hear it went well!
 

LearjetGA

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We should do this again.

Thanks for all the responses.

I think we could do this more often. Post some real life situations to see what the different opinions are. I, personally, found it very interesting to see a debate between people with tons of experience compared to people with less experience (like myself).

Fly safe
LearjetGA:cool:
 

bigsky

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Excuse my ignorancewith the 135 rules- how far is the alternate from destination? Under our 121 op specs we require 2 hrs fuel for a destination(island) with no alternate specified. It sounds like either way it could get interesting.
 

FLY.80

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Just a quick question for ya.....

Which pilot was on oxygen for the time above FL350?

I would venture to guess that no one was. This is the most violated regualtion in the book. Something else to consider.

Fly safe
 

GVFlyer

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Archaic Regulations

Sooner or later we all need to decide that we are in the space shuttle. I don't see them wearing masks in Columbia and the relative value of rho is somewhat less in a vacuum than at 51,000 ft. Even when the Air Force Regs were updated and AFR 60-1 became AFI 11-202 they retained table 6-1 calling for pressure suits above 50,000 feet!

I don't think that current regs reflect the quality and reliability of new technology aircraft. When Bombardier was planning to build their first Challenger that would go above 41,000 ft. (the Global Express) they petitioned the FAA to change this rule. The FAA denied the request. Oddly, when the FAA flies N1 above 41,000 feet or participates in a cert. program for aircraft flying above 41,000 feet, they don't wear a mask themselves.
 

FL510GV

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Technology

EDM... "tech-cedure" above 40,000 only with AP/AT engaged (GV).

The AF and the FAA need to catch up....
 

FLY.80

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While I agree that the regualtion requiring oxygen is outdated, the fact of the matter is that it is still there. The person who started this thread was talking alot about the regulations and being able to make the trip. I was merely pointing out that this MUST be taken into account when planning a flight.

No 135 operator should pressure a pilot to fly this trip if it cannot be made safely while adhearing to all FAR's. You cannot pick and choose which rules to follow and which to break.

Fly safe
 
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