Primarily for general aviation discussion, but other aviation topics are also welcome.
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#1692359
So how would a transit of a CTA with be affected. How would the radar controller know the current cloud situation at what may be 10 miles away?
#1692420
PaulB wrote:Thanks.... so how do those on the continent cope with VFR transits through D/E CTAs (as they seem to causing some consternation here.)


How would the radar controller know the current cloud situation at what may be 10 miles away?


Perhaps we could put these two points together and reach the obvious conclusion.

The hard regulatory constraint is a prohibition on VFR in a CTR when the reported visibility is less than 5k or the ceiling is less than 1500 ft. Otherwise, it's up to the pilot to determine compliance with VFR.

Old joke: Q: Why are women such poor judges of distance? A: Because men keep telling them that this [gesture with thumb and forefinger] is 6 inches.

New joke: Q: Why are German glider pilots such poor judges of distance? A: Because their instructors keep telling them that this [gesture with thumb and forefinger] is 1000 ft.
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#1692630
Have I got entirely the wrong end of the stick or are the Great and the Good really recommending that we just carry on as before in CTAs and just blatantly lie about our cloud clearance?

To be specific, suppose I depart Suffolk southwards and want to transit Southend, whose CTR is surrounded by a CTA with a 1500 foot base. which I would rather not be below. Cloudbase is very obviously flat at 2500 feet. I sally forth at, say 2200 feet and seek VFR clearance through the class D. Obviously I can 't request SVFR at that stage as that would give the game away. ATC, knowing my altitude and their cloudbase will reject my VFR request. I then request and hopefully obtain SVFR clearance (for the CTR only).

Following this exchange, everybody involved now knows what the situation really is. But on reaching the CTA I just carry on illegally, 300 feet below cloud, and nobody bothers? Is this what I should write in my response to the consultation?

Alan
#1692634
SVFR has always been a mechanism for getting a transit when the visibility and cloud base are marginal VFR or worse. I've flown the channel islands zones in solid IMC on a SVFR clearance when it was Class A and I only had an IMCR. Now it's all class D an IR(R) will get you an IFR clearance.
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#1692652
But on reaching the CTA I just carry on illegally, 300 feet below cloud, and nobody bothers? Is this what I should write in my response to the consultation?


Cloud clearance is necessary because air traffic does not normally separate VFR and IFR traffic in Class D airspace. Traffic information is passed, and we are supposed to use our eyes to look out and self-separate.

Nobody really knows their exact distance from any base of cloud or forward visibility unless you have some special instruments on board. There is a bit of a grey area (no pun intended!) which will probably only be investigated if IFR and VFR have an incident and probably difficult to prove if we have done "illegal VFR in IMC".

If we're really that concerned about hitting something coming out of cloud, then flying SVFR or IFR in such airspace will help.

Definitely go IFR if you cannot see or you're not familiar with the terrain - don't leave it too late.
#1692655
I have decided that I will respond supporting Option 2 "Introduce SERA class D VMC without change to current SVFR provisions", as I don't believe any other option actually solves what we're trying to solve, and that's assuming there even is a problem.
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#1692669
James Chan wrote:Cloud clearance is necessary because air traffic does not normally separate VFR and IFR traffic in Class D airspace. Traffic information is passed, and we are supposed to use our eyes to look out and self-separate.


Well, there's the thing. In the UK, Class D VFR is operated more like SVFR, with separation being provided by ATC. Thus the cloud clearance rules, for the purpose of traffic spotting and avoidance, are superfluous here.
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#1692677
Buzz53 wrote:Have I got entirely the wrong end of the stick or are the Great and the Good really recommending that we just carry on as before in CTAs and just blatantly lie about our cloud clearance?


I don't know who you mean by "the Great and the Good", but in case you misunderstand my post, I'm not recommending anything, I'm simply hypothesising why this is not an issue outside the UK.

ATC, knowing my altitude and their cloudbase will reject my VFR request.


Why would they do that? They have no grounds for rejecting a VFR request, as the assessment of flight conditions is up to the pilot. They will only reject a VFR request if you seek to take-off or land in their CTR when the ceiling is below 1500 ft.
#1692715
bookworm wrote:I don't know who you mean by "the Great and the Good", but in case you misunderstand my post, I'm not recommending anything, I'm simply hypothesising why this is not an issue outside the UK.

BW you are indeed both Great and Good in the nicest sense and not alone in that respect on this thread. As such I do think you (and others) are being a bit naughty in responding to a problem by “hypothesising” that in other countries people get round it by breaking the law and then expecting people not to take this as a huge hint, if not a recommendation.

bookworm wrote:Why would they do that? They have no grounds for rejecting a VFR request, as the assessment of flight conditions is up to the pilot. They will only reject a VFR request if you seek to take-off or land in their CTR when the ceiling is below 1500 ft.

Maybe I have got this wrong, but I thought the current proposal was that SVR would be required to fly in a CTR when less than 1000 feet vertically from cloud, whether transit or landing. This would be the case with my example, which is why it would be rejected, as the example transit would be through both (which perhaps I did not make sufficiently explicit, sorry). Or is it worse than that: is SVR required, but only available in the CTR to landing traffic?

I am further confused by talk of ATZ’s, how are they relevant in this context please?

My humble contribution was prompted by PaulB’s earlier one on, I believe, the exact same issue but which got no useful response IMHO. The same has happened when this topic comes up on other fora. If I’m missing something, please straighten me out. How is this not a problem?

Anyone: how would you actually deal with the desired routing and conditions that I gave as an example? Elmsett - Northey Island - Sheerness - DVR? Cloudbase 2500 feet. No IR(R).

I believe at least one Southend ATCO is occasionaly here, how do they see it working?

Alan
#1692719
Buzz53 wrote:Maybe I have got this wrong, but I thought the current proposal was that SVR would be required to fly in a CTR when less than 1000 feet vertically from cloud, whether transit or landing.


How would the ATC person sitting in front of a radar screen know what the cloudbase is at the edges of the CTR?
#1692729
Now you’re at it too :) Is “just tell porkies, it’ll be all right” really where we are going with this?

Regarding weather, the ATCO in reality will know very well what cloudbase is on most days, within the large margins we are talking about here, but whether he is motivated to do anything about it and subsequently prove it in within a legal framework is another matter. Another pilot, perhaps descending out of cloud within sight of you, might have a different perspective if he's in a bad mood, whether or not there is any actual risk involved. So yes, you'll get away with it until you don't.

I am far from holier-than-thou about this sort of thing, and have done plenty of "iffy stuff" over the years but generally far from the madding crowd. I'm surprised that many people think it's a good idea to do it under surveillance in CAS with CAT whizzing around.

Alan
#1692730
Buzz53 wrote:Regarding weather, the ATCO in reality will know very well what cloudbase is on most days, within the large margins we are talking about here, but whether he is motivated to do anything about it and subsequently prove it in within a legal framework is another matter. Another pilot, perhaps descending out of cloud within sight of you, might have a different perspective if he's in a bad mood, whether or not there is any actual risk involved. So yes, you'll get away with it until you don't.


But who will be the arbiter? The pilot on the spot at the time or the ATCO with a forecast?
#1692741
Well if the ATCO has an OVC 25 METAR, and he looks out the window and it's obviously solid OVC25 +/- a bit, and if somebody has just reported the base is 2500, and if it was 2500 when the ATCO went flying yesterday, and in fact it's been the same for all of January, then you'd think think it was pretty clear to everybody that it was OVC25. If by "pilot" you mean the other pilot who just flew nearby and took umbrage at you being there at 2200 VFR then he will know exactly what it's like.

But I wasn't really seeking to explore the finer legal points that Mr get-you-off-quick might be able to deploy, I was hoping to find there was a sane answer to the problem (or even just some acknowledgement that there is a problem). PaulB, I thought you shared my view that there was a problem but now you seem to be OK with it?

Alan
#1692766
Paul_Sengupta wrote:
James Chan wrote:Cloud clearance is necessary because air traffic does not normally separate VFR and IFR traffic in Class D airspace. Traffic information is passed, and we are supposed to use our eyes to look out and self-separate.


Well, there's the thing. In the UK, Class D VFR is operated more like SVFR, with separation being provided by ATC. Thus the cloud clearance rules, for the purpose of traffic spotting and avoidance, are superfluous here.


In your opinion as a customer/end user.

Not in my opinion as a service provider.
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