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mabe54

Bad instructions...

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Ambiguous language or not, if they'd actually looked closely at the approach chart they should have never gone that low.

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Ambiguous is being diplomatic. The controller's instruction to maintain at or above 2000 was clearly wrong. If he was clearing them to proceed to ZEDAG, then it should have been to maintain at or above 4300. By clearing them down to 2000, it means that any altitude 2000 and up was safe. They were absolutely free to descend to 2000 once the controller said that to them.

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Always know where you are,where your going,and how to get there. Ultimate responsibility rests with pilot in command.

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They were absolutely free to descend to 2000 once the controller said that to them.

So perhaps you can direct me to the FAA regulation that relieves pilots of all discretion and judgment once an air traffic controller gives you an at or above altitude instruction.

 

There is nothing in the instructions given or even the erroneous interpretation of them that relieves the pilots of the responsibility for determining whether everything they do with their aircraft is safe. If they determine a controller's instruction would endanger them they should disregard it and request a change to it.

 

This is reflected in the determination by the NTSB that the ultimate cause was The flight crew's failure to maintain terrain clearance, which resulted in controlled flight into terrain in instrument meteorological conditions. 

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Certainly. In the US, where they appeared to be, controllers can only give you an altitude no less than the minimum vectoring altitude, which assures terrain separation. Any discretion on your part to desend there is based purely on your preferences and convenience. Terrain separation is assumed.

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Hi.

 

The following paragraphs from the Code of Federal Regulations probably apply when determining who was responsible for putting the plane in a safe place:

 

§91.123   Compliance with ATC clearances and instructions.

 

(a) When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory. However, except in Class A airspace, a pilot may cancel an IFR flight plan if the operation is being conducted in VFR weather conditions. When a pilot is uncertain of an ATC clearance, that pilot shall immediately request clarification from ATC.

 

(b ) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

 

 

Since the instruction was 2000 feet or above, paragraph (a) confirms that avoiding the terrain would not have been an infringement. Even if the instruction really had been to maintain 2000 feet, paragraph (b ) still frees the PIC to do whatever is necessary for safety in the case of an emergency.

 

Further, paragraph 91.3 says:

 

§91.3   Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

 

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

 

(b ) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

 

 

... and even if para 91.3 did not exist, the instruction was at or above 2000 feet.

And from The Aviation Herald:

 

Approach control granted the request and cleared the flight to maintain an altitude "at or above 2,000 feet msl until established on a published segment of the approach.", the crew read back: ""Maintain two thousand until a published segment of the approach."

 

 

I would say that the controller erred by failing to pick up an incorrect read-back but the ultimate responsibility lay with the pilot.

 

D

 

(edited for [b, close-bracket] smileys)

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Even a one year lawyer will have an easy picnic against the ATC in Dillingham Arkansas in this case. The NTSB about the crew just stated/pointed out something factual: There was an unequivocal CFIT. And by who? The crew flying the plane, who else? Why? Ah, now read:

 

http://www.ntsb.gov/AviationQuery/brief.aspx?ev_id=20130308X64149&key=1

 

Do not miss the: Full narrative available at the bottom.

 

Pilots and Airplanes come and go everywhere. Airports do not. They are static. How long does it take for an ATC to learn that coming from the north to land in RW-19 at Dillingham Arkansas the minimum altitude is 4300' until ZEDAG? When does it ever change?  

 

Cheers,

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Pilots and Airplanes come and go everywhere. Airports do not. They are static. How long does it take for an ATC to learn that coming from the north to land in RW-19 at Dillingham Arkansas the minimum altitude is 4300' until ZEDAG? When does it ever change?  

Well, in this case at least it would appear that you have moved the airport...

 

The last time I looked, Dillingham was still located in Alaska... :LMAO:

 

The only other Dillingham of which I'm aware is located in Hawaii.

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Hi.

 

The following paragraphs from the Code of Federal Regulations probably apply when determining who was responsible for putting the plane in a safe place:

 

§91.123 Compliance with ATC clearances and instructions.

 

(a) When an ATC clearance has been obtained, no pilot in command may deviate from that clearance unless an amended clearance is obtained, an emergency exists, or the deviation is in response to a traffic alert and collision avoidance system resolution advisory. However, except in Class A airspace, a pilot may cancel an IFR flight plan if the operation is being conducted in VFR weather conditions. When a pilot is uncertain of an ATC clearance, that pilot shall immediately request clarification from ATC.

 

(b ) Except in an emergency, no person may operate an aircraft contrary to an ATC instruction in an area in which air traffic control is exercised.

 

 

Since the instruction was 2000 feet or above, paragraph (a) confirms that avoiding the terrain would not have been an infringement. Even if the instruction really had been to maintain 2000 feet, paragraph (b ) still frees the PIC to do whatever is necessary for safety in the case of an emergency.

 

Further, paragraph 91.3 says:

 

§91.3 Responsibility and authority of the pilot in command.

 

(a) The pilot in command of an aircraft is directly responsible for, and is the final authority as to, the operation of that aircraft.

 

(b ) In an in-flight emergency requiring immediate action, the pilot in command may deviate from any rule of this part to the extent required to meet that emergency.

 

 

... and even if para 91.3 did not exist, the instruction was at or above 2000 feet.

And from The Aviation Herald:

 

Approach control granted the request and cleared the flight to maintain an altitude "at or above 2,000 feet msl until established on a published segment of the approach.", the crew read back: ""Maintain two thousand until a published segment of the approach."

 

 

I would say that the controller erred by failing to pick up an incorrect read-back but the ultimate responsibility lay with the pilot.

 

D

 

(edited for [b, close-bracket] smileys)

In the US, ATC cannot assign an altitude that is below the MVA. And the MVA assures terrain separation. They hit terrain at 2200' after being assigned 2000'. Something happened here that was extra-ordinary. Either the MVA is incorrect for the area, or the controller issued an altitude below the MVA. It makes no difference whether it was to 'maintain' or 'maintain at or above' because the 'at or above' merely gives them an option to delay descent. It in no way communicates that there is a restriction from descending to that altitude. If there is a restriction, it would have to be explicitly communicated, such as 'descend to 2000, cross ZEDAG at or above 4300.' Otherwise, there is no reason for the pilots to restrict themselves to a higher altitude on a 'at or above' type clearance. And controllers assign altitudes that are below the charted minimum altitude of the various fixes of an approach routinely. There was procedurally no reason for them to not descend to 2000'. The only thing that would have saved them from hitting that mountain after being cleared to 2000 was if the pilots had been there before in broad daylight, vfr, and had seen the area with own eyes and was aware now that 2000 would put them into terrain, or had a vfr sectional out and was constantly monitoring and verifying their position against that chart. None of which is required nor expected for IFR flying.

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Well, in this case at least it would appear that you have moved the airport...

 

The last time I looked, Dillingham was still located in Alaska... :LMAO:

 

The only other Dillingham of which I'm aware is located in Hawaii.

 

 

 

Ops, still is in Alaska.

 

 

Even a one year lawyer will have an easy picnic against the ATC in Dillingham Alaska in this case. The NTSB about the crew just stated/pointed out something factual: There was an unequivocal CFIT. And by who? The crew flying the plane, who else? Why? Ah, now read:

 

http://www.ntsb.gov/...308X64149&key=1

 

Do not miss the: Full narrative available at the bottom.

 

Pilots and Airplanes come and go everywhere. Airports do not. They are static. How long does it take for an ATC to learn that coming from the north to land in RW-19 at Dillingham Arkansas the minimum altitude is 4300' until ZEDAG? When does it ever change?

 

 

Now, it is better. Sorry about that.

 

The FAA supply regulations and set the stage. ATC supply instructions that better be exact and correct. The crew paid dearly for not questioning the instructions given by ATC. The NTSB reports facts and highlight mistakes where ever they were. So in this case Crew => CFIT but ATC => Goofed up badly.

 

Cheers,

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