approach mins

rk772

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OK, stupid question. we were on a part 135 flight the other day and the weather at the destination was 100 and 1/2. My Fo made the statement that we can't fly the ILS because its below mins of 200 1/2. I told him we only needed visibility of 1/2 (which we had) and the ceiling was not required. He went to look it up in the FAR's after landing and could not find it.
Where is this located.

Thanks.
 

KeroseneSnorter

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Don't have the reg in front of me for the number but Vis is controlling, RVR if it is given, if not then statute vis. You can shoot the approach with zero ceiling as long as you have the RVR.

Tell your F/O to learn his regs for any future interviews. That very question is asked at many airlines.
 

777_Jackpot

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rk772 said:
OK, stupid question. we were on a part 135 flight the other day and the weather at the destination was 100 and 1/2. My Fo made the statement that we can't fly the ILS because its below mins of 200 1/2. I told him we only needed visibility of 1/2 (which we had) and the ceiling was not required. He went to look it up in the FAR's after landing and could not find it.
Where is this located.

Thanks.

Yeah, its 91.175 (c)(2) and 91.175 (d) "The flight visibility is not less than that prescribed in the standard instrument approach being used..."

-91.175 (c)(2) is one of the three requirments to continue a descent below MDA/DA.

-91.175 (d) is the requirment to land

Obviously in your application the visibility is controlling outside of the FAF/FAP
 

CFIse

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The poster said this was Part 135 - not Part 91 not Part 121. Here's the reg.

FAR 135.225(a):
(a) No pilot may begin an instrument approach procedure to an airport unless -
(1) That airport has a weather reporting facility operated by the U.S. National Weather Service, a source approved by U.S. National Weather Service, or a source approved by the Administrator; and
(2) The latest weather report issued by that weather reporting facility indicates that weather conditions are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport.

It says WEATHER - and a variety of interpretations have said that WEATHER includes the ceiling. So thanks to eveybody for playing, but most of you were playing the wrong game, and the person who said they couldn't take the ILS at 100 and 1/2 was right.
 

CA1900

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Try again, CFIse.

Part 135 operators are still bound by Part 91 in many circumstances, including this one. (Indeed, 135.225, which you quoted, makes specific reference to 91.175 regarding minimums dropping while on the final approach segment.)

91.175 - Takeoff And Landing Under IFR
(d) Landing. No pilot operating an aircraft, except a military aircraft of the United States, may land that aircraft when— ...
(2) For all other part 91 operations and parts 121, 125, 129, and 135 operations, the flight visibility is less than the visibility prescribed in the standard instrument approach procedure being used.


That's it. Flight Visibility. That's the "authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport," as spelled out very specifically in the regs. The ceiling has nothing to do with it.
 

CFIse

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What a fascinating interpretation - care to explain this FAA letter of interpretation then?




FAA Legal Opinion:
"March 21, 1991
Mr. Glenn Rizner
Technical Specialist, Membership Services Department
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Frederick, MD 21701-4798

Dear Mr. Rizner:

We recently received a letter from the Assistant Chief Counsel for the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration asking us to give a legal interpretation of a question you posed to them concerning Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). We apologize for the delay in answering your query.

The question was: Are both ceiling and visibility required in order for an FAR Part 135 air carrier pilot to initiate an instrument approach?

FAR 135.225(a) and 135.225(a)(2) forbid a Part 135 pilot from beginning an instrument approach unless reported weather conditions at the destination airport are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport. So, even though ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates, it must be considered by the pilot in his decision to initiate the approach, and in deciding whether the reported ceiling is above or below the decision height or minimum descent altitude for the approach. Similarly, FAR 135.225(b) forbids initiation of a final approach segment unless reported conditions are at or above minimums. Again, the pilot must know the reported ceiling and visibility before deciding whether that approach segment can legally be initiated.

This interpretation has been coordinated with the Air Transportation Division of the Flight Standards Service. We hope that this satisfactorily answers your question.

Sincerely,

/s/

Donald P. Byrne
Assistant Chief Counsel
Regulations and Enforcement Division cc: AGC-220/AGC-200/AFS-230/AEA-7
mc: 200 91 0021"
 

nosehair

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CFIse said:
What a fascinating interpretation - care to explain this FAA letter of interpretation then?

Wow!! What a ball-buster, CFIse!! As far as I know, the whole aviation world goes by flight visibility as the "minimums required", this letter is news, even though it is dated 1991. Let's see how this plays out....
 

bafanguy

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CFIse said:
FAA Legal Opinion:
"March 21, 1991

So, even though ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates, it must be considered by the pilot in his decision to initiate the approach, and in deciding whether the reported ceiling is above or below the decision height or minimum descent altitude for the approach.

I wonder what this guy's definition of "considered" is. That might be the key to his confusing statement.
 

TonyC

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nosehair said:
As far as I know, the whole aviation world goes by flight visibility as the "minimums required", ...
The WHOLE aviation world? WOW. I've seen a large portion of it, and I'd be scared to make such a broad statement. But, you DID qualify it with the "as far as I know." Whew! :)



Not that it's relevant, but all of my Air Force flying required ceiling and visibility.




.
 

777_Jackpot

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CFIse said:
What a fascinating interpretation - care to explain this FAA letter of interpretation then?




FAA Legal Opinion:
"March 21, 1991
Mr. Glenn Rizner
Technical Specialist, Membership Services Department
Aircraft Owners and Pilots Association
Frederick, MD 21701-4798

Dear Mr. Rizner:

We recently received a letter from the Assistant Chief Counsel for the Eastern Region of the Federal Aviation Administration asking us to give a legal interpretation of a question you posed to them concerning Part 135 of the Federal Aviation Regulations (FAR). We apologize for the delay in answering your query.

The question was: Are both ceiling and visibility required in order for an FAR Part 135 air carrier pilot to initiate an instrument approach?

FAR 135.225(a) and 135.225(a)(2) forbid a Part 135 pilot from beginning an instrument approach unless reported weather conditions at the destination airport are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport. So, even though ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates, it must be considered by the pilot in his decision to initiate the approach, and in deciding whether the reported ceiling is above or below the decision height or minimum descent altitude for the approach. Similarly, FAR 135.225(b) forbids initiation of a final approach segment unless reported conditions are at or above minimums. Again, the pilot must know the reported ceiling and visibility before deciding whether that approach segment can legally be initiated.

This interpretation has been coordinated with the Air Transportation Division of the Flight Standards Service. We hope that this satisfactorily answers your question.

Sincerely,

/s/

Donald P. Byrne
Assistant Chief Counsel
Regulations and Enforcement Division cc: AGC-220/AGC-200/AFS-230/AEA-7
mc: 200 91 0021"

Sure, I'll explain your FAA letter of interpretation.

"FAR 135.225(a) and 135.225(a)(2) forbid a Part 135 pilot from beginning an instrument approach unless reported weather conditions at the destination airport are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport."

I beleive this is what we have been saying in the begining - the fact that the "authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport", are indeed the visibility minimums published on the plate.

"So, even though ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates, it must be considered by the pilot in his decision to initiate the approach, and in deciding whether the reported ceiling is above or below the decision height or minimum descent altitude for the approach".

Your source even states that "[the] ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates". He is just saying that the PIC should consider the ceiling in his decision to initiate the approach. Obviously, prudence would demand that caution be excercised, while not forbiden, to shooting an approach to a runway with adequete visibility but a measure ceiling 200 feet below the published MDA.

-777JP
 

bafanguy

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777_Jackpot said:
Sure, I'll explain your FAA letter of interpretation.

"FAR 135.225(a) and 135.225(a)(2) forbid a Part 135 pilot from beginning an instrument approach unless reported weather conditions at the destination airport are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport."

I beleive this is what we have been saying in the begining - the fact that the "authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport", are indeed the visibility minimums published on the plate.

"So, even though ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates, it must be considered by the pilot in his decision to initiate the approach, and in deciding whether the reported ceiling is above or below the decision height or minimum descent altitude for the approach".

Your source even states that "[the] ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates". He is just saying that the PIC should consider the ceiling in his decision to initiate the approach. Obviously, prudence would demand that caution be excercised, while not forbiden, to shooting an approach to a runway with adequete visibility but a measure ceiling 200 feet below the published MDA.

-777JP


777,

I'd certainly agree with what you said; it jives with what I've understood since these regs appeared in the early '80's. But after reading this letter a couple of times it started looking like "maybe" this guy was trying to say something different. You know..."it depends on what the definition of 'is' is...".

There is sure a better way to phrase his answer than with the words he used. He seems to have lapsed over into operational rather than legal considerations if he's trying to tell pilots to be careful if the ceiling is below DH, 'cuz you might not see anything. The question concerned legality. He should've stuck to a legal answer and left the operational considerations to the crew.
 

CFIse

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777_Jackpot said:
Your source even states that "[the] ceiling is not a criterion on the approach plates". He is just saying that the PIC should consider the ceiling in his decision to initiate the approach. Obviously, prudence would demand that caution be excercised, while not forbiden, to shooting an approach to a runway with adequete visibility but a measure ceiling 200 feet below the published MDA.

-777JP

So having considered it - you ignore it. That should be hilarious at the investigation.

Sorry - you may not LIKE it, you may not agree with it, but the FAA's legal counsel has said you need ceiling and visibility to commence the approach Part 135. If you don't have it, and something happens, these are the people, and this is their interpretation that will hang you.
 

Yank McCobb

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CFIse said:
So having considered it - you ignore it. That should be hilarious at the investigation.

Sorry - you may not LIKE it, you may not agree with it, but the FAA's legal counsel has said you need ceiling and visibility to commence the approach Part 135. If you don't have it, and something happens, these are the people, and this is their interpretation that will hang you.

Bullshat. You only need vis and if they try to "hang me" on it, then they will simply get laughed out of the proceeding.

Once you descend to the prescribed minimum, and you have the required visual references in sight, you land...REGARDLESS of reported ceiling.

This is true Part 91, 135 or 121. Anyone that says any different is simply WRONG.

You may not like THAT, but that is how it is, and that is how it has been at EVERY operator I have flown for. And that is a few, mind you.
 

GravityHater

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DOH!
wheres the forehead slapping icon?
thanks for not tearing me a new one!
 
Last edited:

CFIse

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Yank McCobb said:
Once you descend to the prescribed minimum, and you have the required visual references in sight, you land...REGARDLESS of reported ceiling.

Take a deep breath and go back and read the first post. The question isn't what can you do at minimums - the question is what do you need to commence the approach.

You may want to consider the possibility that the 2 things are different.
 

Ralgha

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That letter of interpretation is the most wishy-washy piece of legal jargon I've ever seen. It doesn't say one way or the other what's required to start an approach.

That said, approach plates do not have a ceiling requirement on them. They have an MDA, or a DA, and a visibility required to descend below that MDA or DA and land. The MDA or DA has nothing to do with weather. It is only an altitude that you must stop at until meeting the visibility requirements.
 

flx757

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CFIse said:
The question isn't what can you do at minimums - the question is what do you need to commence the approach.

.

And the answer, in a plain and easy to understand one word answer, is visibility.

The previous poster put it very well. There is no "reported ceiling" minimum requirement listed on an approach plate. Only a visibility minimum. THIS is what is required to begin the approach.

This question (and answer) is one of the most basic of all.
 

A Squared

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First off, let's not mix 91,121 and 135.

Part 91 has no requirements for begining an approach, under Part 91, you can begin any approach you want, with whatever weather you have. Obviously what somone may or may not have done under Part 91 is completely irrelevant to what is legal under Part 135.

Part 121 is equally irrelevant. The relevant Part 121 regulation specifies "visibility" to start the approach, not "weather"


121.651 (b) (2) At airports within the United States and its territories or at U.S. military airports, unless the latest weather report for that airport issued by the U.S. National Weather Service, a source approved by that Service, or a source approved by the Administrator, reports the visibility to be equal to or more than the visibility minimums prescribed for that procedure..............

It's pretty clear that under part 121 it's visibility and visibility only. But, under Part135, the reg specifies "weather conditions", not visibility


§135.225 IFR: Takeoff, approach and landing minimums.
(a) No pilot may begin an instrument approach procedure to an airport unless -(2) The latest weather report issued by that weather reporting facility indicates that weather conditions are at or above the authorized IFR landing minimums for that airport.


Obviously, dragging Part 121 into the discussion is also compleely irrelevant.

One of the principals of legal construction is that if regulations are worded differently, thier meanings are different (seems obvious when you say it) So, if the FAA says "visibility" when they mean "visibility" it stands to reason that when they say "weather conditions" they don't mean visibility. SO what exactly does "weather conditions" mean? I don't know. the interpretaiton does not make it any clearer, but it certainly raise the possibility that ceiling cannot be ignored completely.

Bear in mind that this interpretation came out in about the same time frame that they were trying to violate a pilot for exctly that: starting an approach under 135 with the vis but not the ceiling.

http://www.ntsb.gov/alj/O_n_O/docs/aviation/4002.PDF

They couldn't make it stick then, but now they have this rather ambiguous interpretation, which they didn't have back then. If you read the NTSB decision, the board does not say that ceiling is or is not required, just that the FAA has failed to show that it is required.

You want to bet your certificate that they won't try again? You want to bet that they won't be able to meet the burden of proof again?

It's a pretty ambiguous area, and I don't know the answer, but to state categorically that all you need is vis is simplistic, and not supported by either the text of the reg (like it is in 121) or the interpretation.
 
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