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2 Answers

Vectoring

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FAA Regulations

We, pilots, were taught not to accept altitudes below MVA but the Air Traffic Control Procedures state this: Vector an aircraft " At or above the MVA ... except as authorized ... by para  5−6−3 ... 5−6−3 VECTORS BELOW MINIMUM ALTITUDE Except in en route automated environments in areas where more than 3 miles separation minima is required, you may vector a departing IFR aircraft, or one executing a missed approach, within 40 miles of the radar antenna and before it reaches the minimum altitude for IFR operations if separation from prominent obstacles shown on the radar scope is applied in accordance with the following: a. If the flight path is 3 miles or more from the obstacle and the aircraft is climbing to an altitude at least 1,000 feet above the obstacle, vector the aircraft to maintain at least 3 miles separation from the obstacle until the aircraft reports leaving an altitude above the obstacle. b. If the flight path is less than 3 miles from the obstacle and the aircraft is climbing to an altitude at least 1,000 feet above the obstacle, vector the aircraft to increase lateral separation from the obstacle until the 3 mile minimum is achieved or until the aircraft reports leaving an altitude above the obstacle. Can we accept vectors below MVA?

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2 Answers



  1. John D. Collins on Jul 08, 2013

    Yes.

    The MVA provides 1000 feet of obstacle and terrain clearance, but vectors are very useful below the MVA. Typically these below MVA will be on departures and provide guidance to avoid obstacles. Assignment of a departure heading to fly is not a radar vector and neither is a controller declaring “radar contact”. With a radar vector, ATC is responsible for terrain and obstacle clearance, without a radar vector, the pilot is responsible. Another case where radar vectors can be provided below minimum vectoring altitude is a PAR or surveillance approach.

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  2. Jody Keydash on Jul 10, 2013

    Mr. Collins,

    Sir, do you an e-mail address, or would you rather have me call you? I would like
    to ask you a question, and not post that question here. Thanks.

    Jody Keydash ATP CFII MEI

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