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7 Answers

Reduction in TAS report when approaching holding.

Asked by: 8240 views
Instrument Rating

Unsure of a situation that came up today: IFR in IMC flight enroute to a nontowered airport, filed TAS was 132. I was give instructions to fly to the published hold for the ILS with an EFC time of over 30 minutes for traffic sequencing. In order to conserve fuel I slowed from 120KIAS/~132KTAS down to 80KIAS/90KTAS approx. 6nm from the holding fix. I reported to the controller my change in TAS from what I filed. Practically, I'm sure the controller didn't really care whether or not I did or didn't report to her my change in airspeed, but, am I legally required to report this change in TAS as it is more than 10KTAS or 5% filed TAS as I'm not really "en route" anymore but establishing an entry for holding and didn't see the purpose doing so at my max fuel burn?

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7 Answers

  1. ale on Jul 14, 2013

    You did the right thing. As long as no app clearance given, you are technically en route. Therefore, a change in tas is required.

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  2. Lucas on Jul 14, 2013

    Well here is an acronym that can help students remember the reports that are to be made when in IFR:

    M – missed
    A – Airspeed changes of 10 Kt or 5% whichever is greater
    R – Reaching altitude
    V – Vacating an altitude
    E – ETA +/- 3 minutes
    L – Leaving an altitude
    O – Outer marker
    U – Unforecast weather {FAR 91.183 (b)}
    S – Safety of flight (FAR 91.183 (c)}

    V – VFR on top
    F – FAF inbound
    R – Radio or navigation equipment failure {FAR 91.187}
    500 – cannot climb 500 FPM.

    As you see only 3 of them are actually FAR’s while the rest is described in the AIM.
    Now FAR = Mandatory, AIM = Suggested.
    Also you must report:
    The time and altitude of passing each designated reporting point, or the reporting points specified by ATC, except that while the aircraft is under radar control, only the passing of those reporting points specifically requested by ATC need be reported; {FAR 91.183 (a)}.

    If I report everything the AIM suggests to New York approach (where I fly out of) I am sure they would gladly shoot me down with a rocket launcher as they are just a tad busy.

    But as Ale said you did everything by the book so no worries.

    Also keep in mind that once you are assigned a hold the only thing the controller cares about is that you stay in the protected box and protected altitude. Technically if you zigzag, do some eights or turns around a point the controller can care less, as you are the only airplane flying in that box at that altitude.

    But again following what the AIM says never got anyone in trouble while not following it could have negative consequences.


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  3. John D. Collins on Jul 14, 2013

    Slowing down for entering the hold is not normally reported. It might technically be required if you were still at your cruise altitude, but the purpose of reporting a speed change is so that the controller can maintain separation from aircraft at the same altitude. Since you weren’t given an altitude change, this should not be an issue as the hold is going to block other aircraft from getting close to you. If you weren’t at cruising altitude, then the AIM guidance doesn’t apply. Regardless, I would not report slowing for a hold as it is expected. There certainly is no harm in making the report, but in my opinion it is unnecessary. Also, note the wording in the AIM, it uses the words “should be made” meaning that it is good practice and expected, but does not use mandatory language such as “must be made”.

    Here is what the AIM says regarding other reports:

    5−3−3. Additional Reports

    a. The following reports should be made to ATC or FSS facilities without a specific ATC

    1. At all times.

    “(e) Change in the average true airspeed (at cruising altitude) when it varies by 5 percent or 10 knots (whichever is greater) from that filed in the flight plan.”

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  4. Mark Kolber on Jul 14, 2013

    Yeah, but where’s the acronym to remember that acronym?

    BTW, I don’t understand your comment about shooting out of the sky if you report the reporting points the AIM requires. I would think that if NY Approach tells you to report a certain reporting point and you don’t, they will also be happy to shoot you out of the sky with a rocket.

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  5. Lucas on Jul 14, 2013

    Lol really!
    The New York frequency I use to get into MMU in IFR is probably one of the busiest frequencies in the world as it handles all traffic landing into Teterboro, La Guardia and Newark that is coming from the west. To be able to key in for a communication takes quite a bit of skill and out of 1 hour of recording of the frequency 15 to 20 minutes is unreadable because of people keying over each other.
    Now If the controller asks me to report something (I might have had this happen once in 10 years of flying here), I will certainly report it. But if I actually report all that the AIM suggests I should I would just add another 10 minutes to the unreadable recording. Plus this area has radar coverage nearly all the way to the ground so if I told approach that I will get to MMU 5 minutes late (eta +/-3) they will start not liking me and they will probably let me know it by vectoring me to alaska before bringing me back to MMU.
    Also if you can’t remember something as easy as MARVELOUS VFR 500 maybe a job at 7/11 would work better.
    But as pilots and instructors we are always open to learn something new (heck I learned 100 times more stuff since I became a CFI than while I studied to become one) so if you have an easier way to remember all the AIM’s suggested reports I would be glad to hear about it. If its going to make my students life better and easier, I am all for it.


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  6. Ale on Jul 14, 2013

    In addition what John mentioned, The AIM also says:

    “f. Explanation of IFR Flight Plan Items.
    4. Block 4. Enter your computed true airspeed (TAS).
    NOTE- If the average TAS changes plus or minus 5 percent or 10 knots, whichever is greater, advise ATC”.

    AIM:5-1-12. Change in Flight Plan
    In addition to altitude or flight level, destination and/or route changes, increasing or decreasing the speed of an aircraft constitutes a change in a flight plan. Therefore, at any time the average true airspeed at cruising altitude between reporting points varies or is expected to vary from that given in the flight plan by plus or minus 5 percent, or 10 knots, whichever is greater, ATC should be advised.

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  7. Mark Kolber on Jul 15, 2013

    I guess I’m just one of those who thinks that 99% of all mnemonics are nonsense, ridiculous, anti-learning and, well, to use one,

    Mnemonics Never Eliminate Man’s Only Nemesis – Insufficient Cerebral Storage

    Maybe I’ll try that 7/11 job once I completely retire from practicing law 😉

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