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4 Answers

ODP Question

Asked by: 1446 views Airspace, FAA Regulations

Reference KMER Runway 13 ODP: Fly heading 126 to 2500 feet before turning left. If you want to make right turn, what is the procedure? Any feedback appreciated.    

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4 Answers



  1. Mark Kolber on Aug 19, 2013

    Dan, have you looked at the sectional chart or just the text ODP?

    Remember that the purpose of an ODP is to get your from the ground to the en route structure without hitting something along the way. So there’s zero ability to understand an ODP without the context of the area in which it exists (this is also true of IAPs, in reverse).

    If you look at the sectional, I have a feeling you will be able to answer your own question.

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  2. Joshua Clark on Aug 20, 2013

    Dan,
    A right (easterly) turn from the runway can be initiated at the normal altitude that you would begin your turn under IFR conditions (400′ AGL from TERPS criteria). You will notice that takeoffs on runway 31 also have to wait till 1100′ before turning right. So departures to the west need to wait for certain altitudes, while departures to the east do not have to wait. The sectional does offer some context as there is substantial terrain 50 miles to the west. If you can’t cross that terrain by 2000′ on a 200’/nm gradient, then the ODP procedure will help to make sure that criteria is met. I’m not sure that the sectional offers the whole picture of context with the difference in altitudes between the two different runways to get on course. At times there are additional obstacles close to the airport that may not even be charted on the sectional but interfere with the 200’/nm climb gradient required to get to the enroute structure.
    You will also notice from the takeoff minimums text that you can climb visually over the airport, and then proceed on course upon reaching 2200′ MSL. That 300′ difference between the straight out departure and climbing visually over the airport would indicate to me a closer obstacle that you need to see to make sure you don’t hit as you climb that may not be charted. Regardless of the obstacle being close, or the terrain farther away, adhering to the takeoff minimums and ODP description and maintaining at least a 200’/nm climb gradient enroute is designed to maintain your obstacle clearance.

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  3. Dan Chitty on Aug 20, 2013

    Thank you Joshua and Mark for the feedback.

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  4. Wes Beard on Aug 20, 2013

    There is no requirement to follow the ODP while departing IMC from an uncontrolled airport. What you have to do is ensure you are not going to hit anything while climbing up to the MOCA for the airway you want.

    With that said, I think it is dumb to not follow a published ODP. There is some reason why the FAA required an ODP be published. In this case, it could be the high antennas to the southeast of the airport. There are also antennas to the northeast though.

    A couple points of clarification. An ODP is published when a standard 152’/NM gradient cannot be ensured to be free of terrain or obstacles. The only exception to this is close-in obstacles which are listed in the same place as the ODP. These close-in obstacles (if required to be used in the calculation of the ODP) would require a steep climb gradient or other abnormal procedure. The FAA then requires these close-in obstacles to be documented for the pilot so they can see and avoid them on climb out. This is also the reason why some takeoff minimums are higher than others.

    A climb in visual conditions over the airport (VCOA) is used to ensure obstacle and terrain clearance as you climb up to the MOCA. If you are going to use a VCOA, the airplane obviously must remain in VMC conditions until at the MOCA altitude.

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