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Lost Communication for IFR flight if filed into the Flight Levels

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FAA Regulations, Flight Instructor, Instrument Rating

I'm looking for some help on these following Lost communication scenarios. I am a little unsure what the regulations state for the following 2 scenarios.   Airplane: Turbo Charged P210 Weather: Everything West from the Gulf to the Canadian Border is solid overcast from ICT all the way to DEN and beyond (800 agl ceilings and tops are 6,000 MSL).  75 NM East of ICT from border to border all the way to the east coast is bright blue sunny skies. In other words the entire western half of the United states west of ICT is solid overcast and the entire Eastern half of the US east of ICT is Bright Blue Skies.   Before I begin the scenario’s I have these 2 questions in mind.   Questions:   1) If in any of these scenario's I found the tops at 6,000 ft (now I am in VFR conditions) and I knew where VFR conditions existed within range (75 nm east of ICT) could I climb to a VFR altitude remain VFR divert to an airport (in the complete opposite direction and not listed on my flight plan 100 nm east of ICT) and land as long as I was able to remain VFR the entire time? I would rather call center and explain myself rather than facing an entire flight wondering what else is going to fail.   2) If I filed for FL230 would I ever climb to 23,000 feet in any of the scenario’s?       1 Flight Planning: Filed IFR flight plan: ICT to DEN via J182 – J80 - FQF on a High Enroute Chart. Altitude: FL 230 Route: ICT - J182 – J80 – FQF – DEN   C - DEN R -  VIA J182 – J80 - FQF A - On departure fly Runway Heading to 4,000 expect 8,000 +10 min F - 123.4 T - 1234 There is no MEA listed along J182 and J80   Scenario 1: After takeoff at 2,000 AGL the airplane has lost Comm. Following regulations (FAR 91.185).  Even though I filed for FL230 the last clearance limit was 8,000.   After the Loss Comm, what would be the highest altitude used in this scenario?  

  1. A) I think even though FL230 was filed the highest altitude I would fly would be 8,000 MSL then on up to the higher OROCA’S 9100 and 12100 (low enroute chart does not have the same airway listed on the high enroute). I have reasoned this because FAR 91.185 does not state to fly the highest “filed” altitude (FL230).
  1. B) I also think since I filed J182 – J80 I would need to follow the route that I filed allowing me to go ahead and climb on up to FL230.
  Scenario 2:   Same weather and situation above except different route using the low enroute chart.   Flight Planning Route: ICT – V73 – HUT – V132 – GLD – V4 – TXC – V148 – FQF – DEN (Lots of MEA changes)… Low Enroute Chart. Altitude: FL 230   C - DEN R -  VIA V73 – HUT – V132 – GLD – V4 – TXC – V148 – FQF A - On departure fly Runway Heading to 4,000 expect 8,000 +10 min F - 123.4 T - 1234   Scenario 2: After takeoff at 2,000 AGL the airplane has lost Comm. Following regulations (FAR 91.185).  Even though I filed for FL230 the last clearance limit was 8,000. If I follow the regulation I would never see FL230 because 8,000 was the highest of the altitudes according to FAR 91.185.   This is what I would do: After realizing a Comm’s failure a climb to the expected altitude of 8,000 and fly the Victor Airways until reaching DISKS intersection. At DISKS a climb to the higher MEA 10,000 MSL. Then at ORION intersection a descent back down to the expected altitude of 8,000 MSL (8,000 is higher than the MEA of 5700). After crossing LIMEX intersection a climb to 8,500 would be required. *** A climb to 9100 (OROCA) after crossing the FQF VOR (note the MCA V134 11600 W).   If I filed for FL230 would I ever climb to 23,000 feet in any of the scenario’s?   Any thoughts about turning east at a VFR altitude in VFR conditions to land 75 nm East of ICT in VFR conditions?

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1 Answers

  1. jmt on Aug 05, 2015

    well the AVEnue of FAME acronym helps go through the lost comm process. But without getting super into the weeds with the scenario I will point out one thing. You said you filed for and received clearance for a jet route. Those don’t start until 18000′ so if you were going to continue with your planned route, flying to your assigned altitude and jet route would be a good idea. As far as things failing…I’m not familiar with your aircraft but there should be no connection between your radio doing out and your navigation aids also going out…short of running into a ton of birds and losing all your antennas.

    The bottom line is, if you go lost comm and squawk 7600 ATC knows you are in the blind and will clear a path. If you choose to go VFR (or remain VFR) than likely they will be able to see you’re doing just that. Also, there are some VORs that can receive voice as well so that is potential way to communicate, or at least acknowledge ATC instructions when your radios are down. This is a good topic overall, especially since most people assume they will never go lost comm.

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