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4 Answers

Regarding Non-Standard Takeoff Minimums on Instrument Approach Charts

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FAA Regulations, General Aviation, Instrument Rating

1- On istrument approach charts, doesn't the little 'T' in the black triangle mean there are non-standard takeoff minimums for that airport?

2- If so, why are issues regarding takeoff included on approach charts?

3- For this particular airport (KRCM, since I know you were wondering), the "'T' in the triangle" thing is on all charts.  When I go to the front and look-up that airport, there are no specified procedure changes, but rather notes about trees and such.  Am I to belive that the takeoff minimums are actually standard, despite the symbol, and they just put it there to be sure you know about the obstructions?


4 Answers

  1. Kent Shook on Apr 12, 2011

    1 – According to the FAA’s Aeronautical Chart User’s Guide (http://www.avn.faa.gov/content/aeronav/online/pdf_files/IAP_Intro_9thEd.pdf): “When a <inverted T symbol> appears in the Notes section, it signifies the airport has nonstandard IFR takeoff minimums and/or Departure Procedures published in Section C of the TPP.”
    2 – I would imagine it’s just for consistency. Some airports have ODP’s, some don’t. Some airports have SID’s, some don’t. But all of the IFR airports have approach plates, so… (It also occurs to me that with the exception of your home field, you probably fly an approach into an airport before you take off from it.)
    3 – Yup, it appears so.

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  2. Wes Beard on Apr 12, 2011

    Many times, the takeoff climb gradient is much higher than the landing missed approach gradient.  For example, most missed approach climb gradients are 200 FT/NM while some takeoff climb gradients can exceed 700 FT/NM (Reference Gypsum 3 Departure for KEGE).  It would be a good thing to think about the takeoff from that airport as you are planning the flight into it.
    If you find the aircraft performance cannot meet the takeoff climb gradient, you can takeoff and climb in visual conditions, or for multiengine airplanes takeoff in IMC with a good plan on how to safely climb up out of terrain.  This is mostly done with airport analysis through APG.

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  3. Pete Kemble on Apr 12, 2011

    This was a question / discussion on my instrument checkride about a year ago. Simply put, there is a standard rate of climb (ROC) of 200ft/nm (up to 400AGL, I believe) which is fairly flat when you visualize it. However, if there are obstacles in that path, then you will have either an obstacle or textual departure procedure, hence your plates will have the T in the triangle. If there’s no T, then there’s no procedure, and therefore – there’s no obstacle, provided you can climb at 200ft/nm up to 400AGL.
    SIDs (Standard Instrument Departures) aren’t necessarily for obstacles though, as they are for getting traffic into the enroute phase easily – like backwards STARs, they are more for efficiency and noise abatement than obstacle clearance, although they will cause a T on the plate.
    more here: http://expertaviator.com/2011/02/03/departure-procedure-climb-gradient-and-calculating-your-rate-of-climb/

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  4. Kent Shook on Apr 13, 2011

    Pete, the 200 ft/nm goes well past 400 AGL – it goes all the way up to the minimum IFR altitude. The 400 AGL is where you may commence a turn. Even without an ODP, there may be obstacles above the 200 ft/nm cone below 400 AGL – Control towers, for example – But the airspace below 400 AGL is protected only if you fly straight and do not turn prior to 400 AGL. (Note that you also must cross the departure end of the runway at least 35 AGL.) If there are obstacles that encroach on the cone, there will be an obstacle departure procedure.
    See AIM 5-2-8(b)(1) and the Instrument Flying Handbook, Chapter 8.

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