|37000 Feet||Browse and search NASA's
Aviation Safety Reporting System
|Local Time Of Day||0601 To 1200|
|Locale Reference||airport : ssf|
|Altitude||agl bound lower : 0|
agl bound upper : 0
|Operator||common carrier : air taxi|
|Make Model Name||Small Aircraft|
|Flight Phase||climbout : takeoff|
|Affiliation||company : air taxi|
|Function||flight crew : single pilot|
|Qualification||pilot : cfi|
pilot : commercial
pilot : instrument
|Experience||flight time last 90 days : 60|
flight time total : 4000
flight time type : 300
|Affiliation||government : faa|
|Function||observation : air carrier inspector|
|Qualification||pilot : atp|
|Anomaly||other anomaly other|
other anomaly other
|Independent Detector||other flight crewa|
|Primary Problem||Chart Or Publication|
|Air Traffic Incident||other|
I made an instrument approach with a reported 400' ceiling and 2 mi visibility. The approach was conducted with no problem. At approximately XB15 local time I departed on the second flight. Just before takeoff the tower advised the sff WX was 200' ceiling and 3/4 mi visibility. Noting the following data, I departed on my IFR flight: the reported visibility in the tower was 3/4 mi, but from the runway threshold we (myself and company employee passenger) observed the visibility to be at least 1 mi. Our part 135 operations specifications and my pilot authorization allow takeoff at as low a visibility of 2400 RVR or 1/2 mi. We had alternate airports within 1 hour's flying time as per far 135.217, as required if WX is below landing minimums but above takeoff minimums. Takeoff minimums per commercial approach/takeoff charts states 1/4 mi minimum for part 135 operators when the pilot has 'forward visibility reference.' after the flight was over, discussion intra-company was made about just how low the visibility could be fof takeoff at ssf with our operations specifications, etc. In asking this question to our FAA FSDO operations inspector, he stated that 1 mi was required since that was lowest landing minimum, even though our operations specifications allow 1/2 mi and commercial takeoff data allow 1/4 mi with 'forward visibility reference.' these questions still remain completely and totally unresolved: what minimum visibility can we take off at ssf? Is this visibility determined by the tower controller or the pilot? (No RVR). Was an far violation made by departing as I did the morning of 1/thu/89, even though I, as PIC, was satisfied that all parameters for legally taking off were met? Callback conversation with reporter revealed the following: the takeoff was legal and the inspector either misunderstood or was giving bum dope. Problem was inspectors in FSDO could not even agree among themselves on interpretation of far and their poi was the one giving wrong information. He advised would go further to try to get standard interpretation at local FSDO office.
Original NASA ASRS Text
Title: ATX SMA PLT QUESTIONING LEGALITY OF TKOF WX GIVEN WRONG INFORMATION BY ACI.
Narrative: I MADE AN INSTRUMENT APCH WITH A RPTED 400' CEILING AND 2 MI VISIBILITY. THE APCH WAS CONDUCTED WITH NO PROB. AT APPROX XB15 LCL TIME I DEPARTED ON THE SECOND FLT. JUST BEFORE TKOF THE TWR ADVISED THE SFF WX WAS 200' CEILING AND 3/4 MI VISIBILITY. NOTING THE FOLLOWING DATA, I DEPARTED ON MY IFR FLT: THE RPTED VISIBILITY IN THE TWR WAS 3/4 MI, BUT FROM THE RWY THRESHOLD WE (MYSELF AND COMPANY EMPLOYEE PAX) OBSERVED THE VISIBILITY TO BE AT LEAST 1 MI. OUR PART 135 OPS SPECS AND MY PLT AUTHORIZATION ALLOW TKOF AT AS LOW A VISIBILITY OF 2400 RVR OR 1/2 MI. WE HAD ALTERNATE ARPTS WITHIN 1 HR'S FLYING TIME AS PER FAR 135.217, AS REQUIRED IF WX IS BELOW LNDG MINIMUMS BUT ABOVE TKOF MINIMUMS. TKOF MINIMUMS PER COMMERCIAL APCH/TKOF CHARTS STATES 1/4 MI MINIMUM FOR PART 135 OPERATORS WHEN THE PLT HAS 'FORWARD VISIBILITY REF.' AFTER THE FLT WAS OVER, DISCUSSION INTRA-COMPANY WAS MADE ABOUT JUST HOW LOW THE VISIBILITY COULD BE FOF TKOF AT SSF WITH OUR OPS SPECS, ETC. IN ASKING THIS QUESTION TO OUR FAA FSDO OPS INSPECTOR, HE STATED THAT 1 MI WAS REQUIRED SINCE THAT WAS LOWEST LNDG MINIMUM, EVEN THOUGH OUR OPS SPECS ALLOW 1/2 MI AND COMMERCIAL TKOF DATA ALLOW 1/4 MI WITH 'FORWARD VISIBILITY REF.' THESE QUESTIONS STILL REMAIN COMPLETELY AND TOTALLY UNRESOLVED: WHAT MINIMUM VISIBILITY CAN WE TAKE OFF AT SSF? IS THIS VISIBILITY DETERMINED BY THE TWR CTLR OR THE PLT? (NO RVR). WAS AN FAR VIOLATION MADE BY DEPARTING AS I DID THE MORNING OF 1/THU/89, EVEN THOUGH I, AS PIC, WAS SATISFIED THAT ALL PARAMETERS FOR LEGALLY TAKING OFF WERE MET? CALLBACK CONVERSATION WITH RPTR REVEALED THE FOLLOWING: THE TKOF WAS LEGAL AND THE INSPECTOR EITHER MISUNDERSTOOD OR WAS GIVING BUM DOPE. PROB WAS INSPECTORS IN FSDO COULD NOT EVEN AGREE AMONG THEMSELVES ON INTERP OF FAR AND THEIR POI WAS THE ONE GIVING WRONG INFO. HE ADVISED WOULD GO FURTHER TO TRY TO GET STANDARD INTERP AT LCL FSDO OFFICE.
Data retrieved from NASA's ASRS site as of August 2007 and automatically converted to unabbreviated mixed upper/lowercase text. This report is for informational purposes with no guarantee of accuracy. See NASA's ASRS site for official report.