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Ed Cesnalis

Light Sport 10,000' Altitude restriction with exception

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46 minutes ago, Ed Cesnalis said:

 

AGL the ground should be below

 

Why?  I'm I say I'm going to stay 1000ft AGL, we all understand that I mean 1000ft above whatever terrain I cross, not at the altitude that is 1000ft above the terrain at the moment I make the statement. 

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3 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

The ground is equal to the surface area of the earth.  The only issue (for most of us) is how large an area are we to include?  You seem unwilling to use common sense and just want to be argumentative.  Maybe you should purchase a radio altimeter and use that.

your the one redefining the word 'above' here. FARs and the idea that words just mean whatever you want them to mean don't mix well.

I do use common sense and it dictates that I understand the rules under which I operate. 

You use the example of cruising above the exception for an hour as being over the line.  That is so imprecise and without basis that its not usable. What about 45 minutes, 30, 15????  How would someone trying to comply know?

I stand on what I said, a rule based on AGL that everyone knows means something other than 'above' is ambiguous. 

As long as they amended the original rule to include this exception they should have used language that was precise enough to use and / or enforce the exception.

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18 minutes ago, FlyingMonkey said:

Why?

because the 'A' in 'AGL' stands for above.  Words mean things.  FARs are regulatory and require words with meanings.  In every other context AGL means something precise.

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26 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

The ground is equal to the surface area of the earth.  The only issue (for most of us) is how large an area are we to include?  You seem unwilling to use common sense and just want to be argumentative.  Maybe you should purchase a radio altimeter and use that.

It is not about common sense, or what your opinion of AGL is. In his situation he needs a definitive answer to know if he is or is not complying with the limitation.

The standard definition of AGL is over the ground that is directly beneath you. Using that definition he can not safely fly in his general surroundings.

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38 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

The ground is equal to the surface area of the earth.  The only issue (for most of us) is how large an area are we to include?  You seem unwilling to use common sense and just want to be argumentative.  Maybe you should purchase a radio altimeter and use that.

Below is a vertical profile of a flight I do.  Do I descend into the valley to 8,500 and cruise and then climb a 2nd time?  Its less than the hour in your example but still a long ways.

Where ever you draw the line who do you think would win in an enforcement action?  Hard to 'argue in court' when the rule says AGL.  

The altitude limitation has been written twice now. The original was not ambiguous but provided inadequate clearance where the exception makes it safe from terrain but not safe from enforcement.

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7 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

Bullshit.  He can interpret what he needs the ground area to be to safely get over the next mountain peak.  If he doesn't want to do that, he can call the FAA and ask.  And, there is no standard definition of the ground in the FAR's.  That's the issue.

I didn't say the definition was in the FAR's, I said standard. If I meant to imply that it was a FAA definition from the FAR's I would have said so. You will find the definition in other FAA publications. Here is a link explaining AGL.

http://expertaviator.com/2014/01/08/what-is-the-difference-between-above-ground-level-and-above-field-elevation/

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5 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

if flying left to right, I would descend after crossing the first set of mountain peaks to 9,500 MSL.  That is legal and sufficiently high to get over the next set.

cruising at 9,500 while westbound is legal?  

that is a recommended VFR cruise altitude for opposing traffic meant to provide separation so reckless would be a better word than legal. 

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19 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

Can you even read?  ...  My discussion was about what determines the "ground."  Are you really a pilot?  How long have you been flying? 

I guess those are rhetorical insults and you don't really expect answers?

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12 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

Read my post, I said east.  I have no idea what the actual direction is.  I'm done trying to help you.  You don't want to learn anything or get any advice, you just want to argue.  Good luck with your flying.,

I didn't see assuming east there just a minute ago. 

Those 3 letter Identifiers on each end actually give an idea.

Let me be clear about what I want.  I want to point out that the exception in the rule is not only ambiguous but for an FAR absurdly so.  The exception can't be used as intended by the pilot as protection for unwarranted enforcement because the exception can't be interpreted.

I have used this exception hundreds of times and I want to point out that its language is problematic.

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52 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

That's someone's general explanation.  Not an FAA definition that we can use in the example we are discussing.

Yes, that is someone's explanation. It doesn't change the fact that it is a standard definition. Even if you could find a definition of AGL that states that it is not taken from the ground directly below the aircraft it would still be the standard definition.

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1 hour ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

Read my post, I said east.  I have no idea what the actual direction is.  I'm done trying to help you.  You don't want to learn anything or get any advice, you just want to argue.  Good luck with your flying.,  I don't understand the motivation of people like you and Tom and don't really want to understand.

Argue: exchange or express diverging or opposite views, typically in a heated or angry way.

I am having a discussion. I enjoy lively discussion, and harbor no ill will. If you are getting heated or angry over a simple discussion you need to learn to relax.

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58 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

My assumption of east and west wasn't there until it dawned on me that I needed to specify.  I did not bother to look up airport identifiers.  It's not an exception, it's an FAR that says when you can fly above 10,000 feet as a Sport Pilot.  The FAR's don't give a precise definition of what that entails.  If that bothers you, why not write a letter to the FAA and recommend they modify the FAR.  There are plenty of ambiguities in the FAR's.  If the FAA were to eliminate all of them, the FAR's would probably be 3 times as long as they are.  People complain about "over-reach" of the government, then complain because something is not as precise as they would like.  Why not apply for a job with the FAA as a technical writer and remove all the ambiguities?  People who can't live in a world of grey and can only live with everything being black and white, must have a miserable life.

2,500' AGL is the exception to the 10,000' limitation. It is an exception.

I did provide input when the rule was changed but was a lone voice. The focus was on relief from the hard limit alone and getting the most reasonable exception with workable language didn't happen this time.

Most pilots cross the high Sierra Nevada at 11,500 or 12,500 minimum so the original rule made crossings a problem.  I have experience crossing at 9,600 minimum and used that 400' window until the rule changed.  I did that mostly to demonstrate how the rule encouraged non-optimal crossing altitude and it provided a few exciting moments.

I work with interpreting regulations and interpretations by government officials every day. I'm not trying to change the world to suit me just pointing out that the current limitation/exception remains a problem in that it fails to provide protection to the pilot from enforcement.  I gave it a number of years and observed how it works day in and day out and I'm hear to say that the new version  while much improved remains highly flawed.

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Just now, JohnnyBlackCT said:

East west rule does not apply below 3,000 AGL.

the California's Central Valley crossing depicted above that we were discussing would have you descending below 10,000 but you are still 6-8,000' AGL so the rule does apply.

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17 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

  You just want to argue.

Also, I'll be 70 in December and have done quite well in life.  I don't take unsolicited personal advice from the likes of you.  So, you can save that for someone who values your opinion on issues other than flying.

I am not arguing with you, I am having a discussion. If I was arguing I would be under the opinion that I could change your mind, and I know that isn't going to happen.

 

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12 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

Post how you would advise a Private or Commercial pilot flying with Sport Pilot privileges to fly over the mountains depicted in Ed's diagram and maybe I would have something to agree with.

First off not having flown in that type of terrain I have no business offering advice on flying there. If I did have experience and was going to offer advice I would error on the side of safety over the regulations. From a legal point I would say that you need to be within 2000 of the surface if you are over 10,000 feet. By surface I mean the ground as it is directly below you. IMO flying within the legal guidelines is not safe. The big problem as I see it, and I think Ed is in the same boat, without a clear and decisive position from the FAA it is impossible to offer any other opinion. 

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3 minutes ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

I believe the FAA fully intends for me to be able to make this flight safely.

When a pilot asks on an aviation web site "What is the minimum level aircraft recommended for safely flying to and from Mammoth Yosemite Airport?"  The most common answer would be a twin powered turbine.  

We talked briefly about Mammoth Yosemite 11 years ago for a fly-in before settling on Page.  Others feared there would be fatalities.  

Without high mountain, lee side experience in very light planes a flight to Mammoth in a CT should be carefully considered and isn't for every pilot.

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1 hour ago, JohnnyBlackCT said:

But Mr Instructor, I am flying across those mountains tomorrow.  You are my instructor.  I need you to give me your best advice as to how to fly over the mountains in my Flight Design CT while complying with the FAR's to the best of my ability and while being safe.  What should I do other than cancel the flight?  I believe the FAA fully intends for me to be able to make this flight safely.

And, it's not impossible to offer an opinion.  Either you don't have an opinion or don't want to express your opinion.  Cancel the flight and stay home seems to be your current opinion.  And, that's a valid opinion, but I don't think that's what the FAA intends.  Applying logic and reasonableness, (and common sense), I'll go with my opinion.  I'll bet my opinion is what the FAA had in mind without spelling it out in great detail.  And, yes, I would bet my certificate on it.

I would tell my student without mincing my words, and you are an idiot for just asking me now! Why didn't you ask before you headed out on your trip? I would have told you to find an instructor near the mountains who could provide you with the special knowledge you need for operating in that area. You are foolish to not have planned further ahead for your trip.

Just because I'm an instructor doesn't mean I have to be an expert in all aspects of specialty aviation. If I was going to fly out there I would seek out training for myself. If I don't know something I am ot afraid to admit it.

 

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What is imediate area? Is that within a mile! 5 miles, or 10 miles? I think that an answer like that from the FAA is one that is given when they don't have something to base a solid answer on.

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LSA have limited climb performance and high terrain often rises too rapidly for LSA to conform to their profile. Any rule based on AGL will work poorly for this reason.

A limitation based on the current quadrant's MEF would limit the pilot in a more workable fashion and be very easy to word.

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You guys are going to make a mountain. out of a mole hill when there is no exact number.

I have never heard any authority give an exact number.Why beat it up and still  not have an exact number. In your flight area gives you leeway. Why try to limit yourself. The FAA isn't being that limiting.

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43 minutes ago, Roger Lee said:

You guys are going to make a mountain. out of a mole hill when there is no exact number.

I have never heard any authority give an exact number.Why beat it up and still  not have an exact number. In your flight area gives you leeway. Why try to limit yourself. The FAA isn't being that limiting.

Having 'a number' protects the pilot, it provides for a defense in an enforcement action.

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