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Piper Arrow G-BVDH down on the Simplon Pass in Switzerland

Peter wrote:

given the constraints of no oxygen (which unless you are a bit of a cowboy precludes flying straight over the top)
from social media it’s clear both parents were caring a

You don’t need to be high for that long to really need oxygen that far north to be very honest. So I don’t think, and that is personal opinion the oxygen point is a good excuse to not go up to 10K for 45 mins and be done with it. The baby on board might change that, but I don’t think flying at 10K with no oxygen makes you a cowboy either…

LFHN - Bellegarde - Vouvray France

LFHNflightstudent wrote:

You don’t need to be high for that long to really need oxygen that far north to be very honest. So I don’t think, and that is personal opinion the oxygen point is a good excuse to not go up to 10K for 45 mins and be done with it. The baby on board might change that, but I don’t think flying at 10K with no oxygen makes you a cowboy either…

the last amendment of EASA says that the ICP must have an oxygen supply after more than 30 minutes to more than 10’000.
And everyone from 13’000

I fly at Sion LSGS, in the middle of the Alps, I think I have never reached these limits.
You ski at 10’000 without oxygen cylinder….

LSGS, Switzerland

Gigicret wrote:

must have

It’s not quite “must”, it has been done many times:

(my italic to highlight)

NCO.OP.190 Use of supplemental oxygen
(a) The pilot-in-command shall ensure that all flight crew members engaged in performing duties
essential to the safe operation of an aircraft in flight use supplemental oxygen continuously
whenever he/she determines that at the altitude of the intended flight the lack of oxygen might
result in impairment of the faculties of crew members, and shall ensure that supplemental
oxygen is available to passengers when lack of oxygen might harmfully affect passengers.
(b) In any other case when the pilot-in-command cannot determine how the lack of oxygen might
affect all occupants on board, he/she shall ensure that:
(altitude restrictions below)

Last Edited by Noe at 05 Sep 09:05

It can be fatal to rely on iPads, both for route planning and for flying in mountains. I know of a fatal accident that happened when a particular flight planning software had a version where a particular peak was only visible when the screen was zoomed in on a rather detailed level. No altitude information was given, unless you zoomed in onto a zoom level that was totally too small for inflight operations and also for planning. I strongly advise to always use a paper map for the original route planning, draw the route onto the map, make yourself very closely familiar with the altitudes enroute and the mountains around you, key landmark points to overfly and where to turn, and for backup routes in case the weather and/or the wind doesn’t play ball. And use the iPad / tablet as a useful, but backup gadget. Seriously.

EDLN, Germany

Noe wrote:

It’s not quite “must”, it has been done many times:

of course it’s my translation that’s bad, sorry

LSGS, Switzerland

EuroFlyer wrote:

It can be fatal to rely on iPads, both for route planning and for flying in mountains

(Asides from the obvious serious software deficiency):

That presumably would only be fatal if one were on IMC below MSA, which seems unlikely given that if flying IFR you’ll likely be on airways or under vectors, no? (well, someone could mess up the vectors). If you are VFR (well, maybe not 1500m VFR) and have your head out of the cockpit, a peak should be reasonably to avoid, no?

When valley flying, I occasionally glance at the iPad to check which valley I should turn into, and to check I’ve turned into the one I planned to turn into. But eyes are almost all the time outside, and I probably glance more at the terrain view on the G1000 than at the iPad (which will also have terrain view)

Night VFR is another issue, but it is much much less likely to happen I’d think.

EuroFlyer wrote:

I know of a fatal accident that happened when a particular flight planning software had a version where a particular peak was only visible when the screen was zoomed in on a rather detailed level. No altitude information was given, unless you zoomed in onto a zoom level that was totally too small for inflight operations and also for planning

Yes, zoom in/zoom out is a bad idea

In VFR peaks are very obvious and you have a clear cut if you can/can’t clear them, especially with visible horizon
It is the slow rising terrain when flying low and no visible horizon that one needs to watch out for as it creeps slowly

Noe wrote:

That presumably would only be fatal if one were on IMC below MSA, which seems unlikely given that if flying IFR you’ll likely be on airways or under vectors, no? (well, someone could mess up the vectors)

Airways bases over mountains seems way above IFR +2000ft MSA, probably as they cover the whole route and have Com/Radar constraints? So I would expect some GA aircraft operating IFR there to fly in IMC far above MSA but not necessarily in airways?

Last Edited by Ibra at 05 Sep 12:53
ESSEX, United Kingdom

Noe wrote:

That presumably would only be fatal if one were on IMC below MSA, which seems unlikely given that if flying IFR you’ll likely be on airways or under vectors, no? (well, someone could mess up the vectors). If you are VFR (well, maybe not 1500m VFR) and have your head out of the cockpit, a peak should be reasonably to avoid, no?

Theoretically, yes.

EDLN, Germany

On mountain pass crossings, just as useful as having the right altitude is using the right technique.

It has been mentioned very briefly in this thread but it must be stressed, at least as much as my mountain instructor did for me :

Do NOT fly the center of the valley , do NOT fly the center of the pass. Fly close to one side, and as far as possible, on the right side. If you do not have the correct altitude, this will save you.

The idea is you are always in “turning around mode”. As you go up the valley, hopefully at the correct altitude, but altitude is not so critical if you follow this: always have a “180” in your mind and in sight: ie fly so you have enough space to turn around within the valley, all the time looking as much to the other side of the valley as ahead, and bearing in mind the square-increase of turn radius with groundspeed.

When you get to the pass, since you are close to one side, you will normally not need a 180 but 90-120-degree (usually LH-) turn to go back down the same valley, and this is your default mental position. (analogy: kind of like defaulting mentally for a go around during a normal approach to landing). Of course, a 90-degree turn is so much easier an escape route than a 180, hence the usefulness of being close to one side, where you can turn around much more easily and with a fewer-degrees turn than being in the middle.

Then, as you get to the pass, (analogy: landing decision point/altitude/height …), if you see clearly down the other side of the pass,(analogy: you clearly see the runway or runway references for landing) , you instead turn a few degrees to the other side (usually to the RH) and cross the pass (analogy: you continue your approach to landing). How close you get to the pass for the decision will depend on how narrow the valley vs your turn radius (ie how close you can get to the pass while having comfortably enough room to turn around). Since we are not talking a max performance turn here but a normal 20-30-degree bank, you can practice easily and figure how much space you need with plenty of margin. If you have any doubt, you simply turn around (analogy: abort your landing approach, go around) .

This is the way I was taught and it has always worked out for me. This is what looks wrong to me in the picture of the PA-28 crossing the pass, NOT the ground clearance, but the wrong apparent position rather centered in the pass.

A couple of times I have had to circle all the way around to get the correct pass clearing altitude, but it is a non-issue if you bear the above in mind. This technique will also protect you from performance limitations and downdrafts if there are any.

The implication is you will never go up a valley too narrow to turn around and on which you cannot see clearly the path forwards with plenty of margin. I have never gone up a valley too narrow to turn around. None of the Alpine mountain passes I have crossed had this problem, and I doubt there are any with this issue within the GAFOR routes.

Last Edited by Antonio at 05 Sep 22:32
Antonio
LESB, Spain

Using the Simplon pass as an example, the guy in this video is using the right technique keeping to the RH side of the pass. MIns 25-30 are the pass crossing. You can also see clearly the powerlines. You can visualize how easily he could have turned around had he not been at the right altitude to clear the pass.



Oh, well he’s not always flying the RH side of the vally, but at least he is when close to the pass.

Last Edited by Antonio at 05 Sep 22:40
Antonio
LESB, Spain
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