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Technical start-up in IFR

When flying IFR in my C206 (no ground clearance switch) I use a handheld radio to request my start-up clearance (to avoid draining my battery). I have seen other pilots systematically doing a « technical start-up » (ie. starting the engine) before requesting their « official » IFR start-up clearance. I haven’t found anything about this topic in the EASA regulations. Any views / advice on this ? Thanks

Cessna T206H owner / pilot
LFPN, France

It depends on the airport. In general, “big” airports don’t allow any kind of startup before getting approval from tower. “Small” airports allow startup on pilots discretion. Startup doesn’t necessarily relate with getting flight clearance, although if it’s to early for filed EOBT (or assigned CTOT), you might not get permission for it.

Last Edited by Emir at 09 Oct 06:14
LDZA LDVA, Croatia

The point that most pilots fail to grasp: the “start-up clearance procedure” ist not primarily something that is done in favour of the airport, or ATC. It is in place as a favour to the pilot/operator.It’s there to avoid situations where the pilot starts up, and only then finds out about some slot delay or so, requiring him to shut down again. Remember we are talking not primarily pistons 172s, but turbine, where this costs a small fortune. Nowadays, with AR etc. at your hands, this is far less likely to happen. So, you can of course always start up your own discretion, but the risk is still there that might have to shut down again.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 09 Oct 06:26
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

I’ve not previously heard of a “tech startup”.

AFAICT the main general reason for asking for startup is for safety. At airports where you have to ask, you have to ask for a VFR flight too, which cannot (excluding bizzare practices like in some places in Greece) have a Eurocontrol slot. The tower probably can’t see you anyway where you are parked but in aviation tradition they like to feel they have control over safety

The suggested “tech startup” sounds almost like a request for an engine run, which I can’t imagine most bigger airports granting (in the normal parking location) simply because Computer Says No.

I am not sure how the Autorouter helps with this. If you get a Eurocontrol slot, you can freeze the slot time (you could do that by calling the tower too) but that may mean running the engine for an hour or whatever the CTOT is.

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

AFAICT the main general reason for asking for startup is for safety. At airports where you have to ask, you have to ask for a VFR flight too, which cannot (excluding bizzare practices like in some places in Greece) have a Eurocontrol slot. The tower probably can’t see you anyway where you are parked but in aviation tradition they like to feel they have control over safety

That, on the European level, is more the exception than the rule. A few airports have start up precedures in place due to to paradropping and so on.
Especially in the UK, there are a few more the insist on start up clearance, even for VFR. Land’s End comes to mind.
Some seem to have it merely due to procedural overregulation.

But in most cases, the start up clearance has to do with the possibility of CTOT delays., so for IFR departures only.

I am not sure how the Autorouter helps with this. If you get a Eurocontrol slot, you can freeze the slot time (you could do that by calling the tower too) but that may mean running the engine for an hour or whatever the CTOT is.

It is obvious. With AR and similar services, and a smartphone, one is always informed, in real-time, about incoming CTOT and DPI changes, so there is no more need for communication with the ATC for that.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 09 Oct 06:50
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

What is DPI?

Administrator
Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom

boscomantico wrote:

The point that most pilots fail to grasp: the “start-up clearance procedure” ist not primarily something that is done in favour of the airport, or ATC. It is in place as a favour to the pilot/operator.It’s there to avoid situations where the pilot starts up, and only then finds out about some slot delay or so, requiring him to shut down again. Remember we are talking not primarily pistons 172s, but turbine, where this costs a small fortune. Nowadays, with AR etc. at your hands, this is far less likely to happen. So, you can of course always start up your own discretion, but the risk is still there that might have to shut down again.

While I agree as to the reasons for having to request startup, I would never start without clearance at an airport that requires you to request start. There can be noise, ramp safety and other things going on. I will sometimes ask to start the right engine to set stuff up and get a/c going which is sometimes allowed and sometimes not (Zurich).

EGTK Oxford

Sure, in a jet I woudn’t either. And even in a piston, I always routinely request Startup

a) for all my IFR flights
b) for VFR flights (with an FPL) in dodgy countries whose procedures that I am not intimately familiar with

Still, since having AR (and thus always having the latest ATFCM and DPI Information at hand) I have never had a single case of a) where my startup request wasn’t immediately granted.

Some people start the engine, and then ask ATC for startup (just to make them happy). You see this occasionally on YouTube videos.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 09 Oct 08:38
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

Peter wrote:

What is DPI?

See the Eurocontrol ATFCM Manual. It concerns you only when you depart IFR from one of the ~40 airports listed on page 18.

Last Edited by boscomantico at 09 Oct 09:04
Frankfurt (EDFZ, EDFE), Germany

boscomantico wrote:

So, you can of course always start up your own discretion, but the risk is still there that might have to shut down again.

On some airports you simply can’t because it’s forbidden.

LDZA LDVA, Croatia
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