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Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM), page 318

Index   317 -- Page 318 -- 319



5. Climb gradients greater than 200 FPNM are
specified when required to support procedure design
constraints, obstacle clearance, and/or airspace re-
strictions. Compliance with a climb gradient for these
purposes is mandatory when the procedure is part of
the ATC clearance, unless increased takeoff minim-
ums are provided and weather conditions allow
compliance with these minimums. Additionally, ATC
required crossing restrictions may also require climb
gradients greater than 200 FPNM. These climb gradi-
ents may be amended or canceled at ATC's discretion.
Multiple ATC climb gradients are permitted. An ATC
climb gradient will not be used on an ODP.

EXAMPLE-
"Cross ALPHA intersection at or below 4000; maintain
6000." The pilot climbs at least 200 FPNM to 6000. If 4000
is reached before ALPHA, the pilot levels off at 4000 until
passing ALPHA; then immediately resumes at least 200
FPNM climb.

EXAMPLE-
"TAKEOFF MINIMUMS: RWY 27, Standard with a min-
imum climb of 280' per NM to 2500, ATC climb of 310' per
NM to 4000 ft." A climb of at least 280 FPNM is required
to 2500 and is mandatory when the departure procedure is
included in the ATC clearance. ATC requires a climb gradi-
ent of 310 FPNM to 4000, however, this ATC climb

gradient may be amended or canceled.

6. Climb gradients may be specified only to an
altitude/fix, above which the normal gradient applies.

EXAMPLE-
"Minimum climb 340 FPNM to ALPHA." The pilot climbs
at least 340 FPNM to ALPHA, then at least 200 FPNM to
MIA.
7. A Visual Climb Over Airport (VCOA) pro-
cedure is a departure option for an IFR aircraft,
operating in visual meteorological conditions equal
to or greater than the specified visibility and ceiling,
to visually conduct climbing turns over the airport to
the published "climb-to" altitude from which to pro-
ceed with the instrument portion of the departure.
VCOA procedures are developed to avoid obstacles
greater than 3 statute miles from the departure end of
the runway as an alternative to complying with climb
gradients greater than 200 feet per nautical mile. Pi-
lots are responsible to advise ATC as early as possible
of the intent to fly the VCOA option prior to depar-
ture. These textual procedures are published in the
Take-Off Minimums and (Obstacle) Departure Pro-
cedures section of the Terminal Procedures

Publications and/or appear as an option on a Graphic
ODP.
EXAMPLE-
"Climb in visual conditions so as to cross the McElory Air-
port southbound, at or above 6000, then climb via
Keemmling radial zero three three to Keemmling VOR-
TAC."
c. Who is responsible for obstacle clearance? DPs
are designed so that adherence to the procedure by the
pilot will ensure obstacle protection. Additionally:

1. Obstacle clearance responsibility also rests
with the pilot when he/she chooses to climb in visual
conditions in lieu of flying a DP and/or depart under
increased takeoff minima rather than fly the climb
gradient. Standard takeoff minima are one statute
mile for aircraft having two engines or less and one-
half statute mile for aircraft having more than two
engines. Specified ceiling and visibility minima

(VCOA or increased takeoff minima) will allow visu-
al avoidance of obstacles until the pilot enters the
standard obstacle protection area. Obstacle avoid-
ance is not guaranteed if the pilot maneuvers farther
from the airport than the specified visibility minimum
prior to reaching the specified altitude. DPs may also
contain what are called Low Close in Obstacles.

These obstacles are less than 200 feet above the de-

parture end of runway elevation and within one NM
of the runway end, and do not require increased take-
off minimums. These obstacles are identified on the
SID chart or in the Take-off Minimums and (Ob-
stacle) Departure Procedures section of the U. S.
Terminal Procedure booklet. These obstacles are es-
pecially critical to aircraft that do not lift off until
close to the departure end of the runway or which
climb at the minimum rate. Pilots should also consid-
er drift following lift-off to ensure sufficient
clearance from these obstacles. That segment of the
procedure that requires the pilot to see and avoid ob-
stacles ends when the aircraft crosses the specified
point at the required altitude. In all cases continued
obstacle clearance is based on having climbed a mini-
mum of 200 feet per nautical mile to the specified
point and then continuing to climb at least 200 foot
per nautical mile during the departure until reaching
the minimum enroute altitude, unless specified other-
wise.
2. ATC may assume responsibility for obstacle
clearance by vectoring the aircraft prior to reaching
the minimum vectoring altitude by using a Diverse
Vector Area (DVA). The DVA may be established be-

5-2-8 Departure Procedures

Page 318 of the Aeronautical Information Manual (AIM.pdf)
AIM: Official Guide to Basic Flight Information and ATC Procedures

Index   317 -- Page 318 -- 319