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IFR Departures.
A. Instrument Takeoff (ITO).
Students should simulate an ITO on all RI training events. The instrument takeoff procedures are an
invaluable aid during takeoffs at night, toward and over water or deserted areas, and during periods of
reduced visibility. ITOs are accomplished by the combined use of outside visual reference and the flight
instruments. Prior to commencing an instrument flight, check the flight and navigation instruments and the
required publications; have your NATOPS manual and all pubs within reach and fold the appropriate charts
so that the route is visible. Set the navigation instruments and switches as required. This includes setting
the departure course on the HSI and the heading marker to the position most logical for the departure being
flown. The ATC clearance and departure procedures must be thoroughly understood prior to takeoff. The
appropriate instrument approach charts shall be readily available in the event an instrument approach
becomes necessary immediately after takeoff. Use the anti-icing equipment as appropriate for the weather.
ITO Procedures. Align the aircraft on the runway centerline and complete the takeoff checklist. Recheck
all heading indicators against runway heading and attitude indicators for any errors. Directional control
immediately following brake release should be accomplished predominantly by outside visual references.
As the takeoff progresses, your crosscheck should transition from outside references to the heading,
airspeed, and attitude indicators. The rate of transition is directly proportional to the rate at which the
outside references deteriorate. It is essential an instrument crosscheck be established prior to losing all
visual reference. In VMC conditions, during training flights, simulate loss of visual references only after
takeoff. At rotation, set the takeoff attitude, 7-10 degrees nose-up on the attitude indicator. The takeoff
attitude should be maintained as the aircraft leaves the ground. Check the VSI and altimeter for positive
climb indications before retracting the gear. Maintain or adjust the pitch attitude as required to ensure the
desired climb while accelerating to normal climb schedule airspeed of 150 KIAS.
B. Understanding IFR Departures.
This section will provide you with the facts you need to make good decisions about choosing the most
appropriate method for departing an airport under IFR.
NOTE: Knowing the proper terminology is important. At the time of this writing, the FAA is in the process of
renaming SIDs and IFR Departure Procedures in the United States. In the future, the FAA will refer to IFR
departure procedures and SIDs using the phrase "Departure Procedures (DPs)." You may encounter several types
of DPs in the new format: an ATC DP (like a SID strictly for ATC, climb gradient depicted if required), an
obstacle DP (what we now call an IFR departure procedure), a graphical DP (a complex IFR departure procedure
converted to a graphic form), or other variations not identified yet. Although the terms "SID" and "IFR Departure
Procedure" are being removed from the FAA's vocabulary, both are still widespread throughout the rest of the
world and even in the AIM. Until the transition in terminology is more complete, this section will still use the old
How an Airport Becomes an Instrument Airport. Simply put, when an airport is first created, it is a VFR
airport until it is determined that IFR operations are necessary. The first instrument procedure constructed
at an airport is usually an instrument approach. Normally, whenever an instrument approach is built, the
airport is also evaluated for instrument departures.
Obstacle Identification Surface (OIS). In order to assess the airport for instrument departures, the TERPs
specialist looks for obstacles along a 40:1 slope from the departure end of the runway. The 40:1 slope is
equivalent to 152 ft/nm. TERPs also requires 48 ft/nm of required obstacle clearance (ROC). When you
add 48 ft/nm to 152 ft/nm, you get 200 ft/nm. Unless a higher gradient is published, aircraft are required to
meet or exceed 200 ft/nm on all IFR departures.
Determining Runway End Crossing Heights. USAF and USN procedures always begin the OIS at zero feet
at the departure end of the runway and if a runway end crossing height is required, it will be printed on the
procedure. However, the FAA and ICAO allow the OIS to begin as high as 35' above the departure end of
the runway elevation to clear obstacles. Raising the OIS in this manner requires aircraft to comply with a
"runway end crossing height" to ensure obstacle clearance. The important rule to remember about runway
end crossing heights: In the United States, if the procedure is produced by anyone (including Army) other
than USAF/USN, you must plan to cross the departure end of the runway at or above 35' unless a higher

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