Below 10,000 feet MSL:
3 statute miles
H orizontal 2000 feet
If VMC is not attainable by your requested altitude, request further descent to as low as the
controller's Minimum Vectoring Altitude (as low as ATC can take you IFR). This will probably
require you to request an IFR clearance beyond your clearance limit (normally TRADR, or as
defined in your stereo route or departure clearance). Pick another point beyond TRADR
(typically RAZLE, BRATT, AXSIS, or as required). The voice communication procedures are:
"AGENCY, CALL SIGN, request descent to (an altitude below the cloud layer (if you know
where that is)) or Minimum Vectoring Altitude." Then, if required, "AGENCY, CALL SIGN,
request clearance to ________ (which will become your new clearance limit)." After
acknowledging instructions, descend to the assigned altitude and/or continue to your new
clearance limit, as appropriate. Upon reaching VMC during your descent, cancel IFR as
Once VFR, immediately take charge of the situation and set up to enter the low-level route. At a
minimum, accomplish the following items:
1. A HATT brief after cancellation of IFR,
2. Call FSS (station and frequency listed on VFR sectional) to get weather, altimeter, and winds
for your area, and
3. Ensure checklists are complete. The applicable items of the Descent Checklist shall be
completed prior to low-level entry. This checklist is also required prior to any approaches IAW
the INAV FTI.
There are two approved methods to enter the low-level route: Direct and Outbound Parallel.
Direct Entry. Visually extend the course line outward from the entry point to establish a point
3 NM (1 minute) prior. Maneuver to cross that point on course, on airspeed, and on altitude. If
necessary, make course corrections (such as the BDHI explained later) inbound to the entry point.
Outbound Parallel. Fly abeam the entry point at a distance approximately equal to one standard
rate turn diameter (approximately 4-5 NM) and fly the reciprocal of the first course for one
minute outbound and then turn inbound. At the completion of the turn, the aircraft should be on
course and 1 minute prior to the entry point. Make course adjustments as necessary. It is
recommended, during the outbound portion of this maneuver, to maintain 500 feet above the
entry altitude with a descent initiated on the inbound turn. Be vigilant for other aircraft
attempting to enter the route at the same time--clear over the radio and give yourself altitude
separation as needed.