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What are your IFR takeoff minimums?

Is this a trick question? If you say there aren’t any prescribed takeoff minimums for Part 91 operators, you would be correct; however, just because something is legal doesn’t make it smart. You might even have heard an instructor saying you can take off if it’s “zero-zero.” That advice is as impractical as it is, well, stupid. Flying involves risk. We can’t let ourselves be paralyzed by those risks, but we certainly need to manage them, so here are some factors you might want to consider in… ( Mehr...

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Mike Beaver 6
I have been doing this for 40 years........I am neither a test pilot or hero. Its simple, if you dont have landing minimums, don't take off. Anyone really HAVE to get there that bad?
bentwing60 2
Amen again! I still like the basic 135 minimums, 2 engines or less, 1 mile vis., 3 engines or more, 1/2 mile. And for those of you who haven't had a real engine failure shortly after takeoff, congratulations, and in a single the survival odds are in your favor. In a piston twin, unless you do everything just right they certainly are not. So why complicate it by not being able to see? And if you really want to think safety, part 135 takeoff minimums are published and readily available. And they are airport specific, i.e. terrain, obstacles, etc. The old adages about old pilots, bold pilots, and all that's legal, isn't necessarily safe will serve you well. Accident statistics won't if they are yours.
Andrew Stagg 4
Personally, I won't takeoff if it's below 200ft and 1/2 mile visibility unless it's a really thin layer with an alternate above minimums nearby. The Cessna 310 crash at PAO (Palo Alto, CA) 2.5 years ago that killed 3 Tesla Motors employees is a big reason for that. I was based at SQL (San Carlos, CA) at the time of the crash and remember the weather that day and can't imagine taking off in that, especially on a 2400ft runway with no centerline lighting. The NTSB's probable cause was essentially spatial disorientation:
Bill Butler 3
That's what I kept telling my pilot as we were hooked up to one of the forward catapults, night, IFR: "Hey, this is stupid".

Nobody listened, however. 'course, the only obstacle then was 70' below us:)
LLC69N 2
I came across Bill Butler post over a year old and had to laugh out loud. Similar circumstance: Flying form on a Delta Sierra wx night at 200' stepped down. Both a/c were broken. Lead had good navigation and we had good weapons systems. I broadcasted on guard " hey Skipper, this is stupid". He agreed and we RTB'd.
ToddBaldwin3 2
In addition to accounting for obstacle clearance, not usually a problem from where I fly out of, is emergency procedures. Can I execute a safe return to my airport or an alternate?
porterjet 1
True zero zero is just plain scary. If you have trouble driving to the airport wait.
Let us not forget that even though part 91 has no published minimums if the DP has a ceiling and or visibility minimum stated they do apply to part 91 operators.
A lot of people think Part 91 could do anything, if that was the case there would be no Part 91...
preacher1 3
Well, I guess we have all made a gut check in times past and broke out pretty quick, plane's flying good and all is cool, but wherever you fall in here and whatever you get by with, with this old boy, there is always a little bit and at times a whole lot of pucker factor, along with a lot of prayer. Unless pressed real hard, I never had a real good feeling lining up a centerline and not being able to see the other end of the runway. That said, I only remember one time when the boss man said we really needed to go and it was bad trashy; we did; all was fine but we didn't break out til about 8 grand. He was in the jump and I got to see him wipin' sweat and breathing a sigh. He informed me that I was the pilot and not to listen to him aagain, at least about that.
Andrew Stagg 1
Since ODPs are always optional for Part 91 (although I'd agree you'd almost always want to follow them in LIFR), the only case I could see the DP minimums being regulatory is if you were assigned a SID with ceiling/visibility in the takeoff minimums and I can't think of an example (at ELP - they say "standard" minimums and give a specific climb gradient for some runways). For part 91, there are no standard minimums, so I believe only the climb gradient would apply.
erisajd 1
I never leave an airport I cannot get back into legally using an approach off the departure end of the runway of on the departure itself . . .

I'm not being paid to fly so ALL takeoffs are totally optional.
linbb 1
If you can get to the runway and find the centerline you are good to go.
joel wiley 1
I don't think I'd ride with a pilot whose minimum was " it's to foggy to find the ac".
But that's just me.
ToddBaldwin3 1
Remind me not to fly with you.

[This poster has been suspended.]

preacher1 2
Well, if it was a thin layer and I had a 1/4 or so on the ground, all other things considered, I'd probably go, but as with most others here, if it was too crappy to land, I'd probably stay on the ground. Meetings can be rescheduled. Lives can't. I can only remember one time when the boss man said we really need to go if we can. It was a tad less than that 1/4 on the ground and was kinda thick on top. I eased out and we broke thru at about 8 grand. He was sitting in the jump. I looked around as we broke out to see the sweat and hear a sigh of relief. He told me then not to listen to him
linbb 1
Think that some of these comments are not made by ones who have been around the airfield very much as have seen airliners take off without much vis. The return to airport quite often isnt an option due to layers but seems they go.
Commercial ops. have a takeoff alternate
Jeffrey Bryner 2
...the premise of your response notwithstanding, you have no sense of decorum.
Prudence wins Phil...
Owen O'Mahony 0
Some countries in Europe publish minimum take off criteria for specific airfields - not that that would worry you over there
LLC69N 0
The question ought to be "What are your [Personal] IFR takeoff minimums? , in which case there can be no argumentative comment. Just a bunch of us shaking our heads in disbelief.
dmaccarter 2
Personal Minimums are lifesavers for non professionals who don't fly 40 hours a month or so and don't encounter difficult situations frequently. Getting away with a risky take off or IFR approach a few times will embolden a pilot to take more and greater risks until the day comes when he encounters cumulo-granite clouds. Circling minimums for take off and approaches are just good sense if you don't do it every day.


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