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catiii
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UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:52 am

Saw it depart EWR for RIC and, at least at about 4000’ the gear was still down. Climbed to 8000’, but it Looks like they descended and went the whole way down to RIC at 6000’. Anyone know why?
 
rivervisual
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:48 am

It was filed as a low altitude routing. Not totally uncommon between the NYC area and DC area. Usually during bad weather.

I've flown LGA to DCA at 6000' several times and we were one of the few flights to go when the rest of the routes are ground stopped.
 
MSJYOP28Apilot
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 6:45 am

SERMN routes have been published as a route option for short hauls leaving the NYC airports most days during the past week for thunderstorms and ATC staffing. The altitude restriction is meant to keep the aircraft in less busy airspace. Usually SERMN and related tunneling playbook routes like DUCT, LIMBO and PHLYER are optional routings and can save the airline filing it a significant amount of time waiting on metering and other flow delays.
 
KCaviator
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:51 pm

This commonly happens when SWAP (Severe Weather Avoidance Program) is in effect.
 
FlyHossD
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 2:55 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
SERMN routes have been published as a route option for short hauls leaving the NYC airports most days during the past week for thunderstorms and ATC staffing. The altitude restriction is meant to keep the aircraft in less busy airspace. Usually SERMN and related tunneling playbook routes like DUCT, LIMBO and PHLYER are optional routings and can save the airline filing it a significant amount of time waiting on metering and other flow delays.


Good summary.

I’ve done the same in a 737, but that was years ago. Back then, this was known as Tower-to-Tower Enroute.
 
IAHFLYR
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 3:56 pm

FlyHossD wrote:
I’ve done the same in a 737, but that was years ago. Back then, this was known as Tower-to-Tower Enroute.


Back in the late 80's early 90's when Houston Center would shut down IAH eastbound departures for any number of reasons I'd often ask a DC9 or B727 headed to LFT, BTR or MSY if they had gas to go at 7,000' and use the tower enroute system through BPT, LCH, LFT airspace in order to get them in the air. Many times they'd take that altitude while others had to sit and wait for however long the center had us stopped. Worked very well if they could accept the altitude.
 
filbrkz
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:09 pm

Here's a SERMN reroute advisory from yesterday that would have applied to that flight. This gets flights out quicker if the Dispatcher and the Captain agree on the low altitude. Less competition for airspace down low.

And, great for sightseeing!

https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdi ... e=07/02/22
 
wjcandee
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 4:38 pm

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
SERMN routes have been published as a route option for short hauls leaving the NYC airports most days during the past week for thunderstorms and ATC staffing. The altitude restriction is meant to keep the aircraft in less busy airspace. Usually SERMN and related tunneling playbook routes like DUCT, LIMBO and PHLYER are optional routings and can save the airline filing it a significant amount of time waiting on metering and other flow delays.


For more detail; an interesting read from FAA laying out the options. https://www.fly.faa.gov/Operations/CapTunnel/zny_ct.htm
 
CRJ200flyer
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 5:44 pm

catiii wrote:
Saw it depart EWR for RIC and, at least at about 4000’ the gear was still down. Climbed to 8000’, but it Looks like they descended and went the whole way down to RIC at 6000’. Anyone know why?


Regarding the gear, I flew the CRJ-200 for many years, and a few times we had our landing gear bay fire detection system deferred. We were required to fly with our gear down for a certain period of time after takeoff. It was loud as heck but the point was to blow out any fire before bringing the gear up since we wouldn’t be able to detect it.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 6:52 pm

filbrkz wrote:
Here's a SERMN reroute advisory from yesterday that would have applied to that flight. This gets flights out quicker if the Dispatcher and the Captain agree on the low altitude. Less competition for airspace down low.

And, great for sightseeing!

https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdi ... e=07/02/22


Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?
 
filbrkz
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 7:56 pm

"DO NOT REQUEST HIGHER ALTITUDE."
 
dr1980
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 8:16 pm

I once flew DCA-PHL at a very low altitude…I want to say around 8,000 feet? A fun flight at that low altitude.
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:40 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
filbrkz wrote:
Here's a SERMN reroute advisory from yesterday that would have applied to that flight. This gets flights out quicker if the Dispatcher and the Captain agree on the low altitude. Less competition for airspace down low.

And, great for sightseeing!

https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdi ... e=07/02/22


Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?


It’s not “VFR airspace”; it’s mostly Class C or D with a tower enroute clearance. Anything below 17,999’ could have VFR traffic not operating without an ATC clearance. Class A is the positive IFR only airspace above F180.

I thought the same thing, even with admonishment above not asking for higher. That’s, one a long leg; the weather constraints on ATC will certainly change; and three, I’ve done it, asked for received higher levels and re-routes once out of ZNY airspace. It’s likely more flexible than the document.
 
Weatherwatcher1
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 9:59 pm

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
filbrkz wrote:
Here's a SERMN reroute advisory from yesterday that would have applied to that flight. This gets flights out quicker if the Dispatcher and the Captain agree on the low altitude. Less competition for airspace down low.

And, great for sightseeing!

https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdi ... e=07/02/22


Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?


It’s not “VFR airspace”; it’s mostly Class C or D with a tower enroute clearance. Anything below 17,999’ could have VFR traffic not operating without an ATC clearance. Class A is the positive IFR only airspace above F180.

I thought the same thing, even with admonishment above not asking for higher. That’s, one a long leg; the weather constraints on ATC will certainly change; and three, I’ve done it, asked for received higher levels and re-routes once out of ZNY airspace. It’s likely more flexible than the document.


I think getting higher levels south of Virginia would make sense. It’s mostly class D and E airspace. I don’t imagine airline pilots wanting to fly for two hours at 250 knots in class E airspace at 6,000 ft dodging weather while watching for Cessnas flying VFR.

Looks like Endeavour air did just what you suggested a couple days ago

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/EDV ... /KLGA/KCHS

JetBlue did it yesterday

https://flightaware.com/live/flight/JBU ... /KLGA/KCHS
 
GalaxyFlyer
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Sun Jul 03, 2022 11:04 pm

There’s more room for flexibility than often thought. I was headed from the Northeast to NAS Mayport, IIRC. Summer time, lots of weather, 90 minute hold for release on the filed routing, which was “optimized” by flying inland over the moutains I asked for HTO J121 SIE, some jet routes to CHS. Tower came back in minutes with cleared as re-filed, expect relapse in 5 minutes. Gone. I’ve seen similar routing problems dozens of times. The crew has to flexible, willing to change up the plan. Coming out of CYUL, Boston gave some crazy routing that instantly upon loading said CHK FUEL ALTN. Oops. Get handed off to New York, ask for something more in line with the original plan “cleared as requested”.

In the airline, rightly, changes usually get coordinated with the dispatcher, in my world we could just make the changes.
 
catiii
Topic Author
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Mon Jul 04, 2022 2:54 am

CRJ200flyer wrote:
catiii wrote:
Saw it depart EWR for RIC and, at least at about 4000’ the gear was still down. Climbed to 8000’, but it Looks like they descended and went the whole way down to RIC at 6000’. Anyone know why?


Regarding the gear, I flew the CRJ-200 for many years, and a few times we had our landing gear bay fire detection system deferred. We were required to fly with our gear down for a certain period of time after takeoff. It was loud as heck but the point was to blow out any fire before bringing the gear up since we wouldn’t be able to detect it.


Thanks. The gear is what threw me. I figured something was MEL’d.
 
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FlySail2015
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Mon Jul 04, 2022 3:44 am

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:

Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?


Hey there, yes, you are reading it correctly. These are called escape routes, and they help funnel traffic in and out of busy airports when there may be significant weather buildups blocking the normal filed routings, when there's a lot of air traffic buzzing around, or both.

Usually our dispatch release will have a remark along the lines of "Do not request a higher altitude," indicating that this is one of those special routings that have a tight altitude constraint, and that us trying to work a higher altitude out of habit will invalidate the whole process.

The good news is that you'll be able to get out of the airspace and on your way; the bad news is that because of the lower altitude, you'll be cruising slower (remember, 250 max under 10,000 as you said), and could be subject to a few more bumps along the way. It's not super common, but it's not a cosmic rarity either. As a PHL-based RJ pilot, I flew them a few times from PHL to SYR, RIC, and PIT. Not super long routes anyway, but long enough that we definitely would've normally been cruising at least up in the low/mid 20s.

However, as someone else did comment, these flights are still indeed handled under Instrument Flight Rules. All airline operations have to be under IFR, regardless of what altitude they're being flown at.

Hope this helps!
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Mon Jul 04, 2022 4:19 am

MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
SERMN routes have been published as a route option for short hauls leaving the NYC airports most days during the past week for thunderstorms and ATC staffing. The altitude restriction is meant to keep the aircraft in less busy airspace. Usually SERMN and related tunneling playbook routes like DUCT, LIMBO and PHLYER are optional routings and can save the airline filing it a significant amount of time waiting on metering and other flow delays.

Sometimes it can be for ATC staffing, but this past week it's only been because of the weather, volume, and other playbooks in effect. SERMN South is generally dependent on ZDC's ability to handle the traffic since it flows directly from N90, and ZDC hasn't any notable staffing issues recently (unlike ZNY or ZJX).

FlyHossD wrote:
I’ve done the same in a 737, but that was years ago. Back then, this was known as Tower-to-Tower Enroute.

It's still called Tower Enroute, but SERMN is a specific plan into and out of the NY Metros going south, north, and east. The specific one being discussed here is SERMN South.

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?

SERMN actually can be implemented as far south as SAV. They can be filed for anything between 6,000-10,000, and sometimes approach will climb as high as 12,000. Tower enroute actually ends in Central VA — there's a large gap in approach airspace between PCT, ORF, RDU, and ROA that is controlled by ZDC to the ground. ZDC has discretion to climb once the aircraft are south of RIC for aircraft headed for GSO, RDU, CHS, or SAV. Pilots accept the route knowing the limitations, and ZDC is not required to offer climbs or shortcuts (although it's typically offered in most cases). Pilots aren't always able to accept though because they need to burn fuel in some cases.

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s more room for flexibility than often thought. I was headed from the Northeast to NAS Mayport, IIRC. Summer time, lots of weather, 90 minute hold for release on the filed routing, which was “optimized” by flying inland over the moutains I asked for HTO J121 SIE, some jet routes to CHS. Tower came back in minutes with cleared as re-filed, expect relapse in 5 minutes. Gone. I’ve seen similar routing problems dozens of times. The crew has to flexible, willing to change up the plan. Coming out of CYUL, Boston gave some crazy routing that instantly upon loading said CHK FUEL ALTN. Oops. Get handed off to New York, ask for something more in line with the original plan “cleared as requested”.

In the airline, rightly, changes usually get coordinated with the dispatcher, in my world we could just make the changes.

Approach controls are not given any flexibility on SERMN routes. They cannot climb out of their stratum, and they can't issue reroutes beyond shortcuts within their airspace. On SERMN South, only ZDC has discretion to climb and reroute since ZDC TMU implements the plan.
 
DiamondFlyer
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Mon Jul 04, 2022 2:59 pm

FlySail2015 wrote:
Weatherwatcher1 wrote:

Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?


Hey there, yes, you are reading it correctly. These are called escape routes, and they help funnel traffic in and out of busy airports when there may be significant weather buildups blocking the normal filed routings, when there's a lot of air traffic buzzing around, or both.

Usually our dispatch release will have a remark along the lines of "Do not request a higher altitude," indicating that this is one of those special routings that have a tight altitude constraint, and that us trying to work a higher altitude out of habit will invalidate the whole process.

The good news is that you'll be able to get out of the airspace and on your way; the bad news is that because of the lower altitude, you'll be cruising slower (remember, 250 max under 10,000 as you said), and could be subject to a few more bumps along the way. It's not super common, but it's not a cosmic rarity either. As a PHL-based RJ pilot, I flew them a few times from PHL to SYR, RIC, and PIT. Not super long routes anyway, but long enough that we definitely would've normally been cruising at least up in the low/mid 20s.

However, as someone else did comment, these flights are still indeed handled under Instrument Flight Rules. All airline operations have to be under IFR, regardless of what altitude they're being flown at.

Hope this helps!


Not all airline operations have to be IFR. IIRC, Silver had VFR OpSpecs that allowed them to operate to and from the islands totally VFR.
 
11C
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Mon Jul 04, 2022 6:16 pm

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
filbrkz wrote:
Here's a SERMN reroute advisory from yesterday that would have applied to that flight. This gets flights out quicker if the Dispatcher and the Captain agree on the low altitude. Less competition for airspace down low.

And, great for sightseeing!

https://www.fly.faa.gov/adv/adv_otherdi ... e=07/02/22


Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?

You can (and part 121 carriers do) file IFR flight plans for such flights, so it’s not VFR airspace, per se.
 
Caspian27
Posts: 249
Joined: Fri Mar 25, 2005 3:48 am

Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Mon Jul 04, 2022 6:56 pm

atcsundevil wrote:
MSJYOP28Apilot wrote:
SERMN routes have been published as a route option for short hauls leaving the NYC airports most days during the past week for thunderstorms and ATC staffing. The altitude restriction is meant to keep the aircraft in less busy airspace. Usually SERMN and related tunneling playbook routes like DUCT, LIMBO and PHLYER are optional routings and can save the airline filing it a significant amount of time waiting on metering and other flow delays.

Sometimes it can be for ATC staffing, but this past week it's only been because of the weather, volume, and other playbooks in effect. SERMN South is generally dependent on ZDC's ability to handle the traffic since it flows directly from N90, and ZDC hasn't any notable staffing issues recently (unlike ZNY or ZJX).

FlyHossD wrote:
I’ve done the same in a 737, but that was years ago. Back then, this was known as Tower-to-Tower Enroute.

It's still called Tower Enroute, but SERMN is a specific plan into and out of the NY Metros going south, north, and east. The specific one being discussed here is SERMN South.

Weatherwatcher1 wrote:
Am I reading this correctly when I assume they are dispatching from New York to as far as Charleston (which is over 600 Miles) at 8000 ft? That’s a long way to fly in VFR airspace at 250 knots. Do they get to climb at some point?

SERMN actually can be implemented as far south as SAV. They can be filed for anything between 6,000-10,000, and sometimes approach will climb as high as 12,000. Tower enroute actually ends in Central VA — there's a large gap in approach airspace between PCT, ORF, RDU, and ROA that is controlled by ZDC to the ground. ZDC has discretion to climb once the aircraft are south of RIC for aircraft headed for GSO, RDU, CHS, or SAV. Pilots accept the route knowing the limitations, and ZDC is not required to offer climbs or shortcuts (although it's typically offered in most cases). Pilots aren't always able to accept though because they need to burn fuel in some cases.

GalaxyFlyer wrote:
There’s more room for flexibility than often thought. I was headed from the Northeast to NAS Mayport, IIRC. Summer time, lots of weather, 90 minute hold for release on the filed routing, which was “optimized” by flying inland over the moutains I asked for HTO J121 SIE, some jet routes to CHS. Tower came back in minutes with cleared as re-filed, expect relapse in 5 minutes. Gone. I’ve seen similar routing problems dozens of times. The crew has to flexible, willing to change up the plan. Coming out of CYUL, Boston gave some crazy routing that instantly upon loading said CHK FUEL ALTN. Oops. Get handed off to New York, ask for something more in line with the original plan “cleared as requested”.

In the airline, rightly, changes usually get coordinated with the dispatcher, in my world we could just make the changes.

Approach controls are not given any flexibility on SERMN routes. They cannot climb out of their stratum, and they can't issue reroutes beyond shortcuts within their airspace. On SERMN South, only ZDC has discretion to climb and reroute since ZDC TMU implements the plan.


I have flown a 737 from EWR-SAV filed at 7000. Once we got out of New York Approach airspace and with the center they asked us if we really wanted to fly to Savannah at 7000 and we promptly got a climb to 410. :-)
 
PSU.DTW.SCE
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Tue Jul 05, 2022 2:13 am

This is actually a really fascinating thread. Thanks to the pilots, atc folks, and others well versed in these procedures.

Interesting to understand about routings and non standard procedures
 
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atcsundevil
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Re: UA (GoJet) 3395: 2 JUL

Tue Jul 05, 2022 7:06 am

Caspian27 wrote:
I have flown a 737 from EWR-SAV filed at 7000. Once we got out of New York Approach airspace and with the center they asked us if we really wanted to fly to Savannah at 7000 and we promptly got a climb to 410. :-)

Someone from ZDC must have reached out and grabbed you if you got a climb that early. Everything below 12,000 (or in some cases higher) is approach airspace from just north of Emporia, VA all the way up to NYC and beyond. If you got a climb before reaching Central VA, then someone went through some extra steps to get you a climb. After you reach Central VA, approach airspace ends where ZDC touches the ground (making it the first contact with SERMN flights and the center under normal circumstances), and by then it's usually no problem to offer a climb and/or more direct routing. I recall a while back after climbing a UA A320 that he said the climb and shortcut to CHS saved 5,000lbs in gas :shock:

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