Paul Millner [OAK]
(Top Gun)
11/07/17 11:42 PM
Las Vegas Weirdness - KHND Departure

I was a bit taken aback departing Henderson NV (HND) this last week... it was severe VFR, but we were headed north to Beatty and thence over the Sierra, so I was hoping for some help with negotiating the Bravo... probably could have done better skimming the bottom of each segment, but alas.

Anyway, got our clearance from Ground, and then the taxi instructions. Halfway to the runway, Ground interrogated us roughly, "N177SD, verify that you can maintain your own terrain and obstacle clearance!" WTH? Hmmm. "Ground, I can meet the minimum climb specified in the ODP... and we'll be making our climb in VFR conditions. "That's not good enough. I need you to verify you can maintain terrain and obstacle clearance!" Hmmm, OK honey, I thought... "Affirmative!"

Of course, they're not about to let us fly the ODP, "climbing right turn to LAS Vortac..." Instead, we get runway heading then RV. Of course, they don't bother telling us what the MIA is, so we have no idea how close to Mexico they need to take us for the turn northbound.

How are we supposed to verify if they don't take us the routing we're given on paper?!

After departure, Tower handed us to Departure... they said maintain runway heading, and they'd turn us "shortly"... "Before we encounter the rocks?" "Well, that's the plan." After a while, it became apparent there were rocks in our future, so I sidestepped slightly to the right to avoid, and advised Departure we were maneuvering to avoid terrain.

That upset the boy... "If you can't maintain clearance from terrain, we'll have to take you back to the airport or something." Not sure what something is, but I often wonder about that option... all the way back to high school, when I was sometimes asked, "Are you gay or something?!" Tell me more about the something, optionality is good!

But I digress. "Well, no, Departure, we *are* maintaining terrain clearance. Just thought I'd let you know that strict compliance with your heading wasn't hacking it."

"I can't turn you until 6,000 feet." OK, that works... so climb away we did, and reaching 6,000' received the first in a series of circuitous vectors, until we requested and received direct Beatty (BTY).

So what is that goat roping exercise all about? Should I just tell them next time I'm planning the ODP, direct the VOR in the middle of the primary Bravo airport? Jeesh.


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