Scott Dunham (RDU)
(Top Gun)
12/15/17 01:05 PM
Re: Las Vegas Weirdness - KHND Departure

OK, so after a long chat with LAS TRACON...

The tower LOA with the TRACON requires them to ask if you'll accept terrain/obstruction clearance, which is why you got the question. Based on my reading of the 7110, that isn't actually legal, but...

They're kind of stuck. There's an RNAV SID off of 35, but it has a serious minimum climb gradient that you probably couldn't make anyway. They only use it for jets. I did ask them to look at the possibility of building a transition to that SID off 17, maybe 3 miles out to a DME fix or something and then a 180 back to rejoin the SID route. That would give departures to the south a few extra flying miles and allow them to use a flatter gradient. Dunno if that's going to get anywhere...

They say they've been around and around with the south departure issue and HQ told them they could do what they're doing. I still think they're wrong because they're essentially issuing an illegal vector below the MVA, but this has turned into "the way we always do it" because their alternative is "you're not going."

They did look at a replay and review the whole event, and commented that you were climbing slower than they would have expected (possibly so you could keep the nose down and watch the approaching rocks?) You were apparently about 6 miles from the rocks when the fun started. If you had said something about the terrain before turning, they would have probably turned you west to a 260 heading or so through the gap out that way.

So...if your future travel plans include Henderson, you could probably do what I said earlier: ask for a VFR climb through 6000 or so, or ask for a "visual climb over the airport" (about the same thing without actually going anywhere).

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