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Same route, different climb.

I've been studying various departure procedures as I am a relatively new instrument pilot with very little actual instrument time. I find many of the departure procedures somewhat confusing. Flying a non-turbo Cessna 182 at altitude from Reno limits my departure options, especially when loaded with fuel and a couple of passengers.

In the October issue you mentioned the Wagge Six departure out of Reno. You'll probably be pleased to hear that you have made the back and front course discussion quite clear. However, looking at the takeoff minimums for Runway 16R and 16L, the minimum climb gradient for 16L (740 feet/NM) is twice that of 16R (370 feet/NM). The departure route description for 16L mentions a climbing right turn to heading 174 to intercept the localizer on the back course of 16R to Wagge intersection. Considering both departures follow the back course for the localizer of 16R, why the drastic difference in the minimum climb gradients? I find it odd that I would need to request departure from 16R in actual conditions to meet the climb gradient despite both runways following essentially the same course.

Brock Boscovich

Reno, NV

Interesting question, Brock. Our initial guess was that it was an error, but Lee Smith, our resident TERPSter, said no: It looks like it's correct. Since the departure end of 16L occurs before to the departure end of 16R, its initial climb area (ICA) is a bit wider (in addition to being slightly further east). The reason 16L has a higher climb gradient is that its ICA picks up a tower fairly close to the departure end of the runway that isn't covered by the ICA of 16R (it's close, but still outside of the obstacle evaluation area).

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Title Annotation:READBACK
Author:Boscovich, Brock
Article Type:Letter to the editor
Geographic Code:1U8NV
Date:Apr 1, 2017
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