Flight Redemptions

What is SOC in Aviation? (Start Of Climb At Missed Approach)

Updated: March 10, 2024

The Start of Climb at Missed Approach (SOC)

In aviation, the Start of Climb at Missed Approach (SOC) is a crucial procedure that pilots follow when executing a missed approach during an instrument approach. It marks the point at which the aircraft transitions from the missed approach procedure and begins a climb to a designated altitude. Understanding the SOC and its significance is vital for pilots to ensure the safety and efficiency of their flights.

Importance of the SOC

The Start of Climb at Missed Approach (SOC) plays a critical role in the execution of a missed approach procedure. When performing an instrument approach, pilots rely on precise navigation and communication with air traffic control to safely descend and land. However, in certain situations such as poor visibility, unstable approach, or conflicting traffic, a missed approach may be necessary.

The SOC serves as a defined point where the aircraft should initiate a climb after executing a missed approach. This altitude ensures obstacle clearance and separation from other traffic, allowing the pilot to safely maneuver the aircraft away from the airport environment. By adhering to the SOC, pilots can maintain situational awareness and prevent any potential conflicts or hazards.

Procedure for the SOC

When initiating a missed approach, pilots follow a specific procedure to ensure a smooth transition from the approach phase to the climb phase. The procedure may vary depending on the specific instrument approach being flown, but generally, it involves the following steps:

Execute the missed approach call: Upon deciding to perform a missed approach, the pilot communicates their intention to air traffic control by making the appropriate radio call, such as Missed Approach.
Initiate a climb: After receiving clearance from air traffic control, the pilot promptly adjusts the aircraft's pitch and throttle settings to initiate a climb. This action should occur at or before reaching the missed approach point, which typically coincides with the SOC.
Follow the published procedure: Pilots must adhere to the published missed approach procedure specified in the approach plate or chart. This procedure outlines the specific heading, altitude, and any required turns or holds to ensure obstacle clearance and provide a safe path away from the airport.
Communicate and comply: Throughout the missed approach procedure, pilots maintain communication with air traffic control, following their instructions and reporting any deviations or issues encountered during the climb phase.

By diligently following these steps, pilots can safely navigate the missed approach procedure and transition to the climb phase without any complications.

Missed Approach and SOC in Practice

Let's consider a practical scenario to better understand the implementation of the Start of Climb at Missed Approach (SOC). Imagine a pilot is flying an instrument approach to land at a busy airport with low visibility due to fog. As the pilot descends toward the decision altitude, they realize they are unable to establish visual contact with the runway.

In this situation, the pilot must make a quick decision to execute a missed approach. They promptly inform air traffic control by making the appropriate radio call and receive clearance to perform the missed approach procedure. As the aircraft reaches the missed approach point, which coincides with the SOC, the pilot initiates a climb as per the published procedure.

The published missed approach procedure may require the pilot to fly a specific heading, reach a designated altitude, and perform certain turns or holds to ensure obstacle clearance and separation from other traffic. Throughout the climb phase, the pilot maintains communication with air traffic control, reporting their progress and complying with any further instructions.

Implementing the SOC effectively ensures that the pilot can safely navigate away from the airport environment and maintain situational awareness. It also allows air traffic control to manage the flow of traffic and provide appropriate instructions to other aircraft in the vicinity.

Conclusion

The Start of Climb at Missed Approach (SOC) is a crucial procedure in aviation that pilots follow when executing a missed approach during an instrument approach. By understanding the importance of the SOC and adhering to the published missed approach procedure, pilots can safely transition from the approach phase to the climb phase, ensuring obstacle clearance and separation from other traffic.

Implementing the SOC effectively requires clear communication with air traffic control, precise navigation, and adherence to established procedures. Pilots must be prepared to make quick decisions and execute the missed approach procedure when necessary, prioritizing the safety of the flight and its occupants.

Whether flying in low visibility, encountering unstable approaches, or facing conflicting traffic, pilots can rely on the SOC as a defined point to initiate a climb and navigate away from the airport environment. By following the established procedures and maintaining situational awareness, pilots can ensure the smooth and safe execution of missed approaches.

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