Question of the week: Radio failure on IFR flight

November 1, 2013

Question: You're on an IFR flight in instrument meteorological conditions and you've experienced a two-way radio failure. The minimum IFR altitude for all of your route segments is 3,000 feet. On the last transmission you received, you were instructed to maintain 3,000 feet and expect 8,000 feet at the next fix. When should you climb to 8,000 feet?

Answer: You should begin your climb to 8,000 feet upon reaching the next fix. After reading 14 CFR Part 91.185, some may be inclined to think you should climb to 8,000 feet immediately. That is not correct in this scenario. See the notes in the Aeronautical Information Manual, Chapter 6, Section 4 for an expanded explanation and example scenarios.