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An aircraft experiencing radio communication failure on an IFR flight in IMC should…

  • A
    divert to the most suitable aerodrome according to the route of flight.
  • B
    execute a VMC approach at the nearest suitable aerodrome.
  • C
    proceed to an area from where the flight can be continued according to the visual flight rules.
  • D
    proceed in accordance with the current flight plan to the designated navigation aid serving the destination aerodrome.

ICAO Doc 4444
15.3 AIR-GROUND COMMUNICATIONS FAILURE

15.3.3 If the aircraft fails to indicate that it is able to receive and acknowledge transmissions, separation shall be maintained between the aircraft having the communication failure and other aircraft, based on the assumption that the aircraft will:

b) if in instrument meteorological conditions or when conditions are such that it does not appear likely that the pilot will complete the flight in accordance with a):

1) unless otherwise prescribed on the basis of a regional air navigation agreement, in airspace where procedural separation is being applied, maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 20 minutes following the aircraft’s failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan; or
2) in airspace where an ATS surveillance system is used in the provision of air traffic control, maintain the last assigned speed and level, or minimum flight altitude if higher, for a period of 7 minutes following:

i) the time the last assigned level or minimum flight altitude is reached; or
ii) the time the transponder is set to Code 7600 or the ADS-B transmitter is set to indicate the loss of air-ground communications; or
iii) the aircraft’s failure to report its position over a compulsory reporting point; whichever is later and thereafter adjust level and speed in accordance with the filed flight plan;

3) when being vectored or having been directed by ATC to proceed offset using RNAV without a specified limit, proceed in the most direct manner possible to rejoin the current flight plan route no later than the next significant point, taking into consideration the applicable minimum flight altitude;
4) proceed according to the current flight plan route to the appropriate designated navigation aid or fix serving the destination aerodrome and, when required to ensure compliance with 5), hold over this aid or fix until commencement of descent;
5) commence descent from the navigation aid or fix specified in 4) at, or as close as possible to, the expected approach time last received and acknowledged; or, if no expected approach time has been received and acknowledged, at, or as close as possible to, the estimated time of arrival resulting from the current flight plan;
6) complete a normal instrument approach procedure as specified for the designated navigation aid or fix; and
7) land, if possible, within 30 minutes after the estimated time of arrival specified in 5) or the last acknowledged expected approach time, whichever is later.

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