Buff From Australia, joined Mar 2007, 0 posts, RR: 1
Reply 1, posted (15 years 11 months 2 weeks 4 days 9 hours ago) and read 5446 times:
VDP's or VRP's (Visual Descent/Reference Points) depending on your carrier, assist you to complete a non-precision approach using a stabilized descent profile. They are used primarily by larger jet aircraft. The rationale of using them assumes that if you don't have the required visual reference at the VDP/VRP, you will commence a go-around, as levelling off and waiting for the MAP (Missed Approach Point) would not place you in the proper "slot" for landing - you would become destabilized and you would not land in the touchdown zone, so why bother. In a smaller airplane, it is relatively easy to get in quite close at MDA and still land safely and handily.
Sorry to go into that explanation, as I'm sure you know all that, but many don't! Getting to your question, it is my understanding that you can, if not doing so means missing the approach. However, it must be done with extreme caution. The applicable FAR 91.175 is referred to in the Arrival Procedures of the AIM section 5. However upon reading 91.175, there is no mention of VDP. There is a reference to continuing to land using a "normal rate of descent using normal manoeuvres".
I don't know what talking with FAA folks is like, but a lot of times in Canada when you have a specific question like this, the number of different responses is directly proportional to the number of inspectors you ask!
My position in instances like this is to use common sense and ask 1/ Is it safe? and 2/ Is it legal? Where the book is silent, you will live long and prosper with these two guidelines!
To close, this is only my opinion based in large part upon doing hundreds of non-precision approaches to minimums.