KELPkid
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Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:39 am

Hello,

This question arose after talking with a fellow instrument-rated pilot. I was curious if there is any place in the U.S., or indeed the world, where non-precision instrument approaches are commonly used by mainline aircraft in scheduled part 121 commercial operations?

A non-precision approach would be considered an instrument approach with horizontal guidance only (e.g. Localizer w/no glideslope), VOR approach, NDB approach, or GPS approach with no VNAV.

On a related note, I'm just guessing here, but I'm betting that the flight ops manual for many airlines forbids the use of circling approaches or circle to land procedures?

I'd appreciate any enlightenment on the said subject  Smile
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timz
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:50 am

VOR approaches are common enough, aren't they? Once every year or two they land runways 10 at SFO, which have no ILS. How about the everyday curving approaches to runways 13L/13R at JFK?

Circle-to-land runway 29 at EWR is certainly not rare, and circle-to-land runway 1R at SFO happens every year or two.
 
Newark777
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:52 am

SXM doesn't have ILS, and we see all the A340's, 747's, and 757's that land there.

Harry
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KELPkid
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:54 am

Quoting Newark777 (Reply 2):
SXM doesn't have ILS, and we see all the A340's, 747's, and 757's that land there.

Harry

Yeah, but how often does SXM get IMC conditions?
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Crosswind
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 8:55 am

Non-precision approaches are pretty much standard in large parts of Central and South America, the Caribbean, Southern Europe and Africa.

I don't think there will be many airlines out there that do not encounter non-precision approaches in their daily operations.

I work for a European airline and the many of our destinations (both short and long haul) feature nothing more than a procedural VOR or NDB approach.

As for banning circling approaches, If our ops mannual prohibited them we wouldn't be able to operate into places like Innsbruck where the use of RWY08 requires a circling approach within a mountain valley!!!

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I was under the impression that US carriers commonly operate under similar circumstances to places like Vail, CO.

Regards
CROSSWIND
 
KELPkid
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 9:09 am

Quoting Crosswind (Reply 4):
Regards
CROSSWIND

Thanks, Crosswind! Awesome pictures, by the way. I'm assuming that these were taken from the surrounding terrain? Is this your airline?
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airportugal310
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 10:57 am

Well..

As many may have guessed I work for Cape Air...

While we operate as Part 135 up North, ACK for example is often doing a localizer or VOR approach depending on whats happening weather wise...

Speculation is that at some point we may use ATR-42s from our 121 approved operation in Guam here in the North stations in the summertime...

If that is the case, they would see some kind of ACK service where non-precision approaches could happen on occasion.


On a different note, I used to talk to a Piedmont/US Airways pilot who told me that doing an NDB approach to CLT back in the day was a regular occurance....so it does happen.

 Smile
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flightopsguy
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 11:05 am

Lots of circling approaches. In use almost every day at MDW. ILS 31C circle to 22L or (more amusing) ILS 04R circle to 13C. Some carriers are better at this one than others.

Most 121 carriers by their opspecs need 1000 ft ceiling and 3 SM visibility for circle to land. Also still some LDA approaches in use.

I would bet that all or most 121 US carriers have circle to land and/or other non-precision approaches (NDB, LDA, ASR) in the opsecs. About the only one you don't see much anymore is the old PAR approach (unless you watch the original Airport movie).
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Mir
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:09 pm

The VOR to 22L at JFK gets used all the time, in addition to the VOR to 13L/R. If things go into IMC, you may see them switch to ILS, but they still get use in marginal VFR conditions.

-Mir
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barney captain
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:15 pm

LOC 27 in SAN is used a majority of the time.
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DLKAPA
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:18 pm

Two words: Expressway Visual.
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CosmicCruiser
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:18 pm

Every time you land 27 at San Diego it's a LOC app.
 
modesto2
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 12:24 pm

JFK's VOR 13/R comes to mind. Point of clarification...the Expressway Visual is a charted visual approach - not a non-precision instrument approach.
 
fspilot747
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RE: Non-precision Approaches By Mainline Aircraft?

Tue Dec 06, 2005 1:22 pm

Keep in mind that most of these airliners have FMS that can pretty much turn any approach from VOR to NDB into a precision-style approach with a glideslope. Airliners don't fly em like us little guys do (at least, AFAIK).


FSP