Bryan Becker
Topic Author
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2001 12:38 pm

Final Approach Dead On Or Not?

Sun Mar 04, 2001 11:34 am

It's me again! I just got all these questions in my head.When doing a final approach or turning to a final. Is the pilot always lined up with the center line of the runway? I know that on A ILS that it will tell you if you have a center line up or not. But what about a VOR approach. Do you always have to be lined up exactly with the center line? An do the pilots set the heading indicater to the runway heading and have autopilot hold the heading? If your flying a VOR approach how do you know that you are lined up with the center line
Bryan Becker
Topic Author
Posts: 327
Joined: Fri Mar 02, 2001 12:38 pm

RE: Final Approach Dead On Or Not?

Sun Mar 04, 2001 1:05 pm

Hay!!!!! JG your an airline pilot you could answer this.
Posts: 935
Joined: Thu Apr 06, 2000 12:00 pm

RE: Final Approach Dead On Or Not?

Sun Mar 04, 2001 2:00 pm

it ILS approach is designed and installed on the far end of the runway. It is adjusted to 700 ft (width) from the centerline...So if you are lined up, you will reach the centerline...if you "peg" (full deflection of the needle on either side) the needles on either can be up to 350 ft off the centerline.

On a VOR approach (non-precision) you can approach a certain runway within 30 degrees. Example...a final approach course to Runway 9 can vary from a heading of 060-120. If the heading of the final approach course and any runway is greater than 30 degrees, a circling approach minimums will prevail. Example... 3K6 (St. Jacob, IL) uses an off-field VOR (Troy {TOY}) The final approach course is 090...but 3K6 has only one runway (13-31) To provide an instrument approach, the FAA allows a pilot to descend to a certain altitude and depending on the category of aircraft (A,B,C,D) a nd specified distance a pilot can circle the field to land on any runway. These approaches are labeled as VOR-A approach instead of say VOR 9 (which was the first example).

Let's not get into NDBs, cause those are hell to fly...though they are lifesavers when you don't have GPS and figure out that the one chart your missing is the VOR approach (don't laugh, it has happened to a couple of pilots)....

I know it is confusing...If you got time and money...go buy a FAR/AIM book (it's $12-15) I would recommend Jeppeson because of their organization of materials....But ASA, (and there is one other) will provide the SAME INFORMATION (cause they are copies of gov't documents) In the Jepp. book, look in the AIM on Pages A-8 to A-19 and all that information is there to read and enjoy (har har har)

The penguin
Posts: 1319
Joined: Wed Jul 05, 2000 11:37 am

RE: Final Approach Dead On Or Not?

Sun Mar 04, 2001 8:50 pm

If your not flying an ILS, ther e is no other way to get lined up to the runway other than vbisually. VOR stations at an Airport may be located way off away from a runway.
Posts: 165
Joined: Tue Jun 07, 2005 1:53 am

RE: Final Approach Dead On Or Not?

Mon Mar 05, 2001 12:43 am


The simple answer is no, not every approach procedure is lined up with the centerline of the runway. For those approach procedures that are not lined up with the centerline the visibility requirements and sometimes ceiling requirements for the approach are higher to allow the pilot room to manuever. Basically Bryan, the higher the visibility requirement the farther out you will see the runway giving you more time to line up with the centerline.

To answer your secondary questions.

It is certainly to your benefit to be lined up with the centerline of the runway when you touch down... after all, they are much longer than they are wide.  Smile

We do not necessarily align the heading bug with the runway centerline. A heading merely points the aircraft in a certain direction. If a crosswind is blowing the aircraft will drift left or right of centerline if only flying runway heading. So, the pilots adjust their heading to "track" the final approach course whether a VOR, NDB, SDF, LDA, GPS, RNAV, or ILS (or any other arbitrary sequence of letters you can dream up) then also track runway centerline during the final stages of approach.

I hope this helps.

Posts: 47
Joined: Sat Apr 07, 2007 8:19 pm

RE: Final Approach Dead On Or Not?

Wed Mar 07, 2001 3:29 am

In fact, there are 'circling approaches.' Meaning that if the weather is above the minimums established for circling approaches, you could use a ILS, VOR, etc. approach for one runway, and then when you have the airport in sight, you could break off the approach for the first runway, and then line up with a different runway that the winds favor at the same airport.

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