FlightPlan06
Topic Author
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What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sun Oct 07, 2007 12:49 am

My airport is putting a Loc in at IGQ . And I wanted to know what the faa does when they flight test it? Does anybody have any movies of this?
 
kcrwflyer
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:16 am

I'm pretty sure they use one of their kingairs and fly it numerous times.
 
pilotpip
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sun Oct 07, 2007 4:36 am

The FAA has a number of Kingairs, Hawkers and Challengers that are filled up with a bunch of sophisticated equipment. They fly down the Localizer going back and forth to make sure it's the proper width and then do the same with the glideslope while a tech on the ground adjusts the beams. They have a callsign on "Flight check". They periodically fly all published approaches to make sure they conform to the TERPS.
DMI
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sun Oct 07, 2007 8:44 am

Do these systems have to be periodically adjusted or "calibrated" if you will?
What gets measured gets done.
 
Fly2HMO
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sun Oct 07, 2007 7:08 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):
Do these systems have to be periodically adjusted or "calibrated" if you will?

Yes, but I'm not sure how frequently, I think its either annually or biannually

[Edited 2007-10-07 12:08:43]
 
romeomike
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 08, 2007 1:58 am

In Canada a flight check is required at least annually, but it could be as frequently as every six months (I don't recall which, sorry.)

As stated above, it involves multiple approaches with a specially equipped aircraft. Nav Canada uses Challengers and Dash-8s to do it, although they are replacing the CL60s with CRJs soon.

They usually test both parts of the ILS independently: glide-path approaches are usually broken off at the threshold or earlier, while localizer checks occasionally will have to fly the full length of the runway as well. It's impressive to watch the CL60 breaking off an approach at 50' with a hard right turn back into the downwind.  Smile They'll do various arcs as well at distances up to 20 miles or so, as well as one or two complete orbits of the facility at 4 miles.

The entire process is usually scheduled to take about 4 hours, assuming there's little interruption due to traffic or equipment problems.

These procedures surely vary based on the equipment in the aircraft as well as the equipment installed at ground level.
 
bhill
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:42 am

Great question...I've wondered this myself...what about military airfields? Is the FAA charged with this task as well? Overseas as well?

Cheers...
Carpe Pices
 
pilotpip
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:09 am

I seem to remember them coming in quite frequntly when I was working line service. Like once or twice a month. Their are regional teams if you will. Of course, they were working quite a bit on the new approaches for 11/29.
DMI
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 08, 2007 2:09 pm

Quoting FlyASAGuy2005 (Reply 3):
Do these systems have to be periodically adjusted or "calibrated" if you will?

Yes they fly what is called periodic checks unless a localizer or glideslope has been out of service for any reason, then FLC has to certify the system before any NOTAM concerning the system and approach are cancelled. I'm being lazy and not going to go look at the Flight Inspection Orders to find the time for each periodic check but here is a link which might help if you dig through it:

http://avn.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=fioo/index

FLC also flight checks each and every instrument approach procedure in the NAS as well as NAVAIDS, SIDS, STARS, Airways/Jet routes, special approach procedures, and RADAR sites.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
N231YE
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 08, 2007 3:08 pm

I would agree with the above, the use of KingAirs to do checks. I have seen Localizer and PAPI (and possibly an RNAV approach) tests in action, sometimes, the FAA pilots can get glorious.

Likewise, the aircraft usually perform a low approach onto the particular runway being tested, then fly just above and along the runway heading (localizer back-course?), until they reach the opposite end of the runway and go around. Although I am not sure the exact number, I believe the fly-by test is done ~5/6 times.
 
FlyASAGuy2005
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 08, 2007 4:44 pm

Interesting. Thanks guys.
What gets measured gets done.
 
N243NW
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 3:10 am

Years ago, they used to use this beautiful girl:


View Large View Medium
Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Danny Fritsche - Airplanespotters



-N243NW Big grin
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:15 pm

Quoting N231YE (Reply 9):
the use of KingAirs to do checks. I have seen Localizer and PAPI (and possibly an RNAV approach) tests in action, sometimes, the FAA pilots can get glorious

For RNAV flight checks the BE30's are not players, they're doing RNAV's with the LJ60's and maybe the Challengers!
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 12:55 pm

I believe the FAA also uses the 727 to do them. At least thats what I was told. And they were also checking the ILS to 27L at PHL yesterday while I was getting ready to take-off from there. Unfortunatley we took off before she came around again so I didn't see which type of a/c.
Go Trojans! Fight On!
 
bond007
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 1:05 pm

Quoting Bhill (Reply 6):
Great question...I've wondered this myself...what about military airfields?

I believe they are responsible for checking military navaids also ... at least some of them I know.

Quoting FLY2HMO (Reply 4):
Yes, but I'm not sure how frequently, I think its either annually or biannually



Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 8):
I'm being lazy and not going to go look at the Flight Inspection Orders to find the time for each periodic check

I depends on many factors and type of ILS, navaid etc., but generally the ILS inspection interval is something like 9 months (actually every 270 days).

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
N231YE
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 2:15 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 12):
For RNAV flight checks the BE30's are not players, they're doing RNAV's with the LJ60's and maybe the Challengers!

Correction: now that you bring this up, I think it might have been an LJ60, not a BE30. In fact, I can't remember if they did the test a month ago or 5 months ago!  wink 
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 4:36 pm

Quoting FlyUSCG (Reply 13):
I believe the FAA also uses the 727 to do them. At least thats what I was told. And they were also checking the ILS to 27L at PHL yesterday while I was getting ready to take-off from there. Unfortunatley we took off before she came around again so I didn't see which type of a/c.

Don't think the B727 was doing any flight inspection, can't even remember when the B727 was used to do flight inspection. What you might have heard was an FAA B727 (if any are still flying) doing some type of research work such as satellite or A-DSB testing, who knows what else.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
bond007
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 6:03 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 16):
Don't think the B727 was doing any flight inspection, can't even remember when the B727 was used to do flight inspection. What you might have heard was an FAA B727 (if any are still flying) doing some type of research work such as satellite or A-DSB testing, who knows what else.

Yes, the 727 is not part of the Flight Inspection fleet. It has been used to test new avionics and landing systems, and as you say, it was used as part of the Fedex 727 ADS-B research.


Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
FlyUSCG
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:06 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR (Reply 16):
Don't think the B727 was doing any flight inspection, can't even remember when the B727 was used to do flight inspection. What you might have heard was an FAA B727 (if any are still flying) doing some type of research work such as satellite or A-DSB testing, who knows what else.

I guess I didn't word it correctly, but I was referreing to them in two different instances. They were testing 27L at PHL yesterday but I had no idea what type of a/c. I heard about the 727 doing ILS tests at PRC several years ago. I think I heard it back when I was a freshman in 03-04.
Go Trojans! Fight On!
 
BAE146QT
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 10, 2007 8:20 pm

Quoting N243NW:
Years ago, they used to use this beautiful girl:

That looks an awful lot like the classic AA paint scheme.
Todos mis dominós son totalmente pegajosos
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Thu Oct 11, 2007 11:33 am

Quoting BAe146QT (Reply 19):
That looks an awful lot like the classic AA paint scheme.

Not sure AA would appreciate that comment!  Smile
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
BAE146QT
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:14 pm

Quoting IAHFLYR:
Not sure AA would appreciate that comment!

But it's the spit - orange nacelles and "lightning" strikes down the sides. They did a 757 up like that a few years ago. I tried an image search but the database is being flaky at the moment...

The closest I can find is;

Todos mis dominós son totalmente pegajosos
 
N243NW
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:31 pm

Quoting BAe146QT (Reply 21):
They did a 757 up like that a few years ago. I tried an image search but the database is being flaky at the moment...

Your wish is my command:


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Click here for bigger photo!

Photo © Ryan C. Umphrey



-N243NW Big grin
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
BAE146QT
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Fri Oct 12, 2007 5:38 pm

Quoting N243NW:
Your wish is my command:

Ah! That's the chappie! Thank you!

What search terms did you use to find that? All I got was a message saying that the database wasn't accepting full-text searches.
Todos mis dominós son totalmente pegajosos
 
N231YE
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Fri Oct 12, 2007 6:41 pm

Quoting BAe146QT (Reply 23):
All I got was a message saying that the database wasn't accepting full-text searches.

With the way A.net has been lately, I wouldn't rule out the fact you did a search at a bad time...
 
N243NW
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sat Oct 13, 2007 2:05 am

Quoting BAe146QT (Reply 23):
What search terms did you use to find that?

I actually used no text command at all. I selected "757-200", "American Airlines", and "Other Special Paint Schemes" from the drop-down menus. AA doesn't have a whole lot of those on their 757s.

-N243NW

[Edited 2007-10-12 19:06:53]
B-52s don't take off. They scare the ground away.
 
FredT
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sat Oct 13, 2007 7:07 am

If you are really interested in learning more about flight inspection/flight calibration, ICAO Doc. 8071 is the regulatory document. If you can get hold of it you can read a lot on the subject. ICAO Annex 10 spells out the radio nav aid requirements, with annex 14 laying down the regs for lights.

Cheers,
/Fred
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.
 
cptspeaking
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sat Oct 13, 2007 5:10 pm

At LYH, the runway was just extended 1300', so the localizer has to be readjusted and the glideslope moved before the full ILS approach is restored. The project began in late May, and the ILS isn't scheduled to be fully operational (glideslope and all) until October 25. When they were getting ready to restore the Localizer, an FAA Learjet was in here alllll day just going around and around on the approaches. Every so often, we'll see one of their Gulfstreams in here as well doing the same thing...

Pretty cool procedure!
Your CptSpeaking
...and don't call me Shirley!!
 
BAE146QT
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Sun Oct 14, 2007 11:21 pm

Quoting N231YE (Reply 24):
With the way A.net has been lately, I wouldn't rule out the fact you did a search at a bad time...

Possibly - but from N243NW's post, I might have been a bit n00b in my search criteria. I used a free-text search and didn't realise that there was;

Quote:
"Other Special Paint Schemes"

..in the drop-down.

I still say that Dak looks like it has that paint scheme though!
Todos mis dominós son totalmente pegajosos
 
IAHFLYR
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Mon Oct 15, 2007 11:25 am

Quoting Cptspeaking (Reply 27):
Every so often, we'll see one of their Gulfstreams in here as well doing the same thing...

There are no Gulfstreams in the flight check fleet, unless it is a breand new airplane in the last month.
Any views shared are strictly my own and do not a represent those of any former employer.
 
FlightPlan06
Topic Author
Posts: 18
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Tue Oct 16, 2007 6:48 pm

Does anyone have a video of the flight checks?
Does anyone know is you can ride along on these flight checks?
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Tue Oct 16, 2007 7:02 pm

Quoting FlightPlan06 (Thread starter):
And I wanted to know what the faa does when they flight test it? Does anybody have any movies of this?

Most of the Localizer check is done on the ground actually. Its a lateral signal and the primary objective of the test is to determine if anything on the ground is affecting the signal (aka signal deflection). If they add a glideslope, then the flight check is more critical. As stated, the flight check is to ensure that there is no major signal deviations in the final segment.

[Edited 2007-10-16 12:04:53]
 
bond007
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Tue Oct 16, 2007 8:39 pm

Quoting Boeing7E7 (Reply 31):
As stated, the flight check is to ensure that there is no major signal deviations in the final segment.

Actually, it's almost as important these signals are accurate at distance, as in the final segment. The localizer is usually checked at 10 miles out by an aircraft, to ensure it's width is correct for an ILS intercept. Then the course is flown to ensure the localizer is centered correctly... then some full approaches to check the combination localizer/glideslope.

Jimbo
I'd rather be on the ground wishing I was in the air, than in the air wishing I was on the ground!
 
Boeing7E7
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 17, 2007 1:50 am

Quoting Bond007 (Reply 32):
The localizer is usually checked at 10 miles out by an aircraft, to ensure it's width is correct for an ILS intercept.

He's asking about a localizer install, not a full ILS. A LOC check is non-precision and is only checked to the FAS. If the test overlays a RNAV then they check it to the FROP.

Quoting FlightPlan06 (Thread starter):
My airport is putting a Loc in at IGQ . And I wanted to know what the faa does when they flight test it? Does anybody have any movies of this?


[Edited 2007-10-16 18:55:51]
 
cancidas
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Wed Oct 17, 2007 4:23 am

we had a flightcheck airplane configuring the ILS approaches at LGA a few weeks back. over the course of two weeks they'd fly low passes up and down 13/31 and 4/22 in the king air on sunday morings. was a sight to see, too bad i didn't find out 'till that day they would be there. i'd have brought my camera!
"...cannot the kingdom of salvation take me home."
 
FredT
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RE: What Is Done To Flight Test A New ILS Or Loc

Thu Oct 18, 2007 7:15 pm

Localizers will be checked for signal strength, structure and alignment, width, displacement sensitivity (i e the relationship between what you see on your needles and how far off CL you are) and so on. It is done all the way from at the very least ILS point A, about 4 nm out, and down to a point along the runway which is determined by the category of the approach the LLZ is to be used for. They are also flight checked to verify the alarm limits for the (ground) near field monitors.

While it is easier to have mid- or even far field monitors for a LLZ than it is for a GP, flight checks are still what gives the final word on the condition of the installation. While localizers are far less sensitive to the surrounding environment than glide paths, they can still be affected.

I do not know what changes for a stand-alone LLZ, if anything. It can be found in the above docs though.
I thought I was doing good trying to avoid those airport hotels... and look at me now.

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