Equipment codes confusion.

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by stratobee, Sep 18, 2015.

  1. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Hi.

    I used to file IFR with equipment code G on my previous plane as it had a WAAS 430. But this new one hasn't gotten any of that fancy stuff. I'm a little confused to what is best to file on the new one (see list below):

    The old girl has an ancient Apollo NMS, that does not have a current database. It's not even supported anymore. But, as I look at /I it says Loran. Even with an outdated database, a GPS would be more accurate than a Loran, therefore I'm thinking I should file /I. That way I can also go direct and take shortcuts and not have to stick to airways. Obviously I have Foreflight as well, but that does not carry any favors in this scenario.

    The other option is I suppose /A as I have DME. Or perhaps /P. What's the legality here?

    NO DME
    /X No transponder
    /T Transponder with no Mode C
    /U Transponder with Mode C

    DME
    /D No transponder
    /B Transponder with no Mode C
    /A Transponder with Mode C

    TACAN
    /M No transponder
    /N Transponder with no Mode C
    /P Transponder with Mode C

    Basic RNAV
    /Y LORAN, VOR/DME, or INS with no transponder
    /C LORAN, VOR/DME, or INS, transponder with no Mode C
    /I LORAN, VOR/DME, or INS, transponder with Mode C

    Advanced RNAV with Transponder and mode C
    /L RNAV capability with Global Navigation Satellite System (GNSS), including GPS or Wide Area Augmentation System (WAAS) with en route and terminal capability, and with RVSM
    /G RNAV capability with GNSS and without RVSM
    /Z RNAV capability without GNSS and with RVSM
    /I RNAV capability without GNSS and without RVSM

    RVSM (Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum)
    /W RVSM
    /L RVSM + /G
     
  2. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    /A unless you have a TACAN. Presuming you do have functioning DME.

    Part of LORAN (and RNAV in general) is a current database. You don't have that.

    An outdated database is NOT more accurate than LORAN. It is more precise. And it can very precisely fly you to the wrong place.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  3. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Do you actually have a separate DME in the plane? One that's driven by something other than a GPS? If you don't and you don't have an IFR current certified GPS, then you're probably a /U.

    I flew a C162 that had a glass panel, and it could have been a /A if they would have kept up with the friggin GPS updates.

    But yeah if you have a separate DME, then what MAK said../A probably.
     
  4. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    I assumed TACAN meant VOR, as in VORTAC. I do have separate DME. So in that case A then, it seems.
     
  5. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    TACAN is usually only military. The civilian equivalent is DME. It's true that a VOR can have a TACAN part of it, but you need a TACAN equipped plane to use that part, if you don't what you receive is the DME (civilian) piece.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  6. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    TACAN provides distance and direction, so the civilian equivalent of TACAN is VOR-DME.
     
  7. Caramon13

    Caramon13 Pattern Altitude

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    Right, thanks Steven :)
     
  8. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    There are at least a few TACAN instrument procedures out there. Without a real TACAN, you will have problems.

    Here is an example: http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1510/00410T32R.PDF

    If you file /P, you're saying you can do that.

    While you can dial in 117.6, you'll get only distance information through the paired DME frequency. Azimuth is another paired frequency that you're not receiving.

    Note that you CAN use that TACAN for a different approach: http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1510/00410ILD32R.PDF . There, it's the DME part of LOC/DME. The localizer (and ILS) is conventional. But note that the DME markings are off the TACAN, not the ILS.

    The ILS and LOC/DME approach is commonly used to get into Palo Alto, by civilians without GPS. Arriving aircraft are expected to break off the approach prior to crossing US-101, which is often enough to get below the clouds and into the neighboring airport, as long as the ceiling is above 1000 feet (for SVFR).
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  9. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    From AIM 1-1-14

    LORAN
    NOTE-
    In accordance with the 2010 DHS Appropriations Act, the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) terminated the transmission of all U.S. LORAN-C signals on 08 Feb 2010. The USCG also terminated the transmission of the Russian American signals on 01 Aug 2010, and the Canadian LORAN-C signals on 03 Aug 2010. For more information, visit http://www.navcen.uscg.gov. Operators should also note that TSO-C60b, AIRBORNE AREA NAVIGATION EQUIPMENT USING LORAN-C INPUTS, has been canceled by the FAA.

    Bob Gardner, CO of two LORAN stations back in the day.
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  10. Ravioli

    Ravioli En-Route PoA Supporter

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    I would have figured /U until clarification of separate DME and then I'd say /A.

    Now for the controllers in the thread... this code indicates the equipment level to expect for routing this bird through IMC, right? So you won't give "direct to" a GPS waypoint to a plane that shouldn't expect it.

    If it's severe clear could the guy go direct xyz en-route following his G496 and then re-establish on the TSO'd stuff for the approach?

    (yes, I don't know on this)
     
  11. Skip Miller

    Skip Miller En-Route PoA Supporter

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    You might as well wrap up a shoebox in brown paper, stick a coat hanger in the top, take a Sharpie marker and write "LORAN" on the box. That will work as well as your panel mount Loran. It is dead because the Loran sending stations were turned off in 2010, permanently.

    So if you have a /A plane and you throw this shoebox in the back seat, can you file /I? Of course not. The system - both sending and receiving ends - must be functional.

    So you cannot file /I and go off airways point to point with your set up unless you have a different certified, current, and operational RNAV system in the plane. To me, that means your GPS database must be current for legal flight under IFR. VFR, go ahead and use the out of date GPS database for situational awareness.

    Sorry! :redface:
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  12. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    /A.

    If you have a TACAN you know it. I have never seen a civilian airplane with a TACAN(maybe some special CIA planes or something). TACANs go off channels instead of frequencies. If you filed /P they could send you to a TACAN but you would only be able to get the DME off of it and that would involve going through the A/FD to find the channel to frequency conversion chart. But still, you would only get the DME and not the lateral guidance, so no, you do not have a TACAN equivalent system. Oh and you can file/ask for direct with /A, just saying, as long as you have a way to navigate there.
     
  13. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    That's what I was hinting at Gucci - how can you navigate there direct if you file /A? You're iPad isn't certified, you're GPS does not have valid database. Dead reckoning, triangulating VOR's? I'm talking legally now, not the reality where we all go off Foreflight anyway..:D
     
    Last edited: Sep 18, 2015
  14. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Ask for vectors...
     
  15. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Sure, but can I ask for "direct destination"? Legally.
     
  16. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    :yeahthat:
    :yes:
     
  17. Clark1961

    Clark1961 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You can ask for direct via vectors but you have no means to navigate direct on own nav.
     
  18. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Good, now tell me what your ICAO code is.
     
  19. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Thanks guys.

    It is of course fully possible to navigate directly any point if you can receive two VOR's. So technically one could go direct, without having GPS, without accepting a vector if that was the case. Wonder why this isn't legal - they don't trust you know how to do this? I though that was the main reason the VOR's have a compass rose around them - so you can triangulate.
     
    Last edited: Sep 19, 2015
  20. MAKG1

    MAKG1 Touchdown! Greaser!

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    While it's technically possible to do the VOR RNAV monitoring by hand, it's a lot of workload. Doing it by dead reckoning will usually work, but unforecast winds will easily get you outside your four mile radius, especially over hundreds of miles.

    And you need the database. That's part of RNAV.

    So, no, you cannot file the way you want without an actual RNAV unit.

    They don't trust you because it's obvious impractical BS.
     
  21. bobmrg

    bobmrg En-Route PoA Supporter

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    "Seattle Center, Buzzbomb 1234x request vector until receiving Miami VOR suitable for navigation."

    Bob Gardner
     
  22. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    Affirmative.
     
  23. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Heh. The favorite phrase of /U and /A...

    "Unable direct, VFR GPS, but I am vector qualified!" :)
     
  24. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    That can be a fun one. Make an equipment list. Now, what is the longest ICAO code you can come up with and the shortest AND have them both be accurate.
     
  25. gismo

    gismo Touchdown! Greaser!

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    You could be /A or /G. For /G the GPS installation has to be IFR certified for enroute operations at least but the DB does NOT have to be current if you can validate any waypoints you use via other means. If the GPS installation is not IFR approved then you'd have to be /A.

    As to the filing/flying direct destination without RNAV there are a few things to consider:

    1) Without a legal (approved/installed with current or verified data) RNAV capability you cannot legally file and accept a direct clearance although IME many pilots do this anyway since no one is actually checking unless you get into a situation which causes the FSDO to investigate you. (I don't recommend this).

    2) You can accept a direct clearance to a distant waypoint IF you can eventually navigate to that fix with the approved equipment onboard. Typically this does NOT include airports unless there's an on field VOR or NDB and you have the appropriate equipment for that.

    3) A "legal" direct clearance sans RNAV should include a vector because that's how you're really being handled until you get in range of the navigation fix. You should consider how you'd handle lost comm in IMC on such a vector. If you're close enough to the fix to navigate there on your own you should do so but if not you probably should revert to the nearest leg of your legal (airway) filed route.

    4) It seems the "proper" request for direct to a distant fix is "Request vectors direct to XXX, suggest heading ABC". More often than not in most areas of the country the reply will be "approved as requested".

    5) Just because ATC approves an "illegal" route (e.g. cleared direct to a fix you can't navigate to using IFR approved equipment on board) doesn't mean it's legal. You'd still get busted if caught.

    6) VOR/DME RNAV is pretty much gone from the fleet although I'm sure there are still a few KNS-80s out there somewhere and maybe even a pilot or two that actually knows how to use it legally. BTW, just having a KNS-80 in the panel doesn't make you RNAV legal, for that you must actually have a route plan with Radial/Distance pairs to RNAV fixes inside the service volumes of the appropriate VORs along the route. I've known several pilots who filed RNAV direct with a KNS-80/81 in the panel they never used and just flew the course on a VFR GPS. That's pretty safe but definitely not legal.
     
  26. John Collins

    John Collins Pattern Altitude

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    Assuming the NMS has the GPS sensor, I would file /G. The Apollo NMS AFMS states the following in the limitations:

    Data Base (IFR)

    GPS Approaches (APR)

    This wording permits IFR operations IAW the wording in the AIM for using expired databases.

    For the most part, airports, VOR's, and most waypoints on airways have not been moved. Airport identifiers may have changed, but there are ways to get a list of the old names. VOR's are real easy to verify with their latitude and longitude verses a chart.

    If you are not able to verify a waypoint, VOR, or airport and are cleared direct, just say unable. For some models of the NMS (2101), you can still get database updates from Jeppesen, but they are split into Eastern North America and Western North America.
     
  27. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    (non-ICAO) Equipment codes don't give enough information for ATC can tell if you can fly an approach or not anyhow.
     
  28. luvflyin

    luvflyin En-Route PoA Supporter

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    From what I hear, ICAO codes are starting to be more readily available to the Controller at the scope. It's not supposed to make a difference anyway.

    Approach clearances are issued based on known traffic.
    The receipt of an approach clearance does not relieve the
    pilot of his/her responsibility to comply with applicable
    Parts of Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations

    It's not the controllers responsibilty to ensure you can legally fly the Approach. You request it, you get it. A lot of controllers will try to climb into the cockpit and make a big deal if say you are a /A and request an RNAV Approach, but they aren't supposed to. Why would you want to file /A if you have /G equipment? Maybe you have one of them old "it takes 198 clicks and 15 button pushes if you get a enroute clearance amendment so you decide to just file /A and do the GPS Approach when you get there. If the controller throws a hissy fit just change your type aircraft to a /G then.
     
  29. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My point exactly, the equipment code really is useless for conveying any information on approaches. I only mentioned it because people were bringing up the database issue with respect to approaches rather than enroute.
     
  30. John Collins

    John Collins Pattern Altitude

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    My experience is the same. For the most part don't use the ICAO equipment and PBN codes. Someone filing /G using a domestic flightplan will get exactly the same services if they file /SG for ICAO equipment and C for ICAO Surveillance codes.

    Or I could put on my big boy pants and file /SBDGRZ for equipment, /SU2 for surviellance, with field 18 including: "PBN/B2C2D2S2 NAV/RNVD1E2A1E99 SBAS CODE/A97514 SUR/282B", but the only one I would impress would be myself, not the controller. Big whoop!
     
  31. dans2992

    dans2992 En-Route

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    Sometimes I wonder if controllers even look at the codes.

    They all seem perfectly happy to issue direct clearances to any aircraft.


    Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk
     
  32. Lon33

    Lon33 Pre-Flight

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    When asking for FF on a VFR flight, is it necessary (or advisable) to provide ATC with an equipment code? I fly VFR only in a plane that has a not-certified-for-IFR (but quite good) panel-mounted GPS, and I have always thought that made the equipment a /G -- and that's what I've told ATC when asking for FF.
     
  33. Gucci Pilot

    Gucci Pilot Pattern Altitude

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    Not required or expected. You said the GPS wasn't certified for IFR so it wouldn't even be a /G to begin with but also is the pilot even certified for IFR GPS approached(meaning having a IR)? If not, that information isn't going to be much use to the controller. He is expecting you to do your own navigating and if he need to move you he'll give you headings.
     
  34. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    ATC frequently asks me what the type code is on the Navion so I usually tell them "November Alpha Victor India Slant Golf" but I guess they don't care about the latter part.
     
  35. Lon33

    Lon33 Pre-Flight

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    Do you add "Slant Golf" because your Navion's equipment is certified for IFR flight, or even though it isn't?

    Also, if ATC asks me for my equipment code, even though I'm requesting Flight Following for a purely VFR flight, should I respond by saying /U rather than /G? The plane I fly has a Garmin 300 GPS (which is good but not certified for flight in IMC) and a Mode C transponder.
     
  36. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Eh? I have had a IFR certified WAAS navigator in my plane since before most people had it (certainly two years before W models of the 430 and 530 came out).
     
  37. Lon33

    Lon33 Pre-Flight

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    No offense was intended. I asked, because you ended your original post by saying ". . . but I guess they don't care about the latter part" -- i.e., the Slant Golf part. But when you're flying IFR, they do care about the Slant Golf part.

    I'm just trying to determine whether ATC cares about the "Slant" part -- and if so, whether ATC cares whether my instruments really are Slant Golf or only Slant Uniform -- when I'm flying VFR with FF. Gucci Pilot says that ATC doesn't care at all when pilots ask for VFR FF, and I can easily see why that would be so. If I'm asked, though, I want to give the correct answer, even if just for the pleasure of being correct.
     
  38. roncachamp

    roncachamp Final Approach

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    For flight following ATC generally won't care about your nav equipment. They'll assume you have a transponder and issue a beacon code. If they do elect to enter your info in the Flight Data Processing computer they may ask you for the proper code.
     
    Last edited: Sep 21, 2015
  39. denverpilot

    denverpilot Taxi to Parking

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    Generally around here TRACON never asks, and ZDV almost always does. Just for a data point. Different elsewhere, I'm
    sure.

    But due to the size of their airspace it's usually ZDV that attempts to issue the 400 mile direct routings.

    Ironic? Yeah. But completely normal.
     
  40. stratobee

    stratobee Cleared for Takeoff

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    Well, rented a flight school Gutless Cutlass the other month and went on a long return flight from LA to Stockton and back. 6hrs, all in. Filed as /A as it had an expired database in the 430. Turns out these enroute controllers didn't really care or read the FPL, as they kept giving me directs all the way back!

    On the way up the lady did ask if I could accept direct, and I said "I can take a vector", but that didn't really compute. She gave me a reroute via Victor airways that better suited her. On the way down, nobody asked and they just gave direct shortcuts all the time!