IFR Flight Plan To Destination With RNAV Only But Plane Not GPS

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Sinistar, Jan 8, 2019.

  1. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Okay, I DO NOT have an instrument rating and haven't start yet. So file this under the dumb question category. I have been wondering something that would be quite relevant (as an owner) if I did get a IR.

    Our home airport use to have a NDB. But that has been decommissioned for several years. Our plane's NDB wasn't working anyway so we yanked it. We do have dual NAV/COM, ILS, DME but no GPS navigator. There is a Delta 40miles away with RNAV/VOR/DME/ILS and there is a another local airport about 30miles away with a VOR so probably a VOR based approach and of course a RNAV.

    So lets say I get my IR. I am up at my folks place (VOR/DME) and want to file an instrument plan back to my home base. In this case there are no navigation aids at the destination . Lets say the weather is perfect (CAVU). Will the system even allow me to file the IFR Flight Plan to my destination? If so what would that plan be like?

    I'm guessing I would be canceling it en-route, near the destination, but it seems the entire flight plan would not be allowed into the system. Or is there some provision in the IR rating that allows a departure from an airport you have the equipment for but a destination you are not equipped for?

    And if the answer is YES. Lets say its a fall day, ceilings are now 1800VC at my destination. Lets also say I am very proficient in flying IMC and icing is not an issue - can I still do this same flight plan to get thru the clouds before going VFR / canceling to land?
     
  2. gsengle

    gsengle Pattern Altitude

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    To go IFR to a field without an approach, you need to get VFR to land. Which means a minimum vectoring altitude below the clouds, assuming radar coverage. Those aren’t published but depends on the terrain, but usually a couple thousand feet at least above the field.


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  3. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    You can file IFR. Since you don't have approach capability at the destination, you need to file an alternate that you CAN fly an approach to.

    ATC can clear you for a visual approach, and you can keep your IFR clearance through landing.
     
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  4. Ravioli

    Ravioli Final Approach PoA Supporter

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    From the very little I know, you would file for the closest approach you are equipped for and then when you're near you would cancel IFR and advise changing destination via VFR.

    In my case, my airport has Zero approaches, but there are three in a triangle so I'd pick the one along my general approach direction. If the weather is still IMC they are easy Uber rides to my car.
     
    Last edited: Jan 8, 2019
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  5. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Most approaches start with altitudes at least 2500 feet above airport elevation so you would have to be VMC to be able to cancel your IFR clearance before you get to approach altitude. Your given scenario wouldn’t work. Can’t start an approach you can’t do.
    Our local field had his problem. We have RNAV and LOC approach. The missed on the localizer was over a VOR that since was decommissioned. Now missed is to a gps fix. So you need gps to fly the LOC approach now. Took a lot of ppl out so to speak.
     
  6. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    I do this on practically every other flight returning to my private grass home base. I file direct to my destination (8NC8) and usually remember to file KRDU as my alternate.

    In VMC I’m cleared for the visual and simply call ‘airport in sight, cancel IFR’ before landing. Otherwise I would have to call in a cancelation after landing.

    In IMC I fly or am vectored though my descent into 8NC8 until I reach VMC or MVA. I don’t know the MVA around the airport but it’s been a long time since it was a factor.

    When it looks like a descent to VMC is not feasible, I will generally ask for an approach into one of the satellite airports or KRDU.
    When I break out, I determine whether I can proceed home VFR or whether I need to land.

    That’s how you can do it. Not having a GPS navigator is limiting and will be increasingly so but you can do a lot of things without it.


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  7. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Interesting hack. Does ATC give you any grief about that or you let them know that plan ahead of time?
     
  8. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Grief? Just the opposite. Raleigh approach in particular will work hard to either give me the options I request or suggest options they think will work to get home. I have to be careful to remember that I’m in command and the smart thing is often to punt into a satellite instead of pushing home.

    The only glitch I encounter is if Washington Center is bringing me in. They don’t necessarily understand the local options as well as
    Raleigh so I know to wait until handed off for the best support.

    Grief? Never. The earlier I tell them what I want the better but they usually have a good sense of what’s possible before I get there. Flying an ILS at KRDU and asking for a low approach and vectors home is not a problem but they definitely want to know that before I’m cleared for the approach.


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  9. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    @benyflyguy - It seems your answer differs from the others? Are you perhaps saying something different? In my case there is no approach I could fly since no GPS on the plane but it seems this scenario actually has a valid solution.

    So lets say you are about 15 minutes out (30 miles for our plane). Let's say the current METAR is 35 minutes old and indicates 1800ovc but the one-minute AWOS is reporting 2400ovc (ceilings are coming up). Does the system (ATC) require decisions to be made based on the METAR's they are seeing or can the one-minute (which ATC does not have) be used for allowing the descent?

    Not sure if this helps but it seems that MSP Approach picks me up on radar about 2300msl (1300agl).

    So in theory:
    1.) I would look at the weather and be sure the ceilings are not crazy/stupid low/icing before even considering this.
    2.) I would file an instrument flight plan to my destination even though the plane does not support the approaches and alternate to one that does support my equipment types
    3.) As I get near, obtaining METAR's and one minute AWOS, it should be more obvious what the ceilings are at the destination
    4.) If the METAR/AWOS is showing ceilings which allow for a descent into VMC they will allow it as long as they have radar coverage
    5.) If they loose radar coverage or I don't descend into VMC before MVA(???) I would then have to abort the descent and be vectored (including climbing again) to my alternate which supports my equipment type.

    ...and taking it a bit farther, on the way to the alternate if its VFR during that approach another decision could be made to then continue to the original destination of it can be done VFR.
     
  10. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Your making me think more about it!! In your scenario are you suggesting ATC will start your approach via all radar vectors??
    I guess the question is at what point of going to the proposed destination are you out of IMC in VMC??
    Are you able to start an approach from IAF if you don’t have the /G for it? Can ATC radar vector you to min radar coverage the? I didn’t think they would do that but I could be wrong. I’m sure someone with way more experience then me can chime in.
    It is an interesting discussion.
     
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  11. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    I also hope someone chimes in, especially regarding your kind response as I didn't understand any of it :) (Not because you wrote it poorly, but because I haven't studied for the rating yet)
     
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  12. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    I’m not sure I understand exactly what is being asked here but my home airport has no approaches. I know that Raleigh will offer me vectors to a minimum altitude (presumably MVA) and a pass over my home airport, even at night. I. Used to take them up on that but no longer. I’m much more comfortable shooting a approach ‘somewhere’ until below the ceiling. Then deciding whether I’m comfortable flying home.

    PS: I fly into several airports where the VOR is out of service seemingly forever. ILS are well maintained but new ones aren’t coming. You really need to get to /G these days as a practical matter.


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  13. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I'll chime in also with an "I'm not sure what you are asking."

    I first learned this as an instrument student training out of a nontowered airport with no approaches.

    Landing at an airport with no instrument approach requires ability to get from the minimum IFR altitude to the runway VFR. All ATC is doing is bringing you down to their minimum vectoring altitude near your destination. If you can get down VFR from there, you cancel IFR and go. If you can't, you go somewhere else.

    It's almost the same for the other process, shooting an approach into an airport with approaches and breaking it off once in VFR conditions to go to your no-IAP destination nearby.

    In both cases, yes, you tell ATC what you want to do. They will accommodate when they can.
     
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  14. benyflyguy

    benyflyguy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I
    I took the time to re-read my posts they are scattered to say the least! Long day yesterday I guess. What I thought @Sinistar was wondering basically is can you start to shoot an approach that you don’t have the equipment for, just with ATC and radar?
    I know you can file IFR to leave and once at destination you can cancel as long as you are VMC- that’s easy and done often to just get out from a low ceiling or something.
    I guess my question Is, let say you get there and it’s IMC to get below layer that is below MVA but above the RNAV minimums. ATC isn’t going to vector most of your “formal” approach via radar if you don’t have the equipment for it.
    With the scenario given of 1800 OVC at destination I guess I’m getting focused on how I would do it At my field of starting my approach at approach alt of ~4000 at the IAF and shooting the approach and breaking out along the way. If I didn’t have the right equipment for that approach I couldn’t do that.
    But ATC could vector me down to the MVA- wether it’s on the approach course or not doesn’t really matter ( I didn’t think of it that way initially)
     
  15. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    I think you answered your own question.

    Keep in mind that this is almost the same as what happens when you let down through the clouds for a visual approach even when the airport does have IAPs.
     
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  16. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man Pattern Altitude

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    ATC is most likely not paying attention to what equipment suffix you filed on your flight plan but if you are honest then they should know not to give you an RNAV approach. What are you going to do if they give you a GPS fix to fly to during the approach? As others have said, file to a nearby airport that you have the equipment to navigate to then cancel once bellow the layer and fly to your destination if it's safe to do so.
     
  17. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    No, you can’t shoot an approach you aren’t equipped for. Or said more properly, you can’t be ‘cleared’ for an approach you aren’t equipped for, as far as I know. ‘Cleared’ is the thing that means you are now expected to proceed onto an approach segment and fly it as specified.

    But ATC can vector you all over the place using radar with the limits being lateral coverage and MVA.

    Since my home ‘port has no approaches, I might ask to ‘take a look’ or Raleigh may just offer to vector me towards it and overhead of it, while vectoring me around buildups and traffic in the hope that I can catch sight of it and land. Given my flight plan and their take on the weather, they often just suggest what they think may work independent of what I may ask for.

    OTOH, if conditions are believed to be IFR (no wx reporting at home either - KRDU is 10 miles away) I will be asked ‘what are your intentions’ if I’m slow with telling them what I plan to do. That rarely happens now because I generally have a good wx picture and a plan. Back in the day with my non-AP, NEXRAD-less Maule, I would aim it at home to see what was up or proceed to do an approach at KRDU, land, wait, and figure something out.
    [​IMG]

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    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  18. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    I must have had you in mind, somehow, when I conjured up my first tutorial on IFR: http://www.avclicks.com/Flash2/IFR_Mindset2/index.html

    View it on a PC, tablets probably won't play the Flash.

    I'm surprised nobody yet knew the answer.
     
    Last edited: Jan 9, 2019
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  19. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Good stuff, very western, but it does play with minor glitches on an iPad.


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  20. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Final Approach

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    Another option that's gotten me in a few time
    what was the answer that nobody knew?
     
  21. davidgfern

    davidgfern Pre-takeoff checklist

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    What? If the destination airport does not have an instrument approach procedure, in order to land there you must be able to descend from the enroute MEA to the airport under VFR...... the requirement to file an alternate has nothing to do with whether or not the destination field has an instrument approach ..... it is driven by the forecast weather at the destination .....if it is forecast to be less than 2000 and 3 miles, then an alternate is required.
     
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  22. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    You know the answer. Those who don't would probably benefit from the slide show.
     
  23. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Please see the slide show. ;) And Part 91 too.
     
  24. azure

    azure Final Approach

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    No, regardless of the weather, if the destination airport doesn't have an IAP, you have to file an alternate. See 14 CFR 91.169.
     
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  25. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Hey! No whispering in class! :(
     
  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    It is unfortunate the rule is taught backwards rather than by simply reading it. Thinking that "you only have to file an alternate when..." instead of "you always have to file an alternate unless.." is an incredibly common error, as Dave's experience likely shows.
     
  27. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Unless you get a visual approach. As you know, although it requires a "ceiling at or above 1,000 feet and visibility 3 miles or greater," you only have to remain just barely clear of clouds, which would not be enough for VFR until you descend below controlled airspace.
     
  28. davidgfern

    davidgfern Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Well, as Daffy Duck once said......

     
  29. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Sorry. The "Dave's experience" I was referring to was Dave Turri's experience with his quiz.
     
  30. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Huh? I thought you meant the other Dave. My "Quiz" is really the OP's question, "Will the system even allow me to file the IFR Flight Plan to my destination? If so what would that plan be like?"

    The answer is on slide #53 of my tutorial An IFR Pilot's Mindset .
     
  31. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Not only will the system allow it, it won’t ding you in any way if you neglect to include an alternate with an approach, even though that is a requirement.

    Of course most of my flights that are filed IFR to a non-approach airport are hard VFR. But the point is that you need to have a plan on what to do if your destination is IFR. In the context, having an alternate is just symbolic. I’ve never been under the impression that ATC even looks at it. They only ask, “what are your intentions” if you don’t beat them to it (applies to the 1-2-3 requirement as well)

    The only practical thing the alternate provides is a reference point for ATC if you go NORDO.... perhaps.


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  32. Sinistar

    Sinistar Pattern Altitude

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    Thanks for sharing this and I really liked the presentation! Now I won't pretend to understand it all but there does seem to be some irony as its rather darned close to what I am asking. Obviously my question was more of a "Aw shucks I don't have a GPS Navigator, how to I get back home when its overcast?." But you've got my wheels turning. And in my question I picked 1800ovc just for the heck of it.

    I thought the part about being able to take off but not being to return due to the 2000ft rule and the mountains along the path was interesting!

    I am still curious...does the METAR or the 1-minute AWOS determine ceilings heights. One could indicate IFR and the 1-minute one could indicate MVFR or VFR. I don't see ATC calling the 1-minute AWOS phone number but I'm pretty sure as you are nearing a descent into overcast near minimums (whatever that means) you've probably listened the destination AWOS more than once! So you would have better wx than they do.
     
  33. SbestCFII

    SbestCFII Line Up and Wait

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    If you are current, you can file IFR. If the destination is forecast VFR, then you don't need an alternate, but remember that you have to use "forecast" wx. as a basis for determining his prior to departure and not METAR data.
     
  34. dmspilot

    dmspilot En-Route

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    You need an alternate if the destination does not have a SIAP.
     
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  35. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    The system doesn't care.
     
  36. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    True if the destination has an SIAP. False if it does not.
     
  37. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A forecast of VFR conditions may not be sufficient even with an SIAP.

    (2) Appropriate weather reports or weather forecasts, or a combination of them, indicate the following:

    (i) For aircraft other than helicopters. For at least 1 hour before and for 1 hour after the estimated time of arrival, the ceiling will be at least 2,000 feet above the airport elevation and the visibility will be at least 3 statute miles.

    https://www.ecfr.gov/cgi-bin/text-i...c7aaa3d1&mc=true&node=se14.2.91_1169&rgn=div8
     
  38. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Final Approach

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    Clarification accepted :)

    The weather requirement of the "1-2-3 Rule" isn't the same as the changeable definition of "VFR."
     
  39. Bill Watson

    Bill Watson Pattern Altitude

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    Those statements are true according to the regs.

    Practically speaking, as in most situations, the ‘system’ has no check or control that prevents one from filing an IFR plan with a destination lacking an SIAP. At least that’s my experience.

    It occurs to me that ForeFlight and other front end filing aids could include a check for this situation and not permit electronic filing of such plans.


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  40. dtuuri

    dtuuri En-Route

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    Well, it cares enough to provide a "cruise clearance" for this situation, which is the first mention of the proper answer for the OP's question for those who didn't look at the slide.