No Gyro Approach

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Ventucky Red, May 14, 2019.

  1. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Has anyone here ever requested one from ATC? If so, other than what is detailed in the AIM, is there anything else to be aware of? I want to practice these on one of our next severe clear days... that is of course 'workload permitting:).."
     
  2. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    Obviously you don't want to do this without a safety pilot but felt I should mention it. I'm not sure I would bug ATC to practice as it pretty much demands their full attention and focus on you. If you do feel the need to use ATC for practice I would suggest going early morning or late at night when traffic volume is light to non existent. The better approach may be to have your safety pilot give direction like ATC would to get you established while your gyro is covered.
     
  3. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Are no gyro approaches really that big of a deal with the proliferation of GPS? I rarely look at my AI on the approach, and have an HSI. But I mostly use the GPS course/track numbers and make my heading correction based on that.
     
  4. Grum.Man

    Grum.Man En-Route

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    You really don't need a GPS or Gyro for an approach and in fact should have practiced it in your flight training. I would see a benefit in a Radar assisted no gyro approach if there were lots of bends on the approach course otherwise I would suspect you could do just as good on your own.
     
  5. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Well specifically it’s a GCA (PAR / ASR) with just no gyro vectors vs headings. If you have an airport near you that happens to have a radar approach, it’s just a simple request. If it’s a military field they may or may not allow it based on their regs. If they do allow it, it’s usually with a low approach only. A few civilian fields have them but it’s becoming more and more rare.

    Only thing really different on the ATC end, other than “turn right / left...stop turn” is that they’ll also tell you to “make half standard rate turns.”
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  6. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Excellent point, however, not every plane I fly has a GPS in it. Yes, I do have a Stratus 3 and Foreflight with the Stratus App. That gives me a big magnetta line to follow along with a DG and AI and I am sure in a pinch this could get me back on the ground.

    I figured that.. that is why I always say pretty please with cherry on top with ATC on this stuff.. sometimes they can be very accommodating. Like you said, maybe it would be better we just do the "practice" approach and simulate it with a safety pilot. Thanks :)
     
  7. Ventucky Red

    Ventucky Red Line Up and Wait

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    Yes it was "fly to the needles" except on the back course fly away.
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    By no gyro approach I'm assuming you mean no gyro vectors to final for a Pilot Nav approach like an ILS, VOR etc. I've done that and I've done no gyro Radar Approaches, both PAR and ASR. Things to be aware of. Unless you are doing it at a place where it's common, which would be where there are Radar Approaches, the controllers are not likely to be very skilled at it. You can expect a lot of starting and stopping turns instead of just a couple well timed ones from an experienced controller. Beware of long turns. If you get a start turn and more than, lets say about 30 seconds go by, query them. They may have forgotten to stop you or you may have missed it.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  9. EdFred

    EdFred Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Oh I've done the Surveillance approaches before. Discrete frequency, heading changes of 2 degrees, etc..
     
  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    @Ventucky Red
    Yeah. Tell your safety pilot to not cheat and give you real good vectors. Have him start and stop you 2 or 3 times to get you to the desired heading. Have him turn you, stop you and then have to turn you back because he overshot you. This is what you're likely to get if it becomes real someday.
     
    Last edited: May 14, 2019
  11. tsts4

    tsts4 Line Up and Wait

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    You can sort of practice one with a CFII without ATC. The CFII plays the role of ATC and gives you heading and GS guidance. During training I flew an approach once all the way to a zero/zero landing under foggles with my CFII giving me direction (come left 3 deg, increase your sink rate, on glide path, etc.)
     
  12. champ driver

    champ driver Line Up and Wait

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    There used to be a part time GCA facility on our airport years ago, so I did a few, but it was many moons ago.
     
  13. WannFly

    WannFly En-Route

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    Not sure where you are, here in ND whenever I go to KBIS, I ask for a practice SAR , I have always gotten it, donno why people are recommending safety pilot, you don’t look at the gyro, you look outside and turn when they tell you stop when they tell you. Why do I need a safety pilot for that? Glance inside once in a while and don’t make gigantic banks. They almost always expects and tell you half standard rate. At least that has been my experience having done it 3 times so far.
     
  14. Clip4

    Clip4 En-Route

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    Good luck finding these today. FAA has discontinued their use at most the airports where they were available. Airports with a military wing are about all that have them now.
     
  15. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Just noticed CHA no longer has a published radar approach. :(
     
  16. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Same reason you practice any IFRy thing under the hood. So uh, when you request a practice SAR, do they tell you to go find a place to land off airport, we won't look, then we'll see if we can find you?:);):D
     
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  17. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    And good luck finding that too. We (Davis Monthan AFB) got rid of our PAR four years ago and replaced it with an ILS. After 23 years and thousands of approaches, I was glad to see it go.
     
  18. Walboy

    Walboy Cleared for Takeoff

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    I have flown radar approaches several times at KFHU Fort Huachuca Sierra Vista, AZ. I just asked for it and got it. It didn't seem like a big deal but I can tell I had a brand new soldier/controller giving us instructions and he sounded pretty nervous. Maybe @Timbeck2 can respond, but I think the controllers have to do them periodically to stay current.

    https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/1905/SW4RAD.PDF
     
  19. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    I don't know if it is a standard that changes from base to base but our minimums were 6 PARs per month and two no gyros. Funny Walt but over half the FHU controllers used to work here and they're all DoD civilian, no Army at all.
     
  20. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    This is a good documentary on how a PAR is done. I used to be “the guy” that they called when they needed to get a tough PAR down like this.

     
  21. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    "** seconds to touchdown"? "Sixty feet too low"?

    Phraseology was all wrong.
    Scope turned up too high.
    Only position he gave was over the inner marker.

    That guy would have failed my evaluation. ;)
     
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  22. Walboy

    Walboy Cleared for Takeoff

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    Maybe it was bring your kid to work day. o_O
     
  23. Timbeck2

    Timbeck2 Final Approach

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    Lots of training going on everywhere.
     
  24. rbridges

    rbridges En-Route

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    I agree. I did one during my training, and yeah, ATC pretty much has to keep work with you one on one.
     
  25. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    There are other posts on this board about doing a PAR approach (I know because I started at least 1 of them). ATC at an airport equipped with ASR might not be able to do a practice approach because they are "workload permitting." They are more likely to do them in actual IMC conditions and in the event of an actual emergency/failure of the gryos but the availability of a controller who is not only trained but current on the ASR approach seems spotty these days.

    I would recommend finding a Army or Airforce base with a PAR, especially one that is relatively low traffic and/or have numerous other approaches to them. Their controllers are required to maintain currency and if they're low traffic and have other approaches available, chances are they'd appreciate the opportunity to give a practice approach as it allows them to keep their currency as well.

    I say Army or Airforce because they seem to be the most accommodating for approaches in general. Navy/NAS bases and controllers seem to be much more stingy and less accommodating. I've requested practice approaches of every type (PAR, NDB, VOR, GPS) and have yet to be permitted to continue the practice approach usually being told that the controlling authority (the NAS tower) will not allow it; dont know why that is but even when I've had to transit a the NAS delta's in the San Diego area, the controllers there were often much less accommodating with their airspace than elsewhere.
     
  26. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Navy / Marine bases (non joint) aren’t supposed to allow practice approaches unless a CALP is on file and approval from the base CO.
     
    Last edited: May 15, 2019
  27. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    FAA- 3 GCAs quarterly
    Army- 10 GCAs every 6 months
    Navy / Marines- 10 GCAs every month
     
  28. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Nice information, especially about the Navy/Marine bases. Where did you find this?

    I knew the Navy/Marines would allow PAR approaches to airports like Yuma (and other approaches) and I guess I correctly assumed they offered the non-PAR approaches because its a joint-military civilian base and assumed the PAR was offered to civilians requesting it because why not? but I did not realize the NAS/MCAS will only allow approaches if they have a CALP. I guess I'll stop asking them (I still ask every now and again just to see if the answer changes and/or to identify which bases will allow approaches).

    Any idea why the Navy and Marines require a CALP but the Airforce and Army does not but will allow low approaches to missed as long as you dont land? I mean I've done a PAR at an Army base all the way down to 50ft and the controller kept talking me down (and would have continued to talk me down all the way to the ground if I didnt break it off and had permission to land or was prepared for the reprecussions of landing without permission on a military base). Just seems odd that the NAS/MCAS cant do it at all without a CALP but AAF and AFBs can especially given the higher number of GCA's they require over a shorter period (though I guess they generally get a lot more practice since there are fewer NAS/MCAS bases and Navy/Marine aircraft tend to use the GCA's more than other approach types)

    Again Nice information. Where did you come up with this and what about airforce? How many GCA's do they need?
     
  29. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    No idea why the AF and Army allow practice approaches but not Navy / Marines. Each branch has their own ATC facility ops manual that supplements their directives from the FAA .65. NAVAIR 00-80T-114 covers Navy / Marine ATC ops. It’s a limited distribution classification but you can access it online. It basically states what I said above about practice approaches for civ aircraft. 8 years in the Marines and I saw one C210 do them with a CALP and another (PA28) one time because of IIMC.

    Currency is also found in their appropriate ATC facility ops manuals. We (Marines) had 10 a month. Technically you could still do one with VFR weather if you lost currency but no one planned out their currency in that manner. You needed to be ready to do one regardless of weather. Navy / Marines can use the simulator for currency but all of that has to be in a facility letter. I believe ours stated 5 sims and 5 lives to get to the 10 total.

    Maintaining currency wasn’t an issue when I was in, so we really had no need to solicit GCAs. Only time we did was for student training. During IFR days, first time qual students couldn’t do GCAs so when the weather was nice we’d bug pilots to do GCAs for training. Same thing I experienced flying in the Army. Generally we got solicited for GCAs for training or for a student’s check ride. If we had the gas and weren’t due for maint, I always helped out. Really all depends on how busy the facility is and how much controller training is going on at any given time.
     
    Last edited: May 16, 2019
  30. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Speaking of training. Old friend at Yuma says they’ve got a bunch of RFC trainees that need approaches. If you’re in the area, hook them up with a GCA or two.

    One good thing about getting GA aircraft for GCAs, is it allows the student to see a different side of performance. If you’re working F-18s all day that fly them at 140 kts like they’re on rails, you become used to that profile. A small GA at 90 kts gives them a whole new perspective...especially if the pilot isn’t very good at instrument flying. ;)
     
  31. apr911

    apr911 Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Last GCA I did you could almost hear the exasperation in the controllers voice as he kept repeating "correcting slowly" from a turn instruction I'm sure he was used to giving to much faster aircraft and getting rapid correction.

    Unfortunately, all my flying lately has been in South Eastern PA and Central FL and there aren't a lot of military bases around with GCA/PARs.

    There's only one airport with any radar approaches in NE1 covering PA/WV and that's KHTS's in Huntington, WV which is 350NM away from me and only an ASR
    There's 3 airports with radar approaches in NE2 covering NJ/NY. A ASR at KACY which seems unlikely due to the volume of traffic at KACY, a PAR at Mcguire which is a joint Airforce/Army/Navy base and while its my understanding tower is Airforce, the size of the base strikes me as one that is unlikely to allow approaches though I havent asked (any chance you have an old friend at Mcguire you could ask?) and the last is a PAR at Wheeler-Sack AAF which is 250 NM away from me.
    There's only one airport with any radar approaches in NE3 covering MD/DE/VA/DC and that's MCAF Quantico so that's out.

    Florida has 10 radar approaches but 7 of them are Navy which just leaves 2 ASR's in Tallahassee and Key West which are both about 200NM away (TLH also seems unlikely due to traffic volume) and 1 PAR at Tyndall some 250NM away.

    So havent been able to do a GCA approach in quite a while.

    I was actually rather surprised Dover AFB didnt have a radar approach... Andrews AFB too for that matter but considering its inside the DC FRZ that'd be pretty much out too.
     
  32. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Yeah McGuire should be able to hook ya up. I’ve heard they do them a lot for GA aircraft.

     
  33. Jeff Oslick

    Jeff Oslick En-Route

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    They still will do PAR approaches at Los Alamitos AAF, Schedule from the AFD: 2100-0500Z Tue-Thu; 1500-2300Z Fri-Mon. I've done a couple, but it's been like 10 years since my last one. It's fun, and the military controllers appreciate the practice. Just don't land from the low approach or you'll get to meet the guys with the guns.
     
  34. IK04

    IK04 Cleared for Takeoff

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    Way back in the stone age, when I was a newly minted instrument rated private pilot, I used to fly over to Fritzsche AAF at Fort Ord and help them keep up their PAR count.

    They appreciated all I could fly and asked me to tell my friends to stop by on their way south.

    The DoD FLIP still shows where all the Radar approaches are located.
     
    Last edited: May 18, 2019
  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

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    Oh yeah. And they take forever. I was giving one to a flying club C150 at North Island once. He had it nailed though. I started saying “on the top line, on the bottom line...on the top line, on the bottom line.......”.
     
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  36. KaiGywer

    KaiGywer Pre-takeoff checklist

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    My first exposure to an ASR was at KBIS shortly after getting my private while doing some instrument training. The controller asked if I'd be willing to do one for his currency and I had no idea what he was talking about. My CFII just told me to say I would and then told me what it was :D
     
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  37. bkspero

    bkspero Pre-takeoff checklist

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    McGuire did one for me about 18 months ago. I first called the RAPCON clearance delivery phone number (was 609-754-2767 at the time) and they give me a time slot later that afternoon to call them in the air. Got vectors to the final, guidance on how the approach would happen, and flew to 200 ft AGL missed.