Shutting down NDBs

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by smv, Feb 27, 2020.

  1. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    572
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Wow...

    5 Dec 2019
    Shutdown SIDNEY NDB
    30 Jan 2020
    Delete BROADUS NDB
    Delete CIRCLE NDB
    Delete JORDAN NDB
    Delete MALTA NDB
    Delete PLENTYWOOD NDB
    Delete ROUNDUP NDB

    Pretty much "cleans up" all of eastern Montana.
     
  2. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,114
    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    There are still NDBs around?
     
  3. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    7,680
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilawt
    FAA needs to go back to charting AM broadcast stations on VFR charts.
     
    Larry Vrooman and Zeldman like this.
  4. Ryanb

    Ryanb Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Jul 21, 2010
    Messages:
    11,152
    Location:
    Tennessee
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan
    We’ve got one here, but it’s just used as a Nav-aid.
     
  5. Brad Z

    Brad Z Final Approach

    Joined:
    Dec 28, 2007
    Messages:
    5,114
    Location:
    Alexandria VA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Brad Z
    There are still AM Broadcast Stations?
     
  6. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    572
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Is there another kind?

    :dunno:
     
    Old97 and Kenny Phillips like this.
  7. ktup-flyer

    ktup-flyer En-Route

    Joined:
    Jun 28, 2012
    Messages:
    3,396
    Location:
    Tupelo, MS
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    ktup-flyer
    upload_2020-2-27_15-21-5.png
     
  8. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    7,517
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    When did that stop? There had to be some criteria for which ones were. Probably on air 24 hours. Do you have pic of it?
     
  9. lancie00

    lancie00 Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    May 12, 2016
    Messages:
    836
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    lancie00
    I was taught that they were removed because they didn't identify themselves often enough. I don't know if that's correct or not though.
     
  10. Pilawt

    Pilawt Final Approach PoA Supporter

    Joined:
    Sep 19, 2005
    Messages:
    7,680
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pilawt
    Here's a portion of a 1964 Los Angeles Local chart (what's now called a Terminal Area Chart). Several broadcast stations are charted here. It shows KNX 1070 just north of Torrance - a 24/7, 50,000 watt blowtorch that can be heard from a long way away. Just southeast of Van Nuys is KMPC 710 (my favorite station in those days). It was a 24-hour station, but at reduced power after dark. KABC, east of Santa Monica, was a low-power station, only 5,000 watts, I believe. And KDAY 1590 is charted as being "days only".

    AM radio.jpeg

    Surprisingly, KFI 640 is not charted. KFI is the 823' tower just west of Fullerton Airport. I learned to fly at Fullerton, and one was always aware of KFI. The top of the tower was 23 feet higher than the traffic pattern altitude in those days, so one kept bloodshot eyes peeled on smoggy days in the pattern. KFI was a 50,000 watt clear channel station -- with your ADF you could home in on that sucker from Mars. (Cold War-era trivia: KFI was one of the "Conelrad" stations. Remember AM radios that had the little "CD" logo at the 640 and 1240 spots on the dial?) I grew up just a mile from KFI's transmitter. You could faintly hear KFI programming over the dial tone on our home telephone. My mother swore she could hear it in the fillings in her teeth. KFI carried the Dodgers baseball broadcasts in the '60s and early '70s, so you could listen to Vin Scully's play-by-play as you're cruising all the way back home from Albuquerque. In a slow airplane you could hear the whole double-header.

    Remember Flight Guide, those little brown loose-leaf books chock full of airport diagrams and information? For every airport, Flight Guide listed a nearby AM broadcast station. Came in handy sometimes.
     
    Last edited: Feb 28, 2020
  11. James331

    James331 Ejection Handle Pulled

    Joined:
    Apr 18, 2014
    Messages:
    20,311
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    James331
    If they are shutting them down, I take it they need less money next year right?
     
    denverpilot likes this.
  12. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,714
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    The Army is cornering the market on NDBs hoping they’ll be worth something in the future.

    ECAF11E9-7493-49D5-90FC-676B881F1256.jpeg
     
  13. Datadriver

    Datadriver Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Jan 26, 2012
    Messages:
    718
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Datadriver
    My instructor said - a few years back - that the long term plan for NDBs was to stop performing maintenance on them. When they broke, they would get decommissioned. If that is still the case there is going to be a single last standing NDB at some point - kinda like winning Survivor.
     
  14. IK04

    IK04 Pattern Altitude

    Joined:
    Nov 6, 2018
    Messages:
    1,830
    Location:
    Copperas Cove, Texas
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    LNXGUY
    I was going to mention that approach, but didn't think it was worth mentioning.

    Iresh NDB is the worst navaid I have ever used and most of those Copter NDB 351 approaches ended at the shopette instead of the airfield.

    I have given hundreds of instrument evals between Hood (HLR), Temple(TPL) and Killeen(ILE) and I always ended the eval with that approach in order to get back home in minimum time. Now, the ILS is gone at ILE and the VOR is gone at TPL, so there is nowhere left to do a hold unless you go to Waco or GRK...

    Get this: they decommissioned the VOR at TPL, but left the DME, so there is a square depicted on the chart and no approaches use it. Why?
     
    Velocity173 likes this.
  15. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,574
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aterpster
    1945 WAC. mojave_1945_wac2.gif
     
    Pilawt likes this.
  16. RussR

    RussR Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Jan 12, 2011
    Messages:
    1,444
    Location:
    Oklahoma City, OK
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Russ
    That's not uncommon now. The DME is retained in order to support DME/DME RNAV systems.

    upload_2020-2-28_6-21-53.png
    upload_2020-2-28_6-23-20.png
     
  17. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    I'm struggling with the so what concerning this. I haven't flown in a plane equipped with a working ADF since like 1988.
     
    Groundpounder likes this.
  18. Kenny Phillips

    Kenny Phillips En-Route

    Joined:
    Jul 29, 2018
    Messages:
    3,216
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Kenny Phillips
    My only at-minimums approach was an NDB circle-to-land after three hours of in-the-soup-no-autopilot flying. I remember it unfondly.
    Before I slid out the recalcitrant Narco ADF and tossed it on a shelf, we used to tune in to 700 WLW (now only 50 kilowatts, at one time half a million) if we were within four or five hundred miles. Its tower is north of Cincinnati, just over three miles from my present home. I get Reds on Radio quite clearly.
     
  19. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,574
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aterpster
    I thought the FCC limited AM radio to 50 kilowatts at least from the 1950s, on, and 5 KW at night unless it is a "clear channel" transmitter.
     
  20. flyingbrit

    flyingbrit Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    232
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    flyingbrit
    WLW was 500kW only from 1934-1939. It is a "clear channel" and now has 50kW day and night.

    There are several non-clear-channels with 50kW day and night. For example KMJ in Fresno, KBOI in Boise.
     
  21. jordane93

    jordane93 Final Approach

    Joined:
    Sep 9, 2013
    Messages:
    9,442
    Location:
    Long Island, NY
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Jordan
    The NDB at my airport is still going strong, although in the 9 years I’ve been flying out of there, I haven’t heard one airplane fly the approach or practice it.
     
  22. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser!

    Joined:
    Jul 3, 2012
    Messages:
    11,714
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Velocity173
    Well the Army has them at most of their active airfields so I’m sure they’ll keep them for awhile. All of their newest helos are still equipped with ADFs as well. Maintaining them is probably a drop in the bucket for their budget compared other things like PAR operating costs.

    I’m sure deployment NDBs will become a thing of the past though, if they haven’t already.

    508F2289-446F-4133-937D-E10DA8E27B2C.jpeg
     
  23. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    846
    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Don
    What else could you use an NDB for?
     
  24. kep5niner

    kep5niner Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pete
    Listening to the ball game, getting the timing right when you're executing a flyover so you can be on station at the last note of the National Anthem.

    That was the plan anyway...didn't figure in the broadcast delay :confused:
     
  25. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    846
    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Don
    That's an AM radio station. It is my understanding that AM radio stations are not NDB's. While the ADF receiver on an aircraft can pick up AM radio stations, they aren't navaids.

    But I could be wrong.
     
  26. kep5niner

    kep5niner Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Oct 5, 2018
    Messages:
    112
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Pete
    100% accurate!... Of course I was thinking ADF, which besides some of the aforementioned NDB approaches, was the last time I used an ADF. I did pluck it out of my 310 in the last annual.
     
  27. flyingbrit

    flyingbrit Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Apr 21, 2014
    Messages:
    232
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    flyingbrit
    AM stations can be used as a makeshift NDB, at least for VFR use. Many years ago (before I had GPS) I wanted to stop at a rural airport on a long trip to get cheap fuel. No VORs or NDBs within 40 miles. So I found an AM station located in the nearby town using the FCC database and marked its location on my chart. Worked like a charm.
     
    NoHeat likes this.
  28. Brad W

    Brad W Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Nov 19, 2019
    Messages:
    318
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    BLW2
    This old codger for one kinda hates to read this.
    I certainly wouldn't want to have NDB's be the primary nav aid for everything....
    but I value the simplicity of them.

    Just speculating, VOR stations are probably much more complex and expensive to maintain....so I get the idea of letting them die out...but NDB's sure seem very basic and probably very cheap...and a network of them around seems like a great back-up in my thinking
     
    lancie00 and smv like this.
  29. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    846
    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Don
    Right. I've done something similar to that. But what I'm saying is that an AM radio station isn't an NDB. It's a radio station that operates in the same frequency range as an NDB.
     
  30. donjohnston

    donjohnston Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Aug 14, 2013
    Messages:
    846
    Location:
    Panama City, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Don
    When I was learning to fly I asked my instructor about the different ways you could get to the airport if you were flying on instruments (just out of curiosity. He said: "An ILS will get you to the runway. A VOR will get you to the airport. An NDB will get to the ZIP code." :D

    But it was nice being able to listen to the Braves.
     
    Ghery and N1120A like this.
  31. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    572
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    Yay for you.

    :rolleyes:
     
  32. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    So enlighten me as to why this is a big deal
     
  33. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    821
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan Ferguson 1974
    Love these old charts. Anyone have more?
     
    PeterNSteinmetz likes this.
  34. Ryan F.

    Ryan F. Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 23, 2016
    Messages:
    821
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Ryan Ferguson 1974
    With the ongoing march of time and technology it just isn't reasonable to expect NDBs to be maintained within the contiguous United States. We don't have 4-course ranges anymore, for a reason.

    I personally wish LORAN had been kept around as a low-cost backup, but otherwise I'm in favor of NDBs hitting the dirt road outta here. I did NDB holds on my CFII checkride... :)
     
  35. luvflyin

    luvflyin Final Approach

    Joined:
    May 8, 2015
    Messages:
    7,517
    Location:
    Vancouver, WA
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Luvflyin
    FCC may have, but Mexico didn't, you might hear this a thousand miles from the border from a 'Border Blaster' station after sundown

     
  36. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    299
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canuck
    We've lost a few in my area (Eastern Ontario/West Quebec), but there are still enough left that I can always have one tuned in while I'm flying cross-country.

    Decommissioned: Smith's Falls, Brockville, Gatineau

    Still here: Ottawa, Greeley, Maniwaki, Mont-Laurier, Pembroke, Kingston, Trenton, Peterborough (plus a couple around Montreal)
     
  37. smv

    smv Line Up and Wait

    Joined:
    Dec 30, 2019
    Messages:
    572
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    smv
    There are many airports around the country with only two types of approaches: NDB and RNAV. Take away the NDB and without an IFR certified GPS (yah, believe it or not, not every IFR airplane has an IFR GPS), you are not getting in....
     
  38. tsts4

    tsts4 Cleared for Takeoff

    Joined:
    Nov 10, 2008
    Messages:
    1,001
    Location:
    Tampa, FL
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Auburntsts
    Meh. I don’t see that as a big deal but that’s ok, I don’t have to.
     
  39. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

    Joined:
    Apr 15, 2011
    Messages:
    2,574
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    aterpster
    I didn't know that. Guess what? I used to care about stuff like that. :-0
     
  40. David Megginson

    David Megginson Pre-takeoff checklist

    Joined:
    Jul 30, 2018
    Messages:
    299
    Display Name:

    Display name:
    Canuck
    In Canada, if both your main destination and your alternate have only RNAV approaches, they have to be at least 100 nm apart (in most of the country). That's a serious operational issue for small planes with limited ranges. I'm not sure if there's any similar rule in the US.

    Having a usable NDB or VOR approach at either the destination or the alternate removes the 100 nm restriction.