TACAN Point to Point

Discussion in 'Flight Following' started by midlifeflyer, Sep 23, 2020.

  1. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I am looking for a copy of a letter supposedly sent by the FAA to the military saying that TACAN Point to Point navigation was not proper for IFR use in domestic airspace.

    If you have access, please post or PM me. If you have no idea what I'm talking about it, don't worry about it.
     
  2. Boone

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    Sounds like someone screwed a point to point up royally and took one for the team.
     
  3. ja_user

    ja_user Pattern Altitude

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    Why does the military care what the FAA says?
     
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  4. Initial Fix

    Initial Fix Pre-takeoff checklist PoA Supporter

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    the aircraft still fly in FAA airspace and they still have those rules to follow.
     
  5. donjohnston

    donjohnston Cleared for Takeoff

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    Except when they don't have to (exemptions for military aircraft).
     
  6. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    It's not even an "exemption." The FARs only apply to civil aircraft. The military only complies with the FAA rules by their own voluntary policy.

    I don't know why TACAN wouldn't be acceptable as anything else en route. There are a few TACAN approaches but obviously only to military fields.
     
  7. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I seriously doubt that letter is from anyone in any rule making body of the FAA. If they are, it hasn’t been updated in the .65 yet. Nothing currently prohibiting it in domestic airspace.
     
  8. luvflyin

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    I know where it is but if I told you, I’d have to shoot you.:fingerwag: In other words, I dunno. I can speculate why they might not want it done.
     
  9. Boone

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    There are TACAN only aircraft still flying in the military. I heard it went away as a training item but haven’t heard that it was prohibited.
     
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  10. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    TACAN only as in they don’t have some form of RNAV also? Not that it just means they don’t have VOR?
     
  11. Boone

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    No RNAV, just TACAN for navigation and ILS for approaches. Plus an IPad with ForeFlight.
     
  12. luvflyin

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    Seems like if they put a VHF nav receiver in there, the Localizer, it wouldn’t have been that big a deal to just throw in VOR also.
     
  13. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    They're talking about TACAN point-to-point, right? Not normal TACAN navigation?
     
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  14. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    As Mark stated initially...
    Apparently they’re not worried about it, just have no idea. ;)
     
  15. Groundpounder

    Groundpounder Pattern Altitude

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    I have no idea what you are talking about, yet despite your advice, I AM worried about it. I need a beer.
     
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  16. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    TACAN point to point is not navigating from one TACAN direct the next. It’s navigating using the TACAN signal or onboard RNAV computer allows degree distance to another degree distance nav. That’s what is in question here. The FAA allowed it when I did ATC and they still allow it (with restrictions). Issued hundreds if not thousands of TACAN IFR point to point clearances.

    93ACC9E7-9E08-4036-AFE4-84CC7416E808.jpeg
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  17. Boone

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  18. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I can't answer "why" but apparently they do. The Air Force manual is pretty definite about RNAV equipment being required for point to point navigation in the national airspace. I have heard the Navy has the same policy, although I haven't seen a pointer to a specific reference.

    So far, no answer to my question, but I am enjoying the thread drift.
     
  19. flyingron

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    P-to-P is sort of an ad hoc area nav. But the rules aren't much different for that than any off-airway work.
     
  20. luvflyin

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    Where to find that particular letter you asked about I dunno. But I think what it is probably about is the FAA doesn’t want to be using TACAN’s in the programs the use for flight data processing concerning routes. The things they use to control the flows of traffic. Google ‘pitch and catch IFR’ A lot of what you find is more than a few years old but it illustrates the point. Like including at least one Waypoint in each Centers airspace. I didn’t read in detail but I remember some things about they want those Waypoints within like a 100 miles of the Center border. I think they just don’t want TACAN’s to be used for this. Paging @John Collins. He’ll know. Maybe he wrote the letter:)
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  21. N1120A

    N1120A Pattern Altitude

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    Interestingly, I know of at least one TACAN that is being used as an RNAV fix for regular navigation by GPS equipped civil aircraft now that the VOR portion has been shut off.
     
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  22. Velocity173

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    No TACAN specific restrictions, IFR or domestic airspace.

    822747E1-5195-4F87-AEEC-CEE27B7D151F.jpeg
     
  23. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Do you need someone to say that you won't find that letter because it doesn't exist?
     
  24. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    "Need?" Not really. Perhaps obviously, if I actually have a verifiable source that it doesn't exist will stop looking for it.
     
  25. iamtheari

    iamtheari Administrator Management Council Member PoA Supporter

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    What drift? We are navigating the thread by TACAN point to point.
     
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  26. weilke

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    So its accurate enough to hit an outhouse from space, but you can't navigate from airport to airport ?
     
  27. Larry in TN

    Larry in TN Pattern Altitude

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    Unless you're on the same radial, or other published route that includes JOPBO, you can't.

    I must be missing your point. I don't understand how your comment relates to mine.
     
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  28. Bob Noel

    Bob Noel Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Contact AFSSA [edit: AFFSA] if you want an authorative source.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020
  29. luvflyin

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    where
     
  30. Boone

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    There was thread drift going on in my head that I didn’t tell you about.
    What I meant to say is that point to point navigation is part of normal TACAN operation. My unstated point is that prohibiting P2P would be a significant handicap to still flying TACAN only aircraft, so I think there must be more to the story.
     
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  31. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    The Air Force manual tells pilots to say "unable" unless they have appropriate RNVAV equipment. It only applies in US airspace. I'm just trying to drill down to why. I heard it was, at least in part, based on a letter from the FAA.
    Me too.
     
  32. luvflyin

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    I’ve been taking this all along that what was meant in @midlifeflyer ’s original post was that TACAN’s(stand-alone, not vortacs) should not be used. That is, filing direct to one, off airways for Enroute Navigation. But to your point about point to point being a normal TACAN operation, does that mean from one Radial/DME fix to another Radial/DME fix? If so does it give you a Needle or RMI indication to keep you on centerline so to speak? If so, does it work using two different TACAN’s as well as different fixes defined by the same TACAN?
     
  33. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I showed my hand in post #20. What’s your speculation?
     
  34. Boone

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    Which AF manual, do you mean 202v3?
     
  35. Boone

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    Up until recently, TACAN P2P has been a required training task in military training. One of the reasons, I suspect, is that many/most IAF to TACAN approaches are a radial DME fix. (Like the Meridian approach I linked to earlier). Transitioning from enroute to approach typically occurred with a direct-to that IAF. There’s no special equipment, just an RMI/HSI and using the tail of the needle and some imagination.
    I think what may be at issue here is the proliferation of IPads with ForeFlight and pilots accepting RNAV fixes instead of complying with only their approved equipment capabilities. I don’t think being w/n TACAN range and proceeding to a fix identified by that TACAN is the issue. I’m guessing pilots have made a habit of pretending to be RNAV when all they have in that regard is own-ship on their IPad.
    When I was last flying TACAN only, I encountered a few grumpy controllers when I reminded them I was unable to proceed direct to a waypoint.
     
  36. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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  37. Sluggo63

    Sluggo63 Cleared for Takeoff

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    I can’t answer your question, but I was a SUPT T-37 instructor back when point-to-point navigation was taught and graded. We had nothing in the Tweet but one VOR and a DME. This was big pet peeve. We were /A but had to ask ATC for “Direct to ABCDE” or “Direct to CBM070075” for training. Totally illegal in my mind. I would do it in the local area with our local TRACON, but would never do it when I was away from home. Too many times I heard a fellow IP & Student start doing a Fix-to-Fix and then Atlanta Center say “Valor 69... where are you going?” As the Student screwed up the F2F and the IP let it go.

    No thanks.

    I wrote many MFRs saying what we were doing was not approved for /A aircraft. I’m sure they just pitched my letters, but soon after I left, the F2F went away.
     
  38. TCABM

    TCABM Pattern Altitude

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    Did you mean the Air Force Flight Standards Agency (AFFSA)?
     
  39. luvflyin

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    Thread drift. Hmm, maybe drift is what it’s about. @Boone told about a ‘little imagination’ was needed in #35. That how ya do it with that CR-3 thing in @Velocity173 ’s #36. And @Sluggo63 ’s experiences in #37. Could be ‘drifting’ is causing problems.
     
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  40. Velocity173

    Velocity173 Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    That CR3 computer I guess was an old school method. Perhaps that’s what the letter was about. A /P aircraft going from degree distance, direct degree distance, utilizing that method.

    The majority of the TACAN aircraft I worked were also /R. They would still file a TACAN degree distance fix but obviously with RNAV, that’s no issue.

    When it comes down to it, the .65 doesn’t specify that the aircraft must be RNAV to go to that fix. I think it was written back in the CR3 days of point to point. Maybe a bit gray as to whether or not that old school quasi RNAV is legal or not but I seriously doubt there are many aircraft using that method today.
     
    Last edited: Sep 23, 2020