VOR Only Instrument Flying

Discussion in 'Cleared for the Approach' started by Matt Goodrich, Jul 3, 2022.

  1. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Enough that you can do it if caught in a GPS outage.
     
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  2. Trogdor

    Trogdor Pre-takeoff checklist

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    That’s really good practice. Not sure if it’s good for an IPC though (folks are already very nervous).
     
  3. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    A little philosophy. I know an IPC is often seen as more like a checkride than a flight review but I have no problem covering both concepts in a single session. So I specifically include at least one real world task (usually a GPS one) experience tells me the pilot may not know how to do at all. Sometimes it's in the air, sometimes it forms the basis of a ground discussion. Either way, it's the subject of discussion ahead of time.

    The problem I see is, while the ACS permits using GPS on a VOR approach, I think it's unrealistic. I can't even imagine why I would want to fly a VOR approach for anything other than practice unless there was a loss of GPS.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  4. Plano Pilot

    Plano Pilot Line Up and Wait

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    I think that is an excellent idea.
     
  5. Mxfarm

    Mxfarm Line Up and Wait

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    Yes there are - and then T routes that route to a VOR (EMP). I'm sure there is a reason.
     
  6. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    Tower enroute canned routes in Southern California are predicated solely on VOR. Great practice in flying with only one VOR receiver.
     
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  7. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    You..... are right. I see your point and agree.

    I also should be able to do a VOR / ILS only as an emergency back up. Good to also keep up with engine out practice, etc.

    Although I would still personally not fly without a GPS, nor would I use non GPS as my primary navigation - it's just too risky and limiting IMHO.

    So we somewhat agree. Appreciate your POV; it's helped refine mine.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
  8. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    Limiting... sure. But Risky? What risk do you see? People flew IFR for generations successfully without GPS's.
     
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  9. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    I did it with one Mark II Omnigator. 27 transmitting crystals, whistle-stop comm receiver. VOR and LOC, no GS. No DME, no transponder. Hard IFR.
     
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  10. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    Here is a good one: VFR at 6,500. After GVO do the full approach VOR Rwy 8 at KIZA. You never have to talk to ATC. One VOR receiver, no DME. Ony comm: CTAF at departure and arrival:

    KOKB..OCN.V23.DANAH.V363.BAYJY.V186.RZS.V12.GVO..KIZA
     
  11. John Collins

    John Collins En-Route

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    Correct, it certainly is permitted to file a lat-long as a point in a flight plan, but using a lat-long to substitute for a named fix or navigation facility is not supported by AC 90-108.
     
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  12. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    My club recently added a round-dial AATD "sim" to its assortment of G1000 AATDs. One thing I've noticed is that my round-dial scan has really deteriorated from exclusively using G1000 equipment for IFR currency. (The AATD seems to be more demanding in that regard than a real airplane, perhaps due to the lack of force feedback on the yoke,)
     
  13. geezer

    geezer Line Up and Wait

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    aterpster and I seem to have been training about the same time. Omnigator with 3 crystals, but no real IFR.

    Then a one and a half solid state with no ILS, but three light marker receiver. Hood IFR and my PPL check ride in that. Since that was the first year of the new requirement that PPL training include minimal IFR skills, the Examiner required me, under the hood, to identify, intercept, and track a VOR radial.

    After IFR rating, a lot of REAL IFR with 2 nav coms, one with glide slope, and 3 light marker.

    That was back in the day when the FAA was installing new VORs regularly. Today, radar vectors seem to be a working substitute for segments without Victor airways.

    Today, I think it would be unwise to fly with a single nav com, no ILS, unless the ceiling was a thousand feet above the MEA for the whole route.
     
  14. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I think the bigger "risk" holistically is proficiency from the OP. If all your flying previously was with magenta lines on 430 and 530 then the sudden departure from that can have a bit of a learning curve. It's not just "follow the needle" there's a bit more going on with tracking strictly a vor radial and setting headings, correcting for wind drift, HSI precession, etc. Certainly can be done, but the OP shouldn't go into hard IFR laissez faire assuming he'll be able to get a perfect signal on the VOR 50 miles out

    I have flown virtually this exact same route, only difference is it started from MYF


    and to that point.. GPS aint perfect either. More than once I've had the GPS signal disappear (but always the RNAV 17 at SEE... I'm looking at you Miramar as culprit). That can be nerve wracking when you're IMC and suddenly the 430 s#!ts the bed. Luckily there is a LOC-D there as well for 27.. but it can be eye opening when you're pretty little map showing you exactly where you are just poof disappears
     
  15. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    hmm?
     
  16. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Pardon, DG. It sounded wrong when I wrote it..
     
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  17. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    At least that one is close enough to the ocean that you know that climbing to the west will keep you off the rocks. Having it happen with mountains on all sides would really be scary.
     
  18. Rgbeard

    Rgbeard En-Route

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    BTDT on an airway near restricted airspace. Had the VOR tracking along when the GPS outage happened. Non-event.
     
  19. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Some of them are Gyro driven. Doubt they are manufacturing them anymore, but they are out there. Wanna buy one. It's up in my attic I think.
     
  20. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    So? Even Gyro HSI's are slaved to magnetic transmitters and flux gates. To my knowledge, no HSI's precess.
     
  21. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    Agree. Do it VFR for practice.
     
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  22. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Ideally. There is a "fancy" old school King HSI in a few of our club planes. I forget which one but for a while it did not work in slave mode and it took some periodic +/- adjusting to keep with the compass

    Felt very "high tech" when that was fixed and could just leave it on slave!

    The whole outtage was maybe 20 seconds.. but since then I just start with the LOC-D for SEE if I happen to be going there. But it is a good lesson in keeping up non-GPS flying skills. What's strange is Foreflight never lost GPS.. but I'm not the only plane who's had that happen around here
     
  23. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    King 55. You could get them slaved or un-slaved. Mine was slaved, but sometimes the slave would fail.
     
    Last edited: Jul 5, 2022
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  24. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    Learned something new today. Thanks!
     
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  25. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    I'm actually at the airport now headed up for some flying so grab the picture from one of the club planes.. for the longest time this would not work in slave and would precess when in manual mode

    PXL_20220705_163910559.jpg PXL_20220705_163904665.jpg
     
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  26. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    We more than "somewhat" agree :)

    Everything other than the "risky" part.
     
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  27. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    There's still times when there isn't RADAR. I was flying down from VKX to SSI once and they said "We gotta put you on an airway, Seymour-Johnson's RADAR is out." I then got to do the full up position report thing (gotta love the 480, expanding the flight plan and getting time enroute to the upcoming intersections makes it too easy).
     
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  28. flyingron

    flyingron Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    Not universally. I had a friend with a MX-7-235 that had a cheap-*** unslaved century HSI.
     
  29. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Vintage Snazzy (so my adult children say)
    Since there are fewer and fewer VOR's, the options for alternative airports are limited if the weather goes bad. With RVAV's you can land at just about any airport.

    VOR's approaches have higher minimum's than RNAV's, making it more likely to not be available. You might get lucky and find VOR navigation to an ILS approach, but those are fewer as well.

    And given the state of repair with VOR's, and my personal experiences, the VOR you are depending on is much, much more likely to become inop than a GPS outage.
     
  30. Mtns2Skies

    Mtns2Skies Final Approach

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    What? I think if you tried navigating and flying approaches without your GPS you might have a lot more luck than you think you might...
     
  31. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Not really around here where I fly. More options with GPS vs VORs.
     
  32. midlifeflyer

    midlifeflyer Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I guess that depends on one's definition of "risky." I was limiting myself to the safety of the act of flying VOR and ILS approaches, not their availability or eve the need for a no-go decision.
     
  33. MauleSkinner

    MauleSkinner Touchdown! Greaser!

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    Kind of a “doesn’t matter what the weather is, we’re going anyway” approach to ADM?
     
  34. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    Eh- If weather was perfectly predictable you wouldn't need alternates.
     
  35. WDD

    WDD En-Route

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    That too I guess. GPS gives that much more situational awareness, decreases pilot work load, etc. It all adds up IMHO. Must be some reason people buy GPS navigators.
     
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  36. aterpster

    aterpster En-Route

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    Of course.
     
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  37. Pinecone

    Pinecone Pre-takeoff checklist

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    Heck, they flew for generations without VORs. Using 4 course radio ranges.
     
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  38. Tantalum

    Tantalum Final Approach

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    Screenshot_20220710-203352.png
     
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  39. luvflyin

    luvflyin Touchdown! Greaser!

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    I can't get my head wrapped around that decreases pilot workload thing. In my experience it increases workload. All the button pushing and tapping. Get one little push or tap wrong and you have to start all over sometimes. I sometimes joke that GPS was invented to increase autopilot sales. But then I was raised on VOR so my opinion is probably somewhat prejudiced . To me it's big advantage is it makes Approaches available to so many airports that wouldn't have them otherwise. I kinda see it as a substitute for situational awareness. You just have to look at the map and see the situation. Awareness not needed.
     
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  40. Palmpilot

    Palmpilot Touchdown! Greaser! PoA Supporter

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    I think the workload depends a lot on how familiar you are with the GPS. There is definitely a learning curve.