IFR systems equipment
RAAS Remote Alternate Altimeter Setting has been removed from many plates.
Removal ceased in April of 2000 but no removed RAAS is planned for
Why Jepp Charts and not NOS?
Profile of descents is truly representative of what happens.
Procedure turns are fully charted.
The localizer frequency is near the localizer
Jepp uses a better font
An arrow points directly from the obstacle elevation to the obstacle.
The taxi chart can be used for taxiing.
Everything is made to scale if possible.
Loose-leaf format is easier to use.
Departure procedures and standard terminal arrival routes are on the approach
Alternate status and departure procedures are on the chart.
Charts are made by the Office of Aeronautical Charting and Cartography
(AC&C) from FAA and Department of Defence National Imagery and Mapping Agencies
(NIMA) as well as the FCC and industry inputs. Over 7000 airport changes and
2500 navaid changes are processed. Additionally, the FAA's National Flight Data
Digest has an additional 20,000+ lines of change related to the Minimum Safe
Altitude Warning (MSAW) program which now totals over 80,0000 obstacles. Some
700 airspace changes occur annually along with over 500 airway changes. 500 GPS
charts are created each year to go with over 6,500 Instrument Approach Procedure
changes which totals over 20 volumes. These procedures are always issued in
narrative form which is then charted graphically for pilot use with changes
occurring in a 56 day cycle.
How reliable are your charts? There are over 10,000 changes in airports and
navaids per year. Errors often are not corrected over a number of issues. Errors
in charts are available through NOTAMs-distant, local and FDC. Distant NOTAMs
are sent to all ATC facilities and FSSs. Local NOTAMs are sent only locally and
are apt to be unavailable until you get near a far destination. Temporary flight
restrictions and navaid problems appear as FDC NOTAMs.
Most chart errors, when they do occur, are not critical to flight safety. When
flight safety errors do occur, ATC picks up the slack and warns pilots. Under
91.103 and using NOS Charts you do not have all available information unless you
also have the latest change notices. The requirement that you have the latest
charts also includes that you have the change notices. Current Jeppesen charts
will automatically include the change notices.
One of the worst chart problems is running off the edge. Jepp charts have border
information that can save your day. When an intersection is the next en route
fix the border information will give the name and distance to that intersection.
The use of the Lambert Conformal Conic Projection for en route charts make it so
that a straight line between two points represents a great circle route--the
shortest distance between two points.
All Jepp VORs have the 360 tick and compass rose. The box gives name, frequency,
identifier, code, and class (power). A shadow box indicates that it is on an
airway. If VOR information is not in a box it means that the VOR is not part of
an airway. scalloped circle on the compass rose and/or a D before the frequency
indicates DME. A black triangle in the rose means a mandatory reporting point. A
small number in a black dot means that more related information is placed
elsewhere. NDBs are depicted in green. Localizers are shown to show availability
frequencies are given only when the localizer is used to form an intersection.
You cannot use any charted runway length as an accurate measure of distance
since the charted figures are all rounded off. The front panels of the charts
have the communications information. Each city has a chart panel identification
for ease of locating. Bold print identifies the proper radio term to use for the
For essentials, use post-its, and any other aid that comes to mind. As you
develop preparation skills you will be building toward the time when you can
meet the demands of reading the plate in the cockpit. Diagram the airport on the
approach plate to orient yourself for a minimums break-out, or circling
approaches. Very important for airports with intersecting runways.
The MDA is protected from
obstacles from one mile after receiving the FAF to the MAP. DA is the lowest
descent altitude authorized without use of a glide slope. Because of this above
the MDA must be held all the way to the missed approach point. (MAP) The
straight-in obstacle clearance can be as low as 250' but is usually higher
through the use of remote altimeter and other factors. The circling under the
same conditions is based on 350'.
For aircraft equipped for VNAV
(vertical navigation equipment) almost every non-precision approach can be flown
as though there were an electronic glide slope. This slope begins at the FAF and
ends at 50' above the threshold. The descent angle is close to the three-degree
considered optimum. This is the same slope as would be achieved using the fpm
descent scale given on the plate for various approach speeds. .
Any runway with a VASI or PAPI
has had an obstacle evaluation that allows an RNAV approach with a decision
altitude inside of the MDA. A VDP (visual descent point) should be where the
descent angle meets the MDA. The purpose of vertical assistance in non-precision
approaches is to reduce the number of CFIT accidents.
Gift from the Internet
is little cumbersome to download and print approach plates. So I created a
little tool that simplifies the process and thought others might find it useful.
The tool will assemble a single PDF document of all terminal procedures
publications for one or more (max. of 3) airports. You can also select which
types of approaches you'd like included and can also include airport diagrams,
takeoff min. and radar min. Please be patient as the downloading and PDF
assembling can take some time.
username/password is guest/guest
The IFR Approach Chart
The charted courses and altitudes
are 'FAA guaranteed' safe. You cannot leave courses or altitudes until you see
the runway. You cannot descend below VASI red over white in either VFR, IFR or
When flying an approach we must
know both straight-in and circling MDA. Once we go below circling minimums. The
options are land or go missed. I have read several conflicting opinions as to
the right to climb back to circling MDA or not. If wind conditions do not permit
a straight-in and visibility does permit, you can climb to circling minimums
with ATC clearance to use a different runway. All that counts is the visibility
between you and the runway. On a circling approach stay at the MDA until turning
Night non-precision approaches
should be limited to VASI equipped runways. A charted VDP is useless to a fast
airplane and a short runway. Repeated attempts to make instrument approaches
usually end in disaster.
GPS charts are now named RNAV
because the FAA standard will put all forms of RNAV on one chart. The minimums
for different systems will be different. LNAV minimums apply to IFR certified
Approach plates are designed to
allow pilot nav operations. This makes the load on ATC lighter.
Magnetic directions of the
earth change over the years. An ILS may become an LDA with glide slope
Concentric rings on a chart means that nothing is to scale beyond ten miles.
Obstacle and terrain information usually exists between the rings.
Textual information is usually warning you of 'killer' information
Military Field IFR Charts Are Available
750 plates available
These airports are PPRs or prior permission required to actually land.
The New Terminal Procedures
Publications of NOS
Jepp type grouping of essential
Has Terminal Arrival Area for RNAV
PA when on chart indicates precision approach
Nice to Know Things
122.2 is the ‘universal’ FSS
frequency using this is likely to blanket several stations.
Seldom used FSS discrete frequencies are 123.65, 122.75, and 122.05
RCOs or remote communication outlets have boxed titles as to location but the
actual location is a dot within a small circle.
Some flight watch outlets are identified this way.
NDB information is in green. An NDB can have a DME.
When the airport is all capital letters there is an instrument approach
available. Non-IFR airports are a mix of upper and lower case letters.
Where no-gyro approaches exist they are shown on the sectional chart legend by
the letters ASR
colours range from light green to brown. The top colour gives highest elevation.
All shading is based on lighting from the northwest. Contours are basic at 500’
apart with intermediate contours down to every 50 feet.
Boldface dot and number gives critical highest elevation. Other elevations are
not boldface. An x marking an elevation is only approximate.
Highlight the Approach Plates:
Main NAV frequency
Final approach heading
First part of missed approach
Minimum descent altitude/decision altitude
Missed approach fix
10mile distance rings are not limitation unless stated as a limitation.
Only data within the reference circle is drawn to scale.
Other dashed circles used to give information but not to scale
When distance is stated as "remain within" it is a critical safety altitude
Primary area gives 1000 feet of clearance
Secondary area gives 500 feet at innermost edge tapering to zero at the outer
The top heading boxes contain the frequencies most likely to be required
in the order of common use. If multiple frequencies exist they will appear on
other charts. An asterisk means part-time use and CTAF appears. Approach charts
are diagrammed and listed under the assumption that they will be used for
arrival. Airport diagram charts have frequencies listed as for departure.
These change with every new issue of Jepp charts. En route charts are
listed first then terminal charts. These highlight things that did not arrive in
time for inclusion in the new charts issued. these must always be updated by
requesting NOTAMs from the FSS prior to flight.
The Mean Level of the Sea
Water level measurements at primary tide stations show that the problem
is somewhat more complex than that. For one thing, mean sea level measured
relative to the land - is changing.
Today, global sea level
rise is occurring everywhere due to increases in water volume in the
world’s oceans. But the chief reason for the difference in trend shown above
lies within the earth’s crust.
Along with most of the U.S. East
Coast, falls within a region where the crust is sinking – adding
to the effect of a global rise in sea level. However, in many parts of the U.S.
West Coast, and especially in Alaska, the crust is actually emerging
faster than the global sea level rise rate.
Nothing is going to prevent sea
level from changing in response to these and other factors. However, we can take
sea level averages over several years to obtain a tidal datum - a
vertical reference based on some phase of the tide - to slow the process if only
temporarily. This is a workable idea because, in addition to sinking crusts and
melting ice, tidal variations also have their effect on sea level.
One such effect is the 18.6-year
cycle of the lunar nodes – a cycle accompanied by variations in tidal range.
Another force for change is the annual variation in solar declination that
modulates solar heating and density of ocean waters.
To account for both, a 19-year
period of water level averaging – the National Tidal Datum Epoch (NTDE)
– has been established in the United States. NTDEs have included the years
1924-1942, 1941-1959, 1960-1978, and most recently, 1983-2001. NTDEs thus are
being updated roughly every twenty years.
1) Why nineteen years and not
"We can take sea level averages over several years to obtain a tidal datum - a
vertical reference based on some phase of the tide - to slow the process if only
temporarily. This is a workable idea because, in addition to sinking crusts and
melting ice, tidal variations also have their effect on sea level.
One such effect is the 18.6-year cycle of the lunar nodes – a cycle accompanied
by variations in tidal range. Another force for change is the annual variation
in solar declination that modulates solar heating and density of ocean waters.
Basic definitions commonly used
in the U.S. and its territories:
Mean Sea Level (MSL) Arithmetic mean of hourly water levels observed during
Mean Higher High Water (MHHW) – Mean of higher high water heights during
Mean High Water (MHW) – Mean of all high water heights observed during current
Mean Low Water (MLW) – Mean of all low water heights observed during current
Mean Lower Low Water (MLLW) – Mean of lower low water heights during current
Mean Tide Level (MTL) – A datum located midway between MHW and MLW
All tidal datums have elevations above some arbitrary but
well-protected reference – usually the station datum or staff zero
Tidal Datum Transfers
1) Tidal datum elevations vary from place to place as dictated by
tide wave hydrodynamics
2) Establishing the datum by direct means (19-year series every 20
years) is an exacting and expensive operation conducted at a relatively small
number of primary tide stations. Fortunately, there’s an easier way called
At a primary tide station, get the NOS tidal datum elevations for the current
Obtain a month of tidal observations at station B matched by simultaneous
readings at station A.
Calculate monthly mean tide level at both stations
Calculate the monthly mean range and the range ratio between the stations
If stations A and B are connected by a tidal waterway and we assume that both
experience similar monthly deviations from mean tide level.
There are 175 stations all over
the world. Here's a link that allows you to see each station:
is a very cool web site! Check it out!
Any altimeter setting more than five miles from the ARP affects the landing
minimums. No remote setting can be used beyond 75-miles or different than 6000
Minimum Sector Altitudes
MSA give 1000' obstruction clearance within 25 NM including mountains.
MSA is measured from markers on ILS approaches, the NDB on NDB approaches and
runway threshold on GPSs. MSA does not apply in mountains, which require 2000'
Minimum Safe Altitude
The Minimum Safe Altitude (MSA)
circle has nothing to do with the approach or the initial approach altitude or
the approach segments or the procedure. The MSA is for emergency purposes only.
Minimum vector altitudes (MVA)are usually below the MSA. The required obstacle
clearance (ROC)of the TERPS procedures for making an instrument approach
procedure also set that the ROC of the MSA must be 1000’ higher than any
obstacle within the circle. The MSA circle may be divided into sectors for any
approach except for the GPS approaches. The MSA is essentially a non-functional
part of the approach plate.
400' AGL you are free to fly direct to first en route fix unless ATC applies a
Runway takeoff minimums for a runway apply to all departures unless departure
itself has charted minimums.
200 feet per nautical ground mile climb applies if no gradient is specified.
A non-IFR runway can be used ONLY by Part 91 aircraft in good visual
Takeoff minimums apply only to commercial operations
Visual circling airport climbs should be used if climb gradient cannot be met.
ATC assigned departure procedure and climb gradient is mandatory regardless of
higher ceiling and visibility.
IMC turns may be made passing 400' AGL when departure procedure requires turn
of more than fifteen degrees with no turning fix or altitude specified.
VMC turns only at end of runway unless instructed by ATC.
Some runways have obstacles that prohibit publication of a climb gradient.
Some runways have obstacles that require an early turn below 400'.
Pilot should challenge any ATC assignment in a departure procedure that
changes or deletes a climb gradient. Part 91 can depart but are liable of
obstacle avoidance. See: 91.177(a)(2)
ATC and RNAV departure procedures will be charted but simple one will be in
text only and not be charted.
You can file any of the charted procedures or they may be assigned by ATC.
Category A and B aircraft may be restricted to holding pattern airspeeds.
Non-precision straight in approach plates will depict gradient and threshold
crossing heights (TCH) unless on a precision plate.
Gradient is expressed as angle and feet per nautical mile from the FAF to
threshold unless a step down fix exists and is used.
route funnels traffic into a narrow
There are no published takeoff minimums for Part 91 operations but where
there are nonstandard minimums for the other FARs where the 200 feet per mile
standard climb is not enough. Along with the non-standard required climb rate
the procedure must specify a higher ceiling and visibility. The 200 feet per
mile gives you 48' over the first obstacle a mile from the runway and 96' at two
miles and so on. The standard departure expects that you cross the end of the
runway at 35' agl. So at one mile you would be at least 283 feet above the
ground and 83 feet above the obstacle.
Charts are portrayals of FARs
approach procedures or TERPS (Terminal Instrument Procedures). Wording on charts
is the same as on en route charts. Charts are alphabetical by state and city AS
written and selected by the FAA. FAA selections often do not make sense. You can
best find a difficult to locate airport by finding terminology used on enroute
Charts are indexed by numbers. The lower the number the greater the precision.
The codes are:
0--Area, departure procedure, STAR, taxiway facilities, Class B airspace
1--ILS, MLS, LOC, LDA, SDF
8--GPS, PAR, ASR, SRA, SRE (??)
9--VOR DME RNAV, Vicinity Charts, Visual Arrival, Visual Departure
The last digits of any two charts of the same approach type are sequenced by
runway number. Airport diagrams are 10-9 so as to be sequenced before
approaches. Diagrams on back of charts have chart number.
Communication frequencies are placed across the chart in sequential order.
Missed approach is now at the top of the page. Navigation notes and MSA are
always in the same place.
Heading data-briefing strip contains primary navaid, final approach course,
field elevation and procedure identification and straight-in runway. Sidestep
runways have higher minimums. Straight-n is not legal if approach is over 30
degrees off runway heading. --Any approach with DME in the title must use DME on
the approach. Mention of DME in the plan view makes its use optional.
The title stated by ATC in the clearance is the approach to use.
Lowest ILS minimums require the localizer, glide slope, outer marker (or
substitute like an ATC call), and visual aids. Otherwise higher minimums apply.
ILS charts give altitude of glide slope at LOM as an altimeter crosscheck.
Briefing strip has final approach course, FAF and lowest minimums
Definition: Field elevation is the highest useable runway surface.
There may be an ATIS for both arrivals and departures. A D-ATIS has digital
R in Approach control box means radar while absence of R does not preclude
existence of radar. Some approaches have an initial contact frequency instead of
sector frequencies to use son arrivals.
Approach plates can contain important information that is not prominent
on the plan or profile view. Some notes are trivial. Life and death notes also
exist. Life and death notes usually include reference to night approaches. Notes
related to altimeter settings, and required equipment. Critical notices usually,
but not always have the words 'caution', 'note, or 'warning'. Every approach
aircraft is expected to have a VOR. 'Radar Required notes appear in larger type.
Jepp charts often include NOTAM information not on NOS charts.
You can request and expect ATC to give you the particulars of an approach plate.
(FAR 91.175) FAR 91.503 requires large aircraft, turbines, PART 125 and 13l5 to
have a full complement of charts. the FAA has on record a letter that says that
failure to have needed charts is a prima facie violation of FAR 91.103 relating
to careless or reckless operation. The use of expired charts is not kosher
according to the FAA. Jepps do not have expiration dates. (Oh!) A pilot in
violation of any FAR can expect to have FAR 91.13 attached as a matter of
course. A handheld GPS is not recognized by the FAA as part of the aircraft.
Such a GPS therefore does not need a current data base.
You should know that there is a real possibility that instead of the step down
approaches so common in non-precision charts, pilots may be given the option of
a constant rate descent such as is available in Europe.
Climbs and Descents
Departure charts give minimum rates in feet per minute. Where charts
give feet per mine you are well advised to make the conversion to fpm. Only by
keeping your altitude higher that the minimums can you avoid terrain. For
descents your gradient can be set with power, ground speed and checked with the
vertical speed indicator.
The point of planned jet descent
can be determined by selection of a distance that is three times the altitude
you have to lose. To lose 4000 feet begin your descent twelve miles out. In prop
planes a slower rate of descent can be projected over a greater distance. Plan
your descent but be flexible in making power adjustments as power increases with
descent. An approach descent must be based upon getting a selected ground speed
and keeping it.
Every pilot is charged with
knowledge of the regulations that pertain to him. You are supposed to know what
you are supposed to know. Ignorance is never an excuse rather, it is an
indictment of culpability. The training program should so prepare you that there
is no guess work. Planning and preparation makes it so you are ready when there
is more to do and less time to do it. Configure the aircraft and follow the
To help you focus on the specific information you need you will prepare two
Post-Its with plate calls. One is for you and the other for the second pilot. A
more permanent plate might be made for frequently used plates. A plate call is
the numbers of the black lines on the plate. Some of these lines are in the plan
view. others are from the profile view, the last is the initial missed approach
Always list the columns and numbers in the same order for a plate call as left
column Com frequency, Nav frequencies /idents, right column airspeed, heading,
altitude, DME and time (as required). Airspeed implies aircraft configuration.
There is no use practicing approaches until you have the power settings,
airspeeds, trim, and configuration for the aircraft set so that you can takeoff
and climb, cruise, approach, descend and configure with assurance, ease, and
smoothness. Once you can fly the aircraft in a consistent profile you are ready
to set up approaches.
One sequence of plate calls are:
Column 1 Column 2 Column 3
1. Approach Frequencies ias, HI, alt
2. Inbound DME, time
3. Marker x-ing
The training expectation is that you have studied, prepared and even memorized
specific aspects of the charts at your destination. You need to have FAF
altitude, time, DH/MDAs and initial missed information memorized, post-it posted
or highlighted on the chart.
Jeppeson shows instrument airports by using all capital letters. Jeppesen are
indexed by city; not airport name. Jeppesen charts have range rings are called
airport reference circles of 5 statute miles in diameter, centred on the airport
(See NOS rings). Jeppesen chart step downs are as they would be flown. A
descent, level flight to the next step, descent, level flight etc. Jepps put
frequencies in upper left corner. Sometimes difficult to tell if frequency goes
with facility above or below.
Practice improvement in your chart reading skills by taking a strange plate.
Looking up mentally ask yourself to locate some information that should be on
the chart. Give yourself a count of three to get that information before looking
up. Do this repeatedly until all essential information is acquired. Any chart
search that takes over three seconds would indicate that you have probably
initiated a heading excursion.
Some pilots never remove their plates from the binder. They find an innate
advantage exists in having alternate plates instantly available. Plates
currently in use can be held with heavy paper clips. Each instrument airport has
a minimum of two plates - the airport chart and the approach chart.
Jeppesen "notes that kill" contain special instructions for altimeter settings,
equipment requirements, circling instructions. Circling minimums are predicated
on performance parameters of aircraft. Circling in the wrong area is a big NO.
Circling minimums can never be lower than straight-in minimums.
The plan view is drawn to scale. This view gives transition routes, minimum
altitudes, courses and initial missed route. It includes information required
for determining fixes and highest obstacle. The profile view, below the plan
view, gives the vertical cross section needed to determine crossing altitudes at
fixes, procedure turn altitude and TDZ altitude of runway. Jeppeson has added
coloured contours when terrain exceeds 4000' above airport reference point (ARP).
The Chart gives the inoperative
components tables, why and wherefore of straight-ins versus circling and the
category differences. When there are inoperative components plan for the missed
approach The middle marker no longer changes minimums (1993) Your minimums do
not change with a failure of equipment unless the minimums box list new DH/MDA
or visibility for that failure.
Transition Routes (Feeders)
Transition routes are made so that an approach can be flown without ATC
involvement. Pilots call them transitions and ATC calls them feeders. Feeders
exist where the initial approach fix is not part of the en route structure.
Feeders don't exist if the IAF is an intersection or a VOR shown on both charts
and plates. An approved transition route is usually, but not always, depicted as
a heavy line with a minimum altitude, course and distance. In a cluttered plate
the routes may be a finer line with the information placed elsewhere on the
plate. In the radar environment these routes are under used. The IAF is required
in a non-radar situation. Some dead reckoning is allowed.
With a clearance you can fly off-route but become responsible for obstacle
clearance. Transitions have minimum altitudes and distance given on the chart. A
defining radial does not have these. A transition can be flown by DR but most
have positive course guidance.
Computerized IFR routes really care nothing about how you have filed.
Computers have canned standard preferred routes and tower enroute clearances.
Some are published while others are both unpublished and unknown except by the
local controllers. The difference between them is altitude. Between points
filing at one altitude will/may give a completely different direction and route.
The computer wants an end-to-end continuous route line. If the computer rejects
your plan the specialist can specify "full route clearance" that tells clearance
delivery to read the approved plan to you in full. You will not get "cleared as
filed" in such an instance. No all preferred routes are published. If you don't
like a particular clearance tell ATC. If you properly explain your situation the
specialist will try to help.
Tower En Route Control
The tower En Route procedure offers the pilot flying the length of
California another away around the program of the ATC route computer. Tower En
route (TEC) can be found in the En route section just after the preferred route
section of Jeppesen. The TEC system joins adjoining approach control facilities
and avoids centre controlled airspace. TEC routes are short routes. Some
transitions to centre can be accomplished. The TEC routes have identification
names and altitude codes below 10,000.
Back of Lead chart as a "to-file-as
alternate" block. If NA, it means that it cannot be filed as an alternate
but it may still be used.
Printed every 56 days with revisions on the 28th day as a Change Notice.
Charts are indexed by city not be airport name. There is no consistency in this
in sectionals or en route charts. Pilots need to search throughout NOS plates
for information that is not consistently located. A/FD or airport guide
required. Changes are best posted on to the chart on reception. You should never
assume that a flip chart has not changed no matter how often you fly the
approach. 16 booklets cover the U.S. FAA exam is bases on NOS charts.
Index of airport terminal chart
"Notes that can kill you are below the minima box."
Airport diagram charts
Do not give
centre of airport for LORAN or GPS
Standard Instrument Departure (SID)
IFR takeoff minimums and departure procedures
Textual/graphic display of standard terminal route clearances.
IFR alternate minimums
General information and abbreviations
STAR and profile descent charts
Airport Terminal charts
NOS Inoperative Tables
The Chart gives the inoperative components tables, why and wherefore of
straight-ins versus circling and the category differences. When there are
inoperative components plan for the missed approach The middle marker no longer
changes minimums (1993)
NOS charts use an open triangle to show obstacles. The elevation is
shown as MSL and a + indicates the position is only accurate to 600'. All
obstacles do not appear on a chart. Power lines less than 200' high are not
Black Triangle T
Nonstandard takeoff minimums apply when the plate displays a black
triangle with a T inside beneath the minima section. You must turn to the
takeoff minimums section of the booklet. If your IFR departure instructions are
not given in the clearance and the triangle T is there, you must refer to the
takeoff minimums section and check for a special IFR departure procedure.
Black triangle A
Nonstandard alternate airport plate
displays an A inside a triangle beneath the minima section. You must turn to
alternate minima section in the book to find specifics.
Frequencies in small type may be on left or right. Frequencies
may not be visible if overprinted on water depiction.
NOS rings are called distance rings. Usually but not always 10 nautical miles
in diameter. May not be centred on
f an approach fix requires DME, the approach requires DME and should so state
on the approach plate.
The lightning bolt where the glide slope intersects the arrival altitude set
the FAF for the ILS.
The Maltese cross on the glide slope sets the FAF for
NOS plate has continuous descent line with no level flight depicted for a
Offset localizer has small dot-circle to warn chart reader. Offset is shown on
airport view in lower right.
Plates are not to scale beyond 15 miles.
Every clearance must have an altitude restriction
Holding is 230 kts six to 14,000 and 265 at 14,001 on up.
the MOCA on an airway keeps you from CFIT
PLASI lights are pulsating visual approach slope indicator
MEHT is the minimum eye height over threshold (lowest height to see on glide
SSALR light is simplified short approach light system with runway alignment
HST-B is a high speed taxi turnoff named Bravo
TRCV is tri-colour visual approach slope indicator with amber, green and red
route charts are reissued every 8 weeks. Jeppesen lists changes.
Printed in four
VOR airways and data are black.
Civil only instrument airports are
Special, B, and C airspace, ARTCC boundaries, and Civil/military instrument
airports are blue.
NDBs, MOAs, MTRs and non-instrument airports are
Local Airport Advisory frequencies (LAA) are in shadow box with FSS name and
VORs latitude and longitude are given in degrees, minutes, and seconds.
Minimum Crossing altitudes are noted by X-flag with restriction.
MOCAs are preceded with an asterisk.
ORTOCAs by NOS or MORAs by Jeppesen or off-route obstruction clearance
altitudes are now being included on en route charts. This gives terrain
clearance related to the chart one degree rectangles. The numerals, very much
the same as those on the sectional, give 1000’ clearance over level terrain and
2000’ in the mountains. the exact location of the obstacle used for this
determination is not given.
MEA GAP indicates that communications/navigation may be lost. Such
intersections are marked with an R-flag.
DME distances are inside an open arrow D pointing to the intersection.
The size of the compass rose is for clarity and has no significance.
The small bar bell is a military FSS facility
A circled G means a military radar facility
A small brown arrow on a chart indicates that a LOM (Localizer outer marker)
has an en route function such as
identifying an intersection.
The flag x symbolizes a minimum crossing altitude beyond which a higher MEA
The routes between two VORs may often have non-reciprocal radials due to
magnetic variation differences.
Some L-class VOR have expanded service volume for the purpose of identifying
A blue airport has an instrument approach. A brown airport does not.
The cross-hatch area represents the 30-mile mode C veil. Jeppseen does not
Blue MRAs (minimum reception altitudes) apply to VORs, brown ones to NDBs.
VOT (test ) frequencies are not given.
--Airways do not exist below published MEA or MOCA
NOS scale is near WAC scale of 1" = 14 nautical but will vary from 10 to 20
nautical from New York to Montana.
The ILS Has Five Components
Part 1 the Localizer
The localizer at departure end of
runway provides lateral references. Frequencies are 108.l by odd tenths to
111.9. It is identified by "I" (..) as first of four letters. Fan width varies
from 3 to 6 degrees and may not be aligned with the runway. It is useable within
35 degrees of course. An LDA’s range of tolerance is identical to that of the
ILS’s but is more likely to be in the 6 degree range. It is 4 times more
sensitive than VORs. One degree of localizer fan sensitivity is only 25' at one
mile. Back course should not be used for navigation unless authorized. An ADF
(simplified directional facility) is fixed at either 6 or 12 degrees, whichever
is best at the site.
Part 2 the Glide Slope
The glide slope is abeam 1000' marker of runway and provides threshold
crossing height (TCH). It is not useable if crossing threshold below 50'. The
course width of the glide slope is 1.4 degrees. Useable course distance is 10
On the glide slope approach will
give a touchdown at 1000' markers. UHF frequencies at 330 paired with localizer.
Same angle as VASI. The reason for a glide slope interception altitude is
because of higher "false slopes". May have DME but more often not. (see Reno).
No levelling off at decision height (DH). Reverse sensing on back course standard
VOR but not on HSI.
The glide slope angle is usually 3 degrees. You can determine the descent rate
of the 3 degree slope by using the charts in Jeppesen or a rule of thumb based
on your ground speed. The thumb rule is good for practice. Multiply your ground
speed by 5 and add 50. (90 kts x 5 + 50 = 500 (Should be 485)
Part 3 Outer marker
You cannot fly an ILS if the outer
marker is out and no other authorized definition/substitution for the fix
exists. AIM 1010 and FAR 91.175(k) The outer marker is five miles from runway.
It is the Blue light. Interception of ILS glide slope may be before, at or after
OM. ILS final approach fix often is different from localizer only approach.
Timing of localizer approach is always from OM as the non-precision FAF. Put
this altitude into your need to know approach checklist. ILS Outer Marker (OM)
is fan-shaped across ILS localizer course about 4 1/2 miles from approach end of
Part 4 the Middle marker (amber)
A point on the ILS glide slope Final
altimeter check. MM should be part of briefing.
The middle marker is 1/2 (3500 feet) mile from runway at decision height which
is typically 200' AGL above TDZ. MM inoperative does not change minimums as of
1993. Check the marker crossing altitude as an altimeter check. The middle
marker is not a required component for full ILS minimums nor the localizer. The
Inner Marker (IM) is fan shaped across ILS localizer course about 1/2 mile from
approach end of runway. On a back-course the marker, if used, is white. The
traditional inner marker is becoming obsolete. Removal of the inner marker does
not affect minimums.
Up until the 1970s there were
still LF/MF four course radio ranges in use known as radio range, Adcock range,
standard radio range, A/N range and L/MF range. The range uses a 200-425
kilocycle (Hertz) signal to provide course guidance through the ADF. These
ranges are still in use worldwide. Older aircraft will have an "Airway Marker
Beacon" light along with Outer and Inner marker lights which transmit on 75
megacycles (Hertz) to provide definite position information.
100 watts power with 3000 cps (cycle per second) tone emitted in a fan shape
three miles wide and 12 miles across an airway.
Same as fan marker but narrow middle is only 1-1/2 miles wide.
Z Marker (Station Locator Marker)
Located at radio range site and identifies
centre of range. (cone of silence).
Part 5 Approach Lighting System (ALS)
(See AIM for variations)
MALSR and SSALR have runway alignment lights (R means runway)
MALS and SSALS do NOT have runway alignment lights
Approach lights define the runway threshold. With approach lights an NDB
can have minimums of 3/4-mile with 250’ height above touchdown (HAT). Approach
lights do not affect DA or MDA just visibility. Any loss of approach lighting
will increase visibility minimums from 1/4 to 1/2-mile.
(ODALS) Omni-directional approach light system gives 1/4 mile credit.
(MALS) Medium intensity approach light system of 1400’ likewise.
(SALS) Simplified approach light system 1200’+ light-bar likewise.
(SSALR/MASR) Simplified short approach light system, sequenced flashing lights
and medium approach light system
from 1400’ to 2400’ NDB gets 1/4 mile credit while other non-precision get 1/2
(ALSF-1) Highest standard of non-precision approach lighting with sequenced
flashers (‘the rabbit’) extending to 3000’
gives 1/2-mile credit. Has red termination bar. 5-levels of brightness. RAILS
(ALSF-1) Like ALSF-1 but has red side row bars and low/high modes.
Smaller Airports Will Have
(REILS) flashing runway end identifier lights
(LDIN( lead-in lights
No approach is allowed to legally descend below the glide slope provided by
these lights. Any such descent loses all obstacle protection. Prior to every
flight the pilot should confirm just how the lights at the airport are
controlled. Pilot controlled lighting (PCL) by keying the common traffic
advisory frequency (CTAF) and the side location of any VASI/PAPI. The rotating
beacon is usually the only light on during the hours of darkness. The pilot
should have a current A/FD to confirm the keying frequency for approach and
runway lights as well as the number of clicks required.
Descent below MDA or DH requires, without exception, that either
approach lights or one of the nine runway specific visual aids be in sight. The
second decision height (unofficial) is when the runway comes in sight.
For a precision approach,
sequence lights lights without ALS bars is unsafe and illegal. Without approach
lights only the threshold allows descent. The non-decision approach permits
descent on seeing approach lights to 100 feet above touchdown.
Prudence would require no
descent below MDA without ;both lights and threshold in sight. At night a VASI
or PAPI are essential for descent below MDA. A circling approach requires flying
about an airport to a runway not part of the procedure.
Prudence requires sighting the
airport before beginning the circle.
An approach requires RVR of 2400'.
If the RVR equipment fails a ground visibility of one-half mile must be
reported. FAR 91.175. Reported ground visibility or RVR doesn't enter into the
approach/landing decision for Part 91 operations.. For flight below MDA or DH
you must be continuously in a position to make a landing with a normal rate of
descent, have the runway or its environment in sight and have the flight
visibility required for the approach. The exception is with an approach lighting
with sequenced flashing lights. (ALSF) Descent to, but not below, 100 feet above
touchdown zone elevation is allowed unless the red side row or terminating bars
are clearly visible.
Runway Visual Range (RVR) is the
distance at which you are likely to be able to see the light intensity runway
lights following touchdown RVR may be used with medium intensity light systems.
RVR may be above minimums when prevailing visibility from the tower is below
minimums. NOS charts give military values. Jepp charts convert RVR values to
Transmissometer projector mounted several hundred feet from the…
Transmissometer receiver which receives a known intensity of light which
varies with obscuration.
Analogue recorder measures the light intensity and sends it to the…
Signal data converter where the data is converted to an RVR number to be shown
on the …
Remote display show RVR and makes changes every minute. Latest systems
Runway must have all-weather markings
For commercial operations RVR controls the procedure
Part 91 operations must have either RVR or reported visibility above minimums
for landing but flight visibility controls.
RVR Is Not A Measure of …
Surface or tower visibility
Seeing conditions on the airport
Seeing conditions related to MDA or DH
An human observer
Nine Required Visual
Features for Landing.
1. Flight visibility be not less that required for the approach. Nor may he
likewise land without the same conditions.
2. Approach light system
3. Threshold markings
4. Runway end identifier lights
6. Touchdown zone
9 Markings of Runway or TDZ
RVV or Runway visibility value is obsolete even though in the AIM.
A pilot's concept of visibility is often at variance with reality. This
becomes especially true in unfamiliar territory.
The reported airport (ground visibility) can be at considerable variance to
that visibility reported by a pilot.
The ASOS/AWOS visibility
readings are said to be within 1/2-mile of observers readings. Accuracy seems to
improve with distance. The automated systems use a reading from a black disk on
the horizon for day and a small light at night.
The primary references for airport
lighting is in the A/FD and approach charts. Civil airports with rotating
beacons flash alternate white and green that flash an average of 28 times a
minute from sunset to sunrise. A beacon on in daylight indicates that SVFR
Basic runway edge lights are
spaced every 200' on both sides of the runway. The lighting intensity from low,
medium, to high may exist as a variable controlled by the tower or be pilot
controlled lighting (PCL) by 3(LIRL), 5(MIRL), or 7(HIRL) clicks of the
microphone transmitter switch. The high intensity is great for runway location
but lower is better during the flare. Pilot controlled lighting remains on for
15 minutes after each time it is reset so it is best not to set them from too
far from the airport. The CTAF frequency usually activates the lighting system
but there are exceptions that require reference to the A/FD.
Runway end identifier lights (REIL)
are flashing strobes at each side of the threshold. Precision runways may have
runway centreline lighting for the length of the runway. Additionally, rows of
transverse white lights mark the first 3000' of runway. The last 3000' of runway
from either end have bi-directional lights that are red-white and then red
toward the end of the runway as a warning..
For really low visibilities an
airport may have an ALS system. All ALS systems use a row of green lights to
show the landing end of the runway. Combinations of differing intensity white
and red lights extend up to 3000' from the threshold. NOTAMS should always be
referenced on any flight where a lighting system is expected to be used. Out of
service aspects of any system will raise the visibility and altitude
requirements for an IFR approach.
Every approach lighting system has a 'decision bar' of white lights 1000 feet
from the threshold green lights. The 'rabbit' lights stop running at the
'decision bar'. If you are at the middle marker (.6 mile from the threshold) and
you can see the decision bar you have 1/2 mile visibility. This may be the
required visibility for the approach.
The compass locator while not
technically part of an ILS procedure serves to maintain situational awareness
especially in regard to being vectored outside or inside the FAF. Its range may
be lower than 15 miles. Using the compass locator select a heading that will
intercept the localizer outside the FAF. On interception a HI reference heading
is selected. Expect reference headings to change on the approach.
A 1954 edition of the Pilots Radio
Handbook revised by the Civil Aeronautics Administration describes the LF/MF
(Low frequency/medium frequency) four course radio range as a ground located
radio transmitting facility which defines four navigational radio courses which
the pilot of an aircraft can locate and fly using a receiver operating in the
200-425 kilocycle band. This system was known under such names as four-course
radio, radio range, Adcock range, standard radio range, A/N range and L/MF
range. The last U.S. continental range was decommissioned in Maine about 1970.
The ‘Radio Beacon" is a general term for LF/MF navigational aids for use with a
direction finder to provide bearing information.
The Radio Marker is a fixed ground
transmitter operating on the frequency of 75 megacycles to provide definite
position information to an aircraft directly above it. A high directional signal
is transmitted directly above the ground antenna. The aircraft marker "marks"
the passage over the antenna by coded tone bursts and lights. Although all at
the same 75 megacycles frequency the different functions of the beacons are
determined by their locations, power output, coded signals, and light colour.
Fan Marker (FM) at 100 watts emits a 3000 cycle tone in a elliptical
pattern. At 1000’ it is 4 NM wide and 12 NM long, at 10,000’ it is 12 wide and
FM's are pretty rare these days. They were originally used as distance fixes
along the old A-N airways. A FM has a wider radiation pattern than a standard
OM. My guess is that an OM isn't wide enough to reach to the edges of the SDF
course, so they use the wider FM instead. My recollection is that they have the
same carrier frequency and audio keying frequency as the OM, so they light up
the OM light on your panel.
Or Dumb Bell Marker because of its
shape gives a more precise check when exactly on course. At 1000’ it is 3 NM
wide in the centre and 12 NM wide.
Z Marker (Obsolete)
Z Marker or Station Location Marker is located in the centre of a radio
range site and gives a positive indication of the cone-of-silence by radiating a
5 watt signal vertically. Shows white light. These are still in use in other
parts of the world. ILS Outer Marker (OM) transmits a fan about 4 ½ miles
out on the ILS approach path. Shows blue light. ILS Middle Marker (MM) gives fan
about 3500’ from approach end of runway.
"VFR over the top" is when a VFR pilot flies over a ceiling
"IFR over the top" is the act of flying VFR over a ceiling on an IFR flight
"VFR on top" is the clearance an IFR pilot must request while on an IFR
If on an IFR flight but in ‘on top’ conditions you are refused an IFR climb to
remain on top, you can request an ‘on top’ climb in which you have effectively
told ATC that you will remain VFR during the climb and accept traffic avoidance
responsibility. When climbing and when on top you are expected to:
centre line of the airway,
--Maintain a listening watch on the assigned frequency,
Fly the clearance route,
Make IFR position reports,
Be responsible for traffic avoidance.
When nearing your destination
you can request an ‘on top’ descent which will follow the same strictures as the
‘on top’ climb. ATC likes this because it relieves them of the traffic minimums
imposed by IFR. Any time you cannot maintain VFR be sure to request a "hard’
altitude, climb or descent well ahead of time.
Radar is allowed to reduce the obstacle clearance for VFR on Top aircraft. OTP
clearances releases ATC from separation responsibility. The ATC authorized VFR
climb or descent has no separation standards until reaching the ATC assigned
altitude. The VFR climb/descent or OTP are not allowed in Class A airspace.
IFR Terminology vs. Meaning
Traffic procedure in which aircraft are assigned altitudes to expedite traffic,
traffic separation or to balance
"You are held for release"
You may have your clearance but don’t leave until I tell you to.
Call for release
Actual departure time is to be announced later by ATC.. One ATC facility asks
another to find a spot.
Controlled time of arrival
The time ATC uses to figure your departure time. May involve ground delay. Used
to keep arrival runway within
Routine restrictions on routes or at fixes to cope with high demand.
ATC refusal to allow departures due to traffic load. Only as necessary.
Rerouting of traffic to ease work load. Allows traffic to arrive by other
Absorbs delays and reduces workload by holding aircraft before taxi or takeoff.
Applied with delays of over 15
Metering in progress
ATC control of traffic by assigning fix crossing times for arriving traffic. Use
of timing keeps arrivals within airport acceptance rate.
You are on my radar screen. Don’t run into anything.
"Radar Contact, fly heading..."
You are on my radar screen. Do what I tell you to do and you won’t run into
anything. If not on a vector, terrain
avoidance is the responsibility of the pilot.
The pilot is well advised to fly the published IDP if you think an assigned
heading will lead to CFIT.
"When able, proceed..."
Go to planned or assigned point but don’t run into anything along the way.
A method of reversing course usually by a one minute 45-degree leg, a 180-degree
turn ; to intercept. The standard course-reversal of
90/270 is acceptable as long as it is to the same side as the published
procedure turn. Maximum speed is 200 knots AIM 5-4-8
A beginning port for an instrument approach.
Decision height (DH):
Point where the required visual identification of the runway can be determined.
Failure to identify requires a
Height above touchdown (Hat)
The decision height above the touchdown zone.
Final approach fix (FAF):
The beginning of the final approach segment
SIDs are now called DPs or Departure procedures. They are a non-direct
routing given by ATC to reduce any concentration of inbound and outbound
traffic. To accept such a procedure you must have either a pictorial or text
description of the DP. As departures are changed the number of the chart
increases by one. If you use a departure procedure when filing a flight plan,
you should use the departure and transition code given on the plate.
Departure procedures have two
parts. First comes the departure depicted in heavy solid lines and second comes
any one of a number of transitions depicted with heavy dashed lines. The
departure part begins at an airport and ends at a designated fix. This end fix
of the departure becomes the beginning of the transition which will end at an en
route fix which usually names the transition. The departure chart uses the same
symbolism as the enroute charts. The main difference is that departure charts
are not drawn to scale.
The flying of a
departure/transition will, in the written text, specify weather restrictions, if
any, climb rates, crossing altitudes and any special radio procedures
(Wide Area Augmentation System)
WAAS can bring precision approaches to any runway.
RNP (Required Navigation Performance) is met by GPS with WAAS added.
RNP sets standards of accuracy, integrity, availability and continuity.
WAAS is a ground station that checks and corrects GPS signal use on precision
RNP standard is
one failure for every 10,000,000 events (approaches)
The FAA is sitting on WAAS because it is not perfect.
The pre-WWII agencies did the same to the ILS prior to the war and killed more
fliers than the enemy.
LDA and SDF Approaches
SDF may be either 6 or 12 degrees
Runway alignment within 3-degrees
Centred SDF needle has localizer accuracy.
16 of the SDF approaches require use of ADF. ADF is required even having IFR
Even if vectored ADF may be needed to locate marker.
14 of the SDF airports do not ever qualify as an Alternate.
Angle off runway by reach 43-degrees.
Approach timing always requires a visual turn to the runway.
5 LDAs have glide slopes
Less than 30 degree offset has straight in minimums.
More than 30-degrees offset has circling minimums.
Two LDAs use localizers located at other airports.
VOR Basics for IFR
determine the TO/FROM directions of the VOR using the OBS knob.
Time the needle/TO/FROM flip
Twist and reverse the OBS setting
Throttle reduction which was done three minutes before the fix
Talk to report procedure turn inbound.
A small 6x6x6 building by a thirty
foot tower with three antenna arrays = a Capture Effect antenna
With only two arrays it is a Null Reference antenna.
The third antenna smoothes out obstacle caused variations in the signal