If you are in a modern GA aircraft, you may have a flight director and/or autopilot that can be coupled to your ILS receiver. (Certainly, this is true of GA glass...)

Some ILS approaches provide a clause (marked by the * on the minimums and in the notes box on the plate shown below) which allows the RVR minimums to be reduced from 2400 to 1800 if you are using a flight director, HUD, or coupled autopilot to fly the approach to the decision altitude.


Does this clause apply to light GA aircraft with the appropriate hardware (say a C172 with a G1000 in it), or is it limited to use by transport category/multi-crew operations?


1 Answer 1


FAA Order 8400.13C outlines these procedures. Section 7 c outlines the requirements for this procedure. Most of these affect the airport facilities or procedures themselves, and section 5 b outlines the IAP requirements for aircraft:

Aircraft equipped with an operable FD, or AP with an approach coupler, or HUD which is certified for operation to a minimum of 200 feet HAT are eligible for this operation.

There is also a note under 9 b:

Single pilot operators are prohibited from using the FD to reduced CAT I landing minimums without accompanying use of an AP with an approach coupler or HUD.

So it would appear that having a FD is not entirely sufficient; a pilot with a FD can use the reduced minimums if they also have one of the following:

  • AP with approach coupler
  • HUD
  • Copilot
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ So if I'm reading that right it appears the answer for our hypothetical Cessna 172 with the G1000 and coupled autopilot is "Yes, provided the approach coupling and autopilot are certified for operation to 200 feet height above touchdown, or lower." $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Sep 8, 2015 at 19:42
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ However, section 9(b) of that order requires the "operator" to have OpSpec approval or special authorization (LOA). That's supported here: the C052 LOA applies to part 91. But this stuff isn't exactly a model of clarity :-) $\endgroup$
    – Pondlife
    Sep 8, 2015 at 19:46
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I'm 90% without diving into regs and manuals that, a coupled autopilot is not what a C172 has, even with a G1000. Coupled is almost always referred to with systems that have 2 AP systems that are coupled and will take over if one fails $\endgroup$
    – slookabill
    Sep 8, 2015 at 21:50
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @slookabill You are probably confusing requirements for AutoLand (which DOES require 2 A/P systems engaged) for a coupled approach. Only one A/P is required, even in the Part 121 airline world, for an approach to be considered "coupled." $\endgroup$
    – Ralph J
    Sep 9, 2015 at 2:55
  • 3
    $\begingroup$ @Pondlife Indeed, it's not clear how one would go about getting LOA C052 issued as a part 91 operator (particularly with the required training bits) - A trip to the FSDO with a cask of your finest drinking stuffs may be required to make it happen. $\endgroup$
    – voretaq7
    Sep 9, 2015 at 17:13

You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .