This one stumped both myself and my CFI. Im specifically asking about the minimums at KALB IL/LOC 19 but a general answer is also appreciated.

The plate lists two distinct sets of minimums and we were confused about the S-LOC 19 minimums. The first set seems like the obvious regular ones and takes you to the labeled step down altitude. Then there is a second set for WESTS FIX MINIMUMS that are lower to the first set.

What is this second of set of minimums for and how can they be utilized?

It seems a bit odd that they reference an altitude below the step altitude. Presumably you fly 820 to 0.7 on the DME, but yet the WESTS FIX MINIMUMS seem to allow for lower than this.

(full plate for reference incase it changes) enter image description here


2 Answers 2


The 620 is not at WESTS.

It's been discussed in multiple places, e.g.:

The way to read it is [WESTS FIX] MINIMUMS, and not [WESTS] FIX MINIMUMS, i.e., the 620 is not at WESTS, but the 620 is when you can identify WESTS (having DME on board for the L-DME in your case).

But let's check the AIM (5-4-20):

When a fix is incorporated in a nonprecision final segment, two sets of minimums may be published: one for the pilot that is able to identify the fix, and a second for the pilot that cannot.

Another reason could be:

Two sets of minimums may also be published when a second altimeter source is used in the procedure.

An example for that would be the KIPJ ILS Y or LOC Y RWY 23.

Of course when in doubt, contact the FSDO.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ This is correct, and it's disturbing that the CFII is apparently unsure about it - it's basic IFR, and safety-critical. $\endgroup$ Commented Mar 6, 2019 at 22:15

Short answer, if you can identify WESTS, then you cross it at or above 820 and then go on down to your MDA of 620.

If you can't identify WESTS then your MDA is 820. Since the approach requires radar or DME, you could be in this situation & legal to fly the approach under radar control without DME onboard; the controller would tell you when you cross EYMEY (so you can descend from 2,000' to 1,600'), and then 6 miles later when you cross HAUKY and can start down to the 820' MEA, along with starting your timing for the missed approach. Both of the fixes are shown as a DME value or "RADAR" on the above chart; WESTS is only defined by DME, so without that equipment you don't get to use it and the attendant lower mins.


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