56 votes
Accepted

What do pilots landing on aircraft carriers do when the ship is not visible due to weather?

My experience is circa 1990s, but I can offer some perspective on US fixed wing operations. Besides TACAN and ASR for non-precision approaches, there are (were) 3 precision instrument approach options ...
Michael Hall's user avatar
  • 26.1k
25 votes
Accepted

What are the reasons for autopilot restrictions on instrument approaches?

It's the fact the autopilot works more accurately than a pilot which is actually the cause of the restriction. The decision to restrict the use of the autopilot usually comes from the certification ...
mins's user avatar
  • 73.2k
23 votes

What should a pilot flying IFR in IMC and on final, do if the vacuum system fails?

Your scenario isn't really realistic, the turn coordinator and the AI are almost always on different sources of power to protect against this very event. The TC is almost always electrically driven ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
23 votes
Accepted

Why are most of KBOS's instrument departures and arrivals jet-only?

Performance. And the fact that most of their traffic is jets. The difference is, "jets" are pretty much all capable of accelerating quickly to 250 knots and climbing out expeditiously, and ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.5k
21 votes
Accepted

What is this small number on the top right of an IAP?

It is the year followed by the day of the year of the last ammendment to the chart. If there have been no changes to the chart since it was first issued, this space is blank. In this case the chart ...
JScarry's user avatar
  • 7,464
18 votes

Why would the USAF have no support for autolanding?

I was a Flight Test Engineer on DC-10-10 Ship 2 which was the Avionics Test airplane during initial certification. The DC-10 airplane was certified to CAT III Approach and Landing. The KC-10A was ...
Gunn's user avatar
  • 181
17 votes

Can I circle to a different runway if cleared for an instrument approach without circling minimums?

The only minimums that apply to any approach are those printed on the plate. Doing anything else is being a test pilot. Minimums are charted based on obstacle clearance, descent gradient, distance ...
egid's user avatar
  • 23.3k
17 votes
Accepted

What should a pilot flying IFR in IMC and on final, do if the vacuum system fails?

GdD’s answer is accurate (up vote). My answer will be more step by step. The first thing you should do is recognize the issue. That might not be immediately easy depending on your aircraft and it’s ...
Dean F.'s user avatar
  • 16.5k
15 votes
Accepted

Where does the final approach segment begin on an ILS approach?

No arguments needed, it's very specifically defined. According to the FAA's Pilot/Controller Glossary under SEGMENTS OF AN INSTRUMENT APPROACH PROCEDURE: c. Final Approach− The segment between the ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
15 votes
Accepted

Why do double-ended ILS runway share the same frequency from both sides?

Listen to the identifier... That will tell you if you have the 10R I-MRY or the 28L I-MTB ils. Some runways use the same frequency like this, while others use different frequencies for opposite ...
Ralph J's user avatar
  • 51.5k
15 votes
Accepted

How is a conflict between aircraft with TCAS I and II resolved?

TCAS 1 will only give a Traffic Advisory (TA). The crew will lookout for the other aircraft and take evasive action if necessary. They also may contact ATC for instructions. They will follow ATC ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
  • 83.4k
15 votes

In the US, is there a way for a pilot to legally "maneuver at will" in actual IMC?

You don't have to have permission to fly in IMC in uncontrolled, class G, airspace. However, you must have an instrument rating and be in an IFR-certified aircraft. In uncontrolled airspace, you may ...
GdD's user avatar
  • 54k
14 votes

What do pilots landing on aircraft carriers do when the ship is not visible due to weather?

Although I can’t detail fixed wing operations at sea, many countries operating helicopters use an ELVA procedure, an Emergency Low Visibility Approach. Most vessels operating aircraft will have a ...
Rob Wilkinson's user avatar
14 votes
Accepted

What does the letter "H" on the upper side of ADANA word and mean?

Customers have stated "We noticed an 'H' symbol next to an airspace fix/navaid in the SID/STAR chart planview. Explain what this means?" The "H" symbol serves as an indicator for ...
Michael Harvey's user avatar
13 votes

When are procedure turns not required?

This is a good scenario from which a lot of people can learn. This is a situation where both the student and the examiner were wrong. It's common for pilots to get into the mindset that ATC always ...
David Ray Nixon's user avatar
13 votes
Accepted

Why were "pattern a" and "pattern b" removed from the Instrument Flying Handbook?

I can't say for sure, but I would assume that the pattern-based drills were removed because of the new emphasis on scenario-based ("real world") training the FAA has been moving toward: While Pattern ...
voretaq7's user avatar
  • 68.4k
13 votes
Accepted

Why are holding patterns in an oval shape?

I don't have any definitive information on why the oval shape was chosen. However, it seems to me to be the most practical shape given the navigational equipment available when holding patterns first ...
Terry's user avatar
  • 39.1k
13 votes

In the US, is there a way for a pilot to legally "maneuver at will" in actual IMC?

Yes. You can requests a local IFR, or quadrant clearance and then receive a clearance for a region, such as: CLEARED TO FLY (general direction from NAVAID) OF (NAVAID name and type) BETWEEN ...
Adam's user avatar
  • 2,167
13 votes

Instrument Approaches which do not have a FAF

The Lakeland approach you show does not have a FAF (Final Approach Fix) because there is no defined point (fix), where you are established inbound and start to descend. In this case, the FAF is given ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
12 votes
Accepted

Is it OK to make an approach without any straight-in segment at all?

If the aircraft has not established a stabilised approach, a go around is required. According to EUROCONTROL's Skybrary, a stabilised approach is defined as: Their Approach-and-landing Accident ...
SentryRaven's user avatar
  • 15.7k
12 votes

Do any aircraft have a "self-contained ILS"?

Approaches guided by GPS are called RNAV; it can provide both lateral and vertical guidance, in some cases to the same precision as ILS Cat I, without need for a radar altimeter--which is not standard ...
StephenS's user avatar
  • 27.7k
12 votes

Are there any/many US airports (with instrument approaches) still without RNAV approaches?

Very interesting question! I analysed my current navigation database*1 (AIRAC 2205), filtered for US airports with instrument approaches and grouped them into 3 categories: airports with radio based ...
Bianfable's user avatar
  • 55.9k
11 votes
Accepted

What is a Visual Climb Over Airport (VCOA) and how is it properly executed?

It's defined in the pilot/controller glossary: VISUAL CLIMB OVER AIRPORT (VCOA)− A departure option for an IFR aircraft, operating in visual meteorological conditions equal to or greater than ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
11 votes

How does Jeppesen create its US charts?

FAA/NACO charts aren't masters, either The master form of a FAA instrument approach procedure isn't the FAA/NACO approach plate for that procedure -- that plate is a derived document, just like the ...
UnrecognizedFallingObject's user avatar
11 votes

Categories of aircraft (A,B,C,D): Is it possible for an airplane to move into a different category?

The FAA's Instrument Procedures Handbook, Chapter 4 has a good explanation of this (emphasis mine): An airplane is certified in only one approach category, and although a faster approach may ...
Pondlife's user avatar
  • 71.7k
11 votes

Why is autolanding ILS a thing, but not autotakeoffing ITS?

Autoland exists at least in part because a pilot can't safely hit (the right part of) the runway (at the right speed and attitude) without visual references, so a lot of precision electronic guidance ...
pericynthion's user avatar
  • 4,640
11 votes
Accepted

What is meant by "Outbound leg timing begins over/abeam the fix, whichever occurs later" in FAR/AIM 5-3-8?

The text is written that way to take into account the various type of holding entries. In case of a parallel or teardrop entry, the outbound leg starts after passing over the fix. In all other cases ...
DeltaLima's user avatar
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