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 ...
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  • 16.3k
24 votes
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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 ...
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  • 67.7k
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 ...
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  • 49.6k
21 votes
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Can the ILS glideslope be intercepted from above?

Assuming that you're asking about intercepting the glideslope from above rather than the localizer, the answer is that it is definitely NOT recommended. There are at least two significant problems if ...
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  • 38.7k
21 votes
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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 ...
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  • 7,207
19 votes

When are procedure turns not required?

The correct thing to do very much depends on the clearance that you were given. If you were simply cleared direct to BEJCY and cleared for the approach, then your instructor is correct and you should ...
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  • 57.6k
18 votes
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Why is a procedure turn required if you are more or less on the final approach course?

Read that other question again. He was approaching from the SSW and made an assumption based on the approach segment from AUGIE. He wasn't actually on the AUGIE-BEJCY leg as it would be impossible ...
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  • 34.8k
17 votes
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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 ...
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  • 16.2k
15 votes
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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 ...
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  • 70.2k
15 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 ...
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  • 23.1k
15 votes
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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 ...
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  • 74.8k
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 ...
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  • 49.6k
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 ...
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13 votes
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During instrument approach, is an abbreviated racetrack course reversal allowed?

Unless you were "cleared straight-in" for the approach, when IMOMY is your IAF (as it was in this case) you are required to fly the course reversal, even if you can execute a direct entry. This is ...
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  • 23.1k
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 ...
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  • 45k
12 votes

Why is this VDP not authorized?

The key is in the part of the procedure description I've highlighted: When local altimeter setting not received use Northeast Philadelphia altimeter setting -- you'...
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  • 67.2k
12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 67.2k
12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 15.5k
12 votes
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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 ...
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  • 38.7k
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 ...
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  • 26.2k
12 votes
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What should I do if I intercept the glideslope before reaching the final approach fix?

JERIT is the FAF for the LOC approach, as indicated by the Maltese cross. However, the FAF for the ILS approach is not JERIT; it is the Glide Slope Intercept Point (at 2000 ft indicated altitude) ...
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  • 18.2k
12 votes
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What specific hazard is the practice of identifying an ILS LOC by Morse code trying to prevent?

Well, one reason would be that apparently when maintenance crews work on a VOR for signal calibration etc. they may take down the Morse code identification but still leave the signal alive while ...
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  • 18.2k
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 ...
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  • 45k
11 votes
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Why would the USAF have no support for autolanding?

The Super Hornet can't even shoot a VOR approach, much less an ILS. We are TACAN/ PAR only. That's fine at the boat, because that's how we operate, but apparently the Navy still hasn't figured out ...
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  • 8,508
11 votes

What are "Alternate Minimums"?

FAR 91.169 states that IFR flight plans must include an alternate airport unless the weather is at least 2000 ft ceiling and 3 miles visibility, from one hour before to one hour afterwards (1-2-3 rule)...
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  • 16.4k
11 votes
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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 ...
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  • 70.2k
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 ...
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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 ...
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