Sunday, October 04, 2009

Crystal Ball

Persusing the Internet can lead to some interesting virtual destinations, like the NACO's Instrument Flight Procedures Coordination search facility. This is where IFR geeks can peer into the future and see what changes or entirely new instrument procedures the FAA has in store. You can search by state or by airport name or airport ID (just don't enter an ICAO ID). This is where I first learned of the now-published RNAV (GPS) RWY 14 approach into Yuba County Airport, one of the new approaches in the FAA's LPV-200 initiative, offering a 200 foot decision altitude comparable to an ILS.

I wrote a while back about hearing a pilot get a contact approach clearance he shouldn't have asked for and shouldn't have been given into Little River, situated on a fairly remote portion of the Northern California coast. Well if things go as planned, come December of this year pilots operating into and out of Little River will have a brand spanking new RNAV approach and SID.

You can also get some insight into the significant amount of effort that goes into creating an approach procedure.

Come October of this year, it appears the venerable Tracy VOR or GPS A approach will be no more. Many a time I've watched instrument candidates struggle with this fast-paced, challenging approach, especially with the missed approach holding pattern that is very close to the airport.

This approach will be replaced by the existing RNAV (GPS) RWY 26 approach and a new VOR/DME RWY 26 approach.

Other changes for Northern California include the cancellation of the Ukiah VOR/DME RNAV or GPS B approach, one of the few remaining VOR/DME RNAV approaches left.

If you're wondering what's in store for your neck of the woods, wait for a dark, cold, rainy night and then curl up with the Instrument Flight Procedures Coordination search page and start browsing.


Sarah said...

The Tracy VOR or GPS-A looks like fun. Lots of turning & twisting vors on that one.

I have a question though, for similar VOR approaches.

MOSSA, the FAF is identified by a VOR as well as DME. If one doesn't have 3 VORs or GPS, but does have DME, would you recommend using MOD as a backup identification of the FAF and then re-tuning it to SAC on passing MOSSA for the miss? Seems kind of hectic.

I guess you're close enough on this one you don't really need the SAC/R157 to find TRACY int.

Just curious..
(checkride coming)

John Ewing said...


If your aircraft is equipped with DME, I'd say your strategy is fine. There are several ways to backup the identification of a fix and a lot depends on how paranoid (or thorough, if you prefer) the pilot wants to be.

With VORs only and no DME or GPS, my strategy is:

Nav1 Manteca
Nav2 Modesto, nav 2 standby Sacramento

Passing MOSSA, make Sacramento active in the #2 and twist the OBS.

Oh, and if you have ADF you can always tune REIGA (LV) and use the 242 degree bearing to the station to help you identify TRACY.

Sarah said...

Thanks for the reply. Sure, I guess it's worth a backup ID of the FAF with just a little extra button pushing.

I missed the arrow & REIGA NDB id option entirely. But maybe you don't need to use *every* nav aid on a plate...