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Toughest Approach

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Simple question....What do you think is the hardest?My vote is VOR/DME - GPS-C into Aspen, CO.Absoultely ugly! Anytime they have a localizer specifically there to avoid terrain you know it's hairy. Plus you gotta love being dumped off 1.5miles from the runway 3000' above TDZE.

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Yeah, I'd definitely agree there. I flew it for the first time in FS2002 in the Falcon 50 on Vatsim the other day. Thankfully the controller knew the airport well and helped out a lot. Also, the descent altitudes on the approach plate made no sense as I flew it. They seemed to be way high which left me doing a fairly steep descent at the end. Not sure if yours is the same as mine, as mine was a freebie from Echo Flight. Sadly they won't be updating anymore :-( Speaking of interesting approaches, what about the old checkerboard?!

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Here is one of my favorite ones....Hang a right at the cemetary....

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Stateside, I'd have to say the high-vor into Meridian, MS or the vor into Little Rock-Adams, overseas, the visual into Bagram on nogs!Lobaeux

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>Also, the descent altitudes on the approach >plate made no sense as I flew it. They seemed to be way high >which left me doing a fairly steep descent at the end.That's why it's identified with an alpha identifier -- "VOR/DME-C" instead of "VOR/DME Rwy 15. An alpha identifier alerts you that due to terrain or obstructions, "normal" glideslope or stepdown altitudes are not feasible and you will be left so high at the MAP that a normal descent and landing may not be possible. If the weather is higher than minimums, you are permitted to start descending before the MAP if the runway environment is clearly visible. Otherwise, circling is your only choice. Although legal, circling at this airport gives me the puckers.

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My father-in-law flies GIvs and Challengers into KASE on a weekly basis and he loves to try his hand with this one on the sim when he comes to visit (he's amazed how accurate the terrain is, even relative to a full motion sim!). It is definitely a circling approach in a category-C plane - such as a jet. Also, bear in mind it is not approved at night (there is wreckage from a recent Gulfstream accident to attest to that). While a missed approach is a bit hairy, the MDA gives plenty of margin for attitude, if you don't cheat that is! Scarier scenarios, however, include loss of visual contact during the circling maneuver (not what are you going to do??), a go-around (traffic on the runway), or a go-around with engine out (really, really bad!). The approach to Rifle is also interesting. Don't try to cheat on that approach either. Those limits are there for a reason! In the "holy cow - I can't believe this is a real airport" category, I'd have to include Ranger Creek, WA (Georender 1). I thought this was fictional until I found info on the web. Lago did a great job of capturing it and it is almost always foggy in that valley. I've made my own GPS approach that keeps me alive most of the time.David

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Hehe, you guys haven't flown into Kasiguncu (ID: WAMP) but ONLY in FS2000. Try a straight-in. Put your trim, flaps, elevators and power down, I tell ya, you won't get it. LOL :-lolSo anyone who still has FS2000 installed, try it!! (it's not worth looking at in FS2002 so the FS2K2 guys DON'T try it...) :-hahEtienne :-wave

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ChickenHawk and others,This approach is not that different from any other non-prec approach as long as you understand this approach is not meant to be flown to a straight-ahead landing. It is a circling approach (you can tell because the approach description ends with a letter A, B C, etc). You are expected to manoeuvre visually (S turns, visual circuit, 360s, etc to land on the runway in use). It is very similar and really no more difficult than many of the published approaches into other mountain airports in the west of the US and Canada as well as Alaska. One Canadian example I am familiar with (having flown into there a few times) is CYCG where the LOC/NDB/NDB approach leaves you 4300 ft above the runway 1.3nm back from the threshold, and there are many other such examples. If you attempt to land straight-ahead off these approaches you will find that excessive descent rates are required (that is why it is not published as a straight-in approach).Kevin in CYOW

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I can think of one ... hard enough to get right in a Cessna, but tanking in to R13 at Kai Tak in a 747-200 took a particular brand of cool, methinks. Get it wrong by a few hundred feet, and you'd be responsible for reducing Hong Kong's population by 10%. That must have been the REAL pressure for pilots ... no handy meadow to belly out in.I agree with the original post, though, that Aspen is fun.Mark "Dark Moment" Beaumonthttp://www.swiremariners.com/newlogo.jpg

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I understand the reasoning behind the C notation, however even the circling (especially to the left) is what is challenging. Any pilot can hold altitude and then drop via DME reference.I wonder if the FAA/NTSB maintains statistics on approaches and accident rates.

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The localizer approach to runway 27 at SanDiego Lindbergh is challenging in that, like Geofa's LOC-D Gillespie, San Diego approach, there is no glide slope. You have to use step-down altitudes based on your DME readings. On top of that, some Einstein decided to build a parking garage just damned-near on the extended centerline, at about the inner marker, so if you're more than a dot off the localizer on final, you stand a real risk of tearing your mains off or worse. Couple that with a low overcast and this is an intense, high work-load approach in IMC. I shot it the other night on-line when there was a 1100 foot overcast and my hands were sweating on the yoke!! As real as it gets... :-lol. I'll post the plate if anyone wants it, but it should be esay to snag at Clearance Unlimited or EchoFlight.Alex ChristoffN562ZMinneapolis, MNThermobulb@aol.com

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Sticking to the letter of the law (which I certainly can't quote from memory!), circling approaches require that the pilot maintain visual contact with the airport environment at all times in the maneuver. This might be easy in a Cessna but realistically, how well can you do this in a jet?? So many blind spots and moving pretty fast to boot! I'm told many pilots wing it (shudder!). The circling approach used for training most often in Flight Safety simulators I'm told is KJFK (believe it is 27L, but not sure). Field disappears pretty quickly among the buildings!David

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I'm told there is a new GPS approach to KASE in the works. Might even be released already. I know someone involved in the testing.David

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