Sign in to follow this  
Guest

Toughest Approach

Recommended Posts

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Help AVSIM continue to serve you!
Please donate today!

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?!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

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

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I like to fly in the carribean and the approaches at SABA and TFFJ (St. Barth) are incredibly tough in any kind of crosswind. I have flight 1's West Indies scenery so its realistic (unlike the flat pancakes MS made them). Give them a shot in windy conditions and see if you can stop your plane in time on Saba's 400 foot runway.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

And of course Catacamas (MHCA) in Honduras is an old favorite. A few broken bones, but other than that no danger at all. :-eekM.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I just have to ask, as I have flown to both of those airports in real life, what did you find difficult about those approaches?

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

hi, I hope I have my information correct... but hasent runway 27 at KSAN had a new ILS system installed recentlly (with glideslope) for superbowl Sunday? AndrewKRAL

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

St Bart's is still my all time toughest approach to fly because it sucks you in to thinking it is just a normal visual approach to a short field. Then if you don't stay high the field disappears, If you do then you better be right at stall speed and drop her in by pulling back on the yoke, flying way on the backside of the power curve, or you will never make it. To make it worse the runway is very narrow and you are dropping like a rock at stall speed, and have to add a bunch of power at the bottom to arrest your descent, all the while looking at that Tiki bar at the nude beach, at the end of the field, which runs steeply downhill, approaching very fast! Having flown in there with a properly liscenced Pilot in an Aztec, and having sat on the hill with a Twin Otter almost putting his mains into your Jeep's roll bar it is a very scary ordeal from either view.EDIT: The only other approach that scared me this badly in all my years of flying is the TACAN A to Navy Guantanamo Bay in Cuba. Get it wrong and you will drive your wing tip into the ground on Base leg, or fly over the Fence line and be shot at by the Cuban Soilders who sit there and wait for someone to screw up. I once saw a DC9 cartwheel onto the approach end of the field, not a pretty sight.http://www.ktone.org/images/FSD_ken.jpg

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

thanks for the clarification there, that makes much more sense!speedbird

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

>>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. Technically, the alpha identifier makes this a circling approach. Note the minimums at the bottom of the chart do not have "straight in" mininums -- only circling mins. The requirement to circle is based on the fact that a "normal" straight in landing is not possible if you break out at minimums. That can be due to height above touchdown - as in this case - or due to course alignment with the runway.Take a look at the VOR-A approach at TEB which drops you down to 1000' but on a 60 to 90 degree intercept angle to the runways. If the approach course is more than 30 degrees off the runway heading, it makes it a circling approach.In the Aspen case, once you break out, you would probably fly a modified pattern or an overhead break. In a modified pattern, you would want to side step about 1/4 mi to the right of the runway and descend while paralleling the runway. Turn crosswind over the field (about midfield) while continuing the descent to set up for a tight left downwind. In the overhead break you fly just over the runway threshold and break into a descending 180 degree turn which (hopefully) will put you on short final at a reasonable height. Remember, if vis is low and you lose sight of the runway, you have to go missed.Have fun ...Martin JensenPP-ASEL-IAN182LU - KBED

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

I was refering to the MEI and LIT aproaches. I shot the LOC-D into SEE on FS with the weather set to minimums. I didn't pick up GRIGG, so I had to lose 2000+ ft. of altitude when I spotted the runway. I can see how that would be tough in a faster plane.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

So happens I flew two of these in the past couple of days (using FS2002): into Valdez, AK (PAVD) on Saturday, and then into Kodiak (PADQ) this morning. I guess there is something to be said between a "dangerous airport" and "toughest approach." Valdez is a bit of both, with the loc-only LDA-DME approach, and the mountains all around, especially hugging the north side of the airfield. The ILS approach to Kodiak is not particularly tough, but it is a dangerous airport because of the surrounding mountains and winds. When I flew into Kodiak this morning I had winds 100 at 17 kts, which made the approach to Runway 25 pretty hairy. Visibility was 4 miles in rain, with the ceiling at 2600, so I probably should have landed on Runway 10 once I could see the airport.Point is, real weather can make any approach tough, and any airport dangerous, especially when there are mountains around.-Basil

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
Sign in to follow this