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Guest skylanepilot

SPZO Descent Bravo VOR DME -Circling- Rwy 28

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Hello ,Can anybody explain exactly this approach into Cuzco,Peru. According to Rod Machado, there are times when approach procedures identification will not have runway numbers, but will have letters instead. Runway numbers indicate that the final approach course is aligned to within 30 degrees or less of the runway direction and has an acceptable descent angle. This is callled a straigh-in approach and lists straight-in landing minima. Letters indicate that the approach is to an airport instead of a specif runway. This type of approach would list circle-to-land minima.According to the chart http://www.iespana.es/cartaspevr/zco3.jpg , it calls for a circle to land at rwy 28. However it is only 10 degrees of the runway direction, but when you are at D16 URC and at 14,500ft, you see the rwy and in order to land you literally have to dive to it with a rate of descent greater that 1200 FPM, which is VERY dangerous, I don't understand, why type of approach of this. Circling to land to rwy 28 it is also dangerous. Try it and please, let me know if I am wrong.Best regards,Captain Juliet Lima

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Well, in my opinion this is a nasty looking approach to begin with. You would have to have really high minimums to actually be able to get visual and descend for a safe landing. Now, as far as your circling approach goes, sometimes you can go ahead and land straight in if the approach gets you low enough and you can see the airport far enough away with clearance from the clouds to line up a mile out or so. For this approach, I would definitely recommend getting below the clouds and then descend while you are entering the pattern. I suppose it all depends on what aircraft you are flying, but Ive had to maintain a 1,500fpm descent before on an approach. I dont think safety is an issue as long as you dont bust your minimums, but you definitely shouldnt be trying to slam dunk this approach straight in from that high up. Im sure someone is trying this approach as I type, so you will probably get more feedback from fellow instrument pilots lurking in the forums.Craig

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Okay, I shot the approach and it wasnt what I would consider a great approach. I couldnt manually get the clouds up that high so I used RW weather and it gave me a decent cloud base and I popped out quite a bit higher than 14,500. I dont know how familiar you are with approaches, but you can descend below your MDA anytime you have the runway environment in sight unless you havent arrived to the visual descent point (if the approach has one, this one doesnt). I guess what Im getting at is this approach is fine unless you have problems seeing the runway and maybe dont get it until 15.9 DME. If that is the case, then you probably need to find another way to lose your altitude or go missed and find a better approach somewhere else.CraigEDIT: Oh yeah, I almost forgot. The reason this approach probably only has circling-to-land minimums is because if they took you much lower there may be a chance you wont receive accurate reception from the VOR. That is one bad thing about mountainous terrain, since you need to have line-of-sight with the VOR you are trying to receive.

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That's one nasty approach!Circling minimums are called for when either the alignment is greater than 30 degrees or a "normal" descent to the runway is not possible from the MDA. In this approach it's the latter that calls for the circling minima.On a circling approach, you are not supposed to descend below the MDA until you are in a position "from which a descent to landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers." (From the U.S. AIM) The MDA of 14,500' will keep you out of the weeds if you circle to the south of the airport. Note that circling is not authorized to the north.If you go back into the soup anytime during the circle, you must go missed.The circling approach area has a max radius of 4.5 miles from the ends of the runways, so slow it up to keep your turn radius tight. You'll still have close to 4,000' to lose close in to the airport, so it will likely cause a few passengers to panic when you dump it down on final :-)Of course, the hope is that you'll be clear of clouds out near KIMOR and be able to shoot a visual approach down the pass for a straight in landing.

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To clarify what Craig said, the chart does not mean you MUST remain at 14500' until the MAP, you fly at 14500 until you have the runway in sight and then continue your descent. If you reach the MAP before it is in sight, go missed. The MAP is the "last chance" from which you could still pull off a landing. Ideally you'd have the runway in sight at KIMOR and could continue a normal descent.

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