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des182001

Radio Altimeter

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Hello everyone,I've searched the forums and just spent the last few hours looking over the manuals to no avail. So here it goes.....I understand that the RA is set for the DH/MDA and to me it seems to be on an approach by approach basis. Where on the charts do I find this info? Am I hurting myself by leaving it set to the default of 200?It doesn

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Sorry for sounding a bit harsh but how can you fly an airplane even remotely accurately if you can't read approach plates - this is a bread and butter of every professional pilot. Information like DH or MDA or other vital information is on those plates in black and white. Perhaps you should read some tutorial about the approach plates - if you are asking about DH and MDA I am sure there will be many other not less important things you don't know - I would really go and find some tutorial, questions like this keep popping up once in a while and if I am not mistaken Avsim either has special forum or has links to various such resources. And you can always go to the FAA site - they have phenomenal IFR flying handbook, all illustrated in color - for free download.

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Sorry for sounding a bit harsh but how can you fly an airplane even remotely accurately if you can't read approach plates - this is a bread and butter of every professional pilot. Information like DH or MDA or other vital information is on those plates in black and white. Perhaps you should read some tutorial about the approach plates - if you are asking about DH and MDA I am sure there will be many other not less important things you don't know - I would really go and find some tutorial, questions like this keep popping up once in a while and if I am not mistaken Avsim either has special forum or has links to various such resources. And you can always go to the FAA site - they have phenomenal IFR flying handbook, all illustrated in color - for free download.
Don't worry about the harsh reply Michael but please understand that I'm an IT professional by trade and that flight simulator is a hobby of mine (always wanted to be a pilot since I was a kid). The only time that I'm around pilots who I can ask questions to is during long layovers at KATL during business trips; I'm basically self taught and need forums like this to fill in the gaps. I have referenced IAPs but since there is no box that explictly says DH or MDA I needed help with what I was looking at. :( Thanks for pointing me in the right direction; after referencing a turtorial through a google search I now know where to look (at least I was on the right chart :( )Then is the RA setting on the PFD just what altitude above AGL the annuciator calls out "minimums" to verbally let the pilot know that they have reached the point of no return for a goaround?

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Sorry for sounding a bit harsh but how can you fly an airplane even remotely accurately if you can't read approach plates - this is a bread and butter of every professional pilot. Information like DH or MDA or other vital information is on those plates in black and white. Perhaps you should read some tutorial about the approach plates - if you are asking about DH and MDA I am sure there will be many other not less important things you don't know - I would really go and find some tutorial, questions like this keep popping up once in a while and if I am not mistaken Avsim either has special forum or has links to various such resources. And you can always go to the FAA site - they have phenomenal IFR flying handbook, all illustrated in color - for free download.
Just interested Micheal J, are you a pilot or just a know all. This forum is for people to ask questions on things they would like to know not to be lectured by a smart alec. I'm sure I'm not the only one sick of your condescending answers. Dan I think they are on the lower section on the airport runway charts usually next to the MDA in brackets. This height differs depending on the approach(ILS,LLZ), but then again I may be wrong because I am not a professional pilot !!

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If you don't mind spending some money, there are two excellent books available, the first by Trevor Thom, called The Pilot's Manual "Instrument Flying", the second is the Instrument Rating Manual by Jeppeson Sanderson. I know, they are not exactly cheap but really worth their money.Almost any IFR related topic is included there, starting from meterological stuff up to in-depth-coverage of IFR flight planning and every thinkable approach chart.

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how can you fly an airplane even remotely accurately if you can't read approach plates - this is a bread and butter of every professional pilot.
I've been flying in FS since the late eighties and currently I am having big fun with the awesome PMDG MD-11 in FSX, using SIDs and STARs and everything, and I have to say I do it pretty accurately. However, I have never ever used approach plates. Nor do I (fully) understand how they should be read. Nor did I ever (really) need them. But then again, I am not a professional pilot... But afaik FSX isn't made specially for professionals, is it...? Afaik most flyers here are people just like me, people who simply enjoy virtual flying. With or without approach plates... It might be more realistic to use them, if you are into mimicking real life procedures in detail, but I've been flying happily without them for some two decades and I probably will for some time to come. ;)

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Dan: I recommend you navigate to the FAA web site and look for the Instrument Pilot Handbook. It covers a lot of info inlcuding approaches.The RA value will be found in the bottom left table on the plate for CAT II & III approaches. A normal (CAT I) ILS approach does not have an RA setting, use a baro setting that provided in the mins chart.

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Just interested Micheal J, are you a pilot or just a know all.
I am a pilot (not an airline pilot) but this has little to do here. It was not my intention to "lecture" someone but to point him to some free tools that can give him the complete picture and not only MDA/DH.

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Thanks for all the info guys!!! I went to the FAA site and it looks like I have some reading to do.Big%20Grin.gif

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If you want to keep the reading simple - http://www.fsstation.com/tutorials/interpr...ach-plates.html isn't a bad place to have a look at. Covers all the basics anyway.The subject is huge and confusing at times, guess you have to have some aviation knowledge for some of it lol.Personally I use RA for CatII/III landings anf IF I can't be bothered to look at the whole chart (If short of time) I'll just use the MM as the DH for a visual landing. (Yeah, I know that's wrong before you all shout lol).Tis a fascinating thing to get knowledge of though and rewarding as you can be ahead of the airplane, always a good thing. The legal stuff goes on forever lol.John Ellison

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Here's a sanity check!!!! :( After reading the chapter on ILS approaches in the FAA IFR handbook It seems that if I leave the RA setting at 200 I am basically performing a catII landing. To perform a catIII landing the RA will be lower and that info is found on the IAP. The DH/MDA is identified by the MM (middle marker) and to perform a catIII landing the airplane, pilot, and runway have to be certified to do so (info also found on IAP).With that being said am I on the right track now?????This is great info; keep it coming guys!!!!!!!!Big%20Grin.gif

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Sort of Dan but as I understand it DH/MDA will not always be the MM - it will be specified on the chart though. It will vary for the type of aircraft as well (ABCD) and the approach type. The MSA is a roughly 1000 feet ground clearance around the flightpath, sort of a minimum ground clearance altitude.Still lost on the acronym OCA here though lol - so still learning, still, nothing wrong with that :( Nice of FS to have airports at the wrong altitude and location though.... and some just impossible - check out SKCL 3166' (wrong place) and in FSX 2629' (wrong place) and using FSGlobal puts it in a 500' hole... sometimes you can't win :( John Ellison

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Sort of Dan but as I understand it DH will not always be the MM - it will be specified on the chart though. It will vary for the type of aircraft as well (ABCD) and the approach type. The MDA is a roughly 1000 feet ground clearance around the flightpath, sort of a minimum ground clearance altitude.Still lost on the acronym OCA here though lol - so still learning, still, nothing wrong with that :( Nice of FS to have airports at the wrong altitude and location though.... and some just impossible - check out SKCL 3166' (wrong place) and in FSX 2629' (wrong place) and using FSGlobal puts it in a 500' hole... sometimes you can't win :( John Ellison
Thanks for the info John.One of the reasons I love flying PMDG aircraft is that I'm always learning; the day I stop learning is the day I'll get bored with it (don't see that happening for a long time) B) . I know what you mean with FSglobal; I've always loved that 12,000ft hole outside of Little Rock, Arkansas, but the benefits outweigh the cost.OCA is Oceanic Control Area. :(

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I would be careful using RA instead of baro unless RA is specified. Take KCRW, Yeager Airport in Charleston WVA built on top of three hills with tops removed. There is no RA until you are over the runway. Neat place to land a 737.

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I would be careful using RA instead of baro unless RA is specified. Take KCRW, Yeager Airport in Charleston WVA built on top of three hills with tops removed. There is no RA until you are over the runway. Neat place to land a 737.
Dan,Just to make sure I'm tracking..... I should always use BARO (found on the mins chart) unless the IAP specifcally states a RA.I'm still on vacation until tomorrow, so now I have another fun approach to try as soon as I can get in front of my box (your recommendation of trying out the Ziggy4 approach at KONT in another thread).Thanks for your replies Dan I always enjoy your input. :(

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