Chuck Dreier

Go-Around, No ILS?

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Believe it or not, I had to make my first go-around today.  Everything was fine on climb out and I was given a vector back around without flying the complete "missed".  To my surprise the ILS frequency/course was no longer in the Nav Radio portion of the FMS.  The ILS was shown as parked and both nav radios were tuned to the nearby VOR.  I was unable to enter the ILS frequency or unpark the ILS. 

Is this normal, and if so, what is the procedure to restore the approach?  In hindsight I'm thinking I must reenter the arrival information back in the FMC - is that correct?  Is that the way it is in real-life?  It was pretty hectic and it would have been difficult to reenter the data while flying relatively low in close quarters.  Thoughts and help please.

BTW, I was able to make the landing though not "legally".  I simply entered the FAP and stepped down to the FAP altitude and descended slowing from there using v/s.  Not safe, but it got me on the ground.

 

 

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14 minutes ago, Chuck Dreier said:

Is this normal, and if so, what is the procedure to restore the approach?  In hindsight I'm thinking I must reenter the arrival information back in the FMC - is that correct?  Is that the way it is in real-life?  It was pretty hectic and it would have been difficult to reenter the data while flying relatively low in close quarters.  Thoughts and help please.

Yes just re-enter the approach.  If you fail todo that you will not have the missed information programmed in the box incase it becomes a required action again.  You think its hectic loading the pre-loaded approach, try manually loading a complex missed procedure or a hold while your accelerating away from the ground.   It might be hectic, but the best you can do is to try to stay ahead of the aircraft.  If you need time request it from the controller as well.  No sense rushing anything.  That is when accidents happen.  This all might take some practice though as it requires you to be pretty quick in working with the CDU and having an intimate understanding of how waypoints are triggered to sequence to the next fix (way-line) and if the sequence will not be triggered how to address it quickly.  Fun times!

I've been thinking of putting a tutorial together on CDU interactions and how each of the custom waypoints might be useful for casual use to a simmer.  Maybe someday.

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This is essentially a problem with modern aircraft and the way they are sometimes operated, in that pilots can become too reliant on systems and/or too trusting of the expectation that things will always go the way they should. In that frame of mind of course lies the trap that when something does go awry, pilots can be unprepared for it if they don't take the trouble to ensure they are prepared.

There have been plenty of airliners which have come to grief in those circumstances. A good example of that would be Korean Air 801, a Boeing 747 which crashed into Nimitz Hill on Guam in 1997, in what is a classic case of something as simple as not reading a chart...

When they got near to their destination and contacted Guam, the pilots of 801 were informed that the ILS was inoperative, which means of course that they should have then done a non-precision approach using the correct procedure on the relevant chart, and should have been looking very carefully at that chart at that point (if they hadn't already done so in the hours available to them whilst en-route). Sadly, the pilots didn't study the charts for such an approach at all, and instead simply assumed that the Nimitz VOR on Guam was on the airport (it isn't). They descended for their approach to the runway using that incorrect assumption as the basis for their descent, and this was in near-zero visibility. The Nimitz VOR is in fact almost three and a half miles away from the airport on top of a hill, so when they descended onto that VOR, they hit Nimitz Hill at about 700 feet above sea level. If they'd studied the correct chart, they would have seen there is a minimum safe crossing altitude at the VOR of well above a thousand feet, and that Guam has a runway with a threshold which is considerably displaced from that navigation beacon and which is not a problem at all if you have a working Nav radio, which they did.

Like many aeroplane crashes, that one can be traced back to a cascade of errors: But ultimately, it was because they were unprepared for the unexpected. Consequently, they were forced into rushing and making assumptions, chief among those assumptions was one that was formed way back when they were at their departure airport: That they'd be able to do an ILS approach. As a result, were completely unprepared for something out of the ordinary even though we all know that sometimes things can break down, and that includes ILS antennas. They had plenty of time on their long flight to be ready for such an eventuality by studying the airport charts, and you would like to imagine the pilots of a Boeing 747 would have thought to do that since it was their job!

For us, in our flight sims, such issues are compounded by the fact that when flying our simulated aeroplane, we have no co-pilot, and as you point out, then things can get hectic, because there is no co-pilot to either set up a new approach whilst we fly the plane, or vice versa, but on the plus side, we have a pause button. But perhaps more importantly, we can plan ahead and be ready for such a circumstance, in this way...

The nice thing about flying an aeroplane with an FMC such as your Triple Seven, is that you get time to do other stuff when monitoring the flight, and one of those things worth doing, is to study the approach charts and in particular the one ATC tells you to expect when you are getting near the end of your flight, because all approach charts have the instructions on what to do when you go missed, and they are often a bit easier to understand because of the way they depict the course you fly instead of simply clicking on the name of a STAR and assuming all will be well. The directions on a chart for a missed approach will usually be something along the lines of: 'climb straight ahead to 4,000 feet minimum, for terrain clearance, then at 10 miles DME from the ABC VOR, turn left onto a heading of 123, then continue your climb to go into the hold at NARNIA at 7,000 feet' (or something similar).

Going into the hold will of course give you time to set up the FMC again if you want to do an automated approach, since you can fly a hold easily with the MCP in lieu of having the FMC or a co-pilot to do it, or you could of course simply use ATC to get you to a point where you can intercept the localiser when you leave that holding point.

Generally speaking, if you know the winds and which are the most likely approaches for the direction you are arriving from, you have a pretty good idea of which approach you're going to get from ATC, so you can have the charts up and ready to study in a PC browser window if you don't have paper approach charts to use, you can even bookmark those in a web browser whilst in the cruise if you have a rough idea of the prevailing winds at your destination, and this is in fact what any half decent airline pilot would do, so it is actually more realistic to do that stuff. Doing that means the procedure for going missed is going to be already in your head if your approach goes pear shaped.

There are plenty of websites where you can find all those charts, for example, this site is worth bookmarking if you need charts for SIDS, STARS etc. It doesn't have them all, but it has a lot of them:

http://opennav.com/

You might also find this thing worth a quick look if you're not great on deciphering charts:

http://captainslog.aero/wp-content/uploads/2015/01/map-study-guide-jepp.pdf

 

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Don't fiddle with the computer if you have more important things, such as flying.  You're getting vectors for final, during that select the runway and set Vref and enter the ILS freq/crs.  The mins are already set for you in this case since youre coming back to the same ILS.  This happens real world..., recently with low vis at KHOU the SWA B733 I was on had to do exactly this maneuver. You don't need the FMS set up for an ILS approach just set the radio and fly. Even that is easy since ATC is giving you vectors and altitudes... use the MCP and A/P.

I assume you have the charts open in front of you.

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11 hours ago, Chock said:

This is essentially a problem with modern aircraft and the way they are sometimes operated, in that pilots can become too reliant on systems and/or too trusting of the expectation that things will always go the way they should. In that frame of mind of course lies the trap that when something does go awry, pilots can be unprepared for it if they don't take the trouble to ensure they are prepared.

Great post.

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In order of priority:

Aviate - fly the airplane (remove the automation if workload and you feel confused or overwhelmed with automation and fly the airplane with the A/P off)

- The higher you are and the more speed you have..the better off you will be to think and make a decision

Navigate - Where am I and where am I going?

- At all times know where you are and know where you are going; have a plan - say to yourself every phase of flight(takeoff/enroute/landing) "If I lost an engine - where will I go?"

Communicate - Speak to ATC (depending where you are) and say your intentions.

- You will get priority if you declare an emergency

- Filling out paperwork is a lot nicer than the alternative

 

 

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