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Question about Descent into KSLC

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Hi! I just completed a flight from KPDX to KPHX. It was a routine flight, no problems until it was time for RC4 to let me descend. I was on the BEARR4 STAR and thus arriving from the northwest of KSLC. I decided after hearing ATIS, I wanted to fly the full ILS into runway 16R, and as a result of my flight plan, I would be on the nearside of the field.The problem came with my descents. I was less than 7 miles from OGD, the IAF for ILS 16R, yet I hadn't been able to request the IAP menu yet. I was at 15,000 and needed to be around 9,000 at OGD. By the time I was able to get the IAP option and clearance to descend, I had to really push her down fast. This was a problem because I was in a B738 (PMDG 737-800), and slowing down is tough enough, let alone being way too high.Would the MSA on the Controller page be responsible for this? I didn't check NOTAMs because I didn't need them on that STAR. However, would the 10,800 MSA still be responsible for leaving me too high in this case?Thanks!

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Hi Chris,I'm a bit confused by this...<>KPHX is Phoenix which even to this Brit is a long way from Salt Lake City ;-) Was that a typo?Can you post your flightplan please and I'll take a look. Personally I would have ticked Notams for KSLC as it's in a mountainous area and RC doesn't know in which direction the mountains are so you have to descend with care. However, without seeing (and probably flying) your plan it's difficult to answer your question.Remember RC4 doesn't know about STARs but providing you met the crossing restriction you should have been given the option of a IAP.

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Yeah, it was a typo, LOLHere's the plan I flew, taken from FlightAware.comDAL248 - PMDG B738 - FL370TIMEE J15 BOI BYI BEARR4Full IAP - ILS RWY 16RAs I stated about the descent, it was just very late IMO, and I wondered if the MSA would have changed that regardless of whether I checked NOTAMs or not. The main reason I didn't check NOTAMs is because the plan put me over the lake and the low side of SLC. I was left at 15,000 and very close to the OGD VORTAC, and I needed to be around 9000 to avoid having trouble slowing for the approach. Even my 360 I made on final made it tough to lose enough altitude for a good landing. The option for full IAP didn't come soon enough either for me to simply "do my own thing".http://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/0602/00365BEARR.PDF - Charthttp://204.108.4.16/d-tpp/0602/00365BEARR_C.PDF - NarrativeLooking at the BEARR FOUR Arrival, you'll see that depending on which runways are active, you either fly to OGD or DYANN. If runways 34L and 34R were in use, I would've been fine, but they weren't. My flight plan in FS/RC4 terminated at BEARR since I wouldn't have known which runway was active prior to take-off. Maybe it would've helped had I included the OGD VORTAC in the flight plan, but I still doubt my descent would've changed. I'm also wondering how RC4 would've handled putting me into runway 16R when I was so high. I guess proper use of NOTAMs is the key on this one.

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Hi Chris,Earlier today I flew KDEN-KSLC as I wanted to experience first hand the approach and descent into this difficult airport. But I'll talk about that later. Firstly, your experiences...Looking at your flight plan I see you're approaching SLC from the NW. Your last waypoint - BEARR - is 50 miles from SLC so after passing it you would probably turned slightly right on a heading taking you directly towards SLC. At this point you'll still be under an area Controller and I'm guessing that you were cleared down to around 15000ft.Within 10 miles of passing BEARR you should have been told to contact Approach and to have been down to your approach altitude of 11000ft for a near-side approach but possibly higher because of the altiude of SLC. At this point the option of a IAP approach will have been available allowing you to fly it if required.So at 40 miles out assuming you're at 11000ft you were probably given approach vectors. I'm guessing they would have been to turn left to 070 and to continue your descent. Shortly after that you would have been turned right to around 130 with a further descent to intercept the localiser.Now that's how I think it should have been handled. If you're at 15000 at OGD then you have about 27 miles to the airport at 4,200ft so 11,000ft in 27 miles doesn't sound unreasonable.You're quite right in saying leaving NOTAMS unchecked wouldn't cause a problem because of your approach direction.My question on this would be did you make the crossing restriction? The absence of an IAP option suggests you didn't. Were you busted on the critique for not making it? Were you given a 90 degree change of heading to fly that you didn't expect?I'll fly this route myself in the next couple of days just to see how it pans out. My flight earlier today from KDEN was uneventful up to contacting Approach but I did have some difficulty getting down below the glideslope. The problem was that I was turned onto a ILS intercept course but the ILS was not active as I was too far out. You have to cheat a little and watch the heading to the airport and when it matches the ILS heading make the turn. Checking NOTAMS also meant I was only cleared down to 10,800ft for the ILS approach and I had to descend quite rapidly to get below the g/s. Like you, not easy in a PMDG 737-900.Anyway, it all makes for an interesting flight and KSLC is certainly a challenging airport. Look forward to hearing from you.Cheers,

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Thanks for the response! It's a pleasure to have a dialogue about these flights and experiences. Regarding the crossing restriction, I wasn't given one. I believe if memory serves that crossing restrictions only come up if a VORTAC is the final waypoint and within a 5 nm from the field. Since that wasn't the case, I was simply told to descend in steps and eventually cleared PD to 15,000, which I continued down to without hesitation. I was level at 15,000 for sometime, and I'm 100% positive I got down fast enough.As far as 27 miles from OGD sounding unreasonable, I'd have to say in most planes, but especially the 737-800, it is when on finals. When I was getting close to OGD, I was still going about 230 knots. You know since you own the PMDG, that they're tough to slow down, and I needed to be level about 5 nm from the runway. Looking at the approach charts, that's about 6000 feet, and I needed to have flaps out to 30 and speed at 150. So I had to lose 9000 feet in 21 miles, but also slow down, extend flaps, and lower landing gear no later than 5 nm from the TDZ.I'm considering the flight again, but not sure when I'll feel game.

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Hi Chris,<>I'm certain one would have been issued as it's mandatory when flying jets and heavies. There are no restrictions about the final waypoint being of a certain type or distance from the airport.The final clearance down to 15000 sounds like your altitude for the CR. 11000 + 4000 (airport altitude) = 15000.Please fly this route again and report your findings. I'm especially interested when you're told to contact Approach and what the critique said afterwards.Yes, descending with the PMDG737 is not easy but use of the spoiler helps. That happens in the real world as well so it's quite in order to use it.Cheers,

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>Hi Chris,>><believe if memory serves that crossing restrictions only come>up if a VORTAC is the final waypoint and within a 5 nm from>the field.>>>>I'm certain one would have been issued as it's mandatory when>flying jets and heavies. There are no restrictions about the>final waypoint being of a certain type or distance from the>airport.>>The final clearance down to 15000 sounds like your altitude>for the CR. 11000 + 4000 (airport altitude) = 15000.>>Please fly this route again and report your findings. I'm>especially interested when you're told to contact Approach and>what the critique said afterwards.>>Yes, descending with the PMDG737 is not easy but use of the>spoiler helps. That happens in the real world as well so it's>quite in order to use it.>>Cheers,Okay, I reflew the route last night, same FP and plane. I was at FL370 and the clearance to descend went as follows:35000 - Descend and mantain24000 - Descend and maintain17000 - PD to...15000 - Descend and maintainNo crossing restriction given, simply descend and maintain, with a PD to 17000. The difference with this flight though was that runways 34L and R were open, so I had plenty of time to get down to 9500 at the IAF for the full IAP. My contract to approach was normal, and my post-flight critique was without incident. No problems at all.

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>Okay, I reflew the route last night, same FP and plane. I was>at FL370 and the clearance to descend went as follows:>>35000 - Descend and mantain>24000 - Descend and maintain>17000 - PD to...>15000 - Descend and maintain>>No crossing restriction given, simply descend and maintain,>with a PD to 17000. Did that last clearance down to 15000 include the follow-on phrase "... I need you down in 30 miles or less ...". -michael

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I was going to ask the same question. I certainly was given one when I approached KSLC from the ESE.Chris, did you get a clean critique?Cheers,

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>Yes, 30 miles or less,Ok, then you did in fact have a crossing restriction. -michael

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Well, I mistook a crossing restriction to mean the phrase from the controller to include cross at such and such. Either way, I always get the "putting XYZ out of business" line. Who am I putting out of business? Is it FSDO??

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Hi Chris,Yes, it's FSDO. Those guys are tired of sitting around drinking coffee waiting for you to mess up. Give them a break eh and bust some rules occasionally! :-lolAnyway, I'm pleased that the crossing restriction issue has been cleared up :-)Happy flying,

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