Chapter 4


A. Approach Control

1. What is a STAR? (AIM 5-4-1)

A Standard Terminal Arrival Route (STAR) is an ATC-coded IFR arrival route established for use by arriving IFR aircraft destined for certain airports. Its purpose is to simplify clearance delivery procedures and facilitate transition between en route and instrument approach procedures. Reference the Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP) for the availability of STARs.

2. If ATC issues your flight a STAR, must you accept it? (AIM 5-4-1)

You are not required to accept a STAR, but if you do, you must be in possession of at least the approved chart, RNAV STARs must be retrievable by the procedure name from the aircraft database and conform to the charted procedure. Pilots should notify ATC if they do not wish to use a STAR by placing “NO STAR” in the remarks section of the flight plan, or by the less desirable method of verbally stating the same to ATC.

3. When being radar-vectored for an approach, at what point may you start a descent from your last assigned altitude to a lower altitude if “cleared for the approach”? (AIM 5-5-4)

Upon receipt of an approach clearance while on an unpublished route or being radar vectored, a pilot will comply with the minimum altitude for IFR and maintain the last assigned altitude until established on a segment of a published route or IAP, at which time published altitudes apply.

4. Define the terms:
Initial approach Segment
Intermediate Segment
Final Approach Segment
Missed Approach Segment
(Pilot / Controller Glossary)

An instrument approach procedure may have as many as four separate segments depending upon how the approach procedure is structured.
The initial approach segment is that segment between the initial approach fix and the intermediate fix, or the point where the aircraft is established on the intermediate course or final approach course.

The intermediate approach segment is between the intermediate fix or point and the final approach fix.

The final approach segment is between the final approach fix or point and the runway, airport, or missed approach point.

The missed approach segment is between the missed approach point or the point of arrival at decision height, and the missed approach fix at the prescribed altitude.

5. What are standard IFR separation minimums? (AIM 4-4-10)

When radar is employed in the separation of aircraft at the same altitude, a minimum of 3 miles separation is provided between aircraft operating within 40 miles of the radar antenna site, and 5 miles between aircraft operating beyond 40 miles from the antenna site. These minima may be increased or decreased in certain specific situations.

6. What is a Minimum Vectoring Altitude (MVA)? (P / CG and AIM 5-4-5)

MVA is the lowest MSL altitude at which an IFR aircraft will be vectored by a radar controller, except as otherwise authorized for radar approaches, departures, and missed approaches. The altitude meets IFR obstacle clearance criteria. It may be lower than the published MEA along an airway or J-route segment. It may be used for radar vectoring only upon the controller’s determination that an adequate radar return is being received from the aircraft being controlled. Charts depicting minimum vectoring altitudes are normally available only to the controllers and not to the pilots.

7. How does a pilot navigate between the en route phase and the initial approach segment? (AIM 5-4-6 and 5-4-7)

In this case navigation is accomplished by feeder routes or radar vectors. Feeder routes are depicted on approach procedure charts to designate routes for aircraft to proceed from the en route structure to the initial approach fix. All routes will include a minimum altitude, course, and distance.

8. What procedure is to be used when the clearance “cleared for the visual” is issued? (AIM 5-4-22)

A visual approach is conducted on an IFR flight plan and authorizes a pilot to proceed visually and clear of clouds to the airport. The pilot must have either the airport or the preceding identified aircraft in sight. This approach must be authorized and controlled by the appropriate air traffic control facility. Reported weather at the airport must have a ceiling at or above 1,000 feet and visibility 3 miles or greater.
Visual approaches are an IFR procedure conducted under IFR in visual meteorological conditions. Cloud clearance requirements of 14 CFR §91.155 are not applicable.

9. Describe the term “contact approach” (P / CG)

An approach in which an aircraft on an IFR flight plan, having an air traffic control authorization, operating clear of clouds with at least 1 mile flight visibility and a reasonable expectation of continuing to the destination airport in those conditions, may deviate from the instrument approach procedure and proceed to the destination airport by visual reference to the surface. This approach will only be authorized when requested by the pilot and the reported ground visibility at the destination airport is at least 1 statute mile.

10. When is a procedure turn not required? (AIM 5-4-9)

A procedure turn is not required when:
a. The symbol “NoPT” is depicted.
b. “Radar Vectoring” is provided
c. A holding pattern is published in lieu of a procedure turn.
d. The procedure turn is not authorized (absence of procedure turn barb on plan view).

11. What are standard procedure turn limitations? (AIM 5-4-9)

a. Turn on the depicted side.
b. Adhere to depicted minimum altitudes.
c. Complete the maneuver within the distance specified in the profile view.
d. Maneuver at a maximum speed not greater than 200 knots (IAS).

12. What procedures is followed when a holding pattern is specified in lieu of a procedure turn? (AIM 5-4-9)

A holding pattern, in lieu of a procedure turn, may be specified for course reversal in some procedures; the holding pattern is established over an intermediate fix or final approach fix. The holding pattern distance or time specified in the profile view must be observed. Maximum holding airspeed limitations apply, as set forth for all holding patterns. The holding pattern maneuver is completed when the aircraft is established on the inbound course after executing the appropriate entry. If cleared for the approach prior to returning to the holding fix, and the aircraft is at the prescribed altitude, additional circuits of the holding pattern are not necessary nor expected by ATC. If pilots elect to make additional circuits to lose altitude or to become better established on course, it is their responsibility to so advise ATC upon receipt of their approach clearance.

B. Precision Approaches

1. What is a precision approach (PA)? (AIM 5-4-5)

A precision approach (PA) is an instrument approach that is based on a navigation system that provides course and glide path deviation information meeting the precision standards of ICAO Annex 10. For example, PAR, ILS, and GLS are precision approaches.

2. What are the basic components of a standard ILS? (AIM 1-1-9)

Guidance information localizer, glide slope
Range information marker beacons, DME
Visual information approach lights, touchdown and centerline lights,
Runway lights

3. Describe both visual and aural indications that a pilot would receive when crossing the outer, middle, and inner markers of a standard ILS. (AIM 1-1-9)

Outer Marker Middle Marker Inner Marker
Blue light Amber light White light
Dull tone Medium tone High tone
Slow speed Medium speed High speed
————— -.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-.-. …………………

4. What are the distances from the landing threshold of the outer, middle, and inner markers? (AIM 1-1-9)

Outer marker 4 to 7 miles from threshold
Middle marker 3,500 feet from threshold
Inner marker between middle marker and threshold

5. When is the inner marker used? (AIM 1-1-9)

Ordinarily, there are two marker beacons associated with an ILS, the outer marker (OM) and the middle marker (MM). Locations with a Category II ILS also have an inner marker (IM).

6. To maintain glide slope and desired airspeed on an ILS approach, how are power and pitch used? (FAA-H-8083-15)

When on the final segment of an ILS final approach, change pitch to control glide path, and change power to control airspeed.

7. While flying a 3° glide slope, which conditions should the pilot expect concerning airspeed, pitch attitude and altitude when encountering a wind shear situation where a tail wind shears to a calm or head wind? (AC 00-54)

Pitch attitude Increase
Required thrust Reduced, then increased
Vertical speed Decreases, then increases
Airspeed Increases, then decreases
Reaction Reduce power initially, then increase

8. While flying a 3° glide slope, which conditions should the pilot expect concerning airspeed, pitch attitude and altitude when encountering a wind shear situation where a head wind shears to a calm or tail wind? (AC 00-54)

Pitch attitude Decrease
Required thrust Increased , then reduced
Vertical speed Increases
Airspeed Decreases , then increases
Reaction Increased power, then a decrease in power

9. Localizers operate within what frequency range? (AIM 1-1-9)

Localizers operate on odd tenths within the 108.10 to 111.95 MHz band.

10. Where is the localizer / transmitter antenna installation located in relation to the runway? (AIM 1-1-9)

The antenna is located at the far end of the approach runway.

11. Where is the glide slope antenna located and what is its normal usable range? (AIM 1-1-9)

The glide slope transmitter is located between 750 feet and 1,250 feet from the approach end of the runway (down the runway), and offset 250 feet to 650 feet from it. The glide slope is normally usable to a distance of 10 NM.

12. What range does a standard localizer have? (AIM 1-1-9)

The localizer signal provides course guidance throughout the descent path to the runway threshold from a distance of 18 NM from the antenna site.

13. What is the angular width of a localizer signal? (AIM 1-1-9)

The localizer signal is adjusted to provide an angular width of between 3° to 6°, as necessary to provide a linear width of 700 feet at the runway approach threshold.

14. What is the normal glide slope angle for a standard ILS? (AIM 1-1-9)

The glide path projection angle is normally 3 degrees above horizontal so that it intersects the MM at above 200 feet and the OM at about 1,400 feet above the runway elevation.

15. What is the sensitivity of a CDI tuned to a localizer signal compared with a CDI tuned to a VOR? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Full left or full right deflection occurs at approximately 2.5° from the centerline of a localizer course, which is 4 times greater than when tuned to a VOR, where full-scale deflection equals 10° from the centerline.

16. Define the term “decision height” (DH). (P / CG)

With respect to the operation of an aircraft, decision height means the height at which a decision must be made, during an ILS< MLS, or PAR instrument approach to either continue the approach or execute a missed approach.

17. When flying an instrument approach procedure, when can the pilot descend below the MDA or DH? (14 CFR §91.175)

No person may operate an aircraft below the prescribed MDA or continue an approach below the authorized DH unless:

a. The aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers,
b. The flight visibility is not less than the visibility prescribed in the standard instrument approach procedure being used
c. When at least one of the following visual references for the intended runway is distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot:
• The approach light system, (except that the pilot may not descend below 100 feet above the touchdown zone elevation using the ALS as a reference unless the red terminating bars or the red side row bars are also distinctly visible ad identifiable)
• The threshold
• He threshold markings
• The threshold lights
• The touchdown zone markings
• The touchdown zone lights
• The runway and runway markings
• The runway lights

18. What are the legal substitutes for an ILS outer marker and middle marker? (14 CFR §91.175)

Outer marker: Compass locator, PAR, ASR or the DME, VOR and NDB fixes authorized in the instrument approach procedure.
Middle marker: Compass locators or PAR are the only legal substitutions.

19. If the middle marker is out of service for a particular ILS procedure, will the minimums change, and if so, how much?

For Part 91 operators, there is no longer an increase in DH when the middle marker is inoperative.

20. What are PAR and ASR approaches? (Aim 5-4-11)

A PAR approach is a type of radar approach in which a controller provides highly accurate navigational guidance in azimuth and elevation to the pilot (precision approach). An ASR approach is a type of radar approach in which a controller provides navigational guidance in azimuth only (non-precision approach).

21. What is a “no-gyro” approach? (P / CG and AIM 5-4-11)

A “no-gyro” approach is a radar approach / vector provided in case of a malfunctioning gyro-compass or directional gyro. Instead of providing the pilot with heading s to be flown, the controller observes the radar track and issues control instructions “Turn right / left”, or “Stop turn”, as appropriate.

22. What rate of turn is recommended during execution of a “no-gyro” approach procedure? (AIM 5-4-11)

On a no-gyro approach, all turns should be standard rate until on final; then one-half standard rate on final approach.
23. If conducting an ASR approach, are the minimums expressed as DH or MDA? (AIM 5-4-11)

An ASR approach is a non precision approach with no glide slope provided; minimums are depicted as MDA.

C. Non precision Approaches

1. What is the definition of the term “non precision approach”? (AIM 5-4-5)

A non precision approach (NPA) is an instrument approach based on a navigation system that provides course deviation information, but no glide path deviation information such as VOR, NDB and LNAV.

2. Name the types of non precision approach procedures available. (P /CG)

The types of non precision approaches available are VOR, TACAN, NDB, LOC, ASR, LDA, and SDF.

3. Define MDA. (P / CG)

The Minimum Descent Altitude is the lowest altitude, expressed in feet above MSL, to which descent is authorized on final approach or during circle-to-land maneuvering, in execution of a standard instrument approach procedure where no electronic glide slope is provided.

4. Define VDP. (P / CG)

Visual Descent Point – a VDP is a defined point on the final approach course of a non precision straight-in approach procedure from which normal descent from the MDA to the runway touchdown point may be commenced, provided the approach threshold of that runway, or approach lights or other markings identifiable with the approach end of that runway, are clearly visible to the pilot. Pilots not equipped to receive the VDP should fly the approach procedure as though no VDP had been provided.

5. What is a “VDA”? (AIM 5-4-5)

On non precision approaches, Vertical Descent Angle (VDA) describes a computed path from the final approach fix (FAF) and altitude to the runway threshold at the published Threshold Crossing Height (TCH). The optimum descent angle is 3.00 degrees and, whenever possible, the approach will be designed to accommodate this angle. It provides the means for the pilot to establish a stabilized approach descent from the FAF or step down fix to the TCH. Pilots can use the published angle and estimated / actual ground speed to find a target rate of descent from a table published in the back of the TPP. The FAA will eventually publish VDAs on all non-precision approaches.

6. Will standard instrument approach procedures always have a Final Approach Fix (FAF)? (FAA-H-8083-15)

No. When the FAF is not indicated in the profile view, the MAP is based on station passage when the facility is on the airport or a specified distance (e.g., VOR / DME or GPS procedures).

7. If no FAF is published, where does the final approach segment begin on a non precision approach? (Order 8260.3B TERPs)

The final approach segment begins where the procedure turn intersects the final approach course inbound.

8. Certain conditions are required for an instrument approach procedure to have “straight-in” minimums published. What are they? (AIM 5-4-20)

Straight-in-minimums are shown on the IAP when the final approach course is within 30 degrees of the runway alignment (15 degrees for GPS IAPs) and a normal descent can be made from the IFR altitude shown on the IAP to the runway surface.

9. What is a step down fix? (P / CG)

A step down fix permits additional descent within a segment of an instrument approach procedure by identifying a point at which a controlling obstacle has been safely over flown.

10. What does a VASI system provide? (AIM 2-1-2)

A VASI system provides visual descent guidance during an approach to a runway; safe obstruction clearance within + / – 10° of extended runway centerline up to 4 NM from the runway threshold. Two-bar VASI installation normally provide at a 3° visual glide path.

11. What are the major differences between SDF and LDA approaches? (FAA-H-8083-15)

In an SDF approach procedure, the SDF course may or may not be aligned with the run way; usable off-course indications are limited to 35°either side of course centerline. The SDF signal emitted is to 35°either side of course centerline. The SDF signal emitted is fixed at either 6° or 12°.
In the LDF approach procedure the LDA course is of comparable utility and accuracy to a standard localizer. An LDA course is usually not aligned with the runway; however, straight-in-minimums may be published where the angle between the centerline and course does not exceed 30°. If the angle exceeds 30°, only circling minimums are published.

12. What criteria determines whether or not you may attempt an approach? (14 CFR §91.175)

No regulation states that you cannot attempt an approach, if operating under Part 91 regulations. But if you reach MDA or DH and decide to descend to land, flight visibility must be at least equal to that published.

13. What regulations require use of specified procedures by all pilots approaching for landing under IFR? (14 CFR Part 97)

Specified procedures are required by 14 CFR Part 97.

D. RNAV (GPS) Approaches

1. What are several types of GPS approach procedures in use? (FAA-H-8261-1)

a. GPS overlay or pre-existing non precision approaches.
b. VOR / DME based RNAV approaches.
c. Stand-alone RNAV (GPS) approaches.
d. RNAV (GPS) approaches with vertical guidance (APV).
e. RNAV (GPS) precision approaches (WAAS and LAAS).

2. What is GPS overlay program? (AIM 1-1-19)

The GPS Approach Overlay Program is an authorization for pilots to use GPS avionics under IFR for flying designated non precision instrument approach procedures, except LOC, LDA, and SDF procedures. These procedures are now identified by the name of the procedure and “or GPS” (e.g., VOR / DME or GPS RWY 15). Only approaches contained in the current onboard navigation database are authorized.

3. What is a GPS stand-alone approach? (AC 90-94)

A GPS stand-alone approach consists of a sequence of waypoints defining the point-to-point track to be flown coded into the database, including the initial approach, intermediate, final approach, missed approach, missed approach turning, and missed approach holding waypoints. All waypoints, except a missed approach waypoint at the runway threshold, will be named with a five-letter alpha character name. Missed approach waypoints at the threshold will be assigned a database identifier. The sequence of waypoints appearing in the display should be identical to the waypoint sequence appearing on an associated approach chart.
4. What is a TAA with regard to GPS approaches? (AIM 5-4-5)

Terminal Arrival Area is controlled airspace established in conjunction with the standard or modified RNAV approach configurations. It provides a seamless transition from the en route structure to the terminal environment for arriving aircraft equipped with FMS and/or GPS navigational equipment. The TAA provides an NoPT for aircraft using the approach and has three standard areas: straight-in, left base, and right base. The arc boundaries of the three areas are published portions of the approach and allow aircraft to transition from the en route structure direct to the nearest IAF.

5. When flying a GPS approach, is it necessary to monitor ground-based NAVAIDs as a backup to the GPS equipment? (AIM 1-1-19)

Many of the original overlay approaches have been replaced with stand-alone procedures specifically designed for use by GPS systems. The title of the remaining GPS overlay procedures has been revised on the approach chart to “or GPS” (e.g., VOR or GPS RWY 24). Therefore, all the approaches that can be used by GPS now contain “GPS” in the title (e.g., “VOR or GPS RWY 24”, “GPS RWY 24”, or “RNAV (GPS) RWY 24”). During these GPS approaches, underlying ground-based NAVAIDs are not required to be operational and associated aircraft avionics need not be installed, operational, turned on or monitored (monitoring of the underlying approach is suggested when equipment is available and functional). Existing overlay approaches may be requested using the GPS title, such as “GPS RWY 24” for the VOR or GPS RWY 24.

6. When can GPS be used in lieu of ADF or DME? (AIM 1-1-19)

a. Determining the aircraft position over a DME fix. GPS satisfies the 14 CFR §91.205 requirement for DME at and above 24,000 feet MSL (FL 240).
b. Flying a DME arc.
c. Navigating to/from a NDB/compass locator.
d. Determining aircraft position over an NDB/compass locator.
e. Determining the aircraft position over a fix defined by a NDB/compass locator bearing crossing a VOR/LOC course.
f. Holding over a NDB/compass locator.

7. What restrictions apply to the use of GPS as a substitute for ADF and/or DME? (AIM 1-1-19)

Waypoints, fixes, intersections, and facility locations to be used for these operations must be retrieved from the GPS airborne database. The database must be current. If the required positions cannot be retrieved from the airborne database, the substitution of GPS for ADF and/or DME is not authorized.

8. If flying a VOR/DME approach without operative DME onboard, could you use GPS into in lieu of DME info? (AIM 1-1-19)

When using a facility as the active way point, the only acceptable facility is the DME facility which is charted as the one used to establish the DME fix. If this facility is not in your airborne database, you are not authorized to sue a facility way point for this operation.

9. What restrictions apply concerning filling an airport as an alternate when using GPS? (AIM 1-1-19)

Any required alternate airport must have an approved instrument approach procedure other than GPS that is anticipated to be operational and available at the estimated time of arrival, and which the pilot must rely require DME or SDF, the aircraft must be equipped with DME or ADF avionics as appropriate.

10. What is “WAAS”?(P / CG)

Wide-area augmentation system (WAAS) is a satellite navigation system consisting of the equipment and software which augments the GPS Standard Positioning Services (SPS). The WAAS provides enhanced integrity, accuracy, availability, and continuity over and above GPS SPS. The differential correction function provides improved accuracy required for precision approach. Aircraft equipped with an approved WAAS receiver can use GPS as the primary navigation system from takeoff through a Category 1 precision approach.

11. What does “APV” mean? (AIM 1-1-20)

Approach with Vertical Guidance is a new class of approach procedures that provides vertical guidance, but does not meet the ICAO Annex 10 requirements for precision approaches. These new procedures are defined in ICAO Annex 6, and include approaches such as the LNAV / VNAV procedures presently being flown with barometric vertical navigation (Baro-VNAV). These approaches provide vertical guidance, but do not meet the more stringent standards of a precision approach. Properly certified WAAS receivers will be able to fly these LNAV / VNAV procedures using a WAAS electronic glide path, which eliminates the errors that can be introduced by suing barometric altimetry.

12. What does “LPV” mean? (AIM 1-1-20)

Localizer Performance with Vertical Guidance is a new type of APV approach procedure, in addition to LNAV / VNAV, which takes advantage of the lateral precision provided by WAAS. This angular lateral precision, combined with an electronic glide path allows the use of TERPs approach criteria very similar to that used for present precision approaches, with adjustments for the larger vertical containment limit. The resulting approach procedure minima may have decision altitudes as low as 250 feet height above touchdown with visibility minimums as low as ½ mile, when the terrain and airport infrastructure support the lowest minima. LPV minima are published on the RNAV (GPS) approach charts.

E. Circling Approaches

1. What are circle-land approaches? (P/CG)

A circle-to-land approach is not technically an approach, but a maneuver initiated by a pilot to align the aircraft with the runway for landing when a straight-in landing from an instrument approach is not possible or desirable. At tower-controlled airports, this maneuver is made only after ATC authorization has been obtained and the pilot has established required visual reference to the airport.

2. Why do certain airports have only circling minimums published? (AIM 5-4-20)

When either the normal rate of descent or the runway alignment factor of 30 degrees (15 degrees for GPS IAPs) is exceeded, a straight-in minimum is not published and a circling minimum applies.

3. Can a pilot make a straight-in landing if using an approach procedure having only circling minimums? (AIM 5-4-20)

Yes; the fact that a straight-in minimum is not published does not preclude pilots from landing straight-in, if they have the active runway in sight and have sufficient time to make a normal approach to landing. Under such conditions and when ATC has cleared them for landing on that runway, pilots are not expected to circle, even though only circling minimums are published.

4. If cleared for a “straight-in VOR-DME 34 approach”, can a pilot circle to land, if needed? (P/CG)

Yes. A “straight-in approach” is an instrument approach wherein final approach is begun without first having executed a procedure turn. Such an approach is not necessarily completed with a straight-in landing or made to straight-in minimums.

5. When can you begin your descent to the runway during a circling approach? (14 CFR §91.175)

Three conditions are required before descent from the MDA can occur:
a. The aircraft is continuously in a position from which a descent to a landing on the intended runway can be made at a normal rate of descent using normal maneuvers.
b. The flight visibility is not less than the visibility prescribed in the standard instrument approach being used.
c. At least one of the specific runway visual references for the intended runway is distinctly visible and identifiable to the pilot.

6. While circling to land you lose visual contact with the runway environment. At the time visual contact is lost, your approximate position is a base leg at the circling MDA. What procedure should be followed? (AIM 5-4-21)

If visual reference is lost while circling to land from an instrument approach, the pilot should make an initial climbing turn toward the landing runway and continue the turn until established on the missed approach course. Since he circling maneuver may be accomplished in more than one direction, different patterns will be required to become established on the prescribed missed approach course, depending on the aircraft position at the time visual reference is lost. Adherence to the procedure will ensure that an aircraft will remain within the circling and missed approach obstacle clearance areas.

7. What obstacle clearance are you guaranteed during a circling approach maneuver? (FAA-H-8083-15)

In all circling approaches, the circling minimum provides 300 feet of obstacle clearance within the circling approach area. The size of this area depends on the category in which the aircraft operates.

Category A 1.3 – mile radius
Category B 1.5 – mile radius
Category C 1.7 – mile radius
Category D 2.3 – mile radius
Category E 4.5 – mile radius

8. How can a pilot determine the approach category minimums applicable to a particular aircraft? (AIM 5-4-7)

Minimums are specified for various aircraft approach categories based on a speed of VREF, if specified, or if VREF is not specified, 1.3 VSO at the maximum certificated gross landing weight.

9. What are the different aircraft approach categories? (AIM 5-4-7)

Category A Speed less than 91knots
Category B Speed 91 knots or more but less than 121 knots
Category C Speed 121 knots or more but less than 141 knots
Category D Speed 141 knots or more but less than 166 knots
Category E Speed 166 knots or more

10. An aircraft operating under 14 CFR Part 91 has a 1.3 time VSO speed of 100 KIAS, making Category B minimums applicable. If it becomes necessary to circle at a speed in excess of this category, what minimums should be used? (AIM 5-4-7)

An aircraft can only fit into one approach category. If it is necessary to maneuver at speeds in excess of the upper limit of the speed range for each category, the minimum for the next higher approach category should be used.

F. Missed Approaches

1. When must a pilot execute a missed approach? (AIM 5-5-5)

A missed approach must be executed when one of the following conditions occurs:
a. Arrival at the missed approach point and the runway environment is not yet in sight;
b. Arrival at DH on the glide slope with the runway environment not yet in sight;
c. Anytime a pilot determines a safe landing is not possible;
d. When circling-to-land visual contact is lost; or
e. When instructed by ATC.

2. On a non precision approach procedure, how is the Missed Approach Point (MAP) determined? (FAA-H-8083-15)

In non precision procedures, the pilot determines the MAP by timing from FAF when the approach aid is well away from the airport, by a fix or NAVAID when the navigation facility is located on the field, or by waypoints as defined by GPS or VOR /DME RNAV.

3. If no final approach fix is depicted, how is the MAP determined? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The MAP is at the airport (NAVAID on airport).

4. Where is the MAP on a precision approach? (FAA-H-8083-15)

On a precision approach, the MAP is at the DH on glide slope.

5. Under what conditions are missed approach procedures published on an approach chart not followed? (FAA-H-8083-15)

They are not followed when ATC has assigned alternate missed approach instructions.

6. If, during the execution of an instrument approach procedure, you determine a missed approach is necessary due to full-scale needle deflection, what action is recommended? (AIM 5-4-21)

Protected obstacle clearance areas for missed approach are predicated on the assumption that the missed approach is initiated at the decision height (DH) or at the missed approach point, and not lower than minimum descent altitude (MDA). Reasonable buffers are provided for normal maneuvers. However, no consideration is given to an abnormally early turn. Therefore when an early missed approach is executed, pilots should (unless otherwise cleared by ATC) fly the IAP as specified on the approach plate to the missed approach point or above the MDA or DH, before executing a turning maneuver.

7. What is a low approach? (AIM 4-3-12)

A low approach (sometimes referred to as a low pass) is the go-around maneuver following an approach. Instead of landing or making a touch and go, a pilot may wish to go-around (low approach) in order to expedite a particular operation (a series of practice instrument approaches is an example). Unless otherwise authorized by ATC, the low approach should be made straight ahead, with no turns or climb made until the pilot has made a thorough visual check for other aircraft in the area.

8. What does the phrase “Cleared for the Option” mean? (AIM 4-3-22)

The “Cleared for the Option” procedure will permit an instructor, flight examiner or pilot to make a touch-and-go, low approach, missed approach, stop-and-go, or full stop landing. The pilot should make a request for this procedure passing the final approach fix inbound on an instrument approach.

G. Landing Procedures

1. Is it legal to land a civil aircraft if the actual visibility is below the minimums published on the approach chart? (14 CFR §91.175)

No, 14 CFR Part 91 states that no pilot operating an aircraft, except a military aircraft of the U.S., may land that aircraft when the flight visibility is less than the visibility prescribed in the standard instrument approach procedure being used.

2. When landing at an airport with an operating control tower following an IFR flight, must the pilot call FSS to close the flight plan? (AIM 5-1-4)

No, if operating on an IFR flight plan to an airport with a functioning control tower, the flight plan will automatically be closed upon landing
3. You are operating on an IFR flight plan into an airport without an operating control tower, and have forgotten to close the flight plan? (AIM 5-1-14)

This airspace surrounding that airport cannot be released for use by other IFR aircraft until the status of your flight has been determined.

4. Is the reported ceiling a requirement for landing? (FAA-H-8083-15)

No. An aircraft may still be in and out of clouds when at DH or MDA, but have the runway environment in sight. Provided the visibility requirement is met, a descent for landing is authorized.

H. Logging Flight Time

1. What conditions are necessary for a pilot to log instrument time? (14 CFR §61.51)

A pilot may log as instrument flight time only that time during which he / she operates the aircraft solely by reference to instruments, under actual or simulated flight conditions.

2. When logging instrument time, what should be included in each entry? (14 CFR §61.51)

Each entry must include the place and type of each instrument approach completed, and the name of the safety pilot (if applicable).

3. What conditions must exist in order to log “actual” instrument flight time?

The FAA has never defined the term “actual” instrument time. 14 CFR Part 91 defines “instrument flight time” as that flight time when a person operates an aircraft solely by reference to instruments under actual or simulated instrument flight conditions. A reasonable guideline for determining when to log “actual instrument time” would be any flight time that is accumulated in IMC conditions with flight being conducted solely by reference to instruments. The definition of IMC is weather conditions below the VFR minimums specified for visual meteorological conditions. VFR minimums are found in 14 CFR §91.155.

4. What is the definition of “flight time”? (14 CFR Part 1)

Flight time means pilot time that commences when an aircraft moves under its own power for the purpose of flight and ends when the aircraft come s to rest after landing.

I. Instrument Approach
Procedure Charts: General
All questions in this section reference government NOAA charts.

1. If a particular approach name has a letter “A” attached as a suffix (such as VOR DME A), what does this indicate? (FAA-H-8083-15)

A letter after the approach name indicates that the approach does not meet straight-in criteria and only circling minimums are available.

2. Do all standard instrument approach procedures have final approach fixes? (FAA-H-8083-15)

No, some non precision approaches may not have a final approach fix. These particular approaches usually have the NAVAID upon which the approach is based located on the airport.

3. With no FAF available, when would final descent to the published MDA be started? (FAA-H-8083-15)

When flying the full procedure, this is usually started upon completion of the procedure turn and when established on the final approach course inbound. When being radar-vectored to the final approach course, descent shall be accomplished when within the specified distance from the NAVAID and established on the inbound course.

4. What significant does a black triangle with a white “A” appearing in the Notes section of an approach chart, have to a pilot? (FAA-H-8083-15, TERPs)

It indicates that non standard IFR alternate minimums exist for the airport. If an “NA” appears after the “A”, alternate minimums are not authorized. This information is found in the beginning of the TPP. Approved terminal weather observation and reporting facilities, or a general area weather report, must be available before an airport may serve as an alternate.

5. What is the significance of the term “radar required” found on some approach charts? (P / CG)

A term displayed on charts and approach plates and included in FDC NOTAMs to alert pilots that segments of either an instrument approach procedure or a route are not navigable because of either the absence or unusability of a NAVAID. The pilot can expect to be

The following questions are in reference to the ILS 16L approach chart for Fort Worth, Texas, depicted on page 4-26 (NACO effective date September 6, 2001).
J. Instrument Approach
Procedure Charts : Plan View

1. What are the MSAs for this approach? (FAA-H-8083-15)

2,200 feet 180° through 270°
3,400 feet 270° through 360°
2,800 feet 360° through 180°

2. On which facility is the MSA centered, and what does it provide? (AIM 5-4-5)

The MSA is centered on the MUFIN LOM; the altitude shown provides at least 1,000 feet of clearance above the highest obstacle within the defined sector up to a distance of 25 NM from the facility. Navigational course guidance is not assured at the MSA.

3. What is the IAF for this procedure? (FAA-H-8083-15)


4. What significance does the bold arrow extended from Bowie VOR have? (FAA-H-8083-15)

It represents a feeder route or flyable route utilized when transitioning from the en route structure to the initial approach fix.

5. When intercepting the localizer from procedure turn inbound, what will be the relative bearing on the AFD indicator as the localizer needle begins to center? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Assuming a 45° intercept angle, the relative bearing will be 315°.

6. What are the frequencies for the locator outer marker and middle marker beacons? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The locator frequency is 365kHz. All marker beacons transmit on a frequency of 75MHz.

7. What significance does the ring labeled “10NM” and centered on the MUFIN LOM have? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The ring, normally a 10NM radius, provides the boundary to scale of the procedure that is charted.

8. Where does the final approach segment begin for the ILS 16L approach? (FAA-H-8083-15)

On all precision approaches, the final approach segment begins when the glide slope is intercepted at glide slope altitude. For non-precision approaches such as the straight-in LOC 16L approach, the final approach segment begins at the Maltese cross which is the MUFIN LOM.

K. Instrument Approach
Procedure Charts : Profile

1. Within what distance from the MUFIN LOM must the procedure turn be executed? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The procedure turn must be executed within 10 NM.

2. If a procedure turn is required, what would be the minimum altitude while flying this segment? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The minimum altitude for the initial approach segment and while executing the procedure turn is 2,300 feet MSL.

3. To what altitude may a pilot descend after the procedure turn? (FAA-H-8083-15)

When established inbound after the procedure turn, the pilot may descend to 2,000 MSL.

4. What does the number “1991” located at the outer marker indicate? (FAA-H-8083-15)

1991 indicates the altitude of the glide slope at the outer marker.

5. What is the glide slope angle for this approach? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The glide slope angle is 3°.

6. What is the altitude at which the electronic glide slope crosses the threshold of runway 16L? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Threshold crossing height (TCH)) is 57 feet.

7. If the glide slope became inoperative, could you continue this approach if established on the localizer at the time of the malfunction? Why? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Yes, provided ATC is notified and approves a localizer-only approach. Since the procedure indicates a localizer-only minimum, a localizer-only approach can be authorized. The minimum is now an MDA and the approach is not a non precision procedure with MAP being a time or DME point.

8. If you discovered your marker beacon receiver was inoperative, what are the authorized substitutes for the MUFIN outer marker? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Substitutes for the outer marker are:
a. The compass locator (365kHz)
b. 5.3 DME I-FTW
c. Maverick VORTAC (TTT) radial 269

9. What DME distance is indicated in the profile view for the MUFIN LOM and the runway threshold? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The MUFIN LOM is 5.3NM, and the runway threshold is 1.5 NM from the localizer antenna site.

10. Where is the MAP for the precision and non precision approach in this procedure? (FAA-H-8083-15)

a. For the precision approach procedure, the MAP is upon reaching the DH of 910 feet MSL on the glide slope.
b. For the non precision procedure, the MAP is :
• 1.5 DME from IFTW; or
• Time from MUFIN

L. Instrument Approach
Procedure Charts: Minimums

1. What is the minimum visibility for a Category A full ILS 16L approach? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Minimum visibility is ½ mile or RVR of 2,400 feet.

2. If the approach light system became inoperative, how would you determine the minimum visibility for a Category A full ILS 16L approach? (FAA-H-8083-15)

To determine landing minimums when components or aids of the system are inoperative or are not utilized, inoperative components or visual aids tables are published and normally appear in the front section of NOAA approach chart books.

3. Convert the following RVR values to meteorological visibility. (14 CFR §91.175)

RVR (test) Statute miles
1,600 1 / 4
2,400 1 / 2
3,200 5 / 8
4,000 3 / 4
4,500 7 /8
5,000 1
6,000 1 – 1 / 4

4. Are takeoff minimums standard or nonstandard for Ft. Worth Meacham Field? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Nonstandard; takeoff minimums are not standard and / or departure procedures are published as indicated by the triangle with a “T” printed in the notes area. The appropriate section in the front of the Terminal Procedures publication should be consulted.

5. For what the localizer approach 16L, what are the minimums for a Category A airplane if a circling maneuver is desired? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The circling MDA is 1,260 MSL; the visibility requirement increases to 1 mile for the circling maneuver.

6. What significance do the numbers in parentheses (200 – 1 /2 ) have? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Any minimums found in parentheses are not applicable to civil pilots. These minimums are directed at military pilots who should refer to appropriate regulations.

7. When established at the MDA on the final approach course inbound for the straight-in LOC 16L approach, is the MDA expressed as Height Above Touchdown (HAT) or Height Above Airport (HAA)? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The MDA of 530 feet for a straight-in landing always represents height above touchdown (HAT) since the approach is for a specific runway. MDAs for circling approaches will always represent height above airport (HAA) since a specific runway will not be used for landing.

8. What is the difference between decision altitude and decision height? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Precision approaches use decision altitude (DA), charted in “feet MSL”, followed by the decision height (DH) which is referenced to the height above threshold elevation (HAT).

9. What do the terms LNAV and VNAV mean when indicated in the minimums section? (AIM 5-4-5)

These terms are found on RNAV (GPS) type approaches and indicate an instrument approach with lateral and / or vertical guidance. LNAV-only approaches will depict minimum altitude as MDA and LNAV / VNAV minimums will be depicted as decision altitude (DA).

10. If the current weather reports indicate ceilings 100 overcast and visibility 1 / 2 mile, can a pilot legally make an approach to ILS 16L, and can he land? (FAA-H-8083-15)

Under 14 CFR Part 91, the approach may be attempted regardless of the ceiling and visibility. At the DH the pilot must have the runway environment in sight and have the prescribed flight visibility to land. If these conditions are met, the approach may be continued to a landing.

M. Instrument Approach
Procedure Charts: Aerodrome

1. What types of lighting are available for runway 16L? (FAA-H-8083-15)

HIRL – High-intensity runway lighting
MALSR – Medium-intensity approach lighting system with sequenced flashing lights; denoted by the circled A5 on the approach to runway 16L.

2. What is the touchdown zone elevation for runway 16L? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The TDZE is 710 MSL.

3. What is the bearing and distance of the MAP from the FAF? (FAA-H-8083-15)

The MAP is 164°, 3.8 NM from FAF for the localizer approach, and approximately the same distance for the full ILS approach.