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IFR approaches


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Loving the Gazelle!

 

I searched Youtube, the manual and here, so sorry if I have missed it.

 

Am I right in thinking we cannot do IFR approaches with the models of Gazelle available to us at this time? I realise I can use ADF or waypoints for example to locate an airbase, but I was hoping to do non-visual approaches.

 

No worries if not, it's still fantastic, I just didn't want to be not using something because I had skipped an addendum somewhere.

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IFR flying belongs to the basic training of nearly every military helicopter pilot. All you need is an IFR rated chopper. The Gazelle isn‘t. Although you can it for some basic IFR flying only with the help of your ADF and if you want to, you can use the NADIR to simulate an VOR Station. If you find one of the older NDB Approaches you can do even those.

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In France you cannot do an OAT/IFR (CAM I - Circulation Aérienne Militaire aux Instruments) Flight with the ALAT Gazelle, but it doesn't mean you can't go in IMC with it. In fact in CAM T (Circulation Aérienne Militaire Tactique - equivalent to US Tactical OAT) you can fly with 500m of RVR, while being in IMC yourself without an IFR-certified aircrafts. In fact, until the Rafale arrived, there weren't that many aircrafts in France that were strictly IFR-certified (and not every Rafale are IFR-certified). Mirage 2000 (except N) & Mirage F1 weren't for example, it doesn't mean they couldn't do IMC, they just couldn't fly IFR (GAT-IFR or OAT-IFR : they weren't certified anyway) so they flew Tacticool OAT in IMC instead.

 

(Edit : And just to add that there aren't many civilian IFR-certified fighter pilots either. Only Navy guys often have them ... and even then ...)

 

Back to the Gazelle, if this happens, you won't use the ADF, which by itself isn't enough to get on the ground properly in these conditions, you'll just end being ground-controlled to the airport/FARP/LZ by a Spartiate or PAR-NG station. That'll be under what we call "HOTEL" procedures, meaning that you'd do an instrument approach with minimas over the current meteorological conditions, as improvised ground-controlled approaches are often certified for 1500m RVR, almost useless for instrument helicopter operations (Special VFR ends at 800m vis ...) except if cloud base is lower than VMC.

 

So while the Gazelle isn't IFR-certified (but can fly IMC under OAT Tactical), their pilots are military-IFR certified (military-IFR because having the civilian CPL/IR isn't mandatory for french army pilots, especially Gazelles ones, though many modern recruits do validate their civilian licences otherwise they don't get their wanted assignment (NH90 or Tiger for example)).

 

Now, don't forget that it's very rare to see those procedures in place, because special VFR ends at 800m visibility for helicopters, and many of the pilots will prefer to do a voluntary interruption of flight (IVV - Interruption Volontaire de Vol) rather than flying an approach outside procedures, if they can (which during operations might not be possible for many reasons). Some Gazelle did land with Ground-Controlled Approach in Ivory Coast during Opération Licorne, hell, 3 Pumas even landed with 1m50 of their main blades missing. Everything's possible under operations constraints.

 

But believe me, you don't want to end up on a GCA approach under 500m visibility with improvised Spartiate Station and LZ, with the precision of that thing, you'll just land hundreds of meters away not at the right place, and obstacles will arrive in your face faster than you think as mandatory speed for instrument approaches is 70kts and you want to keep that speed to have the most accurate approach possible.


Edited by Absha
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Very interesting real insight Absha, thanks.

Also didn't about that IFR qualification for Mirage and others. As they have ILS and Tacan onboard, I was thinking it was fully qualified for IFR approaches.

 

Dark fury, you can still pick some IFR chart for NDB non precision approach ( at Kutaisi from example, you can find jepessen IFR chart on the web)and try it with Gazelle ADF.

Quite intense approach :)

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Thanks all for taking the time.

 

While the Gazelle is quite 'twitchy', with the various autopilot options on, there is no way it is the least stable of the DCS helicopters. You can adjust flight and it will return to straight and level flight at a course, speed and altitude you have selected...

 

I believe there are IFR certified Gazelles. Just maybe not the ones modelled in the Sim.

 

It's the landing that was worrying me without ILS, I guess I just need to raise the cloud base a bit.

 

Very cool info Absha!

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I believe there are IFR certified Gazelles. Just maybe not the ones modelled in the Sim.

 

It's the landing that was worrying me without ILS, I guess I just need to raise the cloud base a bit.

 

Or you can team up with someone having LotAtc, and try a GCA. And yes, there are IFR Gazelles, civilian ones, very different panel.

 

RMmipvA.jpg

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Thanks again Absha. I didn't realise it would be so different. I was picturing it as one more option on the ADF/DOP dial and somewhere to enter the ILS frequency, not a whole different cockpit :)

 

And I will check out that LotATC, thanks for pointing it out.

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No ILS receiver, but as others said, you can approximate a GPS overlay by programming waypoints into the NADIR. This will allow you to essentially fly any NDB, VOR, VOR+DME, or LNAV approach correctly, even if the data source is a bit wonky.

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As stated by Absha, you can use LOTATC and a human controller to "talk you down". We even have a procedure for it, Precision Approach Radar control and it's a lot of fun to do!

[sIGPIC][/sIGPIC]

 

Commodore 64 | MOS6510 | VIC-II | SID6581 | DD 1541 | KCS Power Cartridge | 64Kb | 32Kb external | Arcade Turbo

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