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Proper landing procedure


Elwin
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I've read/watched a lot of material about landing, but most of it focuses on a particular part of the landing, be it navigation instruments or actual landing execution. What I didn't find is some insight about the real-world procedure (that should apply for A10). I will describe how I'm going through these bits, feel free to complement my steps or provide alternatives, please.

 

1) Once I decide to land, I turn toward the airport and I understand there are several ways how to do this. What I usually do is to cycle to waypoint 0 (Init) in my flight plan - probably the most lazy way to find the airport. Alternatively, I select the appropriate airport from the Divert page which also changes the steerpoint to navigate me to the airport.

Now, what if the airport I want to fly to is too far and doesn't appear on the Divert page? Is this when I should use TACAN? How am I supposed to find TACAN code if I don't find the airport in Divert page? Should I carry all airport charts with me in aircraft? (just for the record, I do) Which of these methods is the best one in terms of what a real pilot would do?

 

2) Now, I'm flying toward the airport and I decide to contact the ATC. When should I do this (distance-wise)? ATC gives me bearing/range, runway number, QFE, wind.

 

- The bearing/range defines a point, which I presume is the final approach fix? (ie point from where I should begin final approach?)

Subquestion: how to make the best use of this information? I usually create a markpoint just when the ATC starts talking after 'Inbound', write all information down and then use the Offset page + created markpoint + bearing/range to calculate a waypoint. Then I fly through this waypoint lined with the runway heading, but more often than not this is far from precise. Is this even the correct way to do this?

 

- I noticed that the runway numbers are not accurate headings, sometimes the true heading is a few degrees off. That's what the airport charts are for, right?

- How much is 'pattern altitude'? Is it the same for all airports? Should I use the altitude modified by given QFE?

 

3) Let's say I have set the correct runway heading in HSI and flying the course the ATC gave me, disregarding the range component. If ILS is enabled, will it guide me toward the correct approach course when I get close enough? Is this even proper from the point of correctness of the procedure?

 

- what if ILS is not available? I was flying Dragon's JTAC Training mission the other day, taking off and landing at Senaki. Although this airport has ILS, ATC is always directing me for an approach from the other side (without ILS). Is this due to wind direction? Other reasons?

 

- how would I find the correct approach in low visibility conditions? I've read about using TACAN, flying the bearing given by ATC until TACAN pointer aligns with HSI course arrow, then turn toward the runway, but just how precise would that be in zero visibility?

 

4) When approaching the airport, I get the 'Cleared for visual, contact the tower' message. Is this part broken? Because I never seem to get any reply, but sometimes when I'm about to land, they suddenly tell me on their own that I'm allowed to land and to check the landing gear.

 

That's all I can think of right now. Any comments or help are much appreciated ;)

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I can help with some questions:

 

2) DCS ATC isn't particularly good, however it's something they're working on. They should vector you to the final approach fix as you say. Just follow the heading given until you're visual or you intercept the inbound course (TACAN or ILS). Don't worry about mark points etc.

 

Runway headings are magnetic.

 

Entering QFE will give you height above airfield elevation, so it'll be the same height for every airfield. This is 1,000ft in civvy world, I think it'll be the same for the A-10C.

 

3) As above, ATC should vector you to the FAF, at which point you can intercept the inbound course.

 

Runway selection will primarily be due to wind. Don't worry about a lack of ILS, if it's visual conditions, land visually.

 

ILS is a precision approach; normally allow you to descend to 200ft above airfield elevation before you have to break off the approach, so quite close. TACAN is non-precision; missed approach height will be considerably higher.

 

4) Again, ATC needs lots of work. Don't worry about it too much.

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I've read/watched a lot of material about landing, but most of it focuses on a particular part of the landing, be it navigation instruments or actual landing execution. What I didn't find is some insight about the real-world procedure (that should apply for A10). I will describe how I'm going through these bits, feel free to complement my steps or provide alternatives, please.

 

1) Once I decide to land, I turn toward the airport and I understand there are several ways how to do this. What I usually do is to cycle to waypoint 0 (Init) in my flight plan - probably the most lazy way to find the airport. Alternatively, I select the appropriate airport from the Divert page which also changes the steerpoint to navigate me to the airport.

Now, what if the airport I want to fly to is too far and doesn't appear on the Divert page? Is this when I should use TACAN? How am I supposed to find TACAN code if I don't find the airport in Divert page? Should I carry all airport charts with me in aircraft? (just for the record, I do) Which of these methods is the best one in terms of what a real pilot would do?

 

You deal with all of this before take-off. That means setting up waypoints, writing down the TACAN of the desired airfields, etc. The Divert page is for diverting - so it shows you the nearest airfields.

 

2) Now, I'm flying toward the airport and I decide to contact the ATC. When should I do this (distance-wise)? ATC gives me bearing/range, runway number, QFE, wind.

 

- The bearing/range defines a point, which I presume is the final approach fix? (ie point from where I should begin final approach?)

Subquestion: how to make the best use of this information? I usually create a markpoint just when the ATC starts talking after 'Inbound', write all information down and then use the Offset page + created markpoint + bearing/range to calculate a waypoint. Then I fly through this waypoint lined with the runway heading, but more often than not this is far from precise. Is this even the correct way to do this?

No, none of this is correct. Right now, you don't even need to bother contacting ATC - flying an approach pattern should be part of your flight plan before you even take-off.

 

ATC will be improved and you'll want to talk to them, but as a military jet all you really need is clearance (which also lets them know you're coming, so they can tell you if you need to queue up if there are many planes), they don't fly your plane for you.

 

For approach, right now what you can do and should do is set up your HSI course to match runway heading after selecting the airport waypoint (be it WP0, or from divert, or whatever else may represent the airport, including a markpoint of your own).

 

- I noticed that the runway numbers are not accurate headings, sometimes the true heading is a few degrees off. That's what the airport charts are for, right?

- How much is 'pattern altitude'? Is it the same for all airports? Should I use the altitude modified by given QFE?

Right, in fact, nature is such that every so often the runway numbers have to be changed (repainted with a different number).

 

3) Let's say I have set the correct runway heading in HSI and flying the course the ATC gave me, disregarding the range component. If ILS is enabled, will it guide me toward the correct approach course when I get close enough? Is this even proper from the point of correctness of the procedure?
No, you have to fly to intercept the ILS. You have to do things right before you ever get to the ILS. The ILS is there to help you land when you can't see anything, but that doesn't mean you don't have to do the rest.

 

Use the course + airport WP and remember you need 300' per mile from the runway threshold, and it is strongly preferred to intercept the glide slope from below. That doesn't mean push as low as you can, it means you plan things.

 

So on your turn to ILS (or ANY straight-in landing turn into the runway), say you decide to turn-in at 5nm, you need to be at 1500' at 5nm. 3000' at 10 nm, and so on. It's that simple, you just need to make it happen.

 

- what if ILS is not available? I was flying Dragon's JTAC Training mission the other day, taking off and landing at Senaki. Although this airport has ILS, ATC is always directing me for an approach from the other side (without ILS). Is this due to wind direction? Other reasons?
Can you see the runway? If you can see it, who cares about ILS? And yes, it's due to wind. If you don't need to do a straight-in (you need to if you are heavy, damaged, out of fuel, low visibility), do an overhead approach, it's much faster as it doesn't require you to do lengthy procedures and you can line up on the runway just about any time ( ... just mind your wingmen and other flights - overhead procedures with respect to speeds, altitudes and approach directions need to be followed to avoid collisions, but I find the overhead to be more flexible), all you have to do is to hit the numbers.

 

- how would I find the correct approach in low visibility conditions? I've read about using TACAN, flying the bearing given by ATC until TACAN pointer aligns with HSI course arrow, then turn toward the runway, but just how precise would that be in zero visibility?
You need it to be precise enough to intercept the ILS signals, that's all. So plan your flight to give yourself some room and arrive at your desired approach distance at the correct altitude when you line up with the runway. It's ok if you're a few degrees off, the ILS will help you achieve the desired accuracy once you intercept those signals. Just make sure to give yourself time.

 

4) When approaching the airport, I get the 'Cleared for visual, contact the tower' message. Is this part broken? Because I never seem to get any reply, but sometimes when I'm about to land, they suddenly tell me on their own that I'm allowed to land and to check the landing gear.

 

That's all I can think of right now. Any comments or help are much appreciated ;)

They mean contact approach, because normally you are talking to the ATC tower. Approach towers are not modeled, and probably not needed.
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Take a look at our VAD (Visual Approach and Departure) Charts. These may give you additional possibilities for approach and departure.

 

You'll find them here: http://ariescon.com/

 

look on the left side for GND&VAD Charts

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1) about finding airfields, they are also all stored in the CDU, accessible trough searching or cycling trough available waypoints when the cdu dial is in the mission position.

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In real world ATC operations there are three main ways I think that you're brought into an airfield:

 

1. ATC follows you through approach on a predetermined flight plan/wayopints giving/clearing altitude constraints and possible course deviations/holds and then gives you vectors to intercept an ILS localizer and glideslope or final fix for landing.

 

2. ATC follows you through approach on a predetermined flight plan/waypoints just like above, but without any vectors and the flight plan/waypoints spit you out onto final where you get clearance to land.

 

3. ATC gives you clearance to fly a Visual Approach to the runway.

 

1 and 2 are not relevant if we're considering ATC borked for the time being. #3 is ideal because it gives the most latitude, so ignoring DCS ATC is basically fine in this case anyway.

 

The way visual approaches work in the real world is you're given a vector to the airport, then you're instructed to "report runway in sight" which means the runway you intend/are told to land on. After this usually you're cleared to continue the visual approach onto final. This means the pilot is allowed to fly by his own judgment pretty much unhindered by ATC. Last call is to the tower saying you're on final where you're cleared to actually land.

 

This means you can fly how you feel works, which means you're getting back into the specific execution of landings you mentioned at the top of your first post as being whats most explained already. Intercept the glideslope from below, come in for final. Usually you want to come down to an approach altitude before entering a pattern, something like 3000 feet. Glideslope exists with and without ILS. Visual approaches you still want to take that 3 degree glideslope, and you fly it following a variety of indicators which are again covered in many tutorials (though maybe Angle of Attack is the least well explained factor in most tutorials).

 

Also note that in real life all aircraft below 10 000 feet are required to fly no faster than 250 knots. Usually by the time you're in the terminal zone you're reducing down to 200ish.

 

So you can follow the above advice with a preplanned return approach, or fly it visually once you're within 20nm or less. The only time it gets really complicated is when you have to dance around other planes in the sky, but thats almost never an issue in this game unless you're online with a lot of people or have oodles of AI aircraft landing at the same time. Even so, in the real world visual approaches are very common even at busy airports.


Edited by P*Funk
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Sorry but I have a question be a dumb one and I am sure everyone will have a laugh at my expense go for it LOL what does QFE mean or what is it short for its bugging me and I want to know sorry again for the dumb question.

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Thanks for all the answers. I will need some time to digest all the new info before asking more (pretty busy right now). I was pretty sure the ATC was too simple but it's good to know that the "go for it" approach is valid not only in the simulation.

 

One thing I didn't quite get is how to do the approach without ILS in low visibility. Could you elaborate on that slightly? Also, I'm not familiar with overhead approach but I will investigate it on my own when I have some more time.

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Sorry but I have a question be a dumb one and I am sure everyone will have a laugh at my expense go for it LOL what does QFE mean or what is it short for its bugging me and I want to know sorry again for the dumb question.

 

Explained here:

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=84571

 

Put simply, it is local atmospheric pressure (around airport). If you set your altimeter to QFE value, it will show how high above the airport you are.

I'm sure there are better definitions than this one, just check the linked thread.

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Explained here:

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=84571

 

Put simply, it is local atmospheric pressure (around airport). If you set your altimeter to QFE value, it will show how high above the airport you are.

I'm sure there are better definitions than this one, just check the linked thread.

 

 

Thanks Elwin that helps me understand now you're never to old to learn even if you just learn 1 new thing a day lol.

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One thing I didn't quite get is how to do the approach without ILS in low visibility.

 

You don't do that approach. If your visibility is less than a certain limit (probably less than 2nm, I don't recall what the RL rules are - they probably vary according to aircraft) you have to land with ILS. In that case, you choose the ILS end of the runway.

 

Also, I'm not familiar with overhead approach but I will investigate it on my own when I have some more time.

 

It's in the manual of the A-10C.

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Explained here:

http://forums.eagle.ru/showthread.php?t=84571

 

Put simply, it is local atmospheric pressure (around airport). If you set your altimeter to QFE value, it will show how high above the airport you are.

I'm sure there are better definitions than this one, just check the linked thread.

 

Unfortunately, the A-10 uses Inches of Mercury like all North American aircraft do.

 

In the real world they have this thing called transition altitude. It means passing through this all aircraft set their altimeters to a standard pressure setting so that all aircraft are at the same altitude on their altimeters regardless of the actual pressure at ground level. Makes for cleaner high alt control. In inHG (inches of mercury) its 29.92, while with Hectopascals (QNH, QFE) its 1013.

 

In the US and Canada the transition altitude is always 18000 feet. In Europe and the UK it varies. I'm not sure how it works further East than Germany, but nobody uses inHG except North America.

 

Usually when in controlled airspace, moving down through the transition altitude, or when given instructions to begin a descent that would bring you to a cleared altitude below the transition altitude, you'd be given the local inHG/QNH/QFE and input it at the transition altitude.

 

QFE has advantages and disadvantages. Its great for someone who has no charts. In places where you use QNH you need charts to know the aerodrome elevation because using the local QNH (or inHG) flying to a 0 altitude would mean crashing into the ground most of the time. QFE does mean though that you can fly below 0 feet sometimes if starting at high elevations if you don't change your altimeter after taking off.

 

For the A-10 you need to convert QFE to inHG if you want to be all technically correct about it. Or do you? Does the ATC give you the inHG equivalent to QFE when you talk to it? I don't know because I never use ATC. :megalol:

 

 

EDIT. Also, about ILS approaches. There are many category of ILS approach in real life. CAT I, II, IIIa, IIIb, and IIIc. There's a lot of technical stuff in that, but suffice to say they all basically account for a variety of degrees of precision that can be accommodated by the aircraft in question along with the visibility conditions around the runway. This in poor visibility means usually the distance at which you can see the runway. Very low visibility conditions usually mean you need to have an autoland. CAT IIIc means you have a 0 visibility condition, meaning you're flying blind all the way down to touchdown. There is currently no runway in the world capable of this.

 

Overhead break isn't too complicated, and there are great vids to explain on youtube. Its a nice way to get down quickly without any fuss rather than flying all formally through some long winded pattern.


Edited by P*Funk

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For the A-10 you need to convert QFE to inHG if you want to be all technically correct about it. Or do you? Does the ATC give you the inHG equivalent to QFE when you talk to it? I don't know because I never use ATC. :megalol:

 

Think you've confused yourself a little here. QFE is a pressure setting that if entered into your altimeter will give you a height above a given elevation, usually an airfield or runway threshold. QNH is a pressure setting that will give your altitude above mean sea level.

 

inHg and hectopascals are both units of pressure, both of which are valid for setting QFE or QNH.

 

Interestingly while QFE is commonly used in the UK, when I did my FAA checkout flight in the states the instructor had never even heard of QFE. I assume it's only used by the military in the states?

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I do t think its used at all in the states, it certainly isn't in the A-10 as the A-10 requires QNH to be set on takeoff to calibrate the IFFCC for weapon delivery. (not modelled in DCS)

 

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Actually, CAT IIIc has been around for a while and the airport is not the limiting factor. In a 0/0 environment, the aircraft would have no way to taxi off the runway to the terminal which is why it is not used.

 

A 747 cockpit is about 35 feet off the runway I think and they would have to have a tug come and pull them to the gate. The equipment and airports are capable of it, just no way to move around once you land.

 

John

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Think you've confused yourself a little here. QFE is a pressure setting that if entered into your altimeter will give you a height above a given elevation, usually an airfield or runway threshold. QNH is a pressure setting that will give your altitude above mean sea level.

 

inHg and hectopascals are both units of pressure, both of which are valid for setting QFE or QNH.

 

Interestingly while QFE is commonly used in the UK, when I did my FAA checkout flight in the states the instructor had never even heard of QFE. I assume it's only used by the military in the states?

 

You're right that I confused the distinction between the scale used for measuring the pressure versus the Q code which defines what that pressure setting is supposed to be measured against.

 

Mostly its because in North American aviation you usually hear "Altimeter 29.92" which is the QNH in inHG, while in the UK I think you hear "QNH 1013" which is in hPa.

 

So I guess my amended question would be, is the ATC giving you the QFE in inHG or hPa? Because, I dont use altimeter adjustments from ATC in DCS often if at all, and it doesn't look like the A-10's altimeter operates on hPa but rather inHG, and I know most or all European aircraft use hPa, though I think most commercial aircraft also have a toggle that lets you switch between the two like in a 737 for instance.

 

I do t think its used at all in the states, it certainly isn't in the A-10 as the A-10 requires QNH to be set on takeoff to calibrate the IFFCC for weapon delivery. (not modelled in DCS)

 

I'm almost certain that in the states the pressure alt is always sea level.

 

Actually, CAT IIIc has been around for a while and the airport is not the limiting factor. In a 0/0 environment, the aircraft would have no way to taxi off the runway to the terminal which is why it is not used.

 

A 747 cockpit is about 35 feet off the runway I think and they would have to have a tug come and pull them to the gate. The equipment and airports are capable of it, just no way to move around once you land.

 

John

 

Thats I guess what I meant. Neither aircraft nor airport has any means to guide an aircraft around once its on the ground in zero vis, though how much longer thats going to last who knows. Certainly a heads up display could offer some possibility with taxiways outlined and a separate system to send signals to the airplane that would display the kinds of traffic cautions you already get with taxiway and runway lights at some airports now.


Edited by P*Funk

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You're right that I confused the distinction between the scale used for measuring the pressure versus the Q code which defines what that pressure setting is supposed to be measured against.

 

Mostly its because in North American aviation you usually hear "Altimeter 29.92" which is the QNH in inHG, while in the UK I think you hear "QNH 1013" which is in hPa.

 

So I guess my amended question would be, is the ATC giving you the QFE in inHG or hPa? Because, I dont use altimeter adjustments from ATC in DCS often if at all, and it doesn't look like the A-10's altimeter operates on hPa but rather inHG, and I know most or all European aircraft use hPa, though I think most commercial aircraft also have a toggle that lets you switch between the two like in a 737 for instance.

 

In the A-10C, ATC is giving QNH in inHg. Pressure doesn't change much as a percentage, so you can tell just by looking at the numbers. You've correctly identified the standard pressure in both inHg and hPa as 29.92 and 1013 respectively; so for example if you were issued a pressure of 30.12 you can be pretty certain that's inHg, or hPa if you were given 998.

 

Russians complicate things further by using mmHg, but unless you fly the Black Shark (or Mig 21 when it's out) you don't need to worry about that.

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Just thought I'd clear up some of the confusion in this thread as a RAF Air Traffic Controller.

 

With regards to the pressure settings there are 4 different types of pressure settings used by aircraft

 

QFE is the pressure measured at aerodrome level (the touchdown zone for the runway in use) when set altimeter will read HEIGHT (above the TDZ)

 

It is used mainly by military aircraft for T/O landing and flying in the visual circuit, you altimeter will read 0 on landing (in practice it will usually read about 10 feet or so because the aircraft cockpit is a few feet above the runway) additionally aircraft flying in the vicinity of an airfield will usually be asked to set it in the interest of aircraft deconfliction but this isn't modeled in any ATC system I have seen.

 

 

QNH is the pressure taken at airfield level adjusted for airfield elevation above sea level and when set the altimeter will read ALTITUDE (above mean sea level)

 

It's mainly used by civilians or the larger/newer military aircraft. That doesn't stop some airfields (usually smaller airfields which fly mostly light aircraft) from using QFE. The RAF only use QNH for Civilian aircraft inbound that ask for it (by default we give them QFE) or when the Air Transport fleet are inbound (C-130, Voyager, C-17, VC-10 Etc.) I have also given the QNH to some larger inbound US Mil aircraft (P-3, P-8, C-130...)

 

 

SAS Is an abbreviation for Standard Altimeter Setting (1013.2 MB/hPa / 29.92 inHg) when this is set on an altimeter will read FLIGHT LEVEL

 

This is used by all aircraft above the transition altitude (18,000 ft in the US/ and I believe in europe. 3000ft in the UK but plans to change to 18,000 ft for standardisation) Unless directed to be on something else by ATC, AWACS, Aircraft Controlling Ship (think aircraft carrier) so for example if my aircraft inbound was at FL 240 I would give him the QFE and a decent, in this case the aircraft would have the QFE set above the Transition Altitude.

 

With regards to a missions military aircraft tend not to have the SAS set... I'll get onto that later

 

 

RPS is the abbreviation for Regional Pressure Setting and is the lowest forecast QHN for an altimeter Region that hour (this is very UK, I would assume there is something VERY similar elsewhere maybe called something different) as this is a QNH when set on an altimeter it will read ALTITUDE

 

Aircraft use this for flight whilst away from an aerodrome (usually more than 10/15 miles) and below the Transition Altitude

 

 

 

FQNH is the FORCE QNH this is the Lowest RPS for the entire mission area for the duration of the mission (may be several thousand miles square so may encompass many altimeter regions) again as a QNH when set the altimeter will read ALTITUDE

 

This will be pre briefed on the ground and is used because the brief will normally include hard decks (do not go below levels or do not go below unless cleared) and if there is a huge pressure drop and your aircraft are IMC (read bad weather) they wont fly into terrain. It usually gets set about 10/15 miles away from the airfield (some pilots are lazy/clever and will set it on the ground, lets be honest if your on the ground before T/O you probably don't really need your altimeter to tell you that) Aircraft may set the SAS and fly at FLIGHT LEVELS if the mission area is a long way from the departure point and there are civil aircraft flying outside the mission area (so think training missions where flight to the mission area will be through unclassified airspace or through airways/corridors - in the case of DCS i very much doubt there are civilian aircraft flying about but this will be mission dependant)

 

 

 

With regards to real life approaches in a mission this will almost always be a visual approach (why mess around if you don't have to) aircraft will talk to the approach controller to tell them they are inbound

 

(behind the scenes the battlespace manager/ AWACS controller will sometimes prenote the inbound airfield about their intentions) the range will depend on weather the inbound aerodrome has radar and how effective it will be (in my experience it will be no more than 80 miles usually 40-60, if no radar talk to the approach controller about 20 miles, you want to be under radar surveillance for as long as possible in the real world especially if your aircraft has no radar itself) you will then tell the controller what type of approach you want.

 

VISUAL Fly towards the Aerodrome until visual then position yourself to the initials point (varies with airfield, civillian airfields may not have this in real life but in the case of DCS where the aircraft operate out of civilian strips someone will be nominated as liason with ATC and will basically tell them we want an initials point... MAKE ONE) this point will usually be at 1000ft QFE 4 miles final and offset to the DEADSIDE

 

if you think of a visual circuit its an oval with one side that is over the runway, usually flown left hand (i believe this is because it's easier for a pilot to turn left than right due to the right handed control configurations of aircraft, this is what I was told by a long standing RAF Tornado GR4 pilot, he could have been pulling my leg but I see where he's coming from) DEADSIDE is all the area to the right of the runway. Some visual circuits are right handed due to land, noise abatement (keep the locals happy) or the fact another airfield or runway is in the way of a left hand circuit, some civil airfields have no published visual circuit (think Heathrow) but if you needed one i.e. you've lost an engine/ on fire etc. you'll get one... trust me.

 

so basically aim for a point 4 miles out from the runway your after slightly to the right and when you pass through that point you should be at 1000ft QFE then fly towards the airfield keeping to the right (there may be something else in the visual circuit, plus ITS THE PROCEDURE) when overhead the runway put in 90 degree bank and swing it round 180 degrees to join the normal visual circuit downwind you should be pretty much flat out full throttle when this is happening and reducing throttle / applying airbrakes whilst in the turn to bleed off speed/ get into circuit speed.

 

YES you can cut up other aircraft as the pattern you will take cuts out part of the Visual circuit, YES this can be done as a pair, 3 ship 4 ship... the red arrows do this.... the order for a break will be left to right (right to left for right handed circuits) the red arrows do it differently but they think their awesome so apparently their allowed... no bitterness

 

once downwind, commence pre landing checks (landing gear/ flaps etc) then fly to about 1 mile beyond the runway then turn around 180 onto finals line up and land/ touch and go/ low approach

 

in poorer weather you can fly R2V (radar to visual) this will be done by the approach controller and he will vector you to 10 miles final offset to the deadside and you need to be visual by 5 miles, if not you shouldn't be doing a visual approach

 

ILS this can be done

 

self positioning (i.e. you know where you are so fly to SOMEWHERE where you can pick up the localiser/ glidepath and do an ILS

 

controller positioning... take his headings/ heights to get the localiser (should be vectored to about 10 miles final then given a 40 degree cut onto the localiser to pick it up then fly the ILS

 

TAC2ILS fly a tacan hold then follow published procedures to pick up ILS if you don't have published procedures then fly tacan hold (talk about later) then when pass initial approach fix (final approach fix doesn't technically exist for ATC but for pilots its about 4-5 miles final) turn onto a 1-+ degree cut to the runway centreline and pick up ILS and fly

 

TACAN with this set fly to about 12 miles final doesnt matter which heading you approach at (there is an actual procedure which can be found online on how to fly/join tacan holds what I say here is a basic overview) then turn onto runway heading... when 12 miles runway heading turn around 180 degrees (facing away) when 14/15 miles away turn around 180 degrees (runway heading) until about 12 miles... thats a tacan hold... you then need to follow the published procedure for heights distances and headings. ATC will stack aircraft apart by 1000ft separation if multiple aircraft recover IFR (read bad weather) then the lower aircraft will commence procedure

 

difference between ILS and TACAN

 

ILS is precision approach as described earlier and britmil aircraft need 550m runway visual range to commence ANY approach if not DIVERT for an ILS britmil aircraft WILL have a DH (decision height) the height at witch you have to be visual with the papi's, runway, runway lights to continue... if not go around (missed approach) this is often 200ft QFE but due to terrain, pilot rating, aircraft allowance may be higher non instrument rating trained britmil pilots usually add 200ft making their DH 400ft

 

TACAN is non precision... its a published procedure and a case of do this here... do that there and by this point (missed approach point) you must be visual or go arround (missed approach) this will be slightly different each time you do it due to speed, turning angle, decent speed etc where as ILS you should have the same glidepath each time (making it precision) because of this a TACAN is no precision and has a minimum decent height MDH see published procedure if you don't have it 450 ft is a safe bet if traveling inland and 350 if traveling towards sea (its basically a terrain safe height)

 

you can actually decent to this height whenever (even against published procedure) but you cannot descend below this until you have one of the visual references as mentioned for ILS... if you are not visual by the missed approach point (see published procedure if you don't have it assume 1.5 miles on TACAN) if not then go around and you should execute an ILS if you can.

 

but you SHOULD so an ILS as standard... tacan is only used when ILS fails or for training... we do love some training...

 

IAA is internal aids approach not really modeled in DCS.. or maybe the A-10C can't do it I'm not sure... basically get the airport set as steer point... fly to 10 miles final then when the hud marker is at 3 degrees below the hud horizon then descend at a 3 degree glide path as mentioned 500ft per mile

 

this is my fabricated way of doing it... then when i am at a MDH if not visual then go around

 

ILS and IAA are typically conducted at 1500 ft QFE from 10 miles unless damaged or SSE (simulated single engine) then this will be 15 miles

 

which airfields are used and frequencies and diversion conditions will all be discussed before flight

 

I know this was a long post but I hope this helps people who are unsure of the correct procedures... some things have been very simplified so sorry if you knew all that.

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IAA is internal aids approach not really modeled in DCS.. or maybe the A-10C can't do it I'm not sure... basically get the airport set as steer point... fly to 10 miles final then when the hud marker is at 3 degrees below the hud horizon then descend at a 3 degree glide path as mentioned 500ft per mile

 

This seems perfectly possible in the A-10, and probably is what a lot of people do, though a lot of people probably don't respect the 3 degree glideslope.

 

What I tend to do is get on a 10 or 5 mile final at the correct heading for final, put the TVV on the runway threshold, complete any configuration changes/checks outstanding, and reduce power while trimming nose up to hit the right AOA, lock that in for the AOA indexer or to the VREF I've chosen. After that its all about using throttle to keep the TVV on the threshold while searching for the sink rate that corresponds to my selected speed for the 3 degree glideslope. Usually aligning one satisfies the other within acceptable margins.

 

For anyone wondering, for a 3 degree glideslope you would need a sink rate that corresponds to the speed you're flying at. The quick ways to figure it out are I think divide groundspeed by 2 and add a 0 and thats your sink rate in feet per minute which is what the A-10 VVI is in. Nice thing about using AOA for speed selection is that you can bypass guessing your sink rate and just lock in your speed, adjust your throttle til the TVV is on the threshold which on a stabilized 3 degree approach remains stationary in the HUD at -3 on the pitch ladder. Of course the same approach AOA will result in different speeds at different gross weights.

 

Aside from using the Indexer to find the doughnut, you can use the AOA indicator on the front console and check to see if the indicator is in the third white marked bracket moving CCW around (as the instrument does) which represents normal approach AOA (19-21 units I believe) which means normal approach speed. You don't need to use that AOA to achieve a stable approach, but it works in a pinch if you don't want to think about any approach numbers. The AOA indicator in the A-10 also doesn't use degrees, it uses arbitrary units which are found in this formula I found in a thread from way back in A-10 beta days:

AoA[units] = 0.7728*AoA[Degrees] + 12.22

19-21 units equals something like 9 or 10 degrees AOA.


Edited by P*Funk

Warning: Nothing I say is automatically correct, even if I think it is.

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This seems perfectly possible in the A-10, and probably is what a lot of people do, though a lot of people probably don't respect the 3 degree glideslope.

 

What I tend to do is get on a 10 or 5 mile final at the correct heading for final, put the TVV on the runway threshold, complete any configuration changes/checks outstanding, and reduce power while trimming nose up to hit the right AOA, lock that in for the AOA indexer or to the VREF I've chosen. After that its all about using throttle to keep the TVV on the threshold while searching for the sink rate that corresponds to my selected speed for the 3 degree glideslope. Usually aligning one satisfies the other within acceptable margins.

 

For anyone wondering, for a 3 degree glideslope you would need a sink rate that corresponds to the speed you're flying at. The quick ways to figure it out are I think divide groundspeed by 2 and add a 0 and thats your sink rate in feet per minute which is what the A-10 VVI is in. Nice thing about using AOA for speed selection is that you can bypass guessing your sink rate and just lock in your speed, adjust your throttle til the TVV is on the threshold which on a stabilized 3 degree approach remains stationary in the HUD at -3 on the pitch ladder. Of course the same approach AOA will result in different speeds at different gross weights.

 

Aside from using the Indexer to find the doughnut, you can use the AOA indicator on the front console and check to see if the indicator is in the third white marked bracket moving CCW around (as the instrument does) which represents normal approach AOA (19-21 units I believe) which means normal approach speed. You don't need to use that AOA to achieve a stable approach, but it works in a pinch if you don't want to think about any approach numbers. The AOA indicator in the A-10 also doesn't use degrees, it uses arbitrary units which are found in this formula I found in a thread from way back in A-10 beta days:

 

19-21 units equals something like 9 or 10 degrees AOA.

 

if you are doing a facsimile of an IAA approach one important note is that you do NOT use the steer point of the Airport. You need to verify that the steer point is set to the coordinates of the TDZ of the intended runway. If you use the airport steer point it will most likely guide you to the center of the field and not the RWY. If you are attempting IAA it means that you dont have visual so by using the wrong steerpoint you can get into trouble real quick

 

Also you should go into the nav/attrib/ for your TDZ waypoint and set the scale to approach as well as vnav to 3D and selected vertical angle to enter and enter the appropriate vertical angle for approach (typically 3 deg)

by doing this you will get accurate horizontal as well as vertical steering indications to fly an IAA like approach. Manual page 226 covers the Nav / Attrib sub page of the CDU

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if you are doing a facsimile of an IAA approach one important note is that you do NOT use the steer point of the Airport.

Obviously, using the airport waypoint becomes a GPS version of a TACAN approach in terms of its inaccuracy, but any missions you start on the runway generates Waypoint 0 as the defacto TDZ. Its a shame there isn't a runway waypoint database to go with the aerodromes, but if you really cared you could add them in the mission flight plan or drop a mark point when you line up for takeoff. If you decide to come into a different airfield you could then use the TGP to make a markpoint at any threshold as well.

 

Manual page 226 covers the Nav / Attrib sub page of the CDU

People should just read the whole damned CDU section, repeatedly. VNAV is however something I've never actually seen discussed on these forums before. If I'd never read the manual I'd never know it existed.

Warning: Nothing I say is automatically correct, even if I think it is.

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Additionally I think it might also be worth mentioning tactical approaches, these are approaches to airfields which have a distinct surface to air threat, be it RPG, MANPAD, SAFIRE etc. as opposed to SAM sites (In this case you'd probably use another airfield) Think Kandahar/ Camp Bastion. The airfield defence on the ground typically only have enough people to cover about 5-10 miles either side of the runway along the extended centreline. 5 typical 10 if your lucky. so a tactical approach is designed so your not flying around at 1500ft asking for someone to take shots at you with their AK47 etc.

 

The idea is to be high and then throttle off for decent to reduce your heat signature and make you as harder target to hit as possible.

 

There are 3 main types of Tactical approach which can be done by just about any aircraft (personally I've seen Tucanos all the way up to USN P-3's and C-17's use these approaches)

 

10,000ft Straight in... basically as it says on the tin, get to about 10 miles final at 10,000ft QFE and I believe the decent point is about 6 miles, then open up everything (airbrake, flaps even landing gear is lowered on GR4's) and throw the aircraft in a dive with no throttle. Procedures differ but you should be visual BY 1000ft QFE otherwise it's go around circuit height. If you are visual then level out and you should hit a 3 degree GP by about 1 mile.

 

10,000ft Run in and break... This is just a normal visual join except you begin at 10,000ft QFE, and initial call should be made at about 4 miles (offset to the deadside) so the tower controller can tell you about visual circuit traffic, again procedures differ but a good rule would be... If not visual (in this instance visual means both airfield AND circuit traffic) by 1500ft QFE then break off into a max rate climb... if visual then descend to 1000ft QFE and execute a standard break into the circuit. no need to worry about speed for this as you will bleed it all off in the break into the circuit.

 

 

Blackhole Approach... This is a little trickier, begin at 10,000ft QFE and fly to initial point (but remain at 10,000ft) then begin your decent and follow the ground track of a normal visual circuit but in a decent that will get you to a height on your finals turn that you can land from, takes a little practice. Again visual with airfield and aircraft by 1500ft or go around at 1500ft and descend to circuit height when dead side.

 

With all approaches throttle can be used short final but any further out you risk making too much of a heat signature. Also individual airfield procedures differ and the information regarding both missed approaches and minimum descent heights are what's used at my airfield and are SAFE (it's hard enough to dodge SAM's and AAM's let alone friendly aircraft)

 

Hope this also helps.

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