Tuesday, May 08, 2012

RNAV GPS 19 Approach

After having work done to 08Romeo I had to divert to KMQS for the now active TFR at KILG.  I was going to ask for a pop up clearance to get into wilmington but decided to knock out another landing close by and file from there.  After landing I taxied to the run up area and with my Iphone filed for the 10 minute hop home.  KMQS-MXE-KILG

With a call to Philly clearance delivery I was held for release due to that very same TFR.  Hmmmm, maybe I should have gotten that pop up.  I was only held for a few minutes and was soon departing runway two niner at Chester County. I was cleared to three thousand direct Modena (MXE) and navigated there. I was told to expect the GPS 19 into Wilmington and I chugged and plugged on my Garmin 530 so I was ready to activate.

As I was about to cross MXE I was handed off to another section for control. I contacted the new control advising 3000 level with ATIS (wx info) at Wilmington. As I crossed MXE I was cleared for the GPS 19 and handed over to the Wilmington tower, given the wrong frequency, but I questioned control and he corrected. The odd part was he never stepped me down to two thousand feet as noted on the plate. I proceeded to JIGUP at three and started my descent to one thousand nine hundred and drove on to CUBBE.

From this point I was spot on with altitude and course flying through some cloud cover.  Once inside CUBBE the tower advised there was another aircraft on the approach just 3 miles in front of me, I never saw the Cessna. I slowed to match his approach speed and keep the spacing. The Cessna was low approach only and I was a full stop.  Strange approach but it all works out.


Frank Van Haste said...

Hi, Gary!

I could be wrong, but I think when the controller says, "Cleared for the GPS 19 approach", that's an implied clearance to descend as published...unless he states another altitude restriction. Often, for example, flying into KBDR I'll be at 2,000 approaching the IAF for the RNAV 24 (where the initial altitude is 1,800) and will get, "Cleared for the RNAV 24 approach, maintain 2,000 feet until established on the final approach course."

So...if it was me, I'd have started the descent to 2,000 as soon as I heard "cleared for the approach" with no other restriction. Still, you only had to shed about 200 feet per mile from JIGUP to CUBBE, so it wasn't a big deal either way.

Good work on the speed control for spacing. That sort of thing can foul up all your nice descent planning.

Best regards,


Geoff Nelson said...

Frank is right. If you are cleared for the approach AND established on a section of the approach, you can descend to that section's altitude at your discretion.

Same thing on and IFR flight plan and a visual approach. Once I'm cleared for the visual approach, I can start my descent if I desire without any more ATC conversation.

Gary said...

Thanks Frank and Geoff!

I think what caused me to pause was the (lack of) phraseology, coupled with the hand off as I crossed the MXE IAF. The typical out of Philly is as Frank stated, "Cleared for the RNAV 19 approach, maintain 2,000 feet until established on the final approach course."

I figured higher was safer and decided to wait until JIGUP and on with the tower to begin my descent. Also agree with only 1100 feet to loose in the 6 miles I was safe and comfortable.

Good things to discuss that help keep me sharp flying IFR.

TJ Shembekar said...

I see why u did it ... But Wow! I have never filed IFR 4 a 10 min flight!!

Gary said...

:). Only way in with the TFR. A pilots gotta do what a pilots gotta do.