Wednesday, November 08, 2017

Dissect The Approach

I frequent many flying forums and despite having to wade through a lot of BS and non-aviation banter, every now and then I come across a post that is a teaching moment.  I really appreciate when a pilot shares their flight, especially if there is something to learn and apply to my flying. The following scenario was taken from a forum post that reminded me of the Back to Basics, children of the magenta line post I did on my blog.

Let’s dissect this approach, the RNAV 36 into Joplin, and how it didn’t go very well for the pilot sharing their story. Ok, let's ride along.

I think I did several items wrong which caused me to get way behind the aircraft and eventually go missed. Weather was 600 OVC and mist, tops were about 4,000. Aircraft is a C182/G and has a CNX80/GNS480 and coupled Autopilot.

I was approaching from the SE (blue dashed line) and was told by KC Center to expect this approach and vectors to JEMLO (red arrow) for spacing and for the RNAV 36 approach. I acknowledged that and got the approach loaded in the box. After some steering vectors I was cleared direct JEMLO and for the approach. At JEMLO is where I began the confusion chain.

The 480 was indicating that the next item in the sequence was the procedure turn. But in the rush to do the approach I disconnected the AP and turned inbound to the runway. I was full on milk bottle at this time.

Ok, time out. A few things that we need to address. Highlighted in the red box is the note that there is NO PT from 088 to 268 degrees. Did the pilot do a proper brief? Let's assume they did. The inbound turn is correct. Back to the action.

In between JEMLO and LOVRE I never regained a stable approach. Twice while dealing with the GPS, I looked back to find myself in a 30-degree bank that I don’t remember inputting, and one of those looked a whole lot like an unusual attitude setup from IFR training. After recovering from the last one, and fifteen more seconds of not successfully regaining the needles (I only had an LNAV indication on the GPS), I called missed, climbed, and went toward MITBY.

I chose not to try again and first told ATC I was going to Fayetteville (my alternate) but then chose to just return home.

We can all speculate and think what we would do different to prepare and fly the approach. Bottom line this pilot BROKE THE CHAIN, made the correct call, and went missed.

Current and proficient are two different animals, and this includes keeping proficient with our avionics. When it comes to buttonology if we don’t use it, we will lose it. As pilots we must also be ready to hand fly an approach at any time. Keeping situational awareness our priority, and most important, keeping ahead of the plane.


Jim and Sandie said...

My internet is working slowly this morning so I'm getting caught up on blogs a little bit. Hope your shoulder is a whole lot better and that Mary is feeling good again. Always something new to learn.

Chris said...

Nice post, Gary.

I have never used a 480. In this situation, it seems like my 430W would ask me if I wanted to do the procedure turn or not. Does the 480 not do this? It sounds like his went right into the procedure turn. Obviously, the poster would still have had to brief the plate to know that there was NoPT from the direction he was coming in from.

Gary said...

Sandie, Shoulder is feeling better, just a bit tender to the touch. Mary has had good and bad days. The weather change has a direct effect on her migraines with barometric pressure changes. This coming from Dr. Gary. :)

Gary said...


Every now and then there is a tid-bit of useful info on the flying forums along with a long drawn out discussion. Once the BS is filtered out there are some good points made that opens up a new thought process and a review of my flying.

Now that all my day off work errands are complete I am going to snoop through the pilots guide for the 480 just for the heck of it. I'm thinking it has to have a suspend mode like our 430/530 series. A simple brief would have given him the no-pt like you mentioned. If the pilot wanted to do the PT for altitude or speed loss he should have advised ATC. IMO, In the clag is not the time to first lay eyes on the approach plate.