Monday, June 11, 2018

VTF, Don't Do It!

Since I'm stuck in the house keeping dry I like to search the internet for training tips and what if situations that spark my interest enough to fire up the simulator.

Today, while looking for answers on winds aloft, I stumbled upon this video from FlyingLikeThePros.
How many times have you be bitten by this Vector To Final scenario? Come on, fess up.  I have, twice. I no longer need to touch the burner on the stove to know it's hot and it will hurt. I have posted about this subject before but these guys do a great job with the video and I wanted to share.

Pay close attention to the last few minutes, they provide a new trick to add to the tool chest. In a busy airport environment you may get vectors extending your downwind on an approach. Since we have learned, some of us the hard way, that ATC does switch up, especially on hand-offs it's best to load a full approach.

If you need to extend or stretch the final approach a bit longer FlyingLikeThePros suggests the 'direct' to the last fix, entering the heading to extend the centerline.  It's sort of like using the OBS function and dialing in the final approach course on the CDI to extend the magenta line on those new to you airports that you're trying to find in VFR conditions. In the mean time you have an extended centerline to help.
Lets take a look at my recent trip to KCXY, Capital City in Harrisburg, Pennsylvania. I was directed to expect vectors to the ILS RWY 8. If you look closely I did select VTF, only because it was VFR and I had no issue getting into CXY. This scenario still provides a good look at the benefit of loading the full approach.
On the sim TIVNE is LATLE due to the ancient version. However, the red arrow shows the extended centerline/approach and if there are step downs like the video this tip can really be helpful when flying single pilot IFR.

The next issue, as mentioned above, is winds aloft and lack of display on my iPad/Foreflight. I decided to dig into my avionics that I have in 45Yankee. I have tried to find in flight winds aloft, but can't seem to find the info displayed on my iPad/Foreflight. I sent Foreflight an email yesterday (Sunday)and I really didn't like the response, despite it being quick and thorough.

Winds aloft through ADS-B reception only shows winds for airports that report them. That is, the winds are viewable in the airports tab for that specific point.

Winds as a layer is not available through ADS-B because they don't send that information.

You can pack for a trip and have the estimated winds aloft data stored. The Pack feature creates an "envelope" around your planned route and checks to see which items need to be downloaded. The envelope covers 25nm either side of the enroute course and within a 50nm radius around the destination and departure airports. Pack will always check for the latest METARs, TAFs, AIR/SIGMETS, TFRs, Fuel Prices, NOTAMs, Documents, Airport Database, and Obstacles.

You can set up which type of chart and map data that you want Pack to check for by going to MORE > DOWNLOADS > UNITED STATES or CANADA, and select options such as IFR Low, Terminal Procedures, or VFR Charts. Pack only offers downloads for those items that are not already downloaded to your device.

The information that is downloaded using Pack is accessed during the normal use of ForeFlight. Weather can be found from Map overlays and on the Airports Page. Terminal Procedures can be found from within the Airports Page or by searching for them on the Plates Page. NOTAMS are displayed within the Airports Page.

You can view which states are downloaded by Pack and delete unwanted states by going to MORE > DOWNLOADS. If packed data is not part of your normal downloads, when the data expires it will be deleted from the system automatically.

If your route is changed, use the pack feature to re-evaluate the downloads and re-alert the you of any available downloads. Every 10 mins Pack can be used to recheck the current route for new weather and NOTAMs.

For more on Pack, please see our Pilot's Guide:

I really miss the Garmin 496 and xm weather, I may be looking to add a unit to the Debonair.  Does anyone have a suggestion for winds aloft?


Jim and Sandie said...

Avoid them??? Lol

Gary said...

Yes, avoid the vectors to final. :) It's an easy trap to fall into, until the next approach controller switches things up on you. Sort of like following driving directions with an easy peasy shortcut only to find out from the next person giving directions they want you to find a specific place on your route, not on your happy shortcut....and without delay.