Training on How to properly Set Up an Instrument Approach
While enroute to the approach segment about 40-50 miles from your destination (depending on your altitude), you should listen to the ATIS/AWOS.
If your airplane has ADS-B, you can look at the METAR well ahead of time, and based on the prevailing wind, make an educated guess at the runway in use. If you don’t have ADS-B, look at your preflight weather brief.
How to set up an Ground Navigation Instrument approach with FMS/GPS onboard.
- Obtain the weather — write it down.
- Load the approach in the FMS (GPS) — when given vectors, activate a segment on the approach.
- Set Approach Frequencies.
a. Approach Course.
b. Localizer Frequencies.
NOTE: If you have TWO navigation radios, ALWAYS set BOTH to the localizer frequency.
c. NAVAID providing DME, if applicable.
d.Missed Approach on standby.
e. RMI 1 set to GPS.
f. Identify Navigation Source — listen to the Morse code.
- Review the Approach Chart factors which affect the approach as appropriate to your aircraft.
- Brief the Approach
How to Brief a Jeppesen Approach Briefing
The approach briefing follows the order of events anticipated to occur during the arrival. The following items on the chart will be reviewed:
- Type of Approach & Location.
- Plate Number & Date.
- Final approach course.
- Glide Slope Crossing Altitude (Precision), or Final Approach Fix Location and Altitude (Non-Precision).
- Glide Slope Intercept altitude
- DA or MDA.
- TDZE. Note: If you have the Approach lights system at DA/MDA, you can continue to 100’ above TDZE. 91.175(c)
- Minimum safe altitudes and terrain.
- Other frequencies required for the approach.
- Visibility requirements and current visibility.
- Missed approach point, and the initial portions of the missed approach procedure (heading & altitude).
- Missed Approach Frequencies.
- “Any Questions?” If flying with another pilot.
- Procedures or methods used to navigate to the final approach course including procedure turns, step downs, and any circling maneuvers to be performed for circling approaches will be briefed. Stated approach requirements and notes (i.e., radar required) will be noted.
As appropriate for the flight, other considerations to be briefed include:
- Fuel status, and status/availability of alternate airports in the event of a missed approach.
- Any weather hazards in the terminal area (thunderstorms, icing, wind shear, terrain) and contingencies for encountering any of these hazardous conditions.
- If you have any concerns about a possible missed approach, review your missed approach procedure out loud.
- Review the airport diagram for the intended point of exit from the runway, expected taxi route to parking, and any hot spots that may be encountered.
- Relevant NOTAMs that may affect the arrival.
- Performance considerations — flap setting, reference speed selection, runway distance available, etc.
Example of an Approach brief
“We are doing the ILS 12 into Santa Maria. The Localizer frequency is 108.9, set on both radios and Identified. Final Approach Course is 120°, set. Glide Slope intercept attitude is 1886’. Decision Altitude is 430’. The conditional remark is based on the altimeter settings (is not/is applicable to our situation). TDZE 230’. If we have the approach lighting system insight, we can descend to 330’. MSA for the direction we are approaching is 3300’. DME source is from the localizer frequency. We need 1/2miles of visibility and we have 1mile visibility. The approach lighting system is a MALSR, with PAPI on the right.
If we have to perform the missed approach procedure, we will climb on runway heading to 800’. Then make a climbing left turn, direct to Morro Bay, and hold. We can plan on a parallel entry from this direction.
While very simular, the FAA Approach Charts are different.