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View Full Version : Instrument Approach PTS Question


DiveAndDrive
05-07-2015, 12:07 PM
Hello all. I'd like everyone's opinion/thoughts on a matter. I'm a 160 hour private pilot with 20 hours of simulated instrument, working on my instrument rating. Yesterday I was practicing various approaches on my home flight simulator.

I was shooting an ILS. I had set the weather on my simulator to break out at 50 feet before minimums (so 250 feet AGL). The ILS I was shooting was just your typical ILS. 200 feet AGL minimums. I set up the approach and flew it well. I had the needles centered the entire way down. Here's the problem/question.

When I briefed the approach, I mistakenly briefed the LOC minimums (which were 400 feet AGL for this particular approach). Like I said before, I flew the approach well. Needles centered all the way down to what I thought were minimums (200 feet above real minimums). Looked up, no approach or runway lights (or runway), so I executed the missed approach. Came back around, rebriefed the approach, briefed it correctly this time, and landed uneventfully.

Here's the question.

If this would have occurred on a practical exam, would I have failed?

I have a couple different trains of thought.

Good:
1. I never busted the minimums I briefed or the minimums of the actual approach.

Bad:
1. Lost of situational awareness
2. I could have reversed the situation. I.E. Shoot the LOC approach, but brief the ILS minimums, and therefore bust LOC mins by 200 feet.

Thoughts?


DiveAndDrive
05-07-2015, 12:09 PM
Second post on APC. (The post above is my first). Anyone know how to add a poll to a thread that is already started? I want to add a poll saying

What would the outcome of the practical exam have been:
Pass
Fail
Unsure/Other

EDIT: Figured it out.

threeighteen
05-07-2015, 12:21 PM
Yes, you would have failed the practical exam. Seen the exact same thing happen before (applicant levelled off at the loc minimums while shooting an ILS and busted the checkride).


DiveAndDrive
05-07-2015, 01:07 PM
Threeighteen, thanks for the response. I'm not trying to sound argumentative or defensive. I'm trying to learn/discuss. The failure is/would be based on what grounds?

I suppose one could argue the 3/4ths deflection of the GS, but at that point I would already be climbing (and announcing) for the missed approach.

In my mind, climbing before the more restrictive minimums, realizing my mistake, and continuing the missed instead of trying to salvage the approach would be acceptable. I didn't level off and wait for a MAP. I immediately initiated the missed approach...two hundred feet high.

Say I briefed the approach correctly, and flew it correctly. For some reason I don't have a warm and fuzzy about the approach. I go missed at 400 feet AGL. Would I fail for that?

Also, what would be expected to be retrained/retested? Especially if I circle back around after flying the missed and shoot the ILS to minimums and land successfully and uneventfully?

Atomized
05-07-2015, 01:44 PM
Probably would come down to the examiner, and how the rest of the ride went. If this was the only thing on the ride that was an issue, I bet you would pass. If there were other problem areas during the practical he/she might unsat the ILS as well.

Adlerdriver
05-07-2015, 01:49 PM
I'm not an FAA examiner, so this is just my opinion. I base it on being a military flight examiner and getting plenty of civilian check rides in both appendix H and AQP programs.

There are certain things that are auto-bust and those typically involve violation of regulations, procedures and/or safety issues. Other errors have to be evaluated based on the situation. Were they caught and corrected or was the examinee unaware of their error or maybe unaware of why it or its result occurred.

In your situation, you didn't violate any regulation and executed a safe missed approach. You realized your error and re-accomplished the ILS properly to a safe landing. IMO, that's not a bust. It would be a de-brief item and worthy of a comment on the check-ride record.

If you never caught the error or flew a LOC to ILS mins, that would be a much different situation and it would be a bust.

The "no warm fuzzy" MAP could be viewed as good judgment. I would be inclined to allow someone one of those on a check ride as long as it wasn't a trend item. It is a check ride, so eventually you have to "be the ball" and get stuff done.

Usually an examiner can tell if someone is worthy of a re-attempt or if they are just not cutting it that day. The AQP training programs that most airlines use these days have leeway for re-attempts should they be warranted.

Perhaps the guy in threeighteen's scenario busted because he "leveled off at LOC minimums" on an ILS. There are valid reasons for doing that (off flag in glideslope, etc) but if it was just due to forgetting he was flying an ILS versus a LOC or lack of procedural knowledge, then maybe that was worthy of a bust.

rickair7777
05-07-2015, 05:04 PM
In your situation, you didn't violate any regulation and executed a safe missed approach. You realized your error and re-accomplished the ILS properly to a safe landing. IMO, that's not a bust. It would be a de-brief item and worthy of a comment on the check-ride record.


All true, but I would lean somewhat towards the "bust". Reason being what if he used the ILS mins on the LOC, and got down fairly quickly, leveled and drove on to the MAP? You could very easily impact something short of the MAP.

You could come up with other scenarios, but using the wrongs mins on any approach is a pretty big SA error for a checkride.

If all else was good, I'd debrief that point heavily and maybe let it slide but the guy would know he came close to a pink slip...and would hopefully remember that every time he looks at an approach plate.

threeighteen
05-07-2015, 06:13 PM
The issue is with the MAP and lack of SA, especially if the LOC minimums were significantly higher than the ILS minimums, or if, like you mentioned, you use the ILS mins in place of the LOC minimums.

Going missed early can often be just as deadly as going missed late. Terrain/Obstacle/Traffic conflicts are real and serious.

If there is nothing else wrong on your ride, there is a chance you could pass depending on the DPE, and the environment, but I definitely would not count on it, as it would be a fair bust if they did decide to bust you on it.

DiveAndDrive
05-07-2015, 06:15 PM
Awesome. Thanks so much for the help, everyone. It was definitely a learning experience, and I'll definitely keep an eye out for it again in the future!!

JamesNoBrakes
05-07-2015, 06:53 PM
As an examiner, the "grey area" on a missed approach is: Did the applicant notice their set-up error and go missed in a safe position or were they not comfortable and went around before any standards were exceeded? If the answer is yes, that is usually acceptable once. If they had to go missed because they exceeded a standard, then that's usually a bust. In this case, the "error" was brought all the way down to "minimums" and not realized before, which would likely be a bust.

PTS:

13. A missed approach or transition to a landing shall be
initiated at Decision Height.
14. Initiates immediately the missed approach when at the
DA/DH, and the required visual references for the runway
are not unmistakably visible and identifiable.

Adlerdriver
05-07-2015, 07:11 PM
All true, but I would lean somewhat towards the "bust". Reason being what if he used the ILS mins on the LOC, and got down fairly quickly, leveled and drove on to the MAP? You could very easily impact something short of the MAP. :confused: I don't agree with this logic. IMO, you should be looking at the actual error that was made, not one that wasn't.

Unless misapplication of approach mins is a trend, busting him for going MAP 200 feet early on an ILS because that error is in the same category as using ILS mins on a LOC makes no sense. As I said in my first post, of course using ILS mins on a LOC would be a bust, but that's not what he did. That's like busting someone for getting slow momentarily during cruise because he might get slow on base to final and stall.

No checkride is going to be perfect. Were errors caught and corrected without compromising safety? Was every other approach flown without significant loss of SA and basically error free? Then I would look at the whole effort as opposed to one error that only resulted in a MAP.

I guess I'm a Santa Claus.

Adlerdriver
05-07-2015, 07:23 PM
Going missed early can often be just as deadly as going missed late. Terrain/Obstacle/Traffic conflicts are real and serious. :confused: What? Since when do we have to worry about going missed early?

Terrain/Obstacles - the MAP ground track and altitude are protected by design. If I went MAP 10 seconds after passing the FAF, climbed to the MAP altitude and flew the ground track, how could I possibly be threatened by terrain or obstacles? You're saying those threats are somehow reduced if I fly the approach longer and get to a lower altitude? Please explain.

Traffic - sort of same question. While ATC might not expect a MAP, either early or at mins, it does happen. You either fly the published or ATC gives you other instructions.

Not once have I hesitated to go MAP whenever I felt it was appropriate because I was worried about traffic.....or terrain.....or obstacles.

EMAW
05-07-2015, 08:21 PM
Exactly. As long as you initiate the missed at or before the missed approach, and perform it correctly, I.e. Climb along the approach track to the MAP and then execute the published or commanded missed you'd be OK. Shows good judgement, as long as no mins were busted. Show good judgment and threat and error management you'd be fine. . Make it a habit and that's a different story.

2StgTurbine
05-07-2015, 08:44 PM
I don't understand how this is even a debate. The OP was on the glideslope and decided to go missed early. The OP did not go below the minimums and remained on the MAP so terrain was not an issue. How is that different than a go around on a visual approach? What if you are a few knots too fast and your approach is no longer stable? Are you saying you can't go around? This kind of thinking leads people to making mistakes because they view go arounds and missed approaches as something negative.

The only error I see is reading the approach plate incorrectly. You realized your mistake and instead of re-briefing it at 400 feet AGL, you decided to go around and try again. If I was the examiner, I would view that as great airmanship. How many accidents could have been avoided if pilots decided to gain altitude instead of trying to fix an error low to the ground? Pilots cannot be expected to be perfect (even on a checkride), but we are expected to recognize an error and address it before it leads to an incident, FAR violation, or a busted aircraft limitation.

threeighteen
05-08-2015, 02:21 AM
:confused: What? Since when do we have to worry about going missed early?

Terrain/Obstacles - the MAP ground track and altitude are protected by design. If I went MAP 10 seconds after passing the FAF, climbed to the MAP altitude and flew the ground track, how could I possibly be threatened by terrain or obstacles? You're saying those threats are somehow reduced if I fly the approach longer and get to a lower altitude? Please explain.

Say the missed approach calls for a climbing turn at the missed approach point (typically where the GS intercepts mins on the ILS), but you're not actually at minimums and you're much further out, you're not going to be on the ground track and therefore you will not be protected.

Adlerdriver
05-08-2015, 04:00 AM
Say the missed approach calls for a climbing turn at the missed approach point (typically where the GS intercepts mins on the ILS), but you're not actually at minimums and you're much further out, you're not going to be on the ground track and therefore you will not be protected. Maybe you're still working on your instrument rating? I think some time back in the books might be in order (preferably before your next instrument approach :eek:).

An early missed approach doesn't alleviate your responsibility to fly the ground track of the instrument approach procedure. If the procedure calls for a climbing turn at the MAP, then you fly the lateral guidance to the MAP and execute the procedure from there. Maybe by the time you get there, it's no longer a climbing turn because you're already at the missed approach altitude.

threeighteen
05-08-2015, 04:32 AM
Maybe you're still working on your instrument rating? I think some time back in the books might be in order (preferably before your next instrument approach :eek:).

An early missed approach doesn't alleviate your responsibility to fly the ground track of the instrument approach procedure. If the procedure calls for a climbing turn at the MAP, then you fly the lateral guidance to the MAP and execute the procedure from there. Maybe by the time you get there, it's no longer a climbing turn because you're already at the missed approach altitude.

Agreed 100%, but we're not on the same page.

I'm assuming that the pilot believes he is at the missed approach point because he has reached [the wrong] minimums, and therefore executes the missed approach turn before he actually reaches the missed approach point. At that point, he has left the ground track of the instrument approach procedure without knowing that he has done so.

Adlerdriver
05-08-2015, 05:53 AM
Okay - on your page now. You have a valid point. My apologies.

I thought your original caution about early missed was directed at his "no warm fuzzy" missed. Then when you said "much further out" from the MAP I definitely wasn't on your page.

One would hope that the other clues that might be available (marker beacon, DME, etc) might get some SA back and avoid the early turn. I'm no terps expert, but it seems like the roughly half mile represented by his 200' early missed on a ~3 degree g/s would still be in the "slop" built into the protected airspace (though certainly not guaranteed, as you pointed out).

rickair7777
05-08-2015, 06:23 AM
It is a tough call, and I wouldn't fault any examiner whichever way he/she went. For me it would probably depend on the rest of the ride and the overall vibe from the applicant.

DiveAndDrive
05-08-2015, 08:03 AM
Thanks again everyone for the insightful replies. Threeighteen, now your argument makes a WHOLE lot more sense to me. I was on the same page as Adlerdriver. Where if you go missed early, you climb to the missed approach altitude but follow the lateral guidance of the approach until the MAP. Which in my situation doesn't apply, since I executed the missed approach from what I thought was the MAP. I never even thought of your situation, as the missed approach I was following was climbing straight ahead followed by a climbing right turn over water.

Like I said before. It's definitely a learning experience, and something I WILL make sure to watch out for in the future. I'm also going to bring it up to my DPE AFTER the ride. "Oh. Hey. By the way......."

threeighteen
05-08-2015, 08:32 AM
Sorry for the initial confusion gentlemen. Glad we got it sorted.