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Instrument Approaches at UPT


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If you will excuse a mere former EWO, azimuth accuracy of Tacan is far greater than that of VOR due to the shorter wavelength of Tacan’s uhf signal and it’s 2x rotation speed of the bearing signal..

Edited by JimNtexas
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@BroncoEN remembering all the illegal direct-to-fixes he did

So... you're saying "Toneyville" means nothing to you?

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Since the topic of discussion here is "Approaches at UPT", I want to mention that the T-38C, while GPS equipped, does NOT fly GPS approaches. I'm not sure of what the T-6 has to offer, though.

Also realize that while apparently the C-17 has the ability to fly GPS approaches, none of the fighter aircraft that I know of have this capability. So, it's TACANs, VORs, ILSs, and GCI approaches for all my friends!

On the subject of GPS navigation two points:

One, from the "embracing technology" side of things, I don't see how navigating from place to place using GPS fixes is all that different from using radio NAVAIDs -- you still have to use similar procedures to proceed direct there (rather than homing).

Two, from the "old crusty guy" side of the house, I also agree that pilots need to equally understand how to navigate using radio NAVAIDs or INS systems instead of GPS. I can tell you from personal experience that the GPS signal in central Iraq during OIF was *trashed*, probably due to the GPS jammers that were deployed there. Did it effect operations? Not from where I was sitting, because we just flipped our nav systems over to INS and continued with what we were doing. Plus, there's that really handy "map reading" thing that worked out amazingly well.

In addition, all that stuff about how many satellites are guaranteed to be up at any time is nice...but...what about during wartime when we go against an enemy who can target our satellites? I can think of one potential adversary who has this capability and the intent to take down GPS satellites if the time comes.

Bottom line with that is we must not become completely reliant on GPS for navigation and targeting because it may not always be there for us.

Again, this part of the conversation is WAY off the topic of approaches at UPT but still a factor since that seems to be the way the discussion is going.


You can be RNAV without GNSS. You can be RNAV with INS only or even just NAVAIDs depending on how the system is certified. You need RNAV to proceed direct to a fix. You don’t need GNSS to do it.

The key concept is a system that allows you to navigate to a steer point without having to resort to the pencil method...and it must be one that is certified for the airspace in which it is used.
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In the NAS you don’t need a RNAV-certified system to proceed direct to a fix (i.e. random route), just radar coverage and a nav system that can go direct to points. 


Odd. That’s not what our AF reg says.
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8 hours ago, JimNtexas said:

With respect to RNAV,  prior to GPS for sure, and I think to this day, some FMS's use ifr approved  rho/rho, rho/rho/rho, and rho/theta nav systems.   My flying club had a rho/theta King KNS-80 what was ifr approved for approaches. 

T-44A had it. I forget which model, King RNAV something...

However I'll never forget planning a beach tour XC from NAS Corpus to Gainesville which the IP refused to use because he didn't understand the FMS/Nav systems capes - dang I nerded out back then. 

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Retracted my statement, AIM reads like you can, FAA circulars clarify. 


In all fairness, pre-2016(ish) the AIM/AIP and other FAA information said what you remembered. But it all changed a few years back which is why we changed. Much to the chagrin of UPT instructors.



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On 4/21/2021 at 9:30 PM, ThreeHoler said:

You can be RNAV without GNSS. You can be RNAV with INS only or even just NAVAIDs depending on how the system is certified. You need RNAV to proceed direct to a fix. You don’t need GNSS to do it.

The key concept is a system that allows you to navigate to a steer point without having to resort to the pencil method...and it must be one that is certified for the airspace in which it is used.

17 years to the month later.  Nice.

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Hot take...who cares if a student can fly an RNAV approach? As long as they get the monkey skills of a non-precision approach and a precision approach, isn’t it all the same thing? Top off the buttonology at the FTU. 

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Hot take...who cares if a student can fly an RNAV approach? As long as they get the monkey skills of a non-precision approach and a precision approach, isn’t it all the same thing? Top off the buttonology at the FTU. 

I don’t care if they fly a LOC or LPV, but radio navaids in the NAS are a dying breed, and 6-9 times out of 10 you get an RNAV SID/STAR you can’t comply with or find a field you want to go to that isn’t compatible. “Unable, vectors to final” sure, but complying with RNAV stuff would be nice.
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Hot take...who cares if a student can fly an RNAV approach? As long as they get the monkey skills of a non-precision approach and a precision approach, isn’t it all the same thing? Top off the buttonology at the FTU. 


That looks like the take big AF is taking as well. If it was important, well, there'd be money to upgrade. I'd bet it eventually gets fixed, but probably not for a few years.
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6 hours ago, jazzdude said:
8 hours ago, TreeA10 said:
I'm an a-word guy but what's PBN?

Performance based navigation. Usually RNP approaches is what gets talked about.

Ah, same stuff, different terminology. Thanks. 

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Until a student can fly an ILS half as well as I can...we can differ the non-precision approach stuff. RNAV, PBN, or otherwise.

~Bendy

Edit: I’d still teach them about it, but not so much as to clutter their pretty little nuggets.

Edit2: Damn, it’s been a hot second since I read my first post on here.

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11 hours ago, jazzdude said:


 

 


That looks like the take big AF is taking as well. If it was important, well, there'd be money to upgrade. I'd bet it eventually gets fixed, but probably not for a few years.

 

 

5 hours ago, Bender said:

Until a student can fly an ILS half as well as I can...we can differ the non-precision approach stuff. RNAV, PBN, or otherwise.

~Bendy

Edit: I’d still teach them about it, but not so much as to clutter their pretty little nuggets.

Edit2: Damn, it’s been a hot second since I read my first post on here.

You’d be surprised at how many T-6 students hook their Nav checks for GPS approaches, generally things like letting the GPS take them somewhere they didn’t mean to go, not configuring it properly, not reacting to a loss of RAIM correctly, etc etc. The FAA and the rest of the world is actively replacing traditional navaids with PBN. It’s not cosmic like you have all correctly noted, but it’s different enough that it’s worth teaching so the Air Force doesn’t look like a bunch of ass clowns trying to get from point A to B.

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You’d be surprised at how many T-6 students hook their Nav checks for GPS approaches, generally things like letting the GPS take them somewhere they didn’t mean to go, not configuring it properly, not reacting to a loss of RAIM correctly, etc etc. The FAA and the rest of the world is actively replacing traditional navaids with PBN. It’s not cosmic like you have all correctly noted, but it’s different enough that it’s worth teaching so the Air Force doesn’t look like a bunch of ass clowns trying to get from point A to B.


Yeah, stupid things like not being in/out of OBS or a bad direct to, or not confirming the course guidance greens up at the FAF on a GPS approach. But studs also do things like fly a "VORilizer" approach (attempt to fly ILS/LOC approach but on the VOR/DME course guidance), or not updating the course at the FAF.

The good part about teaching GPS approaches in UPT is understanding TAAs and NoPT routings. But that doesn't really need to be done in the jet, it can be taught in the sim without worrying about certification of the GPS unit. This teachers the basic principles of GPS approaches that can be built on in phase 3 or the MWS.

Sure, teaching PBN in UPT would be nice, but are any of our MWSs PBN compliant for RNP-approaches? I'm guessing it's just our big OSA jets that can fly those approaches anyways, so unless there's a lot of investment in our MWSs, PBN training doesn't really do much, or would be so old to basically not be relevant and have to be re-taught anyways. (Just like how GPS approaches had to be re-taught when introduced to the C-17, particularly for the specific quirks of the C-17 MC, to the point where AMC felt C-17 pilots needed a 4-page checklist to do terminal RNAV operations).

I'd rather see more training on visual approaches so we don't land at the wrong airfield...(or just now VFR nav training and planning on how to enter unfamiliar fields VFR, lays the foundation for flying tactical approaches)
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