Ils13 @ stc

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  • Ils13 @ stc

    For John O'S..... a couple of Twin Cities area local knowledge questions......I flew the ILS13 yesterday afternoon, and got an intercept heading from Center for the localizer at 5,000' just inside SIYON and within about a mile of FAC, "maintain 3,200' until established, cleared the approach". I'd slowed knowing that I'd want to get down pretty quickly to be below the glideslope for a coupled intercept, but despite starting down briskly as soon as I got the clearance to 3,200' the glideslope was nonetheless centered as I intercepted. Should have slowed more in retrospect on the intercept to final speed and descended quicker with gear down and all, but didn't, and ended up hand flying it (surprisingly that worked, who knew! <G>), never could get far enough below the g/s for coupling.

    Anyway, do they usually keep you at 5,000' until almost on top of the FAC before authorizing descent to 3,200'? Sure would have been nice for an earlier descent but my guess is that what I got isn't unusual there.

    It was also odd that as I arrived from the SE, Approach took me down to 4,000'....and then Center had to climb me again to 5,000' on the downwind for the approach "for radar coverage". When I asked Center why I'd been descended first, she said that the LoA between the facilities required 4,000'. That's odd if Center needs 5,000' routinely to see the aircraft for approach vectoring.


    ILS 13 2 STC Excerpt

  • #2
    Dunno for sure, but I'm guessing that the slower traffic can manage a higher descent rate than the heavy iron, so they keep the slow guys high until the last second. It has happened to me at AVP and PHL. Last time into PHL, I was downwind for 35 at 4000' (~3920 AGL). They told me to turn base when I was barely beyond the river bank. Fortunately, I was flying a PA-32R, which just LOVES going down with gear down and full flaps. A slipping U-turn got me in.

    At PHL, 27R and 35 intersect near their respective thresholds, with 27R being the main arrival runway, wind permitting, often with a conga line back to the NJ coast. That makes putting GA traffic onto 35 a timing exercise as well.

    Anyhow, it was likely about time you hand-flew an ILS Good job.

    After Colombia (AA 757), SFO, Indonesia, and Ethiopia, I'm kinda wary of systems operators who have been given pilot certificates. I would not want to see a real pilot, natural or not, become one.
    Life may not be the party we hoped for, but while we're here, we should dance.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Scott Dyer HPN/NY View Post
      Anyway, do they usually keep you at 5,000' until almost on top of the FAC before authorizing descent to 3,200'? Sure would have been nice for an earlier descent but my guess is that what I got isn't unusual there.
      I haven't flown enough approaches into STC to be able to answer with a "usually." We've got a lot of approaches to choose from, and as FCM is in the southwest corner of the metro, if I'm not doing approaches at a metro airport, I tend to stay to the south and/or west of FCM.

      Our controllers LOVE to have folks on radar, though, and I know that coverage down below 3500 is iffy out that way. Looks like the MSA on that approach is 3500 within 25 miles of STC VOR. I'm surprised they didn't get you down to at least 4000 much earlier.

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      • #4
        Thanks, John. Didn't know if you got up here much. Live and learn with the handling, I'd have been better off with the RNAV13, direct OKEYA, cross OKEYA at 4000 or above (or whatever altitude), cleared for the approach. The "T" architecture would have been a help.

        Ray, it had nothing to do with traffic, at least not when I arrived yesterday. And, yeah, I've done the downwind for 35 at 4,000', cleared to land (!), and refused it ("unable") due to passengers on board for whom a fairly dramatic non-normal series of maneuvers wasn't right. We hit the next gap, no problem, much happier for it.

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