July 2007 Issue

Dangerous Approaches?

Just because it’s published doesn’t mean it won’t require extra equipment, performance or care. What makes an approach dangerous and how to handle it.

Most for-real instrument flights end with an approach. Once we leave the final approach fix (FAF) in IMC—or enter it beyond the FAF—it’s the real deal. Thankfully, the approaches most of us fly these days are pretty standardized, almost to the point of being boring. Almost. There’s a world of practical difference between a rural-airport ILS and an urban localizer back-course circle-to-land procedure, to pick two. But—presuming both are published by the FAA—they’re all safe, right?

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