January 2008 Issue

Miss Opportunity Approaches

For-real missed approaches are rare, but knowing in advance where youíre going to go makes it manageable. Itís all a matter of making the best of the opportunity.

Iím either lucky or I donít fly enough: In more than 30 years of flying airplanes for personal transportation, Iíve had to execute a for-real missed approach in IMC exactly twice. On both occasions, weather was the main culprit. At least thatís my excuse. Both flights ended after a successful ILS approach. Of course, those two occasions donít include the trips I delayed or didnít make for weather-related reasons. In more than one instance, Iíve waited out weather but still arrived at my destination before I had to be there. Thereís no real secret to this kind of reliable personal-airplane use. Itís a fairly simple matter of planning, keeping open as many options as possible, knowing what the options are and thenówhen itís necessaryómaking the decision to execute the appropriate plan.

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