contact approach

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lilfssister
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Post by lilfssister » Mon Jan 23, 2006 7:05 pm

bigfssguy wrote: ALso grimey i believe the phraseology is "are you willing to follow my instructions" not "obey" I mean we know FSS want to be kings/queens of the universe but come on buddy dial it down a bit..............

Boys, boys, boys...settle down. As I said above:

673.4 A. 2 Phraseology:
CLOUD BREAKING ASSISTANCE CAN BE
PROVIDED. WILL YOU FOLLOW MY
INSTRUCTIONS?
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Post by FSS » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:18 am

OK, didn't plan a history lesson until next Thursday, but...
When TC or was it DOT, maybe it was MOT put out their Canada Air Systems Plan (CASP) in the early 80's, one proposal was to blanket all of Canada with VHF/DF. Of course like much else in the two vol. plan, it didn't happen. It is a poor man's radar, but like someone said, very useful tool. Use of has potenially avoided many accidents/incidents. One such story was a late night call on 126.7 picked up by YTH FSS. Said a/c was calling Yellowknife! Duty FSS asked him if he could help as the DF indicated he was NW of YTH and by the sig strength within 50 - 60 miles of YTH. Pilot indicated he was a medevac out of Spence Bay destine for the "Knife. His fuel was down and once he was aware of where he really was, decided to land Lynn Lake. He advised he was on final which YYL advised, "by your bearing, not at YYL your not." He overshot Leaf Rapids and continued on to Lynn. Medevac pax got off and refused to get back on, company asked YYL FSS to have a/c refueled for another pilot who would be there in the morning to take it to YZF. Not sure what the outcome of this would have been without DF both in YTH and YYL.
TC decided that DF was too expensive to maintain and started pulling them out of sites in the 90's. One accident in southern ON was an a/c lost, low on fuel, poor wx and the FSS's in vicinty had their DF's removed. Unable to do anything and with no radar coverage, the poor sod flew until rolling up in bush and rocks, not surviving. Possibly a DF steer might have got him to an airstrip. Of course Ottawa knew best, cost conscientious, I'm surprised that there are still some around.
There were some Regions, YQM for one, that would not allow FSS to perform c/b on the assumtion they weren't smart enough or capabile of steering a/c and most pilots would come out of cloud upside down anyways. Duh, at least with DF he could have come out over the airport or other suitable terrain, at least know where to send CFR. One more story then I'll go, C46 departs YTH, declares emergency, going down, Reg. TC Safety Officer in FSS, commandeers chopper doing a run-up, given last bearing taken on C46, run out and picked up survivours and via direct to hospital. Total time, 30 mins. No DF; would have taken longer to find site. My theory was anything we could do on the ground to aid and assit those in the air was applicable.
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Post by FSS » Tue Jan 24, 2006 9:19 am

Double post, something ain't working, right, gets my number up though.
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Post by jonathan_tcu » Sun Jan 29, 2006 7:24 am

YTS (Timmins) FSS has DF. I've seen it myself back in the early 1990's. Once an aircraft calls FSS, the dot blinks and FSS guys get the bearing for advisories.

As for contact approach issues, I've heard incoming flights who are VMC are questioned by ATC prior to final approach clearance or late night when no other traffic is reported if they have the field visual and issue a visual approach. During peak traffic periods, ATC suggests the pilots request a visual prior to dropping off radar or calling 20 DME, or they must request the contact approach. Some pilots still ask for visual approaches even when they don't see the field. :roll:
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Post by it'sme » Sun Jan 29, 2006 11:07 am

Jonathan said "Some pilots still ask for visual approaches even when they don't see the field"

Golly gee, do it all the time. Requested and received a visual approach just yesterday......and no I didn't see the field at the time....we were still 60 miles away.
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Post by Fusion13 » Sun Jan 29, 2006 9:41 pm

Back to contact approaches...in a "radar to the ground" environment ATC can issue contact approaches to as many aircraft as they like as long as radar separation can be maintained. ATC requirements are 1 mile flight vis and ground contact, but if the pilot says he or she has the minima then it's not up to us to question it.

In a non-radar environment only one approach clearance can be issued at a time, regardless of the type of approach being flown. As was correctly pointed out earlier, the only exception to this is a subsequent visual approach when a/c #2 has #1 in sight. However, the procedure must be established - and the controller must be satisfied that the procedure is working - before radar identification is lost with either a/c, so this has minimal application.

As far as visual approaches go, if a pilot says they see the airport, who am I to argue??
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Post by charlie_g » Mon Jan 30, 2006 11:01 am

it'sme wrote:Jonathan said "Some pilots still ask for visual approaches even when they don't see the field"

Golly gee, do it all the time. Requested and received a visual approach just yesterday......and no I didn't see the field at the time....we were still 60 miles away.
Did you report the field in sight?
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Post by pokaroo » Mon Jan 30, 2006 12:11 pm

Back to contact approaches...in a "radar to the ground" environment ATC can issue contact approaches to as many aircraft as they like as long as radar separation can be maintained.
Isn't it provided the first aircraft is established on final, which takes away most of the advantage as most guys usually keep it tight when on a contact.
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Post by jonathan_tcu » Mon Jan 30, 2006 3:55 pm

charlie_g wrote:
it'sme wrote:Jonathan said "Some pilots still ask for visual approaches even when they don't see the field"

Golly gee, do it all the time. Requested and received a visual approach just yesterday......and no I didn't see the field at the time....we were still 60 miles away.
Did you report the field in sight?
Wasn't me flying, I just tune in and learn. Every now and then, be it MVFR or VFR/VMC conditions, some pilots who are new to the area, request a visual and ATC asks if the field is in sight. If so, visual is approved. If not, the pilot is told to request a contact or published approach and ask the local or remote FSS to hotline ATC and forward a visual approach request. I live in a non-radar environment where when a plane drops off radar and the pilot awaits ATC's final approach clearance, at that point, ATC states it's too late to ask for a visual because "I can't see you, so I can't approve a visual, but I can approve a contact approach on request". However, when I listen to aircraft in radar environments, like CYSB and CYYB during nights/weekends, it's radar all the way through, where ATC asks the pilot to report field visual. Wouldn't life be so much easier if every or almost every airspace was covered by radar? :lol:
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Post by Fusion13 » Mon Jan 30, 2006 8:37 pm

pokaroo wrote:
Back to contact approaches...in a "radar to the ground" environment ATC can issue contact approaches to as many aircraft as they like as long as radar separation can be maintained.
Isn't it provided the first aircraft is established on final, which takes away most of the advantage as most guys usually keep it tight when on a contact.
Well, not exactly, but you can't clear a/c #2 for the approach til in a position (usually on vectors) where he can't catch #1 no matter what track he flies. It's really the same as vectoring for subsequent visual approaches when the a/c will never get each other in sight.

Another technique is to determine if the pilot requesting a contact can comply with a particular restriction (i.e. present heading to final; turn final outside the river etc) and still conduct the approach. This can be used to ensure adequate spacing with preceding traffic
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Post by jonathan_tcu » Tue Jan 31, 2006 5:59 pm

I found this cassette recording from last Spring, between a CZYZ controller and a curious Georgian pilot who was declined a visual approach. He asked why.

Pilot: " (reviews contact approach procedures) Why can you not approve a visual?"

Controller: " We went this question up to Ottawa several years ago and asked, if a pilot can see the field, why can't we clear him for a visual approach? They came back to us and said, what a visual approach is supposed to do, is allow (ATC) to monitor your approach on radar, and point out any VFR's that we can see, and have multiple visual approaches where you can follow the person ahead. But we're supposed to be able monitor it on radar. It's just one of those things, where it's one of those rules and that's the interpretation.

Pilot: "I thought that part of the visual was supposed to relieve you of that stress factor."

Conversation continues and ends with....

controller: I often say that, when I explaining things, where I can't approve a visual but a contact is approved. And slowly one by one everybody in the north sort of catches up on it. And sometimes you can hear other people on frequency, you know where weather is wide open VFR and hear them asking for a contact approach, because they know the routine."

In our area there is no radar coverage below 10 000 feet as a rule. So, a pilot can request a visual prior to dropping off radar coverage. Other times, if an aircraft drops off radar way before his final approach clearance and he's descended to 5000 feet ( MSA), he is cleared for AN approach (of his choice, ATC does not require an approach type, unless the pilot requests a contact.
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Post by pokaroo » Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:10 am

I work the airspace you are talking about and you CAN give the visual even if the guy has dropped off radar. There had been some confusion in the past but things have since been sorted out.
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Post by jonathan_tcu » Wed Feb 01, 2006 3:20 pm

Thanks. I guess that's why during wide open VFR days, the controllers ask the pilot if he has the field visual. :lol:
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