what is the best way to find out if the AFB is taking approaches or not? i have the phone number in my phone, but i have never called to find outHey everyone. I have been working grandforks approach for 6 years now. If you guys have any questions about approach, departure, arrival just ask I should be able to answer them.
i am just curious, but is seemed like 5 or 6 years ago you could get an approach over at RDR almost all the time, now it seems like 50% or less (i have actually given up which is why i am asking about it). I dont' think i have asked for an approach over at RDR in the last 6-8 months because it didn't seem to matter what time we went we were always declined. it could be we just were unlucky every time and ran into one of the 4 above reasons.Grandforks arrival is a position that is used when we have more than 3 aircraft doing approaches to GFK. The position is normally combined with the approach position but is decombined to relieve some workload from the approach controller.
As far as the best way to find out if the base is taking approaches I would suggest one of two ways.
1. If you are on the ground and only want to fly if you can get an ILS in the local area and 17R is in use at GFK call 701-747-6140 and we will tell you if the base is taking approaches.
2. If you are going to fly either way I suggest just asking when you depart and key up the approach freq.
Reasons why the base will not take approaches are:
1. Tankers in the tower VFR pattern: it is too difficult for tower to work heavys around the vfr pattern with small aircraft going 100-140 knots and tankers doing 200 plus.
2. On base we during migratory periods we have a window from an hour before and after sunset and sunrise that we cannot allow approaches from any aircraft military or civilian: This is also refered to as BASH (bird aircraft strike hazard).
3. An official function (i.e. an excercise where we are tested on ability to react to terrorist attacks, or a change of command where a new commander is taking over the base or unit within the base.
4. RDR tower is closed: They are normally closed from 11 pm to 6 am and on saturdays and sundays. They do have to open for tankers departing or arriving but may not want to give approaches to civilian aircraft.
That is about the best I can explain the base approaches in writing but if anyone has any specific questions I will do my best to answer them.
Thanks AW. I was over there about 8 years ago before 9-11 and we could just drive up and check the place out. Do you guys still work in that little closet or have they upgraded your workspace yet?Everyone at gfk approach works 5 eight hour shifts with the exception of a few DOD civilian controllers who work 4 10 hour shifts. These shifts are typical of most air force facilities. We are a 24 hour facility. We generally work 2 hours of position and then get a break. We dont really have a standard length of breaks.
i have done that with ground before, and it worked. and i tried it one other time and the ground controller pretty much told me to get lost and ask approach in the airWhen GFK is using 17's, don't hesitate to ask ground if it's possible to shoot the ILS to 35L. Now if it's 3 or 4 in the afternoon and there's a bunch in the pattern you can probably figure out what the answer is going to be. But, early mornings and late evenings it shouldn't be a problem with us in the tower. No need to go to TVF or RDR to shoot it.
If you ask us in the tower first we can get you out and back faster than if you asked in the air with approach. We can take you to 17R, depart to the southwest and come back within 10 minutes or so. Otherwise if you ask when you filed on the GFK090015 fix and we took you off of 17L going east bound, it takes alot more coordniation and flying time to get you back down to shoot the ILS.
Now of course this is all situational based so don't quote me 100%, but it never hurts to ask.