JFK VOR 13L/R lead in lights

IFlyPurdue

New Member
Sitting in a meeting today, a few of us were discussing this approach and wether or not most pilots understand that after the FAF DMYHL, with the prescribed visabilities and the lead in lighting in sight a pilot can continue on the approach but not descend below the MDA. My question is since lead in lighting is a VMC lighting system and the prescirbed minimums are 2 and 1/4 why is it that you can continue on the approach under Instrument Flight Rules? What other protections other than the LIL's, are provided for the aircraft if there is a 90 degree turn? If anyone has flown this approach what are your thoughts on its use in a scenario where the ceilings are almost at minimums? Any thoughts would be great!
 

B767Driver

New Member
I've flown this approach probably 100 times over the years. It's amazing to me that the major port of entry into the U.S. greets it's arrivals with VOR approaches. Can u imagine London, Paris or Amsterdam doing this? It's a main reason why JFK has such extensive delays.

Anyway, to answer your question, my company has operation specifications that address how to incorporate lead in light systems with instrument approaches. Yes, it is specifically addressed that you may continue past the MAP and navigate laterally with only lead in light guidance. If the visibility is at the required mins, you will be able to pick up the VASI for the landing runway. Missed Approach instructions state to fly a 100 degree heading at or AFTER the MAP...so the turn is safe even if you navigate past DMHYL.

Most pilots end up low on this approach. They hit the FAF and start a descent at 800 to 1000 fpm and it is too much of a descent rate. If you have an FMS it does a nice job with VNAV. However, you can be in line for takeoff on 13R and watch the heavies make the turn to 13L on the VOR approach and watch a lot of them level off and add power about 1.5 miles from the runway.

One major gotchya if you are flying this approach...make sure you line up with 13L if that is the assigned runway. You'll be tempted to line up with 13R.

Other than the River Visual into DCA....this approach into JFK is one of my favorites.

Oh...one other point...JFK won't use these approaches if they are anywhere close to mins. They fire up the ILS's.
 

IFlyPurdue

New Member
With regards to JFK not issuing this approach if it is close to mins, a few of the check airmen said that often times ATC is reluctant to change the runways and will continue to use this approach because if they do change runways it will screw up LGA and EWR traffic. Would this be a reason or even a possiblity for ATC to continue using this approach? By the way I was flying over JFK the other day and did see a heavy on this approach and I must say that it does look like fun!
 

B767Driver

New Member
Last month I taxied out while the 13s were in use and the ceiling started getting low. They switched to a 4 operation and the runway change took 90 minutes from our place in line (probably 30 minutes for the pole position.).
 

Baronman

Well-Known Member
With regards to JFK not issuing this approach if it is close to mins, a few of the check airmen said that often times ATC is reluctant to change the runways and will continue to use this approach because if they do change runways it will screw up LGA and EWR traffic. Would this be a reason or even a possiblity for ATC to continue using this approach? By the way I was flying over JFK the other day and did see a heavy on this approach and I must say that it does look like fun!
I'm not sure about JFK, but I do fly out of EWR and in ground school we get a talk from the EWR tower controllers every year. The three primary NYC airports (EWR/LGA/JFK) and TEB/Westchester/FRG/ISP all have effects on one another. An example is departing south on the EWR 7 Departure (RWY22R). The procedure calls for a climb to 5000' however the clearance will be changed to 2,500' when JFK has a certain RWY configuration for arrivals. Basically the EWR departures climb southbound to 2,500 then climb and maintain 6,000' for at least 25 miles allowing JFK arrivals to pass overhead.

Additionally, these controllers really live and die by the amount of takeoffs and landings they can get per hour. You'll hear them say how "we got killed yesterday because of......" One big factor in aircraft movements per hour is the RWY configuration. In EWR the most efficient operation is a south operation (22R/L) with the overflow 11 being open. In IAH they will run a west operation until they hit the tailwind limit of 10kts because they have more RWYs available (pm me if you want a better explanation). "Turning the airport around" is a big pain and slows up arrivals and departures.
 
The JFK 13L VOR approach is a bit dated but due to the proximity of EWR, TEB, and LGA it does serve its purpose. Arrivals are sequenced from the south and come in low, any departures to the south are well above the arrivals by the time they turn. JFK's runway configuration dicates what the other NY metros are doing, a JFK runway change will throw all the NY metros into holds. They try and chage during a slow period or at times when they have no choice (wx, wind, etc.)

Back about 10 years I rode the jumpseat of a DC10 (steam gauges, FE, the whole thing) and was surprised how hard the crew was working on that approach. Captain was hand flying, lots of callouts, etc. Was very interesting, was close to minimums, probably is my all time best jumpseat ride. I remember when we were leveling the wings we were sinking pretty good, the Captain threw in a good amount of power. I had the seat ride behind him, was a great view of the approach.

There has been talk about making the approach an RNP approach, jetBlue has been pushing hard for that. About a year ago I saw the proposed RNP approach, I think the proposed minimums were 400' ... If memory serves they are 800' presently. The proposed approach looks interesting, A/C will be turning and descending all the way down to 400'...

I have to look through the 1000 files on my computer, I may have a copy of the proposal.
 

B767Driver

New Member
This approach would be a great use of RNP. If you want to see some crazy stuff...check out the RNP approach into Quito, Ecuador.
 
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