Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a single

Tram

Well-Known Member
Hey guys-

A buddy of mine is working on his instrument ticket and his instructor told him "Get the first notch of flaps at the final approach fix and just "guess" for the rest of it.."

I flew with him yesterday and worked with him a lil' on instrument stuff and he mentioned this..

I've never instructed in a single, fixed gear bird for an instrument ticket, so I'm not really sure what to tell him.. I told him I didn't know, and can't remember how we did it in the Seminole, it's been so long.. I know how I do it today and I know how I'd do it if I was flying the plane in actual and was shooting the approach..

I just wanted to see what you guys thought, for purposes of a check ride..

Those of you who taught IFR in a single, fixed gear bird.. What did you teach for both a precision and non-precision approach?

I mean, there's not that much to do in a C-172, so maybe configuring at the FAF is plenty?
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

Personally, I don't teach anything other than the before landing checklist to be done prior to the FAF. Some instructors teach 10 degrees in at the FAF/P.

In a faster airplane, like the 182, I'll put the prop forward at the FAF.
 

tgrayson

New Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

I mean, there's not that much to do in a C-172, so maybe configuring at the FAF is plenty?
That's probably most common, but I don't believe in waiting so late. FAF is a busy time, so why compound that by making configuration changes right then?

On a full approach, I have students configure PT outbound, gear down, slow to approach airspeed, put in the flaps, if we're using them, and pre-landing checklist. When getting vectored to final, configure on base leg when about 3 nm from the final approach course.

By getting configured early, the workload is lowered on the remaining segments of the approach.

As for the checkride, I don't think the examiner is going to care, as long as the student gets done what he needs to get done and doesn't appear overloaded.
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

To add to my original post -

On a multi engine aircraft (ILS) I'll go GUMP at glideslope intercept and 100 KIAS. I have no problem with flaps being delayed until visual contact is made and landing is assured. Some CFI's would argue that adding flaps can destabilize the approach by causing the famous nose-down pitching moment in the Seminole.

If there is a PT or HILO, I still keep the gear up to maintain some sense of 'normalcy'.

To add, I had a student recently flying into hard IFR conditions by himself in a glass 182. He was using the autopilot to minimize workload during a busy day or ILS approaches and vectors. In short, he added 10 degrees flaps at 1/2 dot below GSI. The autopilot had a total come-apart and pitched erratically and ultimately ended in a missed approach.

In a high workload environment, I suggest keeping things as 'standard' as possible for redundancy.
 

meritflyer

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

To add to my original post -

On a multi engine aircraft (ILS) I'll go GUMP at glideslope intercept 100 KIAS. I have no problem with flaps being delayed until visual contact is made and landing is assured. Some CFI's would argue that adding flaps can destabilize the approach by causing the famous nose-down pitching moment in the Seminole.

If there is a PT or HILO, I still keep the gear up to maintain some sense of 'normalcy'. I'll GUMP it once established inbound.

To add, I had a student recently flying into hard IFR conditions by himself in a glass 182. He was using the autopilot to minimize workload during a busy day or ILS approaches and vectors. In short, he added 10 degrees flaps at 1/2 dot below GSI. The autopilot had a total come-apart and pitched erratically and ultimately ended in a missed approach.

In a high workload environment, I suggest keeping things as 'standard' as possible for redundancy.
 

LatitudeDancer

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

Single engine non-R/G, the Chief at my old school would say leave the flaps out until visual b/c it's one less thing to remember and detract from performance on the missed and the whole destabilization thing.

Another older school taught 1st notch of flaps around 1/2 mile from FAF and restabilize because it was training kids heading off to the Regionals and it was what they supposedly did (but a single engine non-complex airplane does not = a jet)
 

woutlaw

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

Dunno if it's "correct" or not, but I teach first notch of flaps and set power for approach speed 2 miles from the FAF and complete the pre-landing checklist.

I do it for a couple of reasons, the most basic is to get the airplane configured, on speed, stable and set up for landing early so there's nothing left to do but ID the FAF/intercept the GS, reduce power and go down.

The only thing I want them worrying about inside the FAF or on the GS is keeping the needles centered and their altitudes.

The other is it serves as a trigger for the student: If they need to configure the airplane two miles from the FAF then they need to be thinking ahead and know where they are in relation to the fix.

It seems to reduce instances of just trucking along to the FAF without having a plan then either screaming on down (screaming being relative in a 172 of course) and turning the approach into a hairball, or just plain ol' blowing past the fix because they don't know where they are.

In a 172 or archer, a notch of flaps or not works fine either way but most of my folks are moving up to higher performance stuff so I figure I'll get 'em used to getting the a/c configured properly, stable and on speed early in their training.

Personally, I think 10 degrees of flaps makes for a slightly more stable approach and keeps the speed in line as you head downhill but it's really more about keeping the situational awareness high.
 

germb747

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

In my two airplanes, we do it like this:

C-5: Base Leg-Flaps 40%, Gear Down / Before Landing Checklist.
GS Intercept (precision)-Flaps Landing (100%)
Just before FAF (non-precision)-Flaps Landing (100%)

B-747: Entering terminal area- Flaps 1, Flaps 5, Flaps 10 (base leg)
GS Alive (2 dots)- Flaps 20
GS One dot- Gear Down / Landing Checklist
GS Capture- Flaps 25
(For non-precision, be fully configured at the FAF)

That's the way our manuals tell us to do it, which makes it procedure (for aircrew standardization if nothing else). But in general aviation, there are multiple ways to skin the cat and really no absolutely correct or incorrect way of doing it. Every plane I've flown has had slightly different procedures, although a fairly common one seems to be partial configuration at 2 dots, gear down at 1 dot, and final configuration at the FAF. When I was flying C172s for my IFR ticket, my CFI taught me the CLIF check (Compass, Lights, Instrument, Flaps), when in the terminal area about to start an approach. I hope I'm remembering these numbers correctly, but I would use 10 degrees of flaps and a power setting of about 2100 RPM and that kept me right at 90 KIAS. When established on the GS, I'd set the power at 1900 RPM (1700 RPM for non-precision) and it seemed to work out well (Gear down at the FAF if flying the RG). Final flaps when landing assured. In the absence of flight manual guidance, find a system that works for you for the sake of consistency and good habit patterns. Good luck!
 

Ralgha

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

I kept the flaps up till I had the runway in sight. I did it down to real minimums a few times and it always worked just fine.

Configuring a Cessna to "get used to" configuring an airliner (or any other plane for that matter) is ridiculous. Fly each airplane as it is, don't pretend it's something else.
 

upup89

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

I don't think I saw this one. I usually teach the 3-2-1 checklist
3 miles from FAF- Before landing checklist
2 miles from FAF- Power to the bottom of the green arc
1 mile from FAF- Flaps first notch
At FAF-Gear

Interesting to see so many other ways out there!
 

butt

New Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

I always taught the section of the approach before the FAF is exactly like downwind, crossing the FAF is like turning base, and having the runway in sight is turning final. That way they don't forget anything they would normally do on a regular pattern landing.
 

aloft

New Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

Dunno if it's "correct" or not, but I teach first notch of flaps and set power for approach speed 2 miles from the FAF and complete the pre-landing checklist.

I do it for a couple of reasons, the most basic is to get the airplane configured, on speed, stable and set up for landing early so there's nothing left to do but ID the FAF/intercept the GS, reduce power and go down.
:yeahthat:

I don't teach, but that's exactly what I do.
 

ppragman

FLIPY FLAPS!
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

In single engine birds on ILSs, its a good idea to stay fast. Speed is life, you have way more options if its down to mins. On a non precision approach, its a good idea to try to be steep and fast. That way if you lose an engine, you still may be able to glide to the field, or barring that, you still have more choices than if you're all configured and slow down low.

It may be a harder technique, and your pax may have their ears popping quicker than they are used to, but they will be happy if you planned appropriate and you dead stick it in and everyone walks away if something does go wrong.

In terms of the best way to configure, I use flaps to their takeoff setting, and the gear down at the FAF. Speed should be up, and power should be gradually reduced after the FAF so that when you break out you'll be able to make a normal landing. The difficulty comes in the fact that by varrying speed down the approach, you have to continuously re-trim to maintain glideslope.
 

aloft

New Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

In terms of the best way to configure, I use flaps to their takeoff setting, and the gear down at the FAF. Speed should be up, and power should be gradually reduced after the FAF so that when you break out you'll be able to make a normal landing. The difficulty comes in the fact that by varrying speed down the approach, you have to continuously re-trim to maintain glideslope.
Pretty much the definition of an unstabilized approach.
 

Orange Anchor

New Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

Pretty much the definition of an unstabilized approach.
I am not sure the criteria for a jet is the same for a C-172. For example, to fly the approach to mins and then go landing flaps also violates the stabilized approach concept. Also, on another forum, the argument generally gets heated over the difference between a dive-and-drive NPA versus constant rates of descent (CROD). While a D&D is no longer recommended for jets, many light plane pilots argue effectively they can do a D&D and get into small airports.
 

JK7177

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

For seminole i've always put one notch in at the FAF, i do the same for the arrow it makes the approach easier to flly in my opinion, i guess do whats comfortable to you though i don't think that its fair to say that one notch is going to destabilize your a/c if you've flown the plane more than once you should know exactly what to expect when you put that notch in.
 

Boris Badenov

Let's get this thing on the hump!
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

max forward to the marker, pull the power over the numbers or I'm going to have to slow down and my boss will make me Kill You.

And are you serious about TBGUMPS being "too much" over the marker? I guess I'm lucky I'm still suckin down air!
 

flyinguitar

Well-Known Member
Re: Precision/Non-precision Approaches.. Configuring in a si

I never used to add flaps on an approach before breaking out with the landing assured in a light single or twin (all I've flown, really). Recently, I started experimenting with adding a notch of flaps a couple miles before the FAF and I like it. My students seem to like it too, and they have better compliance with the other procedures at the FAF (before landing/gear down) when they are correlated with a configuration change.

Seems to me to be mostly a style issue, with some consideration of training for more advanced airplanes thrown in.
 
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