[jhb_airlines] Last night on FPI

  • From: "Bones" <bones@xxxxxxx>
  • To: "JHB Email List" <jhb_airlines@xxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Fri, 25 Aug 2006 03:32:07 +0100

Despite the very late notice I appreciate all who joined in last night.
Whilst the radio was more "relaxed" than normal it was also more serious
because a certain level of instruction could take place.

This allowed me to take Paul through most of a commercial pilot's base check
which requires the pilot to fly two precision approaches and one non
precision approach procedurally including at least one approach and go
around in asymmetric flight. Put more bluntly that is two ILS and one
VOR/DME approach with at least one with an engine shut down - all non radar.

Real pilots have base checks every 3, 6 or 12 months depending on the
aircraft being flown and the ratings held. For most of the larger airlines
this is all done in the simulator but a lot is still done for real if the
airline can't afford the sim time or no sim is available for the aircraft
type. Manx Airlines flew two base checks a week on average - both on the 146
and the ATP but this dropped off when the 146 sim came on line. ATP pilots
never had this luxury and ATP base checks continued until Manx got absorbed
into BA.

Manx had two routes for training and I took Paul through the Route A
procedure. This was to take off from EGNS and climb to 3000ft (sometimes to
FL050) on course for KELLY. At KELLY the aircraft would intercept the airway
centreline and fly on the 132 radial to IOM VOR. At the VOR you then enter
the holding pattern (by executing a reverse entry procedure) and would fly
two complete holds. After the second hold the ILS/DME approach for 26 would
be begun - flying from IOM to RWY NDB and then outbound in the procedure. On
picking up the ILS the aircraft would be flown down to minima (250ft) and a
missed approach executed.

The aircraft then climbed back to 3000ft towards the IOM VOR and back into
the hold to position for the next approach. At some point an engine would be
feathered (or reduced to flight idle) and the next full procedure from IOM
to RWY and out for the ILS would be flown on one engine. Again the aircraft
would descend to minima and go around - still on one engine. During the
climb out the engine would be started again and the aircraft positioned back
to the IOM ready for the final approach. This would either be a VOR/DME or
an NDB approach - but the VOR plate has long gone now and so only the NDB
procedure is available.

Paul had most of the basics about instrument approaches under his belt so
that made life a bit easier for me. I could concentrate on all the bits that
aren't published in the docs but which a commercial pilot has learned
through experience.

Paul departed Belfast City and flew into Ronaldsway down airway L10, losing
one engine between RINGA and SLYDA. Luckily the Dash 8 he was flying has an
accurate aircraft performance file and it behaved much like the real
aircraft. Radar vectoring put him nicely on 26 centreline at 4nm for a
visual approach - engine failures being treated as an emergency situation by
ATC with a very short base leg (no 8nm or 10nm finals here).

On the ground Paul restarted the dead engine and then got airborne for Route
A. Over KELLY he correctly turned back to pick up the airway to the IOM VOR
and then, after a quick chat, flew a very nice reverse entry procedure into
the hold. Paul then flew two holds at 3000ft during which JHB199 and JHB188
took off from EGNS for Dublin and Barrow. Both departing aircraft overflew
the VOR so they were restricted to 2000ft until clear of JHB153 going round
the pattern. That bit I liked as it was typical of many days at Ronaldsway
when we had training traffic (Manx were not the only trainers as we had many
RAF C130's and Prestwick BAeFC aircraft doing exactly the same).

After the second hold Paul left the VOR for RWY NDB and flew the approach
plate quite well indeed. A slight delay in turning onto the outbound heading
after passing RWY resulted in him being too close to the centreline and his
turn back onto final to pick up the ILS resulted in him going well through
the Localiser - but not so far as to abandon the approach. A nice ILS was
then flown and the aircraft went around and headed back to the VOR for a
second try.

We had some time to chat then so a few more snippets were passed and the
second procedural approach flown. This time the pattern was almost text book
but the southerly wind again took the aircraft very slightly north of the
centreline - wind correction being something I couldn't explain in the time

During all this JHB199 was vectored onto the ILS at Dublin and JHB188,
returning from Barrow, was vectored onto the ILS, narrowly getting in ahead
of JHB144 arriving VFR from Jurby direction.

This is the sort of thing I'd have liked to do in FPI a long time ago -
teach you all some of the really meaty stuff that I think some of you are
quite capable of tackling. It never happened though and for many reasons.
First is my limited time online, second was that our controller numbers were
always too low for one to drop out of the loop (having proved that a three
airport event was the best scenario for attracting pilots).

Having said that I will be online for Friday and Saturday night too, back at
Ronaldsway and willing to take anyone who wishes either to watch the fun or
join in. I'll accept anything from circuits to procedural or radar
approaches - but not anyone who wants to fly an aerobatic sequence over the
airfield <vbg>. If the radio isn't too busy I may be able to offer a radar
talkdown too - but this means complete radio silence from all other aircraft
for about four minutes as the talkdown "chat" is continuous.

For anyone wishing to try an instrument approach have a good look at the
approach plate first. If the wind remains westerly this will be the ILS/DME
Approach for Rwy26. As well as the top profile also look at the vertical
profile so you know when to start your descent (this is YOUR responsibility
from the moment I clear you for the procedure). Also make a note of the
Missed Approach procedure so that you know exactly what you need to do when
you go around.

Full marks to Paul for giving this a go. I can honestly say that I've seen a
lot worse in real life and was very impressed with his efforts.


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