Stage 1 Stage 2 Stage 3 Stage 4 Stage 5 I-ratings

A. Charted visual approaches

We start with a charted visual approach into Burbank airport.

CVFP's are charted visual approaches established for environmental or noise considerations, and/or when necessary for the safety and efficiency of air traffic operations. The approach charts depict prominent landmarks, courses, and recommended altitudes to specific runways.


My first charted approach ever :-) Turned out to be a very scenic approach into Burbank. Will definitely re-do this one in the future.

B. ILS/LPV/LNAV+VNAV approaches

Then, the famous ILS approach. I'll fly one at Meadows Field airport.

This is practically the same as flying one by use of GPS (i.e. RNAV approaches), such as the LPV or LNAV&VNAV approaches. In either case, your NAV1 CDI shows the same needle behavior (but now with greater precision). Strictly, these are not different 'types' of approaches, but all RNAV approaches with different decision height minimums.

LPV: Localizer performance with vertical guidance. If your GPS has WAAS technology, you can fly LPVs (not default in Garmin 530s or 430s!). Offers localizer accuracy and a glideslope, like an ILS, but with much more precision. Also like an ILS, lateral sensitivity increases as the aircraft approaches the runway.

LNAV+VNAV: Lateral and vertical navigation. Does not require WAAS technology, but does require RAIM. Unlike an LPV procedure, lateral sensitivity does not increase as the aircraft nears the runway. Glideslope information is based on barometric altitude. 


YES! First ILS approach! And boy, did I track that CDI. I did forget to do one important thing though ...

C. Sidestep approaches

A sidestep approach is a visual maneuver to land on an adjacent parallel runway. I'll do one as part of the KLAX ILS approach.

Sometimes, a sidestep is requested or offered to facilitate an easier exit of the runway or taxi route to parking. In any case, at airports with closely spaced parallel runways at which sidesteps can be performed, a minimum altitude is usually published to complete this maneuver.

Not there yet

D. VOR/LOC/LNAV/GPS approaches

Next up is a VOR approach into Santa Monica airport, which only provides lateral guidance to the runway. These are flown pretty much the same as flying LOC or LNAV approaches using the NAV1 CDI. With LOC, the OBS has not function; only 1 radial is available (the one of the runway heading).

LOC: No vertical guidance provided. Sensitivity increases as the aircraft nears the runway. There's also LP, called Localizer Performance, which works the same as a traditional localizer.

LDA: A localizer type directional aid is where the localizer antenna array is not aligned with the runway it serves. If the offset angle is greater than thirty degrees, the facility is classified as a LDA.

LNAV: Lateral navigation. Similar to an LNAV/VNAV procedure except no glideslope is presented. Sensitivity does not increase as one nears the runway.

Stand-Alone GPS: The old-style GPS approach is pretty much the same as a LNAV procedure but restricted to using only GPS.

Not there yet

E. LOC back course approaches

A bit more difficult than ordinary LOC approaches, the LOC-BC approach requires me to fly the back course of the localizer and thus to 'inversely' fly the radial. Let's do one at Santa Maria airport.

Not there yet

F. NDB approaches

Time to face the mighty NDB approach and refresh my NDB radial flying practice of some time ago. Exciting. Will fly the only one in the ZLA area left, into San Gabriel Valley airport.

Not there yet

G. Circling approaches

Lastly, we'll do a circling approach into McClellan-Palomar airport. These are needed for some approaches to align the aircraft with a runway for landing when a straight-in landing is not possible or desirable.

Not there yet