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Asked by: Ami
What does VOR-A on the approach plate mean?
on Jul 05, 2013
I’m sorry, but on extraordinarily basic questions like this one, if you are an instrument pilot you should already know and if you are an instrument student, you should know how to look it up about as quickly as you posted the question.
-183 Votes 8 Votes 191 Votes
John D. Collins
on Jul 05, 2013
The name of the procedure identifies the primary lateral guidance that is used for the approach, in this case VOR. The suffix letter A, B, … is used to indicate that only circle to land minimums are available. “A” is used for the first such procedure at an airport using the Navaid, and “B” would be used for the second approach using the same Navaid and so on. An approach with straight in minimums will use the runway designation in the name of the approach that it is straight in to, example VOR RWY 12 has a straight in to RWY 12. Circling only approaches are used any time the final approach course is not aligned within 30 degrees of a runway or the vertical descent gradient is excessive.
+47 Votes 50 Votes 3 Votes
on Jul 06, 2013
It means this approach procedure (VOR-A) is a circling only approach; there will be no straight-in landing minimums published because:
1. The final approach course alignment with the runway exceeds 30 degrees, and or
2. The descent gradient is > 400’/nm from the FAF to the TCH.
As you can see, these values don’t make it impossible to make a straight-in landing. So, if you can see the runway from a reasonable distance allowing easy and safe straight-in landing, you can make a straight-in landing and save time and money.
Reference: The FAA Instrument Procedure Handbook, CIRCLING ONLY PROCEDURES.
+21 Votes 21 Votes 0 Votes
David A Hatcher on Jul 09, 2013
You may find a “circling” VOR “lettered” approach that may align within 30 degrees of a runway. In this situation there is an obstacle that would not allow for developing straight in minimums.
+8 Votes 10 Votes 2 Votes
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