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3 Answers

Missed Approach Hold and lost of communcations

Asked by: 2818 views Airspace, FAA Regulations, Instrument Rating, Private Pilot

Assume that I have been release to execute "RNAV (GPS) RWY 17 GIDDINGS-LEE COUNTY (GYB)" and I do not spot the runway at missed approach point. On execution of the missed approach, I have full communications failure. Once established in the hold and squawking 7600, I appear to have reached my clearance limit. I can retry an approach at KGYB but at what point does ATC expect me to proceed to my filed ALT? Which routing would be best? Victor airways or GPS Direct?

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3 Answers

  1. John D. Collins on Aug 13, 2013

    ATC will just have to figure out how you decide to navigate to your alternate. You do what you decide is the safest under the circumstances. Of course if you encounter VFR conditions and can land under VFR along the route to the alternate, you are required to do so.

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  2. Rusty Allen on Aug 13, 2013

    I got my IFR ticket 20yrs ago and starting to get active again after a long pause. Back then the thinking for routing to the ALT was to grab your posterior and wish for luck. With GPS has the thinking changed? Would a GPS direct route and above OROCA be a good plan? I see the positives being “less conflicts with the Victor Airways”, “Least Fuel route”, and “Something that ATC can figure out what you are doing.”

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  3. Mark Kolber on Aug 13, 2013

    Rusty, even if you wanted to literally follow the regs on lost communications, you’ll notice that, for all the detail on route and altitude to the =destination=, there’s not one word about an alternate. Not how. Not at what altitude. Not even whether you need to go to the filed alternate or somewhere else.

    The bottom line is what John said – you do what you decide is the safest under the circumstances.

    Your 7600 (or maybe even 7600 followed by 7700) squawk (if you still have transponder capability) or suddenly unidentified disappearance from the scope is going to alert ATC that something is up. If you are in a radar environment, your transponder or primary return is going to tell ATC something about your movements so they can move potentially clear traffic out of the way.

    IMO, with GPS, in those situations where I would not encounter visual conditions, take the most direct route to an alternate consistent with safety – altitude, terrain, airspace (even with ATC watching, I’m not sure I’d use a busy Class C or B as my first choice), and consider “something that ATC can figure out” on the bottom on my list of priorities.

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