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7 Answers

VOR-A Approach to KFUL

Asked by: 2756 views Instrument Rating

Please take a look at the VOR-A approach to KFUL (Fullerton CA).  There are two sets of minimums; one is 1500 while the other is 760.  The lower is only valid with the BWALT fix. The BWALT fix is shown as: BWALT SLI 3.7 RADAR The approach does not say DME or RADAR required anywhere. Does this mean BWALT can be identified by either SLI 3.7 DME OR Radar?  OR are both required? And am I right in saying that I can use my Garmin 430W to identify BWALT? Thanks........  Carl

7 Answers

  1. David R on Aug 14, 2013

    I don’t know the answer for certain as I have never seen an approach like this, it is fascinating, thanks for sharing. I believe it indicates two missed approach points, one at BWALT and one at JUDLO with different minimums. You can identify those points using DME or a certified GPS (or RADAR as specified but, again I’m guessing, you would need some sort of clearance from the controller for that as a controller would not normally call out a fix for you on an approach). It does not require these as you can always execute the JUDLO using the traditional timing method without any of these. There is also a trap for the unwary. If you were flying at the proscribed 2600 feet (which can be changed by the controller to 1500 feet according to the chart), you would find it extremely difficult to safely descend to the 760 feet minimum for BWALT in the 3.7NM. That is almost certainly why the alternative 1500 feet can be provided but it’s always worth thinking through whether you can really make the decent when multiple profiles are available.

    I hope someone who knows the answer for a certain responds as I’d like to hear it.

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  2. John D. Collins on Aug 14, 2013

    The missed approach point is at JUDLO. It can be determined by DME, GPS, or time. If the pilot can identify BWALT, Then the lower MDA may be used, otherwise, the higher one must be used. BWALT may be determined by Radar, DME, or GPS. Because the approach may be flown to the higher MDA if BWALT can’t be identified, neither Radar nor DME are required. The pilot would have to request BWALT be Radar identified if they did not have a DME or GPS installed. There maybe certain times of the day when Radar isn’t available, for example at night, when approach control is may be shut down and only the Center radar is available.

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  3. Wes Beard on Aug 14, 2013

    John is correct. In this approach, the approach designer didn’t feel it necessary to make DME a required component of the approach. They wanted to make it so a wider group of aircraft can use this approach.

    They also realized that they can get lower minimums due to terrain or obstacles if they can determine where they are on the final approach fix. This is where BWALT comes in. The approach designers say if you can identify the fix (either by RADAR, DME or GPS) you can take advantage of the lower minimums. If you can’t you must stay at 1500′ MSL till JUDLO and go miss or until the airfield is insight.

    I believe the local ATC controllers (not Center) will tell the pilots they are approaching BWALT since the approach states it as a radar fix.

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  4. Mark Kolber on Aug 15, 2013

    Nothing to add to John’s fine explanation, but for both Carl and David, VOR, NDB and LOC approaches with conditional lower minimums based on a step-down fix are not that unusual.

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  5. Fly92020 on Aug 15, 2013

    Everyone else here has good information (except I don’t even understand David’s response; 760′ is the MDA, not the BWALT stepdown, and it’s 6.3nm from FAF to MAP, not 3.7nm…?), but nobody directly answered your question: “am I right in saying that I can use my Garmin 430W to identify BWALT?”.

    Yes; that is what the box with the curved side around the 3.7 indicates; you measure it with DME (or GPS, which can be used as a substitute for DME, right?).

    We have a GPS approach here which includes a flyby waypoint that isn’t even in my KLN-94 database — but I can fly it, because it also indicates distance to the MAP, which I can of course determine from the GPS.

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  6. Mark Kolber on Aug 15, 2013

    but nobody directly answered your question: “am I right in saying that I can use my Garmin 430W to identify BWALT?”

    Did you read the answers give by John (“BWALT may be determined by Radar, DME, or GPS”) and Wes (“if you can identify the fix (either by RADAR, DME or GPS)”

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  7. Fly92020 on Aug 29, 2013

    Yes; I didn’t consider those to be direct answers to his question about the Garmin 430; hence my response… alright?

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