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What is the catchpoint and pitchpoint in navigation?

Asked by: 4127 views FAA Regulations, Instrument Rating

What is the catchpoint and pitchpoint in navigation?

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2 Answers



  1. Kent Shook on Oct 17, 2010

    Pitch and Catch points are part of the High Altitude Airspace Redesign project – More info in Advisory Circular 90-99.

    The way I understand it, the “HAR” project is supposed to allow more direct routing by airplanes operating in class A airspace. However, in busy terminal areas, the traffic flow needs to be managed in a way to get everyone sequenced properly for landing and also to send departures out in a way that they won’t conflict with arrivals.

    The “Pitch” and “Catch” points are spots where planes entering and leaving busy terminal areas will be allowed to transition from the more traditional routing to the new direct routing.

    I tried to find more information to see what the status of the HAR project is currently, but I couldn’t find anything more current than the 2003 AC, nothing in the AIM, and the “pitch” and “catch” points are only defined in the Pilot/Controller Glossary. So, this may be yet another FAA project that’s been left in the dust.

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  2. Wesley Beard on Nov 09, 2010

    Kent is correct.  The status of HAR is found in the green AF/D in the back pages.  Currently, it is only active on the west coast and the southern states.
    The HAR extends from 38,000ft to 45,000ft roughly.  You will define a traditional route to a 5-digit pitch point where you enter the HAR.  Once there, you are required to input one 5-digit intersection for every center you enter.  When you exit the HAR through the catch point, you will follow traditional methods (STAR’s, vectors) to land the airplane.  
    Northwest of Olympia airport is a waypoint called “WAPTO”.  Just to the right of this point is “KS15C”.  This is defined point in the HAR system.  These points are used for pitch, catch and to define your route.  They are spaced every 2 deg longitude and 1 deg latitude.  To say the least, there are numerous ones.  The five digit code is created specifically for that point.  “K” is for the United States. “S” stands for the Seattle Center.  “15” stands for latitude and “C” is for longitude.

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