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Turning to outbound when flying direct to VOR IAF on inbound heading

Asked by: 1544 views Airspace, FAA Regulations, Instrument Rating

Is there a regulation for which way to turn to track the outbound course if you are flying direct to the VOR IAF from practically an inbound course heading? I recently got vectors that almost aligned with the inbound course before ATC let me loose for the full VOR APR. Once I hit the VOR, I turned toward the side with the PT and flew a heading to track the outbound course. What would have been the right way to turn outbound? Thank you.

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2 Answers



  1. John D Collins on Mar 21, 2015

    Drew,

    If you are cleared direct to the VOR on a random route, I would expect a turn in the shortest direction to intercept the outbound heading. If you are essentially on the inbound course, then I would favor to turn to the same side as the PT is depicted on. ATC is not permitted to clear you straight- in for an approach when the IAF is also a FAF and the PT is to be expected.

    There are other limitations not directly included in your question where you see a note that indicates that a straight in is required for arriving on airways between two radials or that a procedure is not authorized between two radials along airways. These are not sector notes and when they include the word “airway” it only applies to airways, not random routes.

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  2. Drew on Mar 21, 2015

    Thank you, John.

    I did end up verifying that she wanted me to proceed direct to the VOR and proceed outbound, but I never experienced doing such a big turn to get on the outbound before (usually it’s within 90 deg).

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