Welcome Guest. Sign in or Signup

12 Answers

Cleared Direct to VOR and then Cleared Approach (ARC), Where to Join?

Asked by: 811 views , , , ,
Instrument Rating

Reference VOR RWY 18 at KLAA Lamar, Colorado. Were cleared direct to LAA VOR on approximately the 320 radial inbound. A few miles from the arc we were cleared for the approach. Are we expected to resume own nav and cut hard south to the Western IAF, or just join the arc on the radial that we were on? Or keep going to the VOR, then go outbound on R-238 and join the arc there?

12 Answers



  1. R. Anderson on Jul 24, 2017

    Based on the way I understand your question, I’m assuming the controller said something like “cleared direct to the Lamar VOR, intercept the 10 DME arc at or above [some altitude], cleared for the VOR RWY 18 approach.” (sometimes the controller will also say something like “arc northeast, or similar)

    If this is the case, unless there is more to the story, you would make a left turn approaching the 10 DME arc (soon enough so you did not fly past the arc) and then continue to arc NE – bound until you joined the inbound radial, crossing Lamar VOR not below 6000 feet.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  2. Mark Kolber on Jul 24, 2017

    I don\’t understand what occurred. Sounds like there is a piece missing and I am unwilling to speculate except to say, if i didn\’t understand my clearance, I\’d ask ATC to clarify.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  3. Joshua Clark on Jul 25, 2017

    The VOR is an IAF with a procedure turn. Going off of what you said, the expectation would be to continue to the VOR and then execute the course reversal through the procedure turn, with no arc expected.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  4. John D Collins on Jul 25, 2017

    I would agree with Joshua. You were cleared direct to LAA, so you continue direct to LAA. LAA is an IAF, it requires the PT, so I would then execute a direct entry using a right turn to 349 degrees outbound at the VOR and use a holding pattern as my form of the PT. Keep inside the 10 DME limit on the hold and intercept the 349 degree radial inbound (169 degree course) to LAA as the final approach fix.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  5. R. Anderson on Jul 25, 2017

    I would also agree with Joshua if the only instruction was “cleared direct to LAA” and then “cleared for approach.” However, the question implies, to me anyway, that the 10 dme arc was part of the conversation:

    His Question:

    “Cleared Direct to VOR and then Cleared Approach (ARC), Where to Join”

    If the 10 DME arc was NOT part of the approach clearance, then there is no question that the pilot should go to the VOR and execute the PT.

    It would be helpful if Jerry D. would clarify exactly what the circumstances were.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  6. John D Collins on Jul 26, 2017

    There is a fair amount of confusion with DME arcs, when they are applicable and where they can be joined. They are intended to provide a NoPt option in a non radar environment where the aircraft can’t be vectored to the final approach course and will normally have the IAF placed along airways connecting to the VOR. They can be joined from the airway in either direction, as the turn to the initial course is 90 degrees, either way. They are not intended to be joined mid arc. KLAA does not have radar service, so the only place this approach can be joined is at an IAF. Crossing a random part of the arc is not an IAF.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  7. Bob on Jul 26, 2017

    I agree. But the controller should have mentioned the arc. I would ask for clarification

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  8. R. Anderson on Jul 26, 2017

    Agreed John, but I’m wondering how JerryD found himself on “about” the 320 radial cleared “direct” to the VOR since, as you point out, it is a non-radar area. (I was unaware that, even though it’s Denver Center’s airspace, there was not radar coverage)

    Looking at the charts (approach, low alt enroute) I don’t see any published non-radar route/transition etc. that would account for JerryD to be somewhere (“about”) Northwest of the VOR.

    This requires too much speculation regarding the actual circumstances to provide a better answer. Again, JerryD might provide more details.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  9. Mark Kolber on Jul 27, 2017

    I was unaware that, even though it’s Denver Center’s airspace, there was not radar coverage
    I tend to treat Center as opposed to TRACON handling approach services as a small clue to lack of radar approach services, but a quick look at the Chart Supplement is the real source of that info.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  10. John D Collins on Jul 27, 2017

    The service volume of the VOR would allow direct navigation below 14500 MSL out to 40 NM with a 100 NM + above 14500 MSL. Enroute radar coverage might have been available from center at the higher altitude and even if there was limited or no radar coverage, as long as the aircraft was inside the service volume of the VOR, ATC could clear the aircraft direct to the VOR.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  11. John D Collins on Jul 27, 2017

    Bob,

    I disagree, the controller should not mention the arc as the clearance is “cleared direct to LAA VOR”. Mentioning the arc would only add to the confusion.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes



  12. Mark Kolber on Jul 29, 2017

    I agree with John. In my earlier comment I said I didn’t understand and thought something might be missing in the conversation with ATC. But if the scenario is exactly as posted – “proceed direct to the VOR” followed by “cleared for the VOR 18 approach” – with nothing missing, it seems the mere existence of the arc on the chart is what is confusing the poster. Remove the arc from the chart and the instruction becomes completely clear.

    Remember this is not a VOR/DME approach. DME is not required; the arc is not required. If ATC did not instruct to intercept the arc, it is a simple, basic VOR approach and, for the purpose of this approach, the arc doesn’t exist. You go direct to the VOR and perform the appropriate PT. Thinking the arc means something here if those were the only instructions is a misread of the procedure.

    0 Votes Thumb up 0 Votes Thumb down 0 Votes


Answer Question

Our sincere thanks to all who contribute constructively to this forum in answering flight training questions. If you are a flight instructor or represent a flight school / FBO offering flight instruction, you are welcome to include links to your site and related contact information as it pertains to offering local flight instruction in a specific geographic area. Additionally, direct links to FAA and related official government sources of information are welcome. However we thank you for your understanding that links to other sites or text that may be construed as explicit or implicit advertising of other business, sites, or goods/services are not permitted even if such links nominally are relevant to the question asked.