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9 Answers

IFR to Private Airports

Asked by: 3566 views ,
General Aviation, Instrument Rating

I am planning a flight to Naper Aero Club Airport (LL10) and I cannot find any information on their RNAV approach.  I can probably get them to send me details on the procedure but I would like to learn more generally about how IFR to Private Airports works.

- How do flights to private airports work in the IFR system?

- Are there any online resources where I can read more about this or find procedures?


9 Answers

  1. Woody S. on Mar 27, 2012

       The main issues, aside from getting PERMISSION (this is so important) to use the field…are the approach charts…pvt fields do not have published approaches (to my knowledge…at least none that are in my giant bag of Jepps). This is the first field i’ve heard of that has an RNAV…but then again I’m from Alabama, and most of the pvt fields there are grass (or water!) I have never filed IFR to a pvt field, but this is how I’d go about it:
    1) Contact Naper Aero Club. Ask them about their instrument procedures, and see if they have plates available to be emailed or mailed to you. 
    2) If there’s any doubt about filing to LL10 after you talk to the Aero Club members, call 1-800-WX-BRIEF of the nearest FSS. Don’t worry about “sounding stupid,” you’re a private pilot. It’s not expected  of you to know these things. I’m a CFI and I don’t know about filing IFR to pvt fields…but I’m going to find out today. Thanks for bringing this question to my attention. I know I didn’t give you a definitive answer, but I hope it helps. Have fun, Jon!
    Blue Skies!

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  2. Tim Smolen on Mar 27, 2012

    There are no approaches to LL10. File for 1C5 (Clow) and hope you break out in time to make LL10. If there are any ‘hand-rolled’ RNAV approaches they are not official approaches and are not to be used during IMC.
    As far as I know there are no IFR approaches to private airstrips though I’m sure someone can prove me wrong with some off-the-wall cases.

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  3. Bill Trussell on Mar 27, 2012

    While I can not come up with specific examples off the top I do know that there have been private approaches established based on privately owned navigation facilities on the ground.  These approaches often have “with prior approval” and they have often been based on someone turning on the ground based nav aid when the need arises.
    For RNAV approaches it is obviously a different story.  The key is usually that the FAA must have done the needed flight checks for the approach in addition to approving the intial design.  This has been done in the past at the “owner” expense reimbursed to the FAA.
    It is best to contact the airport owner and find out what provisions have been made by the sponsor with the FAA, if any.  Also, plan on filing an alternate in case coordination for use of any approaches gets messed up.

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  4. Nathan Parker on Mar 27, 2012

    You don’t need to file for a different airport; you can file for a lat/lon or a radial/distance in your flight plan.

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  5. John D. Collins on Mar 27, 2012

    I don’t know if the same is true at LL10, but at GE99, Heaven’s Landing, they contracted for a private RNAV approach and were only permitted to provide the approach charts to occupants at the airport.  The approach plates were numbered and they had to account for all of them and they could not be used  or copied by the general public.  Also interesting was the fact that Garmin had the approach in the GNS430 database, but you could not get a chart.  I woul contact the airport owner-operator and discuss it with them.

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  6. John D. Collins on Mar 27, 2012

    There is a VOR or GPS RWY 36 approach in the database for the Garmin GNS and GTN series at LL10.  Contact the airport manager to obtain an approach chart.  The manager will advise you of any limitations on providing the chart.

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  7. John D. Collins on Mar 30, 2012

    I discussed this subject with a friend who lives at a private airport that has contracted for an approach similar to the situation at LL10.  He wrote this to me:
    “When the approach was approved, roughly twenty years ago, we were issued a form with the data and told we should contact Jeppesen or another approved source who would print the approach plates in an approved manner at our cost and direction. We were also told that we were to brief each individual pilot on the approach and should not issue an approach plate to anyone who has not attended the briefing. No specifics were given as to what should be covered in the briefing.
    We recently were advised that they now feel that each person using the approach should have Letter Of Authority from our Local FSDO. We commented that that would mean a lot of work and we like what we are doing. They did say that maybe we could get a blanket LOA that listed all pilots who were approved to use the approach, but in any case, that each pilot using the approach should have a copy of the LOA in his/her possession. So far, it is all in limbo and we have not pushed the issue nor have the FEDs. I get the impression that no firm decision has been made.
    In any case, I am the custodian of the approach plates for our approach and I do brief each person to whom I issue an approach plate. I am confident that many folks have given copies to their friends even though we were told by the FEDS that no such action should be taken and I have briefed each person to whom I have issued the plate concerning that restriction..
    If that sounds about as clear as mud, I agree that it is just that clear!”

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  8. Marc O. on Apr 05, 2012

    I used to live near and fly out of LL10 and I can assure you that there is an approach with Jepp charts (printed around 1992, if my memory serves). I assume that you have talked to the airport manager to get permission to land. I would suggest that you also ask him about the approach.

    If I remember correctly there were both FAA and insurance concerns regarding who had the plates.

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  9. Paul Bridges on Jul 10, 2012

    The approaches for the private airfields do require an LOA to be carried with the crew with plates given to them and that they have completed the brief with the airport manager.
    Garmin has them on there GPS’s but you are required by FAA to know everything about the airport you are to land at(in FARs). If you file to an airfield with private approaches and use them thru ATC you have now left a trace that FAA can follow up on to bust you if you don’t have an LOA.
    So you can get a notice of investigation from FAA for using the approach. /fine/suspension.
    Remember the airfield pay for these approaches each year to be flown and maintained. Its not for student to practice on. Just like the 3 hour prior notice required at most private fields.

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