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Old 13th Jul 2005, 11:48   #1 (permalink)
 
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Qgh

Flying back past Wyton yesterday, I heard for the first time a controller giving instructions for a QGH approach (presumably to a UAS student - I could only hear the controller as the student was on UHF).

How many places still offer this type of approach? Is it a dying breed (along with VDF approaches)? I see in the RAF FLIP approach charts that DF approaches (often UDF) are still fairly common at smaller military airfields - and presumably when there is a DF approach you can get a QGH if the controller is willing...?

Tim
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Old 13th Jul 2005, 21:17   #2 (permalink)
 
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I don't think there are any pure civilian units still doing QGH's (I accept that Wyton and certain other units are staffed by civvy ATCO's but they operate under quasi-military regs) so no, the fact that there is DF doesnt mean you can get a QGH!! In fact this being the case I believe the CAA have removed refernces to controller interpreted DF let downs from CAP413.
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Old 15th Sep 2005, 17:30   #3 (permalink)
 
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Although the RAF still provide LLQGH approaches for the AAC at PRB GŁtersloh and I believe at RAF Cosford aswell.
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Old 15th Sep 2005, 18:51   #4 (permalink)
 
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Scatsta in the Shetland Islands has a surveilance radar approach available. Done it a few times.
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Old 15th Sep 2005, 18:59   #5 (permalink)
 
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LLQGH?

Lots of SRAs still available, e.g. every RAF station with radar, for example.

Tim
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Old 15th Sep 2005, 19:25   #6 (permalink)
 
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LLQGH - Low Level QGH (Low Level DF let down)

Why people have started mentioning SRA's god knows - they're nothing to do with them!
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 01:04   #7 (permalink)
 
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Because most of the world doesn't talk in Q code? I had thought that the two are conceptually similar.
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 06:19   #8 (permalink)
 
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Well they are in that they are both controller interpreted. The major difference is that a controller providing an SRA has you identified on radar and can see your radar return all the way through the approach. A controller providing a QGH may not have this luxury and can only see an indication from where your RT transmission is coming from on a VDF style display. With a guestimate of the varying wind conditions as you descend, plus judicious use of a stopwatch to time the various legs of the procedure, the controller positions the aircraft onto final approach by issuing frequent heading changes. The controller cannot see the aircraft's radar return at any point during the procedure. This is reflected in the comparatively higher minima used and obviously means little info on other traffic can be passed.
I used to do them at Netheravon; the places where they are available to civil pilots are fewer in number all the time. Get one in while you can!

PS Tinstaafl it you still operate thru Scatsta come up to the tower and say hello!
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 08:55   #9 (permalink)
 
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Tinstaffl

Quote:
Because most of the world doesn't talk in Q code?
Understandable... but we use them more than you think... QFE, QNH, QTE... there's a full list which shows the origin of the codes at:
http://homepages.tesco.net/~a.wadsworth/Qcode.htm

A bit spotter'ish... some are a bit of a laugh, but promise me next time you're flying by you won't practice them on me?
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 10:02   #10 (permalink)
 
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Red face

Unfortunately this thread has gone right over my head, I was ok with QNH,QFE, and QDM but just about all the acronyms were totally lost on me.
So I may, or may not, be interested in what people have said I will only know when I reach a new level of enlightenment.
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 10:40   #11 (permalink)
 
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Brief summary for those who have lost the will to live...

VDF approaches are instrument approaches where the only information available to the pilot is provided by VHF direction finding. (UDF is UHF DF, used by the military.) The pilot transmits so that the controller can tell him his VDF bearing, given as a QDM (magnetic heading to the station). In practice these approaches are very like NDB approaches, except that you can only check your QDM to the station when you ask for it, instead of watching the needle. The rules to fly them are exactly the same (e.g. if you should be inbound on 195 and the QDM is 200, you need to steer into the error, e.g. 210, until the QDM is 195, then allow for drift). When the ac is over the station the reply will be 'no bearing'. The IAF and MAP are usually the VDF overhead.

QGH approaches are controller-interpreted versions of the above, where the controller interprets your changes in QDR (bearing from the station) and passes headings to fly, level changes, &c. Much easier to fly, as the controller does much of the hard work. Again the IAF and MAP will be at the VDF overhead.

Small military airfields with few facilities still offer these: Wyton and Cosford have been mentioned in the UK, and GŁtersloh abroad. Cranfield and Shoreham still publish VDF approaches.

Does any other country use these? I can imagine them being in use in Africa/Far East.

Tim
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 15:52   #12 (permalink)
 
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I can imagine the rest of the world using GPS, more likely...
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 15:58   #13 (permalink)
 
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Use to be reasonably common back in the 1970s. I can certainly recall doing a QGH to ILS in a Gnat when the aerodrome radar was U/S.

We also used to do the 'flame-out descent through cloud' QGH let down on a regular basis when I was being trained on the Jet Provost.
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 22:32   #14 (permalink)

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Had to ask myself if i was being QRM'd the other day.....

F.
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Old 16th Sep 2005, 22:41   #15 (permalink)
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Two regrets . . . I have never done a QGH or a PAR. Anyone want to give me a go?

I have done a VDF where the DF was in the aeroplane and I had to 'transmit for QDM'. Confusing at first but it worked.
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Old 17th Sep 2005, 00:22   #16 (permalink)
 
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Yeah. I've wanted to try doing a PAR ever since I became aware of them.
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Old 17th Sep 2005, 06:43   #17 (permalink)
 
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I seem to recall doing it at Shoreham as part of my training 30 years ago. I see they still have a published VDF approach.
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Old 17th Sep 2005, 09:42   #18 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
QGH approaches are controller-interpreted versions of the above, where the controller interprets your changes in QDR (bearing from the station) and passes headings to fly,
A small correction (if memory serves). RAF style QGHs (or CDTC - Controlled Descent Through Cloud) were/are? based on Controller interpretation of QDMs (Magnetic Bearing to the Station) and not QDRs. The headings to fly were passed as 'Steers', and took into account forecast winds aloft.

Possible variations, depending on Aircraft/Station equipment:-

i) QGH to Visual
ii) QGH to SRA (Surveillance Radar Approach)
iii) QGH to PAR (Precision Approach Radar)
v) QGH to ILS.

The advantage of items (i) to (iii) is that all the aircraft requires is a serviceable radio - many military aircraft in the past had little else in the way of aids to navigation.

Pilots could also select a number of other options:-

a) No Compass/No Gyro QGH
b) Flame-Out QGH (See BEag's post)
c) Speechless QGH (microphone failure) - by Transmitting Carrier Wave Only
d) Any Combination of the above!


Happy Days!
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Old 17th Sep 2005, 10:14   #19 (permalink)
 
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I think I'm right in saying, though, that all the equipment provides to the controller is a QDR - on the equipment I've seen, anyway. Or can it be switched to either?

Tim
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Old 17th Sep 2005, 10:32   #20 (permalink)
 
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In the days when QGHs were a very common method of recovering military aircraft, the RAF CADF/CRDF* displays were set by default to QDM. A spring loaded switch could be used to select QTE (True Bearing).

That was all a long time ago, and today you may well be right.


(* Commutated Antenna Direction Finder/Cathode Ray Direction Finder)
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