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Old 3rd Dec 2007, 13:59
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Join Date: Jun 2005
Location: AEP
Age: 75
Posts: 1,421
Monitored Approach

Hola Tee Emm -
With pleasure to discuss your questions and the suggestions that will follow my own.
I am a TRE/TRI in 747-200s (worse even, training manager of my airline) and besides flying my desk, I make an idiot of myself in classrooms, simulators and on the line... I even manage to be assigned a few flights and steal some landings to stay current...
If I speak as a simulator instructor, I stick to "strict book procedures" as far as initial and recurrent training is concerned. But my trainees are nowadays all highly experienced pilots.
The transition from "instrument flying" into "visual" (when to look) is a critical moment in the approach, especially when dealing with marginal conditions. In my long experience which dates from the last century... I had a few sobering experiences. I can recall one night, landing at JFK with 200' DH ILS in a DC8-63 and minimum fuel, having to go around because of defective transition into visual, and having flown the approach by hand, without "George's help", probably to impress my F/O and F/E of my superior airmanship. With the delays to be re-vectored in the traffic and approach, we landed close to declare a low-fuel mayday... Was entirely my fault.
We, here in Argentina, practice something called the "Monitored Approach", one of my claims of fame, since I hold this training management position. I did bring that procedure that I had seen done by UAL pilots in the USA. As I am an ex-PanAm pilot, I had tried that type of procedure myself.
Our "Monitored Approach" procedure is performed as follows, whenever the weather minimums are close to actual conditions -
The PNF becomes PF during the approach, before the final approach fix, and the approach is performed with the A/P on ILS - Autoland selected (we have a 3 channel A/P system) and he is briefed to fly the approach to minimums, staying eyes on instruments with no visual concerns about landing, as he is briefed to go around upon reaching DH. On his side, the PF (temporarily being PNF) starts looking outside after he calls "one hundred to minimums" and puts his hands on the controls at that time... If he has the proper visual cues for landing, he announces "landing" and becomes the PF again, and disconnects the A/P as needed. Our 747-200 airplanes are not CAT-IIIa anymore, merely CAT-II. but A/P has full CAT-IIIb capability.
I told you that I know of the "Monitored Approach" because of UAL, where I was occasionally training in DC8s. I was told, by their instructors, that this procedure had been fostered by BA (back then probably BOAC). So, maybe you might inquire there in UK as to their opinions. I only want to mention that missed approaches records and reports are extremely rare in our operations since we use that procedure.
And, Tee Emm - just say "Yessir" to your simulator instructor... and do as he says.

Happy contrails
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