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A37575
15th Jun 2015, 13:45
During flight calibration testing of visual approach slope systems, the relevant technical manual used by technical staff when these systems first were introduced, stated that these systems were not intended for use below 200 ft. The reason given was the aircraft should have been stabilised on a visual approach well before reaching 300 feet and that it was not possible to ensure the light signals gave accurate readings below that height. This was due to siting of the light boxes to one side of the runway giving rise to a lateral error.

It is common to see pilots using these systems for guidance well below 200 feet. Not only that, but pilots but still calling if the signals show below or above on slope when below 200 ft resulting in superfluous "support" calls that are both annoying and distracting.

There must be a cut-off height on short final where visual signals become invalid. Can anyone quote that height from an official document?

Further to that. Most international runways (in Australia, anyway) served by PAPI, have a published mean eye height over the threshold (MEHT) eye height over the threshold for long bodied aircraft types. Typically 74 feet. This invariably means a smaller type (737, A320 et al) using the ILS electronic glide slope indication will see three or sometimes four reds on a PAPI that is calibrated for long body types (B777 and similar length). If a smaller type is now using PAPI guidance solely, (ILS inoperative or not installed) does this mean that using the normal two reds and two whites will of necessity place that type higher over the threshold than desirable?

If that statement is true, then what combination of red/white visual signals should be tracked in order to produce the normal 50 feet wheel height over the threshold for (say) 737/A320 types. Appreciate quotes from relevant official documents.

skyhighfallguy
15th Jun 2015, 13:53
superfluous

I like the idea that there is a great deal of information coming out of the PNF.

Certainly things like: you are ugly and you smell funny is truly in the world of superfluous, but high or low, fast or slow ain't too bad.

Antman
15th Jun 2015, 20:19
Don't confuse PAPI with VASI
The PAPI is a light array positioned beside the runway. It normally consists of four equi-spaced light units color-coded to provide a visual indication of an aircraft's position relative to the designated glideslope for the runway. An abbreviated system consisting of two light units can be used for some categories of aircraft operations. The international standard for PAPI is published by the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO) in Aerodromes, Annex 14 to the Convention on International Civil Aviation, Volume 1, Chapter 5. National regulations generally adopt the standards and recommended practices published by ICAO. An earlier glideslope indicator system, the visual approach slope indicator (VASI) is now obsolete and was deleted from Annex 14 in 1995. The VASI only provided guidance down to heights of 60 metres (200 ft) whereas PAPI provides guidance down to flare initiation (typically 15 metres, or 50 ft).

Offchocks
15th Jun 2015, 23:06
I cannot produce direct quotes from any documents, but I have read that PAPI was produced for low vis ops. My last employer discouraged its use below 3-400 feet saying aiming point was the way to go, however when I was employed in the UK we used it and I continued to do so with anything else that was available.

If a smaller type is now using PAPI guidance solely, (ILS inoperative or not installed) does this mean that using the normal two reds and two whites will of necessity place that type higher over the threshold than desirable?

Yes if you consider touching down a little longer is not desirable, which would be the case on a short runway but not necessarily so on a long one.

ChaseIt
15th Jun 2015, 23:29
Look into MEHT ie on a 767 with a MEHT of 53ft you would expect accurate signals all the way down however if the MEHT is something like 73ft you would expect the PAPI to give three red in the last 200-300ft as you drive to your aiming point

capt. solipsist
16th Jun 2015, 02:22
A37575

The closest I can cite is what is contained in ICAO Aerodrome Standards:

5.3.5.37 The angle of elevation settings of the light units in a PAPI wing bar shall be such that, during an approach, the pilot of an aeroplane observing a signal of one white and three reds will clear all objects in the approach area by a safe margin.

Capn Bloggs
16th Jun 2015, 02:24
If a smaller type is now using PAPI guidance solely, (ILS inoperative or not installed) does this mean that using the normal two reds and two whites will of necessity place that type higher over the threshold than desirable?
The only time a PAPI will have an MEHT of over 50ft will be on a runway that is served by long-bodies, which in turn means the runway itself is quite long. A smaller type will obviously cross the fence at greater than 50ft but will have more than ample runway to pull up on because the runway can take long-bodies.

underfire
16th Jun 2015, 08:46
The design guidance can be helpful for the discussion...
http://i62.tinypic.com/2djyq79.jpg

RAT 5
16th Jun 2015, 12:11
This discussion was thrashed to death a couple of years ago. The general consensus is that at 200' on a stable approach on glide path you should be concentrating on the touchdown point not some fairy lights.

AerocatS2A
16th Jun 2015, 12:40
The only time a PAPI will have an MEHT of over 50ft will be on a runway that is served by long-bodies, which in turn means the runway itself is quite long. A smaller type will obviously cross the fence at greater than 50ft but will have more than ample runway to pull up on because the runway can take long-bodies.
True, but you need to be mindful of runways that are shortened for works but still have the 74' MEHT.

A37575
17th Jun 2015, 07:53
Thanks for the instructive replies. :ok:

Bergerie1
17th Jun 2015, 08:10
RAT is right!

Nugget90
18th Jun 2015, 20:26
You might be interested to know how PAPIs became a replacement for VASIs.

In the mid 1970s PAPIs were used as a visual aid for use by (principally) aeroplanes and a helicopter (HS748, BAC 1-11 and Wessex 2) operated by the Blind Landing Experimental Unit (BLEU) at RAE Bedford to assist pilots flying normal (3 degree), steep and two-segment approaches. Thanks to an initiative shown by the two airfield lighting boffins, JJ and TS, ICAO agreed that PAPIs might be employed as an alternative to VASIs on civilian aerodromes.

As one of the BLEU pilots (the clue is in my PPrune name), I used them on many occasions, with a chap on the ground adjusting them to a range of different approach slopes in the time it took us to fly a circuit. One trial we conducted on a clear day with our flight being monitored by highly accurate kine-theodolites involved each of three pilots flying three approaches to Bedford's long runway: one with PAPIs, one with VASIs and one with no visual light aids. The most accurate approach was that flown using PAPIs and the next most accurate was that using neither PAPIs nor VASIs. With VASIs it was all too possible to 'bounce' in and out of the relatively wide approach slope corridor.

We also conducted trials of the first (and only) British-designed GPWS, and when demonstrating its operation at Bedford, i.e. diving towards the runway, on a day when the visibility was not especially good, I used guidance from PAPIs to help me demonstrate to the aviation Press standing behind me how the GPWS functioned 'in a timely manner' whilst ensuring that we remained over the aerodrome. Interestingly, the Press were more fascinated by the PAPIs than by the GPWS!

Although ordinarily you would not expect to expect to use PAPIs below 200ft above touchdown elevation since by that time on a manually-flown approach you should have acquired sufficient visual cues to have confidence that you could follow-through to a safe touch-down, we noticed - as you might expect - that they still provided a measure of guidance below that height. This, however, was not and should not be relied upon as primary guidance for reasons already stated by other respondents.

After leaving Bedford I enjoyed (!) a spell in the MOD where, when a general question was asked if anyone had any ideas as to how finance that had been arranged for the introduction of Tornado but not spent due to delays might be used, I proposed and had accepted a suggestion that industry might be persuaded to invest in produced a few sets of PAPIs for use at Northolt, to facilitate accurate approaches over built-up areas, and at a Lightning station to reduce the risk of tail-strikes, again by helping to promote stable approaches.

After that, the idea caught on and now PAPIs are used across the globe. Incidentally, our proposal was that a set should comprise eight boxes with four on either side of the runway co-located with the glide slope origin. If you've flown an approach with this arrangement you will have observed that the gap between each group of four helps define that origin, and of course for the occupant of the right-hand seat the right-hand group is more in line with his/her view of the runway.

And this all began 40 years ago!

piratepete
19th Jun 2015, 03:08
Once on a PAPI, TWO REDS/TWO WHITES then below 2-300 feet its more important to keep a constant VERTICAL SPEED, typically around 700 fpm coupled with the aiming point AT A CONSTANT POSITION ON YOUR VIEW OUT THE WINDOW rather than chasing the PAPI.This is my instructional method, has worked fine over the last 26 years.

ironbutt57
19th Jun 2015, 06:01
PAPI considered not useable below 200ft

RAT 5
19th Jun 2015, 08:33
Yet I heard of one 'superior' operator who taught base training so as to maintain PAPI to 100'. Dubious technique?

piratepete
19th Jun 2015, 11:10
Following a PAPI below 300 feet from the threshold elevation may or may not be dubious to some, however the really important information to the pilot is the IVSI rate of descent which can vary depending upon actual groundspeed on the day but is TYPICALLY about 700 fpm for most jets.If this is monitored and adhered to it is very likely that you will arrive just above the correct touchdown point in the "zone" so to speak and what happens next is dependent upon your flare technique, another issue altogether.Chasing the PAPI below 2-300 agl is not a good idea in most cases.I have conducted 100s of hours of base training in the real jet airplane and this mirrors what we have previously practiced in the SIM and it seems to work quite nicely in general..........

PEI_3721
19th Jun 2015, 12:04
Because PAPI is a system with a focused, projected, and ‘sharp transition’ beam, the limitations of its use depend more on the airfield installation, aircraft type, and its purpose.
Theoretically it can be used as low as it is possible to see the lights, depending on weather and task. Thus for a visual / night approach in a helicopter, PAPI could provide guidance all the way down to the pad (the PAPI boxes could be laterally angled towards the centreline).
In practical terms the height bands defined by the vertical angular difference in the colour changeover, which change with altitude – tightening as altitude reduces, dictate usability together with the aircraft speed and control response.

Airfield (runway) use depends to some extent on the range of tasks.
The discussion of MEHT relates to the centre of the beam, but might overlook a small range in height depending on the angular difference in the point of colour changeover. Adjusting these settings (within limits) could provide acceptable accuracy for a greater range of aircraft types. There is of course a point where larger aircraft would not meet the safety requirements and an alternative PAPI set would be required.
There is also some variability in an installation’s lateral displacement, angular setting, and a particular design's angular beam spread.

These aspects focus predominantly on the safety clearances at the threshold, but in low vis the system is used more a (spot) check of the primary guidance, opposed to a full guidance system. These checks (a quick glance) can be as low as it is practical to take time to look and the range of visibilities, e.g. one or two spot checks after Cat 2 visual contact.
For non-precision low vis approaches, the PAPI could become the primary guidance system after visual contact, and the system could again be used as low as practical. However, there should be a gradual transition from using PAPI for guidance to that of a spot check of the final visual approach and landing.

Changing the glideslope angle also affects the range of height between colour changeovers, thus a steep approach using standard changeover settings might initially appear easier to fly, but at lower altitudes it provides more viable – flyable guidance.

PAPI provides a highly accurate beam defining the glidepath, with low ambiguity in deviation relative to the beam centre than the older systems (VASI). It is important to consider how the system should be used, in what situations, and aircraft type. It is not necessary to have a hard cut-off / min-use height, but crews should have knowledge of how the system works and the difference between a guidance system and an aid to check / monitor the late stages of the approach.

piratepete
20th Jun 2015, 12:34
Holy moly, that is a long winded way of saying...........actually im not sure what your point is.Whats wrong with looking out of the window at your AIMING POINT and keeping it in the same position in the window view coupled with the odd look inside to check AIRSPEED and SINK RATE?........whatever happened to basic flying skills.....JESUS

Miles Magister
20th Jun 2015, 12:56
There are some good replies here. Below your DA/MDA the approach should be visual using the correct RoD and visual aspect of the runway, not using the PAPIs.

Because of the way the PAPIs are set up a pilot who flies the PAPI to touch down will end up with a flat long approach from DA with power on to hold the speed. All of which will make for a long landing with too much power.

It is perfectly normal and correct for smaller commuter aircraft to be in 3 reds and one white below DA/MDA on a correct visual approach. It can be seen from the helpful diagram posted above that it is perfectly safe and clear of obstacles. There used to be very helpful diagrams in an older version of the UK CAP168 which are unfortunately not there in the current edition.

Some charts publish LDA for a particular runway and with very good reason also state a reduced LDA if landing beyond the PAPI.

In short I agree with the advice above.

latetonite
21st Jun 2015, 00:42
Next thing will be to follow the glide slope till touchdown. I agree with Piratepete here.

RAT 5
21st Jun 2015, 08:36
When I did base training on B732 it was a company or UKCAA requirement to achieve an acceptable approach and landing with VASI off. The technique was similar to that taught at flying school. Now there's a coincidence????
Later I flew the line and indeed there were some minor Greek islands where there were no lights, and even if there were VASI's the sun obliterated them anyway.
Later I flew for an operator that forbid approaches with no glide slope guidance. This became a problem to an airport with an NPA and PAPI's on maintenance. Then it became a captain's day only landing with full VNAV FMC guidance. It was still the case night landings with no glide slope guidance we're forbidden.
If the company considers its pilots to be so incompetent and incapable I wonder what other skills are lacking.
How can this most basic of manoeuvres be considered so difficult? All this talk of PAPI's below 300' etc. You shouldn't need the things below 500' on a visual approach if you're capable. OK if you pop out from an NPA at 600' it is comforting to have PAPI's; even more if they are 2W2R. I get students wanting to G/A with 3 reds at 200'. Guess what; as you go around they become 2W2R for a split second, but then it's too late.

Wingswinger
21st Jun 2015, 08:54
I agree. My company's guidance and the one we trainers push is ignore PAPI and/or ILS G/S below 200ft. The landing is a visual manoeuvre based on runway aspect. Besides, at major airports frequented by heavies the PAPI are set for the greater eye-height so in a 737/320 you will see 3 reds anyway below 300ft when on the correct flight path to the TDZ aiming point. Furthermore chasing the fairy lights below 200ft risks de-stabilising the approach and increases the chance of a firm arrival or a long landing beyond the TDZ. The latter is undesirable on a short runway with obvious risks. Piratepete talks of maintaining v/s of 700ft/min. That is incidental and we certainly do not tell trainees to chase the v/s. Just look at the TDZ aiming point, keep it 1/3rd of the way up the windscreen, be at the right attitude and speed and you will be on a 3 degree slope. In my aircraft (320 series) when the FDs are deselected the FPV serves as an accurate flight path indicator and it's use is strongly pushed. As far as the ILS G/S is concerned, if it's not a CAT3 installation with the LVO protections in place you should not be referring to it below CAT1 DA.

9.G
21st Jun 2015, 10:40
For the airbuses it's a clear cut deal as per FCOM:
Do not follow PAPI or TVASI guidance below 200 ft if the published MEHT is
below the recommended PAPI or TVASI MEHT. Then there's table
A332 - 52 ft
A333 and A343 - MEHT 51 ft
A 345 - 55 ft
A346 - 53 ft.

Agree with the old and proven strategy, simply look outta window and fly. :ok:

16024
21st Jun 2015, 11:01
It's a very interesting discussion, and leads to a broader one, about the meaning of stabilised approaches.
Wingswinger, above, mentions de-stabilising the approach by chasing the lights or the v/s in the late stage. Newer pilots will probably only know about "stabilisation criteria" being a set of numbers and conditions which are to be met, and maintained.
20 years ago an approach which was steadily and consistently 30 feet low, would not have been seen as unstable (although during base training on the 732, I was criticised for allowing 3 reds at <200 to become 4 reds at<100. Well if you maintain the correct approach angle that is what will happen. I didn't argue).
From 300 feet, even with 3 reds, you are going to hit the tarmac. 30 feet vertical error is about 700 feet of runway.
From the trainer's perspective, or even the normal line captain who has to sign in what's left of the aircraft, I'd much rather see no correction to a slightly low late final than yank-and-float. 4 whites might be a different matter, but it's too late to save it with a stuka dive by then.
Local effects also come into play, eg at Corfu, where a 3.5 slope on the NPA meets 3.1 PAPI. And less objectively at a runway where you "know" that the house thermal over the car park will punt you 50 feet up.
That, I suppose, is when you have to do some of that old fashioned "pilot s**t".

RAT 5
21st Jun 2015, 16:58
I also find that pilots who pay too much attention to VSI displays, fairy lights and attitude displays at low level do not pay enough attention to what their backside is telling them. You correct for x-winds by instinct and feel, often making the correction before the effect has taken effect: if you know what I mean. The same is true for the vertical bumps & humps that mother nature puts in our paths.
Glad the hear someone talk of 'house thermals'. I briefed an arrival, with ILS, on a hot hot day into a dusty area, reasonable headwind, with slightly rising ground inside the OM. I suggested the PF take gear a little earlier to avoid the a/c accelerating as he pushed down to maintain the glide slope with the balloting a/c. The ah ha moment was a joy as he told the story of exactly this happening the week before when taking gear at the usual close in point aiming for a 500 stable point. The bucking bronco was a handful. Much cursing & swearing. It was only JUST achieved with frisky neck hairs.
The house thermals this week over Montmin & Annecy were a joy: if you know what I mean.

Jwscud
21st Jun 2015, 20:28
I always found the motorway on final to CIA 15 a particular joy in August for the same reason. Massive lift, power off, nose down, then at around 100ft the lift fairies occasionally just disappear requiring a handful of power and a firm yank. Keeps you on your toes :eek:

RAT 5
21st Jun 2015, 21:47
Indeed, especially as the PAPI's bring you over the threshold at 80'. It's bizarre; on glide all the way down; looking good, and the last 300' go haywire as you see the touchdown point migrate too far into the RWY. This really is one where you need to keep the crash point fixed in the screen.

piratepete
22nd Jun 2015, 09:05
Not because im any sort of expert but because in xxxxxxxxxx im required to train very low hours young pilots to heavy jet type rating first in the SIM followed by base training PPCs (yes a full PPC in a real a/c to obtain the initial type rating) ive had to re-invent myself as an instructor and first deconstruct in my head how to fly visual one engine and two circuits, touch and goes, and go-arounds etc IN AN EFFECTIVE MANNER.Focusing on a steady V/S coupled with keeping the aim point in the correct position works very well for landings in the SIM but things are much harder in the real world with all the thermals, wind effects etc.Bottom line- keep it simple, and dont over-analyse. Its a visual exercise FFS.

No Fly Zone
25th Jun 2015, 12:50
What am I missing? I've read the inquiry several times and it simply does not compute. Here's why: For non-ILS approaches, the properly aligned PAPI is a great aid. However, it seems to me that at levels as low as 200' agl, the pilot should be looking at the rwy, not the PAPI. If, by the time s/he reaches about 200' - 300' agl, but cannot clearly see the rwy, the Go Around procedure should already be in process. I do not know the lowest effective height agl for PAPI, but by 200' the touchdown spot should be the only focal point or, again, the Go Around already in progress.
Go, what am I missing? A lower agl threshold certainly may be appropriate for a low/slow airplane like a C172, with a landing/stall speed of well <<100Kts. But, for a large transport, landing and well >>100kts, it is simply too late for the PAPI to be on any real value. Straighten me out guys! Thanks.:confused:

RAT 5
25th Jun 2015, 19:58
NFZ: You are straight. Stay cool.

GlobalNav
25th Jun 2015, 21:36
I certainly agree that not only below 200ft, but by the time you pass MDA/DA/DH you should be visual and looking for the runway (with approach lights in view) or looking at the runway itself, ideally the actual touchdown zone. If the touchdown zone is in view, the PAPI will be too, since it is longitudinally abeam the touchdown zone. The PAPI should be good reference while visual in extremely windy and limited visibility conditions. It was put there for a reason and designed for this very purpose.

We assume that trained and qualified pilots, ATPs especially, should be able to visually assess the aircraft's position for landing and complete the visual segment to a safe touchdown - or go around. Something in this particular approach event defeated that and the airplane touched down short of the runway.

Without placing blame on anyone, what is it in our system that we see such events? Was the airplane suitably stabilized on the approach? Was there sufficient visibility to conduct the localizer only approach and landing? Was something missing or optically illusional in the visual cues? Is more training and proficiency needed to actually fly the visual segment, and make the correct decision about landing or go-around?

If we cannot count on pilots to skillfully perform the visual segment - visually - then the safety basis for all but Cat III instrument approaches is faulty.

GlenQuagmire
25th Jun 2015, 23:23
Got cleared for a visual approach in really bright sunlight and flew a curved constant aspect approach rolling out onto final at about 800' AGL with the aiming point in the right place and stable, on speed, very pleased with myself, and got a very agitated pilot in the other seat tell me I was high when the four whites became just about visible at about 400' (you couldn't see the lights before that because of the sun). They fairly quickly went one white, three reds, two reds two whites, one white three reds and then we landed in the right place at the right speed. I often fly with a logger and we analysed the points afterwards and I had flown a reasonably accurate 3.5 degree glide path with no change in power setting at all from 3500' until I closed the throttles at about 40'. My aeroplane will comfortably fly an approach up to about a 4 degree glide and there are procedures which allow an approach path up to 4.5 degrees. In my opinion, picking up and adjusting to the lights at approximately 400 feet would have destabilised the approach or at least risked that but flying a clearly stable visual approach (exactly as if there were no lights at all or they were out of service) was fine. To answer the original posters question, surely you can't simply fly three whites and a red or three reds and a white to fly a three degree approach in an aircraft thats got a different eye height to what the lights are set for. If you fly 2R2W you are on the path the lights are set for and if the eye height is different you will touch down deep or short (probably deep as they should be set for the largest type). If you fly a different combination, youre on a different path. Isnt it as simple as that?

Capn Bloggs
26th Jun 2015, 01:54
surely you can't simply fly three whites and a red or three reds and a white to fly a three degree approach in an aircraft thats got a different eye height to what the lights are set for.
No, because regardless of what light combination you use/fly, your eyes will always hit the ground in exactly the same place: abeam the PAPI boxes. Flying 3 whites will result in exactly the same touchdown point (length of aeroplane/deck angle/cockpit-wheel height difference notwithstanding) as flying 3 reds. 3 whites is higher than 3°, 3 reds is lower, but you will always end up at the same place on the runway.

Just fly 2w/2r. If you are in a long-body, the PAPI MEHT will/should be set further in so you don't tocuhdown short. If you're in a little tiddler (737, 320) then you will touch down longer than normal (if you haven't changed the aim point to the 300m markers) but who cares, the runway will be more than long enough, unless Aeroscat is doing WIP on the far end! :)

GlenQuagmire
27th Jun 2015, 12:16
Yes. That's why I said "surely you can't"......
And the point is if you can't see the lights you fly an approach based on experience. If you see PAPIs at 400 feet that don't agree, who cares! If the approach is right, carry on. I wouldn't change an approach path on breakout at 200 or 100 based on the PAPIs following a perfectly stable approach. I'd keep the descent rate the same, the aiming point steady in the windscreen, and mentally revise what I'm going to do if I baulk. Sod the PAPIs! Irrelevant at that point.

AerocatS2A
27th Jun 2015, 12:33
Bit of a bugger if the PAPIs are correct and you're suffering from some kind of black hole illusion or similar.

GlenQuagmire
27th Jun 2015, 13:24
Fairly unusual to get a black hole illusion when flying a visual approach in extremely bright sunshine which is what caused the PAPIs to be invisible..

Just to be clear, what do you do when you break out at 200 feet from an ILS and see three reds or three whites? Keep the stable approach going or fanny about with pitch and power to get 2 reds and 2 whites? PAPIs becoming observable late on a visual approach is the same. Do you divert if they are unservicable?

Capn Bloggs
27th Jun 2015, 13:38
If you see PAPIs at 400 feet that don't agree, who cares!
I care. If I pop out off an NPA at 400ft 4 reds or whites, a go-around it is. You'd be an idiot to try to salvage a landing from and obviously unstable approach, in the true sense of the word. ILS...different story. See next:

I wouldn't change an approach path on breakout at 200 or 100 based on the PAPIs following a perfectly stable approach.
Hang on. The only approach you'd be breaking out at "200 or 100" would be an ILS. Continue to use the GS. Unless the MEHT matches the TCH, then the PAPI will be "off".

what do you do when you break out at 200 feet from an ILS and see three reds or three whites? Keep the stable approach going or fanny about with pitch and power to get 2 reds and 2 whites? PAPIs becoming observable late on a visual approach is the same. Do you divert if they are unsurviceable?
If you've done a hero visual approach and suddenly find you have 4 whites or reds above 200ft then continue for landing at your peril. The PAPIs are installed for a reason.

As for diverting, here, we are permitted to operate without slope guidance for only 7 days. And in that 7 days, you must be qualified for no-slope landings.

GlenQuagmire
27th Jun 2015, 15:33
Er....

What's different there from what I originally said?

GlenQuagmire
27th Jun 2015, 15:42
Your mindset of someone needing to be a hero to fly a visual approach is exactly what's wrong with today's fly by numbers magenta line environment.

It's not heroic of a pilot to make a visual approach. It's utterly dismal if they can't! Are you telling me that you can't accurately land your aircraft visually without glide slope information? Astonishing...

RAT 5
27th Jun 2015, 18:06
[I]Are you telling me that you can't accurately land your aircraft visually without glide slope information? Astonishing...[I]

There are many pilots who can't and one reason is some airlines don't allow them to.

GlenQuagmire
27th Jun 2015, 18:22
Astonishes me that anyone allowed to fly an airliner feels it necessary to be some sort of hero to fly a visual approach. Or accuse someone one that can of heroics (I think it was basically intended to make me look stupid..)

I'm starting a new club.

It's called the

"I can confidently hand fly my aeroplane in any phase of flight and I can also fly a visual approach" club.

If you can't be a member of that club, what the bloody hell are you doing driving an airliner!!

latetonite
27th Jun 2015, 19:21
When I got checked out in my first 'wide Body', the rad alt was u/s in base training.
People now need it to flare a 320. And they think it is required. Instead of learning how to land, they try to find the answer in SOP`s, or PPRUNE.
Jeeeeez.

Groucho
27th Jun 2015, 19:47
Many of us are now realising what unsung 'heros' we have been - and still are.

As some of my English 'in-laws' would say,

Makes yer chest swell with pride, dunnit, Dolly?

Will there be a medal presentation at ye olde palace soon?

GlenQuagmire
27th Jun 2015, 21:11
Gentlemen..

you are in the club

the secret sign is a middle finger to the magenta bull****

don't tell anybody..

DeafOldFart
27th Jun 2015, 22:28
The real value of approach systems is giving the pilot a straight line to establish a steady approach speed and descent rate, and the last few hundred feet should be a continuation of the aforesaid straight line....almost.
I have been a spare pair of eyes during training details, and have been amused at the deviations from the norm... using glider pilot reference point techniques, I have been convinced that the driver was heading for the underground option.
Putting all the approach lights in one box can give unexpected results... the Barkston Heath boxes had to be realigned after they were used as spectator terracing during the National Model Flying Championships. I learnt a lot about grovelling. Should have got someone else to sign for the airfield.
P.S. - Station Commander wanted the little oil spots removed from the runway after the event... ever scrubbed a runway???? !!!

tommoutrie
27th Jun 2015, 22:34
I seem to remember seeing white white red white at an airfield in Africa once - Uyo just after it opened. What's the plan then eh? Amusingly, I had the Nigerian aviation minister in the back who was going there for a backhander, I mean opening ceremony.

This example was cheating - we had been warned that no approach aids were serviceable by phone before we went.

DeafOldFart
27th Jun 2015, 22:38
well, Glen, I dunno... I've had difficulty adjusting my eyeline from K8/K13/K21 arse on ground to Rollason Condor arse at potty height....
I could probably manage a circuit in a glider from cockpit elevation of a large jet at touchdown....
So if there is a machine that can do a better job, I'd use it.

fujii
27th Jun 2015, 22:44
Re "Don't confuse PAPI with VASI"

I Australia, VASIS is a generic term. The Australian AIP states there are two types of VASIS, PAPI and T-VASIS.

latetonite
27th Jun 2015, 22:47
I used to say VASIS for years, even after it mostly got replaced by the PAPI.

AerocatS2A
27th Jun 2015, 23:01
I think you might all be misinterpreting Bloggs' "hero visual approach" comment. I'm pretty sure Bloggs flies for an outfit where visual approaches are common as many places in Australia don't have an ILS at all. Not all visual approaches a "hero visual approaches", one where you suddenly and unexpectedly find yourself with 4 reds or 4 whites on the PAPI might be though.

I do visual approaches into an airfield with horrible PAPIs every week. The sun sets right off the end of the runway. Never found myself with 4 whites or reds though. With experience you know roughly how high you should be through the approach.

If you are on an ILS you just use the ILS G/S and accept the three reds on the PAPI.

Jwscud
28th Jun 2015, 09:40
I am reminded by tommoutrie of The PAPIs at Lamezia - coming in off a VOR approach one can get 2W/2R on one side, and 3R/1W on the other.

Into a black hole surrounded by high terrain too - consult with your colleague and go for the ones you feel make sense.

RAT 5
28th Jun 2015, 12:21
consult with your colleague and go for the ones you feel make sense.

In today's cadet world you might not get the answer you were expecting. They might go with the 'take the worse' option = 3R and call a G/A on you at 500'. Their experience is less than yours and they have been brain washed into 'advocacy' and don't let the old fart in LHS kill you.

But I do remember the days in Canaries where there were left & right T VASIS and showing different. Firstly I've never found out why there are 2 sets, and secondly, when the ILS was alive, why any at all, especially as neither on them showed us on path, but the G/P did. Interesting lessons.
Why was night time base training removed, and no glide path approaches also? If this was an XAA edict then they are culpable of contributing to the dump down training.

GlenQuagmire
28th Jun 2015, 14:33
Nah.. I'm pretty sure the use of "hero" was a substitute for "reckless" and intended to ridicule.

Well let's just clear up another couple of points he's raised. From a non precision approach it's very likely you will break cloud with four reds. That's the way they were originally designed. That's exactly what they are for - establishing after an NDB cloud break or similar. But bloggs is so used to coupling up his overplayed GPS approach he's forgotten that..


And what on earth is a no slope guidance approach qualification? I've never heard of it.

Just hacked off with having my profession continuously degraded by all this bull****. The authority I'm under want to individually qualify us for each individual LPV approach we fly. I've got 550 airports in my logbook! How's that gonna work?

( probably doing a visual later today. Really hope it works out... Will get posthumously prune crucified otherwise)

AerocatS2A
29th Jun 2015, 00:34
Nah.. I'm pretty sure the use of "hero" was a substitute for "reckless" and intended to ridicule.Yes, but that's not to say every visual approach is reckless.

Well let's just clear up another couple of points he's raised. From a non precision approach it's very likely you will break cloud with four reds. That's the way they were originally designed. That's exactly what they are for - establishing after an NDB cloud break or similar. But bloggs is so used to coupling up his overplayed GPS approach he's forgotten that..
Like most of us in Australia, Bloggs would be used to using a DME/distance profile for an NPA which puts you at the MDA on profile. If using the old dive and drive method then sure you will get 4 reds and fly level on to the profile but that's not how we fly NPAs any more and it has nothing to do with equipment, I've been flying a constant descent profile that since getting my IR in a Baron.


And what on earth is a no slope guidance approach qualification? I've never heard of it.
Welcome to Australia. The rule here is that a jet operation is not allowed to go somewhere that doesn't have visual slope guidance unless the captain has been checked on flying approaches with no guidance and then only for seven days (i.e., the airport can have a failed PAPI for a maximum of seven days.)

Just hacked off with having my profession continuously degraded by all this bull****. The authority I'm under want to individually qualify us for each individual LPV approach we fly. I've got 550 airports in my logbook! How's that gonna work?I know, I get it. You can thank the wombles who stuff things up for the continual restrictions. If everyone could be trusted to just fly an aeroplane then none of this stuff would have happened, unfortunately you need to put a cage around some people and as the various rules and regs are a blunt instrument, it means everyone else gets a cage too. Of course no one thinks they are the one who needs the cage.

( probably doing a visual later today. Really hope it works out... Will get posthumously prune crucified otherwise) Yes you will ;).

GlenQuagmire
29th Jun 2015, 07:53
By continually eroding the skills of pilots, which is exactly what this is an example of, the authorities are reducing pilots available capacity to cope with emergencies and unusual situations. By creating the situation where pilots believe it requires special abilities to land by looking at the runway, the wind, the close in terrain etc, you make it impossible for pilots to have the skill set to cope when things go wrong. The Gimli glider becomes a crash, U.S.1549 crashes short of Teterborough, Speedbird 038 piles into the bypass close to Heathrow. The reason so many pilots struggle to hand fly now is because they aren't allowed to. I'm lucky, I use the autopilot when I want, I choose whether I fancy a visual, I use any mode I feel like to climb or descend, nobody bitches at me if I hand fly an ILS (which I regularly do, IMC or VMC because I like it) and as a result I know I have a decent toolkit should things go wrong.

Make no mistake, the bull**** going on in our industry directly caused asiana airlines 214. It, and other incidents like it, need to be attributed directly to the rules and regulations put in place by authorities and airlines. The improved reliability of the machinery we operate is what is mainly responsible for generally improving safety in aviation, not the application of more and more restrictive operating practices.

Good luck down there with your blinkered regulators. Must be tough to fly an approach at all when you're upside down to start with..

Out

Centaurus
29th Jun 2015, 08:14
It's not heroic of a pilot to make a visual approach. It's utterly dismal if they can't! Are you telling me that you can't accurately land your aircraft visually without glide slope information? Astonishing...


Interesting article in US Flying magazine May 2015 and very pertinent to the above highlighted quote. The article is called "Experience Matters" The writer discusses the ICAO approved Multi-Crew Pilot Licence (MPL) scheme which qualifies ab initio students to fly airliners as second in command with as little as 60 hours of actual flight time, the remainder of their training taking place in jet simulators.

The following extract from the article is worth pondering. "More than 1,000 MPL certificate holders - who by definition are unqualified to fly PIC of so much as a Cessna 150, - are already occupying the right seat of airliners world wide. They'll learn the ropes from their captains and lean heavily on automation and in time they'll get perfectly adept at everyday line flying on full automation. The time for a pilot to build basic flying skills is before flying for an airline, because afterward they will only get weaker

It may be some years before that proverbial dark and stormy night on which they find themselves on the edge of the envelope and their stick-and-rudder skills are tested for the first time. I'd just rather not be riding in the back when it happens. In short, modern airline flying does not build basic flying skills - it atrophies them".

Capn Bloggs
29th Jun 2015, 09:28
Glen, I didn't imply a visual approach is a hero approach. I have done thousands of visual approaches, I would wager more than you. My reference to "hero" was in relation to your visual approach and first seeing the PAPIs and finding they are 4 whites or 4 reds.

Got cleared for a visual approach in really bright sunlight and flew a curved constant aspect approach rolling out onto final at about 800' AGL with the aiming point in the right place and stable, on speed, very pleased with myself, and got a very agitated pilot in the other seat tell me I was high when the four whites became just about visible at about 400' (you couldn't see the lights before that because of the sun). They fairly quickly went one white, three reds, two reds two whites, one white three reds and then we landed in the right place at the right speed.
That is not a "middle of the road" visual approach and I would have words with any FO that did it on a regular basis. How on earth do you expect any PNF to support you properly through that? Besides, if the PAPIs were changing as described below 400ft, you were not aiming at the normal 1000ft/300m aim-point; you were going well short. Stable means some semblance of a steady slope from 500ft down, not 4 whites to 3 reds (although you did say 1W3R>2W2R>1W3R)!

Good luck down there with your blinkered regulators. Must be tough to fly an approach at all when you're upside down to start with..

It's a very sensible rule that has been in place for decades and I don't have a problem with it at all. You may think black-hole visual landings with no slope guidance at all is OK; I don't think it's heroic, I think it's stupid.

I agree with you one-miles an hour on the standard of stick and rudder skills nowadays; I do not agree that that approach of yours is the norm, nor should it be considered one. Good for heros... but not the masses, including those who can fly visual approaches.

As to the original question, I've been looking more closely than usual over the last few days and with practice it is quite easy to use the PAPI down to 100ft. :)

16024
29th Jun 2015, 16:36
with practice it is quite easy to use the PAPI down to 100ft.

Not disagreeing with anything you have said, but I think this nails the discussion as well as anything.
By "use" the PAPI, you could mean, as I hope you do, monitor it out of the corner of my eye, as one of the many cues and clues available.
Or you could mean make a correction at 150ft to re-establish at 100ft...

I also agree that it was unfortunate that the night element of base training went out of the window (sorry!).

Capn Bloggs
30th Jun 2015, 00:17
By "use" the PAPI, you could mean, as I hope you do, monitor it out of the corner of my eye, as one of the many cues and clues available.

Correct! :ok: Just as one would use a call from your offsider "you're going high" or "you're going long".