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Surveillance Radar Approach - is this still available at any civil UK airfield ?

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Surveillance Radar Approach - is this still available at any civil UK airfield ?

Old 3rd May 2021, 16:25
  #21 (permalink)  
 
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My last ‘proper’1/2 mile SRA on a 430 was at Luton in the mid 80s, Finnair MD80 in a snowstorm on 08, he went around and Diverted to Stansted! The radar had a meltdown shortly afterwards…….
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Old 3rd May 2021, 16:32
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Not quite on topic, but twenty years ago I was based at Kai Tak. A typhoon was in progress and the eye passed right through the Territory. As it did so the wind swung right round as expected. Many aircraft had already diverted or asked to remain in the hold, but a Middle Eastern airliner had taken two attempts on 13 and gone round each time. The crew were then informed that there would be a few minutes delay as the runway was being changed to 31; they were then given vectors for that. ATC then informed them that there was a further delay until the ILS came on line and to expedite they were offered a PAR approach to 31 instead.

The crew declined, saying that the aircraft didn’t carry PAR equipment! . Instead, they diverted....
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Old 3rd May 2021, 16:35
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I always thought it was a fun bit of kit
...but as a surveillance radar, as opposed to its use for SRAs, it was rubbish. Poor range selection, underpowered such that precipitation plus suppressors killed the aircraft returns, and the manufacturers did not even include map data. And it would not detect the rear view of a Beech Baron on take-off!

2 s
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Old 3rd May 2021, 16:40
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Originally Posted by 2 sheds
...but as a surveillance radar...
I guess that was partly what made it fun, and all of the points you raise made it pretty challenging for SRAs also!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 16:42
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At Luton the 430 was only ever used for talkdowns, but on my validation the CAA examiner asked if I could use it to reposition the aircraft which had done my first run for the second……needless to say I failed miserably!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 17:33
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Several posts have described SRAs as challenging. I certainly agree! Juggling with the variable polarisation, long pulse/short pulse, FTC [fast time constant] aerial tilt whilst keeping up the RTF chat and keeping up with a high approach speed not to mention sorting out the blips from clutter! Challenging indeed. But as an earlier poster said, it was very satisfying knowing that your own skill had made a significant contribution. Sadly modern navaids, SRATCOH and the growth of the rule book took much of the fun out of ATC.......for me at any rate!!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 17:46
  #27 (permalink)  
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Have a look at the Instrument plates listed in the AIP for the larger UK airfields. Those offering SRA's will have dedicated approach plates shown.

I did one for practise at Chester/Hawarden last year but got stung for an 'approach fee' of 30. And I'm a resident!
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Old 3rd May 2021, 17:58
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growth of the rule book took much of the fun out of ATC.......for me at any rate!!

I second that…..

Last edited by almost professional; 3rd May 2021 at 18:00. Reason: Half a bottle of Shiraz….
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Old 3rd May 2021, 18:17
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Exeter usually offer them for controller training
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Old 3rd May 2021, 20:03
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Also Newquay have in recent history offered them for controller training. Gloucester still have an AIP entry for a SRA to 0.5NM. I think the modern radars with digital pulse compression have a "large" minimum range and hence the 2NM SRA.
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Old 3rd May 2021, 20:29
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and to expedite they were offered a PAR approach to 31 instead.
In a similar vein ... Flying an Air Taxi Kingair into Dijon I was offered a PAR to expedite my arrival and readily agreed. On changing frequency to talkdown imagine my surprise and delight when I was instructed in rapid fire French Only possessing schoolboy French I was pretty relieved to breakout and see the runway - Zut Alors!
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Old 4th May 2021, 07:14
  #32 (permalink)  
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I wonder if the SRA is still part of the Approach Radar course in any training organisation ? Is it an optional extra ?
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Old 4th May 2021, 09:50
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I think Northolt still has an SRA approach. Did this a few time upon request.
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Old 4th May 2021, 13:07
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Originally Posted by Mooncrest View Post
I wonder if the SRA is still part of the Approach Radar course in any training organisation ? Is it an optional extra ?
I've been out of the loop for a little while, but it was taught practically, & assessed, in rating training this time last year. No reason to think that's changed since.
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Old 4th May 2021, 16:35
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Originally Posted by alfaman View Post
I've been out of the loop for a little while, but it was taught practically, & assessed, in rating training this time last year. No reason to think that's changed since.
Thankyou alfa.
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Old 4th May 2021, 18:33
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Stansted will do them.
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Old 4th May 2021, 18:48
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I'd like to see the process of setting up the 430 by positioning the final approach line between the PEs from the two reflective markers either side of the runway, and then aligning it with a PE from a church, get through a safety case ! I also remember a controller doing a 1/2 miler to downtown Luton because he hadn't checked that the line was in the right place.
Also, it is worthwhile remembering that Engineering are working on the scanner before considering turning it on for a TOW alignment check...... Luckily they heard the turning motor come to life, and jumped off the ladder.
Also remember doing a 1/2 mile SRA for my validation on 'mad alfonse', the daily Baron arrival. Luckily he flew the ILS and ignored my headings.

SRAs today....no thanks, consign to dustbin of history and stick with PBN.

HB
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Old 4th May 2021, 20:06
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Originally Posted by HershamBoys View Post
I'd like to see the process of setting up the 430 by positioning the final approach line between the PEs from the two reflective markers either side of the runway, and then aligning it with a PE from a church, get through a safety case !

HB
Setting the final approach line using the small screwdriver pinched from Tels! and I remember F-PN!!
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Old 5th May 2021, 02:18
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Brings back memories of my approach radar training at Auckland International in 1978 using a Marconi 264 (50cm) radar with 2NM SRAs. Target was always one of the Civil Aviation Ministry's Piper Apaches (PA23) flown up from Wellington specially for us 'players'. After doing about 10 SRAs that day, I never did another during the rest of my career.
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Old 5th May 2021, 02:28
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For bigger 430 issues there was always…….Basher Dave!
I wonder if the head gear was actually turned using a Ford Cortina fan belt, as was often alleged? Of course the 08 ILS installation was the beginning of the issuance of the UB40 for the poor old 430. Which, as I’m sure you’ll remember, decided to go out with a bang one night some years later….
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