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Descent profile when cleared for an ILS approach?

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Descent profile when cleared for an ILS approach?

Old 19th Sep 2017, 13:59
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RMC
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Descent profile when cleared for an ILS approach?

Was flying into LAX with a very experienced Skipper who had retired from one of the majors last year ....we were cleared for the ILS approach 24R at 40 miles.His view was that the mass of subsequent minimum approach altitudes are no longer applicable as the ILS glideslope effectively became our vertical clearance.

Unfortunately on this runway the glideslope can take you slightly below some of these minimum altitudes earlier in the approach.

I pointed out the glideslope validity distance to ensure we followed VNAV and maintained all minimum altitiude until we passed the final minimum alt but can't find the reference which confirms that an ILS approach clearance does not allow you to bust a minimum altitude.

One old thread on here says

"Cleared for arrival = cleared for the path dictated on chart, do not descend without clearance

Cleared for approach = descent at your discretion while adhering to the altitude restrictions on your "path" and cleared to fly the arrival "path"."
...but with no reference. Thanks in advance.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:38
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Altimeter errors

Unfortunately on this runway the glideslope can take you slightly below some of these minimum altitudes earlier in the approach.
How much is slightly?
On hot days when it is say ISA+15 or more, then your Altimeter may show you are slightly below the published Altitudes.
However on cold days (say ISA-15 or colder), then your Altimeter will show you are higher than published.

Do you recommend flying below the glide slope on cold days following the minimum Altitudes published?
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:55
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I think you'll find your answer here:

https://www.nbaa.org/ops/airspace/20110408-instrument-landing-system-intercepts.php

The ILS glide slope is intended to be intercepted at the published glide slope intercept altitude. This point marks the precision approach final approach fix (PFAF) and is depicted by the “lightning bolt” symbol on U.S. government charts or the beginning of the feather in the profile view on Jeppesen charts. Intercepting the glide slope at this altitude marks the beginning of the final approach segment and ensures required obstacle clearance during descent from the glide slope intercept altitude to the lowest published decision altitude for the approach. Interception and tracking of the glide slope prior to the published glide slope interception altitude does not necessarily ensure that minimum, maximum, and/or mandatory altitudes published for any preceding fixes will be complied with during the descent. If the pilot chooses to track the glide slope prior to the glide slope interception altitude, they remain responsible for complying with published altitudes for any preceding step-down fixes encountered during the subsequent descent.
There have been numerous pilot deviations filed at various airports around the country, including Los Angeles International Airport (LAX), Hartsfield - Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL), Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) and Teterboro Airport (TEB).
The following additional advisory language will be added to the AIM 5-4-5 b:
2. The ILS glide slope is intended to be intercepted at the published glide slope intercept altitude. This point marks the PFAF and is depicted by the “lightning bolt” symbol on U.S. Government charts. Intercepting the glide slope at this altitude marks the beginning of the final approach segment and ensures required obstacle clearance during descent from the glide slope intercept altitude to the lowest published decision altitude for the approach. Interception and tracking of the glide slope prior to the published glide slope interception altitude does not necessarily ensure that minimum, maximum, and/or mandatory altitudes published for any preceding fixes will be complied with during the descent. If the pilot chooses to track the glide slope prior to the glide slope interception altitude, they remain responsible for complying with published altitudes for any preceding step-down fixes encountered during the subsequent descent.
View FAA InFO 11009, "Failure to Comply with Minimum Crossing Altitudes at Stepdown Fixes Located on Instrument Landing System (ILS) Inbound Courses"
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 14:59
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Have him read this

https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/avia.../InFO11009.pdf
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:00
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https://allaboutairplanes.wordpress....ls-glideslope/

discusses this topic even with lax ( different runway though)
last paragraph is most relevant

it links a seemingly relevant FAA publication
https://www.faa.gov/other_visit/avia.../InFO11009.pdf
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 15:02
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Originally Posted by galaxy flyer View Post
I beat you by a whole 4 minutes you slacker
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 16:25
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I spent too much time finding the INFO letter.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 16:34
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GR - In the 787 (as with every other aircraft I have flown) with VNAV selects an at or above altitude which in LAX always avoids being below a temperature corrected altitude. My whole point was that I was trying to ensure my buddy did not fly below these altitudes (for any reason).

Thanks for the info guys....he promised me beers all night if I could get this in writing:-)
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 18:04
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When cleared for the approach you are cleared to descend in accordance with the procedure. You are not cleared to bust step down fixes. I would expect any professional to be aware of that. I would not expect anyone to be able to quote off the top of their head precisely where within the many thousands of pages of regulations it is written.

5 mins of checking led me to AIM 4-4-1. "[A CLEARANCE] IS NOT AUTHORISATION TO DEVIATE FROM ANY MINIMUM ALTITUDE."

Enjoy your free beer.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 18:23
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From the FAA letter....

"Discussion: What this means to pilots is that on some approaches, outside the Final Approach Segment, on a cool day, you might be able to follow the glide slope and all the published stepdown altitudes may pass below your aircraft. The next day, after a warm front passes, you could follow the same glide slope and (because the temperature is hotter this day) those same stepdown altitudes now protrude into the glide slope and require pilot action to ensure compliance with the published minimum altitudes (stepdown fixes). On both days your flight path on the glide slope was the same, but on the hotter day, the stepdown altitude, crept up into your glide path. High barometric pressure produces the same effect as high temperature.

Regardless of cause, pilots are cautioned to adhere to published step-down fixes located outside the Final Approach Segment on an ILS approach. If a pilot elects to follow the glide slope while outside the Final Approach Segment he should be fully aware that this technique needs to be closely monitored and, if necessary, action must be taken to meet all stepdown altitudes. Examples of airports where multiple altitude deviations have occurred include, but are not limited to; LAX, ORD, ATL, SLC."

While I have heard of this issue, this is the first time I have seen it worded this way. Bottom line is...on both the cold and warm days given in the underlined area above, you had the same terrain clearance as you were on the glideslope(which did not change its angle. But due to altimeter errors based on temperature, there was a technical deviation on the warm day. I understand the seriousness of nit descending below minimum altitudes but...If this temperature effect is the cause of all cases, it sounds more like a nitpicking exercise by the FAA than a safety issue.
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Old 19th Sep 2017, 21:45
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Interesting discussion. There are exceptions to that rule though, as in ATL, where there's no need to worry about being a few feet low when you're still far out.

http://155.178.201.160/d-tpp/1710/00026PRMAAUP.PDF

Have a look at the 3rd briefing point.

(This is page 11-0 or 12-0 on the jepps)
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 05:57
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that is a reference for PRM approaches.....
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 06:09
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So on a warm day, ILS 25L KLAX, I suppose to go above the GS until I pass LIMMA at 1900ft and than intercept the GS from above?

I understand that technically I would bust 1900ft or above requirement at LIMMA if I would follow GS, but is it what FAA wants me to do? To intercept GS from above?
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 06:42
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Who says prune is just gossip...sometimes we have some great information shared!
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 06:43
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Originally Posted by hans brinker View Post
that is a reference for PRM approaches.....
It is indeed. Go on...
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 07:17
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we were cleared for the ILS approach 24R at 40 miles.His view was that the mass of subsequent minimum approach altitudes are no longer applicable as the ILS glideslope effectively became our vertical clearance.

Ask him to check the approved certified limits on use of Glide Slope. He'll find that 40nm is well outside its approved envelope.
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 07:34
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Originally Posted by G-V View Post
So on a warm day, ILS 25L KLAX, I suppose to go above the GS until I pass LIMMA at 1900ft and than intercept the GS from above?

I understand that technically I would bust 1900ft or above requirement at LIMMA if I would follow GS, but is it what FAA wants me to do? To intercept GS from above?
That does seem to be sort of a catch 22.... at some point seems logical when on the approach inside Hunda which is "Intermediate fix" that there isn't going to be a lot enroute traffic, one needs to eventually get established and do what you need to do to be stabilized.

If memory serves me correctly the aim says localizer signal certified 18 miles and G.S.at 10 miles
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 14:05
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Originally Posted by G-V View Post
So on a warm day, ILS 25L KLAX, I suppose to go above the GS until I pass LIMMA at 1900ft and than intercept the GS from above?

I understand that technically I would bust 1900ft or above requirement at LIMMA if I would follow GS, but is it what FAA wants me to do? To intercept GS from above?
Whatever it takes. The step-down fixes are the regulatory minimum altitudes until LIMMA. Most carriers use Baro VNAV until passing HUNDA, which provides for a uniform descent while complying with the step-down minimum altitudes.
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 14:53
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Originally Posted by aterpster View Post
Most carriers use Baro VNAV until passing HUNDA,
LIMMA is after HUNDA, so can I intercept GS before LIMMA on a +20 ISA day?
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Old 20th Sep 2017, 15:08
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You can intercept the GS anytime after passing HUNDA, but not later than LIMMA.
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