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The Two Fundamental Concepts that Greatly Simplify NDB Approaches

Fundamental Concepts that Greatly Simplify NDB Approaches It was an instrument lesson and a genuine approach.

It was an instrument lesson and a genuine approach. We were hovering a Piper Arrow in the Monterey Peninsula Airport just north of the famous Pebble Beach Nation Club. The localizer was using service. The only offered approach was the NDB (non-directional beacon) approach using the outer compass locater nestled up against the outer marker in the breakwater where the peninsula found the Pacific. Flying your Monterey Bay coast is one of the most beautiful sights in aviation. Above the cloud layer the sky is actually dazzling. Green and brown hills push up with the seemingly perpetual low stratus more than a thousand feet above this cloud tops. On that day, the tops were lower than 1, 000 MSL.

One fundamental principle of NDB approaches is always to fly the course that takes you from the radio beacon to your missed approach point. Additional fundamental principle is that will the accuracy is tied to the accuracy of your gyrocompass. Any drift or uncompensated deviation degrades your ability to fly an accurate training course.

The NDB approach requires that you use your gyrocompass for heading reference and your radio compass (semi-automatic or fully automatic direction finder, a. nited kingdom. a. ADF) for orientation. The fatal mistake is always to simply follow the needle. The seductive part of an NDB approach is which half of the time period, following the needle will work just fine. That half is and soon you pass over the beacon. When your needle points again at 180°, all the air compass tells you is actually that your tail is pointing at the radio beacon. You may be flying in any guidance.

I decided to let Ralph try the process and told Approach Control that we would execute a missed approach at or before the missed approach point (PLACE). Ralph and I had talked about NDB options. I was not confident he understood them. These was a place in which a mistake could be damaging. So during our procedure turn outbound nonetheless above the clouds, I told him to be prepared for me to take above and execute the skipped approach.

We descended into the clouds. Shortly after completing the NDB, we were 30° degrees off training course and headed into higher terrain. I asked Ralph what heading would find us to the international airport. He could not tell me and said people were doing just fine. He started to claim with me about hovering a missed approach and who should be flying. I applied full power, retracted flaps together with gear, and told ATC that we were missed. Ralph decided I was serious and capitulated. Once we were on top Ralph stared at this mountains and turned lighter.

Assume the course in the NDB to the skipped approach point is 100°. Help it become easy by assuming that inbound course to the NDB is in addition 100°. Fly a 30° intercept to help the inbound course. This would be either 70° or 130° pc approach procedure. If it can be 130°, your heading is 30° on the right of the incoming course. Your ADF would read 30° left of straight ahead or 330° whenever you intercept the course which you want to follow. If you will be two miles or more from the NDB, start the turn inbound just a few degrees early so it is possible to roll to wings level in the same way the ADF centers. Initially fly the magnetic heading shown on the approach procedure. In several moments the ADF will begin to move to either the right or left. It always does.

To interrupt this narrative, how do you know while you are on the path that takes you over the NDB to your airport? The answer is in the event the ADF needle is off to one side and the gyrocompass if off by an equal angle to the some other side. Earlier your gyrocompass was off by 30° to the right and your ADF had been off by 30° to the left so you were over the course but not relating to the proper heading. We'll make an effort to nail this down following.

Continuing to track inbound on the NDB, fly trial headings and watch the ADF. Your first try may be the heading on the chart. If the wind blows that you one side, turn back far enough that the ADF is pointing to the other side. Suppose the wind blows you to the left until that ADF points to 005°, turn until it points to -005° which is really 355°. This would require a 10° turn changing your heading from 100° to 110°. Hold that course before ADF moves left to help -010° or 350°. If the ADF moves right, in that case you did not switch far enough, but let's say you did. Once again the radio compass is off the same but opposite angle from the gyrocompass. You are on course but not on the proper planning. You know that your correction angle is involving zero and ten degrees because zero was taking you left of the inbound course and ten can have taken you to the right of it if you had continued. If the wind turbine compensating angle is involving zero and ten degrees, then the heading to help fly is between 100° together with 110°. You may too try half way between. That would be 105°. That won't work either exactly, so keep refining your heading.

This is the procedure that you follow completely to the missed approach point. Once past the NDB your corrections are left or even right of straight back rather than straight ahead. To put it in short, for an NDB approach or any other kind of approach, fly headings, don't chase fine needles.

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