Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

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  1. #1
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    Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    I did my original instrument rating in the southwest, so almost all of my instrument approaches have been under the hood.

    However, now I'm in the southeast and its often cloudy and rainy on the weekends when I'm free for flying. If I want to practice instrument approaches in IMC (for example lets say I want to do 3 approaches) how do you controllers prefer that I ask for this? If its IMC they aren't really practice, so I guess I'm asking for clearance for multiple instrument approaches.

    Lets assume I'm able to get up VFR and I'm requesting this as a pop up.

    Me: NOLA approach Cessna1234 request.

    Controller: 1234, NOLA approach, go ahead.

    Me: C1234 is a C172/G, 15 miles east at 3000, request IFR clearance for "multiple" instrument approaches to Lakefront Airport, starting with RNAV 18R, have Lakefront information Bravo.

    So, is this too much information all at once? Should I state the number of approaches I need instead of "multiple"? Should I list each one that I want (i.e. starting with RNAV 18R, then RNAV 36L, then RNAV 18R full stop)?

    NOTE: Before anyone says it, I'm going up with a local instructor in the next few weeks, but was curious if there are other considerations from controller perspective of practicing approaches in IMC.

  2. #2
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    Re: Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    That is perfectly fine. When I have time, I’d ask you to list your approaches so I can optimize your climb out instructions and prepare where you’re going to fit it with other traffic. Basically, I’ll write a flight progress strip and list “GIRGL” or whatever you want. In that example, it would be a RNAV, ILS, VOR, RNAV, Localizer.

    We don’t care whether it is clear and a million or OVC004. If you want a pop up IFR clearance and you can maintain your own terrain and obstruction clearance up to the MVA, you’re getting a clearance and then I’m going to put you where I need you to go for your requests.

  3. #3
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    Re: Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB View Post
    If you want a pop up IFR clearance and you can maintain your own terrain and obstruction clearance up to the MVA,
    I think I've only asked pilots a couple times if they're able to maintain their own terrain and obstruction clearance. By default, pilots of pop-up aircraft are responsible for their own terrain and obstruction clearance.

    For Devil07: That's a perfect method to tell ATC what you want. They only need your first request to start, and then when they start issuing vectors, they'll ask you how the approach will terminate. Then it's up to you whether you want to give them only your next request or your next 8 requests. Last approach control I worked, the pilots would tell us their entire approach lineup....so they'd request something like "PAR then ASR at (airport 1), ILS vectors then ILS procedure turn then GPS at (airport 2), holding at (fix), full procedure tacan at (airport 3), then PAR full stop at (airport 1.)

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    Re: Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    Awesome, I'll use that as a template.

    RobertB: With your GIRGL shorthand how do you know which RNAV if there are multiple ones, like RNAV 18R and RNAV 36L?

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    Re: Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil07 View Post
    Awesome, I'll use that as a template.

    RobertB: With your GIRGL shorthand how do you know which RNAV if there are multiple ones, like RNAV 18R and RNAV 36L?
    That’s the only limitation to our SOP (Standard Operating Procedures) strip marking. Typically, we have more traffic going into a controlled airport so your approaches would be to the same runway (Example: ILS RWY 6, RNAV RWY 6, VOR circle to RWY 6, etc.). I’ve seen people write out the runways, but it is not common at all.

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    Re: Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    Quote Originally Posted by Stinger View Post
    I think I've only asked pilots a couple times if they're able to maintain their own terrain and obstruction clearance. By default, pilots of pop-up aircraft are responsible for their own terrain and obstruction clearance.
    It could be a facility or regional interpretation as this is the second facility, in the ASO, I’ve been at and we’ve always done it. Example: OVC022, MVA is 025 and pilot calls for a pop up IFR. They’re getting the spill. If it is clear and a million or a higher reported ceiling than the MVA, they’re getting a clearance when they call without the whole spill.

  7. #7
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    Re: Practicing Instrument Approaches in IMC

    Quote Originally Posted by RobertB View Post
    It could be a facility or regional interpretation as this is the second facility, in the ASO, I’ve been at and we’ve always done it. Example: OVC022, MVA is 025 and pilot calls for a pop up IFR. They’re getting the spill. If it is clear and a million or a higher reported ceiling than the MVA, they’re getting a clearance when they call without the whole spill.
    MIA may be lower than the MVA. "Cleared to XXX via vectors, maintain 4000, leaving 2500 fly heading 360." How the pilot gets to 2500 is up to him.
    Or the other method I use, "leaving 2500 cleared to XXX via vectors, fly heading 360, maintain 4000."

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