Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

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  1. #1
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    Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

    This question is for all the approach controllers out there. I got my IFR rating years ago. I usually just shoot a few basic approaches to stay current, but I was recently reading and studying the Instrument handbook, which reminded me about radar approaches like the SRA. I have never seen anyone do this type of approach, and I was never asked to perform one during my training or checkride, but it seems like its pretty straight forward and a great option when a pilot is in a pinch, or even when flying around in an IFR certified Cessna 152 with nothing but a VOR and a radio.

    My question is, how do I practice this approach? Do I just ask for it like any other? I not only have never seen/heard anyone doing this approach, I've never even heard anyone practicing it. I'd like to practice it with a safety pilot at least once in VMC before using it in IMC.

    Are you controllers familiar with this approach or is it as rare for you guys? Also, doesn't it take up a lot of bandwidth on the frequency? Will you deny a request if the frequency is busy, or just switch me to another less congested frequency ?

  2. #2
    NovemberEcho's Avatar
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    Re: Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

    Most facilities don’t offer surveillance approaches. I’m sure some FAA facilities have it but I’m not sure which ones. Used to do them in the Air Force all the time though.

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    Re: Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

    That explains why I've never seen or heard anyone do this type of approach. From my additional reading it is officially referred to as an Approach Surveillance Radar (ASR) and the more precise Precision Approach Radar (PAR). The PAR is similar to a "No-Gyro approach", yet another approach that I've never practiced.

    I also found this:
    JO 7110.65X Section 10 - Radar Approaches (5-10-1. b) says "A radar approach may be given to any aircraft upon request and may be offered to aircraft in distress regardless of weather conditions or to expedite traffic." It almost sounds like you can request this type of approach into any airport so long as there is radar coverage, at least a "No-Gyro approach" would make more sense if it could be provided anywhere radar coverage and radio reception is available. I'm going to have to do more reading.

  4. #4
    Stinger's Avatar
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    Re: Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil07 View Post
    That explains why I've never seen or heard anyone do this type of approach. From my additional reading it is officially referred to as an Approach Surveillance Radar (ASR) and the more precise Precision Approach Radar (PAR). The PAR is similar to a "No-Gyro approach", yet another approach that I've never practiced.

    I also found this:
    JO 7110.65X Section 10 - Radar Approaches (5-10-1. b) says "A radar approach may be given to any aircraft upon request and may be offered to aircraft in distress regardless of weather conditions or to expedite traffic." It almost sounds like you can request this type of approach into any airport so long as there is radar coverage, at least a "No-Gyro approach" would make more sense if it could be provided anywhere radar coverage and radio reception is available. I'm going to have to do more reading.
    Radar approaches (ASR/PAR) are published just like any other instrument approach. If the airport has one listed, the approach controllers will be certified to work them. At airports that don't have any radar approaches, the controllers will not be able to give you one.
    On Airnav, look in the list of instrument approaches...if there's a radar approach available, it'll be under "Radar Approach Procedures available" and then you find the city that has the airport to look at the minimums.

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    Re: Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

    Quote Originally Posted by Devil07 View Post
    That explains why I've never seen or heard anyone do this type of approach. From my additional reading it is officially referred to as an Approach Surveillance Radar (ASR) and the more precise Precision Approach Radar (PAR). The PAR is similar to a "No-Gyro approach", yet another approach that I've never practiced.

    I also found this:
    JO 7110.65X Section 10 - Radar Approaches (5-10-1. b) says "A radar approach may be given to any aircraft upon request and may be offered to aircraft in distress regardless of weather conditions or to expedite traffic." It almost sounds like you can request this type of approach into any airport so long as there is radar coverage, at least a "No-Gyro approach" would make more sense if it could be provided anywhere radar coverage and radio reception is available. I'm going to have to do more reading.
    a PAR approach requires the airport to have a precision approach radar. It’s not run using our normal radar or scopes. There is special equipment used for PAR approaches. A no-gyro Approach has nothing to do specifically with ASR or PAR approaches. You can run them with nongyro vectors just like you can can give someone no gyro vectors to intercept an ILS or to a visual approach.

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    Re: Surveillance Radar Approach (SRA)

    I work at an FAA approach control, but we werve an Air Force Base, so we do ASRs. You will be put on a different frequency so it's just you and the finals controller. They will issue course guidence all the way down to the MDA and MAP. They say things like "well left/right of course, correcting rapidly" or "slightly left/right of course, correcting slowly". If you are receiving no-gyro vectors, the controller will specify standard or half standard rate of turn. They are counting seconds between "turn left" and "Stop turn" that results in the desired number of degrees of turn.

    We need to have a free body to open a new position. When we are running minimum staffing in the late evening/overnight we will not be able to accommodate an ASR. We can also deny based on traffic volume, but we try to accommodate as best we can. If that means pulling someone off break, then we will.

    As far as practicing, the cockpit workload is alot lower than other instrument approaches. You just listen and do what is said. I would recommend practice in VMC. If your going to use a hood, absolutely use a saftey pilot.

    All you got to do is ask. If the particular facility can't do ASR, they might be able to direct you to a facility that can.

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