How Close to Cross an IAF

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  1. #1
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    How Close to Cross an IAF

    Hi All, My first post. A friend who is an avionics technician told me of the site. I fly a Twin Comanche, N206RG.Cruise is 160 kts; approach is 120 kts. I have enjoyed flying instruments since when it was mostly all steam gauges except for the KNS80 and LORAN. I called it the "Video game of life and death," and now with glass panels, that is even more appropriate. I must say I have had excellent experiences with ATC over the years, and have found the system most helpful during all stages of my training. It seems in some ways to be even more pleasant ATC interaction now with PIREPS to tower, approach, and center appreciated, as well as pop ups being rather easy when needed.

    With GPS Steering and autopilot/GPS abilities, how close would ATC like for me to cross an IAF when approaching from say, a 90 degree angle? An example would be the D95 (LaPeer , MI) RNAV/GPS 36 LP approach, with me enroute from KLAN. That approach has only a single IAF, ZUSDI. At one time there was a "T" pattern approach in place with ZUSDI in the center of the "T" as I recall. I ask because I am finally understanding how to use my autopilot and GPS together for flying most approach types. I hand fly most approaches, but wanted to learn how to couple the autopilot.

    GPS steering, when engaged, will anticipate a turn so I never actually cross the fix as I approach the FAF. I also have options such as "Fly Leg" which will turn me onto the final approach course as soon as I engage that choice. Another choice is VTF, which in my experience, must be chosen pretty early by me in order to be well established on the final approach course before the FAF.

    I would enjoy hearing from both ATC and pilots as to their preferences and experience.

    Clear Skies,
    Gomer

  2. #2
    NovemberEcho's Avatar
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    Re: How Close to Cross an IAF

    Usually they are “fly-by fixes” meaning you don’t actually have to cross right over it. The amount your ap cuts the corner is negligible and w expect it

  3. #3
    Stinger's Avatar
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    Re: How Close to Cross an IAF

    Unless ATC clears you for the "straight-in RNAV runway 36 approach" you're supposed to be doing the course reversal / HILO.

  4. #4
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    Re: How Close to Cross an IAF

    Hi NE, Thanks for that info.
    Gomer

  5. #5
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    Re: How Close to Cross an IAF

    Hi Stinger, KFNT approach did not want the HILO.
    Gomer

  6. #6
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    Re: How Close to Cross an IAF

    Since none of the waypoints on that approach are circled, they're fly-by fixes and your GPS anticipating the turn is expected.
    A waypoint that is circled means you have to fly directly over it.
    D95 has one on that same approach, probably the missed approach point I'm guessing.

  7. #7
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    Re: How Close to Cross an IAF

    Hi Stinger, Thanks for that info. I think you are correct about the MAP being circled.
    Gomer

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