Surveillance Approach


Nov 28, 2009
Duluth, MN.
I was on a short IFR trip from KSUW to KHIB the other day, approaching KHIB, KDLH-Approach asked if and how soon I would be returning. Advised them about 15 minutes. They advised they had a trainee in the tower and asked if I would be interested in a surveillance approach into DLH on my return.

Having never done a surveillance approach I jumped at the opportunity. What a great experience. Ended up doing two approaches to RWY 9

En route to DLH the Controller set me up for the approach with MDA and MAP information before the hand-off to the trainee.

Radar Minimums: scroll down to KDLH

First approach was done with headings, second approach was a no-gyro approach.

The point of my story is that if you have not done these type of approaches before, I would strongly recommend doing them. I believe ATC needs to keep in practice by doing so many of these every so often.

The Trainee controller advised not to communicate with him during the approach until he advised to do so, which ended up to be the MAP and whether or not I was visual at that point. This was unexpected, not that I had anything to say other than a read-back on his directive.

I could tell that I was purposely vectored slightly off-course to practice recovering course, obvious on the headings approach but not the no-gyro.

The second no-gyro approach was especially helpful in practicing standard and 1/2 standard rate turns.

The trainee did an excellent job on these approaches. ATC was very appreciative of the help and I was happy to get the training. If you have a little extra time when flying near a towered airport capable of surveillance approaches, I would suggest requesting one for practice, a great training experience.

Thank you KDLH ATC for this excellent training opportunity.