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Descending on an approach

Discussion in 'Pilot-Controller Questions' started by NDflyer, Jul 21, 2017.

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  1. NDflyer

    NDflyer New Member

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    cleared for the approach on a published segment not doing the hold. Do I still need to follow the minimum altitude for the hold if getting vectored onto final by ATC? Example, the holding fix is ABC MIN ALT is 3500 its 7nm from the final approach fix. After you cross ABC the minimum altitude is 2500 to the FAF. Say I was prior to ABC not doing the hold cleared and within 5nm (holding distance). I always thought yes even if I wasnt doing the hold I would have to maintain the charted altitude. However, I recently heard someone saying that the holding fix altitude has nothing to do with the altitude to the FAF and if you're cleared go down to that altitude instead. Just looking for clarification. Low time pilot here trying to learn as much as possible. Appreciate any replies.
     
  2. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    If you're getting vectored to final I'm assuming ATC gave you an altitude to maintain til established, in which case you would maintain that altitude until established and then descend as published. But I'm not sure I'm reading your question correctly
     
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  3. gotWXdagain

    gotWXdagain Highly Visible Member

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    Maintain ATC assigned until you're on the final approach course. If you intercept inside the holding fix, descend to FAF intercept altitude, if outside the holding fix, descend to the published holding fix altitude when you're within the distance specified (i.e. 4nm hold, descend within 4 DME) OR if that holding fix has an associated TAA then do your descent once within that boundary and established. Those minimum altitudes aren't just for giggles, they're obstruction clearance and airspace conformity.
     
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  4. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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    I like both answers but wonder if you can give an example with a real approach. Your "low time" confusion might be a combination of chart and lack of understanding of how vectors work.
     
  5. CatchyScreenName

    CatchyScreenName Well-Known Member

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    also, cleared to join the localizer is not the same as cleared for the approach (even if you are doing the localizer...)
     
  6. Roger Roger

    Roger Roger Navajo Whisperer

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    "Cleared to LYNNS via the LDA-Z transition, maintain 7000, no delay expected". I <3 one in-one out airports.
     
  7. A80TRACON

    A80TRACON Well-Known Member

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    You "join" airways...you "intercept" final approach courses. Sorry old habits die hard, used to berate my ATC trainees with this.

    Phraseology police

    ;)
     
  8. CatchyScreenName

    CatchyScreenName Well-Known Member

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    CLT controllers would drive you mad then :)
     
  9. NovemberEcho

    NovemberEcho Well-Known Member

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    NY too.
     
  10. WS

    WS Well-Known Member

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    I'll be sure to point that out to my local approach controller next time I'm told to "join" the localizer... I'm sure that will be well received!:bounce:
     
  11. AM011309

    AM011309 Well-Known Member

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    I need to look up the answer to be sure -- but if you aren't in the hold or established on the localizer or published portion of the approach, and ATC doesn't give you an altitude to maintain until established -- then basically I think it's ATC's deal since they basically cleared you to descend possibly below an MVA. Maybe not depending on where you are. OR, if you are in a TAA I think they can clear you without an altitude. I should know this but need to look it up to be sure because since learning it, we don't use it so the details of those things tend to get fuzzy. Not to mention every few years they change the rules ever so slightly, then sometimes change them back.
     
  12. MidlifeFlyer

    MidlifeFlyer Well-Known Member

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    That's why it's too bad he didn't come back with an example using a real approach. It could just as easily be a question like "what if ATC tells me to hold but doesn't give me a holding fix, direction of hold or altitude." Kind of a non-sequitur with the answer being, "they don't do it like that."

    I "sounds" like basic vectors to final at an MVA, but who knows?
     

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