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Blind pilots requesting some clarification on ILS approaches

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    Blind pilots requesting some clarification on ILS approaches

    Hi all.
    We are a group of blind pilots using the Talking Flight Monitor program developed by members of our community to fly the PMDG line up of aircraft, with the FMC and panels made accessible using the screenreader. We’ve been enjoying it massively and enjoyed learning a lot about these complex aircraft over the past months. We’d like a bit of clarification about some types of approaches. We mainly choose ILS approaches because of the Autoland capabilities, obviously perfect for us blind pilots. Sometimes, these ILS approaches seem to have a very large turn right before the airport. As an example, the ILS for 06L at LEPA has CF6l on a heading of 280 in the FMC, only for a sudden turn to FF6l on a heading of around 060, obviously runway heading. This turn has to be made in around 4 miles; I’ve seen some with even less of a distance in between. This can be quite challenging, and we weren’t sure if there’s something we should do to make this turn easier since it seems very tight. We slow right down to at least 180, and often try to capture the loc a few miles early to begin the turn before LNAV. Would you as sighted pilots’ self-vector, that is go heading select and make a gradual turn? In my mind that’s what I imagine you would do with no ATC, but it’s difficult to visualise with no reference of the airport to refer to without sight. Any other tips/recommendations for these tight approaches with late turns right around?
    Many thanks for any help, Declan.
    Last edited by blindflightsimmer; 06Jul2021, 21:34.

    #2
    Hello Declan,

    There's probably a pilot or two here that has actually flown into LEPA that might be able to better assist you.

    However, looking at the chart, I can't see the 280 track anywhere. I can see 243 inbound to Mallorca VOR, then a turn to 261 for 8 miles followed by a turn to the extended centreline at DME 9 PLM. 180 knots for the turn and loc capture should be absolutely fine. The thing that might be stuffing you up on this approach is the PMDG LNAV system. At the moment, it is quite outdated and it is receiving a much a needed update (along with a new navdata format) hopefully not too far off into the future now. LNAV should usually be able to manage that procedure just fine until loc capture, but PMDG's can struggle with tight turns. For those of us who are fortunate enough to have our sight, we might see LNAV not doing a great job and, yes, intervene with heading select to try and make the turn better if LNAV does not do its job. As you said, this will be more difficult for you, and I am unsure what to suggest that would be of assistance to you. Some screenshots of what's going on during the approach might be helpful.

    I wouldn't recommend trying to capture the loc too early, wait until you're on a reasonable intercept with it, say 30 degrees, and then you can arm it. Definitely don't try and use loc to initiate that almost 180 degree turn early - I'm not sure that would work, and if it did, it wouldn't work well.

    Sorry I can't be of much help - perhaps some screenshots could give us more of an idea.

    Someone else might have some better advice too.

    Cheers,
    Rudy

    Rudy Fidao

    Comment


      #3
      I haven’t seen any ILS approach where the intended point of localizer intercept is 4 miles from the runway. Looking at the specific airport you mentioned (LEPA) and all the different approaches and their respective approach plates, all the intended localizer intercepts occur between 9 and 11 miles.

      Looking at the approach plates, the ILS for 06L doesn’t have any fixes/waypoints once established on the localizer. There’s various DME points along it with recommended altitudes for pilot reference. The FMC will make up waypoints in this case to show their position on the navigation display. So the waypoints you mentioned coded in the FMC are computer generated and not official waypoints. It’s possible there was some funky logic that went on when the FMC calculated these points, but without loading the approach into the FMC myself I can’t tell. I’m currently don’t have access to my computer so I can’t check that for you.

      Does your program have the ability to analyze approach plates? It sounds like your community has some talented coders, possibly worth a shot trying to see if further developments can be made to the program so it can read out depicted routes.
      James Ward

      Comment


        #4
        Hi and thanks for the help so far.
        I think from what I’m reading here we might be missing some key parts of the routing in our external FMC. Following the Lunik3M arrival, I see MJV as the last waypoint in our legs page. Since I couldn’t find any MJV transition, I went straight onto the ILS 06L, and according to the legs page CF6L is next at 1900 on a heading of 280, before a 3.9NM leg to FF06L at 1700 where we have to turn right around to a heading of 057 for this waypoint, then it’s a further 5.9 miles to the runway where we should obviously be on the ILS. I have a feeling we’re missing things like the extended centreline here, perhaps that’s a visual thing?
        I prepared a little recording of what I’m seeing, although what you can see in it I don’t know, since screenshots can be difficult to ensure you have all the necessary windows captured.
        https://www.dropbox.com/s/0vgdx303kl...0demo.mkv?dl=0
        I hope posting something like that is allowable here.
        Many thanks, Declan.

        Comment


          #5
          Declan, the Jeppesen approach chart I have for LEPA ILS06L from Navigraph does have transitions from MJV for the approach. The one you may find interesting is to continue after MJV on 243 track above 3000 to CDP 41D then right turn on the JOA 13 DME arc until the lead radial JOAr229 thence right turn to intercept PLM localizer at or above 1900 ft.

          For deeper understanding, take for example the case where the arrival does not connect to the approach via a transition. This is actually the normal in the US. In this case one would proceed on the 243 heading past MJV on a downwind for the approach until passing far enough past the planned glide slope intercept on the localizer to give room for a turn to intercept the localizer. This approach chart is probably very difficult to create a mental picture of the situation because it has three VOR/DME and an ILS/DME and uses all three. This approach is designed by a masochist. The hard part is know how far to go on downwind and how much distance do you have between downwind and final because that determines how long you remain on base before turning final. I'm not blind and I missed the thin MJV 10 DME arc line it has drawn for no apparent reason (it doesn't connect between waypoints) but it provides a clue to how far to fly downwind and that is MJV 10 DME.

          So I finally figured it out with the proper charts and good eyes LOL. Fly MJV downwind 243 heading until MJV 10 DME then right turn and continue turn but do not decrease MJV DME below 10 until intercepting the PLM localizer at or above 1900 then descend on localizer and maintain 1700 until glide slope intercept at PLM D5.1.

          Wow, someone picked a challenge when they picked this arrival. Even with a chart that indicates two different transitions from MJV as the IAF (initial approach fix) it is a challenge.
          Last edited by DDowns; 07Jul2021, 16:44.
          Dan Downs KCRP
          i7-10700K 32GB 3600MHz 2080Ti

          Comment


          • HighFlier
            HighFlier commented
            Editing a comment
            I was about to comment that the 10 DME arc depicted was for JOA. Then I thought to myself it was unlikely for you to misread an approach plate, and upon closer scrutiny I found the MJV arc line you referred to. Wow that was hard to spot, it does not stand out at all.

          #6
          Originally posted by DDowns View Post
          Declan, the Jeppesen approach chart I have for LEPA ILS06L from Navigraph does have transitions from MJV for the approach. The one you may find interesting is to continue after MJV on 243 track above 3000 to CDP 41D then right turn on the JOA 13 DME arc until the lead radial JOAr229 thence right turn to intercept PLM localizer at or above 1900 ft.

          For deeper understanding, take for example the case where the arrival does not connect to the approach via a transition. This is actually the normal in the US. In this case one would proceed on the 243 heading past MJV on a downwind for the approach until passing far enough past the planned glide slope intercept on the localizer to give room for a turn to intercept the localizer. This approach chart is probably very difficult to create a mental picture of the situation because it has three VOR/DME and an ILS/DME and uses all three. This approach is designed by a masochist. The hard part is know how far to go on downwind and how much distance do you have between downwind and final because that determines how long you remain on base before turning final. I'm not blind and I missed the thin MJV 10 DME arc line it has drawn for no apparent reason (it doesn't connect between waypoints) but it provides a clue to how far to fly downwind and that is MJV 10 DME.

          So I finally figured it out with the proper charts and good eyes LOL. Fly MJV downwind 243 heading until MJV 10 DME then right turn and continue turn but do not decrease MJV DME below 10 until intercepting the PLM localizer at or above 1900 then descend on localizer and maintain 1700 until glide slope intercept at PLM D5.1.

          Wow, someone picked a challenge when they picked this arrival. Even with a chart that indicates two different transitions from MJV as the IAF (initial approach fix) it is a challenge.
          Wow thanks for the detailed explanation. Yes it is certainly difficult to create a mental picture of this since we can't visualise where we are in relation to the airport exactly. With something like Vatsim ATC it's way easier for us but there wasn't any in this case. Might be using an ATC program like Pro ATC to help line us up here would be easier, especially in cases where there's no transition and it is up to the pilot to determine when they have enough distance to turn to intercept. Sounds like that was the problem for approaches like this, making the turn straight away is just way too tight.

          Comment


            #7
            Declan,

            I have nothing to add to the information provided above.

            I just wanted to say that I am utterly amazed and so impressed of what you guys are doing! It's absolutely fascinating you have invented tools to enable blind pilots to do pretty much non precision approaches.

            Kudos to you and the guys. Really! 🤗

            Cheers,
            Mats Johansson [MSFS: DoggishHail2851], PMDG Flight Test, ESSA | P3D v5.1/MSFS | Current PC setup

            Comment


            • StachM
              StachM commented
              Editing a comment
              I second that wholeheartedly.

            #8
            Originally posted by blindflightsimmer View Post
            Hi and thanks for the help so far.
            I think from what I’m reading here we might be missing some key parts of the routing in our external FMC. Following the Lunik3M arrival, I see MJV as the last waypoint in our legs page. Since I couldn’t find any MJV transition, I went straight onto the ILS 06L, and according to the legs page CF6L is next at 1900 on a heading of 280, before a 3.9NM leg to FF06L at 1700 where we have to turn right around to a heading of 057 for this waypoint, then it’s a further 5.9 miles to the runway where we should obviously be on the ILS. I have a feeling we’re missing things like the extended centreline here, perhaps that’s a visual thing?
            I prepared a little recording of what I’m seeing, although what you can see in it I don’t know, since screenshots can be difficult to ensure you have all the necessary windows captured.
            https://www.dropbox.com/s/0vgdx303kl...0demo.mkv?dl=0
            I hope posting something like that is allowable here.
            Many thanks, Declan.
            Thanks for the video, Dan has already got back to you and his explanation is spot on so there’s nothing for me to really add.

            Seeing your setup, the operation you guys are running is very impressive. I’m sure any of us here on the forums would be more than glad to help if you encounter any more of these approaches. Have fun flying!
            James Ward

            Comment


              #9
              Originally posted by DDowns View Post
              Declan, the Jeppesen approach chart I have for LEPA ILS06L from Navigraph does have transitions from MJV for the approach. The one you may find interesting is to continue after MJV on 243 track above 3000 to CDP 41D then right turn on the JOA 13 DME arc until the lead radial JOAr229 thence right turn to intercept PLM localizer at or above 1900 ft.

              For deeper understanding, take for example the case where the arrival does not connect to the approach via a transition. This is actually the normal in the US. In this case one would proceed on the 243 heading past MJV on a downwind for the approach until passing far enough past the planned glide slope intercept on the localizer to give room for a turn to intercept the localizer. This approach chart is probably very difficult to create a mental picture of the situation because it has three VOR/DME and an ILS/DME and uses all three. This approach is designed by a masochist. The hard part is know how far to go on downwind and how much distance do you have between downwind and final because that determines how long you remain on base before turning final. I'm not blind and I missed the thin MJV 10 DME arc line it has drawn for no apparent reason (it doesn't connect between waypoints) but it provides a clue to how far to fly downwind and that is MJV 10 DME.

              So I finally figured it out with the proper charts and good eyes LOL. Fly MJV downwind 243 heading until MJV 10 DME then right turn and continue turn but do not decrease MJV DME below 10 until intercepting the PLM localizer at or above 1900 then descend on localizer and maintain 1700 until glide slope intercept at PLM D5.1.

              Wow, someone picked a challenge when they picked this arrival. Even with a chart that indicates two different transitions from MJV as the IAF (initial approach fix) it is a challenge.
              Dan, you actually fell victim to Jeppi's lovely chartdrawing here.
              The MJV transition for the ILS06L goes from MJV outbound on 243 until 8DME, then turns you right to the 9DME point of the ILS with one turn. No arcs or anything in that.
              The other one, including the DME arc, is the CDP transition which leads right over MJV, but MJV is actually not part of it (can you believe it? Gotta love Spain!), continues to 41DME and then joins the 13DME JOA arc.
              Note that there's a 220kt restriction on that inbound turn, *however* from the general section of the airport charts you'll also find standart speed restrictions which apply to every approach at LEPA.
              Those are 210kt at 12DME, 190kt at 9DME and 160kt at 4DME.
              Therefore, by the time you're halfway through the turn you need to be at max 210kt, by the time you completed the turn you need to be at 190kt and then slow down to 160kt.
              This gives you a much smaller turning radius and makes it easy to track the turn.

              Another thing to keep in mind is the ICAO standard speeds. 220kt on downwind, 180 on base. This greatly helps with trackkeeping. If you slow to 180kt by the time you start a turn like this you can be sure you will be able to keep it.

              Now probably not of much use for a blind simmer, but for all others reading along here: Just use the PLAN mode of your ND to look at the route. If you see the route line overshooting a turn, insert a speed restriction. Start with 220kt (if the default was 250) and if it's still not working insert a 180 restriction. That will normally work on about all IFR procedures you'll find unless a slower speed is explicitly demanded in the airifeldbrief.

              Comment

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