“‘Gotcha’ Switch,” Greg’s May, 2018 Flying Carpet column


Every pilot experiences a bit of pucker factor when descending through clouds on an instrument approach. Am I really where I think I am, safely separated from the ground?

I was reminded of the stakes when my friend Mark phoned after landing at Colorado Springs with his wife and another couple.

“After clear weather through the mountains, we encountered an inversion east of the Rockies,” he said. “Colorado Springs was reporting 1000 broken, 1500 overcast, so I requested the ILS Runway 17L approach. The vectoring and intercept seemed fine, but we broke out of the clouds just above the trees while still several miles from the runway. It was quite a scare, and I want to determine the cause so it never happens again.”

For you VFR pilots: an instrument landing system (ILS) consists of two intersecting perpendicular radio signals projected from the ground. By centering the associated vertical (localizer) and horizontal (glideslope) needles, pilots are guided to the runway.

Mark wondered if the problem was with glideslope signal or receiver, or if he’d made some serious error in executing the approach. The approach plate showed terrain 1,000 feet above field elevation north of the airport, so I suggested he might feel low breaking out there. That didn’t satisfy Mark, however…

**Read Greg’s entire column, ‘GOTCHA’ SWITCH“**

Photo: Mark, with his Bonanza.

(This column first appeared in AOPA Flight Training magazine.)

Greg

©2018 Gregory N. Brown

3 Responses to ““‘Gotcha’ Switch,” Greg’s May, 2018 Flying Carpet column”

  1. Mark Harris Says:

    Turned out great Greg. I’ll be interested in hearing if you get any comments positive or negative. Thanks for doing that. Mark

    On Thu, Mar 29, 2018 at 5:11 PM, Greg Brown’s Flying Carpet Blog wrote:

    > Greg Brown posted: “Every pilot experiences a bit of pucker factor when > descending through clouds on an instrument approach. Am I really where I > think I am, safely separated from the ground? I was reminded of the stakes > when my friend Mark phoned after landing at Colorado” >

  2. Karen Kapinos Says:

    Hi Greg, I really enjoyed this article! Karen Kap

    Sent from my iPad

    >

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