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I-08: Non-precision approaches (LOC)

Recommended aircraft: turboprop (Pilatus PC-12, Piper Meridian, King Air) , slow piston (Cessna Skyhawk, Piper Warrior) , fast piston (Beech Baron, Piper Seneca)

Pilot will fly IFR from KAVX (Catalina) to KSAN (San Diego International) to shoot the LOC RWY 27 approach with vectors to final.  Utilizing the skills acquired in previous ratings, the pilot will use the TEC route system to file the appropriate route.

This rating has three goals:
  1. Focus on procedures for departing IFR from a non-towered airport
  2. Stress the point that the most commonly used approach at KSAN is a non-precision approach
  3. Locate and file the appropriate TEC route for KAVX to KSAN for the aircraft being used.
While it is legal to pick up the IFR clearance in the air, for the purpose of the rating you must pick up the IFR clearance and release on the ground at KAVX.

The related materials below provide detailed information for the departure and arrival aspects of this task.  The LOC RWY 27 approach into KSAN is commonly misflown online, with many pilots remaining far higher than is needed until the last minute.  Controllers can often be seen gathering around the scope and reaching for the popcorn to watch yet another dive bomber approach into the field.

Other than making a safe landing at San Diego, obtaining this rating will require that the pilot correctly fly the approach's vertical profile.

Required Materials
KSAN Facility Chart

Related Materials
ATC Transcript
Transcript: Avalon to San Diego
IFR flight from non-towered field to LOC RWY 27 at KSAN
ZLA - External Link
Non-towered Airport Operations (from ASF)
ASF presentation on non-towered operations, covering closed traffic, departures, arrivals and radio calls. Highly recommended.
ZLA Tower Enroute Control
VATSIM ZLA TEC Route Database
ZLA - Instructional Video
KAVX-KSAN Instructional Video
Overview of non-towered IFR departure, and vectors for the LOC RWY 27 into KSAN
ZLA - Practical Test Standards
IFR Practical Test Standards
list of requirements for all IFR ratings
Practical Test Standards
list of requirements for all ratings
ZLA - Reference
Flying the LOC RWY 27 into KSAN
How to fly the most commonly used non-precision approach at KSAN
IFR Cruising Altitudes
IFR non-towered operations
one in, one out, release times and void times
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Keith on Jun 7, 10 11:04

While it is true that the online environment is dynamic, and requires a change in plan, it sounds like this one went pretty much on-script. There should not have been any expectation of going from MZB direct to RYAHH. The ratings calls for vectors to final, and it sounds like that's what you received.

Offline practice of a vectored approach does not necessarily make a lot of sense :) Don't be afraid to practice online!

Randy on Jun 6, 10 22:18
I was informed by SoCal Approach, AS, who was undergoing his own "checkride" under the watchful eye of the masterful EZ, that I passed. For those of you who read this, one thing I have learned from the entire ZLA Pilot Cert process is to expect the unexpected when flying the checkride for real. All the practice in the world offline can only begin to prepare you for what you get online. Offline everything is "by the syllabus" with few variations. Very few of the actual tests were flown strictly by the course outline. In my case on this one I was expecting to overfly MZB and then direct to RYANH, but a Southwest flight that was inbound to KSAN changed all that. To avoid a conflict I had to reduce speed and was vectored differently than expected. I ultimately ended up hearing the expected "fly hdg 240 maintain 4000 til on the Localizer, cleared Loc 27 approach," but everything in between was different from what I had practiced after MZB. A very good experience and it taught me not to be to focused with tunnel vision on what I expected to happen...but didn't. Now bring on the I-9. Thanks to KM, AS, EZ, and the entire ZLA staff.

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