RADIO INSTRUMENT APPROACHES
Radio instrument approaches, unlike GCAs, employ on-board navigational equipment as a guide and can
be flown, if necessary, without communication with the ground. In the T-45A, you will fly these
approaches--VOR, TACAN, Localizer, and ILS--in accordance with the published instructions found on
high or low altitude approach plates.
Plan ahead by reviewing the procedures for the chosen approach before arriving at the IAF and stay
ahead of the aircraft during the approach. Use all available NAVAIDs during the approach as backups in
the event of equipment malfunction. If, for example, you are flying an ILS approach at a field that also has
a TACAN facility, you should have the TACAN tuned and set as a backup.
VOR Penetration Approach
VOR navigational aids supply you with bearing information to the VOR station you have tuned. Instrument
approaches flown to these facilities usually rely on direct overflight of the station during the approach
The VOR penetration approach is generally a procedure turn (i.e., 90/270, teardrop). Before beginning the
approach, set the final approach heading in the course window of the HSI. Begin the approach when you
pass over the station on the altitude and heading prescribed by the approach plate. Penetrate by lowering
the nose and accelerating to 250 KIAS. At 250 KIAS reduce power to flight IDLE, lower the nose and
extend the speed brakes. Adjust nose attitude as required to maintain 250 KIAS and 4,000-6,000 fpm
descent (approximately 15 degrees nose down). At one-half your initial altitude or at reaching the
published penetration turn altitude, initiate the penetration turn (do not exceed 30 degrees AOB) to
intercept the final approach course.
NOTE: Do not exceed the minute to live rule in the penetration descent.
At this point, the approach procedure can vary depending on whether the NAVAID is located at the field or
If the approach has a FAF (station located away from the field), station passage is normally the FAF
and timing will determine the MAP. After completing the penetration turn, transition to the landing
configuration, and check speed brakes up or retracted if used, prior to reaching the FAF. At station
passage, start timing to the MAP, basing your timing on ground speed and the FAF to MAP table on
the approach plate under the sketch. Extend speed brakes, reduce power if necessary, transition to
descend on-speed to MDA. (Do not exceed 1,000 fpm.) Report FAF with gear to ATC and landing
checklist complete on the ICS. Continue to a landing if you visually acquire the runway up to the MAP
and you are in a position to land or maneuver to land safely. If you do not have the runway
environment in sight when at the MAP (i.e., time expires), execute a missed approach.
If the approach does not have a FAF (station located at the field), transition to the landing
configuration, on-speed, speed brakes down, as soon as you are wings level inbound to the station.
Descend to the published MDA using the procedures in the paragraph above and start looking for the
runway. Station passage is usually the missed approach point (MAP) for this type of approach.
If executing a low altitude TACAN and VOR approach that require the aircraft stay within 10 nm of the
IAF/field, maintain 200 KIAS during the procedure turn and penetration.