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Enroute Approach Clearance. If cleared for an approach while enroute to a holding fix which is not
collocated with the IAF, either proceed via the holding fix or request clearance direct to the IAF. If the IAF
is located along the route of flight to the holding fix, begin the approach at the IAF. If you overfly a
transition fix, fly the approach via the terminal routing. If in doubt as to the clearance, query the controller.
Altitude. When cleared for the approach, maintain the last assigned altitude until established on a segment
of a published route or instrument approach procedure. At that time, the pilot may descend to the minimum
altitude associated with that segment of the published routing or instrument approach procedure.
Approach Clearance. When clearance for the approach is issued, ATC expects an immediate turn in the
shortest direction to intercept the procedural course upon reaching the IAF. Clearance for the approach
does not include clearance for the holding airspace. However, if established in holding and cleared for the
approach, complete the holding pattern to the IAF unless an early turn is approved by ATC. If your
heading is within 90 of the procedural course, you may use normal lead points to intercept the course. If
your heading is not within 90 of the procedural course, you should overfly the fix and turn in the shorter
direction to intercept the course. If maneuvering (other than an immediate turn at the IAF to intercept the
procedural course) is desired for a more favorable alignment prior to the fix, you must ensure you remain
within protected airspace. Pilots need not request "maneuvering airspace" to perform such an alignment
maneuver. Such requests are often met with confusion by ATC (especially internationally where they may
approve your request without understanding what you mean).
E. High Altitude Procedures.
The high altitude approach (or penetration) allows the aircraft to maintain an efficient fuel
consumption/true airspeed profile and/or to delay descent into low altitude weather (such as an icing layer).
High altitude approaches are most common at military fields and are used primarily by fighter type aircraft.
ATC will generally assign an alternate procedure for transport category aircraft. High altitude approaches
are generally flown the same as low altitude approaches, with a few exceptions. Refer to the AIGT Study
Guide chapter 8 for a more detailed discussion of the different types of high altitude procedures. As with
any approach, before reaching the IAF, recheck the weather, review the IAP, obtain clearance for the
approach, and complete the Approach Checklist.
Reviewing the IAP. The entire approach must be flown as depicted to comply with all course and altitude
restrictions. Usually radial approaches or radial and arc combination approaches are associated with
TACAN or VORTAC facilities and teardrop approaches are associated with VOR or NDB facilities.
Reviewing the IAP should include calculating descent rates and/or gradients required in order to comply
with altitude restrictions. The approach normally requires a higher rate of descent and correspondingly
higher indicated airspeed than a low altitude IAP. Carefully observe NATOPS speed limitations and
appropriate airspace speed restrictions. (Maximum speed in class C or D within 4 NM from primary
airport, less than 2500' AGL is 200 KIAS, and maximum speed in class B is 250 KIAS.) Utilize flaps to
provide a steeper approach angle. If required, props may be placed full forward for as long as necessary.
The gear and/or full flaps may be extended in unusual circumstances but should generally be avoided.
Descent. High altitude penetration descent may be initiated when abeam or past the IAF with a parallel or
intercept heading to the course. The controller should assign you the depicted IAF altitude. If you are not
assigned the IAF altitude and cannot make the descent gradient by starting the penetration from your last
assigned altitude, request a lower altitude. Remember, you must be able to comply with subsequent
mandatory and maximum altitudes.
Standard Terminal Arrivals (STARs) and Flight Management System Procedures (FMSPs) [used only by
aircraft with FMS] are arrival routes established to simplify clearance delivery procedures and facilitate
transition between enroute and instrument approach procedures. The term STAR used in the following
paragraphs refers to both STARs and FMSPs. ATC can issue a clearance containing a STAR whenever
they deem it appropriate, even to military pilots (as of the 2000 AIM, we are no longer exempt); the pilot
does not have to file or request it anymore. Normally, pilots of IFR aircraft destined to locations where
STARs have been published should expect to be issued a clearance containing the appropriate STAR for
the destination airport. A STAR can serve several airports. Use of a STAR requires pilot possession of at
least the approved textual description.

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