Vectors to Final

Questions and comments about the PE Pilot Training Program

Vectors to Final

Postby Mark Hargrove » Sun Jan 22, 2012 10:40 pm

I was flying the I3 routing from KSNY to KBUR today in a Pilatus PC-12, an aircraft in which I only have a few (simulated) hours. The PC-12 is much faster than the Cessna 182 I'm used to flying and I was working very hard to stay ahead of the aircraft. After the approach controller gave me my final vector to intercept the Burbank localizer, I delayed a little too long in making a subsequent turn to intercept and overshot the localizer by a bit and had to really crank the aircraft around to rejoin from the other side. The controller noticed and both gave me help with a re-intercept heading and a little coaching to make sure that I don't overshoot in the future. While I was conducting a review of my flight later, a question occurred to me.

What is the right thing to do if you're given a turn that you don't think you make without a steep bank? In my particular case it was purely my lack of familiarity with the aircraft that led to my overshoot -- I'm just wondering what to do if it's ever the case that I get the typical "turn right heading xxx to intercept the yyy localizer, maintain zzzz until established, cleared ILS www approach" and can see from my position on my moving map that it's going to be marginal for me to fly the intercept from my current position at my current airspeed without a mongo bank?

-M.
Mark Hargrove
Longmont, CO
PE: N757SL (Cessna 182T 'Skylane'), N757SM (Cessna 337 'Skymaster'), N757BD (Beech Duke Turbine)
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby Kyle Rodgers » Mon Jan 23, 2012 6:52 am

One of the things that pilots forget about all the time is the issue of aviate, navigate, and communicate (in that order).

First, make sure you stay in the air;
Then follow any directions for navigation;
Finally, communicate.

Basically, if a controller says to make a final turn, do it first, and then read back. In most (real) aircraft there's a PTT right on the yoke to make navigating and communicating simultaneous, but if your simulator setup is one where you have to take your hand away from the controls to talk, execute the instruction first and then read back.

If it really is an issue where the controller delayed too long to issue the command, bank as you normally would, overshoot and correct on your own. The controller may point out a heading for re-intercept, which you may follow, but there's no harm in making the correction on your own after an overshoot - slight or not.

What angle are you considering "too much"?
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Jan 23, 2012 7:44 am

Do not exceed a 'standard turn' (3 degs per second hdg change) if you're IFR. Additionally, I believe that some Part 121/135 operations also have a max bank angle associated with them, which, at higher speeds, translates to less than a standard rate turn.

As you have experienced, things happen quickly when you're flying a more complex and higher speed aircraft. If you're not able to comply with instruction in a timely fashion, the wheels start to come off.

Kyle's comment about aviate, navigate, communicate notwithstanding, waiting too long to reply to the instruction can also disrupt the flow of communication on the channel if it's busy. That may seem counter intuitive until you realize that when ATC issues and instruction, they wait for a reply before issuing the next instruction to the next aircraft. Take an extreme case where the controller is working 10 aircraft and all 10 of them are delaying their readbacks. The controller might be unable to handle the workload simply because pilots aren't responding quickly enough.

That's not a problem here on PE yet because of our relatively low traffic levels at the moment, but it might be an issue in the future.

One quick tip for a readback if you are task saturated. If you hear "5 from SILEX, fly hdg 050, maintain 3000 until established on the localizer, cleared ILS rwy 8 approach," the readback can be as simple as "wilco" (with your callsign) if that helps you out. That way, the controller can move on to the next aircraft.

Interesting topic, thanks for bringing it up!
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby arb65912 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:16 am

If you hear "5 from SILEX, fly hdg 050, maintain 3000 until established on the localizer, cleared ILS rwy 8 approach," the readback can be as simple as "wilco" (with your callsign) if that helps you out.


It definitely frees the frequency and it makes it much easier for the pilot but how do I know WHICH ATC transmissions are OK to respond to with "wilco"?
I know that when reading back the clearance or confirming h/s , "wilco" will not do.

Cheers, AJ
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby Orest Skrypuch » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:47 am

I would still always read back the altitude and runway, for my own comfort and confirmation. Nothing more embarrassing than lining up for the wrong runway.

* Orest
PP/ASEL/IR, Piper Dakota (PA28-236) C-FCPO
President & CEO, UVA, http://www.united-virtual.com
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby arb65912 » Mon Jan 23, 2012 10:57 am

Hi Orest, yes, I would also read back the runway number, that is why I said that "wilco" will not do or is probably not correct for holding short confirmation.

As we know , nothing in life in perfect and we are trying to do best following published rules but I was very surprised to hear that "wilco" would be sufficient in response Keith used as an example and I would like to know if there is any simple rule when "wilc"o can be properly used.

Cheers, AJ
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby Keith Smith » Mon Jan 23, 2012 11:19 am

Bear in mind, I'm not suggesting you use 'wilco' for all readbacks. I'm simply suggesting it as a fallback position for the case where someone is starting to get behind their aircraft and needs additional time for the 'aviate' portion of the a/n/c trilogy. "Wilco" is better than no response at all and allows the controller to move onto the next aircraft.

During ground movement operations, this wouldn't apply.

Orest, I agree than including the approach and runway would be ideal, but if the choice is between nothing and something, I would elect to have them readback something :)
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Re: Vectors to Final

Postby Orest Skrypuch » Mon Jan 23, 2012 1:59 pm

Wilco. :D
PP/ASEL/IR, Piper Dakota (PA28-236) C-FCPO
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