CHAPTER 3. Navigation

Recognizing the Missed Approach Point

With any type of navigation equipment, it is important to be able to determine when you have reached the missed approach point. The missed approach point indications given by FMS/GPS units are sometimes subtle. Consider the two navigation displays shown in Figure 3-58. The display in the top graphic of Figure 3-58 shows the aircraft approaching the missed approach point, 1.4 NM away.

Now consider the display in the bottom graphic of Figure 3-58. The distance from the missed approach point might suggest that the aircraft is now even closer to the missed approach point. However, the TO/FROM flag on the course deviation indicator shows that the aircraft has in fact passed the missed approach point. It is tempting to monitor the distance from the missed approach point as it decreases to 0.0 NM. The problem is that, depending on how accurately the pilot flies, the distance may never reach 0.0 NM. Rather, it may simply begin to increase once you have passed abeam the missed approach point. It is, thus, important to check not only the distance from the missed approach point, but also the TO/FROM flag or arrow. In the rush of a missed approach, this small clue (arrow direction change) can be difficult to read and very easy to misinterpret.

Complying With ATC-Issued Missed Approach Instructions

ATC sometimes issues missed approach instructions that are different from those published on the approach chart. In this case, use the techniques described earlier to insert new waypoints into the route, and/or to intercept and track courses to those waypoints.

Setting Up Next Procedure in Hold

Once in the missed approach holding pattern, the next task is deciding where to go next and programming the new flight plan into the FMS/GPS unit. In this high workload situation, it is especially important to be very proficient with the menus, functions, and “switchology” of a particular unit. If the aircraft is equipped with an autopilot, it is also essential to have a thorough understanding of how the autopilot interacts and interfaces with the FMS/GPS navigation equipment.

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