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Instrument Flying Handbook
The National Airspace System
Terminal Arrival Area (TAA)

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Instrument Flying


Table of Contents

Chapter 1. Human Factors
Chapter 2. Aerodynamic Factors
Chapter 3. Flight Instruments
Chapter 4. Section I
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 4. Section II
Airplane Attitude Instrument
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 5. Section I
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using Analog Instrumentation
Chapter 5. Section II
Airplane Basic
Flight Maneuvers
Using an Electronic Flight

Chapter 6. Helicopter
Attitude Instrument Flying

Chapter 7. Navigation Systems
Chapter 8. The National
Airspace System

Chapter 9. The Air Traffic
Control System

Chapter 10. IFR Flight
Chapter 11. Emergency

The MAP varies depending upon the approach flown. For
the ILS, the MAP is at the decision altitude/decision height
(DA/DH). For nonprecision procedures, the pilot determines
the MAP by timing from FAF when the approach aid is away
from the airport, by a fix or NAVA1D when the navigation
facility is located on the field, or by waypoints as defined
by GPS or VOR/DME RNAV. The pilot may execute the
MAP early, but pilots should, unless otherwise cleared by
ATC, fly the IAP as specified on the approach plate to the
MAP at or above the MDA or DA/DH before executing a
turning maneuver.

A complete description of the missed approach procedure
appears in the pilot briefing section. [Figure 8-16] Icons
indicating what is to be accomplished at the MAP are located
in the profile view. When initiating a missed approach, the
pilot will be directed to climb straight ahead (e.g., "Climb to
2,000") or commence a turning climb to a specified altitude
(e.g., "Climbing right turn to 2,000"). In some cases, the
procedure will direct the pilot to climb straight ahead to
an initial altitude, then turn or enter a climbing turn to the
holding altitude (e.g., "Climb to 900, then climbing right turn
to 2,500 direct ABC VOR and hold").

When the missed approach procedure specifies holding at
a facility or fix, the pilot proceeds according to the missed
approach track and pattern depicted on the plan view. An
alternate missed approach procedure may also be issued by
ATC. The textual description will also specify the NAVAID(s)
or radials that identify the holding fix.

The profile view also depicts minimum, maximum,
recommended, and mandatory block altitudes used in
approaches. The minimum altitude is depicted with the altitude
underscored. On final approach, aircraft are required
to maintain an altitude at or above the depicted altitude until
reaching the subsequent fix. The maximum altitude will be
depicted with the altitude over scored, and aircraft
must remain at or below the depicted altitude. Mandatory
altitudes will be depicted with the altitude both underscored
and over scored, and altitude is to be maintained at the
depicted value. Recommended altitudes are advisory altitudes
and are neither over- or underscored. When an over- or
underscore spans two numbers, a mandatory block altitude is
indicated, and aircraft are required to maintain altitude within
the range of the two numbers. [Figures 8-11 and 8-12]

The Vertical Descent Angle (VDA) found on nonprecision
approach charts provides the pilot with information required
to establish a stabilized approach descent from the FAF
or step-down fix to the threshold crossing height (THC).
[Figure 8-17] Pilots can use the published angle and
estimated or actual ground speed to find a target rate of descent
using the rate of descent table in the back of the TPP.

Vertical Decent Angle (VDA).
Figure 8-17, Vertical Decent Angle (VDA).

Landing Minimums
The minimums section sets forth the lowest altitude and
visibility requirements for the approach whether precision
or nonprecision, straight-in or circling, or radar vectored.
When a fix is incorporated in a nonprecision final segment,
two sets of minimums may be published, depending upon
how the fix can be identified. Two sets of minimums may
also be published when a second altimeter source is used
in the procedure. The minimums ensure that final approach
obstacle clearance is provided from the start of the final
segment to the runway or MAP, whichever occurs last. The
same minimums apply to both day and night operations unless
different minimums are specified in the Notes section of the
pilot briefing. Published circling minimums provide obstacle
clearance when pilots remain within the appropriate area of
protection. [Figure 8-18]

Minimums are specified for various aircraft approach
categories based upon a value 1.3 times the stalling speed
of the aircraft in the landing configuration at maximum
certified gross landing weight. If it is necessary to maneuver
at speeds in excess of the upper limit of a speed range for a
category, the minimums for the next higher category should
be used. For example, an aircraft that falls into category A,
but is circling to land at a speed in excess of 91 knots, should
use approach category B minimums when circling to land.
[Figure 8-19]

The minimums for straight-in and circling appear directly
under each aircraft category. [Figure 8-19] When there is
no solid division line between minimums for each category
on the rows for straight-in or circling, the minimums apply
to the two or more categories.

The terms used to describe the minimum approach altitudes
differ between precision and nonprecision approaches.