Approach Transitions

Choosing an approach transition requires a little thought and an examination of the options for your direction of approach. In general, you’d like to eliminate course reversals in a hold or procedure turn. You can always do that with a vectored approach, but I recommend loading a full approach since your initial clearance may use an approach waypoint. You can easily and quickly convert that to vectors at the appropriate time. An approach to Monterey from the North (departing San Jose) will illustrate some choices for full approaches.


Approach to KMRY


You’ll pass near SANTY on the route to KMRY, so you could choose SANTY, SHOEY, or ZEBED as your initial transition. (Remember, if you “Activate” an approach you’ll go Direct to your initial transition). The first two are NoPT directions, and when loading the approach using those transitions there will be no hold.


If you choose ZEBED, because that’s the shortest route, it appears you’d have to do the hold even if you’re passing near SANTY.  However, the GNS 430/530 and the GTN 750 give you the choice.  Shown below are the flight plans for the two iaf choices, SANTY and ZEBED.  The pictures are from the 750, but you get the same choices in a 430/530. 


Course reversal


In the left screem there is an optional hold in the plan, while in the right (coming from SANTY) you avoid a hold.  In passing I might point out that in the GNS 480, you must choose an iaf with a NoPT course from it, or the hold at ZEBED will be in the plan with no option to cancel it. In that case, just before the hold, activate the leg after the hold to “jump past” it in the plan.  As always, know your navigator!