Activating Approaches

                Last month we discussed “jumping ahead” in your flight plan to skip part of the plan and establish leg sequencing further down the flight plan list. An Arrival was used for illustration, but flight legs representing an Approach are also added at the end of the Enroute plan.  So you may also have to “jump ahead” to skip part of the Enroute plan and get onto the approach legs.  As discussed last month, to jump ahead you can either go Direct to a waypoint on the approach, or Activate an approach leg if appropriate.

            Here’s a flight plan from Bakersfield (KBFL), going northwest to Fresno (KFAT), along V23, which goes through PIXEY, then LATON and FRAME.  The last 2 are airway feeders to the LPV approach to Rwy 29R at KFAT, while the 3 IAF’s are SIBOC, ALTTA, and REBHU.  There is also an IF at SANGO.


Flight route



            For our direction of flight, LATON was chosen as the approach transition as shown in our flight plan above. In the flight plan below the active leg is to EHF (Shafter VOR near Bakersfield), but somewhere on the leg to PIXEY suppose you're cleared for the approach with the LATON transition.  At that point you are following V23 but can “jump ahead”in the flight plan list to the LATON which is in the Approach list.  This doesn't change your present course, but does "jump over" KFAT in the list.  On reaching LATON will sequence to the leg going to REBHU. To do this, put a cursor on LATON and then select Direct->.  You can’t use Activate Leg (to LATON) in this case, since that is a leg from KFAT to LATON.


Flight plan


            I’ve assumed you were cleared to LATON for the approach, but if your clearance is Direct REBHU or SANGO to start the approach, then move the cursor to one of those and push D-> to comply.

            So what is the “Activate Approach” item on the PROC menu?  If you select that and ENTER, it will take you Direct to the initial transition you chose when adding the approach (LATON in our case). So, instead of going D-> LATON as suggested above, you could also select Activate Approach.  But, if your approach clearance is to REBHU or SANGO, don’t use Activate Approach. Instead, go D-> to the one for which you're cleared.

            Finally, suppose our filed plan had been on V23 to LATON (rather than PIXEY), then direct KFAT. In that case, when you add the approach with the LATON transition, you could clear KFAT (cursor on KFAT, push CLR) from the flight plan and you wouldn’t need to “jump ahead”.  The natural sequencing of that flight list would smoothly sequence you from your Enroute course to the Approach course.

            Similarly, imagine you are out practicing approaches, and the approach to your destination is on the opposite side of the airport from your direction of flight.  Then, your Enroute flight plan takes you to the airport, and the next leg is from the airport to the transition you chose for the practice approach.  Nothing needs to be done to that flight plan either, to go from your Enroute legs to the Approach legs.