Video: Non precision approach in a PA28

img4In this video, The Flying Reporter makes an instrument approach to Biggin Hill, utilising vectors from Thames Radar.  Because Biggin Hill’s glideslope was unserviceable, we flew the LOC/DME approach.

The flight departed Lydd VFR (Visual Flight Rules), and then once clear of their zone we spoke to Farnborough Radar and continued IFR (Instrument Flight Rules).  We tracked out from the LYD VOR (VHF Omnidirectional Range) beacon, and then intercepted a track inbound towards the LAM VOR beacon before talking to Thames Radar.

Thames Radar gave us radar headings to fly, which positioned us on the extended centreline to Biggin Hill’s runway 21.  This involved entering Class D controlled airspace – the London City CTA and CTR.

img3The Localiser approach is a non-precision approach, and the instruments do not give pilots any glideslope guidance.  Instead, the instrument approach chart is used to tell us when to begin our descent, from what altitude, using DME (Distance Measuring Equipment).  As we fly down towards the runway, we check that our altitude is at the correct level at set distances from the runway.  If we’re too low, we slow our rate of descent, and vice versa if we’re too high.

I haven’t flown a non precision approach since my training, and so it was good practice.


The localiser tells me that I’m on course, because the vertical needle in the top right circular cockpit instrument is centred.

Anyhow, I hope you enjoy the video.  Remember, you can view the tracks from most of my flights, including this one, here.

Video: Non precision Instrument Approach to Biggin Hill