# Non Gyro and Radar Approaches

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#### TarDevil

##### Well-Known Member
Are you talking about what we called GCA approaches? If so, then yes on both points. Not only practiced in the plane but talked a controller at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (who convinced an instructor/student from nearby Conway flight school) into doing a radar approach. Fun to watch.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
Are you talking about what we called GCA approaches? If so, then yes on both points. Not only practiced in the plane but talked a controller at the Myrtle Beach Air Force Base (who convinced an instructor/student from nearby Conway flight school) into doing a radar approach. Fun to watch.
Far as I know they are the same thing. All of my instructors were military instructors and I had a lot of them. Good time is at night when the controllers are not as busy and they always say they also need the practice. Fun.

When you go to 1/2 standard rate turns, best to just use rudder so you will not over control.

#### wsimpso1

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
I was taught to fly enroute and approaches with either the vacuum gyros covered or with the electric gyro covered as part of my Instrument training, and was tested on this in the Instrument check ride. I was taught and practiced No Gyro approaches with approach giving start turn and stop turn guidance plus descent and altitude hold guidance during training, but was not tested on it in the check ride. Precision Approach Radar was taught in ground school as a way to get down at a military airbase if weather went below minimums, but have never flown one... I got the instrument rating in 1995.

Not an instructor...

Billski

#### tralika

##### Well-Known Member
Your nearest Air Force Base is most likely your best bet to get a practice PAR approach. You might also try a Naval or Marine Air Station but I have no experience with them. The AF controllers must be qualified to perform PAR approaches but they seldom get a chance to practice. They like to practice on general aviation aircraft because we fly a lot slower than the jets. You will not get a clearance to land at the Air Force Base and will have to perform a missed approach. You will not get a clearance for a practice approach when the Air Force is flying so your best bet is to try on the weekends. If there is an Air Force Base nearby I suggest you call the Base Operations and ask about practice PAR's. If they allow GA to do PAR's then it's just a matter of timing it when they are not busy. Base Ops will not share the AF flying schedule with you but they will give you an idea of when they are normally not busy. You request the PAR through Approach Control just like any other approach. PAR's a described in the Instrument Flying Handbook and I bet a jelly donut you'll find a dozen videos on Youtube. PAR's are challenging the first few times and a nice break from the same old practice ILS approach.

#### pwood66889

##### Well-Known Member
"How many has been taught Non Gyro and Radar Approaches{?}"
Radar approaches came in two flavors, Pops, when I was in Air Traffic Control School - Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) and Surveillance Radar (SAR) Approach. GCA is as described, with verbal guidance all the way down. Surveillance approaches are only with heading given and altitude suggestion because all the controller has is your blip on the single scope. My first "playing pilot" was simulating an aircraft during a GCA. I have flown an SAR approach when I was good and lost. Controllers had me pointed right down the runway when it hove into view. I was very impressed, and recommend practicing both kinds at every opportunity. It is correct that only the military offers GCA.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
"How many has been taught Non Gyro and Radar Approaches{?}"
Radar approaches came in two flavors, Pops, when I was in Air Traffic Control School - Ground Controlled Approach (GCA) and Surveillance Radar (SAR) Approach. GCA is as described, with verbal guidance all the way down. Surveillance approaches are only with heading given and altitude suggestion because all the controller has is your blip on the single scope. My first "playing pilot" was simulating an aircraft during a GCA. I have flown an SAR approach when I was good and lost. Controllers had me pointed right down the runway when it hove into view. I was very impressed, and recommend practicing both kinds at every opportunity. It is correct that only the military offers GCA.
I got GCA approaches, Verbal guidance all the way down.
Large GA airport also with large AG unit with C-130's. In multi training at night with a Aztec, in the pattern doing touch and go's, with 2 -- C-130's doing the same thing. Makes you think about wake turbulence for sure.

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#### wsimpso1

##### Super Moderator
Staff member
Log Member
PAR approaches are set up like the ILS, with runway alignment and glideslope alignment, just that the controller sees it and gives voice feedback to the pilot all the way to the runway.

So Pops, why the interest in what we got in training?

Billski

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
PAR approaches are set up like the ILS, with runway alignment and glideslope alignment, just that the controller sees it and gives voice feedback to the pilot all the way to the runway.

So Pops, why the interest in what we got in training?

Billski
I always enjoyed doing these approaches. We were doing approaches with verbal guidance all the way down. Nice to hear that you are 50' left of center line.

Billski---- Just wondering if the instructors are still teaching these types of approaches today with much other things not being taught. I have neighbors that are prime examples of this. Some don't know what a standard traffic pattern is about.
These answers makes me feel that its not as bad as I sometimes think.

#### jedi

##### Well-Known Member
I always enjoyed doing these approaches. We were doing approaches with verbal guidance all the way down. Nice to hear that you are 50' left of center line.

Billski---- Just wondering if the instructors are still teaching these types of approaches today with much other things not being taught. I have neighbors that are prime examples of this. Some don't know what a standard traffic pattern is about.
These answers makes me feel that its not as bad as I sometimes think.
I am a CFI and just checked with Tucson Approach to confirm the following.

GCA approaches (Ground Control Approaches) were largely eliminated many many years ago. Whidby Approach in the Seattle area may still have the ability but this was not confirmed.

Radar Surveillance Approaches are still available and are still taught but not required.

GCA was a precision approach using precision approach radar for the specific runway and had much lower minimums than the radar surveillance approach that uses the terminal area radar for the approach facility.

#### pwood66889

##### Well-Known Member
Sorry to hear that the GCA is passe'. Enjoyed that simulator in ATC School. Yet it was the pits to set up, then move the antennas when the wind changed. Surveillance radar is still in use and you should try that from time to time.

#### Turd Ferguson

##### Well-Known Member
GCA approaches are still around, I think it's the terminology that is passe' as the acronym described the facilities more so than the process.

GROUND CONTROLLED APPROACH− A radar approach system operated from the ground by air traffic control personnel transmitting instructions to the pilot by radio. The approach may be conducted with surveillance radar (ASR) only or with both surveillance and precision approach radar (PAR). Usage of the term “GCA” by pilots is discouraged except when referring to a GCA facility. Pilots should specifically request a “PAR” approach when a precision radar approach is desired or request an “ASR” or “surveillance” approach when a nonprecision radar approach is desired. (See RADAR APPROACH.)

RADAR APPROACH− An instrument approach procedure which utilizes Precision Approach Radar (PAR) or Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR).

So we can still utilize a GCA, however, we have to be specific as to which type of radar approach procedure is being requested.

Even more fun is getting pilots arguing over NDB and ADF. When I was a young instrument instructor, I knew an old guy who then was about 70 that would argue with me endlessly over how to fly an "ADF approach." Two observations from that, then it was like fingernails on a chalkboard; today, 70 doesn't seem that old.

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
GCA approaches are still around, I think it's the terminology that is passe' as the acronym described the facilities more so than the process.

GROUND CONTROLLED APPROACH− A radar approach system operated from the ground by air traffic control personnel transmitting instructions to the pilot by radio. The approach may be conducted with surveillance radar (ASR) only or with both surveillance and precision approach radar (PAR). Usage of the term “GCA” by pilots is discouraged except when referring to a GCA facility. Pilots should specifically request a “PAR” approach when a precision radar approach is desired or request an “ASR” or “surveillance” approach when a nonprecision radar approach is desired. (See RADAR APPROACH.)

RADAR APPROACH− An instrument approach procedure which utilizes Precision Approach Radar (PAR) or Airport Surveillance Radar (ASR).

So we can still utilize a GCA, however, we have to be specific as to which type of radar approach procedure is being requested.

Even more fun is getting pilots arguing over NDB and ADF. When I was a young instrument instructor, I knew an old guy who then was about 70 that would argue with me endlessly over how to fly an "ADF approach." Two observations from that, then it was like fingernails on a chalkboard; today, 70 doesn't seem that old.
Take it from me , when looking back at being 70 years old, Its really not old.

#### Dillpickle

##### Well-Known Member
My Instructor, 20 years ago had us do several simulated ones under the hood, and one "real" one using Beale Air Force controllers, A few years later, I would use it getting my Instrument rating when my panel lights went out, at night, flying under the hood. I had filed a flight plan from Sac Exec to Buchanan Field which has an unusual angled approach requiring a fair amount of concentration. I had started to remove my hood to deal with the lack of instrument lights, when my instructor, God bless him, put his hand on my arm and said "go with it. I'll keep a look out." I had already busted my altitude by a 100 feet traversing into Travis Air Force base air space, and Travis ATC came on to remind me of my altitude issues while I was digging out my flashlight. I responded to her query of my intentions with a response of "we have a simulated emergency with panel lights out, and could I get a direct steer to the initial approach fix at Buchanan. She immediately replied with altitude correction and compass heading which gave me plenty of time to prepare for the 10 degree angled approach at Buchanan. My instructor was miffed at my lack of need to struggle, but impressed with the ease of solving the problem. Bastard made me do a missed approach with a flashlight in my teeth before he let me land. I was drenched with sweat from concentration, and freezing with cold by the time we got the lights working before takeoff. He wanted me to file to fly the hundred miles home, and I told him I was too wrung out to learn anymore that night...hell of a learning experience!

#### Pops

##### Well-Known Member
Log Member
My Instructor, 20 years ago had us do several simulated ones under the hood, and one "real" one using Beale Air Force controllers, A few years later, I would use it getting my Instrument rating when my panel lights went out, at night, flying under the hood. I had filed a flight plan from Sac Exec to Buchanan Field which has an unusual angled approach requiring a fair amount of concentration. I had started to remove my hood to deal with the lack of instrument lights, when my instructor, God bless him, put his hand on my arm and said "go with it. I'll keep a look out." I had already busted my altitude by a 100 feet traversing into Travis Air Force base air space, and Travis ATC came on to remind me of my altitude issues while I was digging out my flashlight. I responded to her query of my intentions with a response of "we have a simulated emergency with panel lights out, and could I get a direct steer to the initial approach fix at Buchanan. She immediately replied with altitude correction and compass heading which gave me plenty of time to prepare for the 10 degree angled approach at Buchanan. My instructor was miffed at my lack of need to struggle, but impressed with the ease of solving the problem. Bastard made me do a missed approach with a flashlight in my teeth before he let me land. I was drenched with sweat from concentration, and freezing with cold by the time we got the lights working before takeoff. He wanted me to file to fly the hundred miles home, and I told him I was too wrung out to learn anymore that night...hell of a learning experience!

Reminds me of the time I had the instructor set me up. This instructor gave me my first airplane ride when I was 13 years old. Retired AF B-52 pilot. I was at the airport one night and he said, " Lets take a IFR trip tonight in the Aztec. OK. But, I am not prepared to fly and left my flight bag at home and I said that I would never fly IFR with a handheld mic and without my flashlight at nighttime. He said don't worry, it will be OK, I have a flashlight. At the destination airport the IAF was closer to the OM than I liked. Doing the approach with no radar vectors. I got to the IAF and dropped the mic, it hit the floor and balance up and wrapped around the rudder pedals. He handed me HIS flashlight, when I turned it on the front came off and the batteries fell out on the dark floor. Airplane NOT slowed down, No gear down. Tower was calling and telling me to report at the OM. I couldn't answer. He was setting in the right seat laughing his A** off. I kept feeling in the dark and finally unwound the mic from the rudder pedals and by that time I was 500' to high and not slowed down enough and with the gear still up and coming up on the OM. He said " Now what are you going to do ?" I told him, if I was by myself, I would call a missed approach and do the miss procedure, BUT, you are with me, so I came back on the power, reported at the OM, made small S turns and got the gear down when I got down to the gear extension speed and started with a mild slip for more drag and got the flaps down and got a high sink rate going and told him that I was going to intercept the glide slope as I go down. As the GS needle started to wake-up I started adding power and checked my high sink rate and intercepted the GS one dot high as he taught me. ( The one dot high is for the wife and kids ). Broke out and landed.
I think , it went better than he planned.
Told me to buy the small Naval aluminum flashlight that has a cord that go's around your neck, so that will never happen again. I still have it and always fly with it.

There was more set-ups.

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