Name Your Most Challenging Instrument Approach

AINsafety » June 10, 2013
The final approach to Runway 28 at Cuzco, Peru, presents challenges for pilots.
June 10, 2013, 1:50 PM

An AINSafety story published last year demonstrated that a relatively straightforward GPS approach can be fraught with danger even when pilots precisely follow the instrument approach plate. Our editors began thinking about what readers might regard as their most challenging instrument approaches. Perhaps the Runway 34 VOR DME ILS DME approach to JuJuy Airport (SASJ) in Argentina, where the minimum safe altitudes (MSA) within 25 nm vary from 9,500 feet approaching from the southeast to 19,000 feet from the northwest? The approach begins from a holding pattern followed by four course changes before localizer interception. The missed approach demands a 4-percent climb gradient to avoid terrain.

Consider Cuzco Airport (SPZO) in Peru, where surrounding mountains mean that the minimum safe altitude arriving from the northeast is 23,000 feet for the VOR DME circling approach to Runway 28. The approach begins from a 16-mile final at 17,400 feet and leads the pilots between nearby 16,000-foot mountain peaks to best-case minimums approximately 4,000 feet above the ground.

So tell us about your most challenging instrument approach and why in as much detail as possible. We’ll share your story (we don’t need to use your company’s name) with other aviators here in an upcoming AINSafety. Everyone will benefit from your on-the-scene perspective though, so send your story today to Editor, AINSafety.

 

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Gonzalo
on June 11, 2013 - 8:12am

CUZCO (SPZO/CUZ)
VOR/DME RWY 28
DESCENT ALPHA
(Circling Approach)

Coming from the North, checking VUPAR at or above 20,000ft, continuing to EDROX (at or above 17,000) and then straight to 14,500ft MINIMUMS over ZCO VOR, to continue a Visual (circling) approach to Rwy 28 with an inbetween mountains downwind and base legs, to stablish final over the historic city of Cuzco, finally to land at 10,800ft aproximately. Even more challenging if you have to GO AROUND on short final, heading straight to 13,500ft mountains!

No Avatar
Gonzalo
on June 11, 2013 - 8:13am

CUZCO (SPZO/CUZ)
VOR/DME RWY 28
DESCENT ALPHA
(Circling Approach)

Coming from the North, checking VUPAR at or above 20,000ft, continuing to EDROX (at or above 17,000) and then straight to 14,500ft MINIMUMS over ZCO VOR, to continue a Visual (circling) approach to Rwy 28 with an inbetween mountains downwind and base legs, to stablish final over the historic city of Cuzco, finally to land at 10,800ft aproximately. Even more challenging if you have to GO AROUND on short final, heading straight to 13,500ft mountains!

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