Interactive Quiz:
Turn Sour Notes Into Sweet Approaches

Whether you're a Jepp fan or sing NACO's praises, instrument approach procedures are full of tidbits you need to know before entering the clag. Test your interpretative mettle in this musical IFR trip.

INSTRUCTIONS: Answer the questions as best you can, then click on the "Score my quiz answers" button to see your score and read the explanations. If you don't like your score the first time around, you can change some of your answers and resubmit. To get the most out of this quiz, we suggest you keep trying until you get a perfect score.

NOTE: When more than one answer is true, only the most complete, correct answer will be scored as correct. The answers are assumed to apply within the United States unless otherwise noted.

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1. "O' Shenandoah, I long to see you ..." To appreciate that famous lyric, plot a course to Shenandoah (wait for it), Iowa, (KSDA), renowned for its musical heritage. Onetime home to The Everly Brothers ("Wake Up Little Susie," "Kathy's Clown," etc.), Shenandoah has a great little airport with three published instrument approach procedures (IAPs). Let's shoot the VOR/DME or GPS 12 (click for approach chart). First, though, we should brief the fine print in the notes including one that has little to do with the approach. Refer to the upper left-hand box beneath the navaid frequency. What does the T inside the triangle mean? (Pick most complete answer.)


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KSDA VOR/DME OR GPS 12 Approach Chart (click charts for larger versions)



a. Take-off minimums not standard
b. Departure procedures are published
c. Alternate minimums not standard
d. Take-off minimums not standard and/or departure procedures are published

2. Since we broached the subject, what is the FAA's standard take-off weather minimum for a single-engine piston airplane?
a. Ceiling at or above 200 feet (AGL) and visibility 1 statute mile or greater
b. Ceiling at or above 200 feet (AGL) and visibility 1/2 statute mile or greater
c. Visibility 1 statute mile or greater
d. Visibility 1/2 statute mile or greater

3. John Lennon's best song was, of course, Imagine. So, imagine you've been cleared (IFR) to the Shenandoah Airport via: "Direct Omaha VOR (OVR), cross Omaha at 2800 (feet), cleared VOR/DME or GPS 12 Approach." For this scenario you're in a non-radar environment ("Radar service terminated") and flying an older, single-engine airplane with a skimpy POH. The airplane's VSO (stall speed in landing configuration at max. certified landing weight) is 60 knots. Today you plan to fly a circling approach at 95 knots. What is your approach category for this approach, and what minimum(s) must you have (civil, Part 91) to complete the approach?
a. Category A, 1540-foot ceiling and visibility at least 1 1/4 mile(s)
b. Category B, 1540-foot ceiling and visibility at least 1 1/4 mile(s)
c. Category A, 600-foot ceiling and visibility at least 1 1/4 mile(s)
d. Category B, visibility at least 1 1/4 mile(s)

4. While planning your IFR trip to Shenandoah Muni, the weather forecast at your estimated time of arrival ( ETA) puts the ceiling at 700 feet with visibility 6 miles. Not bad, but you need to file an IFR alternate airport. Goin' to Kansas City is too far, but Clarinda, Iowa, Airport (KICL) is 15 miles east and well within your fuel range. It'd make a nice alternate because, like Shenandoah, it too has a rich musical history -- Big Band leader Glen Miller was born there. This FDC NOTAM appears in DUATS:





Refer to the Clarinda NDB-A and GPS RWY 20 approach plates. You're operating under FAR Part 91, not for hire. Using all the resources provided here, plus your vast knowledge of IFR procedures and Glenn Miller tunes, should you file Clarinda Airport as an alternate? (Ignore WAAS capabilities.)


KICL NDB-A Approach Chart


KICL GPS RWY 20 Approach Chart





a. Should, provided the NDB-A MDA is raised to 1780 feet.
b. Should not. Clarinda does not qualify as an alternate.
c. Should, if the approach is made straight-in to Runway 2.
d. Should, if you only use the NDB-A approach. No GPS approaches allowed for an alternate.

5. Let's checkout the B-side of an approach. When an instrument approach name is suffixed with a letter from the beginning of the alphabet (For example: NDB-A or GPS-B), it indicates that:
a. Glideslope out of service.
b. The approach course diverges from runway centerline by more than 30 degrees.
c. The approach course diverges from runway centerline by more than 20 degrees.
d. Radar service will not be provided so pilots must fly the entire Procedure Turn (PT).

6. Refer again to the Shenandoah VOR/DME or GPS RWY 12 approach plate. In the profile view, lower left box, PICAM is the Final Approach Fix (FAF) and is located 23 nm from the Omaha VOR.
a. True
b. False

7. Let's linger in Shenandoah and refer to the airport diagram in the lower right hand corner. Along the bottom of the box are several smaller boxes arranged horizontally and labeled "Knots 60 90 120 ..." Below them are blank boxes labeled "Min:Sec." Used for timing the approach from FAF to MAP (missed approach point), the Min:Sec boxes are blank because:
a. It's a typo. NACO forgot to include the times.
b. Approach not authorized without RNP 0.3.
c. You must figure the times yourself and fill in the boxes.
d. You do not time this approach.

8. Same airport diagram. Find the letter "V" near the approach end of Runway 4. Oh, hey, look there's also a "V" at Runway 2 and, by golly, a "V" at Runway 30. What V-equipment or V-status do those runways have that poor old Runway 12 apparently lacks?
b. VDP
d. VIP Levels

9. Let's change our destination from Shenandoah to Clarinda and request the GPS RWY 20 approach. Radar coverage is not available for this scenario, so the Minneapolis Center controller clears you via the KARMA waypoint transition: "Cross KARMA at 3000, cleared GPS Runway 30 Approach... " At the instant KARMA is crossed you fly to the unpronounceable XULLE waypoint and then to ZESSA (sounds like a cheap deodorant soap) and then ATC expects you to fly the mandatory one-minute holding pattern in lieu of a procedure turn in order to get lined up on the final approach course toward UKATE, the FAF.
a. True
b. False

10. Refer again to the Clarinda NDB-A approach procedure. First off, for all pilots born after Bill Gates reordered the universe, an NDB is a Non-Directional Beacon, sort of like a bonfire in an open field. An ADF is a stone-simple instrument found in classier old airplanes flown by dashing pilots graying at the temples. The ADF has a single needle that points to the NDB; it's the only navaid that immediately, without any programming, tells you where you aren't: "Hey, pilot! You're not over there!" To go over there, you simply follow the needle. It's also great for locating lightning strikes, broadcast baseball games, and poorly shielded ignition leads under the cowling. Due to its simplicity, it is rapidly disappearing from use. But before it -- and all those Ernie Gann-like pilots -- go gently into the night, please note the frequency 353 in the upper left-hand box and in the center of the planview. Explain why it's underlined.
a. Because only nearsighted, old pilots use NDBs and need help reading the number.
b. Because this NDB lacks voice capability.
c. Because this is an NDB-A.
d. Because it's important to find that frequency quickly, so it's underlined.

11. OK, all you VFR Sport Pilots miffed that we spent so much of this month's quiz on boring IFR stuff, here's one for you: How many of the previous 10 IFR questions (and answers) apply to Sport Pilot operations on a VFR day in the middle of Ioway, fer cryin' out loud?
a. Some of them
b. None of them
c. A lot of them
d. All of them
e. What's IFR?

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