SkyHigh Charters: Hello Newbie

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Quick Brief

Origin Destination Direct distance Approach Route Altitude
KTOA KVNY 25nm ILS Z RWY 16R published missed, LDA-C SMO SMO317R CANOG (SCTP2) 4000

This is the indoctrination flight for SkyHigh Charters. There are no passengers aboard, it’s just you and the check airman.

Fly IFR from Torrance, CA to nearby Van Nuys, request vectors for the ILS Z RWY 16R approach with the published missed until passing SMO VOR, then request the LDA-C with a circle to 16L or 34R (the shorter runway).

Some notes before you head out:
1. 4000 is used for pistons or slow turboprops (< 190kts). 5000 is used for turbojet and faster turboprop aircraft.

2. The SCTP2 TEC route shown above is used during normal operations at Torrance (TOA) when runways 29L/R are in use. If Torrance is departing 11L/R, they swap to using the CSTPx TEC routes, shown here on MyFlightRoute.

3. TEC routes serve numerous departure airports. For example, HHR and TOA share the same TEC route to VNY. As a result, TEC routes do NOT include the initial routing to get you from the runway onto the route. Leave some room on your notepad when you’re copying the clearance out of Torrance.

4. Do not accept any shortcuts from ATC prior to the SMO VOR once you’re in the air. We want you to fly your initially cleared route.

Video Brief

Note: subsequent scenarios will have a short brief followed by a longer, more detailed brief. This first scenario only has the long brief.

Ride Along

Video notes:

  • While I was acutely aware that our destination was Van Nuys, I incorrectly showed the clearance limit as “TOA” when picking up the IFR clearance, rather than “VNY
  • I also read back the clearance “TOA” rather than “VNY”,ATC didn’t pick up the error.
  • At 21:00, the reason ForeFlight was showing LIMBO-WILMA as the active (purple) leg was because I activated the wrong leg earlier.
  • At 27:30, the comment about the lack of a magenta line is referring to the display on the GPS prior to POPPR, not ForeFlight.
  • The “long story” comment at 29:30 regarding the wind being 140 at 11 is in reference to the fact that the winds in the METAR is given in TRUE degrees, whereas wind reports from ATC or an ATIS or given in magnetic degrees. The variation around the Southern California area is roughly 13 degs, so the METAR winds of 15011KT should be interpreted as 140 at 11. ForeFlight is incorrect in showing the winds at 150 at 11.


  • Turned at less than standard rate at LIMBO, resulting in slight overshoot. Turn prediction on the GPS works great as long as we hold up our end of the bargain by turning at standard rate.
  • Using a GPS-only solution for a complex route like this (intercepting radial from an airway) requires a bit of planning. Using a VOR-based solution would work equally well.
  • Dealing with traffic point outs in the terminal area increases workload
  • Good situational awareness during the vector to final on the ILS Z RWY 16R, approach went well.
  • Missed approach was quite a bit of work, as predicted. Good use of VOR, then transition to GPS with VORs ready to go in the event of an issue.
  • Didn’t have much time to brief the LDA-C approach. If flown again, I’d continue on the publish missed until I was fully ready to shoot that approach. With the vectors, altitude changes, and 3 nav aid frequency changes during the setup for the LDA-C, plus the fact that it failed to load in the GPS, I was getting just a tad behind the curve, resulting in a failure to notice that the GPS was not in VLOC mode during the LDA-C approach.
  • ATC indirectly came to the rescue when I asked if I could get a new heading to join the localizer, “we’re not going to be able to join on this heading,” was met with, “you just flew through the localizer, what are your instruments showing?” That prompted me to review my configuration, which eventually lead me to realize the GPS/VLOC error on the 530. The good news is that I spoke up when I had a heading which I thought wasn’t going to work, the bad news is that I failed to realize I went through a localizer in a timely fashion.
  • The circle to land at VNY was unnecessarily close to the field, resulting in a tight downwind. This warranted a relatively tight and continuous turn from downwind to final. Angle of attack was kept under control and the bank angle was reasonable, but even so, there was no good reason to be quite that tight to begin with.