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Features April 2012 Issue

What is “Established”?

We’ve all heard “Maintain … until established.” We fly the route and make our descents without ATC yelling (usually). But are we actually doing it right?

Surprisingly, the FAA is not the place to look for a definition of “established.” The AIM and the Instrument Flying Handbook say nothing on the topic. Only in the Instrument Procedures Handbook (FAA-H-8261-1A) does a definition pop up, and it just says that ICAO defines “established” as within half-scale indication on a localizer or VOR course. Useful, but there must be more.

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