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Features October 2015 Issue

Authorization Required

There are many special approaches, usually with lower minimums, that are only available to specifically authorized operators. Here’s the inside story.

You can do a lot with an instrument rating and appropriately equipped aircraft—slice through clouds, take-off zero-zero and fly VOR, ILS, GPS and even (if you care) NDB approaches. None of these operations require special qualifications beyond the instrument rating. For example, many of us got instrument ratings before GPS, yet we’re authorized to fly GPS approaches. But, there are things an instrument-rated pilot can’t do, even with certified equipment. Wanna fly a CAT II approach? Sorry. How about an ILS CAT I SA or RNAV (RNP)? Nope, can’t do those either. What gives?

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