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Why no BC (back course) approaches in Europe?

Ibra wrote:

in any case the specs for signal tolerances, obstacles & minima tolerances they should be like those of LOC

Why “should” they be?

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

For my IR I trained on the NDBs at LFBH and LFRI going back and fore between them. I hated them, which didn’t help me to fly them well. Fortunately, all the pilots who already had the IR kept telling me that they really were useless as GPS evolved.
Since I passed my test I don’t use them that often, but I no longer dread them, in fact I am quite relaxed about flying one. When I did my CBIR I didn’t need to fly them ILS and RNAV were enough.
NDBs have a lot of limitations but they were useful in their time.

France

NDBs have a lot of limitations but they were useful in their time.

Sure. Bronze axes also.

I flew the NDB into Stockton KSCK numerous times during training – and on my checkride too. It’s no longer there, of course. The thing my instructor hammered into me is you have to know what heading you’re supposed to be one. We would fly it with him chanting “two niner one two niner one…..” the whole time. It obviously worked. But thank goodness they’ve gone away, or at least that you can always fly them as a GPS overlay (if necessary without mentioning it to anyone).

That said, if you want some fun, try flying the (still existing) NDB into Siskiyou County KSIY in northern CA: https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2113/00882NGA.PDF .

You’ll notice the entertaining little dogleg as you cross over the NDB, making an already challenging approach essentially impossible.

LFMD, France

Airborne_Again wrote:

I’d be willing to be it’s because BC is not in PANS-OPS so not an ICAO standard approach procedure.

I mean willing to BET, of course!

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

gallois wrote:

For my IR I trained on the NDBs at LFBH and LFRI going back and fore between them. I hated them, which didn’t help me to fly them well.

When I trained for the IR in 1987, we had to fly this gem. Even though it was only a 17° turn over OU, intercepting final after the turn was a challenge. Fortunately for new pilots, the procedure was removed a few years ago when ESSB got its RNP procedures.

Last Edited by Airborne_Again at 15 Jan 10:01
ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Am I totally wrong in my memory that at one point there WERE BC approaches in Europe? Somehow I appear to remember seeing European ones in different instruction books I had as well as learning about them when I did my IR back in the 80ties, in France I believe then.

LSZH, Switzerland

Mooney_Driver wrote:

Am I totally wrong in my memory that at one point there WERE BC approaches in Europe?

I believe some american airbases in Europe had BC approaches – they were of course designed according to TERPS and not PANS-OPS.

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

Even though it was only a 17° turn over OU, intercepting final after the turn was a challenge. Fortunately for new pilots, the procedure was removed a few years ago when ESSB got its RNP procedures.

That is a hardcore one: from behind with offset but badly flown it may work how do you fly the missed on OU NDB or switch to NB NDB at MAPT/MDH? do you ident both before starting the approach? at what height over the runway you would start receiving OU/NB given that neither is based in the airport?

The minima for straight-in is no different from circling: it’s unlikely that one would find runway straight ahead and “you have to travel”, only possible if you have 2×ADF in the cockpit !

Last Edited by Ibra at 15 Jan 18:37
Paris/Essex, United Kingdom

Ibra wrote:

That is a hardcore one: from behind with offset but badly flown it may work how do you fly the missed on OU NDB or switch to NB NDB at MAPT/MDH? do you ident both before starting the approach? at what height over the runway you would start receiving OU/NB given that neither is based in the airport?

The minima for straight-in is no different from circling: it’s unlikely that one would find runway straight ahead and “you have to travel”, only possible if you have 2×ADF in the cockpit !

You can argue whether 2 NDB means that you need two ADFs or that you need both NAK and OU NDBs. In any case, we always flew it with one NDB.

We would change to, and ident, OU immediately after passing NAK. We would switch to NB when going missed.

As NDBs don’t work on line-of-sight frequencies, you would receive them all the way down to the ground,

ESKC (Uppsala/Sundbro), Sweden

BC approaches are not NDB based.

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Shoreham EGKA, United Kingdom
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