ILS minimums?

Operating an F-16 on the ground or in the air - from the engine start sequence, over replacing a wing, to aerial refueling procedures
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boggy123

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Unread post05 Apr 2020, 09:52

Do Viper drivers set a warning on the CARA ALOW system on the ICP/DED to warn them when reaching DA/DH on an ILS?
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magnum4469

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Unread post05 Apr 2020, 18:28

No, if you have to do that you shouldn't have an instrument rating. My God if you miss your DH/DA and you have 150 people riding behind you, you are a moron and shouldn't be flying with peoples lives at stake...
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boggy123

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Unread post05 Apr 2020, 19:12

We all set bugs for the DA/DH, whether it's the IR on a tiny bug smasher or on a modern airliner. Having a reminder makes sure that you do not bust your minima and end up being a moron like you said.

I was just curious how it's done in an F-16 because surely they fly ILS down to CAT 1 minima?
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jbgator

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Unread post05 Apr 2020, 23:33

It's not that complicated. I flew F-16s for 7 years without a RALT so there was no reason to incorporate that in my instrument procedures when i finally had one. And I never had a rating below 300/1 throughout 21 years flying the F-16. I don't know the lowest minimums I ever flew to but it certainly wasn't that low. Bottom line was if the WX is that bad don't fly. We didn't have pax who wanted to get somewhere so bad they didn't realize how stoopid it was to go. Instead, we figured it was way stooooooopid to fly in such WX. I've flown into a lot of airfields with a big slope leading up to the threshold, either up or down, what do you suggest setting RALT to in such a situation? Also as I recall the aural warning didn't work wheels down so your only clue would be the RALT display flashing in the lower right corner of the HUD, not the focus if you were soaking up seat cushion in crappy WX. Not there yet but I would say I'm with Magnum, you are definitely approaching Saberider for the obscure innate question award, even though your english is ok.
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tjodalv43

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Unread post06 Apr 2020, 02:44

jbgator wrote:I've flown into a lot of airfields with a big slope leading up to the threshold, either up or down, what do you suggest setting RALT to in such a situation? Also as I recall the aural warning didn't work wheels down so your only clue would be the RALT display flashing in the lower right corner of the HUD, not the focus if you were soaking up seat cushion in crappy WX.

Exactly, not a good technique!
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boggy123

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Unread post06 Apr 2020, 11:24

jbgator wrote:It's not that complicated. I flew F-16s for 7 years without a RALT so there was no reason to incorporate that in my instrument procedures when i finally had one. And I never had a rating below 300/1 throughout 21 years flying the F-16. I don't know the lowest minimums I ever flew to but it certainly wasn't that low. Bottom line was if the WX is that bad don't fly. We didn't have pax who wanted to get somewhere so bad they didn't realize how stoopid it was to go. Instead, we figured it was way stooooooopid to fly in such WX. I've flown into a lot of airfields with a big slope leading up to the threshold, either up or down, what do you suggest setting RALT to in such a situation? Also as I recall the aural warning didn't work wheels down so your only clue would be the RALT display flashing in the lower right corner of the HUD, not the focus if you were soaking up seat cushion in crappy WX. Not there yet but I would say I'm with Magnum, you are definitely approaching Saberider for the obscure innate question award, even though your english is ok.


Obscure innate questions, that would be because I have been flying airliners for the last 17+ years and am interested to learn more about F16 procedures but clearly I don't have military/fast jet experience. I'm just trying to relate it to what I know, which is commercial flying.
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jbgator

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Unread post06 Apr 2020, 15:19

Fair enough. Just understand that, what we call "coming and going", doesn't interest us much nor does it take up any time in brief/debrief. We don't care how you get to/from the fight, it's what you do when you get there. Also, fighter pilots give no slack nor expect any to be given, if you bring a thin skin to a discussion you are going to get bruised a lot. And all that obscure and inane (not innate as autocorrect did to me) stuff generally will be ignored by those whose expertise you seek. If you get an answer it will probably be a little tongue in cheek like my response. I appreciate all the airline pilots who have gotten me safely to my destination and I have a lot of friends that are airline pilots but I'm not too terribly interested in it. I tell people when I get on an airliner I look in the cockpit, if I don't know anyone I give a sigh of relief, because ignorance is bliss. Hope you're having fun doing it. Most of my friends tell me they do it for the money and fly with the ANG/Reserve for their fun. I feel sorry for them, and you, right now because the current situation proves how fickle it can be. Good luck.
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outlaw162

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Unread post06 Apr 2020, 17:38

A quick sidebar:

You know during all my time in fighter/trainer types, I always felt more comfortable and indestructible by virtue of having an ejection seat, than all my time in heavies or biz-jets without one.....the only ways down being the preferable landing on a runway, a crash landing off runway, or (gasp) a ditching.

But I really did enjoy a local 727 flight (not airline) in the AM, and then drive across town for an F-4 or eventually F-16 flight in the PM, or vice versa. :D They both make for an interesting life, each having challenges of vastly different natures, but the basics of course apply to both types.

However, now that I don't fly at all, I feel much safer (slightly less so these days, it's always something). :mrgreen:

When I was in TAC (ACC), command minimums were 300/1 also. I thought for the Viper now they are waiverable by the CO to 200 and 1/2 if circumstances require. The original F-100s didn't even have ILS, let alone radalt. :shock:

(You know the classic F-16 ILS accident at Shaw had nothing to do with setting minimums or the ILS itself, the poor guy got disoriented by the max bright approach and 'rabbit' lights reflections and glare on the canopy, after he broke out underneath.)

edit: In the 'old' days, even though TAC mins were 300/1, in an emergency you could go to 100 and 1/4 on a PAR. Saved a few people, but also killed a few people.
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guy@rdaf.dk

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Unread post06 Apr 2020, 21:23

boggy123,

In my outfit different pilots use different technics. The F-16 MLU does not have a physical bug on the altimeter that can be set (like the the one on the airspeed indicator). The ALOW warning is not suitable as it does not have any audio associated when the gear is down, and also for the previously stated reason of sloping terrain. The MSL LIS (Line In Sky) can be used for this as it will give you an audio warning (Altitude-Altitude) when you reach the programmed MSL altitude. From my experience however, most pilots will not use as a DH/MDA bug/alert. My personal technic is to use the MSL LIS as an alert for step-downs until the FAF. I will normally set it to 100' blew the level or altitude I am cleared to. Once inside the FAF I will just cross check my altimeter until I reach my DH/MDA. No bugs or audio warnings here.
In Europe, most European F-16 users fly the ILS down to 200' and 1200 meters RVR or 800 meters MET VIS if RVR is not available. We don't have the luxury of not flying when the weather is crappy, as its often bad in northern Europe. If we did we would never fly. And if the weather is close to minima, we will spend a few minutes during the pre-flight briefing, briefing our IFR procedures and looking through the approach plates of the alternates. If you fly F-16's out of Tucson Arizona, or places with similar climatic conditions, you can probably just skip it in the briefing like jbgator suggests, but if you do that in places with icing, heavy rain and low ceiling, you will be in a world of hurt.
I do agree with jbgator however, regarding our priorities in the briefing. The main priority is the tactical part. Departing the field and coming back is just something you do. Mind you, we mostly fly in and out of the same field day in day out, so we know our approaches heart. And, as there is no other pilot besides us in the cockpit, we make damn sure that every FNG is 110% capable of flying on instruments without using the HUD, before they are sent off to fly solo in the weather. Furthermore, they are only allowed to fly to higher minimas (400') the first couple of years, until they gain more experience in the Viper.
As a side note, the F-16 is by far the most difficult aircraft I have flown on instruments, as it does not give the pilot any feedback through stick forces or sounds of changing airspeed. Therefore it takes a very strong and quick crosscheck, a skill that needs to be maintained....
Greetings to you all at the NSA and everybody else who is reading this on ECHELON.
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outlaw162

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Unread post06 Apr 2020, 22:36

the F-16 is by far the most difficult aircraft I have flown on instruments


Tougher than the 'Zipper' flying final 60 knots faster than the 'pokey' Viper? :D
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boggy123

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Unread post07 Apr 2020, 08:02

guy@rdaf.dk wrote:boggy123,

In my outfit different pilots use different technics. The F-16 MLU does not have a physical bug on the altimeter that can be set (like the the one on the airspeed indicator). The ALOW warning is not suitable as it does not have any audio associated when the gear is down, and also for the previously stated reason of sloping terrain. The MSL LIS (Line In Sky) can be used for this as it will give you an audio warning (Altitude-Altitude) when you reach the programmed MSL altitude. From my experience however, most pilots will not use as a DH/MDA bug/alert. My personal technic is to use the MSL LIS as an alert for step-downs until the FAF. I will normally set it to 100' blew the level or altitude I am cleared to. Once inside the FAF I will just cross check my altimeter until I reach my DH/MDA. No bugs or audio warnings here.
In Europe, most European F-16 users fly the ILS down to 200' and 1200 meters RVR or 800 meters MET VIS if RVR is not available. We don't have the luxury of not flying when the weather is crappy, as its often bad in northern Europe. If we did we would never fly. And if the weather is close to minima, we will spend a few minutes during the pre-flight briefing, briefing our IFR procedures and looking through the approach plates of the alternates. If you fly F-16's out of Tucson Arizona, or places with similar climatic conditions, you can probably just skip it in the briefing like jbgator suggests, but if you do that in places with icing, heavy rain and low ceiling, you will be in a world of hurt.
I do agree with jbgator however, regarding our priorities in the briefing. The main priority is the tactical part. Departing the field and coming back is just something you do. Mind you, we mostly fly in and out of the same field day in day out, so we know our approaches heart. And, as there is no other pilot besides us in the cockpit, we make damn sure that every FNG is 110% capable of flying on instruments without using the HUD, before they are sent off to fly solo in the weather. Furthermore, they are only allowed to fly to higher minimas (400') the first couple of years, until they gain more experience in the Viper.
As a side note, the F-16 is by far the most difficult aircraft I have flown on instruments, as it does not give the pilot any feedback through stick forces or sounds of changing airspeed. Therefore it takes a very strong and quick crosscheck, a skill that needs to be maintained....


Thanks guy@rdaf.dk, that explains it very nicely. With regards to the approach, are you able to put in RNAV waypoints to have them as a steerpoint for the approach (like the IAF and FAF)? or do you just do that raw data (TACAN radial+dme)?
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guy@rdaf.dk

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Unread post07 Apr 2020, 17:03

boggy123 wrote:
Thanks guy@rdaf.dk, that explains it very nicely. With regards to the approach, are you able to put in RNAV waypoints to have them as a steerpoint for the approach (like the IAF and FAF)? or do you just do that raw data (TACAN radial+dme)?


Yes it can be done, but in my air force we are not allowed to do so as the aircraft is not certified for it. We are only allowed to use the navigation platform for the enroute portion of the flight above MSA. We do however use it for SA showing the IAF, and we even have a steerpoint positioned on the threshold, to help the pilot spot the approach end in crummy weather. We had a formation landing in a sandstorm i Kuwait, with VIS less then 100 meters, as all other options where gone. The pilots just put the Flight Path Marker on the threshold steerpoint, flared when they saw the runway and hoped for the best. It worked...
The F-16 MLU (Same avionics as block 50) has a very basic IFR kit installed. One TACAN, one ILS and no fancy autopilot that can fly the ILS for you.
Greetings to you all at the NSA and everybody else who is reading this on ECHELON.
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boggy123

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Unread post13 Apr 2020, 09:59

Do you ever practice flying an ILS approach without using the HUD? I saw that a HUD OFF landing is part of the B-course but would an ILS app without HUD be trained too?
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Unread post14 Apr 2020, 21:38

Yes
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boggy123

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Unread post16 Apr 2020, 10:27

Cool, thanks.

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