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S.P.A.Training Division

Flt No. TP8907

Aircraft: BE-1900

Location: Red Wing, MN (KRGK)

Weather: 1000 Overcast, Stratus with tops at 5000, Visibility 5mi, Wind 323° at 8 kts.

Successfully flying an ILS right down to minimums is one of the most challenging and satisfying activities in flying. Breaking out of the clouds as you approach decision height and seeing the runway right in front of you and right where you'd want it to be is a beautiful thing. Sometimes, however, the weather doesn't allow for that. Sometimes you just can't get in. The purpose of this flight is to highlight the procedures and considerations that go into the often neglected part of the instrument approach, the missed approach procedure. It is important to be just as prepared to fly the missed approach as it is to fly the final approach segment. We'll be practicing this at SPA's home field: St. Paul Downtown Airport, Holman Field. We'll be using the ILS RWY 32 Approach. We'll be flying the SPA BE1900. You may wish to simply load up the flight plan for the Red Wing to Saint Paul training flight. That gives you about the right amount of time to get yourself cleaned up and tuned up for the approach.

You'll fly this just as you did the introductory flight for the new pilot's training course. You'll need to add in some slight wind correction angles during the missed approach and hold, but for the ILS it's straight down the runway. (That almost never happens in real life.)

Good IFR preflight planning dictates that you review all available information concerning that flight prior to departure. A thorough review of all the approaches available at airports of intended use is certainly relevant and prudent.  

We'll pickup the introductory flight just outside KIKKY intersection. You should have your NAV radios tuned and identified for the approach and you should also be cross checking them to be sure they look like you would expect them to.


At KIKKY intersection you should have both the tail end of the RMI passing through R-044 and 11.3 DME indicated from the I-BAO localizer. You should have already obtained the weather information from Saint Paul ATIS. This brings up another point worthy of note: Because you are flying for a virtual airline, you are flying under part 121, as per SPA's virtual air carrier certificate. FAR part 121.651 states that "…no pilot may continue the approach past the final approach fix, or where a final approach fix is not used, begin the final approach segment of an instrument approach procedure…" unless there is an approved, current, weather report indicating the visibility is equal or greater than the prescribed minimums for that approach. Furthermore, FAR part 121.652 states that if you have less than 100 hours in type, you need to raise the MDA or DH and visibility requirements by 100 feet and ˝ mile. You can substitute some landings and hours to assist in meeting this requirement. See the subparts of that section for details. Assuming you don't have the currency requirements, your minimums for KSTP will be 1054 and 1 ˝ miles visibility. In summary, before you begin the approach, you need a current weather report and the required visibility.

Fly the approach as per Jerry's instructions. Again cross checking as you pass over the OM, checking to make sure that the altimeter agrees with the glideslope needle and the approach plate. You should be near 2419 when you cross BABCO. A large variance should be figured out here and now, rather than at DH.

Bring her down to just above decision height and it's time to make a decision. You can't really wait until DH to decide because you need to arrest the descent slightly before DH. Experience is the best teacher here for determining how much lead you'll need to keep from busting minimums. Since we know we are going missed, it's an easy decision.


  1. Advanced the throttle forward to 100% power.
  2. Raise the gear when you have a positive rate of climb indication (It's pure drag)
  3. Maintain DH altitude until airspeed increases to 140 knots and then assume a climb attitude
  4. Incrementally retract the flaps
  5. Maintain RWY HDG until leaving 1200 feet.
  6. Passing through 1200, turn right heading 010 & continue climb to 4000.
  7. Lower the nose slightly and accelerate to 170 knots
  8. Tune NAV 1 to MSP VOR (115.3).
  9. Twist the OBS to R-037


You should be able to climb to 4000 before intercepting the MSP 037 radial. No need to start your turn to track the radial until the needle is almost centered. Once it is centered, turn to 037° or maybe a few degrees less for wind correction. Now slow down. A holding pattern doesn't take you anywhere interesting and there's no need for speed. In fact, going slower is to your advantage in two ways. First, it reduces the amount of airspace you consume flying around in a smaller pattern. Second, it reduces the amount of fuel you are burning and increases your endurance time. Get the needle centered and hold that heading. It isn't far to WHISK from here and we need to retune our NAV radios.


WHISK intersection is defined by Gopher VOR R-085 and MSP VOR R-037.  Tune NAV 2 to GEP 117.3 and the OBS to 085 for normal sensing.  As the needle centers on NAV 2 begin a teardrop entry by turning left to heading 005°. Note the time on the clock as we will hold this heading for one minute.  After one minute continue turning right all the way around to heading 210°. I'm predicting we'll need 7 degrees of wind correction to maintain the MSP 037R . As you are making the turn, watch the needle on the HSI. You can increase the angle of bank to tighten the turn or lessen the angle as you feel necessary to intercept the radial.


As you come back to the fix you again should cross reference your instruments. If you have the course centered on the HSI, then WHISK will be 18.7 DME from MSP and it will lie on the 085° radial from GEP. Note that you are reading the tail of the double barred indicator to determine the radial you are on. Also note the angle of wind correction you are using to maintain the inbound course.  Use triple the correction for the outbound leg. Leg lengths extend from 1 minute to 1 1/2 above 14,000 feet.

KSTP ILS RWY 32 gives you some good opportunities to twist some knobs while you fly. Be sure to use the Flight Analysis to see how well you did.

-prepared by Anthony McKay


Keep the dirty side down!

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