Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

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Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Thu Apr 14, 2016 10:13 pm

A question for the boffs please:
Plet is an unmanned field with the "Breakcloud" at the pilot's discression. The procedure is entered at 3500' with the MSA at 8000'
Arriving over the mountains having been cleared down to 8000' by ATC Plet is covered in a solid cloud later from 1800'-3500', well above minima for the approach.
Question is; may I descend below the MSA in VMC while still 10nm out (I am still on an IF Flight Plan) down to the top of the cloud layer to start the approach or am I required to carry out 2 holds (10 minutes circling at -500'/min) to get down to 3500' ?
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Iceberg » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:12 am

Hi Hop. Here's what I'll try to do.:

If you are coming from the sector 290deg to 360 and <25nm out, I'll ask permission to descend to MSA for that sector (5800ft) and fly to the beacon otherwise stay at 7600ft.
Pass over the beacon and on to the southern side and ask for permission to descend to 3500ft, mentioning that you are in visual conditions and will remain south of the 110-290 deg radials and maintain own separation from terrain. Then position yourself to intercept radial 116 inbound at 3500ft to start the approach.

On leaving Hoedspruit recently I was asked by the controller if I was visual above the cloud and then allowed to set course towards the mountains to the west, and instructed to 'maintain own separation from terrain'. This in spite of still being below MSA for that area.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Brand » Fri Apr 15, 2016 9:28 am

I am by no means a "boffin", but unless I want to cancel IFR (meaning VMC all the way to the airport within 25nm), I would stick to the plate: joining overhead PY at initial approach altitude (6300ft) or higher MSA.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Jayson v Schalkwyk » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:10 pm

The procedure starts overhead PY at 6300' or higher MSA (7600'). As you mention, since the procedure is outside of controlled airspace, nobody will "clear you" for the cloudbreak. You will be left to your own devices once cleared to PY by Cape town. Fly the sector entry and descend in the hold from entry altitude and then follow the published approach. Your MDA will be 1309'

Get an update on the wx at FAGG before commencing the cloudbreak so that if you do plan to divert you already have an idea of what to expect at FAGG.

Wx can be miserable there sometimes and well below the MDA. I have had my fair share of attempts at getting in there.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:23 pm

Hi guys,
Sounds like you're all saying the same thing...
Stick to the plate and don't leave the MSA until you're overhead PY. The descent from there to 3500' (approach entry alt) can then be either visual or on instruments although you'll be in VMC down to the clouds anyway.
So, no short cuts huh?
Does this apply even if you've already been passed over to "broadcast TIBA" at the start of the initial descent?
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Jayson v Schalkwyk » Fri Apr 15, 2016 2:34 pm

Hop, once released by CT they will advise to broadcast TIBA and maintain the squawk code till landed safely. They might also ask you about your search and rescue since FAPG is unmanned. Personally, I keep it active till landed and call briefing to cancel SAR.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Iceberg » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:08 pm

Hop, if you are coming from the west and want to save some time you could do the procedure turn approach starting at 6300ft down to 3500ft inbound.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Brand » Fri Apr 15, 2016 3:59 pm

Hop Harrigan wrote: So, no short cuts huh?
Indeed - I can remember a few names who are not with us anymore, because of "short cuts" (also at Plett :roll: ) - you fly IFR or you fly VFR and do not mix the two. The fact that I sometimes fly VMC in IFR, does not mean I should/can deviate from IFR and the procedures. Discipline and self-control is really important while flying IFR - don't be tempted to deviate from IFR procedures....

Just my 2c worth.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Fri Apr 15, 2016 5:53 pm

Hi Iceberg,
I usually fly with family on board (all ages) and mostly they object to high decent rates. Loosing 3000' in the 5nm of the procedure turn is part of the problem. That's why I'm asking about starting the decent prior to reaching PY.
Brand, I do get the message...stick to the IF rules and I certainly intend to. George's ILS also offers a lower MAP which helps if Plet ceiling is a little low.
Now, a certain airline has a defined RNAV approach...but that's a subject for another thread.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Iceberg » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:33 am

Hop Harrigan wrote:Hi Iceberg,
I usually fly with family on board (all ages) and mostly they object to high decent rates. Loosing 3000' in the 5nm of the procedure turn is part of the problem. That's why I'm asking about starting the decent prior to reaching PY.
If you fly outbound 1 min before starting the turn it will take about 3.5 minutes at a descent rate of 800fpm.
You can extend the outbound by 30 seconds which will make the total time back to the beacon 4.5 mins which gives a more respectable descent rate of 622fpm. I used 2800 alt. difference. (6300 -> 3500)
Extending the outbound time should not be a problem - there is only ocean out that way.
Besides, the table bottom left of the plate allows 1:30 minutes for the outbound leg @ 200kts and even more if you are slower.
I don't know if the purists will agree with my suggestion though....:)
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by kleyn » Sat Apr 16, 2016 8:14 pm

The procedure starts overhead PY at 6300' or higher MSA (7600'). As you mention, since the procedure is outside of controlled airspace, nobody will "clear you" for the cloudbreak. You will be left to your own devices once cleared to PY by Cape town. Fly the sector entry and descend in the hold from entry altitude and then follow the published approach.
The way I understand the plate is that when you are in the 10 nm radius from PY you can decent to 3500 ft. The MSA is for outside of the 10 nm circle?
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Iceberg » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:03 am

kleyn wrote:
The procedure starts overhead PY at 6300' or higher MSA (7600'). As you mention, since the procedure is outside of controlled airspace, nobody will "clear you" for the cloudbreak. You will be left to your own devices once cleared to PY by Cape town. Fly the sector entry and descend in the hold from entry altitude and then follow the published approach.
The way I understand the plate is that when you are in the 10 nm radius from PY you can decent to 3500 ft. The MSA is for outside of the 10 nm circle?
I Agree.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Jayson v Schalkwyk » Sun Apr 17, 2016 11:15 am

Gents, I beg to differ.

If there was a note on the plate authorizing the descent when within 10nm of PY then this would be part of procedure as designed. But, since there isn't such note, I believe that the 10nm range ring is purely there for Information purposes to aid in the pilots situational awareness because of the proximity of the terrain to the north.

I am open to correction.

MSA is always based on 25nm from the beacon serving the approach.
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Iceberg » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:04 pm

Jason has a point. The plate is confusing in this respect. If a 10nm ring is shown, it is usually accompanied by a note allowing descent to a value lower than the 25nm MSA if within this ring. Look at the plates of FAHS where such a ring and note is given. FAHS is very similar in this respect as it is at only 1738ft with the Drakensberg mountains only 15nm away rising to over 6500ft.

See the plate:
FAHS_VOR-DME%20RWY%2018_VOR-01%2008JUL2004.pdf
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Re: Plettenberg Bay Cloudbreak

Unread post by Hop Harrigan » Sun Apr 17, 2016 4:47 pm

Ok, this might clear it up? Just pulled the Jepp plate (attached). Check the comment just below the lab view..."Initial approach altitude 6300' or higher MSA. Descend in holding to 3500'".
Strange that CAA/ATNS don't include this.
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