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Thread: Approach minimums and alternate airport questions

  1. Default Approach minimums and alternate airport questions

    Hi all,
    I was making an approach into a simulated summer T-storm at KDFW, as I got to 500 ft agl I realized that it was not going to clear off enough to make my landing within the rules as I "think" I know them. So to all the simmers out there I ask what is the proper procedure for landing at or near minimums and how do you pick a good alternate airport in an IFR flight. Oh and if you wanted to know I went ahead and landed in basically 0/0 conditions,why not whats the worst that could happen in a sim right?
    Thanks Steve

  2. #2


    You made the landing without see the runway(0/0) because you were at home sitting in your chair in front at your computer.But I think with no runway in sight on a real plane at minimum surely a missed approach procedure will be performed.It depends on how you're considering the simulation.If you want make a serious simulation before T.O. you have to choise the eventual alternate airports and by a Metar software before the descent you have to listen at the weather informations of destination and alternate airports.If the destination airport visibility is at minimum you'll perform the approach and at minimum if the runway isn't in sight a missed approach procedure will be carried out and after that you will ask the ATC to divert to the alternate airport where the weather conditions are more suitable for a sure approach and landing.
    Last edited by sandokan; 07-10-2011 at 01:33 PM.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Ellwood City, PA


    Last week a friend of mine was to pick up a business colleague, who was flying into Phoenix, while they were having the worst sand storm in years. The guy, who was flying in, said the jet was on final and he was nervous because he couldn't see anything but brown outside the passenger window, which is rare for Phoenix, especially in the day time.

    The guy said, all if a sudden the pilot applied power, and the plane did something he'd never felt before, which I couldn't get a clearer description, so I guess he just declared a missed approach. All I know at this point is that they ended up landing in Tucson. When the information is third hand it's difficult to judge what kind of experience the passenger had.

    Here's a case in point. I was flying into Chicago OHara one time and we were put into a holding pattern. We were in the pattern for about 30 minutes or so when the pilot announced on the intercom that we were about 35nm out of Chicago and that they had been cleared for approach. As I was sitting there, I'd picked my book back up and proceded to start reading again. In about 10 minutes I heard someone behind me say, "shouldn't we have been there by now?" "I know these things can fly 600 miles an hour." I guess he was demonstrating his vast knowledge of flying.

    As far as alternate airports are concerned, when flying FS, are that it depends on what you’re flying and what nearby airport can handle the same aircraft. I doubt if Tucson could handle a heavies like the 747s, but it is fine for the midsized jets such as the 737’s or A350’s, as example. The next criteria would be a distance that would take you away from local conditions, which can vary, depending on the surrounding terrain, type of storms that are common to a particular area, and of course whether they can handle diverted traffic. I’m sure busy airports, such as Chicago’s KORD, have several alternates. If they were to shut down one single alternate couldn’t handle all the traffic that would need to be diverted…….just some common sense things.

    There are literally hundreds of airports within a distance that could be used if local conditions shut KORD down. Then, of course, Honolulu would be different. One of several of the nearby Islands would be necessary, and I’m sure they’d need to use several different ones, because Honolulu is also busier than any single airport in the surrounding Islands.
    Last edited by NikeHerk67; 07-10-2011 at 09:55 AM.
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  4. Default

    ok thanks guys for the help I guess that got me thinking about another question directly related to MSFS 04. How do you get a metar for the arrival airport so that before descent you have an idea of what you're flying into and also is there a standard distance from your original destination to the alternate airport needs to be? Also I know there is an amount of fuel required to have on board in case of divering due to weather, but I can't for the life of me remember how much it is. I typically fly a Southwest 737-700 for 80% of my flights if that helps any

  5. #5


    My Metar program is FS2K4METAR by Marcus Brunner.With this software metars are searched and obtained on the plane kneeboard.About the fuel necessary to divert to the alternate airport it depends on your destination and the distance of the alternates.Choise an alternate not to close the destination airport because it's probable to find the same weather conditions.
    A good alternate is at least about 20minutes of flight distant from the destination airport.
    Last edited by sandokan; 07-11-2011 at 12:33 PM.

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