February 04, 2005

Those Rainy Days

What does an instructor do on those proverbial rainy days? I don't actually know. But I do know that over the past few rainy weeks John managed to dream up and chart a new approach into Oakland: the Oaktown VOR/DME RWY 15 approach.

Oakland's not exactly hurting for approaches -- I count at least fifteen separate approach plates for KOAK, along with a dozen DPs and eight STARs all specific to Oakland -- but it's still a useful addition, actually filling a real need. When the weather's bad and the big boys are landing on Oakland's runway 11 rather than 29, the approaches to Oakland's runways 9 intersect the ILS for 11, meaning long delays for the GA fliers. Runway 15's big enough for an approach, and with a bit of care on the missed, it'd give us all a nice alternative way back into Oaktown during bad weather.

We've tried it on the sims and did the early parts once on an actual flight (in late-evening VFR) with NorCal and Tower's unwitting approval (well, they didn't tell us to stop). It's quite a flyable approach, in fact. The sources of the intersection names are left as an exercise for the reader (local knowledge helps).

I shouldn't have to say it, but: absolutely not to be used for navigation. Void where prohibited. Some assembly required. Your mileage may vary. Don't try this at home. Objects in mirror are closer than they appear. Etc.

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