Breaking down an approach session at HEGN

I’m going to breakdown an approach session I had at HEGN during Friday Night Flight. Read the video’s description on YouTube for some context as to what’s going on before reading. Ok, here’s what I learned from the session.

First off, this won’t be clear from the video because it’s a time-lapse, but I probably should not have been accepting departures at some points. When I opened I anticipated there being a lot of traffic, but I neglected them for a little bit and that portion got a little sloppy. I still did a great job in that department overall, seeing conflicts and vectoring them out of the way, I just missed a few calls in which is not ok. I could make a bunch of excuses why I did that were out of my control, but I won’t.

Second, I think I did a pretty good job with deconfliction. I was using each leg of the S pattern to control spacing and extending legs to contain the legs I had. The S pattern is broken up into five sections. Initial, first leg, turn, second leg, turn, downwind, base, clear. Here’s a visual if you don’t understand what I mean by that.

The goal was to have the first leg’s turn be perpendicular to the base leg turn which I battled to keep that going by extending the second leg. Having the first leg be perpendicular to base controls the size of the entire approach, and makes it more efficient.

Third, my base turn was really annoying me throughout the entire session. It was later then I wanted it and I just had to stick with it to maintain the required 5nm-6nm spacing. I tried multiple times to fix it by extending the second leg before the downwind leg. I should have extended the second leg a little bit further upwind to fix that issue. The reason why I like having a “shorter” base turn then that is because I have no flexibility when it comes to spacing on the base turn, with it being longer. I can extend their downwind further, but not by much. I would have liked more room, it worked out though.

Fourth, I needed to move a bit quicker with commands. It is a lot of work to keep all of that contained and uniform, but it could have been even faster, even though I was already moving pretty quickly.

Fifth, and this kind of goes back to the third point, there were times I let some cut the line to close in spacing. I should have just stayed the course I was on because I could have shortened the base more. On the other hand though, I don’t know if that would have had a negative effect with the rest of the line I had going had I shortened the base.

Overall, I think I did a great job with spacing and fitting people in. I may or may not change things next time, if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. These are all just observations.

September 11, 2019 by Kyle Boas