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Can You Identify These 6 Common Approach Chart Symbols?

This should be a breeze...

  1. 1) What does the circle surrounding this waypoint indicate?

    When a waypoint has a circle around it, it indicates that the waypoint is a fly-over point and must be flown over, as opposed to a fly-by point which can use turn anticipation. 

    When a waypoint has a circle around it, it indicates that the waypoint is a fly-over point and must be flown over, as opposed to a fly-by point which can use turn anticipation. 

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  2. 2) You are descending on the Localizer 36R approach into Orlando, Florida and you cross this symbol. What is it called?

    The visual descent point is the point on the non-precision approach which allows for a normal 3 degree descent path to the runway. Any point past the visual decent point may require a missed approach to be executed due to an excessive descent rate needed to reach the runway. 

    The visual descent point is the point on the non-precision approach which allows for a normal 3 degree descent path to the runway. Any point past the visual decent point may require a missed approach to be executed due to an excessive descent rate needed to reach the runway. 

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  3. 3) You are shooting the ILS 10R approach into Chicago O'hare. What is the lightning bolt symbol?

    This indicates glideslope intercep altitude on the precision approach. 

    This indicates glideslope intercept altitude on the precision approach. 

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  4. 4) What do the 3 white ovals indicate on the airport diagram?

    These white ovals indicate the location of the displaced threshold. 

    These white ovals indicate the location of the displaced threshold. 

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  5. 5) What does this symbol (A4) denote?

    This represents the type of approach lighting configuration for the runway. In this example, "A4" means the lighting is a medium intensity or simplified short approach light system, which can be a MALS, MALSF, SSALS, or SSALF. In this case, it's a MALSF, which is labeled at the top of the box.

    This represents the type of approach lighting configuration for the runway. In this example, "A4" means the lighting is a medium intensity or simplified short approach light system, which can be a MALS, MALSF, SSALS, or SSALF. In this case, it's a MALSF, which is labeled at the top of the box.

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  6. 6) You are shooting the ILS 35L into Dallas Fort Worth, Texas. What does this mean (TCH 63)?

    This indicates the threshold crossing height, which is 63 feet. 

    This indicates the threshold crossing height, which is 63 feet. 

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Well, that could have gone better...

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Nice work, you have most of these symbols down.

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Your approach chart knowledge: Expert

You scored %. Nice work.

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Corey Komarec

Corey is a commercial aviation student, Certified Flight Instructor and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings at the University of North Dakota. He has been flying since 16 years old, and is pursuing a career in the airlines. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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