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Quiz: Do You Know These 6 Common Approach Chart Symbols?

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  1. 1) What does the 'A' inside the triangle mean?

    When 'A' appears in the Notes section of the approach chart, it indicates non-standard IFR alternate minimums exist for the airport. This information is found in Section M of the TPP. 

    When 'A' appears in the Notes section of the approach chart, it indicates non-standard IFR alternate minimums exist for the airport. This information is found in Section M of the TPP. 

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  2. 2) What does MALSR and the symbol below it mean?

    MALSR, or Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System With Runway Alignment Indicator Lights, describes the type of approach lighting system.

    MALSR, or Medium Intensity Approach Lighting System With Runway Alignment Indicator Lights, describes the type of approach lighting system.

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  3. 3) What does the half-dotted, half-empty symbol mean?

    The half-dotted, half-empty symbol identifies a localizer course.

    The half-dotted, half-empty symbol identifies a localizer course.

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  4. 4) What does the bold black cross mean?

    The cross identifies the final approach fix of a non-precision approach.

    The cross identifies the final approach fix of a non-precision approach.

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  5. 5) What does the bold black 'V' mean?

    The Visual Descent Point (VDP) is the point where a normal descent from the MDA to the runway should be started. It's recommended that you don't descent below the MDA prior to reaching the VDP.

    The Visual Descent Point (VDP) is the point where a normal descent from the MDA to the runway should be started. It's recommended that you don't descent below the MDA prior to reaching the VDP.

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  6. 6) What does the star on the airport diagram mean?

    The star icon identifies the beacon location on the field.

    The star icon identifies the beacon location on the field.

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Well, that was pretty tough.

You scored % Better luck next time...

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Nice work, you have most of these down.

You scored % Not bad. Not bad at all.

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Well, you pretty much aced that quiz.

You scored % Well done.

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Colin Cutler

Colin is a Boldmethod co-founder, pilot and graphic artist. He's been a flight instructor at the University of North Dakota, an airline pilot on the CRJ-200, and has directed development of numerous commercial and military training systems. You can reach him at colin@boldmethod.com.

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