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6 Reasons Why You Should Always Back Up A Visual Approach With An Instrument Approach

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Backing up your visual approach up with an instrument approach can make your landing a lot safer.

1) Lateral Guidance To The Correct Runway

As you're on final, you can confirm you're lined up for the correct runway. If the needle is centered, you're flying to the correct runway.


2) Vertical Guidance For A Stabilized Descent

When you input an approach backup, you might get the added benefit of a constant glide path all the way to the pavement, which makes your approach more stable all the way down.


3) Long, Straight-In Approaches

Having an instrument backup is a great way to make sure you've lined up for the correct runway.


4) Terrain And Obstacle Clearance

One of the best benefits of using an instrument approach is that you're guaranteeing yourself terrain and obstacle protection. This is especially important at airports with terrain immediately around the airport. You might find offset approach courses that will steer you clear of terrain on the approach end of the runway.


5) Identifiable Waypoints

To let other traffic know where you are, you can use DME and approach waypoints for radio calls as you approach the airport.


6) Flying With The G1000 NXi?

New avionics systems, like the Garmin G1000 NXi, have the ability to load a visual approach to nearly any runway. The procedure provides lateral guidance, and sometimes a vertical glide path. And that lateral guidance is another way to confirm you're lined up with the correct runway. This function is available for runways with OR without instrument approaches.


When has this technique come in handy for you? Tell us in the comments below.

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