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

Live from the Flight Deck

Do you know your approach charts?


  1. 1) What does the 'T' inside the triangle mean?

    According to the Chart User's Guide, when a 'T' appears in the notes section, it means the airport has IFR takeoff minimums and/or Departure Procedures published in the Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP).

    According to the Chart User's Guide, when a 'T' appears in the notes section, it means the airport has IFR takeoff minimums and/or Departure Procedures published in the Terminal Procedures Publication (TPP).

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  2. 2) Which runway's approach lighting system has red side-row bars?

    Runway 25L has an ALSF-2 approach lighting system, which has red side-row bars.

    Runway 25L has an ALSF-2 approach lighting system, which has red side-row bars.

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  3. 3) You're approaching LAX from the North on the 020 radial (200 course TO). What's the minimum safe altitude when you're within 25 NM?

    The MSA from the North sector (120 to 240 course) is 7700' MSL.

    The MSA from the North sector (120 to 240 course) is 7700' MSL.

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  4. 4) Why is the Seal Beach VOR frequency (115.7) underlined?

    The underline means no voice is available, which means flight service would not be able to communicate to you through the VOR. On some VORs, flight service is able to transmit to you through the VOR frequency (you always transmit to them on a separate frequency). This is not one of those VORs.

    The underline means no voice is available, which means flight service would not be able to communicate to you through the VOR. On some VORs, flight service is able to transmit to you through the VOR frequency (you always transmit to them on a separate frequency). This is not one of those VORs.

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  5. 5) What is the bold 'V'?

    This is the visual descent point. On a non-precision approach, this is the point from which the aircraft would be able to continue its descent from the MDA to the runway threshold while maintaining a standard 3 degree (typically 3 degrees, but not always) descent angle while being assured obstacle clearance.

    This is the visual descent point. On a non-precision approach, this is the point from which the aircraft would be able to continue its descent from the MDA to the runway threshold while maintaining a standard 3 degree (typically 3 degrees, but not always) descent angle while being assured obstacle clearance.

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  6. 6) Why are these ovals over the runway?

    The ovals mean the runway has a displaced threshold, which you need to land beyond.

    The ovals mean the runway has a displaced threshold, which you need to land beyond.

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Those were some tough symbols...

You scored %. But you learned a lot along the way.

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Nice - you know quite a bit about your charts.

You scored %. Well done.

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Well, you pretty much nailed this quiz.

You scored %. Well done..

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Corey Komarec

Corey is a commercial aviation student, CFII and commercial pilot with multi-engine and instrument ratings at the University of North Dakota. Corey has been flying since he was 16, and he's pursuing a career in the airlines. You can reach him at corey@boldmethod.com.

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