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Could You Pass These 6 Airline Interview Questions About Jeppesen Approach Charts?

Live from the Flight Deck

If you want to sit in the front of a jet, you need to be able to read Jeppesen approach charts. Good luck!


  1. 1) You've been vectored to final, you've intercepted the localizer, and you're cleared for the ILS 8L in Houston at approximately 8 DME from IBZU. As you continue inbound on the approach (assuming no altitude restrictions from ATC), what's the lowest altitude you can descend to before intercepting the glide slope?
    View KIAH ILS Runway 8L Approach Chart

    The lowest you can go is 2000' MSL after you cross FLIBZ, until you intercept the glide slope, which will be at JACEN.

    The lowest you can go is 2000' MSL after you cross FLIBZ, until you intercept the glide slope, which will be at JACEN.

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  2. 2) You've intercepted the glide slope, and you're flying the approach at 120 knots indicated. You're also flying directly into a 10 knot headwind. How fast are you decending?
    View KIAH ILS Runway 8L Approach Chart

    Your indicated speed is 120 knots, and you're facing a 10 knot headwind, which means your groundspeed is 110 knots. If you interpolate the descent rates of 100 knots GS (531 FPM) and 120 knots (637 FPM), you get a descent rate of 584 FPM.

    Your indicated speed is 120 knots, and you're facing a 10 knot headwind, which means your groundspeed is 110 knots. If you interpolate the descent rates of 100 knots GS (531 FPM) and 120 knots (637 FPM), you get a descent rate of 584 FPM.

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  3. 3) What altitude (MSL) is DA for this ILS approach?
    View KIAH ILS Runway 8L Approach Chart

    Yep, DA is 295' MSL.

    DA is 295' MSL.

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  4. 4) Your aircraft's Vso x 1.3 is 89 knots, but you're flying the approach at 120 knots. What aircraft approach category should you use?
    View KIAH ILS Runway 8L Approach Chart

    Even though your aircraft fits under Category A (Vso x 1.3 = less than 91 knots), since you're flying the approach at 120 knots, you fall into Category B (91 knots to <121 knots)

    Even though your aircraft fits under Category A (Vso x 1.3 = less than 91 knots), since you're flying the approach at 120 knots, you fall into Category B (91 knots to <121 knots)

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  5. 5) You break out of the clouds about 200 feet above minimums, and you see the approach lights. What red lights in the approach light system would you expect to see?
    View KIAH ILS Runway 8L Approach Chart

    Since this is an ALSF-II approach lighting system, it will have red side row bars. Red terminating bars are used in ALSF-I approach lighting systems.

    Since this is an ALSF-II approach lighting system, it will have red side row bars. Red terminating bars are used in ALSF-I approach lighting systems.

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  6. 6) What's the touchdown zone elevation for runway 8L?
    View KIAH ILS Runway 8L Approach Chart

    That's right, the touchdown zone elevation is 95 feet MSL, which is 1 foot lower than the airport elevation of 96 feet.

    That's right, the touchdown zone elevation is 95 feet MSL, which is 1 foot lower than the airport elevation of 96 feet.

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Today just wasn't your day...

You scored %. Better luck next time!

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It looks like you're probably going to pass your interview.

You scored % Not bad.

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Nice work, you're going to fly through your interview.

Congrats - you scored % Well done.

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ILS 8L KIAH Jeppesen X

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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