Visual Approach

Gulfstream GVII

Eddie sez:

Most of us have a great deal of technique for visual approach patterns and I am no exception. I'll present the operating manual procedure with some of my techniques thrown in.

Everything here is from the references shown below, with a few comments in an alternate color.

Last revision:

2020-06-15

Operating Manual Procedures

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Photo: Visual approach, from Eddie's notes
Click photo for a larger image

[AOM, Ch. 2] Visual Approach / Procedural Narrative:

The following procedure should be used as a standard whenever possible:

NOTE

Minimum disengage height for the autopilot is 90 feet AGL from an ILS or LPV Approach (Flaps 39°), 130 feet AGL (Flaps 0°, 10°, 20°) and 200 feet AGL for all other operations. Maximum demonstrated altitude loss for coupled go-around is 50 feet. For limitations concerning use of the autopilot, see Section 01-22-20, Autopilot.

  1. On the downwind leg:
    1. Complete the Descent/Arrival checklists or the traffic pattern checklist, if multiple patterns are flown.
    2. Set flaps at 10°, and establish 180 KCAS.
    3. Abeam landing runway, extend landing gear and complete Landing checklist.
  2. From abeam the threshold, to no later than base leg:
    1. Select flaps 20°.
    2. Extend the landing gear.
    3. Maintain 160 KCAS.
  3. Final approach:
    1. From Base leg, to no later than 3nm final (or VGP/GS intercept), select flaps to 39°.
    2. Fly final approach at VREF +5 knots.
    3. Approaching runway threshold (approximately 200 feet AGL), disconnect autopilot. Maintain Approach Speed until crossing runway threshold.

[AFM, §02-05-50]

WARNING

APPROACH SPEED IS VREF + 5 KNOTS; HOWEVER, IN STRONG WIND CONDITIONS, ADD TO VREF 1/2 OF THE STEADY STATE WIND PLUS THE GUST INCREMENT TO A MAXIMUM ADDITIVE OF 20 KNOTS. APPROACH SPEED, INCLUDING ANY GUST ADDITIVE SHALL BE MAINTAINED TO THE THRESHOLD AND SHALL BE USED TO DETERMINE LANDING DISTANCE.

Techniques

Stable Approach

The Gulfstream AOM procedure is quite good but I would add that if you want to be stable no later than 500 feet above the runway, you will need to roll out on final no later than 600 feet and that requires a 2 nm final, as measured from your touchdown point. More about this: Stabilized Approach.

Electronic Backup

If you can program an ILS, an LPV, or even a simple RNAV/VNAV, you should. But what if the runway in question doesn't have any of those? You can program it in your Flight Plan page:

  1. From the Flight Plan page select the destination runway.
  2. If there is already an approach loaded, delete it by pressing Dep/Arr, pressing the APR button, and selecting None. Apply and activate.
  3. Select the runway.
  4. Select Intercept.
  5. Enter the runway approach course. Apply and activate.

Here is a short video walking through the procedure: GVII Visual Approach Programming

Keep in mind that when you do this, the rest of your flight plan disappears and the only way to get it back is to change your destination, back to itself. This works for runways with no existing approaches as well as those with. Here are two examples.

Example: No underlying instrument approach (KAPC)

If you set up the flight plan to the airport without an approach, it draws you a line to the airport from your previous waypoint.

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Photo: Setting up a visual, direct to the airport
Click photo for a larger image

Now select the runway, but do not select an approach.

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Photo: Setting up a visual, direct to the airport's geographic center
Click photo for a larger image

That gives you direct to the end of the runway, but not the course you want.

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Photo: Setting up a visual, "intercept" to the runway
Click photo for a larger image

Select the runway and then select "Intercept" and type in the inbound course.

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Photo: Setting up a visual
Click photo for a larger image

You now have a course to the end of the runway that you can navigate to using LNAV and can see a 3° glide path using VNAV.

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Photo: Setting up a visual
Click photo for a larger image

Example: Underlying instrument approach (KSFO)

If you set up the flight plan to the airport without an approach, it draws you a line to the airport from your previous waypoint.

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Photo: Setting up a visual, direct to the airport
Click photo for a larger image

As it turns out, it is a line to the geographic center of the airport.

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Photo: Setting up a visual, direct to the airport's geographic center
Click photo for a larger image

Now select the runway, but do not select an approach.

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Photo: Setting up a visual, "intercept" to the runway
Click photo for a larger image

Instead select "Intercept" and type in the inbound course.

images

Photo: Setting up a visual
Click photo for a larger image

You now have a course to the end of the runway that you can navigate to using LNAV and can see a 3° glide path using VNAV.

images

Photo: Setting up a visual
Click photo for a larger image

Since we are talking Runway 28R at KSFO, wouldn't it be nice to be able to program in the Quiet Bridge Arrival? Yes it would, but we cannot. Once you've programmed in this visual approach intercept, you cannot amend the flight plan, that option will be grayed out.

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Photo: Setting up a visual
Click photo for a larger image

I've also tried to build the approach first and then the visual. But programming the visual deletes all waypionts prior. If you've figured this out, please let me know.

Auto Throttles

Note also that the Gulfstream procedure does not mention auto throttles at all. I recommend you keep them engaged through touchdown. Some instructors at FlightSafety teach disengaging them at 100 feet (or higher) and they used to teach shooting for VREF crossing the threshold. This is wrong.


Gulfstream GVII-G500 Aircraft Operating Manual, Revision 7, March 9, 2020

Gulfstream GVII-G500 Airplane Flight Manual, Revision 5, March 3, 2020