This airport is incredibly friendly to corporate aviation, they really want our business. But you will more than likely be landing on runway 21L and you need to think about it before you see it for the first time. It is a 6,001' runway with 1200' of displaced threshold over a bit of terrain rise, the ILS glide slope and PAPI appear to be all wrong, nearly halfway down the runway. But if you block out the fact there is all that runway behind you and just consider you still have almost 5,000 feet in front of you, it isn't so bad. But don't waste any more time with the flare than you have to, okay?
Everything here is from the references shown below, with a few comments in an alternate color.
Photo: Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, from Dekalb-Peachtree Airport, 25 October 2011, on Wikimedia Commons.
Summer: UTC -4 EDT (Summer)
Winter: UTC -5 EST (Winter)
Figure: KPDK Airport Diagram, AL-469 (FAA), SE-4, 03 Apr 2014.
Only Runway 21L and 3R are long enough for Gulfstream operations. While 21L has an ILS, you will need RNAV(RNP) if you want precise electronic guidance to 3R. There is a VASI to 3R and PAPI on 21L.
G450 pilots should consider the Noise Abatement Procedures / JAA Procedure 1.
Consider this about Runway 21L
The airport manager says the displaced threshold is due only to the approach end obstacle and has nothing to do with load bearing.
Figure: KPDK Runway 21L Elevation Profile, from Google Earth.
The elevation 1.0 nautical miles before the runway is about 100 feet above the runway. That doesn't seem like much until you first see it from a cockpit window at 2.0 nautical miles.
Figure: KPDK Runway 21L flight path vector and flight path angle on ILS, from Eddie's cockpit.
If you fly the ILS your aim point is almost halfway down the runway, your touchdown point will be halfway down the runway. You don't want to do that in just about any jet. We used to say, "I'll fly the ILS until the PAPI is in view, and then I will fly that." That gains you 58 feet.
Figure: KPDK Runway 21L flight path vector moved down from flight path angle, from Eddie's cockpit.
What we've always done but never really admitted is push the nose down to steepen the descent angle to bring our eventual touchdown point closer.
Figure: KPDK Runway 21L flight path vector and flight path angle on a normal aimpoint, about 1,000 feet beyond the displaced threshold, from Eddie's cockpit.
Once we are on a three degree glide path to a normal aimpoint, about 1,000 feet further than the displaced threshold, we bring the nose up for a normal, three degree descent rate. Of course having a HUD with a FPV and FPA makes this easier.
Figure: FPA long, from Eddie's notes.
The flight path angle helps us establish the proper glide path even when the PAPI and ILS glide slope are not aimed where we want them. More about this: Landing / Flight Path Angle and Vector.
Is it possible to fly a stable approach to this runway? I think so, but we are usually tempted to aim for the displaced threshold — I am guilty of this now and then — so try hard to shoot for a normal aim point and don't waste any runway on an exagerated flare. Video: PDK ILS 21L.
Figure: KPDK Runway 3R, from Eddie's cockpit.
Figure: KPDK RNAV(RNP) 3R approach plan view, from FAA AL-469, SE-4, 1 May 2014.
The problem with Runway 3R is there are a ton of obstacles that will be at your height as you roll into your visual right base. While you might not have RNP AR authorization, you should consider pulling up the chart for a look at where each tower sits. If you have the capability of displaying the aircraft over the approach plate, as shown, even better.
Video: PDK Visual 03R Right Base, the normal solution.
Video: PDK Visual 03R Left Base, not common, just make sure you keep an eye on the buildings.
The airport can be incredibly busy, especially when the weather is good. Expect takeoff clearance when you least expect it with instructions to hurry up, there is an airplane on a two mile final.
CAA Preferred: Epps Aviation, 770-458-9851, ASRI 129.05.
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