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T-44C - NAV mode / APPR mode usage

Harrier Dude

Living the dream
I agree wholeheartedly with you. Auto is quite clearly more accurate, but that's predicated on not being a dufus with the lineup.
That will come with time. Keep working.

Try to eliminate variables. Start by getting your designation as early as possible, get it sweet prior to roll in, DON'T J-HOOK, keep AFC engaged the whole time, and then just roll in the same way every time.

Before long you'll be wondering what to do with all that tracking time. 8-10 seconds is a long time to sweeten lineup and tweak airspeed.

Then again, the majority of drops you do in the fleet/combat will probably be PGMs, so that kind of takes the fun out of all of that stuff above.

Harrier Dude

Living the dream
I'm assuming that the bomb delivery system in the Harrier is similar to that of the Hornet, and for us, I'd agree with all of HD's comments. First few bomb flights in the RAG, and I think we were all thinking "WTF" after hearing our hits.....as in we had done better manual bombing in the T-45. It's damned good at shacking the target if you have a good designation, but poor HUD boresight, sloppy or rushed designation slewing in the dive, and poor ASL control crush you early on. Not that I have a whole ton of experience, but it got a lot better after a little practice. Now flying fleet jets with ATFLIR, you can have a very good designation prior to rolling in, make minor corrections in the dive, and even with bad parameters and sloppy ASL, you can still shack just about every time. You will never see that kind of consistency with CCIP.

And for R1, I have promised myself that I will get decent at manual bombing prior to cruise for that reason. It isn't in any syllabus anywhere, and I know only a couple people who have really ever used it much if at all, but it seems like a good thing to know. Just need to practice it a bit in the simvfirst so that I don't show my ass or scare anyone out on the range :)
Yeah, it's pretty much the same from what I've seen of the Hornet. I heard that in older Hornet software that you couldn't have a designation diamond in CCIP, so most people rolled in AUTO. Not sure if that is/was true.

Not sure of your degraded delivery modes either, but it's a good thing to be semi-proficient in. The big gotcha in the Harrier (and presumably the Hornet) is that some of the failures that drive you to degraded modes also disable electric fusing, so if you aren't dual fused, you may be able to drop the bomb, but it won't function.


New Member
so did we figure out why you cant use APPR on non precision
As far as I've be told, it's just an FTI thing. The instructors are still trying to teach old methods to get smoke to pour out students headsets. Some of the P-3 guys straight distrust coupled ANYTHING.

I tried it one time on a LOC approach and dicked it up somehow, it just descended straight through my set ALT (couple to my side too). I tried it next off the FMS/RNAV and it came right down and drove in nicely... No idea what happened the first time nor did the IP, but I'm guessing that until we start playing with em more, we won't learn.


Registered User
UPDATE: Just returned from Proline recurrent at FSI Wichita, and posed this question to them. Three seasoned 350 instructors couldn't answer this either, except they did point out that DA/DH is DECISION altitude, and any decision to go missed MAY result in going below DA slightly by the time the plane is reconfigured and climbing in the missed approach. HOWEVER, MDA's are hard decks and NOT to be violated, and using APPR mode to the MDA will result in MDA being busted if you go missed in the same manner. So one way around this is to set MDA 100-feet higher and give you some cushion, and/or just be cognizant of the MDA and that you can't go below it.

There was general agreement that constant descent was safer than leveling, adding power back in, reconfiguring, "looking for the lights", and then preparing to reconfigure/change power/etc again for the landing.

Anyway, just some observations.

QUENAULT: I have noticed that Proline VNAV on LOC-only approaches sometimes don't play nice with each other. I typically just drive it down with VS mode to the altitudes.

HAL Pilot

Well-Known Member
I'm not sure of how your system works but at Hawaiian we try to do all our non-precision approaches using VNAV. Most non-precision approaches (especially GPS and RNAV) now have published VNAV minimums. If the approach has a DA(H) or DA(H) in lieu of MDA, it is known and accepted (by the FAA) that if we execute a missed approach at the DA we will dip below it before climbing. If the approach only has a MDA, we use MDA + 50 ft as a DA(H) to ensure we do not dip below the MDA when executing a missed approach.