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Procedure Turn or no PT?

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Well-known member
Dec 23, 2001
I had a weird situation recently. We asked for radar vectors for the approach below. While being vectored I got the following clearance "Proceed direct EGLAC, maintain 3,000, cleared TACAN Y RWY 13 approach, report HIMGU"

The approach in question is the TACAN Y RWY 13R into KPAM:

Is a pilot expected to do a proecure turn via Arrival Holding Pattern or to proceed direct in on the approach?

I ask because I am embarrassed to say I am not sure myself. I should have clarified the clearance with Tyndall Approach at the time. When I asked ATC after the fact I got a mumbled "we don't understand anything about procedure turns" response so I didnt worry about it.

Thanks in advance.
The presumption is that you were given this clearance when you were at a point that flying direct to EGLAC would put you on a course aligned with the 160 final course (130-190 for instance) and a procedure turn would not be appropriate. On the other hand, if the course to EGLAC were between 250 to 070, then there may be some clarification needed.
I don't think it matters which direction I was coming from but for the purposes of t his discussion I due east of EGLAC about 5 miles away.
Looking again at the chart, I see that 160 is not the final but an intermediate course and you would have 10 miles at 3000 to get on it while above the MSA. In that case, I would have no problem turning to 160 as the course needle came alive regardless of heading before EGLAC.
Edit: the hold depicted is not a HILPT and this is an ASR/PAR approach.
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Thats the issue, the Arrival Holding Pattern is not a Hold in Lieu of Procedure Turn. Here is the information from the AIM, There is a holding pattern on this chart but it isnt a Hold in Lieu of PT.

b. Limitations on Procedure Turns.
1. In the case of a radar initial approach to a final approach fix or position, or a timed approach from a holding fix, or where the procedure specifies NoPT, no pilot may make a procedure turn unless, when final approach clearance is received, the pilot so advises ATC and a clearance is received to execute a procedure turn.
2. When a teardrop procedure turn is depicted and a course reversal is required, this type turn must be executed.
3. When a holding pattern replaces a procedure turn, the holding pattern must be followed, except when RADAR VECTORING is provided or when NoPT is shown on the approach course. The recommended entry procedures will ensure the aircraft remains within the holding pattern's protected airspace. As in the procedure turn, the descent from the minimum holding pattern altitude to the final approach fix altitude (when lower) may not commence until the aircraft is established on the inbound course. Where a holding pattern is established in-lieu-of a procedure turn, the maximum holding pattern airspeeds apply.
AIM, Holding, Paragraph 5-3-7j2. [/SIZE]

4. The absence of the procedure turn barb in the plan view indicates that a procedure turn is not authorized for that procedure.
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Thats the issue,
Yes, but it's also the answer.
4. The absence of the procedure turn barb in the plan view indicates that a procedure turn is not authorized for that procedure.
Since there is no course reversal depicted, none is authorized and you go straight in.

It's really that simple:
  • PT depicted, fly it (unless an exception applies).
  • No PT depicted, don't fly it.

If you're not sure what to do, ask ATC for clarification. Or if you feel that the 10 miles between EGLAC and the VOR isn't enough for you to get established and ready for the descent from the VOR, ask ATC for a hold or vectors until you feel more comfortable.
FWIW, if he was shooting a TACAN approach, was he not in a military aircraft and therefore under military regs?

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