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simple(?) IFR question


That's a 10-4 good buddy
Nov 29, 2001
Total Time
:( maybe I need to go back to IFR 101. Here's my question:

When on a VOR approach, proceeding outbound from the VOR (also the IAF) do you need positive course guideance outbound to descend to the next altitude? If the chart says you have 10 mile radius from the fix (the VOR) can't you start you decent and do whatever course reversal you want to as long as you remain in that 10 mile radius? I realize that you need positive course guideance while on the inbound radial to descend to the next step down altitude, but it was my understanding that while outbound, it is not required that you track the radial outbound (probly a smart thing to do, but not required)

If anyone is still following me up to this point, and knows FOR SURE the TERPS requirement, please clue me in.



Hello my baby....
Nov 26, 2001
I'll take a shot at it:

In this case, I assume that you're shooting a FULL VOR approach.

You can do whatever type of course reversal you'd like, so long as you remain on the protected side (side of the published procedure turn) and within the protected area (usually 10 miles).

Of course, prior to the procedure turn you must procede outbound from the IAF--and you are now technically on initial approach--and this fact requires positive course guidance. In other words, you can't just descend while flying a heading; you have to be on course.

As long as you're on a published portion of the approach (usually the recipricol of the final inbound course), then you're clear to descend below MEA (or MSA) to the appropriate altitude for that segment of the approach.


Well-known member
Jan 1, 2002
Total Time
You can do whatever type of p.t you choose as long as it is on the protected side of the course,, (with the exception of a teardrop course reversal which must be flown exactly as shown.)
I am on an overnight and dont have any references available but I would reccommend going to Jeppesen site and they have some chart clinics available for download that were pretty good. I want to say that if I remember correctly you are on the outbound course(Initial approach segment) and that the terps gave the same guidance as a basic mea.. which provides 1000 obstacle clearance for 4 miles either side.. until intercepting the final approach course and then while on the intermediate they can lower obstacle clearance to 500?