MHTG Approach Tutorial
This tutorial will cover the South RNAV RWY 02 approach into Toncontic, however this tutorial is helpful for the North RNAV approach as well. In this tutorial, I will be using a Copa Airlines 737-800, callsign CMP426.
Charts, Charts, Charts!
Here’s a link to the Honduras AIP, which provides the most up-to-date charts for the airport. These, while not required, especially due to the most recent SIDs and STARs update, are still highly recommended.
Part 0: Arrival
There are no special procedures to the STARs except to follow them. However, on CMP426, we arrive from the southeast, where there’s no STAR to accommodate us. Furthermore, Infinite Flight for some reason only has 1 arrival in MHTG’s procedures menu: KORTI1, which is an arrival from the northwest.
For flights coming from both the northeast and the southwest, you’re going to have to program the STAR manually until IF includes all of the STARs.
For northeast arrivals you use the PISIS1 arrival (waypoints: PISIS TG001 TALAG MELVO), and they set you up for the North RNAV RWY 02 Approach
For southwest arrivals you use the VITAN1 arrival (waypoints: VITAN TNT), and they set you up for the South RNAV RWY 02 Approach
For southeast arrivals there are no STARs, so you fly DCT to TNT*, which sets you up for the South RNAV RWY 02 Approach
*When flying direct to TNT, if you’re flying in at a HDG less than 180, you should turn left HDG 090 10-20 nm to TNT, then intercept a 360 radial from TNT. This way, you don’t have to make any impossibly sharp turns to start the approach.
Part 1: Initial Approach
Assuming you’re coming from the south, after reaching vor TNT you want to turn HDG 043 to wpt TG018. Once you cross TG018, make sure your LNAV is disengaged, because you will need to handfly a smooth 16nm left turn to wpt TG015. I recommend having descended to 7000 before this point, but you need to be at 7000 ft by TG015 to be in a good position to approach. Too low and you’ll have terrain issues; too high and you’ll have an unstable approach.
Smooth Left Turn From TG018 to TG015
Your speed up until TG015 was max 250 knts at your discretion but from here on out your speed is crucial. Your final approach speed is 165 knts, regardless of the airliner you fly (if you’re in GA, this doesn’t apply to you). You want to be at this speed at TG014, as this is your final approach point. Here you want your gear down, flaps full, and spoilers armed: full approach configuration. Your target altitude for TG014 is 6776 ft.
Part 2: Final Approach and Visual
I’ll start this part off by bringing up your error clearance, as it’s highly unlikely you’ll be able to hit all of these waypoints on their exact altitude. You have an error of +/- 100 ft in real life, but in simulators, your error is +/- 200 ft. Apparently, it’s agreed in the aviation community that it’s more difficult to maintain altitude in simulators than in real life (or something like that, if people are skeptical I’ll post the link to where I got that from).
Final Approach Fix
So once you cross your FAF you need to drop 500 ft in altitude from 6776 ft to 6236 ft in about 1.3 nm. After crossing TG013 you need to kill off another 600 ft of altitude in 1.7 nm. After TG012 you want to be diligent of your surroundings, because on the leg between TG012 and TG011 is your decision altitude (DA). If you don’t have visual of the runway by the time you’re at 4429 ft, execute a missed approach. Once you reach TG011, it’s all visual.
The visual approach, I think, is more difficult in Infinite Flight than in real life because of the scenery. IRL pilots use a butterfly interchange on the approach path of the runway to line themselves up, however in Infinite Flight, it’s so blurry that its difficult to make out this landmark. This makes the approach extra challenging.
You want to start turning as soon as you cross TG011. You want to start decending towards the runway, which will be 1000 ft below. Be very disciplined with this descending turn. If you haven’t fully disengaged autopilot, do so now. I really wish I could give more advice on this part, but really you just have to line up with the runway. Make small adjustments to your bank angle while you turn so that you don’t turn too little or too much.
Once you’re lined up with the runway, don’t even try to butter/grease! You don’t have enough runway to do so. Don’t stall the plane into the runway, but give it a nice firm touchdown, as the airport is at elevation, which makes reverse thrust less effective. The runway is also very short. If you find that you haven’t touched down by the two white blocks on the runway, put it down immediately. If you’re still floating by the time you pass the first taxiway after the white blocks, go around; don’t risk it.
That pretty much wraps this tutorial up. Thank you for reading!
Do you want pictures?
On the day I post this it’s actually GA day, so while you can jump into an airliner and fly this now, it might be a good opportunity to take it slow and try with a GA aircraft first. Feel free to drop any questions below!