VOR Approach Nightmare

I’m still somewhat inexperienced regarding VOR and/or DME approaches. For whatever reason I decided to attempt this nightmare of a STAR into Cairo today:
Approach into Cairo

I followed the plate flawlessly:
Failed approach into cairo

If it isn’t obvious already I struggled mightily on this approach; thank goodness there was no ATC. This is probably the most trouble an approach has given me. It was so bad that I nearly ran out of fuel and I had to slow down to final approach speeds just to get my stuff together. I have a few questions:

  1. I need clarity: is course a set radial from the tuned VOR station that you track?
    1a. How do I know when to use the course heading or its direct opposite when using VOR?
    1b. Are inverse radials, in effect, the same? (ie. are 090 and 270 virtually the same thing?)
  2. What is the purpose of the blue thin arrows on the hud?
  3. For the stretch between D40 BLT and D28 CVO was I supposed to track the 025 radial from the FYM VOR?
  4. That 13 DME arc was a pain to deal with. Is there a way I can figure out what bank angle I should use to stay 13 DME away from CVO?
  5. What is an MSA circle and how do I read it?


  1. Course is direct to the VOR radial is the 180° reciprocal.

1.a virtually the same yes other then where you are going. On older gauge systems they will also inverse the deviation if you are traveling the opposite direction.

  1. They show the direction of the second nav you have tuned.

  2. Yes you would track that radial

  3. You don’t follow it in a continuous arc. You fly in 3° then fly out 3° maintaining 3 NM +- your intended arc.

  4. MSA is your minimum safe altitude. The numbers in the pie are the minimum altitude for the area depicted around the airport.


You can just set the VORs into your flight plan along with the waypoints and just worry about that one turn for final and altitudes

MENKU, ISMLH, BLT, and CVO are the only waypoints I could find definitively. If the rest are considered “waypoints” I couldn’t find them.

They might just not be in IF, so just skip them and go to the next one, or replace it with a close second if it’s a important turn.

In most cases you’re right, but for this case there isn’t a very close waypoint to D40 BLT and nothing remotely close to D28 CVO

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Adding to what Brandon said, (he knows what he’s talking about) you should maybe just watch a few YouTube videos in vor navigation to give you more of an understanding. There’s also plenty of good videos on how to read approach plates as well.

Yeah, watch captain joes series

The one’s you couldn’t find are DME points. They show nm to the VOR and won’t be in IF.

VOR approach plates can get quite tricky in the Infinite Flight environment, generally in real life aircraft will track these as ‘standard’ waypoints if you like using typical LNAV/VNAV guidance. In other words in a modern airliner these STARS will be flown the exact same way as any typical STAR as advanced FMS systems can draw the route straight out for you and therefore automatically flying an ARC or intercepting these radials flawlessly.

On the other hand in Infinite Flight these waypoints don’t exist, as they’re not standard GPS/RNAV fixes, essentially they’re unique for this approach plate. As you were saying you are going to see missing waypoints, that’s to be expected with a non RNAV/GPS approach plate (these waypoints exist as pseudo fixes off of certain radials like the CVO VOR for example).

Sometimes you may come across the same waypoints, often in the format: [Identifier-inbound course-distance expressed as an alphabetical letter]. Take D031L for example; on a SID from LGAV, it appears as ‘D 12.0 SAT’ on the SID plate. The way this would be decoded is by reading ‘D’ as the identifier and 031 as the radial from the identifier. Since ‘L’ is the 12th letter in the English alphabet this would be decoded as 12 track miles (that’s where the L comes from at the end). Therefore read as 031 radial outbound from the identifier, in this case SAT VOR and 12 track miles away as ‘L’ is the 12th letter in the English alphabet.

DeerCrusher did an excellent tutorial for DME arcs here, so I would advise you check that out too.
Basically what you want to do is set your DME arc identifier in NAV 2, and make sure you blue RMI needle is pointing towards the station. To track an arc you will want to keep the blue needle at 90 degrees from you and the station, then using your DME (distance) reading line up to the required distance from the station and track adjustments of about 5 or so degrees every time the blue RMI needle falls 5 degrees or so. Remember to keep at a constant distance out as stated on that Cairo chart by 13NM.


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