Arc Approach


  • An arcing approach is a type of instrument approach where the aircraft flies a set radius around the NAVAID in order to intercept a final approach course inbound

All procedures here are GENERALIZED for learning.
Fly the maneuver in accordance with the Pilot Operating Handbook (POH)
and/or current Standard Operating Procedures (SOPs)


  1. Listen to ATIS or tower for landing runways and possible equipment outages
  2. Review the approach plate and give an approach brief
  3. Fly ATC instructions, which will be vectors for final (skip to step 6) or vectors for the initial approach fix (IAF)
    • Looking at the ILS/LOC 7L, you will proceed to HANAV if from the north or MIKBE if from the south
  4. Join the arc by anticipating turn radius
    • Intercepting the arc from a radial (90°), use 1% of the ground speed
    • Comply with all altitude restrictions
  5. Fly the arc until your lead radial for the final approach course
    • Lead radial is determined using your arc distance and Ground Speed (GS):
      • 60 ÷ Arc Distance x 1% of GS
      • Example: If the arc is 16 NM, flying at 80 knots ground speed:
        • 60 ÷ 16 x .8 = 3 radials
  6. Join the final approach course and center up the CDI
    • Comply with all altitude restrictions
  7. At the Final Approach Fix (FAF), report:
    • "[Facility-Tower], [Callsign], final approach fix, gear 3 down and locked"
  8. Descend to Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA), complying with altitude restrictions
  9. At the missed approach point, execute the missed approach instructions

Figure 1: ILS or LOC 7L KDAB Arcing Approach

Practical Test Standards: