High Altitude Approaches


  • Designed to the same outline as a low altitude approach plate, for aircraft penetrating the high altitude enroute structure to land during instrument conditions

Pilot Briefing and Procedure Notes:

    HI-TACAN 24R, Miramar
  • Includes NAVAIDs required and the final approach course with limited airport information for quick reference
  • Notes referencing the approach as a whole will be included
  • Approach light systems will be labeled and depicted
  • Missed approach instructions are published in text
  • Types of radar coverage available (ASR/PAR)
  • Frequencies for:
    • ATIS
    • Approach
    • Any headings listed for different frequencies are based on your heading TO the airport
      • Example: Heading 270 a note 360-200 would mean you do NOT use that one while a 200-360 would be the correct frequency

Plan View:

  • 20-mile radius circle around the navigation facility features encircled by bold print line are to scale
  • Feeders will be included when able but normally won't be to scale, expect a radial and DME
    • Used mostly to orient one remote NAVAID to another
  • The terrain within 6 NM of airfield rises to at least 2,000' above airfield elevation
  • The terrain within the plan-view "to scale" area exceeds 4,000' above the airport elevation
  • Four basic penetration patterns:
    • Straight-in
    • Offset
    • Arcing
    • Teardrop

Holding Patterns:

  • Used until you are cleared to proceed beyond the IAF onto the approach
  • Thin solid line with notations indicate arrival holding
  • Holding in lieu of a procedure turn is NOT depicted on high altitude approach plates
  • Entry diagram found on the upper right corner of plan view to assist with entry
  • Missed approach holding patterns are depicted the same as the route


  • All obstacles are referenced from Mean Sea Level (MSL)
  • Single: inverted V with elevation in feet
  • Group: two overlapping inverted Vs with elevation in feet
  • Highest: large inverted V with elevation in feet

Spot Elevation:

  • All elevations are referenced from Mean Sea Level (MSL)
  • Indicated by a dot with elevation in feet
  • Highest: bold dot with elevation in feet
  • MSA: Minimum safe for a radius of 25 NM from the approach NAVAID (labeled) divided into sectors of at least 90° with different altitudes
  • ESA: Emergency safe for a radius of 100 NM from the approach NAVAID (NOT labeled) providing 1,000' / 2,000' clearance in normal and mountainous areas respectively

Penetration Track:

  • Begins at the IAF to the FAF and is depicted by a bold dotted line
  • Vertical accent lines depicted altitude restriction DMEs

Procedure Track:

  • Begins at the FAF to the MAP
  • Depicted by a thick solid line

Missed Approach Route:

  • Printed instructions in profile view box as with any approach
  • Depicted with a dashed line

Airport Diagram:

  • Sketched on approach plate oriented to magnetic north giving basic airport information

FAF to MAP chart:

  • Used on non-precision approaches when DME unavailable and radio facility not located at field
  • Gives the distance from the FAF to MAP in NM
  • Gives time to traverse distance at a given ground speed in minutes and seconds


  • Type: straight-in or circling
  • Category: B/C/D/E
  • Ceiling and visibility required are in parenthesis (RVR next to MDA/DH)
  • Minimum Descent Altitude (MDA), Decision Altitude (DA) given in feet MSL
  • High Altitude Approach Minimums
    High Altitude Approach Minimums

Airport Diagram:


  • To learn more about instrument procedures, be sure to check out the Instrument Procedures Handbook online or in paperback
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