Flying the VOR-A at KAYS

The VOR-A approach into KAYS requires the pilot to fly a DME arc to the intermediate fix at CILDO. As Doug notes, "back in the day" this was how you transitioned from the enroute to approach environment. However, no matter how you transition to the AYS VOR, once you descend to the MDA you can appreciate the danger of a low, prolonged approach. Rather than "dive and drive" to the MDA on a non-precision approach, Doug advocates a more stabilized approach. There is danger is being down low (less than 600' AGL) and if you go below the MDA (like Billy did) you risk contact with terrain or obstacles. The Jeppesen charts show time and distance from the VOR to the MAP. A quick conversion reveals an approximate required minimum rate of descent of 295 fpm at 90 knots. At that exact rate you would be higher than the minimum 740' at BUYAG but a nice overall slower rate of descent to the MDA would be a safer method for this approach.

2300' (VOR) - 680' (MAP) = 1620' / 5.5 mins (90 kts) = 295 fpm rate of descent required from AYS to CIMAD.

Note that a quick calculation here also shows that at that rate you would cross BUYAG at over 1300', well above the minimum 740' (5 nm @ 1.5 miles per minute = 3.3 mins * 295 fpm = 974' / 2300' - 974' = 1326' at BUYAG)

Jeppesen Approach Plate shows the time to the MAP

View from the pilot in training. What I learned...

"Dive and drive is not where it's at. I found my self not only lumbering along a low altitude for several miles but I actually dove BENEATH the minimum altitude - a dangerous thing. Set yourself up for a stabilized approach."


Hazard View of the Approach as seen on ForeFlight

KAYS VOR-A Approach Jepp.pdf
KAYS Airport Info Jepp.pdf