Phew – it looks like the UK need no longer hang its head in shame whenever the conversation turns to modern SBAS approaches. Finally, the first operational LPV (Localiser Performance with Vertical Guidance) approach in the UK has been flown. Hurrah!
In the early hours of Thursday 21 August, a Beech 76 operated by Aviation South West successfully flew the first ever approach. The aircraft, equipped with a Garmin 530W, started the approach at the BATSU initial fix at 0002Z and landed on Runway 26 some eight minutes later. Both pilots commented on the amazing stability of the cockpit indications and how accurately the approach could be flown. “We can now understand why so many commercial transport aircraft have been electing to fly the LNAV rather than the ILS here at Exeter,” said the pilot, “with LPV there is an equal accuracy applied to the vertical profile.”
However – the UK might want to put a hold on the boasting about modern instrument approaches. A quick glance at the approach plate shows that this wonderful, brilliant, accurate and modern approach uses an NDB for the missed approach procedure. No ADF no fly approach! Back to being a laughing stock I guess…

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