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  #1  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:28 AM
JackinMichigan's Avatar
JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2012
Location: Canton, MI
Posts: 161
Default How do I know when a VOR is inoperative?

Today I did a VFR flight to an airport I've never been to. To keep my nav skills sharp I plotted a course old school using a number of VOR stations to navigate, keeping my iPad and GPS handy as a backup. Moments after takeoff I dialed in the first VOR station and - nothing. No signal or audio identifier. I switched around to other stations and was able to read them, but not the one I was most counting on for this flight. This is the second time I've experienced this (different VOR last time, and it was down for 3 weeks).

How do I know if a VOR is inoperative BEFORE I plot a course relying on it? Is the FAA just allowing these things to fail? Are they in the process of obsoleting them? Just wondering if I should stop using them all together.
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  #2  
Old 09-23-2017, 09:33 AM
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IowaRV9Dreamer IowaRV9Dreamer is offline
 
Join Date: Jan 2005
Location: Marion IA
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Default

An inoperative VOR should be NOTAM'd out. You can check NOTAMs many ways before flight. The Foreflight briefing has an enroute navaid section which should show it. If you are old school, you can call 1-800-wx-brief and get a briefing there. They will tell you.

Here is a clunky FAA site that lists NOTAMs.
https://pilotweb.nas.faa.gov/PilotWeb/
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Last edited by IowaRV9Dreamer : 09-23-2017 at 09:34 AM. Reason: added link
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  #3  
Old 09-23-2017, 10:13 AM
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JackinMichigan JackinMichigan is offline
 
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Location: Canton, MI
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Default

Thank you.

I did call WX Brief just before takeoff (mostly for weather and visibility updates) and this wasn't mentioned. I went on the website you linked me to and discovered, if I'm reading it right, that particular VOR was decomissioned over 2 years ago.

I guess my next stupid thought is - why is it still on the charts?
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  #4  
Old 09-23-2017, 10:19 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
Posts: 4,686
Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackinMichigan View Post
Thank you.

I did call WX Brief just before takeoff (mostly for weather and visibility updates) and this wasn't mentioned. I went on the website you linked me to and discovered, if I'm reading it right, that particular VOR was decomissioned over 2 years ago.
?
Many pilots seem unaware that once a notam is published in the official notam book, it may be removed from the 'teletype' circuit. The FAA thinks that everyone subscribes to the notam publication. You may call FSS and specifically ask the briefer to look up that vor (or an airport, or...) in the published book. Otherwise, you only get the most recent ones. Some airport managers are wise to this, and keep re-issuing notams to keep them 'alive'.
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  #5  
Old 09-23-2017, 10:22 AM
BobTurner BobTurner is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2011
Location: Livermore, CA
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by JackinMichigan View Post
Thank you.

I guess my next stupid thought is - why is it still on the charts?
So pilots with approved gps navigators can still use it. May have victor airways running thru it.
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  #6  
Old 09-24-2017, 09:50 AM
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David_Nelson David_Nelson is offline
 
Join Date: Feb 2006
Location: Austin, TX
Posts: 421
Default Hash marks

Hi Jack,

Are there hash marks through the frequency information for your particular VOR? According to the chart legend, this indicates that the navaid has been shutdown. Take ECA, for example just outside of Stockton, CA. This shows up in the VFR and IFR low/high chats.

I also found this article which discusses the FAA's plans on decommissioning VORs.
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  #7  
Old 09-24-2017, 09:58 AM
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1001001 1001001 is offline
 
Join Date: Dec 2014
Location: Just Minutes from KBVI!
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Default

Quote:
Originally Posted by BobTurner View Post
So pilots with approved gps navigators can still use it. May have victor airways running thru it.
I have wondered in the past why, in this situation, they don't convert the VOR to a five-letter RNAV waypoint. Some have been done this way, for instance, when the Tyrone VORTAC (TON) was decommissioned, its location was replaced by the waypoint TYROO. Not sure why these don't get converted as soon as the original navaid is decommissioned.

TON still shows up in digital data sets, and on some charts, but on the VFR and IFR FAA charts, it has been replaced by TYROO.

Last edited by 1001001 : 09-24-2017 at 10:00 AM.
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  #8  
Old 09-25-2017, 12:59 AM
Caddy1820 Caddy1820 is offline
 
Join Date: Nov 2016
Location: Okinawa japan
Posts: 9
Default A useful tool

This is what we use in the military. https://www.notams.faa.gov/dinsQueryWeb/
If you want the notams along your route, scroll down to the tab that says "flight path search". That should help out. Also you could just do a search for a particular VOR and see if there is anything for it. Let me know if you have any other questions.
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  #9  
Old 10-26-2017, 07:43 PM
6 Gun 6 Gun is offline
 
Join Date: Jun 2005
Posts: 750
Default VOR

If the identifier is not being transmitted, the VOR signal should not be considered reliable.Of course thats not before but should be done when tuned in.
Bob
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