Chart Wise: Training and Technique

Sitting just a few miles north of the Tennessee-Georgia state line, Chattanooga’s Lovell Field (CHA) saw nearly 60,000 takeoffs and landings last year, with the Tracon workload hovering near 90,000 aircraft, nearly 50,000 of which operated into the airport on an IFR flight plan.

Chattanooga’s airport elevation is less than 1,000 feet, but a glance at the minimum sector altitude within 25 nm of the Choo Choo VOR (cue the music, Chattanooga choo choo …) hovers at an eye-opening 5,400 feet when approaching from the east. That means you’d better be on the lookout for some rather tall obstacles out east, as in radio and TV towers. A few mountain peaks within the Nantahala National Forest rise to nearly 6,000 feet.

While the Chattanooga ILS or LOC Runway 2 approach seems pretty straightforward at first glance, a closer look at the plate reveals a number of restrictions just waiting to snag a pilot who fails to properly review it before arrival.


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