The full instrument approach and transition had been programed into our glass cockpit. Approach Control advised to expect vectors for the ILS and upon hearing those magic words it was back to the procedure menu to activate Vectors To Final. On this particular box that wipes out all the transition and intermediate way points. The Magenta Line to Heaven appeared and life was good: a 45 degree intercept to a few miles outside the FAF.
The controller was busy and a short while later cleared us direct to an intermediate fix that was on the extended centerline. Hmm – how to get there? All the intermediate way points had been vaporized. To get back to that way point meant canceling this approach and resetting the full approach. There were only a few miles until final approach intercept. As the left seat pilot, I cheerfully asked the right seat pilot to solve the problem – A time-honored tradition! (He was senior to me on the aircraft anyway).
First thought was to go into flight plan mode and see if loading the way point would work – but then we’re out of approach mode and about to intercept.
How about pushing the “Undo” soft key that gets you back to where you were – the full approach with all the way points ? Sorry – that is on the next generation unit which hasn’t been delivered yet.
While the short between two headsets was going on, the aircraft intercepted the final and the co-pilot advised ATC we were crossing the localizer. The controller, who had been busy with other duties, immediately cleared us for the approach and everything ended well with no cross words.
I called the Tracon afterward to see if this our foul up? They are reviewing the radar tapes to evaluate – for educational purposes only. It was all very cordial but illustrates one of the transition points between the old way of navigation and the new. Suspect there will multiple revelations on both sides of the Mic.
ATC needs flexibility to deal with dynamic traffic and pilots needs some certainty especially when time is limited. The goal is to get to common understanding of how the other side lives.