Paro RWY 15 Visual Approach. Try it in your sim!

November 22, 2018 / Comments (0)

AFSBI Standard

/ By Gabriel Accascina

I had the good fortune to work in Bhutan in the late 90’s. At that time we installed the first Internet connection there, at the request of the Royal Government. I had some friends working for DrukAir, the national airline, so I used to fly in sitting on the jump seat of their British Aerospace 146. The flights were from either Calcutta or Kathmandu to Paro, VQPR, the only international airport in the country (still is), which were always a thrilling experience.

This is a great landing to do in your sim. This post explains how it was done. Please note that today the preferred runway is 33, descending straight from the PRO VOR. At that time, however, the approach was visual to RWY 15, which included a steep turn across the valley floor and dodging a last hill before the runway threshold. My setup for this flight was X-Plane 11 and the Paro free scenery here.  In this post, I used the original footage and cut in some views, at various stages of flight (more or less), from my sim. Below the video you will find instructions on how to set yourself up for this approach.


Start at TAKTI intersection. Set your sim heading 360° at 16000 ft direct to PRO VOR on 108.40. Descend and cross the VOR at 13500. Once at PRO, turn left to 328° and descend to 10500. This is a visual ONLY approach and it was mainly used when there was better visibility on the NE side of the airport.

You will overfly the airport. Once you do, slow down to 160KT or less and make a left turn to follow the valley to your left. Heading is approximately 295°. At about 15 DME reverse course making a U turn across the valley, following the river bed. A few miles ahead, you will see the Paro Dzong compound to the left. This is where the film with Keanu Reeves “The Little Buddha” was filmed. You are now descending to a target altitude of about 8500 ft with the runway revealing around a hill, a house with a red roof on it. That’s Mr. Smith’s house. At this point you should be fully configured, gear and flaps, or whatever you can hang down for drag.

Keep it tight over the house, expect some updrafts and bumps. Cross the river before the RWY 15 threshold at or below 7800 and you should have a fairly normal landing. There is no taxiway, so better take advantage of the turn-around spot at the end of the runway and taxi to the parking.

Here is the view from satellite.


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