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Old 11th Nov 2017, 18:15   #1 (permalink)
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Circuit joining etiquette

What's the general consensus or accepted practice for joining the circuit with no or light traffic? Do folks only do the overhead if it's swarming or do they fly the overhead regardless?
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 18:28   #2 (permalink)
 
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Always overhead in case some weight shift microlight is screwing around not speaking to anyone on the radio.

It doesn't prevent them cutting you up on finals but at least it gives you a chance to spot them.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 19:21   #3 (permalink)
 
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Aahh, the 'standard overhead join'! If only it was 'standard'. Some airfields seem to have developed their own joining patterns, no doubt for good reason (gliders, helos, parachutes, local noise, etc.)

Depends a bit on the level of the local Air Traffic Service and the availability of radio. If in doubt, I ask what they would like me to do. If there's no-one around, I check the signal square (if there is one) and join overhead.

If you make contact early enough, it's not normally a problem to arrange a straight-in, base leg or downwind join.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 19:32   #4 (permalink)
 
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My local airfield launches gliders by winch to up to 3,000' above the surface. an overhead join could be fatal!
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 20:21   #5 (permalink)
 
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I check with the ground that there is no reported traffic, in which case Iíll join on the most convenient circuit leg (which at my base is standard if there are aeros in the overhead). Otherwise, the published join.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 20:53   #6 (permalink)
 
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Do as requested by the aerodrome operator. It doesn't get any simpler.

But as not many fields require having radio, let alone using it, it is indeed wise to look out for those flying without speaking out. Even where radio is mandatory, there may be a plane with the radio broken, or accidentally tuned incorrectly (been there, done that - until I began to see planes in the circuit and not hearing from them).
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 21:01   #7 (permalink)
 
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If we are talking Perth I always felt best to go for std overhead initially and then usually cutting it to a crosswind join if I got a good chance to eye up what was going on.
3 runways in use on any given day.. pete on a lunch break and a non radio flexwing doing something kind of flying related caught me out once so was always wary of uncontrolled circuits.

However if I got a reply from the ground and it as fairly clear nothing going on would often position perhaps straight to base.

Does my tits in when you have a busy circuit and someone just comes barging in declaring their downwind join or long final...
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 22:03   #8 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Circuit joining "etiquette"
Within an ATZ I thought there were certain "rules" one was supposed to obey such as "conform to the pattern of traffic formed by other aircraft". If you are 100% sure there is no other traffic notwithstanding local noise and other procedures you don't need to conform therefore you may do a direct join. That said an Air/Ground facility is not entitled to provide an Air Traffic Service and there is always the possibility of a non radio which you may not be aware of.

Another rule is that all turns within the ATZ are to the left unless ground signals or the ground station indicates otherwise.

Quote:
Depends a bit on the level of the local Air Traffic Service and the availability of radio. If in doubt, I ask what they would like me to do.
It is not within the remit of an A/G or AFISO to do this - all they are entitled to do is provide information and it is then entirely up the pilot as to what action to take. The only exception would be AFISO where they have jurisdiction over aircraft on the ground.

That said however you join keep a good lookout and listen out to build/maintain situational awareness.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 22:45   #9 (permalink)
 
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Perth is indeed a challenge. I once met traffic coming the other way as I was downwind, having carried out a standard overhead join for 27 RHC from the South. I reckon he was 50 feet horizontally and 100 feet vertically displaced from me. I got a fright.

Inbound arse, who was chatting away on the radio, had joined downwind for 27 LHC, he later explained. I've never known Perth to operate 27 LHC, but had he joined overhead instead of slotting in to downwind from the North East, I would not have had to take avoiding action in the circuit.

So, having an Air To Ground radio service, or even full ATC service, is no reason to drop your lookout, even in the circuit.

What annoyed me most, was that various folk have said that the guy's well known for such things, and is a Perth based owner.
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Old 11th Nov 2017, 23:03   #10 (permalink)
 
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What annoyed me most, was that various folk have said that the guy's well known for such things, and is a Perth based owner.
Dunno what it is like these days but during my stretch there that was a recurring theme with several aircraft/owners although I belive it was cracked down on..
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 00:52   #11 (permalink)
 
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Listen to ATIS and act accordingly.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 04:16   #12 (permalink)
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by piperboy84 View Post
What's the general consensus or accepted practice for joining the circuit with no or light traffic? Do folks only do the overhead if it's swarming or do they fly the overhead regardless?
In the UK, you could always try asking when you phone for PPR.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 04:20   #13 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by tescoapp View Post
Always overhead in case some weight shift microlight is screwing around not speaking to anyone on the radio.
It also allows you to study the Signals Square if they're one of the rare airfields still to have one.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 06:22   #14 (permalink)
 
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To be honest these days I wouldn't trust what's in it with an apparently empty airfield of traffic.

You have no way of knowing if it was updated 10 mins ago or 2 weeks ago.

As Perth has been mentioned I had a case there where I had landed on the into wind runway and on the roll out spotted a weight shift microlight turning finals in the opposite direction at about 200 ft. Slammed the breaks on to come to a stop and pulled the mixture at the side of the runway. He wasn't talking on the radio, Scottish info had no clue that he was about. He landed anyway.

The subsequent discussion he wouldn't hear anything that he was in the wrong and shouldn't have landed. One of the locals said he was more than likely on fumes. I believe he is now dead after smacking into Scottish mountain.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 06:59   #15 (permalink)
 
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I once met traffic coming the other way as I was downwind
Same thing happened to me on my one and only flight from Sandown. Downwind RH, nearly had a head-on with a 150, who was downwind LH for the reciprocal runway. Extra attention required when an airfield has some right-hand circuits.

"I learnt about flying from that!"
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 10:45   #16 (permalink)
 
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Circuit joining procedures

http://www.gov.uk/aaib-reports/10-19...-february-1970



Quite a haunting circuit joining tale .
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 13:10   #17 (permalink)
 
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Most Aeroclubs and airfields have written standard operating procedures. Members of the Scottish Aero Club at Perth are required to sign annually to say they have read them. They are also available on line.

There are some interesting little nuggets of information which are worth digesting. There is also the AIP as a last resort.

#Airpolice, I sympathise with you. We can make the information available but we cannot guarantee that pilots will act on it.
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 16:27   #18 (permalink)
 
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Ahhh, Perth! Took a student there a while ago for some experience away from base. Planned for an OHJ and as we did so it became clear the "runway in use" was 33 but there was a solo student (not cleared for grass) taking off from 03 to depart to the east from the overhead on a navex and a microlight opting to depart from 27. We managed to let the departing student climb safely through our level in the overhead then positioned for 03 (my student also not checked out on grass), avoiding the 27 departure. As we called final 03 so did someone else for 33 - on a constant bearing to our right. A game of chicken then ensued, which we lost by going around (but TBH I'm not convinced the other guy was playing - the evidence pointed to him being blissfully unaware of our presence).
All good clean fun although my student wasn't as amused as I was
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 16:44   #19 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by TangoAlphad View Post
Dunno what it is like these days but during my stretch there that was a recurring theme with several aircraft/owners although I belive it was cracked down on..
You may remember two were persuaded to give up. Both had strokes in the past and weren't even allowed to drive!

They were so far behind the aircraft that if it had crashed they would be all right as they were a mile behind it!
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Old 12th Nov 2017, 16:57   #20 (permalink)
 
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Originally Posted by dont overfil View Post
There is also the AIP as a last resort
The AIP should be the FIRST resort...
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