Old 26th Mar 2019, 19:35
  #2 (permalink)  
Join Date: Mar 2012
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Age: 100
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Originally Posted by Lantirn View Post

There was a big discussion several times with friends and colleagues about this scenario:

Hypothetical airport for the sake of conversation OLBA Beirut. Only the KAD VOR is operational and all the ILS’s of the airport are U/S. For the VOR DME 16 2400m vis is required.

Assuming that you are executing the straight in approach VOR DME 16. Due to bad visibility 4000m you don’t see at straight in minimums, so you go around. However at this visibility we know that approaching the runway at circling minimums, as you approach you will see the runway but you would be very high to land straight in. (Hence the old VDP)

So the question arises, is it legal to execute the VOR DME 16, maintain altitude at circling minimums and when visual with the runway, when above the airport at the circling minimums, maneuver the aircraft to position for right hand downwind 16 and land at 16?

Set aside the airmanship which is really obvious that you are taking a big risk doing a circling in these conditions...the conversation is only for the sake of the legality.
Talking about European regulations.

The variability of responses I have received by professionals is tremendous...

I strongly disagree since according to air ops when doing a circling approach you have to have in sight and “maintain”, “at all times” the runway or the runway environment “during the entire circling procedure”. For me this is a recipe for a CFIT

For me is black and white. Flying overhead to position for the downwind you lose the runway once you turn your tail so you are illegal.

Flying an approach, either circling, either straight in is a different cake than the published minimums in the plate. The obvious restriction is that you cannot fly a circling approach when you execute straight in minimums but the opposite is possible, however restrictions apply to remain visual with the runway.

To avoid further unnecessary conversations, “runway environment” is a very specific term, and it does not include known features around such as obstacles, hills, cities, houses, bridges or whatever, unless you are flying circling with prescribed tracks with well defined features.

Would love to listen to you guys


don't have Beirut charts handy but that sounds really really messy. The main purpose of a circling approach is to allow You to land on a runway that has more than 30 degrees offset with the published final approach course, like opposite QFU and/or non opposite runways, for which a straight in IAP is not published. I would just tell to Your peers that the scenario You have described is potentially so unsafe that a deep discussion about legality is completely useless as there is not a single valid reason that would lead You to try and fly this kind of approach, and if You find one, the legal aspect would be the least of my concerns.
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