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Old 24th Sep 2007, 08:16
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reduce to minimum
Join Date: Apr 2006
Location: Austria
Age: 45
Posts: 6
By the time you have followed your EFCOP to MSA or minimum radar vectoring altitude - depending on surrounding terrain - quite a few minutes will have passed anyway, especially at MTOM.
Also: what circling criteria are you talking abaout?
PANSOPS: 5,28km (Cat D), or TERPS (around 2,3km I believe).

If ATC is capable (read: trustworthy, depending on the part of the world you are in.....), I would always go for a tight radar vector pattern: gives you time to warn the cabin, get the A/C properly set up (F20, autobrakes, EGPWS inhibits etc.) and you will have a fairly stabilized approach. Better spending 30 extra seconds to get things under control than to screw up the approach and have to go around....
If ATC is no good, do your own short line-up according to terrain and keep ATC informed.

BTW: I found SE circling at or near MTOM on the 767 the only maneuver that can indeed be a bit tricky........never ever get below target speed!!

Just my 2 Euro-Cents....

Good luck!
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