View Full Version : Run and Breaks

Gary Halliday
18th Jul 2001, 04:19
Maybe this has been done before, probably after the N Weald collision but I couldn`t find it.

Sitting at a hold waiting behind a super meticulous low hour student departure, a couple of Yak-52s rejoin via R+Bs effectively doing 2 approaches apiece - used rather a lot of tacho time.

Not the end of the world but is there really that much energy to dissipate after an aeros session?. Can`t you just rejoin like anything else; overhead, downwind, base?.

Not knocking the 52 brigade they look like fun.


A and C
18th Jul 2001, 11:26
I would hope that the north weald crash would make the yak 52 pilots very carefull about CCT entry via the R+B it is not some thing to do when you have the rest of the pilots expecting standard CCT,s to be flown.
Most light aircraft pilots have no idea how the R+B works and so do not know where best look to avoid such trafic this cuts down the "efective lookout effort" in the CCT and leaves the pilot flying the R+B with the sole set of 100% efective eyes and in practical terms 100% responsability to avoid ALL other trafic.

I have strong views on this subject as a mate of mine was killed in the above crash and would have hoped that the practice of R+B CCT entry would have stopped when other aircraft are in the CCT.

18th Jul 2001, 12:16
Not every Yak 52 pilot flys run & breaks (I don't because there is no need) however, some would argue that there is a need when in formation. That, of course, is up to them - the BIG proviso being that this type of circuit join is not a civilian procedure.

Pilots flying R & B joins should realise that they may be doing something that is totally unfamiliar with others. Furthermore, on busy day it may simply not be possible to fly such a join.

Not all Yak 52 pilots are ton-up hooligans - lots of other pilots make all sorts of strange attempts at circuit joins and patterns.

Fly safe

18th Jul 2001, 12:59
There was a longish thread on this last year, just after the AAIB report on the Yak vs Cessna tragedy, under the title "Gloomy News from North Weald". You might still be able to find that although I don't know how far back the archives go.

EDIT: The previous thread is at http://www.pprune.org/cgibin/ultimatebb.cgi?ubb=get_topic&f=53&t=000197

The R&B procedure is described in the AAIB report.

I enjoy watching and listening to high powered aircraft performing run and breaks, but, if you are not in a hurry to get on the ground because people are shooting at you and/or because you need to re-fuel and re-arm in a hurry, and/or if you are not in a heavy jet with lots of energy and inertia and a slow spooling engine, surely the manoeuvre is done purely for fun and effect?

Some would say that the run and break has no place outside the military or air display environments. I wouldn't go as far as that. OK, you shouldn't expect to have to look out for Hunters at initial when you are lobbing into Denham or some such place, but maybe PPLs should be briefed on the procedure and the airfield details for places such as North Weald and Duxford should indicate that this sort of thing goes on there. Duxford's website does indeed do this.

[ 18 July 2001: Message edited by: FNG ]

18th Jul 2001, 13:35
Ok, so please brief us PPLs who don't know what you're talking about..... :confused:

[Edited because I just noticed FNG's comment that this is described on Duxford's site. I'm of to this site now to read up on it...]

[Edited again because I can't find Duxford's site - any chance of a URL? I found notes to pilots on the Imperial War Museum site, but nothing about R+B]

[ 18 July 2001: Message edited by: FlyingForFun ]

[ 18 July 2001: Message edited by: FlyingForFun ]

Kermit 180
18th Jul 2001, 14:17
Is this the same as a Buzz and Break?


Southern Cross
18th Jul 2001, 14:29
At North Weald, run and breaks are no longer permitted on certain days (eg Saturdays when the market is in operation on the eastern side of the main runway).

Run and breaks are not always done "purely for fun and effect". For example, with a formation of aircraft - and there is a lot of formation flying done in Yaks as well as other civilian aircraft - a run and break to join is quite simply the safest way of taking the formation and getting all of the formation aircraft on the ground quickly.

The alternative is to break the formation up away from the airfield and then have multiple aircraft joining - a much longer process with those aircraft then creating a very busy sky - eg 7 individual aircraft joining in rapid succession.

Naturally, when bringing a formation into the circuit, the leader must be cognisant of all the other circuit traffic, (no difference from any circuit joining there), and it is usually to the benefit of all other traffic for the formation to enter the circuit as a single identifiable unit and then to get on the ground and out of everyone's way as soon as possible. I think one would usually find that aircraft performing a run and break will where possible fly a tight brief circuit to land rather than a "cross-country" circuit perhaps forcing other faster traffic to fly a non-optimal circuit at low power etc etc - itself a practice which has its dangers but which you can find at any given airport on any given day).

Obviously, one needs to time a circuit entry differently when leading a formation as opposed to being a single aircraft - if the circuit is crowded, you won't find large formations wandering in and breaking to land regardless of other traffic - common sense really.

There is a strong case, certainly in my opinion, for run and break procedures to be flown at airfields that will permit it. I agree though that it would be helpful for airfields that permit the procedure to write it up for the enefit of those many other pilots for whom the procedure is otherwise a mystery.

Noisy Hooligan
19th Jul 2001, 22:05
Southern Cross, nice reply. I fly JPs at North Weald, and the run + break join is a very good way of joining the circuit to land in many different ways, which I will briefly try to explain...

1 A jet weights considerably more than a light piston, so takes longer to slow down.
2 If a jet slows down to its' circuit speed and joins the circuit in a conventional way, the downwind leg will be flown at 90% power setting, which is very loud from 1000' away and lasts a long time as the a/c is only doing 115Kt.
3 Because the jet is doing 115Kt, it has to avoid light a/c who may well be doing 65/70 Kt downwind, which may well cause a go-around and even more noise!

A run and break will only use about 25% of the downwind leg and the engine will probably (depending on wind and the speed joined at) be at idle until a spool-up on a descending base to approx 70%.

I will only defend the r+b manuouvre at civillian airfields only by the following:

Anyone flying a high performance ex-military jet such as a JP, in civillian airspace, should have sufficient spare capacity to know where all the circuit traffic is presently, and to acquire them visually before entering the circuit. If they do not have all the other traffic visually, they should be prepared to pull-up out of the pattern and fit in with the traffic accordingly. It is wholly down to the r+b traffic to navigate his way around the visual circuit safely. In my view, this protects the average civilian pilot from ever having to know what a r+B is (better if they do - of course).

As a jet operator at North Weald, I would welcome comments on the subject.


19th Jul 2001, 22:37
Noisy Hoolie, I don't disagree with what you say about operating jets, and I can see Southern Cross's point about recovering formations (certainly if there are as many as 7 aircraft). Isn't the point of the thread, however, to question the use of run and breaks by rorty piston singles operating on their own, in circumstances where a run and break is not mandated by the considerations applicable to jets, formations, and piston warbirds engaged in warfare?

NB as I hope should be clear from my post above and on the previous thread I'm definitely not trying to stop people running and breaking at places like NW, Dux and similar (Kemble?), and would encourage fellow PPLs to acquaint themselves with the procedure, on the basis that you should expect to adjust your flying to the environment in which you are operating,just as you would when setting off from a farmstrip base to land at a big commercial airport. It's surprising how many GA flyers seem to expect every airfield to be just like the one they learned at, whether it was Liverpool or Little-Sleepy-on-the-Wold.

Part of me says "yaaaaay, r&b, do another one, wheeeeeee", the other part says, "yes but...."
Better shut up now before this posting becomes any more schizo.

Fast Erect
20th Jul 2001, 02:13
Noisy Hooligan.....
I regularly fly airliners into busy international airports, and rarely find it necessary to perform run and breaks to achieve my goal, despite having several single pistons circuit training at the same time.
It is purely a one-upmanship practice, that has already claimed three lives......why bother.
High performance types.....behave! J.P's are not what you would like to think they are. One or two friends operate turbo props into the regional airports, mixing with allsorts of traffic, experiencing no problems at all......other than you lot playing your war games.
Rant over.

20th Jul 2001, 13:01
Hmmm, apples and acorns a little bit.

Whilst flying a jet airliner into an international airport you also eat up loads of extra track milage - if NH can do a run & break without conflicting with other traffic then I think the technique is valid for noise and efficiency reasons.

The other problem with 'Weald is that there is no dead side and no overhead joins. Also the STN zone is at 1500' overhead the field therefore everyone is forced into a narrow slot of airspace.

At least if NH is doing a R&B join I know where he is. I'd rather he did that than blaze around the circuit overtaking folks.

Incidentally, the accident was not caused by a run and break.

Shaggy Sheep Driver
20th Jul 2001, 14:03
I'm a 52 driver who has never done a run and break. But I know why 52s sometimes do..... It's because they *can* ;~))


[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: Shaggy Sheep Driver ]

20th Jul 2001, 14:15
M14P, you might know where NH is, but I don't :(

A few people have said that when doing a R+B, you must take on 100% of lookout responsibility because other people won't be looking for you. Sounds sensible to me, but one pair of eyes is never perfect, and in the airspace around an airfield I'd be happier if I knew where to look for people.

Of course, if someone could tell me what a R+B actually is, I might be able to make some more informed comments :D


20th Jul 2001, 21:15
Exactly - if the procedure was published along with all of the funny radio calls it would be far more useful.

By denying overhead joins and dead sides then the only thing left is just to arrive from all points of the compass. As well as being poor for the spatial awareness of other aviators this also has the downside of denying the pilot a look at the windsock and lie of the land as well as other good reference features useful for operating at airports such as fuel facilites, taxiways etc.

20th Jul 2001, 22:34
There is a published procedure at NW which is to join downwind, but the problem is that most people ignore it and join straight in or on a right or left base according to which direction they've come from. I know, I used to myself but have tried to be good recently. I wonder if the NW procedure could be revised. During Aerofair the temporary ATC had us joining in the overhead at 1400 and descending into the circuit. This worked OK despite the zillions of aircraft which were joining, and not just because of the (excellent but overworked) ATCOs: most people kept a good lookout and maintained safe spacing. At White Waltham, with Heathrow airspace above the field, an overhead join at 1300 QFE with a deadside descent to 800 feet works just fine. There is, however, more vertical separation from the CAS available at WW, whereas at NW you are pretty close to Stansted's air if in the overhead above the circuit, so it may be that the present system is the best that can be devised.

PS: The R&B procedure is described in the AAIB report on the midair. I take the point that the manouevre performed during that incident was not a standard run and break.

[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: FNG ]

20th Jul 2001, 23:53
Several above have asked, and I'm asking too.

What is a run and break...is this what Ive seen Tornado's at Leauchars do, ie. scream down the runway then pull hard into mid-downwind to curve slowly around onto final?

21st Jul 2001, 03:03
Skydriller et al

The R&B is almost as described by yourself.

I am happy to be corrected by any current mil pilots - but in precis, this is what I recall;

A/C inbound generally calls INITIAL (IP) normally 1nm from the field.

prior to this he has "generally" broadcast intentions to run and break.

the aircraft flies on the dead side but parallel to r/way ( mil flying rarely below 500') and pulls a high G turn (without altitude gain) bleeds off speed rapidly and allows flaps and u/c to be activated and in short puts the aircraft at the start of the Spitfire Curved Approach or constant aspect turn late-ish downwind.

I fly a Pitts Special and have never needed to R&B. However if given the "option", prevalent in the States or have been invited to do so, have always R&B'd because it is a blast!!


[ 20 July 2001: Message edited by: stiknruda ]

21st Jul 2001, 11:37
So here I am based at NCL, flying according to the approach guidance and being a quiet chap. I get on the ground and then see a group of Harriers/Hawks etc whoever is visiting for a cheap lunch, proceed to rip the place to pieces and make a huge noise - what's that all about then ? Don't even get me started about the R & B's that the Prima Donna's do at Trumpton either !

21st Jul 2001, 21:12

I've just started on a Yak-52 and though I can't comment on formation circuits, whats the need for a R&B in a Yak-52/50, even in a restricted airspace area?

Not saying it isn't a 'fun' way to join the cct, but is it really necessary?



Gash Handlin
22nd Jul 2001, 04:11
As a formation it saves a lot of hassle and delay getting down (as described above)

For fast jets it's the only tactical way to land i.e. shortest possible time flying slow in a circuit, hence the need for fast jets to practice it (although when they do it at civvy fields it's possibly just coz it looks punchy :) ).

Thers is no need for civvy aircraft to do it (unless they're in formation) but it's bloody good fun and it is another type of approach, can't do any harm to have another trick up your sleeve can it?

Southern Cross
23rd Jul 2001, 13:13

One consideration with the published procedure at North Weald (requiring you to join downwind as you correctly point out) is that if you are re-joining from the east (ie where one can get a decent amount of vertical airspace to play with :D ), is that in order to join downwind for 02 or 20 (bearing in mind that downwind is always on the western side of the runway), you need to either scoot around to the north or the south, (both of which take you close to another airport or CTZ and possibly in a contra-direction to the prevailing circuit), or somewhere in between (perhaps in the very limited overhead).

All the while avoiding the gliders if active (always east of the field as well ie between you and your published downwind join and up to 2000' hence inhibiting the possibility of an overhead transit at 1500' to the downwind area), the para-descenders if active etc.

The ceiling is 1500' due to Stansted and the circuit height at North Weald is "not below 800' ", which means you get people circuiting from 800' upwards, sometimes to as high as 1500'.

So, despite the published downwind join, and bearing in mind that it is an Air/ground service, a join directly onto base leg from the east ie left base for 20 or right base for 02 will, providing that you are aware of and fit in around all other circuit traffic, keep you from needing to transit close to other zones, possibly against the circuit direction, or through other circuit traffic if it is perhaps not at the level one might expect. One still has to be particularly vigilant for the gliders however -they can sometimes be more difficult to spot even when you know they are there.

Al Titude
25th Jul 2001, 00:15
Run in and breaks are generally performed by fast jets returning to the circuit, and they represent the quickest and most fuel and time efficient way of transitting back for a landing.
They also represent the easiest way to bring a formation into the circuit. This allows one aircraft at a time to peel off into the downwind. Straight in approaches take a great deal longer, and use more fuel with formation handling a lot more sloppy at low speeds (ie under 200 kts.)

The run and break allows a circuit join to be performed with the minimum of hassle, whilst saving time and fuel. A downwind join, for example, may cause other problems with the speed differnces in aircraft. A fast jet maybe downwind with no less than 160 kts, a C152 with 65kts(?) Problem self explanatory.

Of course due to its nature, the manoeuvre can only be performed if the circuit traffic allows it. The lead aircraft is responsible for positioning and if a run and break is attempted to a full circuit then that is a bad call and questionable airmanship.

Stiknruda's explanation is pretty accurate although initials is normally at 3-5 nm and heights vary according to aircraft type and local SOPs.

Aside from all this they're awesome fun and basically the only way to return from a trip, if you don't mess anyone else up in the process!!
Regards :cool: :cool: :cool:

Noisy Hooligan
25th Jul 2001, 00:35
Fast Errevt, I too fly ariliners in and out of Europe (and possibly the worlds) busiest airport, and I too have never done a run and break in Boeing, but then again, I have never seen a Spitfire do a radar vectored ILS down to CAT 3 minima either!
Different aircraft are operated in different ways, if you cannot cope with the concept of the run and break, then just rest assured, old chap, that the people who do carry out the manouevre are watching out for people like you who can't. As for war games, what are they? I just like practicing jet aerobatics and operating the aircraft as accurately and professionally as I can...

If anyone is genuinely interested as to what a run and break manouevre is, mail me and I will send you an explaination and diagram.

Until then.....WWWWwwwwwoooooosssshhhhhh!!!!!!
It may be not as fast as a Tornado, but who flies around at 250 feet to notice?

Al Titude
25th Jul 2001, 02:31

Thought you were restricted to 500' in civ registered things!!!

Regards :cool:

25th Jul 2001, 16:25
Although R&B's are clearly dangerous if the circuit is busy with people who don't know what they are and aren't expecting them, I think there is actually a noise abatement benefit to them.

If I've got it right (and I've watched a fair few), fast noisy a/c belt into the drome and then kill the power and lose the energy with their high 'g' turn and hardly need to use the throttle again again until late final - this (as mentioned) saves fuel and time and it follows that the neighbours will have less a/c noise.

Also, I thought that the high 'g' turn was executed as a climbing turn? ie over the threshold numbers at 500' (often lower), climb and turn into late downwind at 1000'(ish).

The last two R&B's I watched were at Rochester. A swordfish, which pulled up into a fantastic climbing turn that had everybody on the ground gasping at the beauty of it, and a formation of a B13 and a Harvard. Watching the formation revealed why R&B's are favoured by military and formation pilots - I imagine that the following a/c was always quite confident about his leader's intentions and timings 'cos he could see him so well.

Steve R(1)

25th Jul 2001, 16:40
Southern Cross, thanks for your sensible comments on joining at North Weald. Regrettably I don't fly to or from there as much as I used to, as my flying activities have shifted to the west of London, but I must try to get in next time there's a bash on at the Squadron.

Fast Erect
26th Jul 2001, 01:33
1: the name is Fast Erect (Mr.)
2:what is an 'Ariliner'?
3:I am a current DA holder
4:if you are so professional, why have you not noticed that your JP wonderplane has got airbrakes, therefore making R&B's utterly pointless?

Noisy Hooligan
30th Jul 2001, 02:50
1 :Don't care who you are.
2 :Don't care what you fly, although if you have a DA on anything other than a an Ariliner, then I am suprised you do not see the merits of R+Bs.
3 :Don't care.
4:Point 3. The R+B also gives excellent practice for PFLs as it is 2/3 of a forced landing.


Moderators please close the thread, I am bored of reading drivell.

30th Jul 2001, 19:19
The run and break was originally designed during hostilities to prevent aircraft being shot down by enemy aircraft. An aircraft on long straight finals in the landing configuration prevents an easy target to a following fighter!

The manoeuvre gives very little time for an enemy pilot to draw a bead as it gives a constantly changing flightpath and a speed reduction from the deadside to the end of the downwind leg and beyond, depending on aircraft type.

We were taught them at BFTS on JPs, using 45 to 60 degrees AoB and airbrakes out until rolling out on the d/w leg. The problem is judging when and where to begin "breaking" to fit into a busy circuit so as not to cut anyone else up.


1st Aug 2001, 02:49
Can even be done in a B747, as some at Kemble may have noticed!! :)

Twin Peaks
6th Aug 2001, 01:14
Noisy Hooligan...
got to give it to you straight, big boy, I also think you are talking complete ball-cocks.
When a R&B becomes 2/3 of a forced landing, i will show my bare arse in Woolies window for a fortnight.
Stick to talking about Ariliners, if thats what turns you on.


6th Aug 2001, 01:46
I just tried a R & B in my A330 Ariliner, bugger me I got 2/3 way round the circuit and my engine failed. I was really glad of the practise I had received earlier as I executed a perfect landing anyway. Thanks NH for the valuable advice, it saved a very embarrasing crash :D.

Arrse - kan't spall

[ 05 August 2001: Message edited by: javelin ]

New Bloke
6th Aug 2001, 01:52
Shy Tourque is quite correct. It was designed as a way to avoid being shot down in the circuit.

You have to admit it works, how many harvards and jet provost have been shot down at North Weald in the last 50 years. Just a pity that others who try to do a standard join (Note the phraseology here, STANDARD join) have to put up with these pratts playing war.

Oh, if the argument starts to go against you, don't worry, just ask the moderators to close down this thread as you are bored with it.

Come come come. There can be NO justification for such a maneuver.

6th Aug 2001, 02:27

A run-in-and-break is designed to allow a very standard arrival pattern to a runway. You run in from an 'initial' point, which is a nominal distance out from the 'in-use' threshold, and fly along the 'in-use' runway, on the runway heading and slightly offset on the deadside. At an appropriate point as you pass along the runway you 'break' into the circuit to fit in with other circuit traffic. In the military, the speed is irrelevant as it works at all speeds, the amount of G used during the break bleeds this off if necessary. Climbing, descending or staying level in the break is irrelevant. In military fast jets the reason it is done is because we fly in formations and it is the quickest and tidyest way of getting a formation to the airfield and on the ground in good weather.

The nice thing about the procedure (note I call it a procedure, cos that's what it is) is that is is very standard. When you call 'initials' anyone in the local area can look and see you in the appropriate place and they know that you are going to fly from your current location, directly along the runway, on runway heading, and out of their way, until you 'break'. The advantage it has for the joinee is that you can see all traffic in the circuit as they are all offset to one side of you as you run in to the airfield. I would say that this is not the case with the current collection of accepted airfield joins used around the world.

PS. How can you say that the overhead join is the 'standard join' when it is rarely practised if it is actually allowed at all at some airfields.

New Bloke
6th Aug 2001, 12:06
I have held a pilots licence from the mid eighties and until this thread came about I had no idea what a run-and-break was. If I heard someone call “Initial” I would have no idea where to look. Most Pilots who haven’t read this thread are in the same position.

At least three people are dead because of this procedure. If the military use it then fine, leave it with the military as we do with other procedures like shooting down “bogies”, strafing enemy targets, and mid-air re-fuelling.

I can see that at some airfields (Kemble, Duxford) there is a case for allowing this to carry on with some of the faster traffic, BUT it should be promulgated in the flight guides and the circuit should be closed while the Big Boys play war. This of course would mean the Airfield would be permanently closed to non-radio traffic.

6th Aug 2001, 12:47
Hi there New Bloke, haven't seen you round here for a while. Whatever the position on a run and break executed according to the standard drill, it's worth noting that when the midair occurred at North Weald the Yak had not flown a standard run and break. The Cessna pilot was probably familiar with a standard R&B as he flew from North Weald regularly.

New Bloke
6th Aug 2001, 13:49

I am just finishing my fallow period during which I just LURK.

Regarding the R & B at North Weald, two points.

A couple of years ago I used to fly from North Weald fairly regularly and I still didn't know what a R & B was.

The other point, I hadn't heard that the R & B that caused the accident was Non-standard. In what way was this Non-standard and do we know why a Non-Standard proceedure flown?

I still maintain that it should not be used. If we say that this procedure has to be used at civil G A Airfields, then it should be included in the PPL syllabus and taught to all pilots. We would need to put another 2 – 3 hours on the PPL (Including NPL). I’m sure we will be thanked for that.

Have a look at the sky, B I G isn’t it. And yet even in the open FIR there are mid-Air collisions. Now think about the sky around an Airport, especially North Weald with Stapleford to the south and Stansted to the North (and above – if you see what I mean). When I go there I want everyone to see me (see various threads about landing lights in the vicinity of Airfields) and I want to see everyone else. To give me half a chance to be able to see everyone else, I need to know where to look for them.


Having just re-read the whole thread two more points.

The guys doing the R & B won't know where to look either, is initial 1 mile, 2 miles, 3 miles? Take your pick.

Noisy H. You started off asking for comments, then seemed to get bored with comments not to your liking

---end of edit--------

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: New Bloke ]

6th Aug 2001, 18:43
New Bloke, did you have a look at the accident report? (I posted the link further up the thread). Others have commented on the facts recorded in the report (1) that the Yak pilot deviated from the usual R&B pattern to fly over his house and (2) that the Cessna was in a quite wide downwind position. NB before friends of the deceased on either side flick the safety catches off their flame throwers, I am merely reporting what others have said and expressing no conclusions of my own.

PS: Surely a bit pessimistic to suggest 2-3 hrs needed to inform PPLs about R&Bs? It doesn't take that long to learn a standard overhead join, and most of us can self- brief for a non-standard join by reading the Pooleys, AFE Guide or whatever or ringing the airfield before we set off. Is it that much different to learning how to mix it with heavy traffic at a regional airport?

PPS: having said that it is surprising what useful info the published guides do not include. The guides might point out where R&Bs occur and maybe add a diagram. Any editors of airfield guides reading this?

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: FNG ]

Gash Handlin
6th Aug 2001, 23:03
New Bloke,

I don't mean any offence by this but if you used to fly at North Weald and didn't know what a Run and Break was and heard people call initials but didn't know what that meant - Did you not ask someone what it was all about?

BTW I agree with your point about a run and break being an unusual practice (I wouldn't say non-standard) so if airfields permit R&B's maybe they should include the details of the procedure in the TAP. And as I said earlier where is the harm in learning an extra procedure which gives you an alternative choice of an approach, you can never stop learning in this game.

New Bloke
7th Aug 2001, 00:58
No Offence taken Gash, No I never heard anyone call "Initial". If I had of done I would most probably have landed and asked someone, my point here is that by then it may have been too late.

The Jaguar Fan Club
7th Aug 2001, 02:40
Just as another point of view,

I sometimes execute a run in and break at my home airfield as a nice way to end a sortie.
If I intend to do one, I always pre-brief ATC before the sortie and ask their permission.

I never break into the circuit if there are anymore than 2 other a/c in the cct.

Being ex-mil, I am tempted to use "Initials" and "On the break to roll/land" etc, but only I would know what they mean (unless there were anly other ex mil/current mil in the cct). My preferred "civvy phraseology" is:

"Long final, low approach to go around, request low level cct "

Verbose I know, but gives everyone else in the circuit the big picture. Air Traffic seem quite happy with this.

Although it is common sense, PPL's should be wary about run and breaks unless taught and demo'd. It is very easy to overcook it and stitch up others in the circuit by poor judgement. Watch that stalling speed too!

PS for those that know me, my home flying airfield is not Ice Station Zebra!!!! :rolleyes: :D

[ 06 August 2001: Message edited by: The Jaguar Fan Club ]

Fast Erect
4th Nov 2005, 22:25
And as you are aware, a wing does not stall at a speed..........only an angle of attack.....which is almost certainly nothing like what you would expect during your completely unneccesary and pointless r&b manoevre in your Yak 50.

4th Nov 2005, 22:34
:eek: :eek: :eek: :eek: :eek:

5th Nov 2005, 00:37
Wow - I make that 4 years, 2 months, 28 days to respond -
good job Fast Erect is in a job that doesn't need swift
reaction times, eh?

5th Nov 2005, 07:20
I knew I had registered with pprune before 2003 :suspect:

.....post on page one by myself says I havent registered yet :confused:

Regards, SD..

The Jaguar Fan Club
5th Nov 2005, 08:54
Fast Erect

As you are aware, the IAS at which an aerofoil stalls varies with angle of attack and G so therefore a caution for PPLs who are taught "stalling speeds" and maybe want to "try out" a VRIAB is justified in my opinion. However as I said before, I recommend that pilots do not attempt a VRIAB unless correctly taught and demo'd.

...your completely unneccesary and pointless r&b manoevre in your Yak 50.

Not really pointless as it was good to maintain currency between leaving the military and now routinely operating formations around the bazaars. :}

I have never flown a Yak 50...maybe a little more research and mature conversation is in order before you wade in with your big w*nky boots?

High Wing Drifter
5th Nov 2005, 15:49
As you are aware, the IAS at which an aerofoil stalls varies with angle of attack and G
That doesn't read quit right. For a given wing there is only one critical angle of attack regardless of weight, G, etc (ignoring flaps and wor not). You seem to be implying that at another AoA, if you keep the speed up you won't stall.

The Jaguar Fan Club
5th Nov 2005, 16:16
Not quite.....I refer to Accelerated or "G" Stalls and I quote:

"This is a condition where the wing cannot produce enough lift to support the aircraft's weight and centrifugal force, in spite of otherwise flying at a reasonable airspeed and angle of attack. This can occur when an aircraft is in a tight turn, a high-G pull-up, or other manoeuvre where directions is changed with a significant amount of acceleration. This additional acceleration results in a high force that must be borne by the wings. In recent years there have been a number of accidents arising from Accelerated stalls in high-performance aircraft (e.g. the Jet Provost) that have been sold into the civilian sector from the military. Turbulence can cause an accelerated stall if the aircraft is flying below Vno (maximum structural cruising speed. If flying above Vno, turbulence can cause structural failure."


High Wing Drifter
5th Nov 2005, 20:48
This is a condition where the wing cannot produce enough lift to support the aircraft's weight and centrifugal force, in spite of otherwise flying at a reasonable airspeed and angle of attack.
I suspect I've gawn off on one and that we agree. It is just the "and" bit I have issue with in that Wikipedia explanation you quoted. Ignoring the misleading bit about a stall being lift unable to support weight, you will never ever never stall at a "reasonable" angle of attack (where reasonable<crit alpha). An accelerated stall is merely the need for you to increase AoA past critical alpha to cope with the increased demands on the wing due to G/weight/etc.

:8 :O

Fast Erect
5th Nov 2005, 22:59

I hardly think a Jet Provost is a high performance aeroplane. Get a grip boy and leave the military tosh behind


Final 3 Greens
6th Nov 2005, 06:24
High performance is a relative term.

In the world of SEP, a JP is a high performance aircraft - think C150 or Cherokee as the reference point.

6th Nov 2005, 08:43
If you want to play being an FJ pilot then join the RAF or if ex RAF then leave it all behind. A civilian airfield, unless covered by radar and empty airspace, is no place for military type games.

The Jaguar Fan Club
6th Nov 2005, 10:12

I used that Wikipedia explanation to try and keep things simple but obviously that was the wrong thing to do. In an accelerated stall it is the wing loading and NOT the AoA that is critical. With the same angle of attack, the airspeed at which the stall occurs will be increased by the square root of the G. therefore at "high" g, the aerofoil will stall at a higher IAS and lower AoA than a "standard" stall.

Fast erect
Define "performance" aeroplane...The JP was selected by the RAF for its "performance". Over 300kts, +6.5g, pressurised with a service ceiling of over 36000ft (on the mk 5 obviously) and fully aerobatic seems perfectly within the bracket of performance to me. :rolleyes:

Working Hard
The majority of those undertaking "war games" do so for the preserve of our military aviation history and are properly trained to do so with adequate agreements in place at home airfields to take account of the differences. What radar has to do with it I'm not sure...:suspect: With your kind of attitude we would have none of these vintage types flying at all and Duxford would be another field full of "spamcans" or houses! :*

High Wing Drifter
6th Nov 2005, 10:35
With the same angle of attack, the airspeed at which the stall occurs will be increased by the square root of the G. therefore at "high" g, the aerofoil will stall at a higher IAS and lower AoA than a "standard" stall.
I really truely didn't realise that :uhoh: Why would the air seperate from the wing if the relative wind was below crit alpha? :confused:

6th Nov 2005, 10:40
Have we not been here and done that?




The Jaguar Fan Club
6th Nov 2005, 11:56

Think outside of the box...

In a standard stall, when the critical alpha is reached or exceeded, the relative airflow around the aerofoil is disturbed and lift is reduced.

An accelerated stall is not the same as a "Standard" stall. The problem is that the increased wing loading means that the aerofoil is not producing enough lift to oppose the effect of gravity or "g". This is why there is a relationship between IAS and G. The higher the g, the more airspeed you need to generate more lift to counteract the wing loading. Think of it as a "heavy" aircraft. You would need a faster Vr to get airborne at heavy weight than at light weight because the wing needs to produce more lift to overcome weight/gravity.

Hope that is a bit clearer...

High Wing Drifter
6th Nov 2005, 12:22
Hi again TJFC,
Think outside of the box...
Ordinarily I would, but it is raining quite hard you know.
You would need a faster Vr to get airborne at heavy weight than at light weight because the wing needs to produce more lift to overcome
Sorry to drag this out :O Yes, I consider that obvious to any pilot and isn't quite the issue I have.
An accelerated stall is not the same as a "Standard" stall.
I suspected this was a mis-understanding due to terminology.

My use of the term "accelerated stall" implies that the wing did stall, that seperation occurs, but at Vs * SQRT(G or difference in weight). Also, that this seperation only occurs at crit alpha. It is also very nasty stall because inevitibly it is effectively power on stall in a prop and hence a tip stall.

6th Nov 2005, 16:13
The Jaguar Fan Club - post deleted

6th Nov 2005, 19:10
In an accelerated stall it is the wing loading and NOT the AoA that is critical. With the same angle of attack, the airspeed at which the stall occurs will be increased by the square root of the G. therefore at "high" g, the aerofoil will stall at a higher IAS and lower AoA than a "standard" stall.


Whilst I agree with you over your use of R & Bs (I found them invaluable at maintaining currency with and practising for low-level aeros for display purposes - in the correct circumstances, naturally, before anyone jumps on that), I have to take issue with your comments re "accelerated stalls".

The wing will always stall at the same AofA, whatever the wing loading. After all, wing loading is only a function of lift. What you should be looking at, for your argument, is what happens when you increase the wing loading at a given airspeed. The only way to do this is to increase the alpha and hence the lift. When the alpha reaches critical, then the wing will stall. As an aside, on conventional SEP etc, AofA is proportional to elevator and hence stick position. Have a look at the stick position next time and see when the stall occurs for various 'g' loadings!



Dirty Sanchez
7th Nov 2005, 19:56
RIAB's are a military technique used to recover jets on fuel minima efficiently and expeditiously whilst coping with formation aspects. Something I doubt very much that the likes of Fast Erect has ever had to cope with. By the sounds of it, the only fast thing about him/her is their username.

Why therefore start claiming they are about 'oneupmanship' etc, my dear freind you do make yourself sound like a prize @<hidden> talking like that. If you cant cope with a bit of punchiness and finesse then I do really think you are in the wrong profession.

Let me guess, you prefer a radar - ILS with a couple of procedural holds for sh!ts and giggles, on standby instruments of course no doubt.

I really look forward to your reply as I expect it will be as pompous and as mundane as your previous posts, and allow me a few more giggles.



8th Nov 2005, 07:34
Everyone can hide behind some fancy pseudonym on here and claim to be whatever.

Most professional jet pilots I have met though are nice and erudite happy to talk to non jet pilots in a professional manner taking into account the latter's lack of specific knowledge.

Yet to meet one that has to resort to the sort of language and attitude that some self proclaimed experts display on here.

As TheAerosCompany has already pointed out, TJFC's explanation of the accelerated stall is not what most people understand it to be.

RIABs at non military fields are an emotive subject due to the accident at North Weald a few years back.

It is therefore not surprising that some are anxious about this procedure; maybe especially if it is done by non(ex)military pilots.

High Wing Drifter
8th Nov 2005, 07:46
As TheAerosCompany has already pointed out, TJFC's explanation of the accelerated stall is not what most people understand it to be.
And me :O

8th Nov 2005, 09:17

The North Weald accident was not caused by a RIAB. The radio transmissions may have been indicating that but that is not what the aircraft was doing.


8th Nov 2005, 09:24
Well, when teaching formation flying in our PA28s, we also teach breaking formation to join the circuit. No high energy manoeuvre this, it is simply a level turn from the deadside onto downwind with each aircraft in the echelon delaying the break from formation by the briefed interval.

The AoB and interval used for the break must be the same for all members of the formation; you can start with a gentle 30 deg turn at 5 sec spacing and, as experience is gained, tighten it up to about 45 deg and 3 sec.

There should be no need to use more than about 1.4 g to break a formation of light aeroplanes into the circuit.

8th Nov 2005, 10:31
And me

Sorry HWD, and you!

Anyone got the link readily available on that North Weald accident so that we can reacquaint ourselves with the circumstances?

The Jaguar Fan Club
8th Nov 2005, 13:43
*takes deep breath*

Ok, a couple of points to put to bed.

My whole "argument" was based on the fact that an accelerated stall can take place at a higher IAS than a less experienced would expect due to the effects of G. Now that we have the correct definitions of the phenomenon (cheers TAC), I don't think anyone is in any doubt about what they are. I was trying to expand on the point first raised by HWD and I accept that my comment reagarding varied AoA was confusing and incorrect. However the whole conversation has raised the issue of linking IAS, wing loading and stalling amongst the GA commuity here, which can only be a good thing. Indeed in an article about stalling, Brian Lecomber describes the classic stall accident as "...a slightly accelerated stall, the aircraft weighing more under G..."

Secondly, WorkingHard it is clear from your posts that you enjoy being antagonistic and are yourself not immune from throwing insults. My comment was rather in the heat of the moment at your whole attitude and nothing whatsoever to do with being "unstable". As a result it has now been retracted from my post. I am sure SRG medical division would welcome your comments if you are concerned about a licensed person's mental state. :rolleyes:

Flyin'Dutch' - Quite a sweeping statement regarding "self proclaimed experts" and attitudes on PPRuNe. My comments were not intended to be elitist or patronising, and I apologise if that is how they came across. I have to say though that there are many aircrew, and other aviation "professionals" who DO conduct themselves in a petulant manner both on PPRuNe, and in person or the RT. It's not as rosey out there as one might think..just have a look on some of the other threads on here, and in CHIRP!

Anyway..hopefully we have all learned something...


8th Nov 2005, 15:15
What is a Run and Break?

8th Nov 2005, 15:29


Fly safe people.


Dirty Sanchez
8th Nov 2005, 16:32
Quite right Jag fan type, WorkingHard should have worked harder at school, as a prowler around these parts for a number of years, he has shown himself to be totally anti military (check out his low flying posts) and to have several, rather well defined chips on his shoulder. Even though, I seem to recall that he claims to be ex militray himself. (Bluntie no boubt)

Ignore him, he will no doubt be getting all hot and bothered reading my post, trying to think of some (un)witty retort.

I am all ears


8th Nov 2005, 17:11
The wing will stall at critical angle of attack. End of story.

Ta ta

High Wing Drifter
8th Nov 2005, 18:03
Hi again TJFC,
However the whole conversation has raised the issue of linking IAS, wing loading and stalling amongst the GA commuity here, which can only be a good thing. Indeed in an article about stalling, Brian Lecomber describes the classic stall accident as "...a slightly accelerated stall, the aircraft weighing more under G...""
Well yes, the discussion is with merit, as is any exchange leading to a clarificationand (just checkout the Carb Heat thread for a prime example :} ;))at least now I better appreciate that there maybe different definitions knocking about

8th Nov 2005, 19:30
Well DS sorry to disappoint but I am not likely to get hot and bothered. TJFC very magnanimous and truly appreciated, my comments also retracted. I do have opinions as do all of us and I try and keep "personal" out of it. I am ex mil (very long time ago) and do not agree with low flying all over the UK and I have always made that clear. Similarly I have always made clear the blaming of everyone but the military for the woeful inadequacies of the equipment, the supply chain et al is also something with which I disagree. So DS there you have it, a candid history if it really intrigues you.
TJFC I referred earlier to radar from the perspective that this would better enable a complete vision of traffic in the area for your proposed re-join. I have never done it, don't want to and still think that it should be at places where traffic is very restricted or non existant. just my opinion.

8th Nov 2005, 22:54
IO540 wroteWhat is a Run and Break?

Put simply, a military manouevre to reduce the chances of being shot down whilst on a long straight final.

The pilot will fly at high speed along the runway, either from a low level approach or from a dive from the overhead, before breaking off into an abbreviated circuit of oval shape.

The idea is that a fast moving object is hard to hit, and once on the oval downwind/base/final is never in a straight line long enough to get a decent aim for any enemy fire.

There will be those that say this is too simplistic but there we go :rolleyes:

The high G part is where the pilot hauls back hard on the stick at the end of the initial high speed approach, in a steep climbing turn onto mid downwind.

West Coast
9th Nov 2005, 07:02
"Put simply, a military manouevre to reduce the chances of being shot down whilst on a long straight final"

Funny enough it has an additional purpose these days in heavily impacted areas, noise abatement. A Fighter dragging it in from the initial all dirtied up makes a loud, long footprint. Coast in from the initial from a high altitude at fast speed and you reduce the number of times the duty officer has to pick up the noise abatement hot line.

9th Nov 2005, 17:49
Another very valid reason for a run and break which I haven't seen addressed here (if it has been, I missed that post) has to do with situational awareness in a formation. In a close formation, the lead pilot knows where the formation is in space and where the airfield and other traffic is, etc. The other pilots know where Lead is and that's about it. They may have periferal awareness of their location over the ground, but may not have total awareness of the active runway, where they are in relation to it as they approach, other aircraft in the circuit or approaching.

By leading the formation to disassemble via a run and break, Lead hands the pilots off to their own navigation from a known point - over the runway. They therefore know excatly where they are going to be when Lead calls for the break and they know what they need to do to get on the ground safely - because it's the same every time (left or right traffic not withstanding).

To try to break up a formation otherwise, especially if the flight doesn't go off exactly according to the brief, would probably require esoteric radio-hogging descriptions of angles and distances to the runway and a pretty loose and wooly seperation of the aircraft in the vicinity of the airfield. I was forced to do that at an airfield when someone not associated with the formation I was leading decided he knew our situation better than I and denied us a run and break. It took 10 minutes of maneuvering and radio calls to get the other guys to the airport and properly sequenced for landing. And then he bitched me out for all the chatter on the radio.

Having done it plenty of times both ways, I much prefer a run and break because I know where I'll be when I break from the formation. I've done the "seperation away from the field" bit and couldn't actually find the runway until I was on final behind the preceeding aircraft - not great for establishing complete awareness of the airport and other traffic.

Just another thread to this thread's bow!


London Mil
9th Nov 2005, 18:29
At risk of getting shot down in flames, I have seen both 'Run and Break' and the more standard 'civil' joining procedures. IMHO that neither is inherently more risky than the other. The key aspect in both situations is that everyone knows and plays by the rules. From a military perspective, there is no better way of expeditiously joining the cct, fitting into the pattern and then landing. It is safe, expeditious and minimises noise footprint.

Picking-up on the previous noise footprint point, I once saw a VC10 do a run and break at a particularly environmentally sensitive German airfield. Ordinarily, the Ten would have peaked the noise meters at about 95db when dragging itself along on a 3deg ILS; the run and break produced 82dbs.

Regarding the North Weald incident, I find it quite astounding that anyone can relate a properly performed run in and break with this mid-air.

12th Nov 2005, 13:42
Regarding the North Weald incident, I find it quite astounding that anyone can relate a properly performed run in and break with this mid-air.

Why is that then?

12th Nov 2005, 14:49
Frank, presumably because that's not what the Yak pilot did. The direct cause of the accident was neither pilot seeing the other until it was too late. The Yak pilot initially called visual on the Cessna, but lost sight of it not while performing a RIAB, but while he was doing whatever he was doing in the vicinity of his house at 100 feet. The AAIB report suggests that if the Yak pilot had done a standard RIAB in accordance with his intentions expressed on the radio, the Cessna pilot would have known where to look. The A/G operator would have also had a better idea of what was going on, which understanding may or may not have influenced subsequent matters, but the absence of which cannot have helped. And if the Yak pilot had not broken off from a standard RIAB to become involved with some very low-level flying unrelated flying in the vicinity of his house, and not explained by his RT calls, it is reasonable to assume that the Yak pilot could have maintained visual contact with the Cessna.

Quote: "The Yak pilot declared his intention to carry out a 'run and break' with a time frame of 'thirty
seconds to initial'. It was thus possible for others listening on the frequency to be aware of his
intended flight path, which was to descend and make a right turn in order to align his aircraft with
the runway before carrying out the run down the runway and then break right to join the circuit
downwind. By making the left turn and descending to such a low height, he deviated from that
flight path and placed his aircraft in a position relative to the Cessna, which was not expected by
the Cessna pilot or by the radio operator."

High Wing Drifter
12th Nov 2005, 16:02
he AAIB report suggests that if the Yak pilot had done a standard RIAB in accordance with his intentions expressed on the radio, the Cessna pilot would have known where to look.
I have to say, even though I know roughly what a R'n'B is, I wouldn't actually have a clue where I should be looking! Would he be high, low, infront, behind, straight, turning??

London Mil
12th Nov 2005, 16:13
You most certainly wouldn't be looking at a right base position for an aircraft that has just flown the wrong way up the base leg after performing a low pass.

12th Nov 2005, 16:41

A run and break is typically carried out this way:

A long, straight approach down final, sometimes from a few miles out, usually at high speed but can be at any altitude up to circuit height.

From the midpoint of the runway, the pilot will execute a 180 degree turn to put himself onto a midfield downwind to start a curved approach onto short final to land. Sometimes the pilot will come in low and pull up to circuit height during the turn but it can vary from that to a run AT circuit hieght and a horizontal turn onto downwind. This will sometimes be a shallow turn or a steep turn, climbing to circuit height, or horizontal at circuit height. It usually puts the pilot on a close-in downwind position at approximately midfield, so the curcuit flown is much tighter than your average circuit.

That's for a solo pilot. For a formation, the same applies but each aircraft will peel off with a set separation, usually with the first one peeling off over the approach numbers and then each subsequent aircraft on a 5 second delay. This ends up with a group of aircraft all in stream on downwind, now under their own navigation and setting themselves up for individual landings. Sometimes they'll fly extended downwinds to get the timing of the landings right.

So, having said all that, the places to look when you hear a call for a run and break are starting along the final approach out to a couple of miles, usually low (say 500 ft QFE). The run in will often be fast. Then look along the runway for aircraft executing their turns up (or across) to a close-in downwind. Then look for curved final approaches sometimes starting the decent from abeam the numbers. Rarely will the pilots fly a standard square curcuit with a run and break, so their time from downwind to final will be pretty short.

If it's a formation, the leader will usually announce how many aircraft are in the formation when they approach. Try to remember how many to expect and count them off when you see them. That way you'll know if you'll know you've got them all in sight.

Most run and breaks I've seen have been executed with due regard for local traffic patterns and other traffic in the circuit, but I'm sure there are plenty of examples where that hasn't been the case.

A run and break will often be announced by a radio call something along the lines of "G-XXXX turning Initial for a Run and Break, runway 26, 30 seconds(or X miles) to run" or something close to that.

I hope that answers the question. If you want to see properly executed run and breaks, spend a couple of hours at Lakenheath's Spotters' Corner. The Eagle drivers know how to do it!

If you've got any other questions, ask and I'll try to answer them.

High Wing Drifter
12th Nov 2005, 17:36
Cheers Pitts,

Thanks for the very clear explanation. From your description, I have actually seen one in action. I was departing Blackbushe and had the pleasure of seening The Arrows landing at Odium in just that manner, with smoke on and all the trimmings. Each Hawk peeling off just as you have described.

That was possibly the first time I had an inkling that maybe I wouldn't be happy with just pottering around in a spammer. I was thinking the other day, as I was upsidedown in M14P's 2 seat plaything, wouldn't it be nice to learn to fly the whole envelope :ok:

12th Nov 2005, 18:00

Funny you should mention that. I still remember the day I was convinced I wanted to do real aerobatics. I was 12 and my Dad took me to see the USAF Thunderbirds fly at the local airbase. I was totally blown away and decided on that day that I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Well, that didn't work out (bad eyes and the damn Ruskies gave up!), but I got myself a Pitts as soon as possible so I could at least get some good flying in.

Have loved every minute of it!


Sir George Cayley
12th Nov 2005, 20:09
Run and Breaks ?

Shureley - Runs and Break?

Loike 'Courts Marshall' which is what all you 'orrible little tyros will be on if you's not carefull!

Sir George Cayley

High Wing Drifter
13th Nov 2005, 14:43
I was totally blown away and decided on that day that I wanted to be a fighter pilot. Well, that didn't work out (bad eyes and the damn Ruskies gave up!), but I got myself a Pitts as soon as possible so I could at least get some good flying in.
As I said to M14P on the way back to Popham after his aeros demonstration "You do realise you have just cost me alot of money." I couldn't even think about it yet, but looking beyond my current CPL related training, I have already spent my future earnings :D

13th Nov 2005, 15:59
I was 12 and my Dad took me to see the USAF Thunderbirds fly at the local airbase

"Pa", said Wylie, "When I grow up I want to be an aerobatic pilot!"

"Son, you can't do both", said Wylie senior.


14th Nov 2005, 08:45
I have already spent my future earnings

Sorry about that HWD old chap!!! Still, at least you will not fritter them away on school fees, a house or other such silliness...

When are we going to do some more upsidedowniness then?


High Wing Drifter
14th Nov 2005, 15:50
When are we going to do some more upsidedowniness then?
Hmmm, any available opportunity springs to mind :D

hugh flung_dung
14th Nov 2005, 21:12
There seems to be a lot of concern about "run and breaks" whereas it is a perfectly valid, safe and efficient manouevre if flown sensibly, correctly and considerately. If someone chooses to do anything incorrectly it can be dangerous.

In a modified form (flying parallel with the runway, just below circuit height, just on the deadside and turning onto a crosswind join) it's far preferable to a straight-in approach to an uncontrolled field because you can see other traffic and sequence yourself onto downwind. Straight-in approaches always seem to bu&&er-up someone on base (that should have been given way to).

Why do some people feel so strongly against the manouevre? I can understand the issue with the call "initials" because it's simply not widely understood, so I use "short final to break" instead.
Someone's bound to refer to the accident again but, as has been said several times, that does not appear to have been caused by a VRIAB.

:confused: HFD

15th Nov 2005, 07:35
In a modified form (flying parallel with the runway, just below circuit height, just on the deadside and turning onto a crosswind join) it's far preferable to a straight-in approach to an uncontrolled field because you can see other traffic and sequence yourself onto downwind. Straight-in approaches always seem to bu&&er-up someone on base (that should have been given way to).

Do that at circuit height and it's a standard mil. join - which is definitely my favourite, but everyone needs to be singing from the same hymnsheet. From that position you can do an overhead join in 90% of cases* and still see everyone's position &c.


*the remaining 10% being those where CAS or activities such as para dropping get in the way!

hugh flung_dung
15th Nov 2005, 07:59
By being slightly below circuit height you can see other traffic against the skyline rather than having to look for them against the ground.

The path flown is just the same as a high go-around so I don't understand why there would be any concern. We just need to use terminology which everyone understands.


15th Nov 2005, 18:41
flown JP3 and 5a for the last 10 years or so and never seen the need to RIAB. Only time I actually did the deed was when the circuit was clear and thus, would not confuse or endanger anyone. quote " a hooligan-- but a safe one " unquote. It's just showin' off, unless you have a formation to land

Standard approachs works fine, and as far as I am aware nobody was trying to shoot me down on long finals !! although those pesky Typhoons out of Warton sometimes have me in their sights.

Big Pistons Forever
17th Nov 2005, 01:59
I have flown a Nanchang CJ6 out of a busy controlled Canadian airport for many years. I started doing a R and B for two reasons.

1) It's a lot of fun

2) The CJ6 has a very draggy gear but a very low max operating speed. With a R and B you can reduce to low cruise power entering the circuit and use the the upward flight path to get to gear speed, the drag of the gear and flaps to keep the speed down on the curve back to the runway and then slowly bleed the power of on short final. This completely avoids the deadly (to radials) condition of low MP, high RPM and highish airspeeds.

After demonstrating to ATC I could accurately fly the aircraft and was not a jerk I found they were very accomodating and now they almost always give me clearance for the R and B with out me having to ask.:ok:

17th Nov 2005, 09:29
Hi guys,
I suppose I could do a run and break in my little aircraft too. The circuit would be low and tiny. Maybe I should pop in to NW one day and ask if I can do it - initial down 02, up and pirouette around the Squadron roof, and back down onto 02 grass. Whee!

'damned microlights - no discipline at all!'

29th Nov 2005, 00:28
Great thread.

Only learning for PPL, but never heard of R+B before reading this thread. Now I know what it is, and will be aware, if I ever hear 'initials', to look down to the 'finals' area of the RW to spot the incoming a/c. The safety value of this can't really be underestimated.

In the thread it was pointed out that the reason for RB's was to reduce the risk of planes being shot down in WW2. Very sensible, but was that not before fast jets came along?

I'm sure I remember one of those TV docs about WW2, where an ex Mustang pilot recalled how the ME262 (have I got the type right - 1st German jet fighter?) was a 'sitting duck' on long finals, so he popped quite a few.

Obviously the ME262 was too new, or experimental, to try RB's.

Whilst from this thread, I glean that there's a solid reason for fast jets (I include JP in that) to do RB for fuel save/noise abatement, I'm not convinced of similar reasons for powerful piston a/c. Maybe to get a formation down, certainly, but for a single a/c - why bother?

Just my little opinion, which, as a student pilot is mostly BS anyway :D , but to reiterate, a very worthwhile thread if I'm on base/finals at a small, unfamiliar field and hear 'xxxx initials 30 secs'.

PS TJFC - like your explanations of how stall speed is increased in 'G' turns. Although some have pointed out that your wording may not be this or that, it certainly got through to me that as you pull more G (increase wing loading) then your stall IAS will increase.

Is it a reasonable analogy that, if we lived on planet Zog, and Zog had 3g as normal gravity, then we would (assuming similar atmosphere) need lots more IAS to get off the ground? If so, you're precis on stalls helped me a lot

As a student pilot, I appreciate input in a well explained manner - thanks.


Max Contingency
29th Nov 2005, 18:03
Forget noise abatement, fuel conservation, formation landing etc.

I was taught that a run and break into the circuit is tactically the safest way to join. The airfield and immediate surrounds are the only area that you can be reasonably sure is clear of manpads (man portable air defence systems) and therefore the safest area to decelerate into and then further restrict your manoeuvrability with flap and gear.

Oh yes, and it was bloody good fun......:E

30th Nov 2005, 00:26
A: Practice. A formation is the last place you want to be practicing a RIAB; that's doing it for real.

30th Nov 2005, 13:15
if I'm on base/finals at a small, unfamiliar field and hear 'xxxx initials 30 secs'. Surely, if you're on final and somebody in a fast and noisy machine calls initial and expects you to get out of their way in half a minute, they're not only selfish and dangerous, but illegal too?

Or have I misread my air law somewhere? Conforming to traffic pattern? Not overtake or cut in on final? etc.


30th Nov 2005, 14:03
I really have tried not to become too involved in this thread but MB's latest post has catalysed me out of my cosy stupor!

Surely, if you're on final and somebody in a fast and noisy machine calls initial and expects you to get out of their way in half a minute, they're not only selfish and dangerous, but illegal too?

Nowhere above does it state that a/c RIAB'ing have the right of way.

Nowhere above does it state that the "initial" call immediately precedes a/c forming up on final.

The call of "initial" happens about a mile out and is to let the formation a/c, who will only be concentrating on lead's aeroplane and not their position relative to the ground, know that the RIAB is about to happen.

Unlikely as it is, as lead generally tries pretty hard to arrive with minimal disruptance to other circuit traffic, if you are on final and hear "Initial" then you can expect the RIAB aircraft to land after you. If you are on a long, high draggy final you may see the faster formation aircraft zip by you BUT they will break and extend downwind to allow you to land first.

Even if a tyro PPL stude on a solo cross-country encountered a formation RIAB at a destination, without even knowing what was going on, should he conform to the circuit as taught he should neither be alarmed nor inconvenienced.


Flik Roll
30th Nov 2005, 16:42
Dusty B...
You don't break as a formation...so it doesn't make much difference. Normally around 2 seconds gap inbetween a/c breaking. It's just as fun in a singleton though.

No one has also mentioned that RIAB's were also established as a way to check the condition of the RWY/airfield before commiting on a long finals to land!

30th Nov 2005, 17:24
Even if a tyro PPL stude on a solo cross-country encountered a formation RIAB at a destination, without even knowing what was going on, should he conform to the circuit as taught he should neither be alarmed nor inconvenienced. Glad to have woken you up, Mr Stik:)

I would expect any tyro PPL, and not a few experienced ones, would be somewhat disconcerted to see a formation wizzing underneath him as he carries out his final approach.

'Fast' aircraft pilots have established a reputation in many quarters for acting as if they own the sky - but possibly nobody's dared tell them that for fear of the reaction.:ouch: Maybe they should ask themselves why.

happy landings

30th Nov 2005, 18:26

I've got to support my formation buddy, Stik, on this one and am saddened to hear you tar all "fast aircraft" pilots with an undeserved brush. Your statement is the same as saying that all microlight pilots are selfish, uninformed, and dangerous cowboys; and we both know that's not true. I'd be interested to hear of personal experiences you've had with pilots conforming to this reputation.

You may have misinterpreted Stik's description as I don't know of any pilot who would be careless enough to bring in a formation under an aircraft on final or interfere with an aircraft on final in any way. Standard procedure if Lead does find a conflict is to stay at circuit height and complete a standard circuit orbit, with an extended downwind, to re-establish a run-in from the initial point.

My experience, as one who has participated in, and led, RIABs is that the pilots concerned are very aware of the active traffic and take great pains to sequence into the circuit to avoid disrupting others. This preparation starts on the ground at the departure point before anyone even gets into a machine, briefing local procedures and circumstances at the destination. Sure, you may get a racey-looking break, but it is usually well planned and done to take full account of other traffic.

Of course there are always exceptions, but as I go out of my way to be where these kinds of things are done, my experience has been as I've described and not as per the reputation you're talking about. I don't think most fast aircraft pilots need to ask themselves about this reputation.


Flik Roll
30th Nov 2005, 18:34
Generally formation and RIAB's are only carried out by experienced pilots so i would expect that the tyro student wouldnt have much to worry about because the formation is hardly going to go out of their way to harrass him in his 152

hugh flung_dung
30th Nov 2005, 19:24
All this fuss and emotion over such a simple manoeuvre - why are some people so bothered or frightened by it?

The fact is that anyone joining a circuit (by whatever means) is required to give way to people already in the circuit and, as always to obey the rules of the air. Somebody already in the circuit has less to fear from a VRIAB than from some wally who chooses to fly a straight-in approach to a field without full ATC - and there seem to be an increasing number of those!

As I said earlier, one tangible concern seems to be about the call "initials" - and maybe that's valid; it's simple to cure so lets not use it! For years I've just called "final to break", and sometimes added "30 seconds" or whatever appears appropriate and, if there's an aircraft on final, I usually add that I've seen it.


30th Nov 2005, 21:22
OK, so what exactly is so hard for your average PPL to understand about a RIAB? A join via initials is a useful alternative to a standard overhead join, and although developed initially as a military technique, is surely not that hard for anyone with half a brain cell in the family to comprehend. A RIAB is just a development of that technique, employing a slightly tighter circuit. Surely a simple classroom brief on these methods would not overly add to the burden of a PPL course? Don't even get me started on the normal square PPL circuit, generally flown well outside the protection of the ATZ......

30th Nov 2005, 21:25
if there's an aircraft on final, I usually add that I've seen it.I suspect that could make all the difference. In fact why not mention any aircraft you've seen in the circuit. What's scary about flying a slow aircraft when there are fast ones in the vicinity is not knowing what they have in mind and whether you've been seen. With me doing 45kt and you doing 200kt or whatever, I've got no escape if you come at me.

If I don't know you, I don't know if you are sensible or a cowboy (I've met both in my time) and feel I've got to assume the worst. It makes me think of the close up view I once got of a barrel roll across my bows (not in circuit I hasten to add) by a fast aerobatic type. I'd seen the guy coming from my left and he looked as if he'd turned to go behind me, so I continued my lookout scan. Next thing I knew he'd appeared from below and to my left, showed me his belly two or three hundred feet ahead, and then went on his way.

I've never trusted aerobatic types since. As I implied above, if I know you've seen me and if you know the limitations and capabilities of my type, then I doubt I'd have a problem.

... and no, I didn't mean to tar all quck'n'heavy pilots with one brush, but as with yobs in the street, it's the badly behaved ones that get noticed.

Let's be friends

30th Nov 2005, 22:21
MB, although I'm only an "untrustworthy" aerobatic type, please afford me the courtesy of quoting me fully and in context:

If you are on a long, high draggy final you may see the faster formation aircraft zip by you BUT they will break and extend downwind to allow you to land first.

I did say zip by you, not underneath you. You in your 45 knot machine would be given a safe half mile lateral seperation and would be quite safe.

Funny - I don't treat all microlighters with the same brush, even those that land unannounced on my strip and walk up asking for tea!

No - the dogs get those!


Flik Roll
1st Dec 2005, 08:12

Thank you...someone else who has noticed the new PPL bomber circuit!

1st Dec 2005, 08:42
I think I've stimulated a debate to show different points of view, which is good, but we're drifting off the essence which isn't.

First, Stik, I'll apologise for misrepresenting you :ouch: - that was a misread on my part just before going to bed. I do not wish to tar all pilots of whatever ilk with one brush, as, I'm sure, neither do you.
Edit by MadamB: re-reading teh thread, I only need to apologise for the bit about saying "wizz underneath", had I written "wizz past" everything else would still apply. I was expecting to be beaten up for my comments and responded accordingly :eek: :ouch:

Other than that, the point I have been trying to make is that slower traffic is vulnerable (and feels vulnerable) to faster traffic, especially in uncontrolled airspace, and by that I include in circuit at fields without ATC.

Maybe what you need to do is to get the CAA to include RIAB terminology in CAP413 and add the procedure to its other documents such as the VFR guide and Safety Sense leaflets (and why not the ANO while we're at it).

Until then, may I humbly suggest that high-energy manouvres have no place within the circuit at an uncontrolled aerodrome, unless the pilot knows that there is no other traffic in the vicinity.

... and I don't like the growing trend for 'cross-country' circuits either, so we can agree on that. Material for another thread, methinks.

1st Dec 2005, 09:37
MB - your apology accepted;)


1st Dec 2005, 10:17
Yaks and similar types are not fast aircraft. Some people who fly them simply like to think they are. However, these aircraft can be operated safely at quite slow speeds even when in formation. Speed is not an issue.

The simple thing about a run and break is that it is not a civil procedure, it is not published in any civil document and there are no civil R/T procedures for the reporting of such a manoeuvre.

That does not legally prevent one from doing a run and break. Just as it does not prevent a pilot from completing an aerobatic sortie over an airfield. Airmanship may say something different!

However, the law does provide protection to aircraft in the circuit at an airfield. Any aircraft on a run and break is clearly not conforming to the circuit and thus simply has to avoid the circuit traffic. The circuit traffic simply continues with the standard circuit and does not alter the circuit to accomodate the run and break aircraft because they will avoid the circuit.

If anything goes wrong when a run and break is in progress then the leader and wing flights are guaranteed to be responsible provided that the other aircraft have continued to fly the standard circuit.

There is no reason why a run and break can not be done on the dead side at or above circuit height and the aircraft stream over the upwind end of the runway and join downwind as everyone else does. There would be no unusual calls and no need for anyone else to hear or worry about something they do not understand.

There is no other way to look at the run and break at or below circuit height over the active runway other than as a show-off exercise. Something that proper formation training and aerobatic training tries to get pilots to avoid.........unless they have a display authorisation and then that even impresses that the pilots should not simply show-off!!

To sum it up - ignore run and breaks - as far as GA pilots need to be concerned they do not exist. Pilots completing a run and break will avoid the circuit and accept responsibility for anything that goes wrong. Thus the simple answer is - ignore run and breaks.



Final 3 Greens
1st Dec 2005, 12:18
I think that you have all missed one point that could cause confusion and discomfort for PPLs who are not familiar with RIABS (and why should they be familiar with a non standard practice?)

Students are taught that under the rules of the air, the lowest aircraft (at a non ATC field) has the right of way when landing.

So, taking the scenario given before, a PPL is on final and a fast moving aircraft flies underneath, making radio calls that are without meaning, then should s/he give way as the other aircraft now has the right of way.

Personally, I understand the RIAB, having flown out of North Weald for some years, but others have not/do not.

Your thoughts would be interesting.

hugh flung_dung
1st Dec 2005, 12:54
A couple of points in answer to recent comments:
- The lower aircraft has right of way when it's approaching to land but not at other times. When inbound to break an aircraft is not approaching to land so does not have ROW; also, it most definitely should not be beneath other aircraft, although it may or may not be lower.
- The path taken is simply the same as a high go-around with an early turn to sequence into the downwind traffic and, if appropriate, a continuous turn onto finals.

There is nothing inherently dangerous in this and IMHO it is much safer and easier than flying a straight-in join/approach.

A final comment for MadameBreakneck - and without wanting to start a war about this - in my experience (as a SEPL, MEPL, microlight and gliding instructor) there are unfortunately rather more "cowboys" in the microlight area than at least the first two. By this I mean people who don't know the laws, break the laws or fly inconsiderately; from your contributions here I'm pretty sure you aren't one of them.


Final 3 Greens
1st Dec 2005, 14:02

Totally understand what you are saying and agree with you, but my point was than a PPL who doesn't recognize the calls and sees something go by lower may well be confused about their intentions and therefore whether to give way.

That's my point, no more nor less.

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