PDA

View Full Version : Student orbiting in the circuit


memories of px
9th Jun 2018, 14:15
Any thoughts on whether a solo student should orbit in the circuit for spacing? on an air-ground service so wasnt instructed, so personally ! see nothing wrong with it, others seem to hark back to a case when a student stalled it, and crashed, maybe he was told to do it and wasnt self initiated, different mindset.

anchorhold
9th Jun 2018, 15:39
I think there are various hazards in orbiting in the circuit in addition to loss of speed, such as blind spots in the turn and ultimately flying for a short time in the opposite direction to the circuit. there are other things that can be done in anticipation such as extending the heading on the initial climb on runway heading or extending the downwind leg, but one tecnnique I suspect is rarely taught or exercise is slowing down, flap one, reduced power and hence lower airspeed.

rarelyathome
9th Jun 2018, 23:10
Agree. I don't think orbiting in the circuit is a safe option. Better to extend or climb into the overhead and start again if slowing down isn't an option.

ShyTorque
9th Jun 2018, 23:57
I was taught (RAF) never to extend downwind, especially in a busy circuit. If one extends, the next one has to extend too and so does the next. Before you know it, aircraft are well outside the ATZ, therefore technically having left the circuit.

Better to extend upwind instead, which doesn't put aircraft so far away.

MrAverage
10th Jun 2018, 07:57
Definitely not allowed by our Airfield Rules and backed up by F.O.B.

Whopity
10th Jun 2018, 13:45
The only time you should orbit in a circuit is if requested by ATC otherwise if you need to adjust your timing, the correct procedure is to go around from wherever you are, and reposition downwind. The worst example I have seen was an instructor who told his student to orbit in the opposite direction to the circuit, whilst on a test!

H Peacock
10th Jun 2018, 20:17
You can always 'go-around' at any stage in the circuit and therefore turn towards the deadside before continuing the next 180deg of the turn back onto the downwind leg - effectively an orbit. Off course it's not going to work out so well if one flys those strange 'square' circuits.

this is my username
11th Jun 2018, 05:25
You can't conform to SERA 3225 (operation on and in the vicinity of an aerodrome) if you are orbiting in the circuit, so I've always worked on the basis that orbits in the circuit aren't allowed unless under the direction of ATC. There was a CAA reference somewhere but I can't find it at the moment.

RTN11
11th Jun 2018, 11:04
Agree. I don't think orbiting in the circuit is a safe option. Better to extend or climb into the overhead and start again if slowing down isn't an option.

This is the right answer.

Only ever orbit at controlled fields with ATC instructions and ultimately they're keeping an eye on the spacing.

At an uncontrolled field, you have no idea what's behind you, and they may not even have a radio, so orbiting is quite unpredictable and could lead to lots of confusion, as well as the solo student controll issues you have raised.

Extending downwind also has the problem of making the circuit longer and longer for everyone behind.

As above, the only real options are to slow down, or if spacing is too tight, go around and fly another circuit.

I don't really see extending upwind as a solution, as you would have to realise the spacing will be tight so early on, I wouldn't expect that level of situational awareness from a freshly minted PPL, let alone a solo student.

BBK
11th Jun 2018, 11:27
I believe there was a fatal crash a few years ago when ATC asked a solo student to orbit in the circuit. Havenít got time to find it on the AAIB website so perhaps someone can find a link. Tragic accident.

212man
11th Jun 2018, 12:21
I believe there was a fatal crash a few years ago when ATC asked a solo student to orbit in the circuit. Havenít got time to find it on the AAIB website so perhaps someone can find a link. Tragic accident.

https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/media/542304d140f0b61342000ba3/Cessna_F150L__G-BABB_07-07.pdf

3wheels
17th Jun 2018, 20:57
We are A/G only and a guy (not a student) asked today to do an orbit, because he was closing on the one in front, when we had 6 in the circuit, some following him...

I fear pilots in this situation do not know how to fly a go around from the downwind or base leg..

Whopity
18th Jun 2018, 20:01
I fear pilots in this situation do not know how to fly a go around from the downwind or base leg..



Maybe a few posters around your airfield would educate them.

S-Works
19th Jun 2018, 14:37
Our students have to orbit all the time in Jerez. Its up to the Instructor to ensure they are adequately prepared for the situation before sending them solo.

Bigears
19th Jun 2018, 20:17
As a student, I was instructed to do an orbit when on final (I'd guess I was at around 400ft) due to a Sea King appearing over the threshold (he'd misheard an instruction to remain clear of the runway :ooh:).
I remember monitoring airspeed and adding some power, and it must have worked out ok :ok:

Whopity
19th Jun 2018, 21:32
Your instructor should haved briefed you that in the event you cannot continue the approach, you should go around; you should have practiced this before going solo. At 400 ft an aircraft on approach is not configured to do orbits and ATC should not have requested you to orbit. If it was not ATC, then they should have told you the runway was obstructed by a large helicopter, you do not want to be anywhere near the wake of a SeaKing!

funfly
19th Jun 2018, 21:34
Those of us who did training at Manchester airport will remember orbiting over the "Flats" for bloody hours and hours waiting to land.
Happy days!

Whopity
20th Jun 2018, 09:00
At busy airports you have little choice, but at least you have ATC to coordinate things. At uncontroled airfields the prospect of meeting someone going the wrong way because they have deceided to orbit rather than go around is dangerous and unnecessary. What ever type of airfield you operate from, instructors should brief their students accordingly and make them practice all manoeuvres they are likely to have to do before ever sending them solo. That is why we have Restriced FIs, so that they learn all the necessary skills before being let loose to send students solo.

funfly
20th Jun 2018, 15:05
At uncontroled airfields the prospect of meeting someone going the wrong way because they have deceided to orbit rather than go around is dangerous and unnecessary.

I was never happy with the "Overhead Join" for exactly this reason. Is it still standard practice?

MrAverage
20th Jun 2018, 15:20
At a lot of airfields yes, but if done correctly there is much less likelihood of opposite direction traffic.

Whopity
20th Jun 2018, 19:52
I was never happy with the "Overhead Join" for exactly this reason. What reason? I made no mention of Overhead Joins, only pilots incorrectly orbiting in the circuit. If flown correctly, the Overfhead Join is perfectly safe, as it should be obvious to anyone watching what you are doing.

BirdmanBerry
20th Jun 2018, 20:09
Stupid question time, what's an orbit?

Whopity
20th Jun 2018, 21:38
In aviation it is a continuous 360 degree turn. At Rate 1 it will take 2 minutes, at Rate 2, just 1 minute. It can be used to adjust timing or simply to waste time.

Not stupid, that was one of the questions in our pre-solo questionaire.