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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 03:39   #1 (permalink)
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Join Date: Oct 2010
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IFR Circling terminology

Hi there,

Just a quick question/seeking some clarification, if I am doing an instrument approach for a given runway, lets say runway 18 and then I am told to circle left hand for the opposite runway (36) do I....?

A) When cleared, make a left hand turn to join right hand downwind for 36.


B) Turn right and join left hand downwind for 36?

Up until now I have always read back this clearance as "circle left hand downwind for 36", I am just checking that this is correct.

Last edited by KiwiAvi8er; 23rd Dec 2012 at 03:40.
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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 04:23   #2 (permalink)
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The circling direction is the direction of the circuit to be flown, not the direction of the initial turn to break off the final.
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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 05:19   #3 (permalink)

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answer B.

but check your approach charts for any prohibition like , circling north of X not allowed
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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 09:46   #4 (permalink)
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On the same topic... what phraseology would you use for an ILS approach to runway 26R followed by a landing on 26L?

I thought the simplest answer would be "cleared ILS approach runway 26R, then visual approach runway 26L"

However, I have been told the only official phraseology is "cleared ILS approach runway 26R, circling runway 26L" which seems to confuse the pilots as they are not actually circling just sidestepping as our US colleagues would say.
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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 13:09   #5 (permalink)
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I think you will find RT probably varies alot.
I would say "Cleared ILS Approach RWY 26R, when visual break left report final approach RWY 26L".
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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 13:14   #6 (permalink)

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cleared localizer 26r sidestep cleared to land 26l

in the us we even have published sidestep minima. and while you could certainly follow the ILS, it really become a localizer with sidestep
and of course you will never find circling mins on a cAT2 or 3 ILS
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Old 23rd Dec 2012, 14:27   #7 (permalink)
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In fact in FAA land, you won't find circling minimums on a CAT 1 ILS unless there are also LOC minimums published.

Again in FAA land, if ATC wants to limit your direction of maneuvering on a circling approach, they are supposed to tell you which way to circle and the pattern direction. From our AIM:

CIRCLE TO RUNWAY (RUNWAY NUMBER). Used by ATC to inform the pilot that he/she must circle to land because the runway in use is other than the runway aligned with the instrument approach procedure. When the direction of the circling maneuver in relation to the airport/runway is required, the controller will state the direction (eight cardinal compass points) and specify a left or right downwind or base leg as appropriate; e.g., “Cleared VOR Runway Three Six Approach circle to Runway Two Two,” or “Circle northwest of the airport for a right downwind to Runway Two Two.
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