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< Short final > definition

Old 7th Aug 2008, 10:45
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< Short final > definition

Good evening,
I am looking for one definition...
  1. < Long Final > when landing (according to ATC phraseology) is between 8 and 4 Nm
  2. < Final > when landing (according to ATC phraseology) is below 4 Nm
  3. What about < Short Final > ? When does it start?
I found some information in the CAP 413 - Radiotelephony Manual. But to have flown in Europe, I can remember some States differences.

What about ICAO? I cannot find?
I appreciate any inputs. Thanks in advance
My best regards.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 12:10
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I think it's after the 30 stabilized second.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 16:36
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For me at LHR, short final is about at 300ft without a landing clearance, and I may prompt ATC for that clearance or a 'land after'. LHR is my home base however, and I am used to late landing clearances, sometimes while just about to flare. Others not as used to LHR may call 'short final' at 600 ft or 2nm from observation.
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Old 7th Aug 2008, 17:37
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Short final is not defined by ICAO, although interestingly the term is used in an example in the ICAO Manual of Radiotelephony. Some States may have defined the term - the UK has not.

It can probably be best summed up in practice as indicating a degree of urgency when used by the pilot (as in 'Well, can I land or not?') or perhaps as a reminder when used by a controller so tht he/she does not have to continually watch an aircraft as it goes around the circuit. I would expect the range that qualifies as short final to vary with the aircraft type/size/speed. For a Boeing or Airbus I would go with TopBunk and say inside 1 mile would commonly be called short final but for a C150 inside half a mile and maybe even coming over the LLZ would not be an uncommon view.
Old 11th Aug 2008, 22:51
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Well the CAP 413 states 'Long final' as being between 8 and 4 miles, so 'final' (no 's'!) must be inside 4 miles.

While not defined, 'short final' I would imagine is at your discretion. I agree with spitoon and Topbunk that it varies, but for an airliner it is a mile or so, which would certainly not always be short final for a C150 in a headwind.

Like Topbunk said, landing clearance can come on very very short final, indeed after decision altitude but that's another can of worms. At my base they often warn to expect a late landing clearance only to issue it so early that you'd never get cleared to land that early at Heathrow unless you were the first to arrive in the morning!
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