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visual approach

Old 12th Feb 2009, 14:36
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visual approach

would someone be able to clarify the condition need for a visual approach (while IFR).. Do we need to see the field, or just be vmc and self position. I always thought we needed to be visual with the landing site.
skyhigher is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2009, 14:49
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Not necessary to see the field under vanilla ICAO rules. ICAO says:
An IFR flight may be cleared to execute a visual approach provided the pilot can maintain visual reference to the terrain and:
a) the reported ceiling is at or above the approved initial approach level for the aircraft so cleared; or
b) the pilot reports at the initial approach level or at any time during the instrument approach procedure that the meteorological conditions are such that with reasonable assurance a visual approach and landing can be completed.
Old 12th Feb 2009, 15:12
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With the FAA procedures - there is a difference between "visual approach" and "contact approach". A visual approach is flown with the runway in sight, while a contact approach is with view of terrain, obstacles and traffic, not necessarily the runway...

Happy contrails
BelArgUSA is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2009, 15:25
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Not quite so easy under JAR OPS
Mike Tuck is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2009, 15:32
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Not quite so easy under JAR OPS
I beg to differ. Why not ?

Your company can choose to add the requirement of you actually seeing the field/rwy. If you know the specific JAR OPS rule that contradicts what spitoon said lets have it!!
OSCAR YANKEE is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2009, 17:36
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here it is !

Here is the EU-ops definition of the Visual approach. An approach when either part or all of an instrument approach procedure is not completed and the approach is executed with visual reference to the terrain. my commentary from here : terrain is ground NOT airfield nor runway
Here is the minimum required visibility for a Visual Approach. An operator shall not use an RVR of less than 800 m for a visual approach
that's it !
even lighter than ICAO rules
avionneta is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2009, 19:09
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What I was taught (however can't find the appropriate reference right now, but might be somewhere in ICAO DOC4444):

- when radar vectored - gotta see the runway
- when own nav - gotta see the ground

The reasoning behind this is that when being radar vectored you do not necessarily know where you are. When on own navigation, you do and therefore should be able to find your way to the rwy...
Stuck_in_an_ATR is offline  
Old 12th Feb 2009, 21:28
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lazy to look where exactly,but I remember 2 instances,either field insight or preceding acft insight
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Old 13th Feb 2009, 00:42
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Fully agree!

That's what our book says as well.
hetfield is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2009, 01:57
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What is the advantage of accepting either a visual or contact approach?
DC-ATE is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2009, 02:11
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What what I have seen from the post so far is that under certain systems it is the pilots call to decide if it is safe to proceed. To make it clear, under JAR OPS you need a REPORTED vis to proceed beyond the approach ban point. I just want to discuss this as we may be saying the same thing, yet in a different way.
Mike Tuck is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2009, 02:33
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Australia has a very different set of rules for visual approaches which can be quite restrictive (Especially at night).

PM me if you fly to Aus and want the whole lot chapter and verse!
A Comfy Chair is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2009, 06:04
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We teach our guys not to ask for Visual Approaches in Aussie as the requirements are so different and much more complicated than at home (or any other part of the world), that it is just not worth it. (unless you have a lawyer on board to check the fine print in the Aussie regs )

In NZ the requirements are that by day you must be able to proceed with a reasonable assurance of mantaining viz ref to the airfield, but at night must have the white runway lights in sight. Simple really!
c100driver is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2009, 06:37
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Skyhigh I believe there are two definitions out there depending if you have a JAR ops AOC or the old CAA one.

The old CAA one is that you have to be visual with the ground and know where you are. ie spitoons ICAO

And the JAR one is that you have to have the point of arrival visual at all times.

I haven't seen the original JAR ops reference just the ops manual changes after converting the AOC. or if its best practise now that won't get by the flight ops inspectors unless its included.

I did ask but you always loose the point of arrival if you join on the downwind or can we start doing oval circuits rolling out at 500ft. Ok I will take that as a no then

It seems the JAR ops is designed on the premiss that that the only place you are going to take a visual from is from a base position coming off vectors. Our operation was mainly into regional fields with low traffic loads and procedural/radar approach in class G. So alot of the time it was normal to take a visual from 10-20 miles from any direction or cancel IFR . It was debated for a couple of days then everyone forgot about it and continued to take visuals as per before.

Edited to add that everyone should be JAR ops AOC now. The only time this issue has come to light for me during day to day ops was with a new FO out of Oxford. But as he was technically correct there wasn't any discussion from me about it. He was quite correct that a lighthouse is not a runway. The fact the lighthouse was there before the runway was built is neither here nor there.

Last edited by mad_jock; 13th Feb 2009 at 07:24.
mad_jock is offline  
Old 13th Feb 2009, 12:20
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In Canada a visual approach requires visual contact with the airfield and a contact approach requires visual contact with terra firma and an expectation that you will be able to continue that way. A visual approach can be initiated by either ATC or the flight crew while a contact approach can only be initiated (requested) by the flight crew.

There are a few other caveats but that is it in a nutshell.
604guy is offline  

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