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How does your company describe circling approaches?

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How does your company describe circling approaches?

Old 8th Dec 2013, 19:54
  #41 (permalink)  
 
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Talking That's a Mouthful of Question

I won't even pretend that I can DO this. However, after wading through the many replies and looking at a pair of external sources, now I at least understand the procedure. I'm gratified to now that so many really do understand it, but a little surprised that the 'Official Company SOPs" vary so much. My sense is that virtually no one really does this with a stop watch anymore, deferring to the Magenta Line. And one of these days that little line will go Tango Uniform. Is this procedure still required for annual and semi-annual SIM qualifications? If not, perhaps it should at least be done, even if not part of your official evaluation. Great question!
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 05:14
  #42 (permalink)  
 
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My concern is that you either are not aware of what the regulations say or have either misinterpreted it or have had it inappropriately explained to you.
Thank you for your concern. I know the regulations very well. The thing is, not the whole word is flying FAA rules (in fact there the world is pretty big outside USA, which many Americans are too self-centered to recognize).

Circling definitions according to ICAO:
Visual manoeuvring (circling), 7.2.2
After initial visual contact, the basic assumption is that the runway environment should be kept in sight while at minimum descent altitude/height (MDA/H) for circling. The runway environment includes features such as the runway threshold or approach lighting aids or other markings identifiable with the runway.
As you can see, it is the runway that should be kept in visual contact. Not airport surroundings. Neither does it say that the Pilot Flying, should be the one to keep the runway in sight, for multi pilot airplanes.
I (and any other pilot with a license that I know) would expect to be able to see an identifiable part of the airport on which I expect to land.
If you are on downwind, 1 nm past the threshold, still going in the opposite direction, you will not able to fly with reference to the runway. Navigate, yes - aviate, no. And it is not a requirement either. The purpose of keeping the runway in sight is the ensure that you remain within obstacle protected area.

If flying in IMC conditions of 2400 meter (1.5 sm), 600 feet cloud base, rain and at night, I prefer to aviate according to my ADI. If you want to look over your shoulder while screaming YEEEHAAA, then good luck and I wish you lot of fun flying the missed approach when you inadvertently climb 50 feet back into the could base.

Here is what EU-OPS has to say:
OPS 1.435 - Terminology
“Circling”. The visual phase of an instrument approach to bring an aircraft into position for landing on a runway which is not suitably located for a straight-in approach.


What you describe....
The understanding is that if the pilot knows what is seen on that airport, and knows the location of both what is seen AND the runway on that airport, there will be sufficient information to continue to fly toward where the airplane will be safely aligned with the runway to complete a safe approach and landing.

...and...

…and that is why the regulation does not require that the pilot continually maintain visual contact with the runway – only that the pilot maintain visual contact with an identifiable part of the airport
...is in Europe called a Visual Approach:
OPS 1.435 Terminology
“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.
Here is is no requirement to have the runway in sight, as long as you can find your way with other identifiable terrain features (e.g. follow a coastline that leads to the airport). Hence you fly it looking out the window, and I don't time those either.

It has by way has a minimum RVR of 800 meter / 0.5 sm (much to my amusement when reading the usual uproar from American colleagues).

OPS 1.430 Aerodrome operating minima
(g) Visual Approach. An operator shall not use an RVR of less than 800 m for a visual approach.

So to return to your original concern:
My concern is that you either are not aware of what the regulations say or have either misinterpreted it or have had it inappropriately explained to you.
...maybe it is time that you do some brushing up on your knowledge of international rules and regulations? Especially, if you want to comment with authority on an international (UK based) pilot forum and especially when answering a question from a poster (Screwballs) who is based in the UK...

(And yes, I don't care how many hours you have... eating a meal and taking a nap 5000 times over the Atlantic doesn't really make anyone an expert in circling approaches).
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 05:45
  #43 (permalink)  
 
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I certainly can’t believe that you are convinced that the pilots on that ill-fated Air France flight were doomed because of incorrectly reading airspeed indicators … are you?
No, on the contrary... You got this all backward. Had they known a normal pitch value for their aircraft (I mean a SET NUMBER, those that you oppose so much upon!), we would never have heard of AF447.

20 degs pitch is not normal in 37000 feet. That is why it's good to know normal pitch values for a lot of different situations. And no, not exact values that require a calculation. Like 5 degs and 65% for a 737. No matter the weight, this will keep you flying above clean speed, without exceeding any other limit at normal terminal altitude. Or 12-15 degs pitch after T/O. Or 1 deg 60% for flaps 30 on a 3 deg ILS.

Knowing such approximate values, not only help if your airspeed is unreliable. It also help to recognize situations that are out of the ordinary and correct accordingly. Like THY in AMS, having 15 degs pitch and idle on an ILS is not normal, to take an extreme case.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 08:39
  #44 (permalink)  
 
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Cosmo:


...maybe it is time that you do some brushing up on your knowledge of international rules and regulations? Especially, if you want to comment with authority on an international (UK based) pilot forum and especially when answering a question from a poster (Screwballs) who is based in the UK..
Perhaps the forum powers that be should make it clear this is a UK forum. Better yet, perhaps they should vet the membership so the members are all really pilots or air traffic controllers as does Pro Pilot World in the colonies.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 10:18
  #45 (permalink)  
 
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There are a/c still flying that do not have the bells & whistles of a Map & magenta line. They are needles & dials a/c. They had a circling procedure based on stop watches & headings. It worked just fine. All the bells & whistles don't need to change everything. It is a brave new world out there for the newbies, but some of the old fart things are still valid and don't need fixing. They ain't broke.

There are airfields where the terrain is inhospitable. In dodgy weather I would like a procedure that I know will keep me safe as I concentrate on keeping the airfield environment in sight with concentration towards the final approach path & rwy.
There are also described tracks for some circling. These have been designed to enhance safety in difficult times. If you are prepared to fly those numbers, why not design your own (SOP's) to allow for all occasions.

What I did have question with was an SOP that insisted you fly a full circle at circling height even if you broke out of cloud well above circling. i.e. you had to land on the reciprocal rwy, but had broken out of cloud well above the much lower circling height. It seemed to me daft not to allow the pilot to determine that there was no intervening cloud to make the visual circuit a problem and thus level at a higher agl to give more space to position the a/c. The reason given was that the circle had been briefed and change in the approach had to be briefed, especially a visual one. My thinking was why put the a/c closer to the ground than necessary when not on finals; and why not allow yourself a longer finals to position the a/c into the slot earlier on finals. The SOP's did not include a cloud break procedure/brief. Thus if you knew it was BKN or OVC at >1500', but had to use a let down on the instrument rwy to then fly a circle, you could not brief such a manoeuvre. The thinking being that you could not guarantee the Wx conditions until visual at break out. What if there was some low lying cloud. My thinking was that a pilot should be able to brief a circle for minima and then revert to the same procedure but at a higher height. This idea was frowned upon and not allowed.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 15:01
  #46 (permalink)  
 
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Screwballs,
The original query was "How does your company describe circling approaches?
My company doesn't. Our reference is the Boeing FCTM, which only describes how to level off and the configuration from downwind to final, but not how to maneuver to downwind. I revert on the basics what I was taught during my ME/IR.

Just to add, it had never occurred to me that somebody would plot out a magenta route in the FMC for a circling approach, how is this even possible when it is the associated instrument procedure should be in the FMC.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 17:17
  #47 (permalink)  
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Perhaps the forum powers that be should make it clear this is a UK forum
But of course it isn't. It is a forum for technical discussion from anybody, provided it is relevant to the professional target audience.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 17:56
  #48 (permalink)  
 
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it had never occurred to me that somebody would plot out a magenta route in the FMC for a circling approach, how is this even possible when it is the associated instrument procedure should be in the FMC.
Heard of Route 2?
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 20:32
  #49 (permalink)  
 
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Of course, my friend cosmo, I recognize that you are free to agree or disagree with anything I post here. Whether you choose to believe what I say or not, the fact is I am aware of the “differences” in language and the meaning of those differences – particularly as they impact regulation writing, the reading/interpretations of regulatory requirements, syntax vs. definition, and all the other kind of varying impacts anything written can have on those who don’t claim as “native” for the language in which those requirements are written. Whether you believe my comments are accurate, or not, is completely beyond my control. I am fully aware that many on this forum have been involved in aviation for longer periods than I – since I soled my first airplane in 1965, had the US Military pin wings on me in 1969, have been in the civilian industry since 1974, and have determined that at the end of this calendar year may be time for me to “hang up my spurs” and move on to the world of “consultancy.”

Of course, I wouldn’t expect that anyone with the background and history such as you have would ever be interested in having someone with the limited experience of someone like me try to inform you about anything – and I completely understand … but, maybe, just maybe, there might be some who are interested in what I have to say. However, even given those facts and my recent decisions, I assure you (for whatever that is worth), I am not the world’s leading authority on how such nomenclature “differences” are best dealt with between countries … and this is significantly due to the fact that I’ve only been regularly and significantly involved in the development and application of international regulatory matters applicable to aviation, training, and simulation since 1987. So, again, you may very well have a lot more experience in such instances than the 26 years I have, and may be well justified in “telling me off” as you have, so succinctly. Although, reverently and with no intent to retaliate “in kind,” I would point out that not every pilot gains flight experience via Transoceanic operations while eating and sleeping – as there are some who actually fly airplanes with the flight controls installed to do that – and sometimes it’s true that for a major portion of some individuals’ careers, those controls are used when engaged in pilot training and/or aircraft testing … but, of course, someone with your apparent experience surely is fully aware of those facts.

Again, I can only hope you can appreciate my relative inexperience and understand that I’m merely attempting to keep young, impressionable, relatively new pilots from looking for and expecting to find a “cheat-sheet” method for piloting an airplane. Also, in my limited travels around the world in the time I’ve been active in this industry, I’ve also come to understand the realism of the impression many around the world have about “American’s” in general and “American Pilots,” in particular. I’ll be the first to say, and am appropriately embarrassed to do so, that sometimes, those impressions are “spot-on accurate.” Of course, that isn’t the case every time, nor with every American – but far be it from me to cast dispersions on the necessity and legitimacy of an individual’s pride in his or her own country – even if that means uttering derogatory references to other nationalities’ aviators.

With respect to the exchange regarding “looking out of the window,” it probably doesn’t come as a terrific surprise to learn that the windows on BOTH sides of the cockpit were originally installed so that BOTH pilots would have the ability to see what is outside of his/her side of the airplane. With this understanding, your comment that “If you are on downwind, 1 nm past the threshold, still going in the opposite direction, you will not able to fly with reference to the runway” might be technically true if, but only if, you’re restricting the approach and landing to just 1 of the likely 2 pilots in the cockpit, and that 1 being on the side of the airplane OPPOSITE to where the airport/runway is located. I would submit for your consideration, that the pilot on the side of the airplane where the airport/runway IS located might be the most logical pilot to conduct this particular approach and landing … but again, not every airline does, nor are they necessarily approved for doing, the same things.

It used to be that the FAA regulations with respect to “circle-to-land,” used to reference “…objects identifiable with, or the approach end of, the runway.” That seemed to be adequate until it became apparent that the McDonalds Hamburger “Golden Arches,” the “Freeway Entrance Sign” and the “time and temperature display” for some business advertisement, that happened to be located across the street from the airport, adjacent to the runway soon came to be the kinds of things that pilots were using as circling and landing references. Unfortunately, the folks that own McDonalds’ franchises and all those other references are under no requirement to maintain their advertising or their signs in any particular manner and may, at any time, adjust, rebuild, move, or remove such signs. It became apparent that simply describing the “environment associated with the approach end of a runway” might not necessarily ensure that pilots who were using such references could be assured of a safe and accurate final approach segment and landing. It was at that time that the FAA changed the rules to cite “an identifiable part of the airport” for those required references … since airport diagrams are required and flight crews are required to have those diagrams with them when flying and buildings and structures on an airport are very closely regulated, marked, and shown on airport diagrams.

Also, if it is necessary to apologize to the owners/operators of this fine Aviation Forum, I certainly wouldn’t hesitate to do so … however, I strongly suspect that since there are specific sections of this forum that are dedicated to Rumors, News, Technical Issues, Australia, New Zealand, the Pacific, General Aviation, Africa, Canada, North America, Middle East, South Asia, the Far East, the Caribbean, Latin America, Nordic locations, France, Spain, Italy, Freight Operations, Helicopter Operations, Business Jets, Agricultural Operations, General Aviation, Military Operations, Flight Instructors, Cabin Crew, Pilot Training, Flight Testing, Jobs/Job Interviews, Air Traffic Control, Dispatchers, Medial and Health Issues, Private Flying, Airline Passengers, Spectators, Aviation History Buffs, Computer and Internet Issues, etc., it might seem to at least some posters, and to me, that your interpretation that I might not be able to comment with authority when commenting on “an international (UK based) pilot forum and especially when answering a question from a poster who is based in the UK…” might just be a slightly overly specific interpretation. Of course, as I’ve said above, I don’t claim, in fact, cannot claim, any authority, whatsoever, about anything, other than what level of authority YOU and/or others willingly offer.

Oh, and just to let you know … yes, I admit it … I could have responded to your post a bit more succinctly - perhaps with something deep and intelligent ... like "So you say!" or "You're entitled to your opinion as I am to mine!" … but after you went to such trouble to berate me … I thought I would just play “tag” with you a bit more. So … now ... you’re “IT” ... don’t drop the ball.

Last edited by AirRabbit; 9th Dec 2013 at 20:52.
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 21:40
  #50 (permalink)  
 
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Holy Santa Ynez de Buenos Aires, he's really on a roll now!
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Old 9th Dec 2013, 22:24
  #51 (permalink)  
 
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So you say...
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 01:25
  #52 (permalink)  
 
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Thanks cosmo ...

I had a 2-point wager with a colleague of mine that...
1) you would answer, and
2) you would answer the way you did.

If you were local I'd invite you to the local pub to share in the "fruits" of my winnings!
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 02:07
  #53 (permalink)  
 
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Well, I could have gone on about the professionality of navigating according to Hamburger signs, how you are expecting to see an "identifiable part of an airport" that is behind you etc...

But, the discussion ended for me as your ran out of arguments and the only thing you had left was to brag about you "merits". As I already said I don't care how many hours you have, or how many Pepsi's you drank or canapés you ate at some lunch-meeting being an international "negotiator".

I respect arguments and knowledge, the rest is just hot air.

Enjoy your beer...
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 02:46
  #54 (permalink)  
 
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OK cosmo - I understand you don't like what I say - fine. I sincerely hope that the attitude you apparently want to hang onto doesn't cost your friends and family a lot of heart ache. You have what you want to believe in - and you feel it's safe and proper ... and apparently are not interested in taking a look at what you're describing from a somewhat different perspective. Of course, that's your choice. Despite the fact that you can't seem to decide between criticizing my lack of professional experience and criticizing the fact that I have considerable experience ... and despite the lack of logic in doing so ... you're welcome to do both if you'd like. Oh, those "merits" you say I described - are merely facts - if you choose to elevate them to the status of some degree of "merit," I'll not stand in your way. Also, you should know that if you have a question to which you'd like an answer ... all you need to do is ask. NO, I don't expect that you will ... but the offer is genuine anyway. Additionally, I will make one recommendation (presuming, of course, you won't like it nor act on it - so I'm probably wasting my typing skills, but ...) and that is you not jump down the throat of your colleagues before you know who they are, what they do, how well they do it, and whether your criticizing them will make them or you look bad. Despite our differences, I hope you complete each of your flights safely, avoiding all areas of "hot air," and that you enjoy the opportunity to do one of the most challenging and rewarding job functions on the planet.

Cheers.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 02:57
  #55 (permalink)  
 
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Heard of Route 2?
Nope
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 03:11
  #56 (permalink)  
 
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I am not criticizing your experience, which I have no possible way to evaluate or judge. What I am saying about your experience is I don't care!

This is a discussion forum, what counts here are what arguments and knowledge you present. Your post are longwinded, full of adjectives and small anecdotes that are irrelevant to the point. I didn't eat 5000 meals crossing the Atlantic (too young and also no desire), I don't waste my time doing lunch meetings. I became a pilot because I like flying, to which such activities are contra productive.

I do however, operate a 737-800 (as PIC if that matters to you, you seem very hung on status) into dark desolated (no MacDonalds to steer for) 1 runway-1 taxiway airports, surrounded by mountains on a regular basic. And occasionally do a circling at said airports (because the mountains do not allow to approach from either side). That I do according to the SOP of my company in a safe and efficient manner, as I am paid to do.

I don't say that to assert myself, but to explain the reason I felt I had something to contribute to this thread... What was your motivation, except for an opportunity to flash your, for your age quite (sorry) common CV?

You have what you want to believe in - and you feel it's safe and proper ... and apparently are not interested in taking a look at what you're describing from a somewhat different perspective.
If you take the time and look back in the thread, you will see that everyone here use the method I described (including US colleagues). That except for a few cheers to you from General Aviation pilots.

Face it, you are off track. And maybe it is time you review your perspective.

By the way, why aren't you out drinking beer? Colleague doesn't want to pay anyway? Time to throw the towel in the ring.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 03:31
  #57 (permalink)  
 
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If you take the time and look back in the thread..
Of curiosity took a look for you:

Times the downwind of circling approach:
Screwballs
Cosmo Kramer
Ollie Onion
RAT 5
Skyjob
737aviator
mcdhu
Kefuddle
Desert185 (Western USA)
B737900er (Florida)

Does not time:
Crossunder
777boeings ("Can't remember" where he is)
ZAZ (General Aviation)
You
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 03:40
  #58 (permalink)  
 
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Originally Posted by AirRabbit
OK cosmo - I understand you don't like what I say - fine. I sincerely hope that the attitude you apparently want to hang onto doesn't cost your friends and family a lot of heart ache. You have what you want to believe in - and you feel it's safe and proper ... and apparently are not interested in taking a look at what you're describing from a somewhat different perspective. Of course, that's your choice. Despite the fact that you can't seem to decide between criticizing my lack of professional experience and criticizing the fact that I have considerable experience ... and despite the lack of logic in doing so ... you're welcome to do both if you'd like. Oh, those "merits" you say I described - are merely facts - if you choose to elevate them to the status of some degree of "merit," I'll not stand in your way. Also, you should know that if you have a question to which you'd like an answer ... all you need to do is ask. NO, I don't expect that you will ... but the offer is genuine anyway. Additionally, I will make one recommendation (presuming, of course, you won't like it nor act on it - so I'm probably wasting my typing skills, but ...) and that is you not jump down the throat of your colleagues before you know who they are, what they do, how well they do it, and whether your criticizing them will make them or you look bad. Despite our differences, I hope you complete each of your flights safely, avoiding all areas of "hot air," and that you enjoy the opportunity to do one of the most challenging and rewarding job functions on the planet.

Cheers.
Rabbit, I have a suggestion for you: if you truly want to help us whippersnappers like you say you do (which I think is a bunch of hooey, but I digress), consider toning down on the patronizing, self-glorifying tone just a tiny bit (tinier than my paycheck even). I really think it would help.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 09:28
  #59 (permalink)  
 
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How does your company describe circling approaches?

We time as well.
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Old 10th Dec 2013, 11:24
  #60 (permalink)  
 
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Well, I take the time, I even time on a VNAV NPA.
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