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smokeyupahead

is circling the same as a pattern?

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What is the term "circling" refered to on a chart?Could someone please enlighten me on this subject?I noticed it comes with a MDA but I don't think it has anything to do with flying a traffic circuit.Thanks in advance,David

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David,if you are refering to for example an ILS approach with a visual breaking off followed by a visual circling to another runway (usually the opposite one) then yes it is the same as flying a circuit.If there is a procedure which demands a circling to for example the opposite runway then you'd just enter a visual downwind followed by base and final all visual. This is used if say there is only one runway with one ILS only and the weather is not sufficient for approaching the runway from the other side with no ILS. You'd then follow the ILS until the runway is in sight and then start flying into the downwind leg.Try it at some airports with appropriate weather settings, it is great fun flying those approaches with airliners!Markus

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Guest tmetzinger

>What is the term "circling" refered to on a chart?>Could someone please enlighten me on this subject?>I noticed it comes with a MDA but I don't think it has>anything to do with flying a traffic circuit.>>Thanks in advance,>>David>Not necessarily... a circle to land is an IFR procedure, and it does not have to conform to a standard traffic pattern (of course, if there are planes in the traffic pattern, you should join them), since in real IFR conditions there may not be airplanes in the pattern.You are expected to make normal manuevers (no 45 degree banks, please!) to align yourself with the preferred runway, and you are required to keep the airport in sight. Lose sight of the field and you're required to execute the missed approach.When used as intended, in instrument weather, circling approaches are probably the most difficult/dangerous procedures out there. Many operators forbid them during the day unless it's VFR, and nearly all carriers forbid them at night.

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Thanks guys, appreciate the help and I will try flying one altough I don't feel confident enough.How would atc vector the craft and at what point sould one leave the ils to circle?Do you know where I can obtain some in depth info on the subject?I'll post some more I there is a need, for now thanks a lot guys and have a good one.David

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Nice explanation Tim, are you working on your CFI?"When used as intended, in instrument weather, circling approaches are probably the most difficult/dangerous procedures out there. Many operators forbid them during the day unless it's VFR, and nearly all carriers forbid them at night."Always wondered why I haven't seen a lot of night Bus Jet traffic at KPWK. The airport only has approaches for the RWY16, so when the wind is from the north it explains why we are not seeing much commercial traffic.

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Guest rcarlson123

One example is the "Harbor Visual" approach at Boston Logan. The procedure starts as a normal ILS approach to runway 15R, with the approach controller vectoring the aircraft to intercept the 15R localizer as usual. Then, once established on the 15R localizer, the pilot is handed off to tower. Once the pilot reports the Tobin Bridge in sight, the tower will clear the aircraft for the visual transition to runway 4L. At that point, the aircraft is on a visual approach to runway 4L, and is directed to maintain visual separation with traffic arriving on 4R, if any. You could think of this visual transition as entering a left downwind for runway 4L. The Harbor Visual is flown by commuter turboprops, and is only done when the weather is suitable for the visual transition.

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Guest agentsmith

can anyone tell me just what to do during a circling approach? Everytime i leave downwind and enter the turn against the landing runway, i overshoot and miss the runway by great distances. It seems to me that you have to be on the perfect parallel distance to the runway on downvind in order off not overshooting when turning to the runway. I have asked many times before, bu no one seems to give me a good enough answer.Roar Nicolaisen

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David,ATC would vector you to the ILS normally. They then would ask you to report the runway in sight. If you report runway in sight they'd ask you to report when breaking off. Now the only thing missing is the landing clearance. Now when do you break off to the right/left? Normally it is indicated on the approach chart, but it also depends on the aircraft (weight/speed) and how wide your circuit is going to be. You have to make sure you don't overshoot while turning on final. The wider your circuit is going to be the earlier you have to break off into downwind.It surely needs some practice especially while using an airliner. Every airplane type has its own procedures for flying a circling approach. There are of course those pilots who fly a B747 with 250 kts into downwind and drop everything out before turning base :)Markus

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Guest A32X

Very interesting post, could someone please post an instrument approach plate for a "circling?" I don't think this procedure is very common in the UK. I could be wrong.Cheers,Paul

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Would it be correct to tell them I'm breaking off at MDA and continue to circle until alligned with runway or until a visual descent point is reached if there's any reference to that in the chart?Would I get landing clearence just prior to the VDP or most likely on base leg before turning in on final?Thanks for your help so far Markus, very much appreciated.David

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As far as ATC is concerned they don't care when precisely you break off, as long as you report it and find your way into downwind. Now when to expect the landing clearance? That is independent of the aircraft's position. It only depends on the aerodrome controller who basically would clear you to land as soon as the runway is free and it is reasonable to do so (it doesn't make sense to clear an aircraft to land while it is at the beginning of downwind because once the controller has done so he can't use the runway otherwise anymore, say for a crossing).Does this all make sense to you?Best regards,Markus

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Guest rcarlson123

Is that how it is in Switzerland Markus? In the US, the tower controller can clear an aircraft to land, and still use the runway for crossings, takeoffs, or even another landing before the aircraft that was just cleared to land gets there. It doesn't matter as long as category and wake turbulence separation standards are maintained at all times. The FAA calls it "anticipating separation" ... meaning, if the controller anticipates that the runway will be clear before the arrival crosses the landing threshold, then he can be cleared to land.Just last week I was cleared to use runway 1 at KBTV to taxi, even though another aircraft had already been cleared to land on runway 1. The tower controller did tell me to give him my best rate of taxi down the runway, though. :) I think I was taxiing at about 30-35 knots, in a C152. I think the arrival was on about a 5 mile final, and it was something slow like another cessna. (Runway 1 is quite short.)

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RossI think this is how it's done in Europe in general. It doesn't really make sense the way you say it works in the US. I would expect the runway to be clear when I get the landing clearance. This said you can get very late clearances.Maybe a real driver used to European airspace can chip in here to tell us how it works over there! ;-)Cheers,

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"It doesn't really make sense the way you say it works in the US."Whoa, quite a strong remark there, Mats.Anyway, even here in Europe you can get a landing clearance without the runway being clear! At least its allowed. (In Germany)During busy times it can be helpful, but it can also lead to confusion! Good procedures are everything!Takeoff clearances are something different, you'll never hear "behind landing aircraft cleared for takeoff behind". I'm not sure if this is allowed, but its definetely not recommended in Germany. (at the least)Regards,Mark

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Guest rcarlson123

Yeah, exactly ... you'll never hear conditional clearances, like "after arriving traffic, taxi into position and hold" or anything like that. But if the controller sees that the runway WILL be clear by the time an arrival reaches the threshold, he can clear it to land. The controller always has the option of cancelling a landing clearance if things don't go according to plan.Mats, here's the FAA docs if you're curious:http://www.faa.gov/ATPubs/ATC/index.htmChapters 3 and 5 have most of the separation stuff.

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Thanks for the links RossInteresting reading! ;-)And I didn't mean to sound as harsh as it turned out. ;-) I just think that these procedures would inject a degree of uncertainty into the final approach and landing phase. What happens if the aircraft that the controller is anticipating will leave the runway doesn't manage to do this within the time frame until the cleared aircraft reaches the treshold? To me it sounds like a better idea to give late clearances instead of giving a landing clearance that may or may not be reversed.Anyho. Just my two amateur cents! :-)Cheers,

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Guest rcarlson123

In that case, the landing clearance would be cancelled, and/or the aircraft would be told to go around, depending on how short of a final the arrival was on.Most likely, the tower controller wouldn't give a landing clearance if there was an aircraft holding short ready to takeoff, unless that aircraft had confirmed that he was ready for an immediate takeoff. I'm not sure about the real world, but on VATSIM, (at least where I control in the Boston area) controllers have a rule that you should never clear an aircraft to enter an active runway unless the pilot has stated that he is ready to roll at any time. This is for taxiing aircraft into position to hold, or departures, either one.It probably comes down to personal preference. I'm sure a lot of controllers just give a late landing clearance. I've often heard controllers tell arrivals to expect a late landing clearance. That's a good idea, since that way the pilot won't be wondering when they'll be cleared to land, or maybe if they were already cleared and forgot, etc. Each case is different, I'd imagine.

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Hi Ross,"you'll never hear conditional clearances, like "after arriving traffic, taxi into position and hold""Interesting! That actually DOES occur over here!Such as "behind landing B737 line up and wait rwy 25R behind"(you actually have to say behind twice!!)There was a near miss a few weeks ago in Munich because of this! An aircraft lined up before the landing aircraft actually landed.Regards,Mark

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Guest rcarlson123

Eeek ... that's scary. I think one of the reasons that's not done in the US is to guard against problems with radio reception. Like if part of the transmission got cut off or stepped on, then maybe the pilot would just hear the "taxi into position and hold" part and not the conditional part ... then you've got trouble. Maybe over there, they guard against such a thing by requiring a full pilot readback before he starts to taxi? Either way, kinda scary! :)

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They guard that by first saying "behind" as in"behind landing B737 line up and wait runway 26 behind"Who knows, maybe this will change here aswell after that incident.Mark

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Guest tmetzinger

>can anyone tell me just what to do during a circling>approach? Everytime i leave downwind and enter the turn>against the landing runway, i overshoot and miss the runway by>great distances. It seems to me that you have to be on the>perfect parallel distance to the runway on downvind in order>off not overshooting when turning to the runway. I have asked>many times before, bu no one seems to give me a good enough>answer.>>Roar Nicolaisen Practice, practice, practice, is the only real answer... Your experience shows why circling approaches in crappy weather aren't done that often.

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Just to add, I believe in the USA, if an Airline chooses not to do Circling Approach training in the simulator, then thier Circling Approach minimums are set at 1000'AGL and 3 miles Visibility for all circling approaches.Floyd

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Ross,As I've learned the European way of doing air traffic control I do find the "American way" somewhat strange sometimes :)For me it doesn't make sense at all to clear an aircraft to land when you still use the runway for other things like crossings and so on because it is just not clear to land if the runway is still blocked. Of course there is that nice anticipated separation, but one has to be very careful using it...One thing where anticipated seperation is being used commonly is a landing traffic behind a landing traffic if the preceeding aircraft is say mid runway or about to vacate, but then you should tell the pilot "B737 mid runway, wind...". That's the European way :)Oh and yes "behind the Boeing 747 on final line up runway xx and wait behind" is used very often here, you just have to listen to the readback to hear if the pilots says something about "behind", then its ok :)But yes there is a BIG difference between Europe and the US in ATC matters. One of those big differences is that here in Europe we normally have the far more modern equipment to work with then in the US...Ok we're way off-topic here, but hey, the PMDG-Forum is just the best place to discuss with nice people :)Markus

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Guest rcarlson123

>One thing where anticipated seperation is being used commonly>is a landing traffic behind a landing traffic if the>preceeding aircraft is say mid runway or about to vacate, but>then you should tell the pilot "B737 mid runway, wind...". >That's the European way :)That's the US way as well, we'll always point out the traffic, and indicate the number in sequence. Last week I was cleared to land behind a commuter prop on runway 33 at KBTV ... the clearanace was something like "Cessna 434, winds 010 at 8, runway 33, cleared to land, number two behind a dash-8 on 2 mile final" ... I was still entering a downwind, so the dash-8 was down, clear and probably parked and shutdown by the time I landed. :-lol

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