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Guest venquessa

Awful day at heathrow (virtual)

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I flew from Belfast City to Heathrow, simulating a BMI flight, 17:45 departure, 18:45 arrival. Using the standard routings from ais.org.uk.Arriving over liverpool I checked the weather in Heathrow and it was, overcast, low cloud, patchy rain, very low visibility. So I thought I would simulate a bad day at heathrow, crap vis and lots of go arounds/missed approaches, meaning queues and holding. I decided to fly once around every hold! HON, WCO, BNN holds.When it was my turn to approach, using real weather it was raining like hell and I couldn't see the runway when below 600ft less than a mile, so it was my turn to go missed, out to EPSCOM and hold.I vectored out of the hold and this time the weather had lifted, no rain and I could see the runway from 1200ft, lovely approach and autoland.The fuel planner didn't do too bad a job, in that I was 25 minutes late, but still had fuel (about 2900lbs) on board. Even with braking for holds and accelerating out of them again to keep flight time down.I wonder if I had of made a second missed due to weather, would I have made a quick -jump to the front of the queue "I'm on fumes"- for Gatwick or Luton. I suspect I would have, but... it would have been under the minimum landing fuel, but aint that what it's for? Bad days when everything stinks and nothing goes to plan.Anyway, I'll stop boring you now.

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Im sure if the weather was that bad they would have flown the ILS for an autoland and that would be the end of it. Thats what CATIII is there for right?Ross

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Probably but when I approached I didn't know vis was going to be that bad, I think my approach coincided with a squal and rain cloud over the field. IRL they probably would have been given more up to date info on the weather and made the decision to do a CATIII from the start, but it could also happen that they weren't operating in CATII on approach and had to go around anyway.I'm not sure about procedures here, but do pilots assume the worse and set up for a CATII anyway, or can they decide to go CATII at any point during the approach. I supose if you are already on A/P, A/T from 5 miles out, there isn't much more to do for a CATIII.In my case, the dogleg to incercept the ILS brought me in too close to the field and the A/P was chasing the glideslope down to about 3 miles out, plus I was fast and still deceling and dropping the last notch of flaps out at just over 1000ft. So I wasn't sure enough that the A/P had everthing settled enough to justify landing on a runway I still couldn't see! I only seen the runway after hitting TOGA, when I was near enough right over it!

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