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Slick9

Visual approches vs. Instrument approcaches...

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Hi all,I just wanted to clear a few things up that have been confusing me.If I fly a 747 in to KORD and ATC vectors me to intercept the ILS for RNWY 09R and I hand fly the whole way in and land - this would be considered an instrument approach right? To fly the same approach as a visual approach I would have to use some other NAV means other than the ILS to get close enough to the airport where I could actually see the runway and then land with out using the ILS. I guess my question is this, what exactly qualifies as a visual approach? I just realized last night that as long as I've been simming and as much as I think I know about flying I don't really understand what a visual approach is. Thnx for the help!!

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http://www.faa.gov/library/manuals/aviation/pilot_handbook/ is a link to the FAA's general pilot handbook of aeronautical knowledge.http://stoenworks.com/Aviation%20home%20page.html is a guide to a former CFI's tutorial site. Look at:http://stoenworks.com/VFR%20flight.htmlthe chart. Another FAA manual in a reference format is:http://www.faa.gov/air_traffic/publications/ATpubs/AIM/with reference to airport terminal control.VFR means you will be clear of clouds, a specified ceiling (broken clouds or more dense stated AGL) minimum, and runway visibility throughout the traffic pattern. In a Class B designated airport these requirements must be met to get into the VFR pattern in addition to following the approach controller's commands. Where there is not an approach control but just a tower operator you report about three miles out and you'll be given an instruction how to enter the traffic pattern reporting as you enter each phase of the pattern.Where there is no tower controller (or out of tower operatiing hours) you enter the pattern advising before each step on the Common Traffic Advisory Frequency (which you should be monitoring before you reach the airport for situational awareness) when you will enter each phase. There is usually available for especially non-Class B airports in the airport facilties directory runway information, communications information, and whether there is a right or left (standard) traffic pattern in force. These patterns are essentially in effect at most airports regardless of classification and you'll be guided by ATC or receive merging instructions where available into these patterns.The FAA airport facility directory link is here:http://naco.faa.gov/index.asp?xml=naco/online/d_afdLeft hand pattern is standard but right hand may be used to facilitate obstacle clearance or avoid traffic from nearby airports. At some airports with near parallel or parallel runways each one of the pair may have an opposing pattern to allow simultaneous operations.You can also use AFCAD looking at runway properties to see which direction pattern is in use.Even at large airports visual approaches can be requested because they are usually shorter in leg length than a full IFR approach saving time and fuel. It is the primary responsibility of the pilot to maintain separation from traffic and obstacles with tower still issuing commands and notifying tower if their is a conflict or if you will enter IFR conditions in which case you and the aircraft must be IFR qualified.Traffic patterns are described here:http://www.stoenworks.com/Tutorials/How%20...0airplanes.htmlThe FS learning center may have more on this. I think the pattern VFR requirements are one nm visibility and 1,000 AGL ceiling in the medium to smaller airports.Hope this is not confusing but I wanted to mention the main overview if VFR navigation in the airport areas.

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HiIf you have the equipment on board then why not use it? If I am offered a visual approach on Vatsim I will still back it up with the ILS if available and any raw data navigation. It's the same in the real world.This doesn't mean you cant switch of the Flight director and hand fly, you still have a backup. Flying a visual approach has nothing to do with using the ILS or not.http://www.aviationchatter.com/2009/03/vis...-up-by-the-ils/http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Instrument_approach

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thnx for the detailed answer Ronzie, very much appreciated. rejprest - I hand fly from 5000 feet down to the end of the runway now, but I do leave the flight director on. The point I was missing though was I was mistakenly associating visual approaches with ILS use, as you pointed out, to ILS or not ILS is not relevant for visual approaches. Thnx for all the help guys!!!

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I guess my question is this, what exactly qualifies as a visual approach? I just realized last night that as long as I've been simming and as much as I think I know about flying I don't really understand what a visual approach is. Thnx for the help!!
My understanding:A visual approach is an approach clearance conducted by a flight under IFR. To accept a visual approach, the pilot must have the airport and traffic it is following in sight, and the weather at the airport must meet visual minimums. Upon accepting the visual approach the pilot has responsibility of maintaining visual separation with preceding aircraft and aligning/descending as required for a landing at the designated runway. There is no missed approach procedure, and in the event of a missed approach ATC must provide guidance to the aircraft.I guess it must be understood that there could also be traffic under VFR in the traffic pattern.scott s..

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