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Guest Kefuddle

Circle to Land in IFR?

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Guest byoung

I was in the soup on ILS approach to 6L at PANC. ATC gave me a Circle to Land for runway 32 because of winds.How is this possible with IFR conditions? Because Circle to Land is basically a visual approach, correct?Barry

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Guest tdragger

In the real world, yes, but FS9's ATC doesn't have the benefit of human eyes. It could also be that it just isn't programmed to deny a CTL approach if the airport is below minimums.

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Would you have broken out of the soup at pattern altitude or circling minimums for the runway you were landing at?This is done in the real world. As an example-last year I flew to ktvc-where the winds were blowing from the south at 30+knts. The ils approach there is ils 28. There is no approach for runway 10-which with these wind conditions was really the only option to land on. No problem-the ceiling was above published circling minimums (1360 ft.)- I was cleared for the ils 27 circle to land 18. This was to get below the clouds, then land into the wind.If you look at the approach charts there are circling minimums at the bottom (NOS charts) where circling is applicable.http://mywebpages.comcast.net/geofa/pages/rxp-pilot.jpg


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Guest byoung

The visibility was less than two miles with fog.In my opionion, there was no way to do the CTL approach safely.Barry

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Guest byoung

I was flying the Flight One ATR 72, and there was no way to see the runway from where you enter left downwind for rwy 32. It was basically fogged in.. 2 Miles visibility might be kind..Barry

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Guest 737_Pilot

Circle to land is not a VFR traffic pattern, it's an instrument landing maneuver. With the ATR you would use cat. C circling mins of a mile and a half.You fly the ILS down to the circling MDA of 700' (548' above ground) level off and when you see runway 32 make a circling turn and land on it, staying at 700' until you need lower to land.http://forums.avsim.net/user_files/103961.gif

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Guest nattydread

When it comes to Circle-to-Land, you can enter to land how ever you like...it doesnt have to be left traffic for 32. If you have visibilty of the airport environment(I assume at 2 mi) you can make whatever manuver neccessary to land unless restricted by ATC or the published approach.You could even try over flying the airport and performing a left 270(I believe that would be a right turn of 270 deg...I always forget) That would allow you to have some seperation form the landing rwy's threshold...you dont have to turn nearly so tight. By the time you have turned to line up for the visual you'd have some time and distance to ease her in.

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Guest byoung

Thanks for the information. Very interesting. So circle to land can be an Instrument approach. Although should you be able to make a visual on runway 32? I would assume from 700 ft alt = 548 ft AGL you should be able to make a visual on the runway.Thanks!Barry

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Guest kickin_chicken

Wow! And I thought that the ATC controller was just sadistic! I guess I should have figured out what Circle to Land really means and how a real pilot would fly it. Thanks for that detailed instructional :) AVSIM .COM rules!

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Guest nattydread

I just had a Circle-to-Land Thursday at KMRY. I was doing the NDB 10R under the hood and was told to circle right traffic for 10R(ATC restriction because of landing traffic for 10L). I also went for a standard traffic pattern when my instructor told me I didnt have to do it that way. He told me, "...do a carrier landing!" Thats all I had to hear :0 I chopped the throttle, dumped flaps and did a steep turning descent, with a little slip to dump altitude when abeam the numbers. Boy that was fun, especially with KMRY being on a small plateau that really gives the runway a carrier like touch...come in to low and the smack the back side of the plateau.Granted this was in a C-172 and not an ATR...but you get the idea!

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Guest Peter Sidoli

BarryYou say that you had fog. "Often" Fog or poor visibility means low winds.Real world you have two options depending on the aircraft, the runway length and the allowable tailwind component.You would descend to the circle to land minima and if not visual execute a missed approach. If you decided that the tailwind component was suitable regarding runway length and the aircraft limitations you could decline the circle to land approach given by ATC.You would then request the ILS to land with a tailwind which I have done many times.Often airfields only have one runway with an ILS approach because of terrain on the approach to the other runway.Breaking off the ILS approach to take up a circle to land is itself fraught with hazards.Your eyes are accustomed to flying instruments and when visual it takes a short time to focus on visual cues.Especially if there is scud cloud around you can easely find yourself visual at circle to land heights but then find you loose the airfield again because the aircraft enters low scud cloud.The Pilot has to make the decision but one option is to land with a tailwind.Peter

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Guest Peter Sidoli

addendumWe were making an approach into an airfield in Portugal in a Citation Bravo.The winds were too strong and the runway too short to take a tailwind landing so we elected to take the circle to land approach.The initial approach was over the sea which was clear of low cloud and we could see over the land bits of scud cloud below below the circle to land height but well scattered enough to make a visual circuit.Across the back of the airfield was a line of hills/mountains and the visibility was poor hiding the more dense clouds late down wind.As we went downwind the more dense clouds came into view and we were now flying Visual off any sort of established approach.The danger is two fold. One the temptation to remain visual by going forever lower trying to get under the scud.The second is maintaining altitude and entering cloud hoping you will become visual again while flying a semi visual pattern.So do be aware of the dangers of circle to land approaches and the increase of low/slow stall situations or excessive banking while trying to keep contact with the ground in a pattern as well as the increased risk of CFIT accidents.Peter

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Guest byoung

As I recall, the wind velosity was 3 knots. So at 700 548 AGL feet I should have turned left downwind for runway 32. I guess I could have turned to heading 140.I don't think FS ATC allows you to change runways. I tried to change runways at PADQ, because the tail wind to do the approach was minimal and I prefer an approach over an ocean rather than the mountains :). But FS ATC just kept giving me the same approach clearance.If it is a multi runway airport, changing runways on the fly has an impact of the flow of traffic. Maybe FS ATC can't handle it.Can the FMC/GPS help with a circle to land approach when visability is not too good? Just to fall back on?Thanks!Barry

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Guest Peter Sidoli

>Can the FMC/GPS help with a circle to land approach when visability is not too good? Just to fall back on?

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