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Guest Mr Chips

How did final become finals?

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The subject line about says it all. Why do we suddenly see the word finals describing the final approach phase of a flight? To me, final is the shortened form of final approach and finals is the shortened form of final exams.I've noticed it more and more in these forum and then today on AVSIM's front page. If finals is the abreviation, then should we call the last leg of the landing pattern finals approach or is it final approaches? Do you RW pilots see the phrase, "turning finals," or "on finals," in AOPA or similar publications or is it a sim thing?R-

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I hadn't noticed the use of the plural form of the word final, probably because I was too busy lamenting the fact that "minimums" has become common usage instead of "minima."Oh well ...

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I hear finals all the time but it isn't in the pilot/controller glossary as an approved word. However minima is.

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When an airport has parallel runways, I have heard controllers use the term "finals" as in:"helicopter 123, turn south now and cross the 27 right and 27 left finals."As for the word "minimums," it appears repeatedly in 14 CFR 91.175(f).In the Pilot/Controller Glossary, there is indeed an entry for minima, but it refers the reader to "Minimums."The "INOP Components" section of the FAA terminal procedures front matter uses both terms:TERPs also seems to use both terms interchangably:Sad, but true ...

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The UK Radio Telephony Manual (CAP 413) uses the word final throughout. Finals doesn't appear at all.It also uses minima and never minimums.

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I can't say that I've heard a controller ever use 'finals' as in, " I've got a 757 on finals ". I'll keep a closer ear for it from now though and if I ever do hear it I'll be sure to ask, "just how many 'finals' does a 757 need?":-) John M

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May i ask what does minimums mean i hear it sometimes when im just about to land and i dont know what its on about

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Never heard a r/w pilot or controller use "finals". Only in the FS world, and usually people for whom English is not their first language. We know what they mean, though. ;)

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sloppy and loose use of the word is all. You won't see official support for calling in your altitude as:"Chicago Center, November One Two Three Four, with you 5.7 for 12"the official phraseology - http://www.faa.gov/airports_airtraffic/air...p4/aim0402.htmlcalls for:"Chicago Center, November One Two Three Four, with you at fife thousand seven hundred for one two thousand"Some argue that the standard radio transmission phraseology is not brief enough and that frequency congestion is minimized with abbreviations like "finals" over "final approach."In the end, if you are sufficiently "aviating, navigating and communicating," you won't catch much grief from a controller.But don't take my word for it, I haven't been in the left seat since 1999 and I merely hold a PPL.

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minumums refers to the visibility being at minimums on an instrument approach

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Back in the 1980's when KIAD wasn't as busy as it is now, we were on a dead leg charter from KSAV flying VFR. It was my leg to fly and the captain ( a 25,000+ hour retired airline jock ) was working the radios. We tuned to ATIS and they were broadcasting information 'Whiskey'. As we approached KIAD the captain said, "let's have some fun". We had been monitoring the tower for about 10 minutes and had heard absolutely no traffic on the frequency, as was usually the case after midnight back then.His communication to the tower went something like this, "Dulles tower, this is Nxxx, type Cessna 340, 15 miles south to land and I'VE GOT WHISKEY!!!"After a moment of silence the controller played right along, "Nxxx roger, and if you'll fly through one of those clouds up there and pick up some ice I'll clear you to the VASI "lightbar" for runway 1R........report runway insight."The reason I remembered that was because of what you wrote, "aviating,navigating and communicating". This captain's favorite thing to tell a co-pilot that was not flying to his expectations was, "If you ain't gon'na aviate or navigate get on the G^%d$#m radio and at least try to communicate."Thanks for bringing back some pleasant memories.John M

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"finals" and "short finals" is RAF phraseology in the UK. Civil phraseology is simply "final" (singular and not "short").

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