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circle to land

Pro Member Trainee
CP16 Trainee

Hi
I would like to know where can I learn to make a circle to land app, I search for tutorials but I never found...
Thanks

14 Responses

Pro Member Chief Captain
Alex (Fire_Emblem_Master) Chief Captain

Keep checking this post, there's a guy called Don Wood that posts as a guest, and he's a real pilot. His explanations are awesome!

Pro Member Chief Captain
Manuel Agustin Clausse (Agus0404) Chief Captain

Meanwhile you can take a look at this website.

http://stoenworks.com/Tutorials/Circle%20to%20land%20approach.html

Pro Member First Officer
jelami First Officer

Lesson 4 in the private pilot lessons talks about the traffic pattern, will that help you?

Pro Member First Officer
Jason (Av8r77) First Officer

I'll take a stab at this one.

CIRCLING APPROACH

• VISUAL FLIGHT MANEUVER
• USED TO ALIGN THE AIRCRAFT WITH THE LANDING RUNWAY
• CIRCLING MDA AND WX MINIMUMS USED ARE FOR THE RUNWAY TO WHICH THE APPROACH IS BEING FLOWN, NOT NECESSARILY THE RUNWAY OF INTENDED LANDING
• APPLIES ONLY TO NON-PRECISION APPROACHES
• CIRCLING IS NOT COMPATIBLE WITH PRECISION APPROACH PROCEDURES
• DO NOT PLAN TO CIRCLE FROM A PRECISION APPROACH
• CONTROLLER WILL SPECIFY THE DIRECTION OF THE CIRCLE WITH RESPECT TO THE RUNWAY OR THE AIRFIELD
• OBSTRUCTION CLEARANCE AREAS ARE DETERMINED BY AIRCRAFT CATEGORY
• AT MDA DETERMINE IF THE CEILING AND VISIBILITY ARE SUFFICIENT FOR THE CIRCLING APPROACH
• MDA IS THE MINIMUM ALTITUDE, A HIGHER ALTITUDE MAY BE MAINTAINED THROUGHOUT THE MANEUVER
• IF WX PERMITS, YOU MAY FLY THE CIRCLING APPROACH AT A HIGHER ALTITUDE THAN THE MDA UP TO VFR TRAFFIC PATTERN ALTITUDE
• MANEUVER TO KEEP AS MUCH OF THE AIRPORT ENVIRONMENT IN SIGHT AS POSSIBLE
• DESCEND BELOW CIRCLING MDA ONLY WHEN THE AIRCRAFT IS IN A POSITION TO INTERCEPT A NORMAL GLIDE PATH AND EXECUTE A NORMAL LANDING
• IF ANY DOUBT THAT THE AIRCRAFT CAN BE MANEUVERED TO THE LANDING RUNWAY EXECUTE A MISSED APPROACH
• MISSED APPROACHTURN TOWARDS THE RUNWAY AND EXECUTE THE MISSED APPROACH PROCEDURE FOR THE RUNWAY TO WHICH THE APPROACH WAS FLOWN

Don Wood Guest

Av8r77's comments are mostly correct, however, there is one error. Circle-to-land approaches can be, and often are, flown initially using precision approaches. Let's assume an airport with 2 runways, 09-27 and 01-19, and there is an ILS on runway 09 and only a circle-to-land approach to RW19. Let's also assume there is a 30 knot crosswind on RW 09 from the right. Flying my C-172, 30 knots is a much greater than acceptable crosswind for landing. So, I would request an ILS approach to RW09 to circle and land on RW19. If approved, once I am in VFR conditions on the ILS, I could then either maintain IFR and circle-to-land or I could cancel IFR and fly a pattern approach to RW19 as cleared by ATC.

As far as the original question, once you know how to make an IFR approach to any runway, there are only two things you need to understand to make a circle-to-land approach to another runway on the same airport. The first is how to make a VFR landing, which, presumably you already know before learning IFR procedures. Second is the minimum descent altitudes published for the runway you are going to land on. As the previous posts said, you must be in clear visual conditions at or above the MDA and be able to make the landing remaining in clear conditions or, when you reach the MDA, you must execute the published missed-approach procedure.

BTW, thanks for the kind words in the response to this post and in the post regarding whether guests should be allowed. I appreciate them.

Don Wood Guest

There is one other mis-statment in av8r77's comment which slipped by me on first reading. Circle-to-land approaches are instrument procedures, not visual flight manuevers. The circling portion must be done in visual conditions but there must be a circle-to-land instrument procedure published for the runway in question that contains the MDA for various classes of aircraft. In order to legally execute a circle-to-land approach, the pilot must be instrument rated and current and the aircrafft must be equipped and current for IFR.

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Okay, all the stuff above is fine and dandy BUT, what radius is this circle OR does "circling" mean to intercept and follow a normal airport pattern?

Pro Member First Officer
rob (Habu) First Officer

very nice answer, Don...Thnx!! rob

Pro Member First Officer
Jason (Av8r77) First Officer

Sorry about that. That's from a military regulation. I forgot to take those two points out.

Don Wood Guest

pdegraff: the "circle" part of circle-to-land is often a misnomer. Basically, all circle-to-land means is to fly an instrument approach to a runway until you are in VFR conditions and then manuever to land on a different runway at the same airport in accordance with the published procedure or with ATC instructions. Sometimes that results in flying an arc (part of a circle). Often it means flying some or all of a rectangular traffic pattern to the destination runway. It can sometimes mean overflying the airport to enter the mid-field downwind of the destination runway.

Guest

Thank you Mr. Wood! You have finally provided a full answer to a question that has been bothering me for some time.
The comment above was corect. You know your stuff!
😀

Pro Member Trainee
CP16 Trainee

THANKS!!!! 😀 😀

Pro Member First Officer
Pete (pdegraff) First Officer

Dear Mr. Wood,

That note in which I wrote that you know your stuff was not from a "Guest", it was from me, Pete De Graff, "Trainee" ('cept I'm older and more experienced than most of the kids here, all put together.... but not as smart.) *grin*

Thanks again! 😀

Don Wood Guest

You're welcome. I also have reached the "older but wiser" stage of life. I'm glad the information was useful.

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