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Captain

Stopping at Runway Holding Position Markings

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Guest TOSGcentral

There are a number of reasons -

 

1. The pilot thinks you only have to land into wind if there is a significant amount of wind and thus exercises pilot in commands right to fly his/her aircraft as they see fit.

 

2. Pilots make assumptions and do not make sensible observations. At Watts we consistently have GA aircraft landing downwind in conflict with established circuit directions by ultralights. The reason for this is a lot of the traffic comes up from the south and east with a tailwind in the prevailing S.E winds. BUT (and particularly early morning) we have a reversed surface wind caused by local pressure changes from the large lakes that we have nearby.

 

3. To my direct observation over decades, the main reason is one of pure personal convenience! A runway is selected that will provide the maximum convenience and the minimum taxiing - simple as that!

 

 

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Other than an emergency, or training for a circuit engine failure, when there will be radio traffic, is there a reason for the downwind landings?

I have mentioned this previously on another thread, but at Wagga the RPT's will land after a straight-in approach with up to about 15 knots of tailwind, and often shortly after one another on the reciprocal runway, just (I assume) to save them fuel by landing in the direction from whence they came. The Melbourne RPTs will land on 05 and depart on 23, while the Sydney flights will land 23 & depart 05 unless there is almost a gale blowing. While that may be overstating it a little, they will certainly land downwind in conditions where GA & RAA have all established & accepted a designated runway.

 

Knowing that certainly encouragas you to look both ways and keep out a good listening watch too.

 

 

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Yes. I'm the victim of learning the basics at Moorabbin

 

Any fuel saving RPT there would have half a dozen students and getoutamywaybarons up his nose.

 

Tooradin taught me to look at a wind sock.

 

Hadn't thought about the RPT's and wayward ultra ultralights

 

 

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Isn't it funny, whenever we talk about downwind landings, evryone sights RPT as the norm... Well im afraid poor airmanship is poor airmanship, regardless of what your flying.. Ga don't land downwind (mostly), RAA definatly shouldn't, Heavies don't do it, and they have more to loose when taxiing long distance... so why is it just accpepted that RPT can do what they like??... its not so much the IAS Vs groundspeed issue that concerns me, its traffic patterns, where people will be looking, flying in the cct etc....

 

Anyone could come up with a hundred reasons why it would be easier or simpler, quicker, etc to ignore the fundementals and exhibit poor airmanship, but when it comes down to it, isn't that the whole point of good practises??.. doing it, even if it is the longer way around??...

 

(soap box back in the corner)

 

 

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The legal situation would be interesting if an RPT, or any other aircraft on a downwind lading collided with another aircraft going about its lawful business, and best practice comes in to the argument - probably one broke RPT.

 

 

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I much prefer it when REX makes a straight in approach (as is the usual practice at my airport). Since the local custom at our airfield is to give way to REX, a straight in approach seems to be the least troublesome solution, and to me a lot more comfortable and even pleasurable to vacate the circuit area (always happy for an excuse to spend another 4 or 5 minutes in the air). Once REX makes its 10 mile inbound call, and states its intention to make a straight in approach it becomes quite an easy matter to stay clear of the main runway alignment for 4 or 5 minutes. I would much rather be in this situation than to be in a circuit with a much faster aircraft doing a much larger circuit.

 

 

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You're aware of the local custom at your local airport, but a touring pilot is looking at the ERSA, and if, like my early history, he was accustomed to all aircraft using the duty runway, then there can be blood on the concrete.

 

You make a good point about parallel circuits, but from another perspective it's much much safer if everyone is doing the same thing than it is if eveyone is a little uncertain of what's going to happen next.

 

It's interesting that the Victorian Boat Operator's licence book goes into a lot more detail on where each boat should be placed, and they also go to the extent of differentiating for heavy ships which can't change course and can't slow down as easily.

 

 

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To make it a bit clearer, the custom is our custom not the RPT pilots custom, they don't assert the right of way, we give it to them. This is usually met with gratitude, even a "thanks Gazelle *** after they have departed. I would certainly assert my right of way if I needed to.

 

 

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Isn't it funny, whenever we talk about downwind landings, evryone sights RPT as the norm... Well im afraid poor airmanship is poor airmanship, regardless of what your flying..

I guess that you must be referring to my post # 28 there Merv.

 

If so, I want to clarify that I was not sighting RPT practice as the "norm" or as some measure of acceptability.

 

I was advising what they do as a "fact" ... here where I fly.

 

Because of that "fact", you need to look up the long final line (both upwind and down) before turning off left base onto final.

 

I, for one, will not force right-of-way and take on a Dash 8 or a Saab that is on a long final if I am in the circuit.

 

The point Octave makes is valid too. When they call 10 miles straight in, it doesn't take them long to be on the ground, so I just bugger off for a minute or 2, they normally acknowledge it gracefully, everyone is happy, RAA aircraft are being well regarded and all is right with the world WHEN YOU KNOW THE PRACTICES.

 

But as Turbo says, a visitor can get into trouble with such practices even when on the right frequency. If they happen to be on the wrong frequency it is a prescription for a disaster.

 

 

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When I say "I would assert my right of way if I needed to " I mean for safety reasons. I don't have a problem with RPTs making straight in approaches as londg as it is safe. I think my airport is only safe from being sold off as long as REX finds it financially viable to run a scheduled service. A circuit at each stop would be costly. I was always taught when entering the runway to check upwind and downwind, likewise when turning final to check for aircraft landing downwind .

 

 

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Bad airmanship, landing downwind, except where slope dictates otherwise.

 

If you are using radio you have to conform to the established circuit and cannot push in on a straight in approach legally. I would suggest that if RPT traffic is not doing the right thing a word with their head office would soon solve the problem. It has been done before as reported in these forums.

 

 

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Captain, i wasn't referring to your post specifically. Its been around the block before on these forums, and it always ends up with the RPT line..

 

Ya see, alot of these operations are only into ctaf's, not ctaf R's. So Common sence would dictate an overfly and a propper join wouldn't it??..Also as others have said, radio frequencys are easily botched, even by experianced RPT crews, believe me, it happens...So all we have left is the good old see and be seen, and a big part of that is being in the right place at the right time...

 

cheers

 

 

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But as Turbo says, a visitor can get into trouble with such practices even when on the right frequency. If they happen to be on the wrong frequency it is a prescription for a disaster.

The Jab in mention of my post, obviously was a visiting one, passing through....

 

By the way... it did have an unusual call sign, which bamboosled all at the airfield...:confused:

 

It was a letter with numbers, didn't actually see it written on the aircraft, but heard it on the radio... so was interesting to say the least...

 

Straight in approaches, circuit approaches.... doesn't really change the way you look on finals... Like, I was on a rather late final when he pulled out, so was certainly in a visible position...

 

 

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Octave, I note you're not acknowledging the touring aircraft which comes on this local departure from procedures unawares.

 

He and the RPT are likely to be the ones involved in the multiple fatal accident.

 

If, and this is purely hypothetical the Coroner was to say "it had been the practice at this airport for local pilots to depart from established procedure and vacate the circuit, which led to the RPT flights adopting a straight in approach" or similar, you move up the ladder to primary defendant.

 

I understand what your motive is and that no one is being inconvenienced within the local group, but you are at a similar risk to a factory which leaves a guard off a machine. Everyone knows what to do except the new guy who gets his fingers cut off.

 

 

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Yep, id hafta agree.. Theres a thread i started a while ago called "air rage from rex captain".. check it out... Basically this guy (rex saab) came in the wrong frequency (the PAL Freq) and i lost contact with him.. I didn't get a visual on him either, so i resorted to what i knew, which was, 'where is the dead side', i thought if i get myself there, i should be clear of him...BIG mistake, he was setting up to circuit on the DOWNWIND runway to land towards the terminal... That put us both on the same side of the aerodrome with different intentions.. It turned out he had me on TcAS and manouvered around me (quite close i might add).. But im sure you can smell what im cooking..Its just my opionion but i think the biggest threat to safety in AUS at the moment is exactly what we are talking about.. RPT's at small ctaf's, and light aircraft mixing it up... Because we obviously aren't on the same page....

 

 

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If, and this is purely hypothetical the Coroner was to say "it had been the practice at this airport for local pilots to depart from established procedure and vacate the circuit, which led to the RPT flights adopting a straight in approach" or similar, you move up the ladder to primary defendant.

I understand what your motive is and that no one is being inconvenienced within the local group, but you are at a similar risk to a factory which leaves a guard off a machine. Everyone knows what to do except the new guy who gets his fingers cut off.

That's an interesting take on the issue Tubb.

 

I haven't thought of it that way before. Need to cogitate a but & get back to you.

 

So just 3 more little points to assist my cog:

 

1 It is clear, is it not, that an aircraft in the circuit has right of way over one on a straight in approach .... no matter what their relative sizes.

 

But as I understand it, there is no compulsion on a pilot in such a circuit to enforce his right of way ... or is there?

 

2 If a pilot of an RPT is landing downwind but within the Manual listed capabilities of his aircraft, is that really bad airmanship?

 

3 Where is there a stated compulsion that an arriving aircraft must conform with an established runway in use to best suit say RAA aircraft at a ctaf if a pilot of an RPT is landing as in Item 2?

 

Regards Geoff

 

 

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Good questions, I am going the following.

 

It was what I was taught by 3 different instructors at my airfield

 

also the following -

 

From RAAUS

 

2.4 Non-standard circuits

 

Special procedures for joining on final apply at CTAF® aerodromes only, where the carriage and use of VHF radio, confirmed to be functioning on the CTAF, is mandatory for all aircraft — including ultralights — operating within the vicinity. Aircraft joining for a straight-in approach must be established on the straight-in approach heading by five nautical miles from the airfield and broadcast that fact; in addition, the aircraft's landing lights and anti-collision lights must be switched on. The straight-in approach option is available to any aircraft operating at a CTAF® aerodrome, but should only be utilised by aircraft whose approach speed is much higher than the norm; e.g. RPT aircraft. An aircraft on a straight-in approach must give way to aircraft already reported established on base or final approach. The straight-in approach is often made on the longest runway, not necessarily the into-wind runway.

 

and also from CASA Operations at Non-Towered Aerodromes

 

Many pilots operating VFR

 

automatically give priority to air

 

transport IFR and larger types

 

of aircraft but this is a matter

 

of courtesy only. There are

 

no rules that grant IFR aircraft

 

priority over VFR aircraft at

 

non-towered aerodromes.

 

So it is aknowledeged that we can give way to larger faster aircraft. Apart from this I don't really feel safe turning onto final knowing that there is a SAAB turning base I would prefer it where I can see it.

 

Just my humble opinion

 

 

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Regulations 166 and 167

 

substitute

 

166 Operating in vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome

 

(2) The pilot in command of an aircraft that is being operated in

 

the vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome must:

 

(a) maintain a look-out for other aerodrome traffic to avoid

 

collision; and

 

(b) ensure that the aircraft does not cause a danger to other

 

aircraft in the vicinity of the aerodrome; and

 

© conform with, or avoid, the circuit pattern;

 

(iii) in any other case - make all turns to the left; and

 

(f) to the extent practicable, land and take off into the wind;

 

Thats where its written, in the rules........

 

Seems pretty straight forward to me...

 

 

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Captain:

 

1. I've told the story of the US Jumbo pilot at Kingsford Smith who was told to do a go round for a slower twin and complained about the cost to his company, and was then told to make a $16,000 go round. That's what they do there.

 

However, I don't think we are talking about anyone enforcing their rights - more that in spite of good intentions a collision could occur because the aircraft were not where they were expected.

 

2. I've read a lot of fatal accident reports where the cause was downwind. The manual might say the landing distance is X, but that is if you are up to a spot landing and don't float due to the unusual behaviour compared to upwind landings.

 

3 You eventually had to catch me didn't you. In my opinion, if the RPT was there first and was the only aircraft, then that was the duty runway until the second aircraft and any newcomers decided to change it to upwind.

 

 

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Yep there it is in the rules, as far as practible, and also at, not necessarily into wind.

 

It is a well known and sanctioned occurrence the world over, do the nay sayers really believe that large and small operators and CASA would condone it through its inclusion in Ops Manuals and SOP’s if it were poor airmanship.

 

In the course of my professional flying from Ag to Multi Turbine I have used straight in downwind landings on numerous occasions for no other reason than to give the likes of you guys more space in the circuit. On other occasions it has simply been a no conflict expedient manner to operate the aircraft.

 

So what is it that those against the concept believe constitutes “poor airmanship”?

 

If a downwind landing makes you uncomfortable, then don’t do it. If others doing downwind landings makes you uncomfortable then build in steps and processes to your routine to mitigate it. If that is to hard take up boating.

 

Having said all that landing into wind is better, but sometimes for various reasons it is more practicle to land downwind.

 

 

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Regulations 166 and 167.....

substitute

 

166 Operating in vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome

 

(2) The pilot in command of an aircraft that is being operated in

 

the vicinity of a non-controlled aerodrome must:

 

(a) maintain a look-out for other aerodrome traffic to avoid

 

collision; and

 

(b) ensure that the aircraft does not cause a danger to other

 

aircraft in the vicinity of the aerodrome; and

 

© conform with, or avoid, the circuit pattern;

 

(iii) in any other case - make all turns to the left; and

 

(f) to the extent practicable, land and take off into the wind;

 

Thats where its written, in the rules........

 

Seems pretty straight forward to me...

And with particular attention given to Reg 166 sub reg 2(d) which refers to Reg 166 sub reg 3 which is also in the rules....040_nerd.gif.a6a4f823734c8b20ed33654968aaa347.gif, the RPT calls up 30 miles out and reports positioning for a straight in. The approach fix being ten miles from, and usually straight in line with the runway.

 

Bewdy! The long back thing with lines on it (LBTWLOI) points straight at where the RPT is, or is about be. :thumb_up:

 

OK, change of plans. RPT is now going to fly a three leg circuit instead.:raise_eyebrow:

 

So, how far from the LBTWLOI is 'their' version of downwind and base? i_dunno

 

Tomo, did you have a chance to acknowledge the Jab's taxi call and give your position before he entered the RWS?

 

 

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So, Captain, we appear to have drifted on to a second but equally interesting subject.

 

Have we cleared things up for you?

 

 

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So, Captain, we appear to have drifted on to a second but equally interesting subject.

Have we cleared things up for you?

Tubb

 

It's been interesting and like the kids in SouthPark "I've learnt something today".

 

And if I can be so crass as to go back to my initial question (sorry about that) I would add that with the REX Pilot School starting operations here recently, the grass strip is getting much more use for crosswind landings, so I'll be stopping at those holding position markings on the taxiway every time for a good squizz, then calling as crossing.

 

I can't recall ever having seen a GA aircraft stop there, though. Have you Steve?

 

But don't let the above 2 paras stop the debate on downwind stuff too as Ahlow makes a good point about knowing better where they are when they call straight in, as long as your hear the call for the reasons discussed.

 

Maybe one further question ..... if an aircraft is backtracking on the main sealed runway, it should also look/stop/call when crossing the grass strip if there are aircraft in the circuit, should it not? Have never seen that happen either.

 

Regards & thanks to all who have contributed.

 

Geoff

 

PS Maybe it's just a matter of always taking the safest option even when you have right of way.

 

Defensive flying, maybe?

 

It's perhaps a bit like Rio de Janiero when I worked there in the late '80's. The locals prided themselves on their free spirits and that was demonstarted by not stopping at red traffic lights, where many would head on thru with the Samba music blaring out. After being there for a while I found myself always backing off at green traffic lights as you were almost certain that someone would try to run the red.

 

 

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PS Maybe it's just a matter of always taking the safest option even when you have right of way.

Yeah... That's what I reckon:thumb_up:

 

 

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