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BirdDog

Ignoring the circuit

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13 hours ago, BirdDog said:

Yeah these guys joined a right base (well not even base really)  when the circuit is definitely left, and not a radio call between them.  Both - GA aircraft. 

 

On other occasions there’s a guy that flies straight down the runway at circuit height and then gets off the end and pulls nose up and almost hammer head turns to come back and land.  Again - GA.  

 

its surprised me as I’ve never seen stuff like this before at other ADs.  

 

And I’m certainly not wanting to be a trouble maker, and stir the pot - was just curious. 

Do note however that on IMC days at ADs with instrument approaches, IFR pilots can basically break off their approach once they're in the circling area in order to manoeuvre as they see fit to land. This will not happen if you have VFR traffic because IFR pilots will be joining a regular circuits. During a circling approach however, no restriction is imposed on how the pilot lines up the aircraft with the runway. The circling altitude will probably be below standard circuit altitude. For instance, the NDB-A approach at Latrobe Valley has a minimum descent height of 800 ft.

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 If you are on notification and have put in a plan you head to intercept track inside 5 miles and adjust for the distance for a departure time.   Nev

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12 hours ago, Okihara said:

Absolutely agree with you!

It’s easier to do this now with all the electronic gear available but was quite important when flying clock and compass into the great unknown

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On 06/08/2019 at 7:46 AM, derekliston said:

What airfield? I’d like to avoid it like the plague!

 

Hmm... please don't judge me, but I am not wanting to start singling people out.  Aviation is a small community, and I don't want to get labelled as a trouble maker.  I asked these questions as I was truly curious as to how much of this goes on.  Was it common practice.  Stupid Practice. Rare, or otherwise.

 

It certainly makes me nervous when I myself am using that airfield.   Just again last week... I had just landed and was taxiing back when I say another GA plane ready to enter the runway.  No taxi calls etc. As I taxied, I made a bet with my Pax that there would be no radio call.  Sure as sh%t he turned on to the runway and blasted off in complete silence.

There are no landing fees here either - so it has me baffled at the amount of radio silence.

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21 hours ago, Jabiru7252 said:

If you join on the dead side at 1500 you may conflict with traffic departing overhead. I was taught to join on the dead side at circuit height. 

Traffic departing overhead should be at least 500’ above circuit height and traffic arriving crosswind should be at circuit height

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2 minutes ago, kaz3g said:

Traffic departing overhead should be at least 500’ above circuit height and traffic arriving crosswind should be at circuit height

Yep!  I was always taught to overfly above CTC height, spot the windsock, loop back and descend on dead side.  Let everyone know what you are doing, and then join a midfield X-wind at CTC height!

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 I would suggest that departing overhead be not done. There's no need for it and it might be considered a "congested'  trafifc area. Better to get out of the circuit at the quickest opportunity. Be where others aren't. Avoid likely  descent tracks of  RPT . Don't transit training areas  Clear your nose regularly when climbing and look carefully for other traffic.

     I don't know what's going on about  (SOME) GA planes not using radio. Your lookout has to be supplemented by appropriate use of radio if your aim is Max safety.  Descending on another plane is a risk  so be alert to that possibility and avoid situations where it might happen  LOOK to your right when approaching turn to final point for straight in traffic  or midfield  downwind join . If people use the correct circuit directions your lookouts are simplified  considerably.  Nev

Edited by facthunter
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On 06/08/2019 at 4:49 AM, Thruster88 said:

I will make straight  in approach or base join whenever possible. AWIS allows the wind to be known and we have radios.

Others that do this are, every ag pilot(often with a tail wind), the freight plane, Rex and Qantas link, the flying school and others.

The less time I can spend in the circuit the better, it is a dangerous place.    

My understanding of the rules is that straight-in landings are legal but discouraged. That means that the best thing to do would be to join downwind, from the active side of the dead side. Disclaimer: 35 hrs total time. 

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1 hour ago, BirdDog said:

 

Hmm... please don't judge me, but I am not wanting to start singling people out.  Aviation is a small community, and I don't want to get labelled as a trouble maker.  I asked these questions as I was truly curious as to how much of this goes on.  Was it common practice.  Stupid Practice. Rare, or otherwise.

 

It certainly makes me nervous when I myself am using that airfield.   Just again last week... I had just landed and was taxiing back when I say another GA plane ready to enter the runway.  No taxi calls etc. As I taxied, I made a bet with my Pax that there would be no radio call.  Sure as sh%t he turned on to the runway and blasted off in complete silence.

There are no landing fees here either - so it has me baffled at the amount of radio silence.

AOPA says that the hazardous attitudes are being antiauthority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho and resignation. They said that resignation was when someone does not do something because it feels too hard and/or one is exhausted. The writer used the example of being impaired because he felt airsick and using the wrong runway. 

 

I, myself, think that 'agreeableness' would be just as good a word as 'resignation'. To be completely frank, not speaking up to the pilot and CASA are examples of resignation. It is letting a dangerous situation persist because speaking up is difficult and conflict is unpleasant. 

 

A while ago I was doing circuits and was on downwind when a low-wing glider tug entered the same downwind a little above me and a little in front of me. (By "a little", I mean about two meters in front of me and 20 m above/to the right.) Towing a tow rope! I told CASA. I told the gliding club, who seem to be taking it seriously. Sure, I feel a bit of shame at dobbing, and a bit anxious that I have cut my own throat, but duty is duty. F---- that! Furthermore, I radioed the tug to say that he was above me on downwind and he did not even reply!

Edited by APenNameAndThatA
Edit: clarified "a little"

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6 minutes ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

AOPA says that the hazardous attitudes are being antiauthority, impulsivity, invulnerability, macho and resignation. .......

To be completely frank, not speaking up to the pilot and CASA are examples of resignation. It is letting a dangerous situation persist because speaking up is difficult and conflict is unpleasant. 

Those hazardous attitudes are from the USA FAA who always seem clearer to me than what comes out of CASA. I always recommend that pilots read their Handbook of Aeronautical Knowledge https://www.faa.gov/regulations_policies/handbooks_manuals/aviation/phak/media/04_phak_ch2.pdf

 

One of my friends was criticised by a coroner for not reporting - he said that he had counselled the pilot previously, nope he simply should've reported him as it probably would've saved his young passenger.

 

I've used this ATSB facility before - REPCON is a voluntary and confidential reporting scheme. REPCON allows any person who has an aviation safety concern to report it to the ATSB confidentially. Protection of the reporter's identity and any individual referred to in the report is a primary element of the scheme.

https://www.atsb.gov.au/voluntary/repcon-aviation/

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 Remaining silent about unsatisfactory situations is not really an option in aviation.. Innocent people  (like the passengers who expect better) have to be considered.. How would you feel afterwards if you could have, but didn't bother and left it to somebody else who also didn't bother? IF they are behaving like  a bunch of boofy Cowboys  call them out , before the idea spreads and becomes the "Norm". Nev

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On 06/08/2019 at 4:49 AM, Thruster88 said:

The less time I can spend in the circuit the better, it is a dangerous place.    

The most dangerous place is final approach when everyone funnels into 1 flight path in line with the runway. The closer you get to the runway the less variation there is in flight paths. The rest of the circuit is designed to allow you to locate other aircraft and plan separation, before you are on final approach.

 

If you don't fly a standard circuit it makes it more dangerous, not less. CASA has decided that radios provide sufficient safety for straight in approaches and joining on base. That might be true, however straight in approaches are hard to slot into regular circuit traffic. In theory the aircraft on the straight in is supposed to give way, in practice the aircraft in the circuit are the only ones with practical ways to adjust the spacing.

 

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Spot on. The good thing about a straight in is the reduction of time in the circuit itself and that reduces congestion, PROVIDED all involved are aware of what's happening. Same applies if a plane is in distress. Ie it would get priority, Nev

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I have always liked straight in approaches. I can cut the power at 5000' and glide all the way to touchdown and have done so many times, but the danger is in relying on wireless to find who is in the circuit. If you don't hear anyone in the circuit, that is a good start, but then you have to keep a really good lookout. Most of the traffic will be in front of you at the start of your approach, easy to spot, especially as they will be below you and stand out as moving objects. As you get closer the risk comes from the live side of the circuit and increases greatly. Here is where the goldfish bowl canopy of the Corby or RV really shines. The really hard aeroplane to spot is the other one also doing a straight in and in my case I would most likely descend onto a faster plane. That plane should be able to see me, but I wouldn't guarantee it. Especially if it was a C182 or something similar.

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On 08/08/2019 at 5:55 PM, Yenn said:

I have always liked straight in approaches. I can cut the power at 5000' and glide all the way to touchdown and have done so many times, but the danger is in relying on wireless to find who is in the circuit. If you don't hear anyone in the circuit, that is a good start, but then you have to keep a really good lookout. Most of the traffic will be in front of you at the start of your approach, easy to spot, especially as they will be below you and stand out as moving objects. As you get closer the risk comes from the live side of the circuit and increases greatly. Here is where the goldfish bowl canopy of the Corby or RV really shines. The really hard aeroplane to spot is the other one also doing a straight in and in my case I would most likely descend onto a faster plane. That plane should be able to see me, but I wouldn't guarantee it. Especially if it was a C182 or something similar.

According to the book The Killing Zone, “Eighty percent of traffic pattern midairs happen on final when the pilot’s complete concentration is on the upcoming landing.” That means that by avoiding the circuit, you skip where 20% of collisions take place and increase the risk where 80% of collisions take place. I’m pretty sure that means that you thereby increase your risk of collision. It is recommended that people don’t do straight-in landings. It irritates me when people come up with procedures that are ‘improvements’ in standard procedures. Disclaimer: 35 hrs total time. 

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1 hour ago, APenNameAndThatA said:

According to the book The Killing Zone, “Eighty percent of traffic pattern midairs happen on final when the pilot’s complete concentration is on the upcoming landing.” That means that by avoiding the circuit, you skip where 20% of collisions take place and increase the risk where 80% of collisions take place. I’m pretty sure that means that you thereby increase your risk of collision. It is recommended that people don’t do straight-in landings. It irritates me when people come up with procedures that are ‘improvements’ in standard procedures. Disclaimer: 35 hrs total time. 

Good point, aircraft on straight in approach are hard to find because you don't get the multiple sighting/radio prompts, and they frequently give the radio call based on a wild estimate on how far out they are. My experience has been some are several miles further out than they think, and they can also be coming in from as much as 45 degrees on either side of the runway centreline, so you run a risk of hitting on on Base if you decide to decscend without seeing the aircraft.

As often happens on this forum, some of the most ardent users of odd circuits are from small country airfields and have never flown with 6 to 12 aircraft in the circuit where everyone is expected to allow for all the others in the circuit. Straight in also doesn't give a relatively new pilot the touch points to check his/her altitude on descent at the turn points.

 

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Even worse is the pilot who does a straight-in approach Downwind.

only to be met with an aircraft just landed at the other end of the runway !. (both pilots say they used the radio, I'll verify my pilot(who went onto the grass)).

spacesailor

 

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On 07/08/2019 at 11:32 AM, aro said:

The most dangerous place is final approach when everyone funnels into 1 flight path in line with the runway. The closer you get to the runway the less variation there is in flight paths. The rest of the circuit is designed to allow you to locate other aircraft and plan separation, before you are on final approach.

 

If you don't fly a standard circuit it makes it more dangerous, not less. CASA has decided that radios provide sufficient safety for straight in approaches and joining on base. That might be true, however straight in approaches are hard to slot into regular circuit traffic. In theory the aircraft on the straight in is supposed to give way, in practice the aircraft in the circuit are the only ones with practical ways to adjust the spacing.

 

Why do Rex and Qantas link fly straight in approach if its so dangerous? 

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Straight in approaches are perfectly fine if done as per the regs. I've been #2 in a straight in approach lineup that had a GA bus in front and a Dash 8 behind. It's not difficult when you're communicating.

With the modern nav aids and EFBs  it is easy to  know exactly how far out you are, and what time you should hit the circuit.

The only time I don't use a standard circuit is at my home field which is private. I also use all the acceptable joining procedures in the book (crosswind, downwind, 45° mid downwind and extended base. depending on what suits at the time . I would suggest (except for very unusual circumstances) that if you don't know what the wind and traffic is doing when you get there, you're not paying attention.

 Aside from an occasional mistake, generally most are quite safe, communicate effectively (even if it's not perfect phraseology) and sort out their separation well.

 

The only ones that really put me off are those that fly giant circuits in little aircraft.

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6 hours ago, Thruster88 said:

Why do Rex and Qantas link fly straight in approach if its so dangerous? 

Financial reasons, which is why they'll come straight in downwind and pushe everyone else out of the way.

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 It would actually be more dangerous to have them doing a full circuit or even a partial one. (More time to tangle). The main trouble is with them taking a downwind when other's don't or can't safely do one.  I did put a big PROVIDED on my last comment. Having non radio planes mixing with RPT is pretty ridiculous  When we had no radio procedures Lights at the tower, everyone knew all about them.. Nev

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14 minutes ago, facthunter said:

 It would actually be more dangerous to have them doing a full circuit or even a partial one. (More time to tangle). The main trouble is with them taking a downwind when other's don't or can't safely do one.  I did put a big PROVIDED on my last comment. Having non radio planes mixing with RPT is pretty ridiculous  When we had no radio procedures Lights at the tower, everyone knew all about them.. Nev

Well those days are over and if you're flying in today's traffic you have to use today's conventions.

Surely you would have got the see and be seen now, and realised radio is effectively out by the number of people who come on here and claim they don't HAVE to make radio transmissions in the circuit, or the babel of non-standard clap trap we hear when they do.

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Maybe it's just me.  Maybe it's because I am only 130 hours in, but I do everything I can to stay alive up there.  And if that's making radio calls, or completing full standard circuits, so be it!  I get more airtime, get to practice my approaches better, and hopefully, all things equal, live to fly another day.

 

Those that want to be cocky enough to just blast in without calls from anywhere, good luck to them.  I hope, for their sake, it doesn't come back to bite them one day.

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51 minutes ago, BirdDog said:

Maybe it's just me.  Maybe it's because I am only 130 hours in, but I do everything I can to stay alive up there.  And if that's making radio calls, or completing full standard circuits, so be it!  I get more airtime, get to practice my approaches better, and hopefully, all things equal, live to fly another day.

 

Those that want to be cocky enough to just blast in without calls from anywhere, good luck to them.  I hope, for their sake, it doesn't come back to bite them one day.

With what you're doing, you'll have the protocol embedded in your subconscious if you decide to fly in to a busy city airfield and it will be a breeze, and much less stressful.

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