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Spin-entry: an old question revisited.


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The continuous turn to landing was adopted by the military for a sound strategic reason

Yes, and as far as I know, that reason is improved visibility from the cockpit.

You may notice that in a lot of aircraft that visibility forward and down is poor when flying slow and nose high, such as on final. In a constant turn nothing stays directly in front of you obscured by the cowl.

 

I have read about more collisions in the circuit where one aircraft was above and behind the other flying in a straight line before they collided than I have about aircraft in a turn colliding in the circuit.

 

 

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But given that in the real world we can expect many and various circuit patterns:

 

1631537830_Realworldcircuits.jpg.be6f980d093e8b239344d52b6a6d01a5.jpg

 

(image reference: Journey to PPL: 10/8/13: Flight Lesson #8 - Crosswind Circuits )

 

I guess the white variant, below, would remain well within the normal field of expectations (and legalities):

 

1092309324_Standardcircuits_adj.jpg.8549d734be8c954b9c1656221e93724c.jpg

 

 

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Meanwhile your leaders are pushing for RA to be allowed to operate in CTA where, among a host of other things you may find dual circuits operating, and on base you will be flying towards someone on the other circuit flying towards you, each of you expected to turn away from each other at your Final lines..................

 

 

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Why would a continuous turn on base to final interfere with circuit traffic on a parallel runway?

 

The circuit image above is in CTA on parallel runways.....seems to work.

 

 

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Anyway, having been raised in a control zone, it seems to me that following instructions in the circuit is a doddle compared to negotiating the free-for-alls you'll find at busy uncontrolled joints. (That's where real skill, judgement - and courage - is needed).

 

 

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You will get dual circuits at Tocumwal. (with Gliders on the other strip).. Most Australian major airports will have pilots who are making essentially visual approaches from a fair distance out on clear days. It is easier when arrivals/ departures are controlled (regulated). It still doesn't eliminate someone making a mistake, as in pulling out onto a runway, without being cleared, when you are at 200' on approach. Nev

 

 

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my attitude is to use a circular combo of base/final when the circuit is quiet, and I am hopeful the big fat strobe on top of my kingpost combined with the blinding led landing light under the cockpit will help idiots without radios to see me

 

if the circuit is busy the last thing I want to do is to be positioned out of whack with other aircraft around me, so I would fly the 'normal' pattern

 

I always fly with continuous (Army Aviation taught) scanning anywhere near an airfield - that is where I have had the majority of 'scares' in my measly 200 hours of Drifter flying...

 

as for radios - don't get me started on that one...going without one is like riding a motorcycle without a helmet, only worse

 

with the lack of helmet, only the rider is going to get killed - if a radio-less pilot runs into me, we both die

 

I'm just sayin'.....

 

 

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I understand where you are coming from with the comment it is not a guarantee - too many things can go wrong, both mechanically and human wise

 

the 'aid' bit? not so sure about that - an aid in one respect but imho one that is essential to the safety of people in flying machines

 

I say this because I have had two close calls in the circuit and both of them involved aircraft without radios

 

so there I am, making my inbound calls, my circuit calls, looking around, scanning, turning onto final, setting up to land - and there it is, some dill swanning around without a care in the world

 

doesn't know I'm there (because he can't hear my radio calls) and I didn't see him because he didn't make any, and I DID look and look and look and I still missed him

 

and all he had to do to avoid that is to carry a little battery powered handheld and use the fkn thing.....both of us could have been in wreckage on the ground because he didn't

 

this in an environment where on a nice sunny day there is likely to be a wonderful combination of gliders+tug, warbirds and ultralights in the same little bit of sky at the same time

 

as far as I'm concerned it is criminal negligence and if you slip the surly bonds without that little 'aid' you are putting your life (and, more importantly, mine) at risk

 

here endeth the rant

 

BP

 

 

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Do you really think that carrying and using a radio would guarantee not having an accident?

 

In a really busy circuit a radio is certainly no guarantee. I have been in the circuit with 5 or 6 others, all using radio and it was impossible to be aware of exactly where we were in relation to others.

 

 

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I understand where you are coming from with the comment it is not a guarantee - too many things can go wrong, both mechanically and human wisethe 'aid' bit? not so sure about that - an aid in one respect but imho one that is essential to the safety of people in flying machines

I say this because I have had two close calls in the circuit and both of them involved aircraft without radios

 

so there I am, making my inbound calls, my circuit calls, looking around, scanning, turning onto final, setting up to land - and there it is, some dill swanning around without a care in the world

 

doesn't know I'm there (because he can't hear my radio calls) and I didn't see him because he didn't make any, and I DID look and look and look and I still missed him

 

and all he had to do to avoid that is to carry a little battery powered handheld and use the fkn thing.....both of us could have been in wreckage on the ground because he didn't

 

this in an environment where on a nice sunny day there is likely to be a wonderful combination of gliders+tug, warbirds and ultralights in the same little bit of sky at the same time

 

as far as I'm concerned it is criminal negligence and if you slip the surly bonds without that little 'aid' you are putting your life (and, more importantly, mine) at risk

 

here endeth the rant

 

BP

Just going back to your previous post, what you're calling a big fat strobe and powerful landing light may be so in your case but if it's the usual equipment fitted to the likes of Jabs, it's about the same as a rotating beacon on a GA aircraft and about a tenth of the power of a landing light and wing strobes which are not switched on until 500 feet, and switched off on touchdown, and what I've found is that where you'll rarely miss the lights on a GA aircraft in the circuit, RA aircraft are not so easy, and an LSA55 Jab coming towards you or going away from you on a hazy day can be particularly hard to see until it exposes its wings in the turn.

 

Also in the last post you mentioned using a different technique when the circuit is quiet, but the problem is there are times when you just don't know it's about to get busy, such as when a high speed GA aircraft, hearing nothing at the country airfield, doesn't bother with radio.

 

So you never really know who's in the circuit or who's about to come charging through.

 

The see and be seen policy adopted by Australia was really a cost cutting exercise which also removed some risk responsibility from the government, but from your experience, and mine, I think it will eventually bite them on the bum in terms of accident rate.

 

For all these reasons I agree, it's crazy to go up without a radio, or with a radio which is not giving a clear signal.

 

 

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Do you really think that carrying and using a radio would guarantee not having an accident?In a really busy circuit a radio is certainly no guarantee. I have been in the circuit with 5 or 6 others, all using radio and it was impossible to be aware of exactly where we were in relation to others.

It's not a guarantee; at Moorabbin, a tower controller called a student pilot on his second solo to make a left turn just after he had taken off, below 500 feet. All in the circuit should have heard that call, and probably an earlier one, which had led to the need for it. The student made the turn and climbed to circuit height, where he made a left turn. At that point he was hit by a Cherokee with a student and instructor on board, with both aircraft suffering minor damage. Unfortunately the student allowed his aircraft to slip into a spin and was killed.

 

When we have these discussions on radio we are divided into two groups; one who fly from quiet country strips and the other who fly from city strips with around 12 in the circuit.

 

If you've been trained on a City strip, you will be using clipped communications, and the other 11 will be doing the same, and your mic button technique will be fast, from bitter experience when you were embarrassed. You'll sometimes make the turn, then transmit avoid transmitting over someone, or running on in the turn.

 

So I can understand your position where you might be quite good on radio, but mixed in with a "busy" six who are all transmitting different actions at different times, and you don't get the pattern you get in the City.

 

However, at least in your mind you know that you're following one in, or two in etc, and there's one on straight in approach which is going to screw up your turn on to final if you don't extend your downwind leg etc.

 

Eyes and radio work together.

 

 

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I understand where you are coming from with the comment it is not a guarantee - too many things can go wrong, both mechanically and human wise

 

 

I did say that, didn't I? Thought so...the bottom line for me is that as far as I am concerned, if you don't carry a radio (and use it correctly) you are putting yourself and others in harms way - simple as that

 

you have a choice, be as safe and prepared as you possibly can and hope for the best - I can see that if everyone does that we can still run into each other - all I'm saying is "let's be as safe as we can"

 

as for the strobe, it's the CPS one and I am looking forward to getting some video of it from others on the ground - in the hangar (not a good test, obviously) it is blinding

 

the 'landing light' is a high powered 6x LED unit used on government security vehicles - naturally it only works from head on but as the aircraft proceeds through a turn it should show up as a bright light that appears then disappears...

 

the total wattage from both of these lights are miniscule

 

BP

 

 

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I understand where you are coming from with the comment it is not a guarantee - too many things can go wrong, both mechanically and human wise

 

I did say that, didn't I? Thought so...the bottom line for me is that as far as I am concerned, if you don't carry a radio (and use it correctly) you are putting yourself and others in harms way - simple as that

 

you have a choice, be as safe and prepared as you possibly can and hope for the best - I can see that if everyone does that we can still run into each other - all I'm saying is "let's be as safe as we can"

 

as for the strobe, it's the CPS one and I am looking forward to getting some video of it from others on the ground - in the hangar (not a good test, obviously) it is blinding

 

the 'landing light' is a high powered 6x LED unit used on government security vehicles - naturally it only works from head on but as the aircraft proceeds through a turn it should show up as a bright light that appears then disappears...

 

the total wattage from both of these lights are miniscule

 

BP

The ones to compare it with are original equipment in usually post mid '70's GA aircraft (eg Warrior, not Cherokee 140). If your intensity matches theirs, you have a really good safety feature because it catches the eye., but that doesn't happen with the standard Jab strobes. A good landing light is great on inbound aircraft because it helps you pick up aircraft which will soon be in the circuit, and is particularly good for locating the position and progress of aircraft on a straight in approach.

 

 

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Radios are a good idea and today most (or All) should carry them, but until they all answer and give accurate and useful positions you are worse off looking where someone said they were, if they aren't where they said they were, but some other place. Nev

 

 

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  • 2 weeks later...
Meanwhile your leaders are pushing for RA to be allowed to operate in CTA where, among a host of other things you may find dual circuits operating, and on base you will be flying towards someone on the other circuit flying towards you, each of you expected to turn away from each other at your Final lines..................

Yeah I fly Ra-Aus out of jandakot (class D with parallel rubway ops) and I’ve heard of guys getting told off for circuits that were even just a bit too tight (even tho ERSA says “circuit size should be as compact as practicable” for noise abatement... go figure) so I can imagine flying a circling style pattern definitely wouldn’t fly!! (Pun intended)

 

 

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If you stick to the altitudes for making turns you should not be able to be criticised. Large circuits waste time and money. Extending downwind for separation almost needs a new flight plan. approval. Regardless of the size and speed the same number of planes will cross the fence. Nev

 

 

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If you stick to the altitudes for making turns you should not be able to be criticised. Large circuits waste time and money. Extending downwind for separation almost needs a new flight plan. approval. Regardless of the size and speed the same number of planes will cross the fence. Nev

You’re right, but I think there are some people who don’t know what that means, and that’s part of the problem.

 

 

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I probably should have said heights instead of altitude as well .. It's hard to actually determine what the standard achieved is. People from head office used to go around visiting FTF's looking at standards. There's not the expertise there that there was. to do that. anymore. Nev

 

 

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I can understand why tower controllers would be irritated by circuits flown excessively tight or loose since, I guess, they'd be working out their sequencing based on a normal range of leg times, according to type. But I don't see why a bit more smoothing of the latter corners would be of concern from the tower's POV.

 

Anyway, I'm not inclined (or qualified) to position-take myself, but I've been following the ongoing debate in Aviation Safety:

 

Circular Approaches? - Aviation Safety Article

 

Curved Approaches, II - Aviation Safety Article

 

And from the June 2017 issue:

 

MORE CIRCULAR PATTERNS: I look forward to UND’s and AOPA ASI’s research on circular patterns. The way it is depicted is a short approach, similar to a simulated engine failure in the pattern. Two suggestions: First, start the turn not abeam the numbers but ½-mile beyond. This will allow a ½-mile final. Also consider that starting the turn abeam the numbers means a tighter pattern. You might be cutting off other airplanes flying a traditional square pattern. Second, I would not recommend this with high-wing aircraft because the runway will not be visible throughout most of the turn. A square pattern with level flight on final would be more appropriate. A low-wing airplane may be okay because the runway will be visible, as well as traffic on base and final. Thanks! Luca F. Bencini-Tibo Via email

 

MORE CIRCULAR PATTERNS II: Wait—I also have a comment about circular patterns: I prefer them. First off, the pilots who wrote claiming they can’t see because this wing or that wing is blocking the view of traffic on final or their view of the runway seem to fly with their wings locked in a particular bank angle. For goodness sake, flick your wings regularly to check your views...your occasional wing flashes make you more visible to others. It’s called clearing. Yes, it should be done even on base leg and certainly on long finals to enhance safety. Secondly, of course, it’s easier to fly power-on approaches in a single-engine airplane. Routinely setting 1500 rpm turning base while slappin’ along in your rented Cessna (good machine) requires almost no skill and is dangerous if the engine fails on base or final. Everyone with more than 100 hours total time flying a single-engine airplane should strive to fly power-off from the downwind leg. Flying power-off approaches renders a circular pattern extremely important. You adjust your aiming point by constantly checking the runway position and expanding or tightening the turn. Clear the area by banking out of the turn to check final every so often. And learn this skill by gently trying less and less power until you can do it power off from the downwind. The tempo of your pattern will pick up. It takes a while to get accustomed to this if you were trained to fly approaches power-on. This skill will help you the day your engine quits out of the pattern, too. Engines fail. Runways usually monopolize the good landing opportunities in the terrain near an airport. It’s gonna happen. Light planes like Cessnas and Pipers have glide ratios far steeper than airliners, fighters, twins, etc. That’s not intuitive. My J-3, for example, in any headwind seems to glide at a 45-degree angle to the dirt. So, unless you have a spare engine or an ejection seat (or are IMC on an ILS), consider the consequences of a traffic pattern engine failure and fly power-off circular patterns. We may save some lives. This worked well flying jets in the USAF and works well in my J-3. Finally, take a snapshot of your airport from high above. Mark the power lines and fences on it. Review this photo when you blast off so you have a takeoff plan for engine failure. Respectfully, Martin Giesbrecht Via email

 

 

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