Jump to content

How to decline visual approach


Recommended Posts

Interesting situation yesterday. The controller put me on a 1 mile final, at 3000’ AGL, then cleared me for the visual approach (after asking if runway in sight, which I had). I think we were showing different winds (I had 40 knots); he was troubled by my tracking a minute before.

I didn’t know whether to declare a missed approach, or contact tower then go around and fly the pattern. Instead I accepted the visual approach, then I did some aerobatics to get down. I contacted tower 10 seconds before touch down (speaking very rapidly: tower, YR77L, on short final, 13R).

Landed OK, but safe it was not. How should the conversation have gone?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Yeah, that makes sense in retrospect.

I was stressed that he was going to give me "fly missed approach, as published", and then I'd be scrambling for charts, while trying to remember how to do a holding pattern. Lesson learned: always brief the missed approach.

Do they usually give you vectors for missed approach, or let you read the charts yourself?

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)
40 minutes ago, Claudiu Dragomir said:

Do they usually give you vectors for missed approach, or let you read the charts yourself?

I would say that depends on how busy the airspace is, and if there is more then one approach position online. If there is a lot going on, I usually send missed approaches to the standard missed at first, so I have a minute to work out a plan and resequence them. If there is more then one approach controller online (and I am on Final for example) I do the same thing, standard missed procedure, so there's time to coordinate.

However, if I am the only Approach position online, and the airspace isn't too busy, I usually vector aircraft directly for another approach (unless they request some delay).

 

EDIT: Just realised after hitting send that I misunderstood your question. Figuring out the missed approach procedure is the pilots responsibility. ATC isn't going to read out the full procedure, you'll have to look that up in the charts.

Edited by Andre Almeida
Link to post
Share on other sites

Makes sense: the ATC is not our co-pilot. Thank you.

One more question, off-topic, since I have your attention 🙂

Do controllers compensate heading for wind, in VATSIM, or should the pilot compensate to track the given heading?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Controllers should take it into account. Fly the heading ATC assigns, should be fine, no need to make any compensations. Otherwise you risk ATC taking the winds into account and you end up flying somewhere else. 😛

Link to post
Share on other sites

Correct me if I'm wrong -- but, if you're not assigned an Instrument Approach Procedure on initial contact with the Approach controller, there's no "published missed" to fly anyway.  Typically when assigned a visual I will definitely have an IAP briefed and tuned/loaded anyway, just for the added guidance (and also in case I am asked to join the Localizer before having sight of the field, which is a common instruction).  But that doesn't mean you're bound to that MAP if you have to go around.

  • Like 1

Cheers,

-R.

fvJfs7z.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

Agreed, Robert. There is, in fact, no missed approach procedure, and no clearance has been issued that would allow you to fly one if you did go around while on a visual approach clearance. It's quite a grey area as you're still on an active IFR flight plan but flying a visual-only procedure. If you're at a towered airport, just follow the controller's instructions, but if you're at a non-towered airport, that's where the real brainwork begins. You're really looking at two options, as far as I can gather. You could switch back to the ATC facility having jurisdiction over the airport--i.e. the controller who gave you the approach clearance--and ask for an amended clearance and vectors for another approach (or whatever you see fit). Or you could enter the traffic pattern as appropriate and make a normal landing and cancel your IFR when you're on the ground.

The latter is most likely the preferred option, since at non-towered airports, the expectation for all traffic is that everyone enters and exits the traffic pattern IAW AC 90-66B, regardless of the operating rules for that flight. If you go around on a visual approach, you can still make your left (or right, if appropriate) turns and fly a regular traffic pattern and still be in compliance with the expectations and authorized maneuvers of a visual approach.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Not sure if it's common elsewhere, or if it's a rare occurrence, however there are some airports with standard missed approach procedures for the visual approaches.

Lisbon and Porto come to mind. Lisbon's visual approach chart: https://charts.portugal-vacc.org/files/LP_AD_2_LPPT_13-3_en.pdf , and Porto's visual approach chart: https://charts.portugal-vacc.org/files/LP_AD_2_LPPR_13-1_en.pdf . 

 

Link to post
Share on other sites
2 hours ago, Andre Almeida said:

Not sure if it's common elsewhere, or if it's a rare occurrence, however there are some airports with standard missed approach procedures for the visual approaches.

Lisbon and Porto come to mind. Lisbon's visual approach chart: https://charts.portugal-vacc.org/files/LP_AD_2_LPPT_13-3_en.pdf , and Porto's visual approach chart: https://charts.portugal-vacc.org/files/LP_AD_2_LPPR_13-1_en.pdf . 

 

 

These would be more referred to as CVFPs (Charted Visual Flight Procedures), where you are following a chart that has visual references for you to point out for your approach to a given runway. KSFO has those, with the Quiet Bridge and Tipp Toe Visual approaches to 28L/R, or the Four Stacks Visual Approach into 15 at KBUR:

https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2105/00067FOURSTACKS_VIS15.PDF

https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2105/00375QUIETBRIDGE_VIS28LR.PDF

https://aeronav.faa.gov/d-tpp/2105/00375TIPPTOE_VIS28LR.PDF

They've been called these (at my guess) to differentiate those type of procedures from an actual visual approach. The CVFPs may have instructions on what to do in the event of a go around. In this case, they would be a go-around, because as this isn't technically an IAP, there wouldn't be a Missed Approach procedure to fly.

BL.

 

 

  • Thanks 1

Brad Littlejohn

ZLA Senior Controller

27

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • 2 weeks later...

Visual approach is requested only by the pilot and approved by ATC. ATC cannot force the pilot to execute a visual approach unless there is no instrument approach on this airport in which case you have to cancel your IFR flight plan.

Go around from a visual approach usually follows the published missed approach of the instrument approach in use at that time but especially in USA can be different. 

Dimitris Ntistis 

HvACC deputy director

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

Link to post
Share on other sites

Perhaps not in FAA territory Dimitris.  Only this week, I had a controller instruct me to fly a Visual Approach even though I had filed for a Instrument Approach.  I was vector around twice at all sorts of angles because I couldn’t see the airport.  The controller didn’t sound very impressed that I couldn’t see the airport.  I was going to offer to send him a picture from the cockpit, but thought that would be a bit rude.

Sean

C1/O P3

spacer.png

Link to post
Share on other sites

You can always deny a visual approach. In the US you will find that "visual approaches are in use" when you listen to the ATIS and ATC will just instruct you to execute such an approach when you report the field in sight. But in the end it is you, the PIC, who has the final word.

In the real world I accept visuals at any time, because they are fun to fly, but they are not as simple as instrument approaches. So, keep on practicing them, you may need this skill one day!

Obviously, ATC should not place you in an impossible situation before clearing you for a visual approach. If you are not happy: "unable". No discussion.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I agree with Sean -- in the US, visual approaches are the norm if the weather is VMC.  Approach controllers can work aircraft onto final with much more aggressive intercept angles and attain much tighter spacing than having to swing them out for miles and miles to make that max-30-degree intercept at least x miles before the FAF.

 

Sean, I've had that happen to me too.  Use whatever instruments you have to help you locate the airport -- a VOR/DME if you have one available, or the ILS, or the ND or GPS map screen -- then lie to the controller and say you have it in sight.  (DISCLAIMER: NOT FOR REAL-WORLD NAVIGATION USE) LOL

Cheers,

-R.

fvJfs7z.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

It just doesn’t make sense to me.  An IFR aircraft cleared for a visual approach, and even when told that they can’t see the airport, they get vectored around a second time.  Would I not ask to cancel IFR before accepting a visual approach?  Do we vector VFR aircraft onto STARs or IAPs?

I always thought it was a pilots call on the safety of the aircraft, so why clear an IFR for visual work?

is it any less work for the controller when they take responsibility for vectoring an aircraft around for two attempts at a visual, rather than allow them to fly the IAP and report final?

Edited by Sean Harrison

Sean

C1/O P3

spacer.png

Link to post
Share on other sites
  • Board of Governors
Posted (edited)
15 minutes ago, Sean Harrison said:

Would I not ask to cancel IFR before accepting a visual approach?

No, a visual approach is an IFR flight manoeuvre.

Per the AIM:

”A “visual approach” is an approach by an IFR flight in which all or part of the instrument approach is not completed.”

Of course it is your prerogative as PIC to decline but it is certainly the norm in the USA for visual approaches to be used by default if the weather is conducive. My understanding is that the main benefit to ATC is that it permits tighter separation than would be possible on an ILS because responsibility for separation can be transferred to you as the pilot rather than requiring radar separation minima to be maintained. I’ve never quite understood how that can be more efficient than radar sequencing aircraft 2.5-3 NM apart down an ILS but maybe a US controller can explain!

Of course nothing prevents you tuning the ILS and flying it.

Edited by Simon Kelsey
  • Like 1

Vice President, Pilot Training

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

 

1 hour ago, Sean Harrison said:

Would I not ask to cancel IFR before accepting a visual approach? 

Opening disclaimer: This is written for FAA-land.

You absolutely could do this if your company policies allow it, but that's not always the case.  Some real world company OPSPECs prevent crews from cancelling in the air, so they'll take a visual approach (under IFR) to the ground.  I'd guess that some of the more "realistic" virtual airlines might have something similar built into their policies.

There are also plenty situations in which it makes very little sense to cancel. For example, if I'm arriving into a Class B primary field (not necessarily a satellite, though this could be applicable there too), I have no reason to cancel my IFR clearance just to turn around and get clearance into the airspace as a VFR aircraft.  It adds to my workload, and to that of the controllers, for no reason. (and, perish the thought, if I encounter IMC before reaching my destination, I've not left myself a legal way out of the situation)

As always: If you're not sure, ask!

Edited by Brin Brody
Clarity
Link to post
Share on other sites
22 hours ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

If you are not happy: "unable". No discussion.

That's the bottom line 🙂

  • Like 1

Dimitris Ntistis 

HvACC deputy director

 

"Imagination is more important than knowledge." Albert Einstein

Link to post
Share on other sites
16 hours ago, Sean Harrison said:

I always thought it was a pilots call on the safety of the aircraft, so why clear an IFR for visual work?

As the others have pointed out, a "visual approach" is an IFR maneuver. You are mistaking it with a "VFR approach": when you fly to an airfield that does not have an instrument approach procedure or that is uncontrolled (AFIS only, one example is LSZS - Samedan), then you will have to cancel IFR and proceed VFR. On a VFR approach you will definitely be flying outside controlled airspace, you are responsible for traffic and terrain avoidance.

A "visual approach" simply helps shortening the distance (that's usually the intention to apply/approve them) to joining the final approach segment of an IFR approach procedure. Depending on the legislation that you are operating under, this type of approach will also delegate sufficient separation to other traffic to you as a pilot.

Link to post
Share on other sites
20 minutes ago, Andreas Fuchs said:

On a VFR approach you will definitely be flying outside controlled airspace

Are you sure? VFR flight in Cass D, for example, is quite common. Maybe I misunderstand your point. :)

Alistair Thomson

===

Definition: a gentleman is a flying instructor in a Piper Cherokee who can change tanks without getting his face slapped.

Link to post
Share on other sites
Posted (edited)

I assumed that you started off with an IFR flightplan, then you cancel IFR and continue with a VFR approach. Usually you do this, because your destination airfield is located outside controlled airspace and has no IAPs. Otherwise there would be no point in cancelling IFR.

At my outfit it is strictly forbidden to fly VFR, if not required by airspace structure and IAPs.

Edited by Andreas Fuchs
Link to post
Share on other sites

Please sign in to comment

You will be able to leave a comment after signing in



Sign In Now
×
×
  • Create New...